Several sacred artifacts have gone missing from the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation and the suspect list is continuously growing. While it could be the racists from the bordering town, or a young man struggling with problems at home, or the county coroner and his cronies, the need for answers and apprehending the culprit is amplified when Jed Morriseau, the Tribal Chairman, is murdered. Investigating these mysterious occurrences because of tribal traditions and the honor of her family, Renee LaRoche works to track down the people responsible. But can she maintain her intense investigation as well as her new relationship with Samantha Salisbury, the visiting women’s studies professor at the white college nearby? Renee is caught between the traditions of her tribe and efforts to help her chimook lover accept their cultural differences.
After a century of critical neglect, poet and writer Amy Levy is gaining recognition as a literary figure of stature.
This definitive biography accompanied by her letters, along with the recent publication of her selected writings, provides a critical appreciation of Levy’s importance in her own time and in ours.
As an educated Jewish woman with homoerotic desires, Levy felt the strain of combating the structures of British society in the 1880s, the decade in which she built her career and moved in London’s literary and bohemian circles. Unwilling to cut herself off from her Jewish background, she had the additional burden of attempting to bridge the gap between communities.
In Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters Linda Hunt Beckman examines Levy’s writings and other cultural documents for insight into her emotional and intellectual life. This groundbreaking study introduces us to a woman well deserving of a place in literary and cultural history.
While over the past decade a number of scholars have done significant work on questions of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered identities, this volume is the first to collect this groundbreaking work and make black queer studies visible as a developing field of study in the United States. Bringing together essays by established and emergent scholars, this collection assesses the strengths and weaknesses of prior work on race and sexuality and highlights the theoretical and political issues at stake in the nascent field of black queer studies. Including work by scholars based in English, film studies, black studies, sociology, history, political science, legal studies, cultural studies, and performance studies, the volume showcases the broadly interdisciplinary nature of the black queer studies project.
The contributors consider representations of the black queer body, black queer literature, the pedagogical implications of black queer studies, and the ways that gender and sexuality have been glossed over in black studies and race and class marginalized in queer studies. Whether exploring the closet as a racially loaded metaphor, arguing for the inclusion of diaspora studies in black queer studies, considering how the black lesbian voice that was so expressive in the 1970s and 1980s is all but inaudible today, or investigating how the social sciences have solidified racial and sexual exclusionary practices, these insightful essays signal an important and necessary expansion of queer studies.
Contributors. Bryant K. Alexander, Devon Carbado, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Keith Clark, Cathy Cohen, Roderick A. Ferguson, Jewelle Gomez, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae G. Henderson, Sharon P. Holland, E. Patrick Johnson, Kara Keeling, Dwight A. McBride, Charles I. Nero, Marlon B. Ross, Rinaldo Walcott, Maurice O. Wallace
Bryher (born Annie Winifred Ellerman) is perhaps best known today as the lifelong partner of the poet H.D. She was, however, a central figure in modernist and avant-garde cultural experimentation in the early twentieth century; a prolific producer of poetry, novels, autobiography, and criticism; and an intimate and patron of such modernist artists as Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, and Dorothy Richardson. Bryher’s own path-breaking writing has remained largely neglected, long out of print, and inaccessible to those interested in her oeuvre. Now, for the first time since their original publication in the early 1920s, two of Bryher's pioneering works of fictionalized autobiography, titled Development and Two Selves, are reprinted in one volume for a new audience of readers, scholars, and critics.
Blending poetry, prose, and autobiographical details, Development and Two Selves together constitute a compelling bildungsroman that is among the first ever to follow a young woman's process of coming out. Through the fictionalized character Nancy, the novels trace Bryher’s life through her childhood and young adulthood, giving the reader an account of the development of a unique lesbian, feminist, and modernist consciousness. Development and Two Selves recover significant work by one of the first experimenters of the modernist movement and are a welcome reintroduction of the enigmatic Bryher.
First published in 1993, the award-winning Cherry Grove, Fire Island tells the story of the extraordinary gay and lesbian resort community near New York City. This new paperback edition includes a new preface by the author.
Marc Stein's City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves is refreshing for at least two reasons: it centers on a city that is not generally associated with a vibrant gay and lesbian culture, and it shows that a community was forming long before the Stonewall rebellion. In this lively and well received book, Marc Stein brings to life the neighborhood bars and clubs where people gathered and the political issues that rallied the community. He reminds us that Philadelphians were leaders in the national gay and lesbian movement and, in doing so, suggests that New York and San Francisco have for too long obscured the contributions of other cities to gay culture.
In this pathbreaking history, Marc Stein takes an in-depth look at Philadelphia from the 1940s to the 1970s. What he finds is a city of vibrant gay and lesbian households, neighborhoods, commercial establishments, public cultures, and political groups. In doing so, Stein shatters the myth that lesbian and gay history began with the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City and challenges the notion that only New York and San Francisco featured major lesbian and gay communities in the pre-Stonewall era.
Stein takes us on a tour through Philadelphia's bars, restaurants, bookstores, bathhouses, movie theaters, parks, and parades where lesbian and gay cultures thrived.
We learn about the scientific experts, religious leaders, public officials, and journalists who attacked and ignored same-sex sexualities. And we read about the courageous people who fought back with strategies of everyday resistance and organized political activism.
Stein argues against the idea that a conspiracy of silence surrounded gays and lesbians in the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that same-sex sexualities were regularly discussed in controversies concerning the tennis player Big Bill Tilden, the Walt Whitman Bridge, sex murders and crimes, and police raids. Philadelphians became national leaders in the gay and lesbian movement. They conducted sit-ins at Dewey's restaurant, organized pickets at Independence Hall, edited the movement's most widely circulated publications the Ladder and Drum, and pursued court cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Beautifully crafted and exceptionally well-written, Stein's book not only provides a new starting place for thinking about lesbian and gay history but also challenges readers to rethink twentieth-century urban history.
This groundbreaking edition compiles many of the late unpublished works of American writer Djuna Barnes (1892–1982). Because she published only seven poems and a play during the last forty years of her life, scholars believed Barnes wrote almost nothing during this period. But at the time of her death her apartment was filled with multiple drafts of unpublished poetry and notes toward her memoirs, both included here for the first time. Best known for her tragic lesbian novel Nightwood, Barnes has always been considered a crucial modernist. Her later poetry will only enhance this reputation as it shows her remarkable evolution from a competent young writer to a deeply intellectual poet in the metaphysical tradition. With the full force of her biting wit and dramatic flair, Barnes’s autobiographical notes describe the expatriate scene in Paris during the 1920s, including her interactions with James Joyce and Gertrude Stein and her intimate recollections of T. S. Eliot. These memoirs provide a rare opportunity to experience the intense personality of this complex and fascinating poet.
A Methodist church puts its minister on trial after he marches in a gay rights parade. A Quaker meeting struggles to decide whether to marry a lesbian couple. An entire congregation is thrown out of the Southern Baptist Convention for deciding that a gay divinity student had a sincere calling to the ministry, and an order of celibate monks comes out of the closet. An Episcopal priest blesses two same-sex relationships--then a closeted gay lawyer leads the charge to have him fired.
Homosexuality is the most divisive issue facing churches today. Like the issue of slavery 150 years ago, it is a matter that ignites passionate convictions on both sides, a matter that threatens to turn members of the same faith against each other, to divide congregations, and possibly even to fragment several denominations. Like slavery, it is an issue that calls up basic questions about what it means to be a Christian. How does one know right from wrong? Is the Bible fallible? Do good Christians always follow their church's teachings, or are they allowed to think for themselves on moral issues? And to what source does one finally look to determine what God really wants?
While many books have been written analyzing the scriptural and theological dimensions of the conflict, none has yet shown how it is being played out in the pews. Congregations in Conflict examines nine churches that were split by disagreements over gay and lesbian issues, and how the congregations resolved them.
Hartman explores in very readable prose how different denominations have handled their conflicts and what it says about the nature of their faith. He shows some churches coming through their struggles stronger and more unified, while others irrevocably split. Most importantly, he illuminates how people with a passionate clash of beliefs can still function together as a community of faith.
When the Supreme Court struck down Colorado's Amendment 2—which would have nullified all state and local laws protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination—it was widely regarded as a victory for gay rights. Yet many gays and lesbians still risk losing their jobs, custody of their children, and even their liberty under the law. Using the Colorado initiative as his focus, Gerstmann untangles the complex standards and subtle rhetoric the Supreme Court uses to apply the equal protection clause.
The Court divides people into legal classes that receive varying levels of protection; gays and lesbians and other groups, such as the elderly and the poor, receive the least. Gerstmann reveals how these standards are used to favor certain groups over others, and also how Amendment 2 advocates used the Court's doctrine to convince voters that gays and lesbians were seeking "special rights" in Colorado.
Concluding with a call for wholesale reform of equal-protection jurisprudence, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in fair, coherent, and truly equal protection under the law.
David Tuller provides the first look into the emotional and sexual lives of Russian lesbians and gays and the pervasive influence of the state on gay life. Part travelogue, part social history, and part journalistic inquiry, the book challenges our assumptions about what it means to be gay. The book also explores key issues in Russia and Soviet life, including concepts of friendship, community, gender, love, fate, and the relationship between the public and private spheres.
"Tuller's observant reporting and personal experiences make for absorbing reading: the human comedy rendered in unexpected ways."—New Yorker
"Anyone who thinks San Francisco is the world capital of sexual polymorphism should read this book."—Adam Goodheart, Washington Post
"[This book is] is profoundly moving."—Jim Van Buskirk, San Francisco Chronicle
Suffused with pain and power, Minnie Bruce Pratt's poetry is as evocative of the swamps and streets of the southern United States as it is of the emotional lives of those too often forced into the margins of society. Vivid, lush, and intensely honest, these poems capture the rough edges of the world and force us to pay attention.
For decades, the history of sexuality has been a multidisciplinary project serving competing agendas. Lesbian, gay, and queer scholars have produced powerful narratives by tracing the homosexual or queer subject as continuous or discontinuous. Yet organizing historical work around categories of identity as normal or abnormal often obscures how sexual matters were known or talked about in the past. Set against the backdrop of women’s work experiences, friendships, and communities during World War I, Disturbing Practices draws on a substantial body of new archival material to expose the roadblocks still present in current practices and imagine new alternatives.
In this landmark book, Laura Doan clarifies the ethical value and political purpose of identity history—and indeed its very capacity to give rise to innovative practices borne of sustained exchange between queer studies and critical history. Disturbing Practices insists on taking seriously the imperative to step outside the logic of identity to address questions as yet unasked about the modern sexual past.
Don’t Whisper Too Much was the first work of fiction by an African writer to present love stories between African women in a positive light. Bona Mbella is the second. In presenting the emotional and romantic lives of gay, African women, Ekotto comments upon larger issues that affect these women, including Africa as a post-colonial space, the circulation of knowledge, and the question of who writes history. In recounting the beauty and complexity of relationships between women who love women, Ekotto inscribes these stories within African history, both past and present. Don’t Whisper Too Much follows young village girl Ada’s quest to write her story on her own terms, outside of heteronormative history. Bona Mbella focuses upon the life of a young woman from a poor neighborhood in an African megalopolis. And “Panè,” a love story, brings the many themes from Don’t Whisper Much and Bona Mbella together as it explores how emotional and sexual connections between women have the power to transform, even in the face of great humiliation and suffering. Each story in the collection addresses how female sexuality is often marked by violence, and yet is also a place for emotional connection, pleasure and agency.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Doubters and Dreamers
Janice Gould University of Arizona Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3557.O862D68 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Doubters and Dreamers opens with a question from a young girl faced with the spectacle of Indian effigies lynched and burned “in jest” before UC Berkeley’s annual Big Game against Stanford: “What’s a debacle, Mom?” This innocent but telling question marks the girl’s entrée into the complicated knowledge of her heritage as a mixed-blood Native American of Koyangk’auwi (Concow) Maidu descent. The girl is a young Janice Gould, and the poems and narrations that follow constitute a remarkable work of sustained and courageous self-revelation, retracing the precarious emotional terrain of an adolescence shaped by a mother’s tough love and a growing consciousness of an ancestral and familial past.
In the first half of the book, “Tribal History,” Gould ingeniously repurposes the sonnet form to preserve the stories of her mother and aunt, who grew up when “muleback was the customary mode / of transport” and the “spirit world was present”—stories of “old ways” and places claimed in memory but lost in time. Elsewhere, she remembers her mother’s “ferocious, upright anger” and her unexpected tenderness (“Like a miracle, I was still her child”), culminating in the profound expression of loss that is the poem “Our Mother’s Death.”
In the second half of the book, “It Was Raining,” Gould tells of the years of lonely self-making and “unfulfilled dreams” as she comes to terms with what she has been told are her “crazy longings” as a lesbian: “It’s been hammered into me / that I’ll be spurned / by a ‘real woman,’ / the only kind I like.” The writing here commemorates old loves and relationships in language that mingles hope and despair, doubt and devotion, veering at times into dreamlike moments of consciousness. One poem and vignette at a time, Doubters and Dreamers explores what it means to be a mixed-blood Native American who grew up urban, lesbian, and middle class in the West.
In early twentieth-century China, age-old traditions of homosocial and homoerotic relationships between women suddenly became an issue of widespread public concern. Discussed formerly in terms of friendship and sisterhood, these relationships came to be associated with feminism, on the one hand, and psychobiological perversion, on the other—a radical shift whose origins have long been unclear.
In this first ever book-length study of Chinese lesbians, Tze-lan D. Sang convincingly ties the debate over female same-sex love in China to the emergence of Chinese modernity. As women's participation in social, economic, and political affairs grew, Sang argues, so too did the societal significance of their romantic and sexual relations. Focusing especially on literature by or about women-preferring women, Sang traces the history of female same-sex relations in China from the late imperial period (1600-1911) through the Republican era (1912-1949). She ends by examining the reemergence of public debate on lesbians in China after Mao and in Taiwan after martial law, including the important roles played by globalization and identity politics.
Evil Dead Center: A Mystery
Carole laFavor University of Minnesota Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3562.A274E9 2017 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
An Ojibwa woman has been found dead on the outskirts of the Minnesota Red Earth Reservation. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, but after an ex-lover comes back into her life saying foul play was involved, Renee LaRoche wants to prove otherwise. As the events begin to unfold, Renee conducts a presumably normal welfare check on a young Ojibwa boy in foster care. After she learns the boy has suffered abuse, Renee finds herself amid an investigation into the foster care system and the deep trauma it has inflicted on the Ojibwa people. As Renee uncovers horrible truths, she must work through her own childhood issues to help shine a light on the dark web she has stumbled into.
Melissa J. Delbridge University of Iowa Press, 2008 Library of Congress CT275.D34157A3 2008 | Dewey Decimal 976.184063092
"Swimming and sex seemed a lot alike to me when I was growing up. You took off most of your clothes to do them and you only did them with people who were the same color as you. As your daddy got richer, you got to do them in fancier places." Starting with her father, who never met a whitetail buck he couldn't shoot, a whiskey bottle he couldn't empty, or a woman he couldn't charm, and her mother, who "invented road rage before 1960," Melissa Delbridge introduces us to the people in her own family bible. Readers will find elements of Southern Gothic and familiar vernacular characters, but Delbridge endows each with her startling and original interpretation. In this disarmingly unguarded and unapologetic memoir, she shows us what really happened in the "stew of religion and sex" that was 1960s Tuscaloosa.
Judith Halberstam Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HQ75.5.H33 1998 | Dewey Decimal 305.489664
Masculinity without men. In Female Masculinity Judith Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two hundred years. Providing the first full-length study on this subject, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-century pre-lesbian practices to contemporary drag king performances. Through detailed textual readings as well as empirical research, Halberstam uncovers a hidden history of female masculinities while arguing for a more nuanced understanding of gender categories that would incorporate rather than pathologize them. She rereads Anne Lister’s diaries and Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity. She considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities. She also explores issues of transsexuality among “transgender dykes”—lesbians who pass as men—and female-to-male transsexuals who may find the label of “lesbian” a temporary refuge. Halberstam also tackles such topics as women and boxing, butches in Hollywood and independent cinema, and the phenomenon of male impersonators. Female Masculinity signals a new understanding of masculine behaviors and identities, and a new direction in interdisciplinary queer scholarship. Illustrated with nearly forty photographs, including portraits, film stills, and drag king performance shots, this book provides an extensive record of the wide range of female masculinities. And as Halberstam clearly demonstrates, female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders.
Jack Halberstam Duke University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HQ75.5.H33 2018
In this quintessential work of queer theory, Jack Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two centuries. Demonstrating how female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-century pre-lesbian practices to contemporary drag king performances.
Through detailed textual readings as well as empirical research, Halberstam uncovers a hidden history of female masculinities while arguing for a more nuanced understanding of gender categories that would incorporate rather than pathologize them. He rereads Anne Lister's diaries and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity; considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities; and explores issues of transsexuality among “transgender dykes”—lesbians who pass as men—and female-to-male transsexuals who may find the label of “lesbian” a temporary refuge. Halberstam also tackles such topics as women and boxing, butches in Hollywood and independent cinema, and the phenomenon of male impersonators.
Featuring a new preface by the author, this twentieth anniversary edition of Female Masculinity remains as insightful, timely, and necessary as ever.
"This important study is both an analysis of and a call to an involved politics. It opens the door to a far-reaching dialogue."
--Martin Duberman, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, The City University of New York
An active participant in and theorist of the gay and lesbian movement, Mark Blasius contends that being gay or lesbian is by definition political. By extension, the phenomenon of a movement founded on collective identity is a quintessential part of American politics. The continually rising public consciousness of the needs and interest of gays and lesbians provides Blasius with a vehicle for showing how a particular aspect of human life comes to assume political dimensions. Upon this premise, he analyzes the process of how power is exercised through sexuality and traces the historical conditions that have made possible a gay and lesbian politics
Drawing on works of political philosophy, social science, including Foucault, and gay and lesbian studies, Blasius explores the invention of a gay and lesbian ethos, through which participation, even for apolitical gays and lesbians, goes beyond a shared culture and perspective. It is a way of life more encompassing than either sexual orientation or lifestyle alone. Though he acknowledges and reflects upon the divergent range of gay and lesbian experiences, Blasius provides a framework based on theories of power, sexuality, and ethics that elaborates the significance of the movement as a whole within contemporary society.
"It is in the process of coming out...Blasius argues, that lesbians and gay men create themselves--as new subjects, as the producers of new truth, and as agents of social change. Blasius gives a coherent account that ties together all these processes--from coming out to the emergence of lesbian and gay studies-and goes on to show the 'ethical' contribution that lesbians and gay men make to contemporary American society."
--Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
"An engaging book that intelligently explores a range of possibilities in human relations."
--George Kateb, Department of Politics, Princeton University
William N. ESKRIDGE Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress KF4754.5.E84 1999 | Dewey Decimal 342.73087
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal issues concerning gender and sexual nonconformity in the United States. Part One, which covers the years from the post-Civil War period to the 1980s, is a history of state efforts to discipline and punish the behavior of homosexuals and other people considered to be deviant. During this period such people could get by only at the cost of suppressing their most basic feelings and emotions. Part Two addresses contemporary issues. Although it is no longer illegal to be openly gay in America, homosexuals still suffer from state discrimination in the military and in other realms, and private discrimination and violence against gays is prevalent. William Eskridge presents a rigorously argued case for the "sexualization" of the First Amendment, showing why, for example, same-sex ceremonies and intimacy should be considered "expressive conduct" deserving the protection of the courts. The author draws on legal reasoning, sociological studies, and history to develop an effective response to the arguments made in defense of the military ban. The concluding part of the book locates the author's legal arguments within the larger currents of liberal theory and integrates them into a general stance toward freedom, gender equality, and religious pluralism.
Genealogy Of Queer Theory
William Turner Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress HQ76.25.T775 2000 | Dewey Decimal 306.76601
Who are queers and what do they want? Could it be that we are all queers? Beginning with such questions, William B. Turner's lucid and engaging book traces the roots of queer theory to the growing awareness that few of us precisely fit standard categories for sexual and gender identity.
Turner shows how Michal Foucault's work contributed to feminists' investigations into the ways that power relates to identity. In the last decades of the twentieth century, feminists were the first to challenge the assumption that a claim to universal identity -- the white male citizen -- should serve as the foundation of political thought and action. Difference matters. Race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality interact, producing a wide array of identities that resist rigid definition and are mutable. By understanding the notion of transhistorical categories -- woman, man, homosexual, and so forth -- feminist and gay male scholars launched queer theoretical work as a new way to think about the politics of gender and sexuality.
A Geneology of Queer Theory probes the fierce debates among scholars and activists, weighing the charges that queer readings of texts and identity politics do not constitute and might inhibit radical social change. Written by a historian, it considers the implications of queer theory for historical inquiry and the distinction between philosophy and history. As such, the book will interest readers of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender studies, intellectual history, political theory, and the history of gender/sexuality.
2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Finalist for 2016 Richard Wall Memorial Award by the Theatre Library
Long listed for the 2017 Kraszna-Krausz Best Photography Book Award from the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Katharine Hepburn all made lasting impressions with the cinematic cross-dressing they performed onscreen. What few modern viewers realize, however, is that these seemingly daring performances of the 1930s actually came at the tail end of a long wave of gender-bending films that included more than 400 movies featuring women dressed as men.
Laura Horak spent a decade scouring film archives worldwide, looking at American films made between 1908 and 1934, and what she discovered could revolutionize our understanding of gender roles in the early twentieth century. Questioning the assumption that cross-dressing women were automatically viewed as transgressive, she finds that these figures were popularly regarded as wholesome and regularly appeared onscreen in the 1910s, thus lending greater respectability to the fledgling film industry. Horak also explores how and why this perception of cross-dressed women began to change in the 1920s and early 1930s, examining how cinema played a pivotal part in the representation of lesbian identity.
Girls Will Be Boys excavates a rich history of gender-bending film roles, enabling readers to appreciate the wide array of masculinities that these actresses performed—from sentimental boyhood to rugged virility to gentlemanly refinement. Taking us on a guided tour through a treasure-trove of vintage images, Girls Will Be Boys helps us view the histories of gender, sexuality, and film through fresh eyes.
Global Emergence Of Gay & Lesbian Pol
edited by Barry D Adam, Jan Willem Duyvendak and André Krouwel Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HQ76.5.G56 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.9066409
Since the Stonewall rebellion in 1969, gay and lesbian movements have grown from small outposts in a few major cities to a worldwide mobilization. This book brings together stories of the emergence and growth of movements in more than a dozen nations on five continents, with a comparative look that offers insights for both activists and those who study social movements.
Lesbian and gay groups have existed for more than a century, often struggling against enormous odds. In the middle of the twentieth century, movement organizations were suppressed or swept away by fascism, Stalinism, and McCarthyism. Refounded by a few pioneers in the postwar period, movements have risen again as more and more people have stood up for their right to love and live with persons of their choice.
This book addresses both the mature movements of the European Union, North America, and Australia and the newer movements emerging in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia and Africa, examining the social and political conditions that shape movement opportunities and trajectories. It is rich in the details of gay and lesbian cultural and political life in different countries.
"Lesbian feminism began and has fueled itself with the rejection of liberalism.... In this rejection, lesbian feminists were not alone. They were joined by the New Left, by many blacks in the civil rights movement, by male academic theorists.... What all these groups shared was an intense awareness of the ways in which liberalism fails to account for the social reality of the world, through a reliance upon law and legal structure to define membership, through individualism, through its basis in a particular conception of rationality."
In tracing how lesbian feminism came to be defined in uneasy relationships with the Women’s Movement and gay rights groups, Shane Phelan explores the tension between liberal ideals of individual rights and tolerance and communitarian ideals of solidarity. The debate over lesbian sado-masochism—an expression of individual choice or pornographic, anti-feminist behavior?—is considered as a test case.
Phelan addresses the problems faced by "the woman-identified woman" in a liberal society that presumes heterosexuality as the biological, psychological, and moral standard. Often silenced by laws defining their sexual behavior as criminal and censured by a medical establishment that persists in defining homosexuality as perversion, lesbians, like blacks and other groups, have fought to have the same rights as others in their communities and even in their own homes. Lesbian feminists have also sought to define themselves as a community that would be distinctly different, a community that would disavow the traditional American obsession with individual advancement in the world as it is.
In this controversial study of political philosophy and the women’s movement, Phelan argues that "the failure to date to produce a satisfying theory and program for lesbian action is reflective of the failure of modern political thinking to produce a compelling, nonsuspect alternative to liberalism."
In the series Women in the Political Economy, edited by Ronnie J. Steinberg.
Movements for social change are by their nature oppositional, as are those who join change movements. How people negotiate identity within social movements is one of the central concerns in the field.
This volume offers new scholarship that explores issues of diversity and uniformity among social movement participants. Featuring case studies that range widely—from Jewish resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland to antigay Christian movements in the United States to online white supremacy groups—the essays show how participants set aside issues of personal identity in order to merge together and how these processes affect mobilization and the attainment of goals.
Contributors: Mary Bernstein, Kimberly B. Dugan, Elizabeth Kaminski, Susan Munkres, Kevin Neuhouser, Benita Roth, Silke Roth, Todd Schroer, Verta Taylor, Jane Ward.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been a major catastrophe for gay communities. In less than two decades, the disease has profoundly changed the lives of gay men and lesbians. Not just a biological and viral agent, HIV has become an opportunistic social invader, reshaping communities and the distribution of wealth, altering the social careers of gay professionals and the patterns of entry into gay and lesbian life, and giving birth to groups like ACT UP and Queer Nation.
The distinguished contributors to this volume discuss the ways HIV/AIDS has changed collective and individual identities, as well as lives, of gay men and lesbians, and how these alterations have changed our perceptions of the epidemic. They cover such topics as the impact of the epidemic on small towns, cultural barriers to AIDS prevention, gay youth and intergenerational relations, and the roles of lesbians in AIDS organizations. This collection provides compelling insights into the new communities among gay men and lesbians and the new kinds of identities and relationships that are emerging from the social and cultural ferment engendered by HIV/AIDS.
Contributors include Barry D. Adam, Lourdes Arguelles, Rafael Miguel Diaz, John H. Gagnon, Gilbert Herdt, Gregory M. Herek, Nan D. Hunter, Peter M. Nardi, John L. Peterson, Anne Rivero, Gayle S. Rubin, Beth E. Schneider, and Nancy E. Stoller.
Intimate Friends offers a fascinating look at the erotic friendships of educated English and American women over a 150-year period, culminating in the 1928 publication of The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall's scandalous novel of lesbian love. Martha Vicinus explores all-female communities, husband-wife couples, liaisons between younger and older women, female rakes, and mother-daughter affection. Women, she reveals, drew upon a rich religious vocabulary to describe elusive and complex erotic feelings.
Vicinus also considers the nineteenth-century roots of such contemporary issues as homosexual self-hatred, female masculinity, and sadomasochistic desire. Drawing upon diaries, letters, and other archival sources, she brings to life a variety of well known and historically less recognized women, ranging from the predatory Ann Lister, who documented her sexual activities in code; to Mary Benson, the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury; to the coterie of wealthy Anglo-American lesbians living in Paris.
In vivid and colorful prose, Intimate Friends offers a remarkable picture of women navigating the uncharted territory of same-sex desire.
Laboring For Rights
edited by Gerald Hunt Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HD6285.L33 1999 | Dewey Decimal 331.53
How do unions around the world respond to issues raised by sexual minorities? Much as been written on labor's response to issues raised by women and racial minorities, but there has been little work done on labor's engagement with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. The original essays in this collection attempt to fill that void by bringing together a group of experts who examine labor's response to such issues as benefits for same-sex partners, anti-discrimination language in collective agreements, and education. Speaking from a variety of racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and political views, the contributors bring their unique personal perspectives and scholarly approaches to this groundbreaking book.
The chapters included in Laboring for Rights give a global vision to the increasingly important subject of equity in the workplace. They offer a much-needed look at labor's involvement with current international workplace conditions from such diverse countries as the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and South Africa, as well as parts of the South Pacific. Some of these countries have strong and progressive labor unions; some, like the U.S., have relatively weak labor organizations. But whatever the context, as these articles demonstrate, there seems to be a growing and in some instances prospering gay/lesbian labor alliance in many parts of the world.
Laboring for Rights is a pioneering text in an important new area of labor study. It will engage readers interested in equality in the workplace, labor and organizational studies, gay and lesbian activism, and international, comparative studies.
The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?"
Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle.
The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.
Law reform struggles have always been a part of the grassroots lesbian and gay agenda. These critical essays examine the politics of these engagements, of lesbians, gay men, and the law in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. From a wide range of perspectives, the contributors combine new conceptual insights with a concern for the practicalities of political engagements, tackling such vital topics as legal definitions of homosexuality, AIDS activism, and race and sexuality.
Contributors: Katherine Arnup, Susan Boyd, Peter M. Cicchino, Davina Cooper, Bruce R. Deming, Mary Eaton, William F. Flanagan, Leo Flynn, Shelley A. M. Gavigan, Leslie J. Moran, Katherine M. Nicholson, Cynthia Petersen, Ruthann Robson, and the editors.
This book examines the stories of lesbian and bisexual women in a Northeast community who share who they are, how they have come to see themselves as lesbian or bisexual, and what those identities mean to them. Drawing on social constructionist approaches to identity, Kristin G. Esterberg argues that identities are multiple and contingent. Created within the context of specific communities and within specific relationships, lesbian and bisexual identities are ways of sorting through experiences of desires and attractions, relationships, and politics. Their meanings change over time as women grow older and have more varied experiences, as the communities and sociopolitical worlds in which they live change, and as their life circumstances alter.
In interviews conducted over a four-year time period, women describe the lesbian community they live in; how they see its structure, its social groups, its informal rules and norms for behavior; and their places inside -- or on the margins of -- the community. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities reveals how women fall in and out of love, how they "perform" lesbian or bisexual identity through clothing, hairstyle, body language, and talk, and many other aspects typically not considered. The women present a variety of accounts. Some consider themselves "lesbian from birth" and have constructed their lives accordingly, while others have experienced significant shifts in their identities, depending on the influences of feminism, progressive politics, the visibility of the lesbian community, and other factors.
Esterberg offers vivid accounts that defy the stereotypes so commonly offered. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities not only presents women's stories in their own words, it moves beyond storytelling to understand how these accounts resonate with social science theories of identity and community.
Gay Wachman provides a critical new reading of sexually radical fiction by British women in the years during and after the First World War. She contrasts works by Sylvia Townsend Warner, Virginia Woolf, Rose Allatini, and Evadne Price with more politically and narratively conservative novels by Radclyffe Hall and Clemence Dane. These writers, she states, formed part of an alternative modernist tradition that functioned both within and against the repressive ideology of the British Empire, using fantasy as a means of reshaping and critiquing a world fragmented by war.
Wachman places at the center of this tradition Sylvia Townsend Warner's achievement in undermining the inhibitions that faced women writing about forbidden love. She discusses Warner's use of crosswriting to transpose the otherwise unrepresentable lives of invisible lesbians into narratives about gay men, destabilizing the borders of race, class, and gender and challenging the codes of expression on which imperialist patriarchy and capitalism depended.
The Lesbian Issue: Essays from Signs
Edited by Estelle B. Freedman, Barbara C. Gelpi, Susan L. Johnson, and Kathleen M. Weston University of Chicago Press, 1985 Library of Congress HQ75.5.L44 1985 | Dewey Decimal 306.7663
This important collection of articles reflects the growing recognition that the study of women whose primary relation is to other women makes a vital contribution to feminist scholarship. A milestone in lesbian studies - a field often trivialized, ignored, or denied, and always controversial - this volume enriches and enlarges our understanding of women in culture and society.
This bestselling pioneering anthology brings together a diverse group of twenty-six feminist writers, therapists and academics. Their work represents a beginning effort to capture the experience of contemporary American lesbians. Writing about their own lives as well as the lives of the women they have observed and counseled, the authors explore four topics central to building a lesbian psychology: identity, relationships, community, and therapy.
With hair slicked back and shirt collar framing her young patrician face, Katherine Hepburn's image in the 1935 film Sylvia Scarlett was seen by many as a lesbian representation. Yet, Amy Villarejo argues, there is no final ground upon which to explain why that image of Hepburn signifies lesbian or why such a cross-dressing Hollywood fantasy edges into collective consciousness as a lesbian narrative. Investigating what allows viewers to perceive an image or narrative as "lesbian," Villarejo presents a theoretical exploration of lesbian visibility. Focusing on images of lesbians in film, she analyzes what these representations contain and their limits. She combines Marxist theories of value with poststructuralist insights to argue that lesbian visibility operates simultaneously as an achievement and a ruse, a possibility for building a new visual politics and away of rendering static and contained what lesbian might mean. Integrating cinema studies, queer and feminist theory, and cultural studies, Villarejo illuminates the contexts within which the lesbian is rendered visible. Toward that end, she analyzes key portrayals of lesbians in public culture, particularly in documentary film. She considers a range of films—from documentaries about Cuba and lesbian pulp fiction to Exile Shanghai and The Brandon Teena Story—and, in doing so, brings to light a nuanced economy of value and desire.
This poignant and humorous collection of stories offers a fresh perspective on current issues such as homosexuality and anti-Semitism and lends a unique voice to those experiencing growing pains and self-discovery. Newman’s readers accompany her quirky Jewish characters through all types of experiences from an initial lesbian sexual encounter to being sequestered in a college apartment after paranoid Holocaust flashbacks. In these stories characters anxiously discover their lesbian identities while beginning to understand, and finally to embrace, their Jewish heritage. The title story, "A Letter to Harvey Milk," was the second place finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Competition.
Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is the intellectual autobiography of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton, a pioneer in gay and lesbian studies. Chronicling the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s, this collection covers a range of topics such as why we need more precise sexual vocabularies, why there have been fewer women doing drag than men, and how academia can make itself more hospitable to queers. It brings together such classics as “The Mythic Mannish Lesbian” and “Dick(less) Tracy and the Homecoming Queen” with entirely new work such as “Theater: Gay Anti-Church.” Newton’s provocative essays detail a queer academic career while offering a behind-the-scenes view of academic homophobia. In four sections that correspond to major periods and interests in her life—”Drag and Camp,” “Lesbian-Feminism,” “Butch,” and “Queer Anthropology”—the volume reflects her successful struggle to create a body of work that uses cultural anthropology to better understand gender oppression, early feminism, theatricality and performance, and the sexual and erotic dimensions of fieldwork. Combining personal, theoretical, and ethnographic perspectives, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay also includes photographs from Newton’s personal and professional life. With wise and revealing discussions of the complex relations between experience and philosophy, the personal and the political, and identities and practices, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is important for anyone interested in the birth and growth of gay and lesbian studies.
"In Milly Barranger, Margaret Webster has found the perfect biographer. In Margaret Webster, Milly Barranger has found her perfect subject. She brings to vivid life a fascinating and important theater figure whose public and private lives were of equal interest. In this carefully researched book, Webster's colleagues, lovers, and friends shine as brightly as she did. I wish she were here to read it."
"Margaret Webster is a highly welcome addition to our knowledge of the first important female director in American theater. Remembered now especially for her staging of Othello with Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen, and Jose Ferrer, Margaret Webster was probably the best-known, in-demand, and admired director of Shakespeare in America in the 1940s and 1950s. Fascinating throughout, the book's discussions of working with Robeson, and of HUAC, which targeted her just as her career was reaching a peak, make for especially engrossing reading."
Margaret Webster: A Life in the Theater is an engrossing backstage account of the life of pioneering director Margaret Webster (1905-72).
This is the first book-length biography of Webster, a groundbreaking stage and opera director whose career challenged not only stage tradition but also mainstream attitudes toward professional women.
Often credited with first having brought Shakespeare to Broadway, and renowned for her bold casting of an African American (Paul Robeson) in the role of Othello, Webster was a creative force in modern American and British theater.
Her story reveals the independent-minded artist undeterred by stage tradition and unmindful of rules about a woman's place in the professional theater. In addition to providing fascinating glimpses into Webster's personal and family life, Margaret Webster: A Life in the Theater also offers a who's-who list of the biggest names in New York and London theater of the time, as well as Hollywood: John Gielgud, Noël Coward, George Bernard Shaw, Uta Hagen, Sybil Thorndike, Eva LeGallienne, and John Barrymore, among others, all of whom crossed paths with Webster. Capping Webster's amazing story is her investigation by Senator Joseph McCarthy and HUAC, which left her unable to work for a year, and from which she never fully recovered.
Born Eileen Mary Challans in London in 1905, Mary Renault wrote six successful contemporary novels before turning to the historical fiction about ancient Greece for which she is best known. While Renault's novels are still highly regarded, her life and work have never been completely examined. Caroline Zilboorg seeks to remedy this in The Masks of Mary Renault by exploring Renault's identity as a gifted writer and a sexual woman in a society in which neither of these identities was clear or easy.
Although Renault's life was anything but ordinary, this fact has often been obscured by her writing. The daughter of a doctor, she grew up comfortably and attended a boarding school in Bristol. She received a degree in English from St. Hugh's College in Oxford in 1928, but she chose not to pursue an academic career. Instead, she decided to attend the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, where she trained to be a nurse. With the outbreak of the Second World War, she was assigned to the Winford Emergency Hospital in Bristol and briefly worked with Dunkirk evacuees. She went on to work in the Radcliffe Infirmary's brain surgery ward and was there until 1945.
It was during her nurse's training that Renault met Julie Mullard, who became her lifelong companion. This important lesbian relationship both resolved and posed many problems for Renault, not the least of which was how she was to write about issues at once intensely personal and socially challenging. In 1939, Renault published her first novel under a pseudonym in order to mask her identity. It was a time when she was struggling not only with her vocation (nursing and writing), but also with her sexual identity in the social and moral context of English life during the war.
In 1948, Renault left England with Mullard for South Africa and never returned. It was in South Africa that she made the shift from her early contemporary novels of manners to the mature historical novels of Hellenic life. The classical settings allowed Renault to mask material too explosive to deal with directly while simultaneously giving her an "academic" freedom to write about subjects vital to her—among them war, peace, career, women's roles, female and male homosexuality, and bisexuality.
Renault's reception complicates an understanding of her achievement, for she has a special status within the academic community, where she is both widely read and little written about. Her interest in sexuality and specifically in homosexuality and bisexuality, in fluid gender roles and identities, warrants a rereading and reevaluation of her work. Eloquently written and extensively researched, The Masks of Mary Renault will be of special value to anyone interested in women's studies or English literature.
"With classic butch finesse---that handsome combination of vulnerability and toughness---Peggy Shaw pieces together the challenges of growing up butch in the 1950s. Shaw is an engaging performer and inspired writer."
---Gay Community News
Obie-award-winning performer and writer Peggy Shaw has been playing her gender-bending performances on Off Broadway, regional, and international stages for three decades. Co-founder of the renowned troupe Split Britches, Shaw has gone on to create memorable solo performances that mix achingly honest introspection with campy humor, reflecting on everything from her Irish-American working-class roots to her aging butch body.
This collection of Shaw's solo performance scripts evokes a 54-year-old grandmother who looks like a 35-year-old man (in her classic Menopausal Gentleman); a mother's ambivalent ministrations to a daughter she treated like a son (in the raw You're Just Like My Father); Shaw's love for her biracial grandson, for whom she models masculinity (in the musically punctuated To My Chagrin); and a mapping of her body's long, bittersweet history (in the lyrical Must: The Inside Story, a collaboration with the UK's Clod Ensemble). The book also includes a selection of Shaw's other classic monologues and an extensive introduction by Jill Dolan, Professor of English and Theater and Dance at Princeton University and the blogger behind The Feminist Spectator website.
A volume in the series Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance
Cover photos by Eva Weiss (top) and Robin Holland/robinholland.com (bottom).
During her difficult childhood, Esther Newton recalls that she “became an anti-girl, a girl refusenik, caught between genders,” and that her “child body was a strong and capable instrument stuffed into the word ‘girl.’” Later, in early adulthood, as she was on her way to becoming a trailblazing figure in gay and lesbian studies, she “had already chosen higher education over the strongest passion in my life, my love for women, because the two seemed incompatible.”
In My Butch Career Newton tells the compelling, disarming, and at times sexy story of her struggle to write, teach, and find love, all while coming to terms with her identity during a particularly intense time of homophobic persecution in the twentieth century.
Newton recounts a series of traumas and conflicts, from being molested as a child to her failed attempts to live a “normal,” straight life in high school and college. She discusses being denied tenure at Queens College—despite having written the foundational Mother Camp—and nearly again so at SUNY Purchase. With humor and grace, she describes the influence her father Saul's strong masculinity had on her, her introduction to middle-class gay life, and her love affairs—including one with a well-known abstract painter and another with a French academic she met on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Mexico and with whom she traveled throughout France and Switzerland. By age forty, where Newton's narrative ends, she began to achieve personal and scholarly stability in the company of the first politicized generation of out lesbian and gay scholars with whom she helped create gender and sexuality studies.
Affecting and immediate, My Butch Career is a story of a gender outlaw in the making, an invaluable account of a beloved and influential figure in LGBT history, and a powerful reminder of just how recently it has been possible to be an openly queer academic.
Amber L. Hollibaugh is a lesbian sex radical, ex-hooker, incest survivor, gypsy child, poor-white-trash, high femme dyke. She is also an award-winning filmmaker, feminist, Left political organizer, public speaker, and journalist. My Dangerous Desires presents over twenty years of Hollibaugh’s writing, an introduction written especially for this book, and five new essays including “A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home,” “My Dangerous Desires,” and “Sexuality, Labor, and the New Trade Unionism.” In looking at themes such as the relationship between activism and desire or how sexuality can be intimately tied to one’s class identity, Hollibaugh fiercely and fearlessly analyzes her own political development as a response to her unique personal history. She explores the concept of labeling and the associated issues of categories such as butch or femme, transgender, bisexual, top or bottom, drag queen, b-girl, or drag king. The volume includes conversations with other writers, such as Deirdre English, Gayle Rubin, Jewelle Gomez, and Cherríe Moraga. From the groundbreaking article “What We’re Rollin’ Around in Bed With” to the radical “Sex Work Notes: Some Tensions of a Former Whore and a Practicing Feminist,” Hollibaugh charges ahead to describe her reality, never flinching from the truth. Dorothy Allison’s moving foreword pays tribute to a life lived in struggle by a working-class lesbian who, like herself, refuses to suppress her dangerous desires. Having informed many of the debates that have become central to gay and lesbian activism, Hollibaugh’s work challenges her readers to speak, write, and record their desires—especially, perhaps, the most dangerous of them—“in order for us all to survive.”
The Off Season
Amy Hoffman University of Wisconsin Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3608.O47738O34 2017 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
When Nora Griffin, an artist in her midthirties, moves from Brooklyn to Provincetown, she isn’t looking for trouble. Her partner, Janelle, is recovering from breast cancer treatment, and together they’ve decided that the quiet off-season on the tip of Cape Cod is the perfect place for Janelle to heal and Nora to paint. Then charismatic Baby Harris flirts into Nora’s life in her red cowboy boots. In the damp, windy winter, Nora contends with heartbreak, aging, and local environmental worries, while painting what she hopes will be her masterpiece. As the first tourists begin to arrive in June, Nora must decide what she really wants from life.
Out in Culture charts some of the ways in which lesbians, gays, and queers have understood and negotiated the pleasures and affirmations, as well as the disappointments, of mass culture. The essays collected here, combining critical and theoretical works from a cross-section of academics, journalists, and artists, demonstrate a rich variety of gay and lesbian approaches to film, television, popular music, and fashion. This wide-ranging anthology is the first to juxtapose pioneering work in gay and lesbian media criticism with recent essays in contemporary queer cultural studies. Uniquely accessible, Out in Culture presents such popular writers as B. Ruby Rich, Essex Hemphill, and Michael Musto as well as influential critics such as Richard Dyer, Chris Straayer, and Julia Lesage, on topics ranging from the queer careers of Agnes Moorehead and Pee Wee Herman to the cultural politics of gay drag, lesbian style, the visualization of AIDS, and the black snap! queen experience. Of particular interest are two "dossiers," the first linking essays on the queer content of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, and the second on the production and reception of popular music within gay and lesbian communities. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography—the most comprehensive currently available—of sources in gay, lesbian, and queer media criticism. Out in Culture explores the distinctive and original ways in which gays, lesbians, and queers have experienced, appropriated, and resisted the images and artifacts of popular culture. This eclectic anthology will be of interest to a broad audience of general readers and scholars interested in gay and lesbian issues; students of film, media, gender, and cultural studies; and those interested in the emerging field of queer theory.
Contributors. Sabrina Barton, Edith Becker, Rhona J. Berenstein, Nayland Blake, Michelle Citron, Danae Clark, Corey K. Creekmur, Alexander Doty, Richard Dyer, Heather Findlay, Jan Zita Grover, Essex Hemphill, John Hepworth, Jeffrey Hilbert, Lucretia Knapp, Bruce La Bruce, Al LaValley, Julia Lesage, Michael Moon, Michael Musto, B. Ruby Rich, Marlon Riggs, Arlene Stein, Chris Straayer, Anthony Thomas, Mark Thompson, Valerie Traub, Thomas Waugh, Patricia White, Robin Wood
Out In The South
edited by Carlos L. Dews and Carolyn Leste Law Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ76.3.U52S276 2001 | Dewey Decimal 306.7660975
In this book gays and lesbian from the Deep South to East Texas and Appalachia speak from vivid personal experience and turn an analytical eye on the South and its culture. Some contributors examine the power of traditional Southern attitudes toward race and religion, and consider the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude about homosexuality in some communities (the "public secret"). Other contributors show how gay culture is thriving in the form of women's festivals, gay bars, and unusual networks such as that of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Atlanta.
Out in the South is organized into sections that focus on a central metaphor of space and location. This grounds the book in the sense of the South as a special region and in the inside/outside dilemma faced by many gay and lesbian Southerners as they negotiate their place in an often-inhospitable homeland.
A companion volume to Out in the Field, a benchmark examination of lesbian and gay experiences in anthropology, Out in Theory presents lesbian and gay anthropology as a distinct specialization and addresses the theoretical issues that define the emerging field.
This compelling collection of essays details the scholarly and personal factors that affected the emergence of lesbian and gay anthropology and speculates on the directions it will take as it continues to grow and diversify. Seeking to legitimize the field's scholarship and address issues in terminology, the essays also define the lesbian and gay anthropology's scope and subject matter and locate factors that separate it from the wider concerns of the profession.
Specific essays track the emergence of lesbian and gay studies in social and cultural anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, and in various areas of anthropological activism. They also consider how feminist anthropology helped define the field and how transgendered experience, queer theory, and race and class studies are promoting new directions of inquiry within lesbian and gay anthropology.
Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut uses both humor and sincerity to capture moments in time with a sense of compassion for the hard choices we must make to survive. Vértiz’s poetry shows how history, oppression, and resistance don’t just refer to big events or movements; they play out in our everyday lives, in the intimate spaces of family, sex, and neighborhood. Vértiz’s poems ask us to see Los Angeles—and all cities like it—as they have always been: an America of code-switching and reinvention, of lyric and fight.
What does it mean to be queer and Asian American at the turn of the century? The writers, activists, essayists, and artists who contribute to this volume consider how Asian American racial identity and queer sexuality interconnect in mutually shaping and complicating ways. Their collective aim (in the words of the editors) is "to articulate a new conception of Asian American racial identity, its heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity -- concepts that after all underpinned the Asian American moniker from its very inception."
Q & A approaches matters of identity from a variety of points of view and academic disciplines in order to explore the multiple crossings of race and ethnicity with sexuality and gender. Drawing together the work of visual artists, fiction writers, community organizers, scholars, and participants in roundtable discussions, the collection gathers an array of voices and experiences that represent the emerging communities of a queer Asian America. Collectively, these contributors contend that Asian American studies needs to be more attentive to issues of sexuality and that queer studies needs to be more attentive to other aspects of difference, especially race and ethnicity. Vigorously rejecting the notion that a symmetrical relationship between race and homosexuality would weaken lesbian/gay and queer movements, the editors refuse to "believe that a desirably queer world is one in which we remain perpetual aliens -- queer houseguests -- in a queer nation."
Cindy Patton Duke University Press, 2000 Library of Congress HQ76.25.Q368 2000 | Dewey Decimal 306.766
Queer Diasporas presents essays that explore how sexuality and sexual identity change when individuals, ideologies, and media move across literal and figurative boundaries. Speaking from a diverse range of ethnic, racial, and national sites, the contributors to this volume illustrate how queer identity in particular is affected in ways that are as varied and nuanced as the cultural, social, and physical environments themselves. Incorporating literary analysis, ethnographic research, and theories of diaspora, migration, and transnationalism, the essays in this volume address an impressive range of topics, from the divergent medical and epidemiological understandings of the AIDS pandemic to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. While one chapter focuses on the appropriation of religious ceremony by gay Filipino immigrants in New York City, another investigates the implicit connection between Jewishness and homosexuality in the work of Freud. The gendering of domestic roles in food preparation and consumption in Japanese society gives way to a discussion of Cuban and Jamaican homoeroticism as seen in the works of Reinaldo Arenas and Claude McKay. Chilean author D’Halmar’s orientalization of Spain as queer space and the hybrid nature of queer ‘zine culture in Quebec are the subject of others. The collection concludes with a monologue by “Walid,” a young gay Arab living in the occupied territory, whose sexual and national identities change according to his sexual and social needs. Illuminating the complex nature of queerness in the postmodern world, Queer Diasporas contributes to the advancement of gay and lesbian studies. It will be important to those working in cultural, literary, and postcolonial studies. Contributors. Michele Aina Barale, Daniel Boyarin, Sandra Buckley, Rhonda Cobham, Amir Sumaka’i Fink, Marcie Frank, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Sylvia Molloy, Cindy Patton, Jacob Press, Jennifer Robertson, Benigno Sánchez-Eppler
Queer Twin Cities
Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project University of Minnesota Press, 2010 Library of Congress HQ75.6.U52M566 2010 | Dewey Decimal 306.76609776579
The Twin Cities is home to one of the largest and most vital GLBT populations in the nation-and one of the highest percentages of gay residents in the country. Drawn from the pioneering work of the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project-a collective organization of students, scholars, and activists devoted to documenting and interpreting the lives of GLBT people in Minneapolis and St. Paul-Queer Twin Cities is a uniquely critical collection of essays on Minnesota's vibrant queer communities, past and present.
A rich blend of oral history, archival research, and ethnography, Queer Twin Cities uses sexuality to chart connections between people's lives in Minnesota. Topics range from turn-of-the-century Minneapolis amid moral reform-including the highly publicized William Williams murder trial and efforts to police Bridge Square, aka "skid row"-to northern Minnesota and the importance of male companionship among lumber workers, and to postwar life, when the increased visibility of queer life went hand in hand with increased regulation, repression, and violence. Other essays present a portrait of early queer spaces in the Twin Cities, such as Kirmser's Bar, the Viking Room, and the Persian Palms, and the proliferation of establishments like the Dugout and the 19 Bar. Exploring the activism of GLBT/Two-Spirit indigenous people, the antipornography movements of the 1980s, and the role of gay men in the gentrification of Minneapolis neighborhoods, this volume brings the history of queer life and politics in the Twin Cities into fascinating focus.
Engaging and revelatory, Queer Twin Cities offers a critical analysis of local history and community and fills a glaring omission in the culture and history of Minnesota, looking not only to a remarkable past, but to our collective future.
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 (Growing Up Gay in the South) 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. While giving a nod to historic events like Anita Bryant's Save Our Children campaign, Sears focuses more closely on obscure but important local political events, like the founding of the lesbian journal Sinister Wisdom, the emergence of the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance and community response to a deadly firebombing that killed 31 patrons in a New Orleans bar in the mid-1970s. Sears's multifaceted approach pays off when he sketches such relatively unknown players as comedian Ray Bourbon and radical fairy Faygele ben Miriam, and he conveys well the complexity and intensity of the political activity of the decade. While not as historically conclusive or theoretically astute as John Howard's masterful Men Like That (2000), Sears provides a panoply of emotionally riveting snapshots that aptly portray Southern gay experience in the 1970s. B&w photos.
Winner, 2018 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award
Grassroots historiography has been essential in shaping American sexual identities in the twentieth century. Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives examines how lesbian collectives have employed “retroactivist” rhetorics to propel change in present identification and politics. By appropriating and composing versions of the past, these collectives question, challenge, deconstruct, and reinvent historical discourse itself to negotiate and contest lesbian identity.
Bessette considers a diverse array of primary sources, including grassroots newsletters, place-based archives, experimental documentary films, and digital video collections, to investigate how retroactivists have revised and replaced dominant accounts of lesbian deviance. Her analysis reveals inventive rhetorical strategies leveraged by these rhetors to belie the alienating, dispersing effects of discourses that painted women with same-sex desire as diseased and criminal. Focusing on the Daughters of Bilitis, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and the June L. Mazer Archives, and on historiographic filmmakers such as Barbara Hammer and Cheryl Dunye, Bessette argues that these retroactivists composed versions of a queer past that challenged then-present oppressions, joined together provisional communities, and disrupted static definitions and associations of lesbian identity.
Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives issues a challenge to feminist and queer scholars to acknowledge how historiographic rhetoric functions in defining and contesting identities and the historical forces that shape them.
Where did the right to privacy come from and what does it mean? Grappling with the critical issues involving women and gays that relate to the recent Supreme Court appointment, Vincent J. Samar develops a definition of legal privacy, discusses the reasons why and the degree to which privacy should be protected, and shows the relationship between privacy and personal autonomy. He answers former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s questions about scope, content, and legal justification for a general right to privacy and emphasizes issues involving gays and lesbians, Samar maintains that these privacy issues share a common constitutional-ethical underpinning with issues such as abortion, surrogate motherhood, drug testing, and the right to die.
Is the United States a heterosexual regime? If it is, how may we understand the political position of those who cannot or will not align themselves with heterosexuality? With these provocative questions, Shane Phelan raises the issue of whether lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people can be seen as citizens at all. Can citizenship be made queer? Or does citizenship require the exclusion of those who are regarded as queer to preserve the "equality" that it promises?
In Sexual Strangers, Shane Phelan argues that, in the United States, queers are strangers -- not exactly the enemy, since they are not excluded from all rights of citizenship, but not quite members. Rather, they are ambiguous figures who trouble the border between "us" and "them," a border just as central to liberal regimes as to other states. Life on this border structures both the exclusion of sexual minorities and their ambivalence about becoming part of the "mainstream."
Sexual Strangers addresses questions of long-standing importance to minority group politics: the meaning and terms of inclusion, respect, and resistance. Phelan looks at citizenship as including not only equal protection and equal rights to such institutions as marriage and military service, but also political and cultural visibility, as inclusion in the national imaginary. She discusses the continuing stigmatization of bisexuals and transgendered people within lesbian and gay communities as a result of the attempt to flee from strangeness, a flight that inevitably produces new strangers. Her goal is to convince students of politics, both academic and activist, to embrace the rewards of strangeness as a means of achieving inclusive citizenship, rather than a citizenship that defines itself by what it will not accept.
This comprehensive biography of the actress film critic Rex Reed called “a national treasure” draws on Robert A. Schanke’s interviews and correspondence not only with Eva Le Gallienne but also with more than one hundred of her colleagues and friends, including Glenda Jackson, Burgess Meredith, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Ellen Burstyn, Anne Jackson, Farley Granger, Jane Alexander, Uta Hagen, and Rosemary Harris. Forty-two illustrations offer highlights of Le Gallienne’s many notable performances in such plays as Hedda Gabler, Liliom, The Cherry Orchard, Peter Pan, Camille, Mary Stuart, The Royal Family,and The Dream Watcher.
Behind her public role as a famous actress and as the founding and maintaining force of the first civic repertory theatre in the United States, Eva Le Gallienne led a private life complicated by her identity as a lesbian. Schanke considers Le Gallienne’s sexuality and how it played a role in the struggles, defeats, and triumphs that combined to inspire her greatness. Shattered Applause, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, tells a fascinating story that also serves as a barometer of the changing values, tastes, and attitudes of American society.
Jeredith Merrin University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3563.E74533S55 1996 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Shift traces the love between two women over several years and explores the intricacies of family relationships. Jeredith Merrin's poems, moving from ecstatic love lyrics to poems of familial affection and damage, to grave, more mature love poems, are psychologically loaded and technically sophisticated. These poems convey a wonderful sense of the sexual and social complexity of human relationships.
Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading.
Berzon is recognized today as a trailblazing co-founder of a number of important lesbian and gay organizations and one of the first therapists to focus on means of developing healthy gay relationships and overcoming homophobia. Her sometimes bumpy road to success never fails to fascinate. Along the way she encounters such luminaries as Anaïs Nin, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Sitwells, Evelyn Hooker, and Paul Monette. Her recollections here provide a collective portrait of her fellow pioneers and a stirring lesson in twentieth-century history.
It is, however, the intimate story of Berzon’s own private passage toward self-discovery—from mental breakdown and suicide attempts, through hospitalization, eventual triumphant recovery, and her own coming out as an open lesbian at the age of forty—that makes this memoir an urgent, insightful, and deeply emotional testament to human survival.
Telling Moments collects contemporary short stories by a diverse group of twenty-four lesbian writers. Engaging themes of life and death, aging, motherhood, race, love, work, and travel, the writers offer brief glimpses into lesbian lives.
The stories are by well-known contemporary writers—Gloria Anzaldúa, Mary Cappello, Emma Donoghue, Jewelle Gomez, Karla Jay, Anna Livia, Valerie Miner, Lesléa Newman, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Ruthann Robson, Sarah Schulman, and Jess Wells—and exciting newer voices, such as Donna Allegra and Marion Douglas. There are also stories from performance artists Carmelita Tropicana, Peggy Shaw, and Maya Chowdhry. Anna Livia’s protagonist appreciates her mother’s artful garden creation. Ruthann Robson tells of a survivor of the health care system. In Marion Douglas’s story a teenager dances with an alluring classmate. Donna Allegra’s strong construction worker copes with the death of her mother. And Karla Jay sets her character forth to swim with sharks. Most of the stories are accompanied by an author photo, biographical sketch, and—a most significant feature—a commentary from the author on her writing process and the autobiographical nature of her story, illustrating the truth behind the fiction.
Things No Longer There is a lovingly crafted collection of personal stories about the author's struggle toward enlightenment while losing her eyesight. It is also, more broadly, about invisible landscapes—places of the heart that linger long after they have disappeared from the world outside. In these ten brief tales and one novella-length intimate drama, Susan Krieger takes us on a series of adventures in vision, a journey both inward and to various parts of the country. We travel with her as she goes birdwatching before sunrise in the New Mexico desert, learns to walk with a white cane, revisits an old love, returns to a summer camp of her youth, and reflects on the nature of blindness and sight.
Krieger's touching memoir explores the ways that outer landscapes may change and sight may be lost, but inner visions persist, giving meaning, jarring the senses with a very different picture than what appears before the eyes. This book will reward both the general reader and those interested in disability studies, feminist ethnography, and lesbian studies.
For two years, Philip Gambone traveled the length and breadth of the United States, talking candidly with LGBTQ people about their lives. In addition to interviews from David Sedaris, George Takei, Barney Frank, and Tammy Baldwin, Travels in a Gay Nation brings us lesser-known voices—a retired Naval officer, a transgender scholar and “drag king,” a Princeton philosopher, two opera sopranos who happen to be lovers, an indie rock musician, the founder of a gay frat house, and a pair of Vermont garden designers.
In this age when contemporary gay America is still coming under attack, Gambone captures the humanity of each individual. For some, their identity as a sexual minority is crucial to their life’s work; for others, it has been less so, perhaps even irrelevant. But, whether splashy or quiet, center-stage or behind the scenes, Gambone’s subjects have managed—despite facing ignorance, fear, hatred, intolerance, injustice, violence, ridicule, or just plain indifference—to construct passionate, inspiring lives.
Finalist, Foreword Magazine’s Anthology of the Year
Outstanding Book in the High School Category, selected by the American Association of School Libraries
Best Book in Special Interest Category, selected by the Public Library Association
The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom brings together more than two decades of literary criticism and political thought about gender, race, sexuality, power, and social change. As one of the first writers in the United States to claim black feminism for black women, Barbara Smith has done groundbreaking work in defining black women’s literary traditions and in making connections between race, class, sexuality, and gender.
Smith’s essay “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” is often cited as a major catalyst in opening the field of black women’s literature. Pieces about racism in the women’s movement, black and Jewish relations, and homophobia in the Black community have ignited dialogue about topics that few other writers address. The collection also brings together topical political commentaries on the 1968 Chicago convention demonstrations; attacks on the NEA; the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas Senate hearings; and police brutality against Rodney King and Abner Louima. It also includes a never-before-published personal essay on racial violence and the bonds between black women that make it possible to survive.
This landmark book combines the voices of Native Americans and non-Indians, anthropologists and others, in an exploration of gender and sexuality issues as they relate to lesbian, gay, transgendered, and other "marked" Native Americans.
Focusing on the concept of two-spirit people--individuals not necessarily gay or lesbian, transvestite or bisexual, but whose behaviors or beliefs may sometimes be interpreted by others as uncharacteristic of their sex--this book is the first to provide an intimate look at how many two-spirit people feel about themselves, how other Native Americans treat them, and how anthropologists and other scholars interpret them and their cultures.
1997 Winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize for an edited book given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists.
What would it mean to turn to ugliness rather than turn away from it? Indeed, the idea of ugly often becomes synonymous with non-white, non-male, and non-heterosexual physicality and experience. That same pejorative migrates to become a label for practices within underground culture. In Ugly Differences, Yetta Howard uses underground contexts to theorize queer difference by locating ugliness at the intersection of the physical, experiential, and textual. From that nexus, Howard contends that ugliness—as a mode of pejorative identification—is fundamental to the cultural formations of queer female sexuality. Slava Tsukerman's postpunk film Liquid Sky, Sapphire's poetry, Roberta Gregory's Bitchy Butch comix, New Queer Cinema such as High Art—these and other non-canonical works contribute to an audacious critique. Howard reveals how the things we see, read as, or experience as ugly productively account for non-dominant sexual identities and creative practices. Ugly Differences offers eye-opening ways to approach queerness and its myriad underground representations.
"Vernon Lee wrote over forty books during her lifetime; she wrote in virtually every genre, and about the entire range of intellectually and morally challenging subjects that faced educated men and women of her time. She also knew everybody, spoke four languages fluently, and was a major contributor to debates on aesthetics and art at the turn of the century. Vernon Lee will be an invaluable resource to all of us who are fascinated with Lee and her life, and for any literary critic interested in the transition from the Victorian period to the modernist period."
--Martha Vicinus, University of Michigan, editor of Lesbian Subjects: A Feminist Studies Reader and Intimate Friends: Women Who Loved Women, 1778-1928
Vernon Lee, born Violet Paget in 1856 to English parents who lived on the Continent, bridged two worlds and many cultures. She was a Victorian by birth but lived into the second quarter of the twentieth century. Her chosen home was Italy, but she spent part of every year in England, where she published over the years an impressive number of books: novels, short stories, travel essays, studies of Italian art and music, psychological aesthetics, polemics. She was widely recognized as a woman of letters and moved freely in major literary and social circles, meeting and at times having close friendships with a huge number of the major writers and intellectuals of her time, among them Robert Browning, Walter Pater, Henry James, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, Bernard Berenson, and Mario Praz. Although she never committed herself to one program of political activism, she was an advocate for feminism and social reform and during World War I was an ardent pacifist. In her last years she watched with dismay the emergence of fascism.
Vernon Lee: A Literary Biography recovers this crowded and intellectually eventful life from her previously unpublished letters and journals, as well as from her books themselves. Vineta Colby also explores Lee's troubled personal life, from her childhood in an eccentric expatriate family to her several unhappy love affairs with women to her frank recognition that her work, brilliant as some of it was, remained unappreciated. Through it all, Vernon Lee clung to her faith in the life of the mind, and through Colby's engaging biographical narrative, she emerges today as a writer worthy of renewed attention and admiration.
Vineta Colby, Professor Emerita of English, Queens College, City University of New York, is the author of The Singular Anomaly: Women Novelists of the Nineteenth Century and Yesterday's Woman: Domestic Realism in the English Novel, and coauthor with Robert A. Colby of The Equivocal Virtue: Mrs. Oliphant and the Victorian Literary Marketplace. She is also the editor of three volumes in the World Authors series and the coeditor of European Authors: 1000-1900.
Walking Back Up Depot Street
Minnie Bruce Pratt University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3566.R35W35 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Selected as ForeWord Magazine’s 1999 Gay/Lesbian Book of the Year
In Pratt's fourth volume of poems, Walking Back Up Depot Street, we are led by powerful images into what is both a story of the segregated rural South and the story of a white woman named Beatrice who is leaving that home for the postindustrial North. Beatrice searches for the truth behind the public story-the official history-of the land of her childhood. She struggles to free herself from the lies she was taught while growing up-and she finds the other people who are also on this journey.
In these dramatically multivocal narrative poems, we hear the words and rhythms of Bible Belt preachers, African-American blues and hillbilly gospel singers, and sharecropper country women and urban lesbians. We hear the testimony of freed slaves and white abolitionists speaking against Klan violence, fragments of speeches by union organizers and mill workers, and snatches of songs from those who marched on the road to Selma. Beatrice walks back into the past and finds the history of resistance that she has never been taught; she listens to her fellow travelers as they all get ready to create the future.
Women Lovers, or The Third Woman
Natalie Clifford Barney, Edited and translated by Chelsea Ray, Introduction by Melanie C. Hawthorne University of Wisconsin Press, 2016 Library of Congress PQ3939.B3A813 2016 | Dewey Decimal 843.912
This long-lost novel recounts a passionate triangle of love and loss among three of the most daring women of belle époque Paris. In this barely disguised roman à clef, the legendary American heiress, writer, and arts patron Natalie Clifford Barney, the dashing Italian baroness Mimi Franchetti, and the beautiful French courtesan Liane de Pougy share erotic liaisons that break all taboos and end in devastation as one unexpectedly becomes the “third woman.” Never before published in English, and only recently published in French, this modernist, experimental work has been brought to light by Chelsea Ray’s research and translation.
What does it mean to look like a lesbian? Though it remains impossible to conjure a definitive image that captures the breadth of this highly nuanced term, today at least we are able to consider an array of visual representations that have been put into circulation by lesbians themselves over the last six or seven decades. In the early twentieth century, though, no notion of lesbianism as a coherent social or cultural identity yet existed.
In Women Together/Women Apart, Tirza True Latimer explores the revolutionary period between World War I and World War II when lesbian artists working in Paris began to shape the first visual models that gave lesbians a collective sense of identity and allowed them to recognize each other. Flocking to Paris from around the world, artists and performers such as Romaine Brooks, Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and Suzy Solidor used portraiture to theorize and visualize a "new breed" of feminine subject. The book focuses on problems of feminine and lesbian self-representation at a time and place where the rights of women to political, professional, economic, domestic, and sexual autonomy had yet to be acknowledged by the law. Under such circumstances, same-sex solidarity and relative independence from men held important political implications.
Combining gender theory with visual, cultural, and historical analysis, Latimer draws a vivid picture of the impact of sexual politics on the cultural life of Paris during this key period. The book also illuminates the far-reaching consequences of lesbian portraiture on contemporary constructions of lesbian identity.
Something happened in the 1990s, something dramatic and irreversible. A group of people long considered a moral menace and an issue previously deemed unmentionable in public discourse were transformed into a matter of human rights, discussed in every institution of American society. Marriage, the military, parenting, media and the arts, hate violence, electoral politics, public school curricula, human genetics, religion: Name the issue, and the the role of gays and lesbians was a subject of debate. During the 1990s, the world seemed finally to turn and take notice of the gay people in its midst. In The World Turned, distinguished historian and leading gay-rights activist John D’Emilio shows how gay issues moved from the margins to the center of national consciousness during the critical decade of the 1990s.
In this collection of essays, D’Emilio brings his historian’s eye to bear on these profound changes in American society, culture, and politics. He explores the career of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and pacifist who was openly gay a generation before almost everyone else; the legacy of radical gay and lesbian liberation; the influence of AIDS activist and writer Larry Kramer; the scapegoating of gays and lesbians by the Christian Right; the gay-gene controversy and the debate over whether people are "born gay"; and the explosion of attention focused on queer families. He illuminates the historical roots of contemporary debates over identity politics and explains why the gay community has become, over the last decade, such a visible part of American life.
This is a funny, moving story about life in a small town, from the point of view of a pregnant lesbian. Louise A. Blum, author of the critically acclaimed novel Amnesty, now tells the story of her own life and her decision to be out, loud, and pregnant. Mixing humor with memorable prose, Blum recounts how a quiet, conservative town in an impoverished stretch of Appalachia reacts as she and a local woman, Connie, fall in love, move in together, and determine to live their life together openly and truthfully.
The town responds in radically different ways to the couple’s presence, from prayer vigils on the village green to a feature article in the family section of the local newspaper. This is a cautionary, wise, and celebratory tale about what it’s like to be different in America—both the good and the bad. A depiction of small town life with all its comforts and its terrors, this memoir speaks to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in America. Blum tells her story with a razor wit and deft precision, a story about two "girls with grit," and the child they decide to raise, right where they are, in small town America.