Main | Saturday, July 14, 2012

HomoQuotable - Dr. Tom Roach

"One of my biggest fears as a gay kid was that I wouldn’t find that 'special someone,' that one person who was supposed to complete me, fulfill me. We’re all in one way or another trained to believe this is the apex of human relationships. After learning more about gay history and politics, after reading brilliant feminist and queer critiques of marriage and romance, however, I came to understand gay friendship networks as a viable and perhaps more fulfilling relationship alternative to marriage and family life.

"This is of course not to say that I’m against love, romance, or coupledom; this is not an either/or debate about friendship versus love, or friendship versus marriage. That’s silliness. Instead I ask readers to take seriously gay friendship networks as a unique cultural innovation, legitimate and gratifying in their own right. In recent years, as we all know, gay rights organizations have sunk enormous amounts of time, money, and energy into securing marriage and family rights for lesbians and gays. One of the main points of my book is to remind the gay community that friendship is the bedrock of all gay politics, of all gay rights struggles.

"If it weren’t for networks of friends: friends who marched in the streets together in the 70s, friends who cared for one another during the AIDS crisis, friendship networks that historically offered an alternative to obligatory heterosexuality and compulsory coupling, there wouldn’t be much of a gay community to fight for." - Dr. Tom Roach, speaking at the Bear Week launch for his new book, Friendship As A Way Of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement. Roach's book is now available at online booksellers.

UPDATE: Roach talks about his book in this podcast.

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