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Men without MapsSome Gay Males of the Generation before Stonewall$
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John Ibson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226656083

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226656250.001.0001

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Solitary Men: Loneliness and Masculinity

Solitary Men: Loneliness and Masculinity

(p.65) 2 Solitary Men: Loneliness and Masculinity
Men without Maps

John Ibson

University of Chicago Press

Part Two examines the experiences of several uncoupled queer men of the generation before Stonewall--assessing the nature, apparent reasons, particular pains and singular advantages of their living lives without domestic companions. Apart from the important modernist photographer Minor White, the men of Part Two are not even moderately well known today, yet all have left behind revealing documents of their lives in correspondence, memoirs, and photographs, much of this material housed in either Cornell’s Human Sexuality Collection or the archives of San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society. These men include a chemist, a State Department official, a university clerk, an electrician, and a historian. Especially significant in Part Two is a longtime religion professor at Texas Christian University who left behind a vast collection of snapshots as well as many friends with fond memories of him, some of whom the author interviewed. With individuality, even a certain isolation from others, a common component of mainstream American masculinity, these solitary queer men not only illuminate certain features of gay male life in the generation before Stonewall, but also, more broadly, they exemplify certain problematic paradoxes inhering in the cultural recipes provided to most modern American males.

Keywords:   cultural recipes, mainstream American masculinity, Stonewall, GLBT Historical Society, Human Sexuality Collection, Minor White, solitary queer men, Texas Christian University, uncoupled queer men

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