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My Desire for HistoryEssays in Gay, Community, and Labor History$
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Allan Berube, John D'Emilio, and Estelle B. Freedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834794

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877982_berube

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Rediscovering Our Forgotten Past

Rediscovering Our Forgotten Past

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter 7 Rediscovering Our Forgotten Past
Source:
My Desire for History
Author(s):

Allan Bérubé

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877982_berube.10

This essay describes how most histories of the gay movement and gay life in America focus only on San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and other northern and West Coast cities. The South has an equally rich gay past, but it is often locked in the memories of men and women who are only now feeling safe enough to talk about the years before “gay liberation.” A recurring characteristic of Berube's research and writing is the uncovering of stories that defied common assumptions about the past. As with “Lesbian Masquerade” and its accounts of women who successfully passed as men and loved other women, “Rediscovering Our Forgotten Past” recounts the incredible story of a few gay men who performed in drag and even published a few issues of a “campy” newsletter while in the service during World War II.

Keywords:   gay movement, gay life, West Coast cities, gay past, South, Berube

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