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

By Genny Beemyn

Rooted in vast archival study and private interviews, A Queer Capital is the 1st background of LGBT lifestyles within the nation’s capital. Revealing a colourful prior that dates again greater than one hundred twenty five years, the ebook explores how lesbians, homosexual males, and bisexuals verified areas in their personal sooner than and after international struggle 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 Nineteen Eighties, Beemyn explores the reports of homosexual humans in Washington, exhibiting how they created their very own groups, fought for his or her rights, and, within the method, helped to alter the rustic. Combining wealthy own tales with willing ancient research, A Queer Capital offers insights into LGBT existence, the background of Washington, D.C., and African American lifestyles and tradition within the 20th century.

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

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Cities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries offered people with higher incomes the opportunity to have much more privacy, anonymity, and space than could be provided by rooming houses. As noted by historian George Chauncey, apartments became especially popular among middleclass women and men who were attracted to others of the same sex. 84 Carter Bealer discovered this homosocial world in 1921, when, while cruising in Lafayette Square, he met Preston Ellis, an eighteen-year-old who was staying at the Riggs Apartments on Fifteen Street, just north of downtown.

23 Given that almost all of Washington’s downtown-area dining facilities refused to serve African Americans, it may have been the first time that he was in a cafeteria that was not all-white. The prevalence of segregation elsewhere in the capital may have contributed to the popularity of the District’s parks among black men interested in pursuing same-sex sexual relationships—the racism of individuals like Bealer notwithstanding—and in the late nineteenth century, the parks were the principal site for men seeking interracial sexual encounters.

It was here that they were able to claim space for themselves, giving them a home in, but away from, an often hostile society.

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