Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the by James T. Sears

By James T. Sears

While Scarlett O'Hara could resemble a drag queen, and Mardi Gras evokes extra camp than a homosexual satisfaction parade, the yank South additionally boasts a wealthy, actual and transgressive homosexual and lesbian heritage. during this chatty, free-ranging cultural survey, Sears (Growing Up homosexual within the South) provides a brilliant kaleidoscope of the mores and political actions of many homosexual Southerners following the 1969 Stonewall riots and prime as much as the 1979 march on Washington. Sears unspools this historical past via pics of activists and neighborhood organizers together with Merril Mushroom, Jack Nichols, Lige Clark, Vicki Gabriner, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Sgt. Leonard Matlovitch who contributed to shaping the social and political weather less than the Mason Dixon line and infrequently within the remainder of the rustic. whereas giving a nod to ancient occasions like Anita Bryant's keep our kids crusade, Sears focuses extra heavily on imprecise yet vital neighborhood political occasions, just like the founding of the lesbian magazine Sinister knowledge, the emergence of the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance and neighborhood reaction to a perilous firebombing that killed 31 consumers in a brand new Orleans bar within the mid-1970s. Sears's multifaceted method can pay off whilst he sketches such rather unknown gamers as comic Ray Bourbon and radical fairy Faygele ben Miriam, and he conveys good the complexity and depth of the political job of the last decade. whereas now not as traditionally conclusive or theoretically astute as John Howard's masterful males Like That (2000), Sears presents a panoply of emotionally riveting snapshots that aptly painting Southern homosexual adventure within the Seventies. B&w photos.

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Additional info for Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South

Sample text

Four The Pied Piper of Athena When I started teaching in 1968 I was “in the closet,” at least that’s the way I thought of it. Then the women’s movement began, and in 1969, Stonewall happened. And my students happened to me. 1 But that was before Charley Johns had terrorized the Tallahassee campus, before the dean of women (a tailored-suit lesbian) stamped “homosexual” on Penny’s permanent record, and before Penny’s transformation from Leninist atheist to Ayn Randian objectivist. Like Molly Bolt in Rubyfruit Jungle, Penny fled Florida for New York City: “Moving to New York was the thing to do!

Later he asked me to dance, so we did and I loved it. 4 Led by the hard-nosed tactician Frank Kameny, the gentlemanly New York activist Dick Leitsch, and the tireless New York DOB president Barbara Gittings, Lige found himself captivated by the movement’s vision and energy: “The day after I met Jack I was in the Mattachine basement mimeographing newsletters. ”5 In the East Village apartment that spring day in 1971, Lige walked from the kitchen to the wooden writing table and began to read chapter 7 over Jack’s shoulder: Mart Crowley, author of The Boys in the Band, had a most peculiar notion of what goes on at gay parties.

Baker scholarship from DOB that covered book expenses. However, Julia found the Daughter’s meetings boring and insulting. During one of them, members discussed what they hoped to gain by demonstrating. ’ I said, ‘I won’t march for that. ’ ” Both Julia and her antagonist expressed anger over workplace discrimination and exclusion from traditionally male fields such as government service and the high-status professions. The last-minute inclusion of “sex” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act legitimated these issues.

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