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Out in Time

The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation

Perry N. Halkitis

Publication Date - 03 June 2019

ISBN: 9780190686604

192 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

LGBTQ advocate Perry N. Halkitis documents the lived experiences of three generations of young gay men as they came of age within the socio-political contexts of their times.


The civil rights of LGBTQ people have slowly yet steadily strengthened since the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969. Despite enormous opposition from some political segments and the catastrophic effects of the AIDS crisis, the last five decades have witnessed improvement in the conditions of the lives of LGBTQ individuals in the United States. As such, the realities and challenges faced by a young gay man coming of age and coming out in the 1960s is, in many profound ways, different from the experiences of a young gay man coming of age and coming out today.

Out in Time explores the life experiences of three generations of gay men --the Stonewall, AIDS, and Queer generations-- arguing that while there are generational differences in the lived experiences of young gay men, each one confronts its own unique historical events, realities, and socio-political conditions, there are consistencies across time that define and unify the identity formation of gay men. Guided by the vast research literature on gay identity formation and coming out, the ideas and themes explored here are seen through the oral histories of a diverse set of fifteen gay men, five from each generation. Out in Time demonstrates how early life challenges define and shape the life courses of gay men, demarcating both the specific time-bound challenges encountered by each generation, and the universal challenges encountered by gay men coming of age across all generations and the conditions that define their lives.


  • Documents the personal histories of gay men who came out across three modern time periods, showcasing how radically distinct social and political contexts changed the coming out experience
  • Identifies the unifying threads tying gay men who were baby boomers together with those of generation X and the millennial generation
  • Considers how the lives of gay men have improved over the last 50 years and yet how some challenges continue to burden gay men's lives to this day

About the Author(s)

Perry N. Halkitis is Dean and Professor at the School of Public Health at Rutgers University. For over two decades, Dr. Halkitis's program of research has examined the intersection of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, drug abuse, and mental health burden, and the biological, behavioral, psychosocial, and structural factors that predispose these and other health disparities in the LGBTQ population. His most recent book, The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience, was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award nominee and recipient of the American Psychological Association Distinguished Book Award in LGBT Psychology. He is the recipient of numerous awards from both professional and community-based organizations. Throughout his career, Dr. Halkitis has fought for the rights of those infected with and affected by HIV, and has been an outspoken advocate for the health of the LGBTQ population.


"An accessible introduction to the lives of gay men and the ways gay coming of age has changed or remained consistent over the course of the last 50 years." -- Choice

"Based on interviews with 15 gay men from three generations and various ethnic and class backgrounds, this book offers individual stories to humanize existing research on gay male identity formation and health behaviors. The result is an accessible introduction to the lives of gay men and the ways gay coming of age has changed or remained consistent over the course of the last 50 years. The book will be most useful to the general reader or early undergraduate, who can better make sense of existing research with the anecdotal illustrations this book provides. Halkitis emphasizes that identifying oneself as a gay man (that is, coming out) is not a singular act but an ongoing process that, although specific circumstances have changed over time, is consistently necessitated by the dominant society's assumptions that everyone is heterosexual until proven otherwise, and by its macro- and microaggressions against LGBTQ individuals." -- S. Ferentinos, independent scholar CHOICE

"Fifty years after Stonewall, Halkitis gives a voice to three generations of gay men, each generation being situated in a wholly different social, political, and legal context. Through personal narratives, the book importantly reveals a complex lattice of identities and life histories that make up today's gay men. Yet most surprising, perhaps, are the many commonalities Halkitis draws out among these men: their struggles and triumphs in a rapidly evolving but still prejudicial society." -- Ilan Meyer, Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public policy, The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law

"Perry Halkitis, noted researcher on gay men, drug use, and HIV/AIDS, turns his attention in this book to repairing and building the community in the face of hostile political winds in the U.S. today. Using interviews with a diverse set of cisgender men, this book gives voice to these men and creates an intergenerational conversation that rarely happens in the gay male community. The book succeeds in connecting gay men across generations in time and place and suggests work we still need to accomplish." -- Douglas Kimmel, Professor Emeritus, City College, C.U.N.Y.

"Perry Halkitis' book is a wonderful chronicle of the coming of age challenges, struggles, and accomplishments of a diverse group of gay men. The men come from different generations and varied backgrounds, and their life histories vary across many dimensions, but they are all gay men, and many of their experiences have been shared. By telling his own tales, together with those of his interviewees, Halkitis has created an original and fascinating volume." -- Charlotte J. Patterson, Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

"This is a compelling portrait of gay men in the U.S. from diverse age cohorts, racial/ethnic backgrounds, countries of origin, and life experiences. The author -- a leading HIV and LGBT health researcher -- interweaves the latest research on gay men's health and identity development with the specific experiences of these individuals. This is a rich and moving account of a complex and resilient community." -- Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research, The Fenway Institute

"Unquestionably, a must read! In this book, Halkitis captures a touching and meaningful narrative of the strength and irrepressibility of gay men across generations." -- Matthew Mimiaga, Professor, Brown University and Director of Epidemiology and Global Health Research, The Fenway Institute

"This book demonstrates a powerful interweaving of science and cross-generational stories, resulting in a rich, culturally-grounded analysis of gay men's diverse coming-out experiences." -- Cynthia Gomez, Professor Emerita & Founding Director, Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University

"The experience of living as an out LGBTQ+ American has changed a lot in a short amount of time, leading to significant generational differences. Perry N. Halkitis explores those differences in Out in Time, interviewing men from three generations about their experiences... These interviewees have important things to say."--Foreword Review

"Halkitis's book is another crack in the darkness around queer lives, embracing the intergenerational conversations now possible and the unprecedented sharing of knowledge and stories that has really only just begun after these long decades of violence." --Alexander Chee, The New Republic

"Out in Time is rich with useful ideas, ready to be put into practice, from a leading writer on gay men's health within the broader field of public health."--Gay & Lesbian Review

"By using representatives from three different generations, Halkitis also allows the reader to see how much has changed since Stonewall, along with how much remains to overcome." --The Advocate

"It is the rare nonfiction book that can also be a work of art. This one fits the bill."--Library Journal, Starred Review

Table of Contents

    Introduction: Pride
    Chapter 1: Identities
    Chapter 2: Generational Crises
    Chapter 3: Being
    Chapter 4: Telling
    Chapter 5: Otherness
    Chapter 6: Hyper Masculinity
    Chapter 7: Intersectionality and Racism
    Chapter 8: Party and Play
    Conclusion: Dignity

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