CITY OF NIGHT JOHN RECHY PDF

Still, a club in Topanga Canyon boasted a system of warning lights. When they flashed, lesbians and gay men shifted—what a grand adventure! How much pleasure—and camaraderie, yes, real kinship—had managed to exist in exile. Did those arrogant young people know that, only years ago, you could be sentenced to life in prison for consensual sex with another man? A friend of his destroyed by shock therapy decreed by the courts. Yet he and others of his generation had lived through those barbaric times—and survived—those who had survived—with style.

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Still, a club in Topanga Canyon boasted a system of warning lights. When they flashed, lesbians and gay men shifted—what a grand adventure! How much pleasure—and camaraderie, yes, real kinship—had managed to exist in exile. Did those arrogant young people know that, only years ago, you could be sentenced to life in prison for consensual sex with another man? A friend of his destroyed by shock therapy decreed by the courts.

Yet he and others of his generation had lived through those barbaric times—and survived—those who had survived—with style. The wind had resurged, sweeping sheaths of dust across the City, pitching tumbleweeds from the desert into the streets, where they shattered, splintering into fragments that joined others and swept away.

Now, they said, everything was fine, no more battles to fight. Oh, really? What about arrests that continued, muggings, bashings, murder, and hatred still spewing from pulpits, political platforms, and nightly from the mouths of so-called comedians?

How could they think they had escaped the tensions when those pressures were part of the legacy of being gay? And where, today, was the kinship of exile?

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A book that will last. What grabbed the attention of the general reading public in was the story of a gay, male prostitute — obviously modeled on Rechy himself — on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance in a society that was not ready to accept him. City of Night introduced readers to a world inhabited by marginalized characters who are dealing with confusion of identity, sexuality, and gender. Male hustlers, drag queens, and johns, all creating artificial outer personas — carefully polished veneers — to camouflage and protect inner selves that are too vulnerable to expose to a harsh, judgmental world that would inevitably crush them.

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City of Night

Remember Pershing Square and the apathetic palm trees. Central Park and the frantic shadows. Movie theaters in the angry morning-hours. And wounded Chicago streets.

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John Rechy

All of these relationships range in the extent of their emotional and sexual nature, as well as in their peculiarity. The book includes writing about the Cooper Do-nuts Riot , which happened in in Los Angeles, when the lesbians, gay men, transgender people, and drag queens who hung out at Cooper Do-nuts and who were frequently harassed by the LAPD fought back after police arrested three people, including Rechy. Patrons began pelting the police with donuts and coffee cups. The LAPD called for back-up and arrested a number of rioters. Rechy and the other two original detainees were able to escape. The author uses curious methods to achieve verisimilitude , for instance, omitting the apostrophe in contractions, in order to recreate the speech of characters who are barely literate. His story told me of a world I had only hoped might really exist.

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City of Night

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