Tag: Activism

Showing Up, Building Community, and Creating Grace: A Review of Lindy West’s The Witches Are Coming

At 11 am CT on January 20, 2017 — just as Donald Trump was being sworn in as the forty-fifth President of the United States in Washington, DC — I was sworn in as a brand new American citizen in Rock Island, Illinois. It was an odd day. On the one hand, knowing that the… Read more →

AIDS and AIDS Activism in the 1980s United States: A Syllabus

An explanation: For years, I have wanted to teach Sarah Schulman’s People in Trouble in my Introduction to LGBTQ Studies course. This is a general education course (we call it “essential learning”) that Colorado Mesa University (CMU) students can choose in order to fulfill their Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement. Although I am trained as… Read more →

The Queer Truth: Sarah Schulman’s People in Trouble

For years, when I would tell stories of my time in 1980s San Francisco to friends or students, some of my listeners would say, “It sounds kind of like Rent.” “No,” I would say, “It’s more like Sarah Schulman’s novel People in Trouble, but San Francisco rather than New York.”1 The friends and students to… Read more →

Museum Educators Unite: Unionizing the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

On April 15th, 2019, a group of workers in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s departments of Education, Visitor Services, Retail, and Advance Sales voted 72–3 to join United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2110, joining a growing movement of museum professionals forming unions in New York City. The Tenement Museum is a unique institution. Housed… Read more →

Change over Time: A Colorado Love Story

In 1992, 53% of Colorado voters answered yes to this question on the ballot: “Shall there be an amendment to Article II of the Colorado Constitution to prohibit the state of Colorado and any of its political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing any law or policy which provides that homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct,… Read more →

A View from Inside the Suburban Mom Movement

Before 2016, conversations at school pickup time in my affluent suburb nearly always revolved around kids’ activities and home remodeling. We stayed away from political topics mostly; it seemed impolite to provoke a fellow PTO member.1 If anyone temporarily put up something as unaesthetic as a lawn sign amongst their manicured shrubs, it said something… Read more →

Deconstructing the Stonewall Myth (Brick by Brick)

If you’ve been on social media at all during the month of June, you’ve probably seen Marsha P. Johnson’s name floating through your feeds. Johnson, a self-identified drag queen and founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, looms large in public consciousness today as the “black, bisexual trans woman, who was a sex worker, that… Read more →

A Lesson in Protest: Teaching History and Citizenship in the Trump Era

This semester I am teaching a course called “Resisting State Violence: Race, Policing, and Social Justice in Twentieth-Century America.” One of the course objectives is to encourage students to investigate the histories of policing, surveillance, political repression, deportation, and incarceration, and the ways they intersect with racism, settler colonialism, xenophobia, economic exploitation, and sexism and… Read more →

Before the Pink Hat: Abolitionist (and Other) Objects of Protest

The point of public protest is to draw attention to something — to make the invisible wrong visible, and thus demand that we recognize and engage with it. To this end, protest and resistance movements have long made use of material culture, from murals to t-shirts. While by current prevailing wisdom we should phone our… Read more →

Pink Triangle Legacies: Holocaust Memory and International Gay Rights Activism

In the twenty-first century, it’s hard to imagine a social movement without hashtags. Social media has influenced issues ranging from local elections to global geopolitics (just ask anyone involved in the Arab Spring), and hashtags have become forms of communication and customizable symbols representing specific movements. But what about social protests in a pre-Internet age?… Read more →