Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement

Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement[Reading] ➸ Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement Author David K. Johnson – Heartforum.co.uk In , a new type of publication appeared on newsstands the physique magazine produced by and for gay men For many men growing up in the s and s, these magazines and their images and illustrations of ne In , a new type of publication appeared How Physique Epub Ý on newsstands the physique magazine produced by and for gay men For many men growing up in the s and s, these magazines and their images and illustrations of nearly naked men, as well as articles, letters from readers, and advertisements, served as an initiation into gay culture The publishers behind them were part of a wider world of physique entrepreneurs men as well as women who ran photography studios, mail order catalogs, pen pal services, book clubs, and niche advertising for gay audiences Such businesses have often Buying Gay: ePUB × been seen as peripheral to the gay political movement In this book, David K Johnson shows how gay commerce was not a byproduct but rather an important catalyst for the gay rights movementOffering a vivid look into the lives of physique entrepreneurs and their customers, and presenting a wealth of illustrations, Buying Gay explores the connections and tensions between the market and the movement With circulation rates many times higher than the openly political homophile magazines, physique magazines were the largest gay media outlets of their time This network of producers and consumers helped foster a gay Gay: How Physique ePUB ¹ community and upend censorship laws, paving the way for open expression Physique entrepreneurs were at the center of legal struggles, especially against the US Post Office, including the court victory that allowed full frontal male nudity and open homoeroticism Buying Gay reconceives the history of the gay rights movement and shows how consumer culture helped create community and a site for resistance.

For the Philosophy writer, see David Kyle JohnsonDavid How Physique Epub Ý K Johnson is an award winning historian and author His first book, The Lavender Scare was made into a documentary film that garnered best documentary awards at over a dozen film festival His book, Buying Gay How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement , chronicles the rise of a gay commercial network in the s and s Featured in a starred review in Publishers Weekly, it was released in February by Columbia University Press as part of its series on the History of US CapitalismDavid earned a BAom Buying Gay: ePUB × Georgetown University and a PhDom Northwestern University, both in history He has enjoyed fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Social Science Research Council As an associate professor in the History Department at the University of South Florida, he teaches courses on the post US and the history of gender and sexuality.

Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement
  • Hardcover
  • 328 pages
  • Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement
  • David K. Johnson
  • 14 March 2019
  • 0231189109

10 thoughts on “Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement

  1. Michael says:

    A well researched look at postwar gay consumer culture, Buying Gay argues that physique magazines, book clubs, and other middle class commercial enterprises helped link together well off gay men across the nation on a massive scale that far eclipsed that of the homophile movement during the fifties and sixties Johnson considers a wide array of businesses such as Bob Mizer s Athletic Model Guild and Lynn Womack s gay book club, contending that the circulation and consumption of subcultural commo A well researched look at postwar gay consumer culture, Buying Gay argues that physique magazines, book clubs, and other middle class commercial enterprises helped link together well off gay men across the nation on a massive scale that far eclipsed that of the homophile movement during the fifties and sixties Johnson considers a wide array of businesses such as Bob Mizer s Athletic Model Guild and Lynn Womack s gay book club, contending that the circulation and consumption of subcultural commodities led to the creation of a robust gay market and strong sense of community on the eve of Stonewall The former point s convincing, the latter less so the author overstates his case As Johnson himself makes clear, these owners and consumers were as conservative and closeted as the homophiles, and their concern with incrementally overturning censorship laws is a far cry from the radical pride and progressive politics advocated by gay lib orgs like GLF and STAR

  2. Christopher says:

    During the 1950s and 60s, magazines focusing on the male form exploded across the United States, and yet their academic value has mostly been ignored These magazines, created largely by and for gay men created a gay market which ultimately crafted the bones for the broader gay movement Fortunately and finally, historian David K Johnson has thrown back the curtain on this period which he has dubbed the Physique Era of gay American history.For many, on first examining these publications, it m During the 1950s and 60s, magazines focusing on the male form exploded across the United States, and yet their academic value has mostly been ignored These magazines, created largely by and for gay men created a gay market which ultimately crafted the bones for the broader gay movement Fortunately and finally, historian David K Johnson has thrown back the curtain on this period which he has dubbed the Physique Era of gay American history.For many, on first examining these publications, it might be easy to dismiss them Most contain images of beefcakes somewhat awkwardly, somewhat suggestively posing in revealing straps And yet, Johnson successfully captures their formation as the genesis to a broader movement Bob Mizer might have been pushing the bounds for male art photography for commercial purposes when he founded the Athletic Model Guild, but there s a compelling argument that he laid the groundwork for a broader social movement in the process.Johnson s research, pulling from a wealth of archives and personal interviews, is beautifully constructed He approaches this obviously as a scholar, but understands how to pull back and keep everything accessible to a broader audience The result is a text that s both academic and breezy This is evenremarkable as Johnson explores beyond Mizer s beginnings Plenty of other magazines were publishing at this time, and they receive attention Then there s the Adonis Male Club, a pen pal service Lynn Womack s gay book club and the business directories of Directory Services, Inc What connects all of these institutions aside from the gay factor is the adversity they faced from the American government These sections, discussing specific actions and court cases and the resulting uprising, are the most engrossing.Buying Gay is nothing short of a triumph for gay scholarship.Note I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley

  3. Erik says:

    At a time when queer artists are facing intense levels of censorship and scrutiny on social media platforms like instagram, David K Johnson s Buying Gay dips into history to ties our queer present to queer past that fought the fights that give us the language to talk about censorship Buying Gay tells the history of a little known or remembered movement in publishing and gay history from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s As Johnson explains, these physique magazine photographers and publisher At a time when queer artists are facing intense levels of censorship and scrutiny on social media platforms like instagram, David K Johnson s Buying Gay dips into history to ties our queer present to queer past that fought the fights that give us the language to talk about censorship Buying Gay tells the history of a little known or remembered movement in publishing and gay history from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s As Johnson explains, these physique magazine photographers and publishers can often get a rap for their blunt portrayals of sexuality but so many of them fought legal fights all the way to the Supreme Court over the US long history of equating homosexuality with obscenity.Johnson s book tells the story of a part of gay history that has honestly never been told before Embracing nuance and understanding that even our heroes have faults, Buying Gay portrays the good and the bad of gay publishers Pointing out the ways in whichtraditional homophile organizations, such as the Mattachines, rejected many of the physique publishers, it s amazing how even in 1955 the dichotomy between respectability and sexual liberation was burgeoning

  4. Dorie says:

    Buying Gay How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked A Movement by David K Johnson 2019Columbia University Press 5.0 5.0Gay entrepreneurs responded to and cultivated a gay market long before the Stonewall Riots in 1969 This amazing history chronicles the struggles with both the bodybuilding magazines, and the US Postal Service, who for years repressed and suppressed homosexuals, and it documents the important struggle between the US Federal Government and gays and lesbians into the 1950s, 1960s an Buying Gay How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked A Movement by David K Johnson 2019Columbia University Press 5.0 5.0Gay entrepreneurs responded to and cultivated a gay market long before the Stonewall Riots in 1969 This amazing history chronicles the struggles with both the bodybuilding magazines, and the US Postal Service, who for years repressed and suppressed homosexuals, and it documents the important struggle between the US Federal Government and gays and lesbians into the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, until Arnold Schwarzenegger.It was only through these publications and gay book services that gay men had a way to connect to each other, or become friends The magazines were sent discreetly and lists of subscribers were shared, and they found the lists keep growing There was a need and market for these publications.The history and struggles are excellent and thoroughly documented The struggles with the US Postal Service, and the early formations of gay publications and book clubs were my favorite parts I am grateful for these courageous men and women who fought for our rights, against incredible odds, so gay people could read and share their life stories and fiction books And to be able to connect to one another, for support and friendship Special thanks to Columbia University and David K Johnson for sharing this ARC for review BuyingGay NetGalley

  5. Michael Kerr says:

    There just isn t enough historical material on gay life and LGBTQ contributions The argument Johnson puts forward here that consumer driven forces physique magazines helped create a gay community and culture isor less convincing however, a significant value of this book is the number of brief biographies of gay entrepreneurs he includes These are fascinating and complicated characters, and their triumphs in court helped create the conditions for fuller liberation Buying Gay is an a There just isn t enough historical material on gay life and LGBTQ contributions The argument Johnson puts forward here that consumer driven forces physique magazines helped create a gay community and culture isor less convincing however, a significant value of this book is the number of brief biographies of gay entrepreneurs he includes These are fascinating and complicated characters, and their triumphs in court helped create the conditions for fuller liberation Buying Gay is an academic study, but it is far from dry

  6. Steve Erickson says:

    BUYING GAY sets out with the provocative argument that the consumerist culture around physique magazines and, less controversially, the censorship battles faced by their publishers paved the way for the post Stonewall gay liberation movement, thus complicating anti capitalist attitudes in queer culture But it then drops this thesis and just offers a history of the magazines through the 60s, which is fairly interesting but the larger context gets slightly lost.

  7. Rj says:

    Johnson s book looks at the history of Physique magazines and how they helped bring together gay men creating in essence a community through a commodity Film scholar Thomas Waugh argued in his important book on gay visual culture, Our most important political activity of the postwar decadeswas not meeting or organizing or publicly demonstrating but consuming As early as 1982 Dennis Altman alerted us to the central role that commercial enterprises have played in the development of gay c Johnson s book looks at the history of Physique magazines and how they helped bring together gay men creating in essence a community through a commodity Film scholar Thomas Waugh argued in his important book on gay visual culture, Our most important political activity of the postwar decadeswas not meeting or organizing or publicly demonstrating but consuming As early as 1982 Dennis Altman alerted us to the central role that commercial enterprises have played in the development of gay community One of the ironies of American capitalism, he wrote, is that it has been a major force in creating and maintaining a sense of identity among homosexuals Writing about the same time, John D Emilio also stressed how the development of of urban wage labor capitalism opened a space for men and women attracted to members of their own sex to find one another and forge community viii As John D Emilio famously noted, before activists could mobilize a community, they first had to create one, and physique enterpreneurs were engaged in that enterprise on a scale homophile activists could only dream of By making gay desire visible, by marketing it to the masses and defending it from government censorship, physique entrepeneurs helped create a sense of a national gay community xi By combining the study of consumer culture with that of LGBT history, Buying Gay significantly alters the way in which we conceive the history of the gay movement Offering a close examination of how gay enterepeneurs used the marketplace in the 1950s and 1960s to mobilize a constituency and create the notion of gay power, it shows how gay consumer culture developed sooner than we imagined it xiv These magazine appeared nearly everywhere thanks to the structures of capitalism major commercial magazine distributors insisted that a newsstand or drugstore accept all its offerings 5 Fitness and bodybuilding magazine were an outgrowth of the turn of the century physical culture movement, a response to a crisis in masculinity in a rapidly urbanizing and industrializing America 6 Mizer was the first with Physique Pictorial in 1951, quickly followed by Irv Johnson, owner of a gym in Chicago, who started Tomorrow s Man, and then a gay couple who met at the University of Virginia, Randolph Benson and John Bullock, debuted the Grecian Guild Pictorial 8 Perhaps the most racially inclusive physique study was Kris of Chicago, comanaged by Domingo Orejudos, a Chicagoan of mixed Italian and Philippine heritage Kris featured a number of models of color, including Johnny Menendez, Joe Harris, Tom Cowans, and Jay Young 17 Beyond the images and the merchandise, what the publishers were really providing their customers was contact, both real and imagined, with other customers 19 In 1967 the Winston newsletter announced the first sex reassignment surgery at John Hopkins 75 By invoking a past that was imagined as a golden age for homoerotic desire, the Grecian Guild was engaging in the construction of a collective memory, a practice common to virtually all social groups They were inventing tradition, to borrow the phrasing form Eric Hobsbawn 94 The physique world was a type of alternative social space to gay bars, distinct for its emphasis on the desire to consumer visual images rather than desire to consumer alcohol and for its embrace of a masculine ideal that eschewed camp 98 Males, Morals and Moresin Vim, 1959 127 In the end the first meeting for what became the North American Conference on Homophile Organizations NACHO was held in a hotel in Kansas City NACHO would go on to adopt a Homosexual Bill of Rights and endorse Frank Kameny s slogan Gay is Good as the motto of the movement 185 Romantic poet Robert BlakeChildren of future AgeReading this indignant pageWill know that in a former timeLove Sweet love was made a crime 213

  8. Emilio says:

    As a thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced readers copy I shall give an honest review of Buying Gay by David K Johnson Buying gay tells how consumerism by gay men in the 1950 s assisted the gay rights movement in a pre stonewall era It examines the role physique publications had within the gay community and importantly the discourse that would be had over the visibility and rights of its Gay American citizens These publications defined a generation of g As a thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced readers copy I shall give an honest review of Buying Gay by David K Johnson Buying gay tells how consumerism by gay men in the 1950 s assisted the gay rights movement in a pre stonewall era It examines the role physique publications had within the gay community and importantly the discourse that would be had over the visibility and rights of its Gay American citizens These publications defined a generation of gay men who viewed its images, read its articles, and engaged with other readers providing what we consider as gay culture These publications were gay owned meaning they were produced by and for gay men These publications held many roles for the men and women part of its early history In creating this niche that predominant publications Playboy and Esquire offered heterosexual males these publications offered something to homosexual men in a discreet way adhering to the bylaws reinforced at the time Buying Gay explores the many legal battles these publications went through in the name of artistic expression and censorship Overall, I enjoyed learning an area in the gay rights movement that is often not discussed as much It certainly holds a special place alongside the Stonewall riots and other momentous events that led to the creation of the Gay rights movement I recommend this for those interested in history, and Gay rights

  9. Sam says:

    A fascinating piece of queer history Johnson shows how many burgeoning gay communities in 1950s and 60s USA were the product of physique entrepreneurs whose magazines only implicitly for a gay audience to begin with provided the chance for isolated readers to contact each other through mailing lists and purchase gay material, including photos and novels While modern queer theory and activism often defines itself in opposition to capitalism, Johnson argues that the structures of capitalism A fascinating piece of queer history Johnson shows how many burgeoning gay communities in 1950s and 60s USA were the product of physique entrepreneurs whose magazines only implicitly for a gay audience to begin with provided the chance for isolated readers to contact each other through mailing lists and purchase gay material, including photos and novels While modern queer theory and activism often defines itself in opposition to capitalism, Johnson argues that the structures of capitalism itself were crucial for allowing gay men to create networks in a period of extreme censorship He argues convincingly that the anti censorship victories won by entrepreneurs in the courts in the early 1960s were crucial for the development of gay liberation in the 1970s Johnson s style is engaging and fluid, his research meticulous but always linked to a broad picture sense of the growing gay movement Highly recommended

  10. Kristine says:

    Buying Gay by David K Johnson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid February.Paper trade, literature, men s physique magazines, and their luring, daring, beefcake muscular, even classically Greek and sometimes racially diverse qualities This book goes over the rise of magazines, publishing houses, and photo studios, as well as specialization of product, subscriptions, and merchandising Therein, unfortunately, lies the underbelly of police raids, backlash from morality groups, hate mail Buying Gay by David K Johnson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid February.Paper trade, literature, men s physique magazines, and their luring, daring, beefcake muscular, even classically Greek and sometimes racially diverse qualities This book goes over the rise of magazines, publishing houses, and photo studios, as well as specialization of product, subscriptions, and merchandising Therein, unfortunately, lies the underbelly of police raids, backlash from morality groups, hate mail, and the scrutiny of penpal lists for unfounded witchhunt accusations of obscenity and pedophilia also, there s the personal determination of photographs being art or smut, macho or vain Oh, and I experienced a lot of hometown pride when I learned about DSI s Directory Services Inc origins out of Minneapolis and being protected by Meshbesher in court

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