Author(s): Dennis Altman
From the author of the groundbreaking 1971 classic Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation comes a new work reflecting on all that has changed over the past four decades.
In The End of the Homosexual? – part memoir/part politics – Dennis Altman connects what has happened within the changing queer world over the past forty years to larger social, political and cultural trends. This is a case study of both local and global change, yet one told from personal experience.
Written engagingly, this timely new book explores the idea that major changes in the understanding of sexual and gender diversity reflect larger social and cultural shifts. For example, the internet has changed patterns of sexual behaviour as widely as did the contraceptive pill forty years ago. In both cases the changes were neither foreseen nor intended, and in both cases the impact of new technologies partly depended on political and ideological controls.
Homosexuality has become a faultline for debates about western influence, and human rights. In this riveting and personally revealing work, Altman reflects on decades of cultural and political change and considers the future of sexuality: is this the end of the homosexual that gay liberationists predicted forty years ago?
'In this personal memoir of an Age, Dennis Altman has placed changes in attitudes towards sex and gender alongside the social, political and cultural upheavals that have occurred in the past forty years in Australia and elsewhere in the world. With profound insight, wry humour and admirable story-telling flair, Altman presents a gripping and comprehensive social history, one that never loses sight of the value of diversity. This is a grand story of change. Whenever an important event on the politics and culture of gender and sexuality was occurring, Dennis Altman was there.' Andrea Goldsmith, author of The Memory Trap and Reunion
'Dennis Altman is a hero. He has courage, energy and insight in abundance. For decades, he has been foremost among the Australia chroniclers of gay inequality. Now, in this brilliant book, he asks whether the struggle is over and if homosexuality is just part of the new norm.' The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Justice of the High Court of Australia 1996-2009
'Like the author himself, this book is - in a word - indispensable. Inexhaustibly intelligent as ever, Altman elegantly unpacks and unravels queer history and present-day politics, never failing to illuminate all its contradictions and conundrums. I lost track of how many times I reached for a highlighter or dog-eared a page, with nothing less than a constant sense of gratitude.' Benjamin Law, author of Gaysia and The Family Law.