Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940
, 1994 - History
- 478 pages
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.