Gay Movement Bibliography (US only)

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The first gay-rights movement began in Germany in 1897. In 1924 Henry Gerber tried to emulate it in Chicago, but his fledgling organization was quickly suppressed by the authorities. It was not until 1950-51 that Harry Hay and his associates started the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, inaugurating a stable radition of efforts for gay and lesbian rights in the United States. This first phase is sometimes termed the homophile era; in 1969, with Stonewall, it yielded to gay liberation.

Limited to the United States, this list omits works of fiction, young-adult works, and some items judged redundant or ephemeral. There may be some oversights, however.


Brandt, Eric. Dangerous Liaisons : Blacks, Gays and the Struggle for Equality. New York : New Press, 1999.

Clendinen, Dudley, and Adam Nagourney. Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Dynes, Wayne R., ed. Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. 2 vols. New York and London, Garland Publishing, 1990.

Faderman, Lillian. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.

Hunt, Richard J. Historical Dictionary of the Gay Movement. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1999.

Johansson, Warren, and William A Percy. Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 1994.

Kaiser, Charles. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Levin, Jim. Reflections on the American Homosexual Rights Movement. New York: Gay Academic Union, 1983. 67 [contains an "Afterword" by Wayne R. Dynes, as well as Levin's essay-review of Jonathan Katz's Gay American History]

Loughery, John. The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives and Gay Identities: A Twentieth-Century History. New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1998.

Marcus, Eric. Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. Rev. ed. New York: Perennial, 2002.

McGarry, Molly, and Fred Wasserman. Becoming Visible: An Illustrated History of Lesbian and Gay Life in Twentieth-Century America. New York: Penguin Studio, 1998.

Meeker, Martin. Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s-1970s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Miller, Neil (1995). Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present. New York, Vintage Books.

Murray, Stephen O. American Gay. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Myers, JoAnn. Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian Liberation Movement: Still the Rage. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2003.

Stein, Marc, ed. Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History in America. 3 vols. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Thompson, Mark. Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1994.


Bull, Chris, ed. Come Out Fighting: A Century of Essential Writing on Gay and Lesbian Liberation. New York : Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2001.

Bull, Chris, ed. Witness to Revolution: The Advocate Reports on Gay and Lesbian Politics, 1967-1999. Los Angeles, Calif. : Alyson Books, 1999.

Hay, Harry, with Will Roscoe, ed. Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of its Founder. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

Katz, Jonathan, ed. Gay American History. New York: Crowell, 1976.

Kepner, Jim. Rough News, Daring Views: 1950s Pioneer Gay Press Journalism. New York: Haworth, 1997.

Samar, Vincent Joseph, ed. The New York Times Twentieth Century in Review: The Gay Rights Movement. London; Routledge, 2001. [reprints articles]

Teal, Donn. The Gay Militants. New York: Stein and Day, 1971. [primary material documenting the first year of gay liberation, from June 1969 to June 1970]

Williams, Walter L., and Yolanda Retter, eds. Gay and Lesbian Rights in the United States: A Documentary History, Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2003.


Bell, Arthur. Dancing the Gay Lib Blues: A Year in the Homosexual Liberation Movement. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971.

Cain, Paul D. Leading the Parade: Conversations with America's Most Influential Lesbians and Gay Men. Lanham, Md : Scarecrow Press, 2002.

Campbell, J. Louis, III. Jack Nichols, Gay Pioneer: "Have You Heard My Message?" New York: Haworth Press, 2006.

Clarke, Lige, and Jack Nichols. I Have More Fun with You Than Anybody. St. James Press, 1976.

Duberman, Martin B. Stonewall. New York: Plume, 1994. [group biography of six NYC activists]

Gambone, Philip. Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010.

Hansen, Joseph. A Few Doors West of Hope : The Life and Times of Dauntless Don Slater. Los Angeles: Homosexual Information Center, 1998.

Jay, Karla. Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation. New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Perry, Troy. The Lord is My Shepherd and He knows I'm Gay: The autobiography of the Rev. Troy D. Perry, as told to Charles L. Lucas. New York: Bantam, 1973.

Sears, James T. Behind the Mask of Mattachine: The Hal Call Chronicles and the Early Movement for Homosexual Emancipation. New York; Harrington Park Press, 2006.

Shilts, Randy. The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982.

Timmons, Stuart. The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement. Boston : Alyson, 1990.

Tobin, Kay, and Randy Wicker. The Gay Crusaders. New York: Paperback Library, 1972.

4. THE HOMOPHILE ERA (1950-1969)

Bullough, Vern L. Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. New York: Haworth Press, 2002.

Cutler, Marvin. (pseud, of W. Dorr Legg/William Lambert). Homosexuals Today: A Handbook of Organizations and Publications. Los Angeles: ONE, Inc., 1956.

D'Emilio, John. Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1983.

Gallo, Marcia M. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2006.

Johnson, David. The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Legg, W. Dorr, ed. Homophile Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: ONE Institute Press, 1994. [pioneering educational work of ONE Institute]

Masters, Robert E. L. The Homosexual Revolution: A Challenging Expose of the Social and Political Directions of a Minority Group. New York: Julian, 1982.

Onge, Jack. The Gay Liberation Movement. Chicago: Alliance Press, 1971.

Sagarin, Edward (aka Donald Webster Cory). Structure and Ideology in an Association of Deviants. New York: Arno Press, 1975. [participant-observation of Mattachine Society, NY; reprint of NYU doctoral dissertation]

Sweet, Roxana. Political and Social Action in Homophile Organizations. New York: Arno Press, 1975. [reprint of her Ph.D. dissertation in criminology, University of California, Berkeley]


Altman, Dennis. Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. New York: Outerbridge and Dienstfrey, 1971.

Avicolli Mecca, Tommi., ed. Smash the Church, Smash the State!: The Early Years of Gay Liberation. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2009. [reproduces essays, photographs, manifestos, and artwork of the Stonewall era, with some later material]

Carter, David. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2004.

Eisenbach, David. Gay Power: An American Revolution. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006.

Jay, Karla, and Allen Young, eds. Out of the Closets; Voices of Gay Liberation. New York, Douglas/Links, distributed by Quick Fox, 1972.

Marotta, Toby. The Politics of Homosexuality: How Lesbians and Gay Men Have Made Themselves a Political and Social Force in Modern America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981.

Picano, Felice. Art and Sex in Greenwich Village: Gay Literary Life after Stonewall. New York : Carroll & Graf, 2007.


Gould, Deborah B. Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight against AIDS. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Vaid, Urvashi. Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation. New York; Anchor, 1996.

Warner, Michael, ed. Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Welzer-Lang, Daniel, Jean-Yves Le Talec, and Sylvie Tomolillo. Un mouvement gai dans la lutte contre le SIDA: les Soeurs de la Perpétuelle Indulgence. Paris : L'Harmattan, 2000.


Atkins, Gary L. Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belonging. University of Washington Press, 2003.

Baim, Tracy, ed. Out and Proud in Chicago. Chicago: Surrey Books, 2008.

Boyd, Nan Alamilla. Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965. Berklely: University of California Press, 2003.

Faderman, Lillian, and Stuart Timmons. Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians. New York: Basic Books, 2006.

Fellows, Will, ed. Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001.

History Project, The. Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.

Howard, John. Men Like That: A Southern Queer History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Hurewitz, Daniel. Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapofsky, and Madeleine D. Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of the Lesbian Community. New York: Routledge, 1993 [Buffalo]

Newton, Esther. Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town. Boston: Beacon Press, 1993.

Sears, James T. Growing Up Gay in the South: Race, Gender, and Journeys of the Spirit. New York; Harrington Park Press, 1991.

Stein, Marc. City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Striker, Susan, and Jim Van Buskirk. Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996.

Wallace, David. A City Comes Out: The Gay and Lesbian History of Palm Springs. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, 2008.

White, C. Todd. Pre-Gay LA: A Social History of the Movement for Homosexual Rights. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009.

For periodical articles, see LGBT Life (subscription required)

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