Closing the chapter on the homosexual?

La Trobe University professorial fellow Dennis Altman has released The End of the Homosexual?, a book which follows up on his ground-breaking work from the 1970s.

Professor Dennis AltmanIn his new book The End of the Homosexual? Professor Altman connects what has happened in the queer world over the past forty years to larger social, political and cultural change.

It is a follow-up to his first book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation,which was originally published in 1971 and is widely seen as a modern classic which forged a new language of homosexual politics. It was republished to much acclaim last year.

‘The attitude towards homosexuality has changed enormously in the past forty years,’ said Professor Altman. ‘You notice a huge difference, particularly in the inner cities, and among young people. Their attitudes to sexuality are much more accepting, much more fluid.’

‘I think the gay movement existed to make it possible for people to be gay without it being central to their lives. It’s now very different to the rather Utopian radicalism of gay liberation that I was immersed in in the early ‘70s.’

Professor Altman has also been awarded the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the field of sociology of sexualities from the American Sociological Association. It has only been awarded to non-Americans twice in its history, the first time the recipient of the award has been from Australia.

‘I feel enormously elated to receive the award. A number of distinguished people have been awarded it the past, and it is a mark of recognition from the largest sociological association in the world,’ said Professor Altman.

The End of Homosexual? is published by University of Queensland Press and is available now. Professor Altman will speak about his book as well as issues on sexuality at the Bendigo Writer’s Festival on August 11 and the Melbourne Writer’s Festival on August 30.

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