Download A Queer Capital: A History of Gay Life in Washington D.C. by Genny Beemyn PDF

By Genny Beemyn

Rooted in wide archival study and private interviews, A Queer Capital is the 1st background of LGBT existence within the nation’s capital. Revealing a colourful previous that dates again greater than a hundred twenty five years, the ebook explores how lesbians, homosexual males, and bisexuals demonstrated areas in their personal sooner than and after international conflict II, survived a number of the most harsh anti-gay campaigns within the united states, and arranged to call for equivalent therapy. Telling the tales of black and white homosexual groups and contributors, Genny Beemyn exhibits how race, gender, and sophistication formed the development of homosexual social worlds in a racially segregated city.

From the flip of the 20th century throughout the Eighties, Beemyn explores the studies of homosexual humans in Washington, exhibiting how they created their very own groups, fought for his or her rights, and, within the technique, helped to alter the rustic. Combining wealthy own tales with willing historic research, A Queer Capital offers insights into LGBT lifestyles, the historical past of Washington, D.C., and African American lifestyles and tradition within the 20th century.

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Extra info for A Queer Capital: A History of Gay Life in Washington D.C.

Sample text

In 1922, a man whom he brought home with him stole about nine dollars’ worth of unused stamps from his brother’s trunk. 43 Thus while the parks were the most visible and popular location for men, especially white men, to meet each other for sex, this prominence also made these sites the most dangerous. For Bealer and many other men seeking same-sex sexual relationships, the chance to find romantic and sexual partners seems to have been worth the risk, at least initially. Other possible locations to meet men may have been less likely to draw the attention of the police and hostile outsiders.

There were about twenty of these effeminate creatures there—headed by Alden Garrison and a young thing who called himself Kitty May . . They occupied seats at ringside tables. ”77 As demonstrated by this story, drag performers like Garrison and May, who were among the organizers of the banned drag ball, were highly visible in the city’s black community in the early and mid 1930s, despite the efforts of local authorities to contain cross-dressing by limiting it to performances in clubs for largely heterosexual, gender-conforming audiences.

Sometimes, they would go to a downtown hotel or to the other man’s home to be certain of privacy, but rarely to Bealer’s residence because he lived with his parents until 1922 and then roomed with one of his brothers, Lewis, who was unaware of his sexuality. Bealer’s inability to take men home with him sometimes compelled him to restrict his sexual behavior. 31 Even though the square was wooded and offered some seclusion (much more than it does today), he worried about the greater risk of being arrested there by the city or park police and the possibility that the man himself could be an undercover officer.

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