HISTORIAN Lillian Faderman is an LGBT culture hero who has won several lifetime achievement awards for her groundbreaking scholarship in LGBT history. Her most recent books are Gay L.A. (2006), co-authored with Stuart Timmons, and two memoirs, Naked in the Promised Land (2003) and My Mother’s Wars. Two of her earlier books, Surpassing the Love of Men (1981) and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers (1991), were named “Notable Books of the Year” by The New York Times.
Faderman has outdone herself in her new book of history, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, just published by Simon & Schuster. The book tells the story of the past 65 years of our “gay revolution,” starting in the 1950s and bringing it right up to breaking news in May of this year. In addition to extensive archival research, she conducted 150 interviews to produce an 800-page book that’s undoubtedly the most complete and authoritative of its kind ever published.
I interviewed Lillian Faderman by phone and e-mail in June.