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As a bookish lesbian growing up in working-class England, June Thomas developed an early love of bookstores. After moving to the U.S. in the 1980s, she found community in the feminist bookstores of the era, as she recounts in A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women's Culture. Visit our episode webpage for a transcript of the episode.…
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Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Villag…
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Eric is joined in conversation by Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth and Dr. Ilan H. Meyer to delve into the past and present of mental health for LGBTQ people. They discuss historical stigma, the ramifications of the American Psychiatric Association’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder 50 years ago, and shifting psychiatric understandi…
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A half-century ago, millions of homosexuals were cured with the stroke of a pen when the American Psychiatric Association decided to change its diagnostic manual and remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. In this episode, we journey through several milestones in the battle for gay liberation and acceptance as we focus on how the fi…
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In the 1950s, psychiatrists diagnosed all homosexuals with a mental illness, and the sickness label created new forms of oppression for gay people in America. The sickness label was pervasive and seemingly inescapable. Until 1973, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM), homosexuality was a me…
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In 1978 Harvey Milk calls on gay people to gather in D.C. the next year to protest the anti-gay campaigns of Anita Bryant and her ilk. Organizers are stymied by internal conflicts until Milk’s assassination galvanizes them and a date for a national march is set. But will anyone show up? Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival p…
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Eric gets an A on his freshman sociology paper, “Marginal Man: The Alcoholic and the Homosexual.” But his sunny predictions for the future of the gay rights movement are met with skepticism from his professor. Mere weeks later, Anita Bryant launches her anti-gay “Save Our Children” campaign. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archi…
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Gay rights activists in NYC are first out of the gate to propose anti-discrimination legislation, confident it will sail through the City Council. Instead, they hit a wall of ignorance and bigotry. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Eric happens upon some revelatory literature in his dentist’s waiting room. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, a…
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When Jeanne Manford’s gay son is badly beaten at a 1972 GAA protest, the shy elementary school teacher takes a stand. She cofounds the organization now known as PFLAG and launches a movement that harnesses the strength of our fiercest allies: parents and the other people who love us. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, archival phot…
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While activists are demonstrating, filing lawsuits, and pushing for anti-discrimination laws, 16-year-old Eric is on a ferry to Fire Island, a legendary gay refuge off Long Island, with his neighbor Rev. Mullen—a trip that would introduce him to a vivid slice of mid-1970s gay life, ready or not. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, a…
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The Stonewall uprising ignites an explosion of protests and organizing that transforms a small, often tentative homophile movement into a newly assertive national force that demands gay liberation and equality. In a Puerto Rico hotel pool, 12-year-old Eric experiences a transformation of his own. Visit our episode webpage for additional resources, …
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The decade between Stonewall and the 1979 March on Washington lives in the shadow of the AIDS crisis and all that came after. In this six-part season, Eric Marcus explores the heady years of gay liberation and the backlash that followed against the backdrop of his own coming of age as a gay teen. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privac…
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Known for her smashing parties, lighter-than-air soufflés, and comedic wit, Lucy Hicks Anderson never let anyone tell her how to live her life—not even the courts. When her gender was put on trial in the 1940s, the publicity around her case made her one the first documented Black transgender figures in American history. Find more Sidedoor episodes …
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Wait, THAT Harvey? When activist Craig Rodwell told Eric in 1989 who his first serious boyfriend had been, Eric was stunned. In our special Valentine’s Day episode, hear how love unfolded—and unraveled—for two of our movement’s titans. This episode discusses a suicide attempt. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please contact your country’s suic…
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When Kathleen Boatwright fell in love with a woman at church, she fell hard. But this was no carefree romance. The church was staunchly anti-gay. Kathleen was married to a man and had four children. She’d never had a relationship with a woman. As she told Eric in 1989, it was “Pentecostal hysteria.” Visit our episode webpage for background informat…
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In 1980, conservative congressman Robert Bauman was caught soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy. The scandal landed the married father of four on the front page of newspapers across the country. It spelled the end of his political career—and the start of a years-long journey toward self-acceptance. Visit our episode webpage for background informat…
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Indian-born activist and lawyer Urvashi Vaid was fiercely attuned to injustice from an early age. Adamant that the fight for LGBTQ equality cannot be separated from other progressive struggles, she became one of the most influential, outspoken, and inspiring movement leaders in recent history. Visit our episode webpage for background information, a…
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In 1972, Faygele Ben-Miriam’s penchant for wearing dresses to the office got him fired from his government job in Seattle. The fact that he had recently brought one of the very first same-sex marriage lawsuits was another strike against him. Undeterred, he went back to court and sued his employer. Heads-up: The interview featured in this episode wa…
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Growing up in the segregated South, Rev. Carolyn Mobley-Bowie knew the challenge of finding an accepting place in the world—a challenge that only grew when her attraction to women came into conflict with her devotion to God. The predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Church offered refuge. Visit our episode webpage for background information, arc…
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In 1954, Craig Rodwell was just 14 when he was arrested for having sex with a man. The experience set the young Chicagoan on the road to becoming a self-described “angry queer”— and one of the most consequential LGBTQ rights activists before and after Stonewall. Visit our episode webpage for background information, archival photos, and other resour…
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We’re back with more engaging voices from Eric Marcus’s MGH archive! Meet six history makers as they share stories of faith and redemption, of family, of scandal, and of radicalization and liberation. ——— To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Vis…
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This special guest episode is from Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast about things misunderstood and overlooked. Gladwell does a deep dive into the ’90s sitcom “Will and Grace,” which was quietly revolutionary in changing our collective beliefs around gay people and marriage equality. The episode also looks at how television’s ability …
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What made Stonewall different? How can we carry the lessons of the uprising with us today? Eric is joined by one archivist and four activists to answer those questions in an intergenerational conversation recorded at the Stonewall Inn on May 23, 2019. First aired June 27, 2019. Visit MGH’s episode webpage for background information, archival photos…
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Like so many other acts of LGBTQ resistance, the 1969 Stonewall riots could have become a footnote in history. But the protests and organizing that followed launched a new phase in the fight for LGBTQ rights. Hear how anger found its voice and how joy propelled the first Pride marches. First aired June 20, 2019. Visit MGH’s episode webpage for back…
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The Stonewall uprising began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. Revisit that moment, and the hours and days that followed, with voices from the Making Gay History archive. Relive in vivid detail the dawning of a new chapter in the fight for LGBTQ rights. First aired June 13, 2019. Visit MGH’s episode webpage for background information, ar…
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