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My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Amber L. Hollibaugh is a lesbian sex radical, ex-hooker, incest survivor, gypsy child, poor-white-trash, high femme dyke. She is also an award-winning filmmaker, feminist, Left political organizer, public speaker, and journalist. My Dangerous Desires presents over twenty years of Hollibaugh’s writing, an introduction written especially for this book, and five new essays in ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 10th 2000 by Duke University Press Books (first published October 1st 2000)
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Tuesday according to this interview, the author describes herself as mixed race and says her father is Romani (on page 7)!…moreaccording to this interview, the author describes herself as mixed race and says her father is Romani (on page 7)!

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Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
i first read this in 2001.

amber hollibaugh's voice is really important to me. she speaks with complexity, honesty, passion, compassion. she brings a class and race analysis to feminism and queer movements. she shares and asserts and explores her 'dangerous' desires - making her work so personal and so easy to relate to.

when i first saw her speak when i was nineteen, she opened up a new world with a new language with which to understand my (and The) queer experience. the passages in this book we
Caitlin Constantine
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was just ridiculously good. Amber Hollibaugh is the kind of person that makes me feel like, if this world can produce someone like her, then maybe it isn't all shit (like I sometimes think it might be). She writes with so much love and respect and honor for even the most difficult people and the most difficult subjects.

There was so much about this that I loved that it is hard for me to single out any one or two specific reasons why. It was just her overall passion for social justice,
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I find it fascinating how some lesbians in the 80s were concerned with the same things we are as lesbians and queers today. There is still a dictatorial attitude towards what is the politically correct expression of our sexuality, there is still a lot of internalized homophobia and misogyny. I love how Hollibaugh challenges the idea that to be lesbian is inherently feminist and vice versa. I feel similarly suspicious of the elision between queerness and feminism now
Emilia P
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: real-books
So I picked this up because Dorothy Allison wrote the preface, and I was
not disappointed. Hollibaugh lived a life much like that which Dorothy Allison represented thinly veiled in her fiction. A California trailer park kid with a gypsy father, a "race girl" at 12, working as a stripper to fund her life as a political organizer in the 60s (because hey, poor kids into politics don't get bankrolled by their rich liberal parents! so much has (not) changed!)

So yeah, this was a collection of article
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, lgbt
I would have to say that this is life changing for me. To read a perspective and representation that I wasn't fully aware of. She had an amazing, very difficult life and tied in so many different aspects of life from feminism, lesbianism, victim of incest, politics, etc. I'm just truly amazed by her. She's as real as it gets and I liked how she discussed aging and her break up from an ltr. What's interesting is that even now, I still see the magical thinking that she discussed in one essay that ...more
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Hollibaugh was a labour organizer and later the head of the Lesbian AIDS Project within the GMHC during the 1990s. She writes eloquently about how the labour movement let workers down by neglecting workers' sexual health. She was also femme when it was looked upon with suspicion and pity within both feminist and lesbian circles, and writes beautifully about gender and representation. It also incorporates essays and interviews where she talks about sex work, pornography, and her ...more
Clementine Morrigan
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A really important book. This should really be on the reading list of queer studies courses and is a must read for people interested in queer history, organizing, butch/femme relationships, hiv, class, and sex work, among other things.
Laura Wallace
Hollibaugh's essays deal with so many things I always wanted to bring up in my women's and queer studies classes. She talks about actual people having actual sex! Crazy! The essays and conversations in this collection touch on desire, class, sex work, monogamy and sexual jealousy, children's sexuality, the importance of reproductive freedom to the queer liberation movement and the importance of queer liberation to feminism, lesbianism and AIDS, race, drag queens, power in sex... oh, so many cruc ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a really important book. These essays and interviews are powerful. They tell an uncommonly told, but more commonly experienced than dominant society would have one believe, history of queer liberation, feminism, the anti war movement, union building, HIV/AIDS, and other civil rights/social justice issues in a way that acknowledges and engages how race, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation play into people's experiences and therefore need to be acknowledged and dealt with in any social ...more
Nov 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: my queers, feminists
This was one of my favorite memoirs that I read this year and this was a bit of a a Year of the Memoir. It was an awesome exploration of class, of gender, of sexuality, and of femme expression, particularly from a femme of a very different generation than mine.

I am one of those genderfuck-y kids who could easily forget the people who built the ground I could genderfuck on. I appreciate Amber a lot for reminding me both of that and sharing her story.

It's also just really really interesting.
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read part of this when I was researching a paper for an AIDS class, and dropped everything to read the rest. I have a lot of respect for Hollibaugh--her writing is what you hope to find in such a book: gritty, fearless, and REAL. She does not hold back, lie, or sugar-coat things for you.

I learned a lot from this book. I used it for several subsequent papers, and have recommended it to various people.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have been thinking about this all the time since I read it!

I think I expected something a little, I don't know, dreamier or something based on the title. Instead it is a collection of sharp, smart analytical essays.

I was really fascinated by the connections between the early gay rights movement and the labor movement. Also, of course, the more interplay of the sexual and the political for Hollibaugh in her own life, and the fierce stakes of her femme identity.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Hollibaugh seems to be best known for 'What We're Rolling Around in Bed With,' a piece in Nestle's above anthology. This book documents her work as a self proclaimed dyke, a radical, a former sex worker, a survivor, a feminist, an educator, and her labors of love and frustration throughout the decades as an activist. Moving, Amazing, Inspiring, and Incredible.
Feb 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-novels
i saw her speak and was really inspired so picked up this book - she's a radical femme with graying hair and lots of wisdom in her book and the talk i heard, she speaks eloquently about class and queerness in ways i have rarely heard. the book tells her stories of coming into her power in different ways.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminist
Heard the author speak a number of years ago and was impressed by the depth and complexity of her thinking. Of course, the same depth and complexity comes thru in the series of essays that make up this book. A number of them put together serve as a sort of memoir of a most interesting coming of age story.
Joey Diamond
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queerdo
One of those books that brings together so many things so they all make sense. Not just the articulations of butch-femme desire but also the solid working class and activist politics.

It's years since I last read this and now I'm thinking I better re-read.
Eliot Fiend
Fabulous, fierce writing from a working-class femme about the civil rights and New Left movements of the 60s-70s, classism and discrimination in gay liberation, women's, and Leftist movements, and her work during the HIV/AIDS plague.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
I like the author as a writer and an interesting person at at least a solid four & love some of these pieces. Great thing to read. I personally would have enjoyed more bridges between the individual pieces, but that is a personal taste thing. Def worth a read! ...more
I don't know if I read *all* of this book... maybe nearly all.
Dunya Nadar
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
desire is not dangerous: silence and trauma are
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this is a great book that i would recommend to anyone! i enjoyed it particularly because it is the only book i have ever read by a gypsy woman about gypsy experience in the united states.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yes. and Yes. a book I regularly reread. Yes. Thank you.
Robyn Obermeyer
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was way more serious than I had thought. I liked the way it was kinda close up and personal about subject matter that is kept more to myself.i liked the photos in the book also!
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mandatory reading go read it right now yes you, immediately.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Some really good stuff and some really heavy-handed repetition
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queerlife
comprehensive Autobio-- a revised version make for a better read...
Remarkable life changes and transformation
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
very usefull to me to read the stories of this powerhouse of a movement person.
Devynn emory
auntie amber and her relationship with dorothy alison= swoonfest
Apr 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gay, memoir
I just don't have the patience for this, although I will admit the author really has had an interesting life. There are some interesting points about tensions in among various groups and activist movements. But this is super cringey on race and it pushes the limits of sex positive/ post modern queer theory nonsense. The class analysis (not really sure what to call it) is bizarre. Okay, the author grew up poor, I get it, but if you're a professional activist/writer that is obviously a very differ ...more
im obsessed with this book!!! i love the sexiness and anti-normativity that results from a politics grounded in *desire* -- the generativity, the necessary focus on embodiment, the refusal to look away from race and class politics, and the expansiveness.
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