Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

In the history of lesbian and gay politics, historians put a lot of stock in whether or not the people we study were “out.” But what exactly does “out” mean? This past week I interviewed Robert W. Wood, author of 1960 book Christ and the Homosexual Wood is a retired United Church of Christ (formerly Congregationalist Church) minister who knew since high school that he … Continue reading Are there degrees out ‘outness’?

Crime Doesn’t Pay

I have always loved giving public talks. I love the challenge of writing a compelling narrative, and I love the rush of energy I get from an attentive audience who is usually pleased, sometimes even thrilled, to learn something new about queer history. Occasionally someone approaches me after a presentation with a story to share. Just such a thing happened this past week. I participated … Continue reading Crime Doesn’t Pay

FREAK WEDDING! BRIDEGROOM IS A GIRL

[click for larger] The headline says it all. In the 1950s, lesbians were “freaks.” This was especially true of butch women who adopted a masculine working-class style. Their style alone communicated volumes: I will not conform to society’s rules; I will not be a “proper” woman; I am a sexually desiring being, and my desire is directed toward women, especially feminine women.
 When I first … Continue reading FREAK WEDDING! BRIDEGROOM IS A GIRL