Last month, Dr. G. Samantha Rosenthal, author of Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in a Southern City, was featured on UNC Libraries’ Off the Shelf series. Off the Shelf is a collaboration between the University Libraries and UNC Press to present new works on racial and social justice in our history and our world.
Queer history is a living practice. Talk to any group of LGBTQ people today, and they will not agree on what story should be told. Many people desire to celebrate the past by erecting plaques and painting rainbow crosswalks, but queer and trans people in the twenty-first century need more than just symbols—they need access to power, justice for marginalized people, spaces of belonging. Approaching the past through a lens of queer and trans survival and world-building transforms history itself into a tool for imagining and realizing a better future.
Living Queer History tells the story of an LGBTQ community in Roanoke, Virginia, a small city on the edge of Appalachia.
Dr. G. Samantha Rosenthal is Associate Professor of History at Roanoke College and co-founder of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project.