Book Review: Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America by Nathaniel Frank

In this book Nathanial Frank traces how marriage became a key debate of the culture wars in the late twentieth, and early twenty-first, centuries. He explores the conflicts within the gay rights movement, conservative resistance, and changing public attitudes towards marriage equality in the United States. Continue reading

“The most invisible and outcast group”: Discovering Gay Youth in the Archives

In 1989 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services described young lesbians and gay men as “the most invisible and outcast group of young people with whom you will come into contact.” Psychologists studying these youths around the same time came to a similar conclusion. Unfortunately, historians have identified that when studying the history of sexuality we have to deal with ‘silences’ in the historical records. Continue reading

What is, and how to do, LGBT History?

In this post, Dr Mark Walmsley, independent scholar and a member of the Academic Advisory Panel to Schools OUT UK, discusses the shift in attitudes towards engaging with LGBTQ issues within HE at a research, teaching, and ‘impact’ level. Mark argues that “in an age of ‘impact agendas’ and ‘public engagement initiatives’, Universities should not be ignoring a sizeable community that is often crying out for academic support and interest… It is time that LGBT history is not something we contribute to in February, but something that we actively take into account throughout the academic year.” Continue reading

The Forgotten LGBT Pioneers of 1956

In this post to mark LGBT History Month, Dr Simon Hall (University of Leeds) – author of 1956: The World in Revolt (London: Faber and Faber, 2016) – discusses the origins of an obscure magazine, Ladder – the official monthly publication of the pioneering lesbian organisation, the Daughters of Bilitis, which sought to promote “the integration of the homosexual in society”, embracing the politics of ‘respectability’ as a way to advance the cause, and to press the claims, of gay and lesbian Americans. The publication of Ladder’s first issue in October 1956, argues Hall, was a quietly subversive act of a truly revolutionary year. Continue reading

Gae Pride Parades: The Impossibility of Queerness in Irish America at the St Patrick’s Day Parades

2015 marks twenty-five years since the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization’s (ILGO) first application to march in New York City’s St Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue. Still the world’s largest celebration of the day, it was rejected by the event’s organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), a Catholic … Continue reading