One of the world's best-kept secrets, until recently, was that a sizable proportion of men and women find their most significant relationships, both emotionally and physically, with members of their own sex. For example, the 1971 edition of Brief Lives fails to inform its readers that homosexual relationships were meaningful in the lives of Tchaikovsky, Thoreau, Garcia Lorca or Virginia Wolfe. A most blatant example of this intentional negligence dealing with Chicano writers can be found in Literatura Chicana: texto y contexto, in which a selection of John Rechy is given a fourteen-line introduction which does not mention that Rechy is a nationally known, best selling gay activist writer.

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