Marc Stein: Immigration is a Queer Issue: From Fleuti to Trump

In Trump v. Washington, the Ninth Circuit panel has used a decision in a “gay rights” case as a precedent for a decision in a “Muslim rights” one.

Excerpt: Not Straight, Not White, by Kevin J. Mumford

Published in the New Yorker, the long piece meditated on American racism, seeing white prejudice as arising from the reality that the “white man’s masculinity depends on a denial of the masculinity of the blacks” and that therefore the nation subjected the “Negro” to many “horrors.” After reading the essay, Kennedy had reportedly contacted Baldwin and sought the meeting because he wished to hear “fresh” ideas on “coping with civil rights problems.” If he had invited only the older and more moderate celebrities, such as Lena Horne or Harry Belafonte, it seems unlikely that the meeting would have ended as it did, in frank disagreement and an acrimonious exit. But the presence of Jerome Smith, a participant in the southern Freedom Rides that continued to press for the desegregation of buses and stations, had raised the stakes.

J. Samaine Lockwood: Nineteenth-Century New England’s Queer Thanksgivings

As we travel home this Thanksgiving, it is worth taking time to reflect on the various meanings of this holiday—personal, collective, regional, and national. A product of nineteenth-century sectional, socio-sexual, and imperialist imperatives, Thanksgiving is far from a physically satisfying celebration involving a return to an uncomplicated home.

Excerpt: Radical Relations, by Daniel Winunwe Rivers

As the children of lesbian mothers and gay fathers had in previous eras, the children of lesbian feminist families often acted as mediators between their families and a larger society that saw their homes as deviant. Unlike in previous eras, however, the children of lesbian feminist families in the 1970s negotiated the distance between radically open lesbian families and a dominant heterosexual society. Whereas in earlier decades, children of lesbian mothers had moved between their families and mainstream heterosexual society tacitly, the children of lesbian households in the 1970s were much more visible because their families demanded the right to openly exist. These children were bicultural in that they belonged to a vocal oppositional minority culture but also had to operate within the dominant culture that questioned the viability of their families. These children grew up in lesbian households that were more assertive than those of earlier decades, but compared to children of the later lesbian and gay baby boom, they still found their home and family lives to be very separate from mainstream society.

Anne Balay: For Transgender Steelworkers, Invisibility Isn’t an Option

Transgender steelworkers are the most vulnerable people I interviewed. The option of invisibility isn’t available to those who transition at work. And every change that shows, every single solitary detail, becomes a focus of teasing, harassment, violence, and abuse.

Anne Balay: Queer Steelworkers and Labor Unions

I asked him to recall all the people he has worked with—all his union brothers and sisters, down through the years—and count the gay ones. Almost surprised, he said there were none. Of course, he knew as well as I do that there have been many, but that they did not identify themselves as such. My task is then to convince him that their silence was not simply a choice, but rather that it was made in fear, and comes with crippling consequences.

Anne Balay: The Consequences of Marriage Inequality

For my narrators—the forty transgender, lesbian, and gay steelworkers I interviewed—marriage is complicated. Insurance and survival benefits are not just theoretical issues for them.

Anne Balay: As GLBT freedoms expand, who benefits–and who doesn’t

Queer rights becomes the paradigmatic symbol of the west – in Russia, gay liberation had gained some momentum until Putin linked gay rights with Western values, which then led to the systematic, legal oppression of gays in Russia today. The government is literally going into homes of gay people and taking their children away. And these Russian gays can’t hide, because during the period of comparative freedom, they had come out, and now have public personas. There’s no such thing as going back into the closet – once you’re out, that’s that. Their little window of freedom now targets them for state-sponsored abuse as the freedom and progress queers experience in the USA is used to punish queers globally.

E. Patrick Johnson’s ‘Sweet Tea’ on stage in Durham

Author, actor, and activist E. Patrick Johnson is bringing his one-man show Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South (based on his award-winning book of the same name) to Durham.

Carolyn Herbst Lewis: Dropping the K-Bomb

In rejecting the evidence presented in the Kinsey volumes that contradicted their definitions of sexual health, medical professionals reinforced a brand of sexual citizenship that not only made full citizenship exclusively available to married heterosexuals with children, but also limited those couples’ sexual activities to a strict protocol.

Carrie Hamilton: Sexual Diversity in Cuba

It would be a mistake to say that Cuba’s revolutionary leaders came clean on the history of anti-homosexual discrimination and violence. But there were public signs of a willingness to revisit that history in a new light. The most famous example was the 1993 release of the film ‘Strawberry and Chocolate,’ by Cuba’s most prominent film director, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, a friend and ally of Fidel Castro.

Excerpt: William Alexander Percy, by Benjamin E. Wise

Percy benefited from his position atop the racial and class hierarchies in the South, and he did much to perpetuate them.

Carrie Hamilton: New Cuban Women

At first glance, the stories of Cuban women in heterosexual relationships seem to confirm clichés about the island’s machismo. But interviews with other men and women tell a subtler story. They show that the Revolution has changed gender relations, even if some patterns are hard to break.

Free Book Friday: Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South

Comment by 4pm EST today for a chance to win a copy of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South, an oral history by E. Patrick Johnson.

Rose Stremlau: History’s Definition of an American Family

The majority of human civilizations across time and place have not organized themselves into nuclear family units based on monogamous, heterosexual coupling. Native North American societies provide hundreds of alternative examples.

Remembering Allan Berube, historian of gays in the military

I currently have a live feed of the Senate Committee Hearing on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell open in another window on what would have been Allan Bérubé’s 64th birthday. Despite wide support of DADT’s repeal by President Obama and other high-ranking officials, Senator McCain and other Republican leaders are challenging any change in the policy …

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Marc Stein: Justice Kennedy and the Future of Same-Sex Marriage

We welcome a guest post from Marc Stein, author of Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe.  Beyond examining liberal rulings that deal with birth control, abortion, interracial marriage, and obscenity, Sexual Injustice also offers an in-depth account of the profoundly conservative ruling on homosexuality in Boutilier. In a guest post last month, …

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Let the Month of Murray Begin

A couple years ago some colorful and inspiring murals started popping up in Durham, NC, where I live. On Foster Street, down by the YMCA and the Farmers’ Market. On Chapel Hill Street, on the side of the Durham Food Co-op building. Three more within a stone’s throw of each other on Chapel Hill Road, …

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Karey Harwood: IVF Kids: Are They Really All Right?

On Monday the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to the biologist who helped develop in vitro fertilization (IVF). As a New York Times op-ed noted, the honoree is “a man who was reviled, in his time, as doing work that was considered the greatest threat to humanity since the atomic bomb.” Thirty-two years later, …

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Gay Rights and the Supreme Court: The Early Years

As the Supreme Court opens its 2010-2011 session today, we welcome a guest post from Marc Stein, author of Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe. Focusing on six major Supreme Court cases, Sexual Injustice examines the more liberal rulings on birth control, abortion, interracial marriage, and obscenity in Griswold, Fanny Hill, Loving, …

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