For a nation that elected Barack Obama as president, here is the first novel of the new era: The Mere Future, by award-winning novelist, activist, and playwright Sarah Schulman, set in a utopian (or is it dystopic?) future vision of New York City. The city has morphed into what appears to be an idealized version of itself, the result of what the new mayor calls "The Big Change," in which rent is cheap, homelessness is a thing of the past, and the only job left is marketing.
Although acceptance of difference is on the rise in America, it's the rare gay or lesbian person who has not been demeaned because of his or her sexual orientation, and this experience usually starts at home, among family members. Whether they are excluded from family love and approval, expected to accept second-class status for life, ignored by mainstream arts and entertainment, or abandoned when intervention would make all the difference, gay people are routinely subjected to forms of psychological and physical abuse unknown to many.