EDITORS: David Shneer, Caryn Aviv
PUBLISHER: Routledge
DATE: 2006
PAGES: 306

American Queer, Now and Then

edited by David Shneer and Caryn Aviv

Contrasting queer life today and in years past, this landmark book brings together autobiographies, poetry, film studies, maps, documents, laws, and other texts to explore the meaning and practice of the word queer. By this Shneer and Aviv mean: queer as both a form of social violence and a call to political activism; queer as played by Robin Williams and Sharon Stone and as lived by Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena; queer in the courthouses of Washington D.C. and on the streets of hometown America. Contextualizing these contemporary stories with ones from the past, and understanding them through the analytic tools of feminist social criticism and history, the authors show what it means to be queer in America.


  • Audre Lorde
  • Alfred C. Kinsey
  • Wardell B. Pomeroy
  • Clyde E. Martin
  • George Chauncey
  • George Henry
  • Loren Cameron
  • Kate Bernstein
  • Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy
  • Madeline Davis
  • Wayne Myslik
  • Bonnie J. Morris
  • William G. Hawkeswood
  • Alex W. Costly
  • Richard Bruce Nugent
  • Christi Cassidy
  • Michael Called
  • Dossie Easton
  • Catherine A. Liszt
  • Dwight A. McBride
  • Dan Savage
  • Suzanna Danuta Walters
  • Judith Stacey and Elizabeth Davenport
  • Daniel Gross
  • Steven Goldstein
  • Chief Justice Margaret Marshall
  • Tony Kushner
  • Leslie Feinberg
  • Moisés Kaufman
  • Valerie Jenness
  • Henry Gerber
  • Mary Casal
  • Josh Gamson
  • David Shneer
  • Caryn Aviv
  • Introduction
  • 1. Bulldykes, Faggots, and Fairies, Oh My! Calling and Being Called Queer in America, Now and Then
    • The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action (1978) by Audre Lorde
    • Classifications of Homosexuality (1916), from Urologic and Cutaneous Review
    • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) by Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy, and Clyde E. Martin
    • Gay New York (1994) by George Chauncey
  • 2. Are We Free to Be You and Me? Queer Sexuality in America, Now and Then
    • Sex Variants (1941) by George Henry
    • Sexual Deviations (1968, 1980) from American Psychiatric Association
    • Introduction to Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits (1996) by Loren Cameron
    • My Gender Worlkbook (1998) by Kate Bernstein
  • 3. Out and About: Queer Spaces in America, Now and Then 
    • Homosexual Complexion Perverts in St. Louis: Note on the Feature of Psychopathy (1907) from Alienist and Neurologist
    • ”I Could Hardly Wait to Get Back to That Bar”: Lesbian Bar Culture in the 1930s and 1940s (1993) by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis
    • Renegotiating the Social/Sexual Identifies of Places: Gay Communities as Safe Havens or Sites of Resistance? (1994) by Wayne Myslik
    • At the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (2003) by Bonnie J. Morris
    • One of the Children: Gay Black Men in Harlem (1996) by William G. Hawkeswood and Alex W. Costly
  • 4. The Birds and the… Birds: Queer Love, Sex, and Romance in America, Now and Then
    • Smoke, Lilies, and Jade (1926) by Richard Bruce Nugent
    • Opening Pandora’s Box (2004) by Christi Cassidy
    • Mike Goes to the Baths (1984) by Michael Called
    • Paradigms Old and New (1998) by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt
    • It’s a White Man’s World (2005) by Dwight A. McBride
  • 5. Where are Our White Picket Fences? Queer Relationships and Families in America, Now and Then
    • Younger Brother Dynamics (2000) by Dan Savage
    • Take My Domestic Partner, Please: Gays and Marriage in the Era of the Visible (2001) by Suzanna Danuta Walters
    • Queer Families Quack Back (2002) by Judith Stacey and Elizabeth Davenport
    • Weddings/Celebrations (2002) by Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein
    • Ruling in Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Health (2003) by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall
  • 6. To See and Be Seen: Queers in American Media and Entertainment, Now and Then
    • Why Did I Write The Well of Loneliness? (1992) by Tony Kushner
    • Prologue to All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America (2003) by Suzanna Danuta Walters
  • 7. Sticks and Stones: Bullying, Battering, and Beating American Queers, Now and Then
    • Stone Butch Blues (1993) by Leslie Feinberg
    • The Laramie Project (2001) by Moisés Kaufman
    • Social Movement Growth, Domain Expansion, and Framing Processes: The Gay/Lesbian Movement and Violence against Gays and Lesbians as a Social Problem (1995) by Valerie Jenness
    • National School Climate Survey, Key Findings (2003) from Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educators Network
  • 8. I Am That Name: American Queer Activism, Now and Then
    • The Society for Human Rights (1925) by Henry Gerber
    • Preface to The Stone Wall (1930) by Mary Casal
    • Statement of Missions and Purposes (1951) from Mattachine Society
    • The Ladder (1956) from Daughters of Bilitis
    • The Woman Identified Woman (1971) by Radicalesbians
    • Introduction to Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (1983) by Barbara Smith
    • No More Business as Usual (1987) from AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)
    • Mission Statement (1993) from Southerners on New Ground
    • Mission Statement (1995) from GenderPAC
    • Mission Statement (1990) from National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Organization (LLEGO)
    • Mission Statement (2004) from Mosaic: The National Jewish Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • 9. Conclusion: We’re Here, We’re Queer, Now What? 
    • Must Identity Movements Self-Destruct? A Queer Dilemma (1995) by Josh Gamson
    • Heeding Isaiah’s Call (2002) by David Shneer and Caryn Aviv
  • Index
  • Credits

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