The Arc of Activism

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And Then I DancedAnd Then I Danced: Traveling
the Road to LGBT Equality

by Mark Segal
Akashic Books. 400 pages, $16.95

 

 

A GAY MAN refers to his husband, and the conversation doesn’t skip a beat. The New York Times carries so many LGBT-related articles that I think I’m reading a community newspaper. A lesbian, Ellen DeGeneres, and a gay man, Neil Patrick Harris, host Hollywood’s Oscar Awards. In his inaugural address, President Obama makes positive reference to Stonewall, the most important event in modern LGBT history.

For baby boomers and those older, we see all this and think, “How did we get here?” Millennials are more likely to ask, “Wasn’t it always this way?” Both responses highlight the importance of sketching out the history of the last fifty years. How did we move from the 1950s and ’60s, the decades rightly considered the worst time to be queer, to the present, when at least some versions of not-heterosexual are widely visible and accepted?

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