In 'Outlaw Marriages' author Rodger Streitmatter chronicles the hidden relationships, both tender and turbulent, of fifteen same-sex couples in recent history. What I appreciated most about this book was the sheer amount of information that was new to me; I'd had no idea about the backgrounds of many of these fascinating women and men. Many a time I interrupted my reading in the middle of a chapter, inspired to find out more (e.g., listen to Fanfare for the Common Man, search for images of Johns' flag paintings, find Baldwin's books at the library). On the other hand, I also found the writing somewhat irritating. The chapters were laid out rather unimaginatively -- formulaic and dry. The author also came across as self-congratulatory at having coined the term "outlaw marriage," forcing it into the text at every conceivable opportunity.
Let's just keep these "extraordinary same sex couples" hidden forever please.
I was curious about this book from the title. Having grown up in the 50's, I knew little about gay relationships. I have to agree with Thorinbear. It is not a book I would enthusiastically recommend.
Does nothing more then rehash tired sterotypes as gays being nothing more then artsy/lit types and lesibians as social crusaders for women only. There is no real other ancedoatal evidence that these men/women lives were better off in these relationships. The evidence seems to indicate otherwise. The writing is deeply biased.
Loved reading about these "outlaws"! Some were a surprise to me but others I already knew were queer. How they lived and managed their lives, and how open or not they were about their relationships was fascinating to read about. Many thanks to Roger Streitmatter for putting this book, these stories, together for us.
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