The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Jeanette Winterson discusses Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
The fifteen notable books described below are presented not as the best glbtq books written during the year, but simply as books well worth reading for their insights into the lives and history of glbtq people. They are listed alphabetically by author.
Carol Anshaw, Carry the One. In this elegantly written novel, Anshaw recounts the lives of three siblings over the course of three decades.
Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama. In this graphic memoir, Bechdel reveals how she became an artist by focusing on her culture-vulture mother, who was a woman unhappily married to a closeted gay man and whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood.
Keith Boykin, ed., For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home. This collection of prose and poetry by more than 40 authors confronts head-on issues faced by young men of color, including sexual abuse, racism, and homophobia in the African American and Latino communities.
Peter Cameron, Coral Glynn. In this period novel set in 1950, Cameron, with his customary wit and empathy, subtly unveils the deep emotions that are hidden beneath placid surfaces.
Dale Carpenter, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas. In this absorbing account of the case that resulted in the landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down sodomy laws, Carpenter not only charts the legal strategy pursued by Lambda Legal attorneys, but also places the case in historical context and reveals new and sometimes startling details of the arrest and prosecution of the unlikely heroes, John G. Lawrence and Tyron Garner.
Lisa Cohen, All We Know: Three Lives. Cohen's brilliant and deeply sympathetic "triple biography" of three almost forgotten lesbians--Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, and Madge Garland--sheds light on the interrelated subjects of gender, sexuality, fashion, and modernism.
Dylan Edwards, Transposes. This graphic "nonfiction novel" tells the stories of six transgender men who also happen to be queer as it explores--sometimes hilariously, sometimes heartbreakingly--the question of what makes a man a man.
Patrick Gale, A Perfectly Good Man. Gale's novel focuses on a Cornish pirest who turns out to be complex and ambiguous in more surprising and interesting ways than the title might suggest.
Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child. In this sprawling multi-generational family saga, which begins in 1913 and ends almost a century later, Hollinghurst details how English society changed over the years, especially for gay men.
Lisa Jarnot, Robert Duncan, Ambassador from Venus. Jarnot's meticulously researched biography of Robert Duncan vividly illuminates the life of a brave and influential poet.
Joy Ladin, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders. In this poignant contribution to transgender autobiography, Ladin recounts her transition from male to female. In the process, she wrestles with both practical matters and deeply philosophical issues, and questions the impact of her transition on others, including her children.
Michael Lowenthal, The Paternity Test. In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Lowenthal explores the relationship between a gay couple and their Brazilian surrogate, and raises questions about the nature of mature love and the desire to have children.
Sarah Schulman, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination. Schulman's memoir of the AIDS years mourns the loss not only of friends who died, but also of the radical political perspectives that also perished. She testifies as a witness to the loss of a generation's sensibility.
Edmund White, Jack Holmes and His Friend. In this novel set in the period from the first stirrings of the gay liberation movement through the advent of AIDS, White tells the story of a complicated friendship between a gay man and a straight man played out against the background of profound cultural change.
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. In this deeply affecting memoir, which manages to be both painful and funny, Winterson returns to the difficult childhood she dramatized in her breakthrough 1985 novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She paints an unforgettable portrait of her monstrous, yet altogether human, mother.
In the video below, Winterson discusses Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?