LGBTQ history

  • James Kirchick's "Secret City" Tells the Story of Closeted Washington

    by Samuel Clowes Huneke

    Samuel Huneke reviews a new history of the capital city's gay residents, which focuses on those in government and conservative politics and the gradual lessening of hostility to gays in public service, a choice that undermines the book's usefulness for understanding contemporary queer liberation issues. 

  • The Asian-Canadian Gay Pioneer Theorist of Sexuality

    by Laurie Marhoefer

    Li Shiu Tong, the partner of better-known German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, was an important theorist and activist whose once-lost writings anticipated today's politics of gay rights and liberation. 

  • Do Gay Men Need a Specific Monkeypox Warning?

    by Jim Downs

    The history of the HIV epidemic shows that the desire to avoid stigmatizing gay men should not override the imperative of identifying and advising populations about behavioral risk for contagious disease. 

  • Corporate Activism is a Dead End

    by Joanna Wuest

    Corporate support for LGBTQ rights cannot substitute for building sexual and gender freedom into a working people's movement for change. 

  • "Two-Spirit" Visibility and the Year Activists Rewrote History

    by Gregory D. Smithers

    In 1990, a group of Native activists coined the term "Two-Spirits" to encompass a variety of people who embodied masculine and feminine traits in indigenous communities, replacing colonizers' terminology that emphasized shame or deviance. Marginalized communities change their history by changing who tells their story, and how. 

  • Visible Activism Key to Protecting Trans People From Discriminatory Laws

    by Shay Ryan Olmstead

    The legal strategies that LGBT groups have used to defend their rights and dignity in society may be less effective with hard-right judges on the bench. Direct action and activism outside the courts will be needed to make sure that the right doesn't use the law to target trans people for political gain. 

  • "Father Knows Best": Anti-LGBTQ Legislation and the Patriarchy

    by Judith Levine

    The elision of children’s interests and parents’ rights is not just bad grammar, however. It is an expression of conservative “pro-family” ideology, which posits the family as an indivisible unit where everyone’s interests are unanimous.

  • Leo Bersani: Contrarian Critic of Gay Desire

    by Jack Parlett

    "For Bersani, reading is meant to hurt a little or you’re not doing it right. A preface that preempts what you’ll take away, or paraphrases what is particular, can have, he suggests, a simplifying or even sanitizing effect."

  • Florida Bill Echoes Anita Bryant's Antigay Crusade in the 1970s

    Historians Lillian Faderman, Hugh Ryan and Julio Capó, Jr. trace the links between the Christian entertainer's claims that gay teachers threatened children and the effort to portray them as "groomers" for child abuse today. Also, video of Bryant being hit with a pie.

  • The Right's Political Attack on LGBTQ Americans Escalates

    Historians discuss the escalating attacks on LGBTQ Americans, which this week included calls by a congressional candidate for a new HUAC aimed at identifying gay and gay-friendly teachers and the arrest of a truck full of neonazis plotting to attack a Pride event in Idaho.