LGBT History

University of South Carolina Press

More than thirty years after his death, James Baldwin is recapturing the American imagination in politics and popular culture. Black Lives Matter, “Moonlight,” “Between the World and Me,” and Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” all resurrect Baldwin’s voice. The major themes of his writing are also evident throughout today’s headlines: police malfeasance, expansive sexuality, class struggle, and the marginalization of black Americans. Baldwin drew on his struggle of overlapping marginalization in his writing — in one interview he described being born poor, black, and gay as “hitting the jackpot” for sourcing material. But his intersectional politics made it hard for the author to find a home with the political movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Baldwin was an exile who remained intensely realistic, patient and hopeful about his country’s transformation.

Open And Out In Office

Nov 1, 2018
a photo of Harvey Milk at Mayor Moscone's desk
Creative Commons

Harvey Milk was not the first openly-gay elected official, but is certainly one of the most famous. After two unsuccessful bids for a set on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Milk won twice, Milk won in 1977 and proudly represented those on the fringes. He believed the only way for the gay community to gain rights was to have a seat at the table.

photo of stage production - a man speaks at a podium and a group of people look up at an angel figure
Sarah Shatz / 'The World Only Spins Forward'

Playwright Tony Kushner subtitled his seminal work a “gay fantasia on national themes.” “Angels in America” is a two-part, seven-hour play that examines the politics and culture of 1980s America through the stories of eight characters living at the peak of the AIDS epidemic. From its debut in a small San Francisco theater in 1991 to its return to Broadway this year, the play has not only earned a Pulitzer Prize and several Tony awards, but it has also struck a chord with actors, activists and writers around the world.

I Don't Do Boxes is a new LGBTQ magazine created by and for queer youth.
idontdoboxes.org

I Don't Do Boxes is a new magazine that explores and documents the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender experience in the southeast United States. The magazine was founded and edited by the youth-led media program QueerLab. Each issue is designed to provide a unique look at what it means to be queer in the South by tackling topics like identifying as LGBTQ in school or the power of documenting LGBTQ voices.

Creative Commons/ Wellcome Library, London

Writer Megan Mahew Bergman describes her newest collection of short stories as “10 years of my reading life.” Almost Famous Women (Scribner/2015) is historical fiction that explores the lives of powerful and unusual women who have remained in the margins of history. The stories range from an account of conjoined twins who were sold into show business in North Carolina, to the life and legacy of Africa’s first female horse trainer. Host Frank Stasio talks to Megan Mahew Bergman about women who took risks, broke rules, and disrupted cultural and gender norms in the early to mid 20th century.

QNotes

The Levine Museum of the New South recently unveiled a historic exhibit that spotlights the LGBTQ community of Charlotte.