Shedding Light on Gay Culture in New York in George Chauncey’s Gay New York Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World

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George Chauncey’s Gay New York Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940, goes where no other historian had gone before, and that is into the world of homosexuality before World War II. Chauncey’s 1994 critically acclaimed book was a gender history breakthrough that gave light to a homosexual subculture in New York City. The author argues against the idea that homosexual men lived hidden away from the world. Chauncey’s book exposes an abundant culture throughout the United States, especially in New York. In this book Chauncey not only shows how the gay population existed, but “uncovers three widespread myths about the history of gay life before the rise of the gay movement which was isolation, invisibility, and internalization.” Chauncey argues against these theories that in the years 1890-1940, America had in fact a large gay culture. Chauncey book is impactful in the uncovering of a lost culture, but also works as an urban pre-World War II history giving an inside view of life in the city through sexuality and class. Chauncey’s, Gay New York Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940, is essentially a social history investigation into the non-invisible gay New York. The author introduces his reader into city where no man was either a homosexual or heterosexual. Instead, this was a place where a man was either masculine of feminine rather than the sex of their chosen partner. Chauncey makes this argument by saying

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