In a New Century: Essays on Queer History, Politics, and Community Life

June 13, 2021
In a New Century: Essays on Queer History, Politics, and Community Life

For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the UnitedStates, the twenty-first century has brought dramatic changes: theend of sodomy laws, the elimination of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," amove toward recognition of same-sex marriage, Gay-StraightAlliances in thousands of high schools, and an explosion ofvisibility in the media and popular culture. All of this would havebeen unimaginable to those living just a few decades ago. Yet, atthe same time, the American political system has grown ever moreconservative, and increasing economic inequality has been adefining feature of the new century.A pioneering scholar of gay history, John D'Emilio reflects inthis wide-ranging collection of essays upon the social, cultural,and political changes provoked by LGBT activism. He offersprovocative questions and historical analyses: What can we learnfrom a life-long activist like Bayard Rustin, who questioned thewisdom of "identity politics"? Was Richard Nixon a "gayliberationist"? How can knowing local stories—like those of Chicagoin the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—help build stronger communities andenrich traditions of activism? Might the focus on achievingactually be evidence of growing conservatism in LGBTcommunities?In a New Century provides a dynamic, thoughtful, andimportant resource for identifying changes that have occurred inthe United States since 1960, taking stock of the work that stillneeds to be done, and issuing an urgent call to action for gettingthere.