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People with a History: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History Sourcebook

Section V North America

Editor: Paul Halsall


Section V: North America

[Note: Although North America includes Mexico, Mexican LGBT history will be treated along with the other countries of Latin America]

Go to the following pages for other parts of People with a History

Chapter 17: Native American Societies

There are modern "Gay American Indians" whose self-definition is sometimes the same as other gay and lesbian Americans. What is of interest in this section is the tradition in many different Native American societies of socially validated gender-divergent roles. Some groups essentially allowed children to choose their gender. A male child who chose female clothes, for instance, would be raised as a female, and would marry man. In some societies analogous roles were open to female children. The general term for these individuals is "berdache" - a colonialist French word, derived from Persian, - but which has retained its utility give the great variety of Native American terms for the practice.

Some writers have objected to what they see as the appropriation of the "berdache" by modern gay people, and by writers such as Will Roscoe (whose books were probably the most widely read on the subject). While this complaint has some justification, it could be made about any past group seen as relevant to the history of "homosexuality" but where the societal definition was in terms of gender-identity rather than sexual orientation.


  • Gary Bowen: Transgendered Native Americans [Was At Amboyz, now Internet Archive]
  • Wendy Susan Parker: The Berdache Spirit [Was At, now Internet Archive]
  • Laura Darlene Lansberry: A Visit to We'wha's Grave [Was At Gallae Page At Aztriad, now Internet Archive]
  • Jody Greene: The Traffic In Men, review of Richard Trexler, Sex and Conquest: Gendered Violence, Political Order, and the Conquest of the Americas [At The BOOKPRESS February, 1996]
  • Wikipedia: Two-Spirit
    Points out that the term "berdache" is repugnant.



  • WEB Native American Page: Berdache and Two-Spirit People [At Internet Archive]
  • WEB Will Roscoe [Roscoe has written extensively on Native American issues] [Internet Archive version here]
  • WEB OutHistory [At OutHistory] [Internet Archive backup here]
    This is a major resource for American LGBT histories, including Native American histories. Founded ub 2008 by Jonathan Ned Katz, who has been a major contributorot gay historical studies since the publication of his compilation of related texts in Gay American History (1976). The TimeLine feature is a usefual way to access the material hosted there.

Back to Contents

Chapter 18: The United States and Canada to c.1900

Discussions: Whole Period

Discussions: Colonial Era

  • John G. McClendon: Puritan Jurisprudence: Progress and Inconsistency [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    A paper examining Puritan legal innovation and use of the Bible. Briefly addresses sodomy.
  • Roger Schultz: A Celebration of Infidels: The American Enlightenment in the Revolutionary Era, Contra Mundum No. 1 Fall 1991 [PDF file] [Now at Internet Archive]
    Contra Mundum is a conservative Calvinist magazine. This article points out the Christian framework of much of colonial society, including its sex laws.

Discussions: Ante-Bellum America [1776-1865]

Discussions: Late Nineteenth Century

Texts: Historical

Texts: Literary

  • Herman Melville (1819-1891): Letters to Nathaniel Hawthorne [At] [Internet Archive version here]
    Melville's most important emotional relationship seems to have been with Hawthorne. In one letter 1851 [Internet Archive version here] he claims "your heart beat in my ribs and mine in yours, and both in God's" -an idea of friendship that goes back to Aristotle. The site has links to all Melville's works.
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892): Leaves of Grass [At Bartleby]
    Singing of the "body electric".
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892): Leaves of Grass [Project Gutenberg]
  • Emily Dickinson (1830-1886): "Lesbian" Poems [At this Site]
  • Emily Dickinson: Poems [At Bartleby]


  • WEB Poems by Walt Whitman [Project Gutenberg]
  • WEB Walt Whitman Archive
  • WEB OutHistory [At OutHistory] [Internet Archive backup here]
    This is a major resource for American LGBT histories for all periods. Founded ub 2008 by Jonathan Ned Katz, who has been a major contributorot gay historical studies since the publication of his compilation of related texts in Gay American History (1976). The TimeLine feature is a usefual way to access the material hosted there.

Back to Contents

Chapter 19: Before Stonewall [US and Canada]

With the advent of the20th century the nature of LGBT history changes. As well as literature and court records, we now begin to have access to considerable oral history and recollection. Moreover the period since the late 19th century does indeed seem to have been marked by an increased interest in homosexuality by various elites - lawyers, doctors and a new arrival - "sexologists". One current effort within North American LGBT history involves securing and writing down the oral histories before the bearers disappear.

Discussions: Entire Period

  • Pierre J. Tremblay: The Homosexuality Factor in the Youth Suicide Problem [Was At Calgary, now Internet Archive]. There is another Mirror Version at QRD [At QRD]
    An extended presentation at the Sixth Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Banff, Alberta, October 11-14, 1995, (c) Oct. It includes a historical overview of .gay suicide 1930-1995
  • James Sears: Stonewall South 1994 [Was At Sears, now Internet Archive]
    Brief history and timeline of Southern Lesbian and Gay history.

Discussions: Pre WW II

Discussions: Whole Post War Period

  • John D'Emilio: Dreams Deferred: The Early American Homophile Movement The Body Politic 48, November 1978 and 50 February 1979 PDF [At Internet Archive - whole issues of The Body Politic]
  • Homophile Movement Oral Histories, 1950-1969 A collection of twenty-three LGBTQ oral histories completed by John D'Emilio in the 1970s. [At OutHistory] [Internet Archive version here]
    A major resource.
  • WEB The Lesbian and Gay Movement 2007 [Was At Knitting Circle, now Internet Archive]
    Knitting Circle was once a useful site. It still contains interesting historical material, inlcuding on North American groups and activists.

Discussions: 1940s

  • Christopher Isherwood: Diaries: LA in the 1940s and 1950s [At Internet Archive borrow facility]
    "A decade after his death, the diaries of author Christopher Isherwood paint a lush-and louche-portrait of literary high life in L.A."
  • Christopher Isherwood: On His Queerness [poem] [Was At Rice, now Internet Archive]

Discussions: 1950s

  • William Dubay: Homosexuality: What Kinsey Really Said [At QBC] [Internet Archive version here]
    Alfred Kinsey's studies of human sexual behavior revolutionized educated opinion I the 1950s. This article - favorable to Kinsey - explains what he said.
  • History of the Kinsey Institute [At Kinsey Insititute]
  • Kinsey Institute: 75 Years PDF [At Kinsey Insititute] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Controversy over Kinsey's Research 1995-1998 [Was At Kinsey Insititute, now Internet Archive]
    In Fall 1995 the right wing Family Research Council began a series of attacks on Kinsey's research and the Kinsey Institute - attacks which included making films/videos and attempts to defund the institute. This page gives the Institutes response, and a series of press and other statements..
  • Mark Y. Herring: Review Article: Phallacies and Other Lies: Freudian Fraud: The Malignant Effect of Freud's Theory on American Thought and Culture, By E. Fuller Torrey (New York, Ny: Harpercollins, 1992), Contra Mundum No. 9 Fall 1993 [Was At Contra Mundum, now Internet Archive]
    Contra Mundum is a conservative Calvinist magazine, but not "looney". This article presents the criticisms made by conservatives of Freud, as well as Kinsey and Margaret Mead.
  • The Moral Debate on Homosexuality [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    This is a link to an anti-gay page. The page is useful though: first, People With a Story takes a stand in favor of openness; second, the page points to various right wing articles criticizing the work and methodology of Alfred Kinsey and Evelyn Hooker; third, the page does not point to any of the Kinsey Institute's responses. This one-sidedness is typical of the Radical Religious Right "scholarship" on homosexuality. The article by on Evelyn Hooker by Thomas Landess, (cited as former Academic Dean at the University of Dallas) is an especially good example of weak analysis - it hilariously cites the discredited Paul Campbell as an "analyst" on Hooker's work!
  • Jim Kepner: The Women of ONE [At Tangent Group] [Internet Archive verison here]
    Kepner documents women involved in ONE, Inc and challenges the notion that before the Daughters of Bilitis started (San Francisco 1955) thehomophile movement, as it was then known, was almost entirely white-male, and the rare women participants were expected to make coffee.."..
  • Harry Hay Profile [Was At Harry, now Internet Archive]
    Founder of the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries. Already a mythic figure even before his death in 2002.
  • James Sears: Behind the Mask of the Mattachine (NY: Haworth Press, 2005) ]Was at Sears, now Internet Archive]
  • Lisa Ben: A Lesbian Pioneer [Gay Rights Weekly] [Internet Archive verison here]
  • Lisa Ben was a pseudonymous author, now known to be Edyth Edwards, connected with the Daughters of Bilitis. She created the first Lesbian publication in the US, called Vice-Versa.
  • Wikipedia: Lisa Ben
  • Wikipedia: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon
    Founders of the Daughters of Bilitis
  • James T. Sears: Growing up as a Jewish Lesbian in South Florida: Queer Teen Life in the Fifties, from Cultured Youth, ed. Joe Austin (New York: NYU Press, 1997) [Was at Sears, now Internet Archive]
    A complex account of the homophobia of the period.
  • Daniel Gomes: "Sissy" Boys" and "Unhappy Girls: Childrearring During the Cold War [Was At UCI, now Internet Archive]
  • Jeff Jones: The Extraordinary Life of Sweet Evening The Life of 1950s Transgendered Male in Kentucky Profiled [Was At QRD, now At this Site]
  • Cynthia Laird: New study documents over 600 early LGBTQ protests in US 1 March 2023 [At BAR] [Archive version here]
  • WEB LGBT Direct Action Bibliography, Chronology, and Inventory, 1965-1973 [At OutHistory] [Internet Archive verison here]

Discussions: 1960s

  • James L. Bauman: Cold War Sources. Reviews in American History 23.4 (1995) 734-738 [Was At Johns Hopkins, now Internet Archive]
    Discusses inter alia the pro-Vietnam war columnist Joseph Alsop, who was gay.


  • WEB Brevities [At Queer Music Heritage] [Internet Archive backup here]
    Brevities or Broadway Brevities was a national tabloid of the 20s/30s in the United States. It too lots of potshots at LGBT people (called "fags" or pansies or fairies). In doing so though it ended up document aspect of gay life in the Interwar period. This site contines many facsimiles of the magazine.
  • Alfred C Kinsey: Sexual Behavior In The Human Male (1949) full text [Internet Archive]
  • Alfred C Kinsey: Sexual Behavior In The Human Female (1953) full text [Internet Archive borrow facility]
  • Wikipedia: Kinsey Reports
  • The Kinsey Scale [At Kinsey Institute] [Internet Archive version here]
    Dr. Alfred Kinsey created a scale, graduated between heterosexuality and homosexuality to rate individuals on actual experiences and psychological reactions. It had a major effect on thought about sexuality.
  • Homosexuals in Government 1950 [At UPenn] [Internet Archive verison here]
    A brief, but very explicit, excerpt from the U.S. Congressional Record vol 96, part 4 [81st Congress 2nd Session March 29, 1949 - April 24, 1950]
  • Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida, a report of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee 1964 PDF full text [Internet Archive]
    This Florida government report, part of a purge against homosexuals, was so explicit that it was sold by "adult materials" providers. It records and defines quite a lot of the gay slang of the era.
  • Harry Hay: Our Own Faerie Way Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive verison here]
    Harry Hay's recollections of the founding of the Mattachine Society, and the importance of Radical Left politics in its creators' analysis of society.
  • Photo: Bar Girls 1940s [Was At UMD, now Internet Archive]
  • Drag Queen Matchbook Covers 1950s [At Queen Musical Heritage] [Internet Archive version here]
  • YouTube: This is the Army (1943) entire film online [YouTube Links can go bad easily]
    Film about the US Army entertainment troupe. Including Ronald Reagan introducing the Army drag troupe as the girls. [Nb. warning this film also includes ministrel scenes.] This link is cued to begin a 1:07:50, where the second, non-ministral, drag routine begins.]
  • YouTube: Before Stonewall (1984) entire film online [YouTube Links can go bad easily]
    Film about the US Army entertainment troupe. Including Ronald Reagan introducing the Army drag troupe as the girls. [Nb. warning this film also includes ministrel scenes.] This link is cued to begin a 1:07:50, where the second, non-ministral, drag routine begins.

Texts: Literary


  • WEB The Kinsey Institute [At U. Indiana]
  • WEB The Ninth Street Center [Now Internet Archive]
    A web site devoted to the thought of Paul Rosenfels, a Chicago-based psychiatrist who, after breaking with psychoanalysis in the 1940's, developed his own ideas about human relationships. The Ninth Street Center was founded in 1973 to teach Rosenfel's Jungian influenced ideas. Rosenfels was, the page claims, the first American social scientist to defend homosexuality in print.
  • WEB  Tides of Men: History of Gay Men in British Columbia Since 1936 [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    Although archived, still has lost fo personal documents.
  • WEB It's a Hughes Thang [Was At Texas, now Internet Archive]
    Langston Hughes Page
  • WEB The Literature and Culture of the American 1950s [At Upenn] [Internet Archive verison here]
    Not gay focused, but provides great background.
  • WEB Queer Music Heritage [Internet Archive backup here]
  • WEB James T Sears [Was at Sears, now Internet Archive]
    Archive site, but useful info, expecially about gay culture in the American South.
  • WEB OutHistory [At OutHistory] [Internet Archive backup here]
    This is a major resource for American LGBT histories for all periods. Founded ub 2008 by Jonathan Ned Katz, who has been a major contributorot gay historical studies since the publication of his compilation of related texts in Gay American History (1976). The TimeLine feature is a usefual way to access the material hosted there.

Back to Contents

Chapter 20: Stonewall and All That




Back to Contents

Chapter 21: After Stonewall (US and Canada)

Discussions: Entire Post Stonewall Period

Discussions and texts: 1970s

Discussions and texts: 1980s

  • Rodney Jackson: The 80's in Review from The Washington Blade 12/29/89 [Was At GLINN, now Internet Archive]
  • Pat Califia: The Obscene, Disgusting, and Vile Meese Commission Report 1986 [Was At eserver, now Internet Archive]]
  • Michael Swift The Gay Revolutionary from Gay Community News, Feb. 15-21, 1987 [At this Site]
    This text, printed in the Congressional Record is cited, apparently verbatim, by the religious right as evidence of the "Gay Agenda". But when they cite it they always omit, as does the CR, the vital preface, which sets the context for the piece. In other words, every other version of this found on the net is part of the radical right's great lie about gay people. (see the "Modern Homophobia" Section below for more on this).

Discussions and texts: 1990s

  • Mariana Romo-Carmona: Civic Duty in the Age of Space Probes Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive version here]
    Examines the complexities of the lesbian and gay population's desire for acceptance into the mainstream.
  • Elizabeth Stroud: Our Cultural Supernova Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive version here]
    The conflict between radicalizing and mainstreaming in LGBT organizing.
  • Marcy Rein: Bi-Bi Love, Bi-Bi Politics Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive version here]
    Thoughts on Stonewall 25
  • Howard Wallace: An Injury To One Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive version here]
    On the need for workers of all colors to move to the forefront of LGBT politics.
  • AFL-CIO on Stonewall in Crossroads 42, June 1994 [At Nathan] [Internet Archive version here]
    Passed unanimously October 6, 1993 at the 20th Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO
  • B.W. Cook: October Barry Goldwater [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    On Conservative icon Barry Goldwater's endorsement of gay rights in the 1990s.
  • Freya Johnson: Holy Homosexuality Batman!: Camp and Corporate Capitalism in Batman Forever [Was At eserver, now Internet Archive]

Regional/Local Development

There were many regional LGBT histories in the United States that have sometimes been sidelined by a concentration on events in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. These histories long precede Stonewall. Nevertheless, in the months and years following the Stonewall riots there was an explosion in the number of LGBT groups across the United States. Some of the websites linke to here are now defunct, but they can be accessed via the Internet Archive and give some insights into regional group history.

Organizational Development

The development of a huge array of diverse LGBT organizations - student, religious, social, cultural, political - is of prime importance in understanding the creation and strengthening of the LGBT movement since 1969. This has often been overlookec as an area of research. Often the groups are not long lived, or not spectacular, nor even very radical. But their continued proliferation and creation of social and communal threads is impressive. Many of them have taken to documenting their own history on the web - sometimes via time lines, other times via narratives. Some of the websites linke to here are now defunct, but they can be accessed via the Internet Archive and give some insights into regional group history.

Cultural Tropes

  • WEB Handkerchief Code Page [At] [Internet Archive version here]
    A complete guide to the handkerchief codes used by a few gay men in the late seventies.
  • WEB  Bear History Project [Now at Internet Archive]
    An archive that seeks to study and document the "bear" movement. See also Bear History Project Archive [At Cornell]
  • WEB Patricia Leonardi: Review: Last Call at Maud's Cineaste 20:1 (Wntr, 1993):46 [Was At UCB, now Internet Archive]
    On the closing of a famed San Francisco Lesbian Bar
  • WEB Wigstock History as of 1999 [Internet Archive]
  • Photos of Wigstock 1993 [At Columbia] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Wikipedia: Imperial Court System
    On the "imperial court" drag fundraising phenomenon.
  • WEB Calvin Klein Ads Archive [Internet Archive]
    The use of the male body in public advertising became a major cultural trope in 1980s, with the Calvin Klein company in the lead. This site collects images of CK models, models who came to define a certain ideal of male beauty. This First CK Ad is famous for dominating Times Square in New York for an extended period.


  • WEB American Psychiatric Association: Policy Statements on Lesbian and Gay Issues [Was At APA, now Internet Archive]
    APA statements over the years on LGBT issues.
  • Wikipedia: Age of Consent Around the World
  • Rocky O'Donovan: ECCE HOMO: Ruminations on a Theology of My Queer Body [At Internet Archive]
    How the Mormon church dealt with a gay boy in the late 1970s.
  • Stephen Donaldson: Testimony at Massachusetts Legislative Hearing of 5/23/94 [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    On the issue and history of prison rape.
  • Patrick J. Buchanan: Speech Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas, 1992 [Was At, now Internet Archive]
    Virulently homophobic [among other things] speech which helped Bill Clinton win in 1992.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick June 30, 1986 [At QRD] [Internet Archive version here]
    The US Supreme Court decision which upheld the legality of US states' sodomy laws.
  • Romer Vs. Evans May 20, 1996 [Was At UMKC, now Internet Archive]
    The extremely important US Supreme Court decision, by Justice Anthony Kennedy, which overturned the anti-gay Colorado 'Amendment 2'. This decision, which incidentally sees the formal use of "gay" and "lesbian" by the highest levels of the US government, finally established the legal foundation for prohibition of anti-gay bias. It specifically accepts that gays and lesbians are a social group worthy of protection.
  • WEB QRD Legal Page [At QRD] [Internet Archive version here]
    For other legal decision texts, and commentary in the 1990s.
  • WEB LGBTQ History in Government Documents: Timeline of Documents 1830-present [At UCSD] [Internet Archive version here]

Texts: Literary

With the rise of the modern LGBT movement literature by and about LGBT's has flourished as never before. Gay bookstores once flourish in thr 1980s (a few still remains) and carried thousands of titles. But at the same time literature has become less central to analyzing historical issues, since so much other data is available. The texts below are ones texts [and links to reviews] which have had an especially important effect on the development of LGB culture.


Back to Contents

Chapter 22: AIDS and History



  • CDC:  CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report July 3, 1981 [At CDC] [Internet Archive version here]
  • CDC:  CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report July3, 1981 facsimile [At Australian Queer Archives] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Lawrence K. Altman: Rare Cancer seen in 4 Homosexuals, July 3, 1981, New York Times [Was at NY Times, now Internet Archive]
  • YouTube: Reagan Admininstration's Joking Response to the AIDS Epidemic (plus laughing journalists) [Note YouTube links can god bad]
  • "Use Disease Hits London", Nov 1982 Capital Gay (UK) On page 5 [At I-Base] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Michael Callan: How to Have Sex in an Epidemic 1983 [Wikipedia]
  • Michael Callan: How to Have Sex in an Epidemic 1983 [Internet Archive]
  • Ronald Reagan: Proclamation 5709 - AIDS Awareness and Prevention Month 29 Sept 1987 [Wikisource]
    This more than six years after the epidemic was detected.
  • Fordham University AIDS Vigil 1988 [At this Site]
  • UK Goverment: AIDS Don't Die of Ignorance 1986 [At Wellcome]
    Delivered to every house in the UK.
  • YouTube: AIDS Iceberg Advert 1987 (UK)
  • David Bolen (1964-1995): Poem for my Funeral, written 29 Jan 1993 [Blog] [Internet Archive version here]
    (Note by Paul Halsall - David Bolen was my best friend of the over seventy men I knew who died of AIDS in New York city in thr 1990s)
  • Lawrence K. Altman: AIDS Meeting: Signs of Hope , and Obstacles, Report from Vancouver Conference, July 7 1996 New York Times [Was At New York Times, now Internet Archive]
    This was the public announcment of the success of multi-drug therapy involving protease inhibitors. People could not believe it at first, but in the months that follow, for those Americans who access to treatement, we could see people who were at the point off death, get up and continue with their lives.
  • Bay Area Reporter: No Obits Thursday August 13, 1998, Bay Area Reporter [At BAR] [Internet Archive version here]
    For 17 years the B.A.R. had run obituaries as a whole generation of mostly gay men died. Over 700,000 died from AIDS in the United States by 2018. In San Francisco over 2500 died in just one year (1992). Deaths did not stop after multiple drug therapy, but there was now hope.
  • Andrew Sullivan: When Plagues End 10 Nov 1996, New York Times [Was At New York Times, now Internet Archive]
    Sullivan was much criticised for this article, about the "end of the crisis", but as an HIV+ man he had a right to speak. 1996 did represent a move from a crisis to a management phase. There now were effective treatments. The issue was to get them to people.
  • George W. Bush: PEPFAR President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief 2003 [Wikipedia]
    What else wrong Bush may have done as President he did show leadership in pushing through this plan whereby the United States paid for the expensive drugs required to treat HIV infection. As of 2020 an estimted 20 million lives have been saved.


Back to Contents

Chapter 23: ACT UP

ACT UP, which began in New York in Spring 1987 is important as part of AIDS history, lesbian and gay history, and the history of medicine. For the first time the "victims: of a disease, met with condescension and disdain by governmental and medical establishment successfully organized a political and investigative revolution. In the process ACT UP spun off chapters of its original NY parent all around the globe, a whole series of radical practical help organizations, and revitalized the radicalism of lesbian and gay politics (even as, annoyingly, its largely lesbian and gay members complained each time the NY Times referred to ACT UP as a "gay organization").

ACT UP achieved its goals [and it did achieve many of them] through spectacular street theater and much hard backroom work. It was quite common in the late eighties to see members slogging away at research in the New York Public Library on a whole array of subjects. It is not often realized that ACT UP's press releases contained as much work as its graphics. Sometimes its tactics shocked: but the shock of ACT UP gave it real power. It got a voice at the table; it reduced health insurance costs; it made needle exchange a viable policy; it transformed the way drugs were assessed. In then end, ACT UP did save lives, even as thousands, including hundreds of its own members, died

The history of ACT UP is only now being written: its archives are with the NY Public Library and will be open for research. There will be debates about who was important, and what, if anything, went wrong. But it will be a shame if the sheer courage and bravery of its members is ever overlooked. For all the toughness, for all the beatings its members received from the police, no ACT UP member resorted to violence. But more, in the 1980's, an age when college kids around the United States asserted that their highest goal was "to join a financial planning corporation", ACT UP members demonstrated again and again that there is meaning in human lives.



  • WEB ACT UP - Documents Page
  • WEB ACT UP Oral History Project
    An archive of 187 interviews with members of ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York
  • Douglas Crimp and Adam Rolston:AIDS demo graphics(1990) [Internet Archive borrow facility]
    The book contains examples of the strike visuals that were used by ACT UP New York.
  • Dale Peck: The Illusionist 2015 [At Out] [Internet Archive version here]
    A Testament to his time in the trenches of the AIDS epidemic. 
  • Wikipedia: ACT UP


Back to Contents

Chapter 24: The Queer Moment (early 1990s)



  • Queers Read This/I Hate Straights June 1990 [At QRD] [Internet Archive version here]
    Distributed by "Anonymous Queers" at the 1990 LG Pride March in New York. It was distributed from the ACT UP float, by ACT UP members acting without "floor" support, but soon came to be associated with "Queer" politics. It was not, however, a Queer Nation initiative.
  • Queers Read This/I Hate Straights June 1990 PDF [At ACT UP] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Queers Read This/I Hate Straights June 1990Scan of original newsprint PDF [At Against Equality] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Queer Nation Seattle Disbands: February 1995, Press Release [At QRD] [Internet Archive version here]
  • WEB Outweek Magazine Archive [Internet Archive version here]
    Between 1989 and 1991 this shortlived magazine neverthess entirely caught the zeitgeist of "Queer New York". All its issues are online here and they give a real sense of what is now regarded as a classic New York period.


Back to Contents

Chapter 25: North America: Current Politics and Strategies

]Note: because People with a History is concerned about history, there is less coverage of events and developments over the past twenty years, since to some extent these are still "current events".]


Texts: LGB History

  • Archive of Current Press Reports on LGBT Issues c. 2000 [Was At Brent Payton's website, now Internet Archive]
    Archive of full-text press reports on current lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* issues: gays in the military; lesbian and gay marriage; legislation. Mostly US, but some international coverage.

Texts: Modern Homophobia


Back to Contents

Special Themes 4: Anti-Gay: Gay Criticism of Gay Culture

There has been a persistant willingness by gay writers to criticise aspects of gay culture, and of lesbian writers to criticise lesbian culture.

Some of the criticism is probably justified, but elements of sheer intellectual and class-based snobbery towards the lumpen-schwulen play an important part.

In general these writers live in comparatively safe urban gay environments (London, New York, San Francisco. West Hollywood), have come to terms with their homosexuality long ago, and feel free to offer critiques. Their targets usually (repeatedly in fact), include gay activists, gay commercial culture, gay entertainment, Pride events and so forth. Despite protestations to the contrary, they tend to obliterate the very real struggles still going on for most gays and lesbians (violence, discrimination, religious intolerance), and ignore the benefits of a commercial culture. Above all they create tendentious constructions of gay culture in order to attack.

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People with a History: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History Sourcebook is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project. Date of inception was 1997. People with a History is a www site presenting history relevant to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people, through primary sources, secondary discussions, and images. Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location]. WEB  indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 3 May 2024 [CV]