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Out in TimeThe Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation$
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Perry N. Halkitis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190686604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190686604.001.0001

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(p.91) Chapter 5 Otherness
Out in Time

Perry N. Halkitis

Oxford University Press

Otherness is an experience that greatly affects the lives of all gay men. Feelings of otherness are fueled by the heteronormative structures ranging from families to society at large, and through the macro- and microaggressions that gay men experience in numerous contexts. Otherness experienced by many gay men throughout the course of their lives exacerbates loneliness and social isolation, which has been endemic in the gay population throughout the generations. The power of otherness also acts as a deterrent for some gay men in disclosing their identities. While advances in society and depiction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in media may have impact in “normalizing gay identity, the experience of otherness continues to be incredibly powerful, first taking roots for gay men when they are young boys, creating emotional distress in childhood that perpetuates into adult lives even after coming out. Some young gay men turn to intergenerational love as means establishing feelings of normalcy as gay men and combatting otherness.

Keywords:   otherness, heterosexism, homophobia, macroaggression, microaggression, loneliness, social isolation, emotional well-being, intergenerational love

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