In stunning essays written especially for this collection, twenty-nine noted gay writers recount their true “coming out” stories, intensely personal histories of that primal process by which men come to terms with their desire for other men. Here are accounts of revealing one’s sexual identity to parents, siblings, friends, co-workers and, in one notable instance, to a stockbroker. Men tell of their first sexual encounters from their preteens to their thirties, with childhood friends who rejected or tenderly embraced them, with professors, with neighbors, with a Broadway star. These are poignant, sometimes unexpectedly funny tales of romance and heartbreak, repression and liberation, rape and first love defining moments that shaped their authors’ lives. Arranged chronologically from Manhattan in the Forties to San Francisco in the Nineties, these essays ultimately form a documentary of changing social and sexual mores in the United States–a literary, biographical, sociological and historical tour de force.