Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement
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The diverse voices include a banker, a drag queen from a family of prominent Spartanburg Democrats, a marching minister who grew up along the Edisto River, a former Catholic priest and his tugboat dispatcher husband from Long Island, the owner of a feminist bookstore, a Hispanic American who interned for Republican strategist Lee Atwater, a philanthropist politician from Faith, North Carolina, and a straight attorney recognized as the "Mother of Pride" who became active in 1980, when she learned her son was gay.
Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement challenges the conventional understanding of the LGBTQ movement in the United States in both place and time. Typically associated with pride marches and anti-AIDS activism on both the east and west coasts and rooted in the counterculture of the 1960s and "Stonewall Rebellion" in New York City, Southern variants of the queer liberation movement have found little room in public or scholarly memory. Confronting an aggressively hostile environment in the South, queer political organization was a late-comer to the region. But it was the very unfriendliness of Southern political soil that allowed a unique and, at times, progressive LGBTQ political community to form in South Carolina. The compelling Southern voices collected here for the first time add a missing piece to the complex puzzle of postwar queer activism in the United States.
Harlan Greene, author of the novels Why We Never Danced the Charleston, What the Dead Remember, and The German Officer's Boy, provides a foreword.
"In Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement, Sheila Morris has curated a gallery of queer activists' stories. If the SC Historical Commission ever casts around for some new figures for all the surplus bronze, this book has a hero for every platform."—Kate Clinton, feminist humorist, contributor to the Progressive and the Huffington Post
"Sheila Morris has edited a volume of essays that recover and expand on the southern contribution to the struggle for our people to find an identity in the South, where our adaptations to the culture landscape were many, varied, and sometimes dangerous. This is a vital book for anyone who wants to understand the shape of the gender movements of the last decades."—Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boy and How I Shed My Skin
"Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement is special. Really special. It's rare to find a collection of personal essays so rich and compelling, its contributors sharing the journeys that frequently took them into regions unknown but eventually lead them back home—to themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. What a wonderful book! Read it and celebrate!"—Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina
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