Gay L.A. (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Given its prominence as one of America’s leading gay meccas, it is surprising that no comprehensive historical account of gay Los Angeles has appeared before this one. Other such studies of gay culture in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Memphis have been published, among the best known of which is George Chauncey’s Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Makings of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (1994). Chauncey’s book, although excellent, is not nearly as encompassing as Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians, which focuses on gay activity among both males and females, includes people of color, and covers a five-hundred-year time frame.
Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons’s chapters alternate between lesbianism and male homosexuality. The authors also explore such topics as homosexuality among the Native American tribes that inhabited the coastal regions of what is now California before the arrival in the sixteenth century and later of Europeans with religious agendas that proscribed homosexuality and considered it an abomination.
Overt homosexual activity was condoned and marriage between two members of the same sex was sanctioned by the Native Americans whom the early European explorers encountered along the Pacific coast. Homosexuals, cross-dressers, and transgendered members held honored and respected positions in their tribes, many becoming shamans...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
The Advocate, no. 972 (October 10, 2006): 74.
Booklist 103, no. 2 (September 15, 2006): 9.
Kirkus Reviews 74 (August 1, 2006): 766.
Library Journal 131, no. 14 (September 1, 2006): 166.
Los Angeles Magazine 51, no. 11 (November, 2006): 204.
Publishers Weekly 254, no. 29 (July 24, 2006): 45.
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