Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940

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Basic Books, 1994 - History - 478 pages
21 Reviews
This groundbreaking work shatters the myth that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet where gay men were isolated, invisible, and self-hating. Based on years of research and access to a rich trove of public and private documents, this is a look at a gay world that was not supposed to have existed. Focusing on New York City, the gay capital of the nation for nearly a century, Chauncey recreates the saloons, speakeasies, and cafeterias where gay men gathered, the intimate parties and immense drag balls where they celebrated, and the highly visible residential enclaves they built in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and Times Square. He offers new perspectives on the gay rights revolution of our time by showing that the oppression the gay and lesbian movement attacked in the 1960s was not an unchanging phenomenon--it had intensified in the 1920s and 1930s as a direct response to the visibility of the gay world in those years.--From publisher description.

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Review: Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Read for class. Informative, but slow. Not a book I'll ever read for fun. Decent LGBT history book, though. Read full review

Review: Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940

User Review  - Todd Stansbury - Goodreads

Truly enjoyable book that examines the vibrant and visible gay world that existed in New York prior to a World War II. The writing is excellent and aside from learning a lot, it's a great read. Read full review

Contents

MALE HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICES AND IDENTITIES
10
The Bowery as Haven and Spectacle
33
The Fairy as an Intermediate Sex
47
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

George Chauncey is professor of American history at the University of Chicago and the author of Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, which won the distinguished Turner and Curti Awards from the Organization of American Historians, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Lambda Literary Award. He testified as an expert witness on the history of antigay discrimination at the 1993 trial of Colorado's Amendment Two, which resulted in the Supreme Court's Romer v. Evans decision that antigay rights referenda were unconstitutional, and he was the principal author of the Historians' Amicus Brief, which weighed heavily in the Supreme Court's landmark decision overturning sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas (2003). The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives and works in Chicago.

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