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In the words of editor Vern L. Bullough: “Although there was no single leader in the gay and lesbian community who achieved the fame and reputation of Martin Luther King, there were a large number of activists who put their careers and reputations on the line. It was a motley crew of radicals and reformers, drawn together by the cause in spite of personality and philosophical differences. Their stories are told in the following pages.”
Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context illuminates the lives of the courageous individuals involved in the early struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights in the United States. Authored by those who knew them (often activists themselves), the concise biographies in this volume examine the lives of pre-1969 barrier breakers like Harry Hay, Henry Gerber, Alfred Kinsey, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Jim Kepner, Jack Nichols, Christine Jorgensen, Jose Sarria, Barbara Grier, Frank Kameny, and 40 more.
To anyone with an interest in the history of the gay/lesbian rights movements in the United States, these names will be familiar, but did you know that in addition to their groundbreaking activism: