A shrewd and irreverent cultural history of the customs, fashions, and figures of gay life in the twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries-and how they have changed all of us for the better. The "global queering" of America has been gradually shaping the way straight people talk, think, dress, and eat. Over the past fifty years, the line between what is "straight" and what is "gay" has blurred to the point that most heterosexuals are unaware of the vast contributions gay men have made to American culture. How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization presents a broad yet incisive look at how an unusual "immigrant" group, homosexual men, have become so influential on mainstream American culture. The general public's tastes and consumer choices in food, fashion, humor, literature, and body image are becoming decidedly more gay. And America has shown a real interest in TV shows with gay content and themes, such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy; Will & Grace; and Six Feet Under. Overall, it's hip to be gay, even if you're straight. How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization tells us something about ourselves as a society. It celebrates the unique perspective of gay men and explains how essential their vitality has been to our civilization.