Love and War Zones

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My Desire for HistoryMy Desire for History: Essays in Gay, Community, & Labor History
by Allan Bérubé
Edited by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman
University of North Carolina Press
332 pages, $65. (paper $24.95)

 

 

WORLD WAR TWO—John Wayne’s war, my father’s war. Gay men and lesbians were there too. For many, in fact, the war was their great coming-out opportunity, as men and women were moved from their farms and small towns to the coastal cities, into same-sex environments where they discovered each other and their own desires. The war also encapsulated society’s ambivalent attitude: tolerate the lesbians and gays when their numbers were needed, then purge them ruthlessly when the war is over.

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