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Gay Sensibility in Historical Preservation: Will Fellows discusses his “passion to preserve”

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On May 2, 2014 Will Fellows, author of Farm Boys and A Passion to Preserve, gave a presentation to an audience at the Buskirk Chumley theater. The lecture covered the material in his most recent book, A Passion to Preserve. In the book Mr. Fellows analyzes how an affinity for historic preservation is commonly shared by gay men and straight women. He examines the specific cultural identity of gay men that leads to this seeming stereotype being true in many cases. The lecture kicked off National Preservation month and is part of the Rosemary P. Miller lecture series. The talk was recorded live on location for Standing room only, on WFHB.

Interchange – A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture

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Host Trish Kerle’ interviews author, Will Fellows, whose book, A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture, documents an American social movement rendered nearly invisible by most historians. Fellows believes there’s ample evidence that gay men have long been extraordinary preservers of history and that this inherent interest is the result of a “psychologic androgyny” of masculine and feminine qualities. He discusses five patterns of behavior in gay men who are preservation-minded that he has identified: gender atypicality, domophilia, romanticism, aestheticism, and connection- and community-mindedness.  Fellows says, “we who begin our lives as boys, who are not like other boys, grow into men unlike other men.” 

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