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Dan Savage Discusses Impact of Merle Miller’s 1972 “What It Means To Be A Homosexual”

Jim Burroway

January 17th, 2013

As featured in today’s Daily Agenda, it was forty-two years ago today when Merle Miller’s landmark essay, “What It Means To Be Homosexual,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine. In other venues, Dan Savage has describe it as a kind of an “It Gets Better” video of its day. The piece generated some five thousand letters to The Times — nearly two thousand in the first six weeks alone — nearly all of them from gay people. Later that year, it was published again in book form as On Being Different. Penguin Classics re-issued it again last year (available in paperback and on Kindle) with a foreword by Dan Savage and afterword by Charles Kaiser. The clip below, which was posted today, features Savage talking about the importance of “What It Means To Be Homosexual” then and now.



January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Dude, did you, like, mean to have that “like” there in the headline? It’s got a certain California hippy flair, but it just isn’t Miller’s title, ya know?

Jim Burroway
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Bad, bad editing.

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