Includes bibliographical references (pages 403-426) and index.
"Since the debacle to lift the ban on gays in the military, the emergence of gay conservatives, and the onslaught of antigay initiatives across America, the gay and lesbian community has been asking itself tough questions: Where should the movement go? What do we want? How should we accomplish our goals? In Virtual Equality, veteran activist Urvashi Vaid answers these questions with a unique combination of visionary politics and hard-earned pragmatism." "Tracing the political and cultural developments since Stonewall, Vaid shows that despite significant gains in visibility, most gays and lesbians remain demoralized and persecuted, second-class citizens in their own country. Vaid defines the status of gay America as one of "virtual equality," a state of conditional equality based more on the appearance of acceptance by straight America, rather than on actual civil equality." "In order to move beyond the current stalemate, Vaid challenges the gay community to wake up and face the forces that divide it and to consider what gays and lesbians stand for, as individuals and as a people." "Guided by a moral vision yet grounded by realpolitik, Virtual Equality is a call to arms to the gay and lesbian community to begin the work necessary to achieve genuine equality with the rest of America."--Jacket.