Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States
March 1st, 2019
Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she’s a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn’t changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called “flyover country” rather than moving to the liberal coasts. In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: “Something gay every day.” Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more.
Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami Before 1940
November 20th, 2017
ISBN 1469635194 (ISBN13: 9781469635194)
Poised on the edge of the United States and at the center of a wider Caribbean world, today's Miami is marketed as an international tourist hub that embraces gender and sexual difference. As Julio Capo Jr. shows in this fascinating history, Miami's transnational connections reveal that the city has been a queer borderland for over a century. In chronicling Miami's queer past from its 1896 founding through World War II, Capo shows the multifaceted ways gender and sexual renegades made the city their own.
Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940
May 1, 1994
ISBN 0465026214 (ISBN13: 9780465026210)
Gay New York brilliantly shatters the myth that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet, where gay men were isolated, invisible, and self-hating. Drawing on a rich trove of diaries, legal records, and other unpublished documents, George Chauncey constructs a fascinating portrait of a vibrant, cohesive gay world that is not supposed to have existed. Called "monumental" (Washington Post), "unassailable" (Boston Globe), "brilliant" (The Nation), and "a first-rate book of history" (The New York Times), Gay New York forever changed how we think about the history of gay life in New York City, and beyond.
Carryin' on in the Lesbian and Gay South
August 1st, 1997
ISBN 0814735606 (ISBN13: 9780814735602)
Southerners wrestle with their past, lesbians and gays wrestle for visibility, historians wrestle over the South - yet rarely have the three crossed paths. John Howard's ground-breaking anthology casts its net broadly, examining lesbian and gay experiences in Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston, Memphis, and Louisville. Rigorous in its approach, the book does not shy away from thorny, self-critical questions: What allows us to label a historical figure with the relatively recent category of "lesbian" or "gay"? Further, exactly who is a Southerner? And what is Southern? Moving chronologically through America's past, from the antebellum and postbellum periods, through the Jim Crow era and the Cold War, to the present, this volume introduces an important new framework to the field of lesbian and gay history - that of the region.
Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco
December 26th, 2014
ISBN 0822357542 (ISBN13: 9780822357544)
In 1863, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a law that criminalized appearing in public in “a dress not belonging to his or her sex.” Adopted as part of a broader anti-indecency campaign, the cross-dressing law became a flexible tool for policing multiple gender transgressions, facilitating over one hundred arrests before the century’s end. Over forty U.S. cities passed similar laws during this time, yet little is known about their emergence, operations, or effects. Grounded in a wealth of archival material, Arresting Dress traces the career of anti-cross-dressing laws from municipal courtrooms and codebooks to newspaper scandals, vaudevillian theater, freak-show performances, and commercial “slumming tours.”
Re-Dressing America's Frontier Past
August 2nd, 2011
ISBN 0520270622 (ISBN13: 9780520270626)
Americans have long cherished romantic images of the frontier and its colorful cast of characters, where the cowboys are always rugged and the ladies always fragile. But in this book, Peter Boag opens an extraordinary window onto the real Old West. Delving into countless primary sources and surveying sexological and literary sources, Boag paints a vivid picture of a West where cross-dressing—for both men and women—was pervasive, and where easterners as well as Mexicans and even Indians could redefine their gender and sexual identities. Boag asks, why has this history been forgotten and erased? Citing a cultural moment at the turn of the twentieth century—when the frontier ended, the United States entered the modern era.
Black. Queer. Southern. Women.: An Oral History
November 12th, 2018
ISBN 1469641097 (ISBN13: 9781469641096)
Drawn from the life narratives of more than seventy African American queer women who were born, raised, and continue to reside in the American South, this book powerfully reveals the way these women experience and express racial, sexual, gender, and class identities--all linked by a place where such identities have generally placed them on the margins of society. Using methods of oral history and performance ethnography, E. Patrick Johnson's work vividly enriches the historical record of racialized sexual minorities in the South and brings to light the realities of the region's thriving black lesbian communities.
Sex-Crime Panic: A Journey to the Paranoid Heart of the 1950s
January 1st 2002
ISBN 1555836593 (ISBN13: 9781555836597)
Following the brutal murders of two children in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1954, police, in an attempt to quell public hysteria, arrested 20 men whom the authorities never claimed had anything to do with the crimes. Labeled as sexual psychopaths under an Iowa law that lumped homosexuals together with child molesters and murderers, the men were sentenced to a mental institution until cured. Their shocking story is brought to light for the first time by award-winning journalist Neil Miller, author of Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present. Shedding a harsh light on 1950s attitudes toward homosexuality, Miller's carefully researched account shows how the paranoia of the McCarthy era destroyed the lives of gay men in the American heartland. Interviews with the formerly incarcerated men, law enforcement officials, lawyers, mental hospital staff, and relatives of the murder victims provides a vivid and disturbing glimpse of a town that betrayed its own sons and a mental institution where patients provided cheap labor and shock treatment was the therapy of choice.
Rebels, Ruby fruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South
July 1st, 2001
ISBN 0813529646 (ISBN13: 9780813529646)
While Scarlett O'Hara may resemble a drag queen, and Mardi Gras inspires more camp than a gay pride parade, the American South also boasts a rich, authentic and transgressive gay and lesbian history. In this chatty, free-ranging cultural survey, Sears presents a vivid kaleidoscope of the mores and political activities of many gay Southerners following the 1969 Stonewall riots and leading up to the 1979 march on Washington. Sears unspools this history through portraits of activists and community organizers including Merril Mushroom, Jack Nichols, Lige Clark, Vicki Gabriner, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Sgt. Leonard Matlovitch who helped shape the social and political climate below the Mason Dixon line and often in the rest of the country.
Bohemian Los Angeles: and the Making of Modern Politics
April 30th, 2008
Bohemian Los Angeles brings to life a vibrant and all-but forgotten milieu of artists, leftists, and gay men and women whose story played out over the first half of the twentieth century and continues to shape the entire American landscape. It is the story of a hidden corner of Los Angeles, where the personal first became the political, where the nation's first enduring gay rights movement emerged, and where the broad spectrum of what we now think of as identity politics was born. Portraying life over a period of more than forty years in the hilly enclave of Edendale, near downtown Los Angeles, Daniel Hurewitz considers the work of painters and printmakers, looks inside the Communist Party's intimate cultural scene, and examines the social world of gay men. In this vividly written narrative, he discovers why and how these communities, inspiring both one another and the city as a whole, transformed American notions of political identity.
The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America since World War II
November 17th, 1997
ISBN 0156006170 (ISBN13: 9780156006170)
Charles Kaiser's The Gay Metropolis: 1940-1996, a history of gay life centered in New York, is packed with tales of writers and literature. Kaiser provides a kaleidoscope of details and stories that create a vision of how gay people lived, and illuminates a culture that had enormous influence on both New York and American society. Kaiser writes about such luminaries as Gore Vidal, Edward Albee, Truman Capote, and James Baldwin, but the real drive of The Gay Metropolis is how gay art and writings transformed the lives of everyday gay people. By the end of the book it is clear that gay artistic influence has transformed the American metropolis for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.
Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America
August 1st, 2009
ISBN 0814731937 (ISBN13: 9780814731932)
From Wal-Mart drag parties to renegade Homemaker’s Clubs, Out in the Country offers an unprecedented contemporary account of the lives of today’s rural queer youth. Mary L. Gray maps out the experiences of young people living in small towns across rural Kentucky and along its desolate Appalachian borders, providing a fascinating and often surprising look at the contours of gay life beyond the big city. Gray illustrates that, against a backdrop of an increasingly impoverished and privatized rural America, LGBT youth and their allies visibly–and often vibrantly–work the boundaries of the public spaces available to them, whether in their high schools, public libraries, town hall meetings, churches, or through websites.
Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South
September 1st, 2008
ISBN 080783209X (ISBN13: 9780807832097)
Giving voice to a population too rarely acknowledged, Sweet Tea collects more than sixty life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the South. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as "backward" or "repressive" and offers a window into the ways black gay men negotiate their identities, build community, maintain friendship networks, and find sexual and life partners--often in spaces and activities that appear to be antigay. Ultimately, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures.
Pre-Gay L.A.: A Social History of the Movement for Homosexual Rights
April 1st, 2009
ISBN 0252076419 (ISBN13: 9780252076411)
This book explores the origins and history of the modern American movement for homosexual rights, which originated in Los Angeles in the late 1940s and continues today. Part ethnography and part social history, it is a detailed account of the history of the movement as manifested through the emergence of four related organizations: Mattachine, ONE Incorporated, the Homosexual Information Center (HIC), and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR), which began doing business as ONE Incorporated when the two organizations merged in 1995. Pre-Gay L.A. is a chronicle of how one clandestine special interest association emerged as a powerful political force that spawned several other organizations over a period of more than sixty years.
Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas
August 15th, 2017
ISBN 1574416928 (ISBN13: 9781574416923)
In early 2013 same-sex marriage was legal in only ten states and the District of Columbia. That year the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor appeared to open the door to marriage equality. In Texas, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, together for sixteen years and deeply in love, wondered why no one had stepped across the threshold to challenge their state’s 2005 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. They agreed to join a lawsuit being put together by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLD. Two years later—after tense battles in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after sitting through oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges—they won the right to marry deep in the heart of Texas.
Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall
July 11th, 2012
ISBN 0299286932 (ISBN13: 9780299286934)
"Chicago Whispers" illuminates a colorful and vibrant record of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people who lived and loved in Chicago from the city's beginnings in the 1670s as a fur-trading post to the end of the 1960s. Journalist St. Sukie de la Croix, drawing on years of archival research and personal interviews, reclaims Chicago's LGBT past that had been forgotten, suppressed, or overlooked.
The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon
October 15th, 2018
ISBN 1469643340 (ISBN13: 9781469643342)
In this book, Jaime Harker uncovers a largely forgotten literary Renaissance in Southern letters. Anchored by a constellation of southern women, the Women in Print movement grew from the queer union of women's liberation, civil rights activism, gay liberation, and print culture. Broadly influential from the 1970s through the 1990s, the Women in Print movement created a network of writers, publishers, bookstores, and readers that fostered a remarkable array of literature.
Pier Groups: Art and Sex Along the New York Waterfront
May 3rd, 2019
ISBN 0271082178 (ISBN13: 9780271082172)
In 1970s New York City, the abandoned piers of the Hudson River became a site for extraordinary works of art and a popular place for nude sunbathing and anonymous sex. Jonathan Weinberg's provocative book--part art history, part memoir--weaves interviews, documentary photographs, literary texts, artworks, and film stills to show how avant-garde practices competed and mingled with queer identities along the Manhattan waterfront.
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Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: A Memoir of Gay Literary Life After Stonewall
June 27th, 2007
ISBN 0786718137 (ISBN13: 9780786718139)
A decade after the Stonewall rebellions, a small, all-gay press named Seahorse began along with Calamus Books and JH Press, which all came together to form Gay Presses of New York. Gay Presses of New York was not only the most successful gay press of its day, but the founders had made their move at the right time and place. Gay Presses of New York also played apart in the growth of what is now gay culture, consisting of bookstores, magazines, newspapers, theater companies, and art galleries. Many aspects of the arts, as they swirled around New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco during the 1970s through 1991 were connected to Gay Presses of New York.
No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas
January 15th, 2018
ISBN 0700625283 (ISBN13: 9780700625284)
Far from the coastal centers of culture and politics, Kansas stands at the very center of American stereotypes about red states. In the American imagination, it is a place LGBT people leave. No Place Like Home is about why they stay. The book tells the epic story of how a few disorganized and politically naive Kansans, realizing they were unfairly under attack, rolled up their sleeves, went looking for fights, and ended up making friends in one of the country’s most hostile states.The LGBT civil rights movement’s history in California and in big cities such as New York and Washington, DC, has been well documented. But what is it like for LGBT activists in a place like Kansas, where they face much stiffer headwinds?
Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community
February 19th, 1993
ISBN 0140235507 (ISBN13: 9780140235500)
This ground-breaking book traces the emergence and growth of a lesbian community in Buffalo, New York, from the mid- 1930s to the early 1960s. Based on thirteen years of research and drawing upon the oral histories of forty-five women, authors Kennedy and Davis explore butch-femme roles, coming out, women who passed as men, motherhood, aging, racism, and the courage and pride of the working-class lesbians of Buffalo who, by confronting incredible oppression and violence, helped to pave the way for the gay and lesbian liberation movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold captures the full complexity of lesbian culture; it is a compassionate history of real people fighting for respect and a place to love without fear of persecution.
Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American "Oriental"
February 21st, 2018
Freewheeling sexuality and gender experimentation defined the social and moral landscape of 1890s San Francisco. Middle class whites crafting titillating narratives on topics such as high divorce rates, mannish women, and extramarital sex centered Chinese and Japanese immigrants in particular. Amy Sueyoshi draws on everything from newspapers to felony case files to oral histories in order to examine how whites' pursuit of gender and sexual fulfillment gave rise to racial caricatures. As she reveals, white reporters, writers, artists, and others conflated Chinese and Japanese, previously seen as two races, into one. There emerged the Oriental--a single pan-Asian American stereotype weighted with sexual and gender meaning. Sueyoshi bridges feminist, queer, and ethnic studies to show how the white quest to forge new frontiers in gender and sexual freedom.
Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965
March 1st, 2003
ISBN 0520244745 (ISBN13: 9780520244740)
Wide-Open Town traces the history of gay men and lesbians in San Francisco from the turn of the century, when queer bars emerged in San Francisco's tourist districts, to 1965, when a raid on a drag ball changed the course of queer history. Bringing to life the striking personalities and vibrant milieu that fueled this era, Nan Alamilla Boyd examines the culture that developed around the bar scene and homophile activism. She argues that the communities forged inside bars and taverns functioned politically and, ultimately, offered practical and ideological responses to the policing of San Francisco's queer and transgender communities. Using police and court records, oral histories, tourist literature, and manuscript collections from local and state archives, Nan Alamilla Boyd explains the phenomenal growth of San Francisco.
Are We There Yet: A Continuing History of Lavender Women, a Chicago Lesbian Newspaper, 1971-1976
March 1st, 1991
ISBN 0918040078 (ISBN13: 9780918040077)
Serious yet entertaining history of an exciting lesbian era. Thought-provoking analysis and lively description.
When Brooklyn Was Queer
March 5th, 2019
ISBN 1250169917 (ISBN13: 9781250169914)
When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting.
Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays
October 1st, 2012
ISBN 0814786375 (ISBN13: 9780814786376)
In the Bible Belt, it's common to see bumper stickers that claim One Man + One Woman = Marriage, church billboards that command one to "Get right with Jesus," letters to the editor comparing gay marriage to marrying one's dog, and nightly news about homophobic attacks from the Family Foundation. While some areas of the Unites States have made tremendous progress in securing rights for gay people, Bible Belt states lag behind. Not only do most Bible Belt gays lack domestic partner benefits, lesbians and gay men can still be fired from some places of employment in many regions of the Bible Belt for being a homosexual.
Pride Park: An Anthology to support LGBT freedom
June 12th, 2018
On June 12, 2016, the LGBT+ community was deeply shaken. 49 people were killed and 53 injured in a terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Pulse was a gay club, and the attack took place as a crowd gathered to watch a Puerto Rican drag queen. The heartbreak felt personal. This book was born from a desire to do more than just offer prayers. Pride Park is an attempt to create something lasting. It includes stories and poems from coast to coast, and around the world. They are stories to entertain and enlighten. Each story is connected in some way to the fictional location of Pride Park, a safe space for the LGBT+ community where the graffiti at the entrance reads “Pride. Hope. Love.” The book raises funds for The Trevor Project, offering help to LGBT+ youth in crisis. Written by those in the community and allies, Pride Park is a safe place to heal, inspire, love, and most of all…hope.
The Apartment Lounge
February 12th, 2014
Two gay men opened the Apartment Lounge in one of the most conservative cities in Michigan in 1972. For decades they were afraid to put the name of the business on their front door, but gay and lesbian customers found them – and they found each other. These men brought the news of the Aids epidemic back from San Francisco, then helped their friends die and grieve when HIV became the most feared acronym in Grand Rapids. Became the cornerstone of the region’s LGBT community. This 3,291-word inspiring story of the challenges they faced and their decision to sell the Apartment Lounge to one of their first customers; a gay man who was a teenager when he found himself at The Apartment Lounge.
The End of San Francisco
February 16th, 2013
ISBN 087286572X (ISBN13: 9780872865723)
The End of San Francisco breaks apart the conventions of memoir to reveal the passions and perils of a life that refuses to conform to the rules of straight or gay normalcy. A budding queer activist escapes to San Francisco, in search of a world more politically charged, sexually saturated, and ethically consistent—this is the person who evolves into Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, organizer and agitator, community builder, and anti- assimilationist commentator. Here is the tender, provocative, and exuberant story of the formation of one of the contemporary queer movement's most savvy and outrageous writers and spokespersons.
The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century
June 1st, 2018
ISBN 1613739354 (ISBN13: 9781613739358)
A history of gay Chicago told through the stories of queer men who left a record of their sexual activities in the Second City, this book paints a vivid picture of the neighborhoods where they congregated while revealing their complex lives. Some, such as reporter John Wing, were public figures. Others, like Henry Gerber, who created the first “homophile” organization in the United States, were practically invisible to their contemporaries. But their stories are all riveting. Female impersonators and striptease artists Quincy de Lang and George Quinn were arrested and put on trial at the behest of a leader of Chicago’s anti-“indecency” movement. African American ragtime pianist Tony Jackson’s most famous song, “Pretty Baby,” was written about one of his male lovers. Alfred Kinsey’s explorations of the city’s netherworld changed the future of American sexuality while confirming his own queer proclivities. What emerges from The Boys of Fairy Town is a complex portrait and a virtually unknown history of one of the most vibrant cities in the United States.
Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest
August 14th, 2003
ISBN 0520240480 (ISBN13: 9780520240483)
At the turn of the twentieth century, two distinct, yet at times overlapping, male same-sex sexual subcultures had emerged in the Pacific Northwest: one among the men and boys who toiled in the region's logging, fishing, mining, farming, and railroad-building industries; the other among the young urban white-collar workers of the emerging corporate order. Boag draws on police logs, court records, and newspaper accounts to create a vivid picture of the lives of these men and youths--their sexual practices, cultural networks, cross-class relations, variations in rural and urban experiences, and ethnic and racial influences.
Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York
October 18th 2016
ISBN 0847849406 (ISBN13: 9780847849406)
Uncovering the lost history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender artists in New York City. Queer people have always flocked to New York seeking freedom, forging close-knit groups for support and inspiration. Gay Gotham brings to life the countercultural artistic communities that sprang up over the last hundred years, a creative class whose radical ideas would determine much of modern culture. More than 200 images—both works of art, such as paintings and photographs, as well as letters, snapshots, and ephemera—illuminate their personal bonds, scandal-provoking secrets at the time and many largely unknown to the public since.