Penguin books has released an updated edition of On Being Different with an introduction by gay activist Dan Savage.

Savage is the editor of Seattle alternative The Stranger and a co-founder of the It Gets Better Project.

The book is based on writer-novelist Merle Miller's 1971 coming out gay article published in the New York Times Magazine. The op-ed, titled What It Means To Be A Homosexual, was a response to an essay by Joseph Epstein published in the September, 1970 issue of Harper's.

In the piece, titled Homo/hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity, Epstein described gay men as “perverts,” adding that “nothing [my four sons] could ever do would make me sadder than if any of them were to become homosexual.”

“For then I should know them condemned to a permanent niggerdom among men, their lives, whatever adjustment they might make to their condition, to be lived out as part of the pain of the earth.”

“I am sick and tired,” Miller wrote in his response, “of reading and hearing such goddam demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends.”

And with that, Miller, who had previously not publicly discussed his sexual orientation, would go on to champion gay rights.

On Being Different includes Miller's original essay and additional material.