The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Lillian Faderman

Language: English

Pages: 816

ISBN: 1451694121

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The sweeping story of the struggle for gay and lesbian rights—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day: “This is the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for” (The Washington Post).

The fight for gay and lesbian civil rights—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers—is the most important civil rights issue of the present day. In “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement” (The Economist), Lillian Faderman tells this unfinished story through the dramatic accounts of passionate struggles with sweep, depth, and feeling.

The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.

“A compelling read of a little-known part of our nation’s history, and of individuals whose stories range from heart-wrenching to inspiring to enraging to motivational” (Chicago Tribune), The Gay Revolution paints a nuanced portrait of the LGBT civil rights movement. A defining account, this is the most complete and authoritative book of its kind.

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directions. She sat down again—and handcuffed herself to her chair, so that when the police arrived, there’d be an extra stir because they’d have to cut the handcuffs. Then Roskoff stood up from his seat in the balcony, shouting, “There are twenty million gays in this country. Lindsay cannot run for president!” and he, too, held up a siren, pulled the pin, and threw siren and pin in opposite directions. He also flung hundreds of Gay Activists Alliance flyers down on the audience seated in the

heterosexuals do, fellows,” Green told the newsmen jovially.74 The Save Our Children victory party was held at the Holiday Inn, a hotel just down the street from one of Miami’s most popular gay beaches. With her husband and four children by her side, Bryant, decked out in a powder-blue dress, her auburn hair coiffed in stiff, midcentury proper-lady style, stood before a crowd delirious with its victory. The bulbs of news cameras popped incessantly. “Tonight the laws of God and the cultural values

for gay and lesbian civil rights was on a precipitous downhill slide, and gays were unable to figure out how to apply the brakes. There’d been some valiant efforts in gay communities to fight,26 but there weren’t enough activist gays and lesbians, there wasn’t enough political savvy, and there weren’t enough straight allies to counter the propaganda campaigns that appealed to blind bigotry. THE USES OF A DEVIL It’s ironic that it was Anita Bryant who pumped vital energy into a renewed battle

the pockets of her skirts and pants and jackets inside out. They opened her locker and all her drawers. Everything she’d neatly rolled according to regulations they unrolled, even her nylons and bras. They found her address book. They looked through every page, demanded she tell them about her relationship with every female listed. Then they confiscated it. “Take us to your car,” they told her. They left her clothes and everything else strewn about the bed and floor. They looked under the seats

potential members asked why his organization didn’t have social events, he answered somberly that there were enough homosexual social clubs already; Mattachine’s purpose was not entertainment but reform. Leitsch was so sincere about his reform work that he organized a “sip-in” through which he hoped to force the New York State Liquor Authority to stop harassing establishments that served homosexuals. He notified all the major New York City newspapers. “Send a reporter,” he told city editors.

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