The University of Wisconsin Press

Gay & Lesbian Interest


A Passion to Preserve
Gay Men as Keepers of Culture
Will Fellows

"Clearly Will Fellows has hit a nerve with many gay men, about their collecting and preserving from childhood on, often sacrificing friends, livelihoods, careers, and lovers to do so."
—Darden A. Pyron, author of Liberace: An American Boy

From large cities to rural communities, gay men have long been impassioned pioneers as keepers of culture: rescuing and restoring decrepit buildings, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, saving artifacts and documents of historical significance. This penchant to preserve, though widely observed, is typically ignored or dismissed as a stereotypical gay cliché, even by many gay men themselves. A Passion to Preserve explores this authentic and complex dimension of gay men's lives by profiling early and contemporary preservationists from throughout the United States. This eye-opening and provocative book illuminates neglected facets of what it means to be gay and highlights contributions to the larger culture that gays are exceptionally inclined to make.

Fellows's first book was the best-selling Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest. In A Passion to Preserve, Fellows expands upon the art of oral history he employed so successfully in Farm Boys.

Will FellowsWill Fellows is the author of Farm Boys, which was honored as a best book of 1996 by Esquire Magazine and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 1997. He lives in Milwaukee.

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Gay Men as Keepers of Culture

Spring 2004

298 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-19684-4
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