When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History

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St. Martin's Publishing Group, Mar 5, 2019 - History - 320 pages

The never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day.

***An ALA GLBT Round Table Over the Rainbow 2019 Top Ten Selection***
***NAMED ONE OF THE BEST LGBTQ BOOKS OF 2019 by Harper's Bazaar***

"A romantic, exquisite history of gay culture." —Kirkus Reviews, starred

“[A] boisterous, motley new history...entertaining and insightful.” —The New York Times Book Review

Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting.

Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time. In intimate, evocative, moving prose he discusses in new light the fundamental questions of what history is, who tells it, and how we can only make sense of ourselves through its retelling; and shows how the formation of the Brooklyn we know today is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. Through them, When Brooklyn Was Queer brings Brooklyn’s queer past to life, and claims its place as a modern classic.

 

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User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

This is, as one might hope, an excellent account of its stated subject. Additionally, the author casts his net pretty widely and adds many tangents, usually interesting, that extend into other areas ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Charlotte_Kinzie - LibraryThing

Hugh Ryan is an interesting fellow, so when I saw this book was coming out I was intrigued! Hugh is a curator of queer history, a writer and speaker and New York is his home. If someone was going to ... Read full review

Contents

Brooklyn Thanksgiving 1940
1
Becoming Visible 18831910
44
Criminal Perverts 191020
70
A Growing World 192030
104
The Beginning of the End 193040
144
6
180
7
225
Epilogue
272
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Hugh Ryan is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn. He is the Founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, and sits on the Boards of QED: A Journal in LGBTQ Worldmaking, and the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Buzzfeed, the LA Review of Books, Out, and many other venues. He is the author of When Brooklyn Was Queer, and is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Martin Duberman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, a 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, and a 2018 residency at The Watermill Center.

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