By Will Fellows
From huge towns to rural groups, homosexual males have lengthy been impassioned pioneers as keepers of tradition: rescuing and restoring decrepit structures, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods. Will Fellows explores this actual and complicated size of homosexual men's lives via profiling early and modern preservationists from through the usa, highlighting contributions to the bigger tradition.
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Extra resources for A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
13 Though at first it may seem to be at odds with the impulse to preserve, a romantic fascination with decay, even destruction, is closely related to an enchantment with restoration. Indeed, without a period of neglect, decline, and perhaps the threat of destruction, the thrilling work of redemption is not possible. 14 Tyler Cassity was captivated—spoken to, even—by the romantic ruins of a sixty-two-acre cemetery in Hollywood, California, the resting place of Rudolph Valentino. 15 Aestheticism Artistic once served as a code word for gay and rightly so.
This view informs a letter from a highly accomplished preservationist of national reputation, a gay man in his sixties, in response to an invitation to be interviewed for this book. “My generation always put a high premium on the separation of one’s professional life from one’s private concerns, and I have worked hard at this all my life. This posture appears to be the antithesis of current attitudes, which seem to dictate just the opposite. Although a gregarious individual by nature, I am in the final analysis a person who has always highly valued my personal privacy.
With their early interest in family and community history, these gay males have been among those most likely to do research in those areas. Drawn to old photographs, many of them have collaborated with elders in identifying and labeling those images and recording stories connected with them. 22 Randy Pace tells of looking through old family pictures with his grandmother in New Mexico when he was in high school. He made sure names, places, and dates got written on the back of each photo and soon became engrossed in genealogical research.
A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture by Will Fellows