The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Lillian Faderman

Language: English

Pages: 816

ISBN: 1451694121

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The sweeping story of the struggle for gay and lesbian rights—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day: “This is the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for” (The Washington Post).

The fight for gay and lesbian 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. In “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement” (The Economist), Lillian Faderman tells this unfinished story through the dramatic accounts of passionate struggles with sweep, depth, and feeling.

The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with 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.

“A compelling read of a little-known part of our nation’s history, and of individuals whose stories range from heart-wrenching to inspiring to enraging to motivational” (Chicago Tribune), 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.




















domestic violence and welfare rights. Then they asked the Black Women’s Caucus to support the sexual preference resolution. Powell overheard women in the audience whispering, “What did they say? They’re lesbians? Well, all right. But look at that! The daughters are preaching!”60 The sexual preference resolution was presented by Jean O’Leary, Charlotte Bunch, and Ellie Smeal, the newly elected NOW president. Midge Costanza took the microphone to announce she had a word to say on behalf of her

sum from the Jack Campbell coffers; and $150,000 from donors all over the country.38 They bought media ads that emphasized justice and liberty: “Freedom in America begins and ends here,” accompanied by a picture of a voting booth; and “Don’t let them chip away at the Constitution,” with a picture of a hammer cracking the Bill of Rights.39 But not a word about “gay” or “sexual.” While Foster and Geto skirted the gut terms, Bob Kunst laid them bare. Kunst was a perfect embodiment of the Age of

Serving Openly in the Military,” Stars and Stripes, February 25, 2010. The chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, had testified a few weeks earlier before the committee. Despite his legal advisor’s having said that repeal was a bad idea in the midst of fighting a war, the admiral, making it clear he was “speaking for myself and myself only,” told the committee, “No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces

December 21, 2006. 45. In Re. Marriage Cases: 43 Cal. 4th 757 (2008). 46. Democratic strategists complained in a postmortem that the No on 8 Campaign was run by a committee that wouldn’t take advice from professional strategists: Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan, “How Proposition 8 Passed in California, and Why It Wouldn’t Today,” Washington Post, March 26, 2013. 47. Pope Benedict XVI declared that homosexuality was “an intrinsic moral evil” (Cardinal Ratzinger [who would become Pope

ONE it was a solid tilt in the fight for homosexual rights. They hoped to use it to rally the troops. The post office decision was “historic,” Dale Jennings declared. Never before had a big governmental agency had to admit that homosexuals might have legal rights. But there were still thousands of homosexuals being unjustly arrested, jailed, beaten, ruined—and now it was time to fight. “Want to help?” Jennings challenged ONE’s readers. Defiant as Jennings’s editorial was, the board knew they’d

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