Arnold (Arnie) Kantrowitz was an early secretary and vice-president of the pioneering New York City group Gay Activists Alliance. He is a co-founder of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He is the author of Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay, one of the first autobiographies by a gay activist. From 1999 until his 2004 retirement, Kantrowitz was chair of the English department at the College of Staten Island, where he taught for 41 years. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University (1961); an M.A. in English Literature from New York University (1963); and completed coursework toward a Ph.D. at New York University. He lives in New York City with his life partner, Lawrence D. Mass, a physician and writer.
Kantrowitz has authored two books and contributed articles, essays, poems and short fiction to magazines, newspapers and anthologies. In the early 1970s, he was one of the first openly gay individuals to appear on popular radio and television shows, including those of Jack Paar, Geraldo Rivera, Bill Boggs and Sally Jesse Raphael. He has appeared in several documentary films, including After Stonewall, Gay Sex in the Seventies and Activist: The Times of Vito Russo. He has also been interviewed about gay liberation and the AIDS epidemic.
Lawrence Mass and Arnie Kantrowitz, 1987, by Robert Giard
Lawrence D. Mass is an American physician and writer. A co-founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis, he wrote the first press reports on the epidemic that later became known as AIDS. Since 1979, Lawrence D. Mass has lived and worked in New York City, where he resides with his life partner, writer and activist Arnie Kantrowitz. Kantrowitz is a gay activist, college professor emeritus, and writer. He is the author of Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay, one of the first autobiographies by a gay activist.
Kantrowitz's autobiography Under the Rainbow was first published in 1977 by William Morrow, reprinted in 1978 by Pocket Books, Inc., and a third edition published in 1996 by St. Martin's Press. His second book, a biography of poet Walt Whitman, called Walt Whitman: Gay and Lesbian Writers, was part of the Stonewall Inn Classics series on the lives of gay and lesbian writers published in 2005 by Chelsea House Publishers/St. Martin's Press.
As an educator, first at the New York State University College at Cortland (1963-1965) and for the rest of his career at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York (1965-2006), Kantrowitz was among the first to teach courses in gay literature, beginning in 1973 with "Homosexuals and Literature."
In October 1985, Kantrowitz joined Gregory Kolovakis, Darrell Yates-Rist, Vito Russo, Jim Owles, Allen Barnett and Barry Adkins in helping to form The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation League, renamed The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The organization's original purpose was to respond to the inaccurate and slanderous portrayals of gay and lesbian people that were widespread in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.
In 2009, Kantrowitz was elected grand marshall of the Staten Island Gay Pride parade, and was awarded a testimonial citation from the New York State Assembly in recognition of his decades of gay activism. His personal papers, along with those of his life partner Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., are designated collections of the New York Public Library.
Arnie Kantrowitz, 1987, by Robert Giard
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)
Lawrence D. Mass, M.D. (born June 11, 1946) is an American physician and writer. A co-founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis, he wrote the first press reports on the epidemic that later became known as AIDS. He is the author of numerous publications on HIV, hepatitis C, STDs, gay health, psychiatry and sex research, and on music, opera, and culture. He is also the author/editor of four books/collections. In 2009 he was in the first group of physicians to be designated as diplomates of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Since 1979, he has lived and worked as a physician in New York City, where he resides with his life partner, writer and activist Arnie Kantrowitz.
Mass was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1946, received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, and his M.D. from the University of Illinois' Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine in 1973.
After completing his residency in anesthesiology at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital in association with Harvard Medical School, the homophobia Mass encountered when he came out as gay during interviews in Chicago for a second residency in psychiatry became the catalyst for the activism he pursued via journalism, making him the first openly gay physician to write for the gay press on a regular basis.
Mass focused initially on the field of psychiatry, which retained many of its past homophobic practitioners, practices and positions even after the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. Besides writing for the gay press, Mass became newsletter editor for the Gay Caucus of Members of the American Psychiatric Association, the fledgling organization of gay psychiatrists that began organizing in the aftermath of the declassification. Under Mass, the newsletter ran politically charged headlines such as its first, "Psychoanalytic Statute Prevents Legal Entry of Gay Aliens," calling attention to the fact that discredited psychoanalytic theories of "the homosexual" as a form of "psychopathic personality" were still sources of discriminatory public policies.
His writing for the gay press examined the leading roles of sociology and sex research in shaping contemporary thinking about sexuality and homosexuality. Mass chronicled the shift in academic and scientific thinking about homosexuality and sexuality. He conducted and published many interviews with such leading figures in the discourse as Judd Marmor, Richard Pillard, Thomas Szasz, John Money, Charles Silverstein, Masters and Johnson, Richard Green, Mary Calderone, John Boswell, John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman, and Martin Duberman. A selection of these interviews is republished in his two "Dialogues of The Sexual Revolution" collections.
As a physician writing for the gay press, Mass also was one of the first to address the 1970s spread of a number of sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and amebiasis. In May 1981, Mass authored the first press report appearing in the New York Native, followed in July 1981 by the first feature article, "Cancer in the Gay Community," on the then-new HIV-AIDS epidemic. The New York Native cover story was among the opening displays of the Newseum in Arlington, Va., now in Washington, DC. Mass continues to report on HIV-AIDS.
In 1982, Mass joined Larry Kramer, Edmund White, Paul Rapoport, Paul Popham and Nathan Fain in co-founding Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the world's first and still largest AIDS information and service organization. For 10 years, through four revisions, Mass authored GMHC's guide, Medical Answers About AIDS, which usually concluded with an appeal for civil liberties for sexual minority persons and the sanctioning of same sex relationships as "essential considerations in the preventive medicine of AIDS and other STDs."
At the start of the AIDS epidemic, the issue of anti-Semitism also interested Mass. As described on the dust jacket of his memoir, "Confessions of a Jewish Wagnerite":
"In 1981, Lawrence Mass was a 35-year-old physician, writer, and gay activist living in New York City. On his living room wall, among other opera memorabilia, there were five pictures of Richard Wagner, one of them a drawing by Mass himself. While researching what would become the first feature article on the epidemic that later became known as AIDS, the author had the first confrontation of his adult life with overt anti-Semitism, an incident he was completely unprepared to deal with psychologically. As AIDS spread, and every sexually active gay man was forced to confront his own mortality, the need to understand the even greater depths of fear touched by the incident became urgent, and Mass began to face the reality that his life had been dominated by internalized anti-Semitism, even as he came to grips with his gay identity.""Confessions of a Jewish Wagnerite" is the story of Mass's voyage of discovery from his adolescent infatuation with Wagner to his friendship with the great-grandson of the composer and life-partnership with a fellow gay activist and Jewish-American writer.
Mass's entangled concerns about Jews, Jewishness, anti-Semitism, and the internalization of antisemitism provide an unanticipated lens through which to view the subject of his subsequent book, a collection on the life and legacies of author and AIDS activist Larry Kramer.
The anthology,"We Must Love One Another or Die: The Life and Legacies of Larry Kramer", begins with "Larry versus Larry," the story of Mass's sometimes stormy 40-year relationship with Kramer, and includes contributions from a number of key figures from the AIDS movement, including historical and critical evaluations by Rodger McFarlane, Anthony Fauci, Michelangelo Signorile, Gabriel Rotello, Tony Kushner, and John D'Emilio. While Kramer is likely to remain best known for his achievements around AIDS and grass roots activism, Mass was most inspired by Kramer's experience as a writer, especially his very personal voice, bravery and perseverance in the face of harsh criticism and rejection. Chapters by Andrew Holleran, Christopher Bram, Alfred Corn, Michael Denneny and others complete the picture of, as the dust jacket puts it, "one of the most original and influential voices of the twentieth century."
By the mid-1990s, thanks largely to the efforts of Kramer and ACT UP, HIV infection had become largely manageable with medical care, and gay activist concerns began to shift. Mass has continued to write about more recent health problems afflicting gay men, including the escalation of HIV among minority teens and the elderly, the crystal meth epidemic, hepatitis C and anal cancer.
Beginning in the late 1990s, Mass extended his public health interests to the bear subculture of the gay community. He has addressed in a regular column a range of health topics of interest to this subculture, initially consisting of middle-aged overweight men, first for American Bear Magazine and later for A Bear's Life magazine.
Mass's papers, and those of his life partner, Arnie Kantrowitz, are designated collections of the New York Public Library.
Lawrence D. Mass, 1987, by Robert Giard
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Homosexuality and Sexuality: Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution (Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies) (Homosexuality & Sexuality) by Lawrence Mass
Hardcover: 251 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 7, 1990)
Amazon: Homosexuality and Sexuality: Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution
The interviews and conversations of Homosexuality and Sexuality: Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution survey a broad cross-section of the academic and scholarly opinions that have shaped contemporary thinking about homosexuality and sexuality. They also document some of the important changes that have taken place in the study of homosexuality and sexuality in our time.
Author Lawrence D. Mass, the first physician to write for the gay press on a regular basis and the first writer to cover the AIDS epidemic in any press, has compiled an enlightening and challenging volume. Homosexuality and Sexuality includes the only currently available published interviews with such prominent psychiatrists, psychologists, sex researchers, educators, AIDS experts, and historians as William Masters and Virginia Johnson, John Money, Thomas Szasz, Mary Calderone, John McNeill, Donald Kritzman, Arnie Kantrowitz, and Martin Bauml Duberman.
This readable book enables readers to go back in time and directly experience the controversies that surrounded the publication of such landmark, representative, or notorious studies as Masters and Johnson's Homosexuality in Perspective, Judd Marmor's Homosexual Behaviors, Charles Socarides's Homosexuality, the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, John Money's Love and Love Sickness, Thomas Szasz's Sex By Prescription, or Richard Green's The “Sissy Boy Syndrome.”
Confessions of a Jewish Wagnerite: Being Gay and Jewish in America (Gay & Lesbian Studies) by Lawrence D. Mass
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Cassell (March 1999)
Amazon: Confessions of a Jewish Wagnerite: Being Gay and Jewish in America
This is a series of autobiographical essays which provide critical commentary on leading figures, personalities, events and issues in the worlds of identity politics, AIDS and the arts in post-World War II America. It probes the interconnectedness of gay, Jewish and musical subcultures. The book is set against the backdrop of AIDS, when every sexually-active gay man is forced to confront his own mortality. To understand the fear that the disease had touched, the author faces the reality that his own life had been dominated by internalized anti-Semitism. His is the story of confronting the hatred that can result from constant exposure to the hatred of others. Through examining relationships with other gay men, he argues that anti-Semitism, racism and misogyny are often proportional to the internalization of homophobia.
We Must Love One Another Or Die: The Life and Legacies of Larry Kramer by Lawrence D. Mass
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Reprint edition (June 17, 1999)
Amazon: We Must Love One Another Or Die: The Life and Legacies of Larry Kramer
Twenty-three writers join together to explore the life and work of Larry Kramer, pioneer AIDS activist and acclaimed author of The Normal Heart and Faggots, in this original collection. The Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, producer, novelist, playwright, and co-founder of GMHC and founder of ACT-UP is one of the few visible gay role models we have for young people today. This unique volume focuses on Kramer as activist, writer, and personality. A controversial figure in the worlds of activism and letters, Kramer embodies the phrase, "the personal is political." This collection proves the impossibility of separating the activist from the writer and why perceptions of Kramer run from genius to provocateur.
Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay (Stonewall Inn Classics) by Arnie Kantrowitz
Series: Stonewall Inn Classics
Paperback: 217 pages
Publisher: St Martins Pr; 2 edition (August 1996)
Amazon: Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay
Originally pulbished in 1977, unavailable for more than a decade, Karnowitz's Under the Rainbow is one of the few genuine gay classics. In an immensely moving account, Karnowitz writes of growing up gay before Stonewall, trying to come to grips with his sexuality at a time when it was generally perceived as an illness; his discovery of the early gay rights movement; and becoming a nationally recognized activist for gay rights.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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