Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gay Power! by Betsy Kuhn

In 1969, the Stonewall Riots marked a big change in the gay rights movement. Instead of quietly leaving the club after police started their raid, gay, lesbian, and trans persons stayed to fight back against the political system that oppressed and demonized them. For decades their protests had been quieter, more localized. After Stonewall, the protests became louder, more public, and on a much broader scale.Gay Power! looks at the history of the gay rights movement in the United States, included where it came out of, how it progressed, and where it still has to go in the future.

I think my favourite thing about this book is how soon I hope it will be out of date, particularly around (but not limited to) Don't Ask Don't Tell, same-sex marriage, adoption laws, and the Defense of Marriage Act. That doesn't take away from the very accessible way that Kuhn presents the history that lead to were we are today. Information is presented in a number of different ways (narrative passages, pull-out quotes and profiles, photographs, and a timeline) to appeal to a number of readers' learning styles. There was a lot of stuff that was new in here for me. I also like how it doesn't shy away from pointing out things like how the women's rights organizations and civil rights movements of the 1960s were not always supportive and inclusive of the gay rights movement. It's important to understand this history to understand how to keep moving forward.

Find more at Lerner Books.

Read it with:
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Gardner
Prying Eyes: Privacy in the Twenty-First Century by Betsy Kuhn
From Jazz Babies to Generation Next by Laura B. Edge
Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America
Gay America: Struggle for Equality by Linas Alsenas

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