The Homosexual in America: A Subjective Approach
by Donald Webster Cory
Published by Greenberg
Published in 1951
Nonfiction (sociology, homophile movement)
326 pages • find on Amazon.com
Abstract from the jacket cover, second printing. Blurbs follow.
Here, for the first time, in the language of the layman, is the story of homosexuality, as seen, felt, experienced, and told by a homosexual.
Every aspect of this little-understood life is related and evaluated from a subjective viewpoint in a book that is packed with hitherto undisclosed information and that treats the subject frankly, honestly, and with keen analytical understanding.
What does it mean to be a homosexual in present-day America? What are the problems encountered, the adjustments attempted, the humiliations silently accepted? Does the homosexual look to marriage as the answer to his problems, or to psychoanalytic cure, or to sublimation of his desires? Does he believe that there is a place for homosexuality in the scheme of things, that it can make a contribution to a healthy society?
These are a few of the challenging questions that are answered for the first time by a homosexual.
In this book the author demonstrates that remarkable similarity between the problems facing the homosexual and those facing national and ethnic minorities in society; he subjects the phenomenon of social hostility to unrelenting analysis; he replies to the charge that sexual inversion is unnatural.
The psychological origins of an anomalous condition are considered, and its incidence is discussed. The language of homosexual circles is described, and the gay bars and drags are portrayed.
The problem of promiscuity and instability and its counterpart, the search for love, are frankly discussed. Laws covering homosexual practices, civil liberties and discrimination — all come within the scope of this work.
The author ends with a word to parents and a heart-to-heart talk with homosexuals like himself for whom he sees a full and satisfactory life ahead. In three valuable appendixes the author discloses (with consent) official government documents dealing with the attitude of the Veterans Administration on this question; presents excerpts from the penal codes of the forty-eight states; and gives a remarkable list of approximately two hundred works (novels, dramas, poetry) on the subject.
It is the author’s contention that the psychiatrists and penologists meet only a few unhappy and particularly maladjusted homosexuals and that the average person recognizes only the “obvious” types. Only a homosexual could know the many “normal” inverts — and could describe their lives, adjustments, compensations, and aspirations.
Except for the statistical disclosures in the Kinsey report, this is easily the most important and comprehensive book on the subject that America has produced. It will be of great interest not only to all homosexuals, but to their families, friends, employers, and to all people interested in this widespread social and psychological phenomenon.
But, more than that, this book is likely to take its place with the classics of sexual literature, on a shelf side by side with the contributions of Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Freud, and Kinsey.
Something like this book has long been needed to break the tabus on the subject of homosexuals and their problems and their place in American society. Where there has been so much darkness and fear, we have needed light and courage, and this book has an ample measure of both.
I have read The Homosexual in America with great interest. I believe it is a sincere and worthwhile book. The injustices resulting from prejudice and lack of understanding are clearly presented and I believe the thoughtful reader will finish the book having acquired increased tolerance and insight. The homosexual himself should gain some reassurance and self-respect from its pages.
—Clara Thompson, MD
An outstanding contribution. By far the best non-medical work on the subject I have seen.
—Robert W. Laidlaw, M.D.
An excellent example of what may be gained form a subjective approach to the problems of sex behavior. Writing with amazing frankness, and basing his material squarely on his own and his companions’ sex experiences, Mr. Cory has given us a remarkable document. The Homosexual in America is by far the best non-fictional picture of the American homosexual and his problems that has yet been published. It is must reading for all inverts and for everyone who wishes clearly and fully to understand the question of homosexuality. It is a decidedly serious, honest, discerning, moving, and creditable piece of work.
—Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
For a long time, there has been an urgent need for a book like Cory’s. This is probably the best so far written for the laity on the subject of homosexuality.
—Harry Benjamin, M.D.