The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 8, 2015 - History - 794 pages
“The most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement.” —The Economist

A New York Times Notable Book of 2015

The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights—from the 1950s to the present—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day.

The fight for gay, lesbian, and trans 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. Based on rigorous research and more than 150 interviews, The Gay Revolution tells this unfinished story not through dry facts but through dramatic accounts of passionate struggles, with all the sweep, depth, and intricacies only an award-winning activist, scholar, and novelist like Lillian Faderman can evoke.

The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when law classified gays and lesbians as criminals, the psychiatric profession saw them as mentally ill, the churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with irrational 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.

In the words of the eyewitnesses who were there through the most critical events, 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.
 

Contents

America Hunts for Witches
13
Toward a HomosexualFree Military
27
America Protects Its Youngsters
40
Mattachine
53
The Daughters
74
Jousts with the Four Horsemen
91
Slivers of Space and Justice
115
Throwing Down the Gauntlet
128
Grappling with Defeat
355
Learning How to Win
366
Of Martyrs and Marches
393
The Plague
415
Family Values
442
New Gays and Lesbians Versus the Old Military
471
Dont Ask Dont Tell Dont Serve
495
Get Dont Ask Dont Tell Done
513

The Homosexual American Citizen Takes the Government
146
The Riots
171
New Gay Politics
188
The Gay Activists Alliance
210
Lesbian Feminists
227
Dressing for Dinner
249
How Gays and Lesbians Stopped Being Crazies
279
The Culture War in Earnest
298
Enter Anita
321
How to Lose a Battle
336
How Lesbians and Gays Stopped Being Sex Criminals
537
The First Law in American History That Begins the Job
552
The Struggle for Workplace Protection
564
WHAT JUSTIFICATION COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE FOR DENYING HOMOSEXUALS
581
Getting It Right and Wrong in the West
594
The Evolution of a President and the Country 610 630
610
Epilogue
630
Acknowledgments
637
Photo Credits
769
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Lillian Faderman is an internationally known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature. Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship. She is the author of The Gay Revolution and the New York Times Notable Books, Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers.