Simply the best

Five years ago the Publishing Triangle kicked up a controversy with its picks for the 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels of all time. Now that same New York City-based organization of gays and lesbians in publishing has selected its 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books–and Advocate readers are getting the first look.

This year’s panel of judges [see sidebar, page 176] honored books by journalists, activists, scientists, and historians. Some titles may not be familiar to the general reader; some appear to have been included for their historical importance, even though their factual content is outdated. But this much is clear: We have been here since the dawn of history. And ever since, visionary writers have spent their lives ensuring that our truths are told.

John Boswell

Books 1 & 26

This Yale historian gave gays and lesbians new pride in their past with books that uncovered evidence of tolerance and even official recognition for homosexuals in Catholic Europe before the 13th century. Boswell’s critics scolded that he was overreaching: but his queer readers were greatly moved Boswell died in 1994 of complications from AIDS.

Cherrie Moraga

Books 6 & 52

Moraga and fellow writer Gloria Anzaldua (books 6, 22) shook up the white-centric lesbian world when they coedited the 1981 emthology This Bridge Called My Back, in which Chicana and Latina lesbians aired their truths arguably for the first time ever. Moraga later cofounded Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press with Minnie Bruce Pratt (book 93) and Barbara Smith (books 90, 93). Today, Moraga lectures at Berkeley and continues to track the unique experiences of lesbians of color.

Randy Shilts

Books 16 & 40

San Francisco-based reporter Shilts was openly gay from the start, and he had the skills to make our stories so compelling that America had to listen. Shilts lived to write just three books before he died at 43 of AIDS-related causes. But the books are extraordinary: the Harvey Milk biography The Mayor of Castro Street; Conduct Unbecoming, on gays in the military; and, perhaps most memorable. And the Band Played On. which told how gay activists took on the AIDS plague while officials dithered.

Paul Monette

Books 30 & 39

Monette, a gracious product of the Ivy League, moved to Los Angeles with a lover and formal success with screenplays and novels. But only after his partner was diagnosed with AIDS did Monette find his true depth as an artist and a gay man. With such AIDS memoirs as Borrowed Time, Monette helped change the culture’s awareness of AIDS. Later, in Becoming a Man, he would write with the same clarity about growing up gay. He died at 50 of AIDS complications.

Leslie Feinberg

Book 87

As an editor, writer, and political organizer, transgender activist Feinberg has been resourceful in creating ways to speak and be outside the male-female box. Case in point: male-female personal pronouns. Feinberg has expanded tired old he and she to ze or s/he. and her or him to hir. With the novel Stone Butch Blues–the story of a young transgendered person looking for a true identity-Feinberg helped to start the wave of trans activism rolling. Ze also plunged into health care activism after nearly dying in the ’90s because an emergency room doctor refused to treat hir. Feinberg and wife Minnie Bruce Pratt (book 93) live near New York City.

The judges

Betty Berzon therapist and author

Mark Blasius professor of political science at the City University of New York and La Guardia Community College

Keith Boykin, former executive director of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum

Louis Crompton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

John D’Emilio, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Nicholas C. Edsall, professor emeritus of history at the University of Virginia

David Eng, associate professor of English, Rutgers University

Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, professor emeritus of American studies and women’s studies at the State University of New York, Buffalo

Esther Newton, professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Purchase College

Ann Pellegrini, associate professor of performance studies and religious studies at New York University

Ruthann Robson, professor at the City University of New York School of Law

Michelangelo Signorile, columnist and author

Claude J. Summers, professor of English at the University of Michigan-Dearborn

The 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books

1 Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe From the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century by John Boswell, University of Chicago Press

2 Sexual Behavior In the Human Male by Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy, and Clyde E. Martin, W. B. Saunders

3 Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men In the USA–A Documentary by Jonathan Ned Katz, Crowell

4 The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault, Pantheon/Vintage

5 Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970 by John D’Emilio, University of Chicago Press

6 This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, Third Woman Press

7 Symposium by Plato, University of Chicago Press/Penguin Classics

8 Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde, Crossing Press

9 Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler, Routledge

10 Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde, Crossing Press

11 Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women From the Renaissance to the Present by Lillian Faderman, Morrow

12 Christopher and His Kind, 1929-1939 by Christopher Isherwood, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

13 The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies by Vito Russo, Harper and Row

14 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, Vintage/Library of America

15 The Homosexuality of Men and Women by Magnus Hirschfeld, Prometheus Books

16 And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts, St. Martin’s

17 Lesbian/Woman by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Glide Publications/Volcano Press

18 Sexual Inversion by Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds, Amo Press

19 Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, University of California (Berkeley)

20 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality by Sigmund Freud, Basic Books

21 Gay/Lesbian Almanac: A New Documentary in Which Is Contained, in Chronological Order, Evidence of the True and Fantastical History of Those Persons Now Called Lesbians and Gay Men by Jonathan Ned Katz, Harper and Row

22 Borderlands = La Frontera by Gloria E. Anzaldua, Aunt Lute/Spinster

23 The Wolfenden Report: Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution Lancer Books

24 Reports From the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist by Larry/Kramer, St. Martin’s

25 Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey, Basic Books

26 Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell, Villard

27 Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two by Allan Berube, Free Press

28 Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past edited by Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinus, and George Chauncey, NAL Books (New American Library)

29 Sexual Behavior in the Human Female by Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy, Clyde E. Martin, and Paul H. Gebhard, W.B. Saunders

30 Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

31 De Profundis [Epistole: In Carcere at Vinculis] by Oscar Wilde, Penguin

32 The Intermediate Sex: A Study of Some Transitional Types of Men and Women by Edward Carpenter, Sonnenschein

33 Sex Variant Women In Literature by Jeannette H. Foster, Vantage Press/Naiad Press

34 The Homosexual in America: A Subjective Approach by Donald Webster Cory, Greenberg

35 Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation by Dennis Altman, Outerbridge and Dienstfrey/New York University

36 Sexual Politics by Kate Millett, Touchstone

37 The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, Knopf

38 Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein, Routledge

39 Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

40 The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts, St. Martin’s

41 Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain From the Nineteenth Century to the Present by Jeffrey Weeks, Quartet

42 A Restricted Country by Joan Nestle, Firebrand Books

43 A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

44 The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited by Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin, Routledge

45 Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany, New York University Press

46 The Straight Mind and Other Essays by Monique Wittig, Beacon Press

47 Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution by Jill Johnston, Simon and Schuster

48 Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis, Routledge

49 The Construction of Homosexuality by David F. Greenberg, University of Chicago Press

50 Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Harper and Row/University of Chicago Press

51 Sapphistry: The Book of Lesbian Sexuality by Pat Califia, Naiad Press

52 Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso Por Sus Labios by Cherrie Moraga, South End Press

53 Phaedrus by Plato, Dover/Oxford

54 The Joy of Gay Sex: An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of a Gay Lifestyle by Charles Silverstein and Edmund White, Simon and Schuster

55 Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America by Esther Newton, University of Chicago Press

56 Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China by Bret Hinsch, University of California Press (Berkeley)

57 The Homosexual Emancipation Movement In Germany by James D. Steakley, Arno Press

58 Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development by Richard A. Isay, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

59 In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by Truman Capote, Random House

60 This Sex Which Is Not One by Luce Irigaray, Cornell University Press

61 The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart by Peter J. Gomes, William Morrow

62 The First and Second Books of Samuel (David and Jonathan)

63 My Father and Myself by J. R. Ackerley, Coward-McCann

64 Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men by Gabriel Rotello, Dutton/Penguin Books

65 Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence by Michael Rocke, Oxford University Press

66 Male Colors: The Construction of Male Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan by Gary P. Leupp, University of California Press

67 Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay and Lesbian Life edited by Betty Berzon, Celestial Arts

68 What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel Helminiak, Alamo Square Press

69 Studies in the History of the Renaissance by Walter H. Pater, Oxford University Press

70 The History of Ancient Art by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Ungar Publishing

71 Odd Gills and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life In Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman, Columbia University Press

72 Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation, edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young, New York University Press

73 The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary by John Rechy, Grove

74 Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas, Viking

75 The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston

76 Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places by Laud Humphreys, Aldine De Gruyter

77 Genet: A Biography by Edmund White, Knopf

78 Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town by Esther Newton, Beacon Press

79 Cures: A Gay Man’s Odyssey by Martin Duberman, Dutton

80 Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book by and for Women the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, Simon and Schuster

81 Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook, Viking

82 Radically Gay: Gay Liberation in the Words of Its Founder by Harry Hay, Beacon Press

83 A Problem in Greek Ethics by John Addington Symonds, University Press of the Pacific

84 The Lesbian Body by Monique Wittig, William Morrow

85 Corydon by Andre Gide, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

86 Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature by Dorothy Allison, Firebrand Books

87 Transgender Warriors: Making History From Joan of Arc to RuPaul by Leslie Feinberg, Beacon Press

88 Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds by Judy Grahn, Beacon Press

89 Inventing AIDS by Cindy Patton, Routledge

90 The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom by Barbara Smith, Rutgers University Press

91 Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton, Harvard University Press (Belknap Press)

92 Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory edited by Michael Warner, University of Minnesota Press

93 Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism by Elly Bulkin, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Barbara Smith, Long Haul Press

94 Men Like That: A Southern Queer History by John Howard, University of Chicago Press

98 Byron and Greek Love: Homophobia in 19th-Century England by Louis Crompton, University of California (Berkeley)

96 The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe edited by Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma, Harrington Park Press

97 Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power by Michelangelo Signorile, Random House

98 United States: Essays, 1952-1992 by Gore Vidal, Random House

98 The Leathennan’s Handbook by larry Townsend, Olympia Press/LT Publications too Asian American Sexualities: Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience edited by Russell Leong, Routledge.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Liberation Publications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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