The End of Gay: (and the death of heterosexuality) Paperback – May 16 2000
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"The End of Gay is a wonderful début, infuriatingly smart and funny."
"Archer's voice is charming... His insights can be stunning."
—The Globe and Mail
“. . . The End of Gay is lively conversation about an intrinsically interesting issue, namely, sexual desires.”
—Quill & Quire
“The End of Gay is a wonderful début, infuriatingly smart and funny.”
“Archer's voice is charming . . . His insights can be stunning.”
—The Globe and Mail
From the Back Cover
"The End of Gay is a wonderful début, infuriatingly smart and funny." --Toronto Life
"Archer's voice is charming... His insights can be stunning." --The Globe and MailSee all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Archer's ontology leaves little room for marriage or long-term commitment and he constructs a paradigm privileging desire over love. While I have no doubt that attraction is polymorphous and that we all experience differing levels of desire for different people (and types of people), I would like there to be something deeper. I am left with the feeling that, in Archer's universe, attraction is all there is. He ignores the fact that it may be within human nature to seek love (or that even some sort of transcendent love exists) and find happiness with a single individual (no matter what the gender of either person). As a supporter of gay marriage, I find Archer's arguments to be somewhat disturbing. Perhaps I am just overly romantic, but I believe that there is a deeper love, a higher purpose and something more than dating and/or serial monogamy.
Yes, I would love to live in a world without labels, but I am also aware of the intrinsic need to acceptance and identity. Making statements such as "I am African-American", "I am gay", "I am a football player", or "I am Jewish" brings us a sense of ourselves and a group with whom we can possibly identify. Ostensibly, removing such terms as "gay", "straight, "homosexual" and "heterosexual" from our vocabulary (and from society itself) would bring about acceptance. But it might also bring about a loss of identity to the gay community and an even further loss of some beautiful and necessary movements of advocacy and concern.
I am not reacting entirely negatively to Bert Archer's book. I found it funny, refreshing and a wonderful read, but I simply have a few concerns about his theories.
I find myself disturbed, though, by his reliance on sex as a -- if not the -- central facet of our beings. In this he almost resembles Freud. Even as he argues against using the choice of one's sexual partners as a defining factor of identity, he seems to have no room in his thinking for the idea that people who don't base their identity on sex might exist. In this he talks almost like the worst of the Sexual Revolutionists, converting sexual expression from a birthright (which I will agree it is) to a normative obligation (I won't accept this).
That aside, though, I am proud that in a time that insists on rigid and rigouously patrolled boundaries between entrapping roles, Mr. Archer's voice has been raised to question those limitations. I call this book a must-read.
This book helped crystallize my thinking a great deal. Highly recommended.
If you've ever thought it's odd how football jocks shower together, oggle each other's nads, throw sexual innuendos at each other and then homophobically assert their absolute "straightness" (or if you've ever seen parallels between the hypocrisy/extremism of a gay pride parade, and that of an anti-gay family-values march) then this is the book to read. It's a social eye-opener that deconstructs and reconstructs the idea of the homosexual in a way that's funny, readable, and will make a damn lot of sense... whether you're gay, straight, or -- as this book would argue -- kinda neither.