“The Gay 100” is a compilation of the author’s, Paul Russell, top 100 gay men and lesbians of history. He writes by notion of a timeline for the ages, by selecting men and women throughout history, who he feels are the 100 most influential gay men and lesbians of history.
The book contains short biographies of such luminaries as Socrates, Sappho, Oscar Wilde, and Gertrude Stein, among others. At once uplifting and heart-wrenching, these 100 portraits capture the real people behind the legends and affirm that gay men and lesbians have been an integral part of history from ancient times through the present day--ensuring that those who will follow in their footsteps face a future that is brighter than ever before.
Being gay is a way of life and a way of living that needs to be understood by way of historical context. In his introduction, Russell explains the premise of the book: "One of the ways by which gay men and lesbians have survived through the centuries is by recognizing one another in the various disguises we have worn. We have survived on the consolation of knowing there are others like ourselves. . . . The men and women whose names were secretly whispered, repeated, cherished as homosexual helped create and sustain that amorphous phenomenon we know today as gay culture."
Past lives are integrative to the present. “The Gay 100” is a literary read that is also seen as conduit for history to present day. Isn’t it ironic that people have been gay for thousands of years, and now we live in a world of AIDS, where being gay is closeted, in real terms, for all the wrong reasons?
Paul Russell writes with dignity for the meaning of “The Gay 100”, as gay history. There is no time like the present to read “The Gay l00” as a literary resource guide for the world of today. Ciao, Todd