“This is the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for.” —The Washington Post
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.
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.
Faderman (Naked in the Promised Land), a scholar of lesbian history and literature, renders the slow transformation of culture into a sweeping narrative of the American struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights. She digs deep into media and legislative archives to construct a comprehensive narrative, beginning in the 1950s with the scapegoating of homosexuals under "vag-lewds" law and the first formulation of homosexuals as a minority group, and continuing to the current and recent legal fights around the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), hate crime legislation, and marriage equality. Faderman depicts the struggle as a conflict between "suits and streets," offering balanced coverage of both meticulous lobbying from the government, military, and professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association, and the rapid changes wrought by historical radicalizations such as the Stonewall riots, the Harvey Milk riots, and the aggressive medical activism of ACT UP. First-person accounts from over 100 interviews conducted as original research for the book punctuate this extraordinary story. Faderman's immense cultural history will give today's LGBTQ activists both a profound appreciation of their forebears and the motivation to carry the struggle forward.
Wasn't really that good of a book