Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men's Lives
It goes without saying that even today, it’s not easy to be gay in America. While young gay men often come out more readily, even those from the most progressive of backgrounds still struggle with the legacy of early-life stigma and a deficit of self-acceptance, ...more
The first chapter, "Are Gay Men Homosexuals?", wants to delve deep into an old, old argument about identity and self-definition that, quite frankly, is beyond my capabilities just now. My dear Young Gentleman Caller, recently departed this sandy spot on Earth, asked me to read it so I did...the first chapter...and I'm just not down for a discussion of what makes me like all the other QUILTBAG people in the world. Am I, in fact, like a lesbian or a trans person?
We're all human, ...more
Odets gives the men in this book wide berth to tell their stories—all "heroic" ones, he ...more
Odets is a clinical psychologist, and thus presents various aspects of the gay existence via psychological case studies. Each account is compelling, and for me, hauntingly familiar, as I suspect it would be for most queer men in America. Within these vignettes, Odets ...more
As Walt Odets writes: "Are men who fall in love with other men and get married just like heterosexual men in conventional marriages? Both gay lives and gay relationships have a long, ...more
So, I'm not sure what I expected this to be, but I sure didn't expect it to be everything that it was. It was such a well-done piece of work, & the author deserves praise for he's done here.
All that said, I'm not quite certain how to relate my reading experience here. I quite enjoyed the insight provided via the interplay of the author's lived realities as a compassionate psychologist, & his personal life as a gay...more
Odets is gay, and has decades of ...more
As someone who has background working in AIDS hospice and day centers in the earlier 2000's, I was very excited to read this novel. Listening to the history of the epidemic from the survivors is incredibly powerful and this novel brought back some of the very real, very painful, yet full of hope stories I witnessed there.
In this age, it's hard for some of us to imagine living in shame and fear. To hiding who we are even to those who should be our biggest ...more
Firstly - the heart. It really isn't any less interesting if you're straight, most of what the book says about relationships (and ...more
The author is a psychotherapist who is also a gay man. There are few people that are ...more
Disclaimer: I skipped most of the chapter on Matthias.
This contained some touching moments and messages that extended beyond gay men's lives, and I learned a lot about the history of the gay community. However, the author has clear opinions on the "right" way to live, including a Nickelbackian approach of "sex is always the answer," which is not appropriate for a piece of non-fiction nor a psychotherapist. While the quotes from patients were a nice touch, it often felt ...more
Part history lesson, part psychology session. This is an exploration in to the shame and stigma the gay community has faced from ...more
Though information dense, this book provides clear insights into the gay sensibility, specifically delving into the trauma the HIV/AIDS crisis provoked in an already vulnerable community. Heartbreaking yet filled with joyous victories, Walt Odets' novel casts a human light on a highly stigmatized community. I thank him for his authentic life, both as a psychotherapist and now in his book.
Would make a great book for a discussion group since it brings up so many issues of gay men.
Out of the Shadows is a veritable treasure trove of history and insight on the AIDS crisis and the psychology of gay men. The tone is academic and the material challenging, but the conclusions flow so naturally that it is easy to comprehend. The organization of the book brings the reader full circle, always building off knowledge in the previous section before diving deeper into the subjects, then ending on the same helpful, hopeful tone as ...more
Walt Odets is a clinical psychologist in private practice who has worked with and written about the psychological, developmental and social lives of gay men for more than three decades.
His seminal book, In the Shadow of the Epidemic: Being HIV-Negative in the Age of AIDS, which Duke University Press published in 1995, was selected by The New York Times as one of the “Notable Books of the Year.” ...more