From ancient Greece to Grindr, the underground practice of cruising has changed in fascinating ways, and also not at all. Alex Espinoza takes readers on an uncensored journey through the underground, to reveal the timeless art of cruising. Combining historical research and oral history with his own personal experience, Espinoza examines the political and cultural forces behind this radical pastime. From Greek antiquity to the notorious Molly houses of 18th century England, the raucous 1970s to the algorithms of Grindr, Oscar Wilde to George Michael, cruising remains at once a reclamation of public space and the creation of its own unique locale—one in which men of all races and classes interact, even in the shadow of repressive governments. In Uganda and Russia, we meet activists for whom cruising can be a matter of life and death; while in the West he shows how cruising circumvents the inequalities and abuses of power that plague heterosexual encounters. Ultimately, Espinoza illustrates how cruising functions as a powerful rebuke to patriarchy and capitalism—unless you are cruising the department store restroom, of course.
What makes this book so appealing is the way Espinoza combines his own experiences of cruising with a cogent analysis of the role of cruising... and he writes beautifully. Recommended for LGBT and contemporary culture collections.
Memoir is the powerful heart of Espinoza’s book, the places where he makes us feel the power of cruising as what he calls a 'cultural identifier' of gay experience, the act that marks us as constitutionally different from straight people.
John Birdsall, Los Angeles Times
Cruising is touching, resonant, and deeply felt... Espinoza’s book invites us to think about the right to freedom of sexual expression and where it fits in within the larger aims of the LGBTQ community.
Michael Nava, LA Review of Books
Alex Espinoza's much-anticipated book takes readers on a unique 'cruise' through places of public gay-sex connections, from early times to today's apps and sites; and the result is as lively and entertaining as a boldly intimate, and wonderfully written, memoir.
Espinoza candidly inserts himself into this striking examination with memories of his own cruising adventures and segments of stimulating commentary on gay liberation and the tenets of stealthy sexuality. Provocative, curious, and noteworthy.
Espinoza's book stands out as a beacon for future queer writers, thinkers, and activists. Reading these accounts, I felt myself drawn into a past both wonderful and strange, a world I hope we will continue to celebrate and preserve.
Available for purchase from Unnamed Press
¡Tambien disponible en español por Editoriales Dos Bigotes!