social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
New Queer Cinema
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
White, Minor
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
Surrealism Surrealism
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Winfield, Paul
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Congratulations to Patricia Nell Warren
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 01/15/12
Last updated on: 01/16/12
Bookmark and Share

Patricia Nell Warren (YouTube video still).

Congratulations to Patricia Nell Warren on the publication of My West: Personal Writings on the American West: Past, Present & Future. The new book collects 47 previously published articles, essays, and blogs about the Western United States, including many about her native Montana, where she grew up on her family's ranch in Deer Lodge. The ranch is now known as the Grant-Kohrs ranch and is a national historic site.

Warren is, of course, best-known for her novels. Almost 40 years after its publication, The Front Runner (1974) remains one of the most popular glbtq novels ever published. The book, which is both uplifting and tragic, managed to capture the spirit of its time by articulating the aspirations and ideals of the burgeoning gay liberation movement. It not only became an international best seller, but also inspired the gay and lesbian running group, Frontrunners, and helped expose what was then an underground secret: gay men no less than lesbians were interested in sports.

An avid sportswoman herself, Warren has collected her columns and essays about glbtq sports figures in The Lavender Locker Room (2006). One of the most poignant moments at Montreal's Outgames in 2006 occurred when Warren ran the last lap of the men's 5,000 kilometer race at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex, symbolically completing the event during which the hero of The Front Runner is killed during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Warren has written many other novels since The Front Runner, including two books that continue the story: Harlan's Race (1994) and Billy's Boy (1997). Other novels include The Fancy Dancer (1976), The Beauty Queen (1978), One Is the Sun (1991), and The Wild Man (2001). The Fancy Dancer and One Is the Sun are set in Montana, but they all in various ways extoll the Western values of determination, self-sufficiency, and true grit.

Hence, it is good to have the essays in My West collected and made available. The book is not only a good read in its own right, but it also reveals a great deal about Warren and her work.

The pieces collected in My West were written over a period of almost 50 years for a wide variety of venues. Some concern rather technical questions such as the origins of the cow horse, bobcats as pest controllers, the mechanics of haying on a large ranch, the genealogy of the Texas longhorn, and a quest for sweetgrass.

Some are sketches of historical figures such as Calamity Jane, Two-Spirit People, and Quarra Grant, the first "First Lady" of Montana Territory. Others recount spiritual lessons learned in the West. Still others confront contemporary political issues, leading Warren at one point, in an open letter to Montana state senators, who in 1995 were considering a bill that would impose censorship in schools, to ask, "How far is the insanity going to go? How pathetically small is the Big Sky going to get?"

In most of the essays collected here gender and sexuality are at least implicit concerns. Often these issues are confronted directly. The essay "A Coming-Out Tale of Old Montana" offers a wonderful portrait of a gay Montanan and of how deeply glbtq people are braided into Montana history.

My favorite pieces in this rich cornucopia are the ones that are most personal and most autobiographical. Warren's essays entitled "Girl Grassroots," which begins "When I was 8 years old, I fell in love with Eleanor Roosevelt," and "What My Mother Did After She Read My Gay Novel," offer telling insights into the circumstances and people who helped mold her into the remarkable woman she is.

Here Patricia Nell Warren discusses My West at the Autry National Center:

Here is Part 2 of the reading at the Autry National Center:

My West and other books by Patricia Nell Warren may be ordered from the publisher Wildcat Press.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
Related Special Features
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.