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When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan
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When Brooklyn Was Queer

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

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Narrator Hugh Ryan
Length 11 hours 30 minutes
Language English
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The never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day

Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history―a great forgetting.

Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time. In intimate, evocative, moving prose he discusses in new light the fundamental questions of what history is, who tells it, and how we can only make sense of ourselves through its retelling; and shows how the formation of the Brooklyn we know today is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. Through them, When Brooklyn Was Queer brings Brooklyn’s queer past to life, and claims its place as a modern classic.

Hugh Ryan is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn. He is the Founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History and sits on the boards of QED: A Journal in LGBTQ Worldmaking and the Museum of Transgender History and Art.

Hugh Ryan is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn. He is the Founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History and sits on the boards of QED: A Journal in LGBTQ Worldmaking and the Museum of Transgender History and Art.

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Reviews

“This boisterous history captures the variety and creativity of the sexual outsiders who congregated around the economic hub of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

“A funny, tender, and disturbing history of LGBT life… uncovering what life was like for ‘ordinary’ queer folk.”

“[A] boisterous, motley new history…an entertaining and insightful chronicle…enhanced by original research in newspaper archives, unpublished letters, and collections of ephemera.”

“The archival discoveries that Ryan has made evoke a world of affection and pleasure.”

“Illustrates Brooklyn’s culture of gender and sexual fluidity from the 1850s onward, a story often erased in favor of highlighting other historically queer New York City neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem.”

“Traces the borough’s vibrant, forgotten queer history…restoring its rightful place in the saga of Brooklyn.”

“A journey through the queer history of Brooklyn, full of vaudeville and poetry.”

“An exquisite, strange, and beautiful book.”

“Employing a dynamic combination of meticulous research and impassioned prose, Ryan… offers a richly evocative chronicle filled with notable queer game-changers…a romantic, exquisite history of gay culture.”

“A lively, character-filled portrait and well-researched analysis…[that] offers a valuable broadening of historical perspective.”

“Thorough research, engaging storytelling, fascinating stories, and a history of obscurity make this investigation of queer Brooklyn a compelling, essential read.”

“Fascinating…Greater attention is given, however, to those who, once influential, have now been forgotten. Bringing them alive again is one of the valuable services Ryan’s fine work contributes to queer history.”

“Ryan lays out how this history began in many ways on the Brooklyn waterfront…[in] a period of relatively little oversight by police allowed a flourishing of queer life.”

“Tender, compelling, fascinating—Hugh Ryan is doing essential work here, bringing us stories of the lives we almost lost to time and gentrification…Brave and unstinting.”

“Brilliant work…A thrilling portrait of the endurance, resourcefulness, and indefatigable joy queer people brought to bear upon the challenge of their own survival.”

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