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The cover of the book depicting the title and a rainbow flag.

On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual

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The groundbreaking work on being homosexual in America—available again only from Penguin Classics and with a new foreword by Dan Savage

Originally published in 1971, Merle Miller’s On Being Different is a pioneering and thought-provoking book about being homosexual in the United States. Just two years after the Stonewall riots, Miller wrote a poignant essay for the New York Times Magazine entitled “What It Means To Be a Homosexual” in response to a homophobic article published in Harper’s Magazine. Described as “the most widely read and discussed essay of the decade,” it carried the seed that would blossom into On Being Different—one of the earliest memoirs to affirm the importance of coming out.

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