HAS AMERICA BECOME POST-GAY? OR IS THE NEW TOLERANCE A TRAP? HEAR SUZANNA WALTERS IN CONVERSATION WITH ERIC MARCUS AT NYU’S KING JUAN CARLOS CENTER.
On Wednesday June 4, Out Professionals … OP.LYNX, our dynamic women’s network … and OP.PRIME, the network for up-and-coming LGBT professionals, invite you to a Pre-Pride Book Party at NYU’s King Juan Carlos Center on Washington Square. After a stimulating conversation with author and journalist Eric Marcus, Suzanna Walters, author of “The Tolerance Trap” (NYU Press, June 3) invites us to a private Media Party.
The reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But same-sex marriage is still unrecognized and unpopular in the vast majority of states. Hate crimes and anti-gay laws proliferate, and ENDA still cannot make it through Congress. Even in the “gay friendly” world of Hollywood and celebrity culture, precious few stars are openly gay and “coming out” still creates a media frenzy.
In “The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality,” Suzanna Walters argues that we are not “almost there,” but instead may be settling for a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a robust claim to full civil rights. She challenges both “born this way” story lines, which root civil rights in biology, and “God made me this way” arguments, which similarly situate sexuality as innate and impervious to decisions we make to shape it. Tolerance is a trap — not the end goal but a dead end that undermines the quest for real freedom.
Michael Cunningham (“The Hours”) agrees: “Finally a writer and critical thinker has treated queerness with true insight, and proper respect for its complexities and contradictions. Thank you, Suzanna Walters, for bringing so much rigor and balance; such ardent, subtle questioning; such respect for genuine human rights to the horrifically over-simplified term, ‘tolerance.’”
Suzanna Danuta Walters writes and lectures extensively on sexuality, popular culture and feminism and is currently Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Boston’s Northeastern University. Her books include “All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America” and “Material Girls.”
Eric Marcus is the author of several books, including “Making Gay History” and “Why Suicide?” He is co-author of “Breaking the Surface,” the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic Diving champion Greg Louganis, and co-author, as well, of “Coming Out To Play,” the autobiography of Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers (Penguin Books, November). Eric was recently appointed Senior Director for Loss and Bereavement Programs for the American Society for Suicide Prevention.
King Juan Carlos Center of NYU, 53 Washington Square South. Subway: A/B/C/D/E/F/M to West 4th Street; N/R to 8th Street/NYU. Directions from where you are: hopstop.com
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for networking, socializing and seat selection. At 7 p.m., Suzanna Walters in conversation with Eric Marcus, followed by a Media Party with wine, beer, cheeses and crudités.
Nonmember, $10. Dues-paying OP Member, free. OP dues-payer at door, $5. Avoid disappointment; register now. Print and pocket a copy of your online receipt. Photo ID needed at door.
IT PAYS TO BE AN OP MEMBER!
A one-year individual Out Professionals Membership (new or renewal) PLUS free admission for one to this timely conversation and media party is yours for just $65. And remember, that buys you a year’s worth of low-cost or no-cost networking and socializing. Order here.