The Chicago area is something of a hotbed of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) history. At the turn of the twentieth century, the first Americans to write about same-sex desire as an inborn condition were based in that city. In 1924, the first known organization for homosexual rights in the United States–the short-lived Society for Human Rights–was founded in Chicago by Henry Gerber. In June 1970, Chicago was one of four cities (along with New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) to hold the first Gay Pride parades. This metropolitan area was also a center of Progressive-Era reform, and thus was home to many famous women who chose to forego traditional marriage in favor of pursuing their professional ambitions while nurturing devoted relationships with other women.
Next week I’ll be traveling to the Chicago area to give a Women’s History Month lecture on LGBT history. This event will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood Street, in Evanston, Illinois. The festivities will begin at 6:30 pm with a reception, followed by my lecture at 7:00. Building on my recent book, I’ll discuss the challenges of uncovering the history of same-sex love and desire, with a special emphasis on female desire, which so often receives less attention than male sexuality. I’ll also consider some examples of local museums and historic sites that have grappled with the nuances of the LGBT past.
The event costs $10 and is open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling (847) 475-3410 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The lecture is co-sponsored by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and the Evanston History Center.
See a Flier for the Talk.