The host of Hollywood Squares asks Paul Lynde, "Why do bikers wear leather?" "Because chiffon wrinkles so easily," Lynde quips. Since at least the end of the nineteenth century, gay culture -- its humor, its icons, its desires -- has been alive and sometimes even visible in the midst of straight American society. David Van Leer puts forward here a series of reading that aim to identify what he calls the "queening" of America, a process by which "rhetorics and situations specific to homosexual culture are presented to a general readership as if culturally neutral." In his recinsiderations of the all-American Damn Yankees or the gay adult classics of Patrick Dennis ( Auntie Mame, Little Me ), Van Leer overturns simplistic notions of camp as merely a humorous exaggeration of straight culture. The Queening of America examines how the invisibility of gay male writing, especially in the popular culture of the 1950s and 1960s, facilitated the crossing of gay motifs in straight culture. Van Leer then critiques some current models of making homosexuality visible (the packaging of Joe Orton, the theories of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the rise of gay studies), before concluding more optimistically on the possible alliances between gay culture and other minority discourses.Van Leer, David is the author of 'Queening of America Gay Culture in Straight Society' with ISBN 9780415903363 and ISBN 041590336X.