Speaking for Our Lives: Historic Speeches and Rhetoric for Gay and Lesbian Rights (1892-2000)

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Robert B. Marks Ridinger
Harrington Park Press, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 905 pages
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Read the words they risked everything for!

This landmark volume collects more than a hundred years of the most important public rhetoric on gay and lesbian subjects. In the days when homosexuality was mentioned only in whispers, a few brave souls stood up to speak for the rights of sexual minorities. In Speaking for Our Lives: Historic Speeches and Rhetoric for Gay and Lesbian Rights (1892-2000), their stirring words have finally been gathered together, along with the political manifestoes, broadsheets, and performance pieces of the gay and lesbian liberation movement.

Speaking for Our Lives comprises speeches and manifestoes prompted by events ranging from demonstrations to funerals. Scholars and researchers will appreciate the brief commentary introducing each piece, which discusses the author, the occasion, and the political and social contexts in which it first appeared.

You'll find the words of a broad variety of individuals and groups, including:
  • the Victorian humanist and crusader Robert Ingersoll
  • key groups such as the Mattachine Society, Homosexual Law Reform Society, Gay Activists Alliance, and International Gay Association
  • activists and educators Robin Morgan, Joseph Bean, and Dr. Franklin Kameny,
  • artists and journalists of the movement, such as John Eric Larsen, Joan Nestle, Barbara Grier, and Jim Kepner
  • elected officials, including Bella Abzug, Ed Koch, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gerry Studds, Tammy Baldwin, and Bill Clinton
Many of these documents have long been out of print. Speaking for Our Lives makes these noteworthy texts readily available to the broader public they deserve. This book preserves an essential part of twentieth-century history.

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About the author (2004)

ROBERT B. RIDINGER (MA, MLS), is Full Professor in the Northern Illinois University Libraries, and has been active for over twenty-five years in working to research and restore the gay and lesbian history of the United States. Among his writings are contributions to Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage and the Gay and Lesbian Almanac and the compiling of the groundbreaking anthology Speaking For Our Lives; Speeches and Rhetoric of Gay and Lesbian Rights (1892-2000).

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