The Ancient Greeks--What's there to be proud of about the ancient Greeks? Well, only that they set the groundwork for all of Western Civilization, thought up the concept of democracy, encouraged more original thinking than anyone before or since, and actually celebrated same-sex love.
The Castro--For any gay first-time visitor, alighting from the trolley at the famous intersection of Castro and Market in San Francisco is like stepping into Oz. Historian Susan Stryker has called it "the symbolic main street of the city's queer community and an emblem of gay pride around the world." It has become synonymous with liberation, freedom, and celebration, and while today there are many vibrant gay neighborhoods, the Castro retains an enduring place in the hearts of gay men and lesbians everywhere.
Alan Turing--The founder of computer science. A brilliant mathematician. Philosopher, wartime codebreaker, visionary--and an unapologetic gay man well ahead of his time.
The NEA Four--Tim Miller, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Karen Finley--two gay men, a lesbian, and a queer-identified straight woman. No wonder these performance artists were singled out by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 and denied artists' grants, causing an international uproar that still has ramifications today.
These are just a few of the fabulous reasons for Gay Pride. Read on to find out more about the queer pioneers, past and present, who have made the world a braver, bolder, and better place--for everyone!
We're here. We're queer. Get used to it!
As if Alexander the Great, the Harlem Renaissance, A Member of the Wedding, and piano bars weren't enough, here are 101 fabulous reasons to celebrate the rich heritage and vast cultural contributions of gays and lesbians. This inspiring, joyous book triumphantly commemorates the many ways gays and lesbians have profoundly shaped the face of the world's politics, art, literature, music, theatre, cinema, sports, civil rights, and much more. From the fighting spirit of the Radical Faeries to the groundbreaking TV comedy of Will and Grace, from Walt Whitman's immortal "Song of Myself" to the incendiary power of Tony Kushner's Angels in America and the searingly candid art of Frida Kahlo, gays and lesbians have made life sweeter, deeper, more humane, and, well, so much more fabulous. Need more reasons to be glad? How about:
• Gay places of pride: The Castro, Bloomsbury, Metropolitan Community Church, Berlin.
• Literary gays: Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Dorothy Allison.
• Gay power brokers: The Sony Building in New York, Freed's Fairies and the MGM musicals, Dykes on Bikes, PFLAG, ACT-UP.
• Gay stars: Ian McKellan, Elton John, Rudy Galindo, Martina Navratilova, Ellen DeGeneres, Marlene Dietrich.
Whether it's the wicked fun of camp, the powerful impact of queer cinema, or the lazy, summertime pull of Provincetown, Gay Pride is filled with an array of reasons to live proud that is as diverse and beautiful as the gay and lesbian community it celebrates.