Gay men hold multiple identities, which define who they are and which shape their experiences of coming out. The chapter introduces the fifteen men of varying ages, races, ethnicities, and places of birth, whose life narratives provide the means for exploring the coming out process within and across generations and of the social, emotional, and behavioral conditions that have defined the lives of gay men. Five gay men who emerged into adolescence in the late 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s constitute the Stonewall Generation; those who came of age in the late 1970s through the early 1990s are defined as members of the AIDS Generation; and those emerging into adulthood after the turn of the century belong to the Queer Generation. Each of the fifteen men is introduced in relation to his earliest memories of what would prove to be his gay identity and in the social-political context of the time.
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