Monday, March 07, 2016

American Honor Killings: desire and rage among men

by David McConnell

I found out about this book on a gay news and culture blog I used to like, and I wanted to read it right away. My library never got it (until recently, as an e-book), and I had to wait a whole year to be able to get it via interlibrary loan. Well, I finally read it!

The author examines a number of (relatively) high profile murder cases involving so-called "gay panic" and similar male-male sexual entanglements or insinuations. Relying on media reports, court records and some personal interviews, the book is well-researched but necessarily speculative in some places. The author is pretty clear about where he is guessing or imagining, and he also makes it clear in the introduction that he has a sort of sociological theory or agenda, so the book is not strictly reportage.

I'd say it's a pretty good book on an interesting but sad and distressing topic. Nothing transgressively sexy at all, just a disturbing reminder of the potential danger in the wider world. As a gay man in a rather liberal city, forgetting about homophobia is easy to do.

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