Gay youth today describe themselves as proud, happy, and grateful – something many of us would have found surprising a generation ago. Yet many adults seem skeptical about this change in perceptions and attitudes. What does it mean to be gay today?
Ritch Savin-Williams, professor emeritus of developmental psychology, observes that huge gaps still remain in our knowledge about gay youth’s basic developmental needs, their sexual and romantic life, and overall well-being. With his new book, Becoming Who I Am: Young Men on Being Gay, Savin-Williams aims to begin filling this void, exploring identity and sexuality as told by today’s generation of gay young men. Through a series of in-depth interviews with teenagers and men in their early 20s, he offers a contemporary perspective on gay lives in present day America.
In a Chats in the Stacks book talk at Mann Library in March 2017, Savin-Williams shared highlights from this work and some thoughts about what his findings suggest for the future of gay youth in an age of growing tolerance.