Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Stonewall Strong” Celebrates Gay Men’s Resilience

On October 8, Rowman & Littlefield is publishing Stonewall Strong: Gay Men’s Heroic Fight for Resilience, Good Health, and a Strong Community by longtime health journalist John-Manuel Andriote. Andriote has reported on HIV-AIDS and other health and medical subjects for more than 30 years, and has been open about his own 2005 HIV diagnosis since ‘coming out’ about it in a 2006 Washington Post article and NPR interview.

Harvard medical professor Kenneth Mayer, M.D. calls Stonewall Strong “a tour de force.” The book draws from Andriote’s personal story, nearly 100 interviews he conducted with men and women across the United States, and leading-edge research. The book flips the typical victimization narrative on its head and celebrates the powerful resilience that most gay men develop from a young age as they deal with the social impacts of being “different.”

Dr. Mayer, who also is director of medical research at Boston’s Fenway Institute, says that in Stonewall Strong, Andriote “skillfully educates the reader how the lessons learned from addressing the [HIV-AIDS] epidemic have laid the foundations for a stronger, more resilient community.” He adds, “The book is well-written, compelling, and highly informative.”

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, calls Stonewall Strong “Truth-telling at its best.”

John-Manuel Andriote has been best known for his reporting on HIV-AIDS, which he began while working on a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University in 1986. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, the Advocate, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and in other print and online publications.

Kirkus Reviews called Andriote’s 1999 book Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America (University of Chicago Press) “the most important AIDS chronicle since Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On.” The hundreds of interviews and other research materials used to develop the book are part of a special “John-Manuel Andriote Victory Deferred Collection” curated by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

“I call Stonewall Strong the ‘bookend’ for Victory Deferred,” says Andriote. “Where Victory Deferred documented the impact of HIV-AIDS on individuals, government institutions, and the LGBT political movement for equality, Stonewall Strong celebrates what our history has taught us about our own courage, resilience, and strength.”

Andriote, who has developed and taught communication and journalism classes as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Connecticut State University and Three Rivers Community College, is a news source and regular guest speaker at universities, conferences, book clubs, and fundraising events across the country.

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