Wow, no secrets, no lies, no despair! Maybe even a gay man who experiences a moment or two of happiness, and doesn't die at the end.
No such luck.
The gay men in Dancer from the Dance are all young, beautiful, wealthy, and cursed. They trudge from gym to bar to after-hours club to bathhouse, dancing, taking drugs, having sex, seeing the same faces year after year, but knowing nothing about them except their penis size. They have dozens of lovers but no friends. They are unable to find any meaning in life, or any happiness.
As one of the characters explains: "The world demands that gay life be ultimately sad, for everyone in this country believes. . .that to be happy you must have a two-story house in the suburbs and a FAMILY." Andrew Holleran not excluded.
The main character, Malone, vanishes at the end of the novel. Sex/dance partners are always vanishing. Some escape, like the character who moves to the Deep South and finds infinite joy in helping a friend install a septic tank. Others die. The rest keep on dancing.
Very depressing take on the gay world. Yet I wasn't depressed, because I knew something that Malone and his coterie didn't: the men they saw day after day, year after year were, in fact, a FAMILY, an adhesive brotherhood that could change the world.
See also: The Violet Quill