The lives of today's queer homeless youth share remarkable similarities to those of the queer homeless youth in the 1960s, but the historical and political context, especially as it relates to popular understandings of homosexuality, has shifted considerably. Since the 1960s, the United States has witnessed a transition from rhetoric linking homosexuality with economic degeneracy and crime to a new, “modern” articulation of the economically productive homosexual citizen. This transition is reflected in historical narratives of gay progress that trace a monolithic community from the ghetto to respectable citizenship, essentially rendering retrograde the lives of today's homeless youth. By connecting homeless youth with a history stretching back half a century, one in which young people mobilized to confront the poverty and stigma they experienced on the streets of San Francisco, the Vanguard Revisited project sought to enlist today's queer homeless youth in documenting the past—indeed, to enter into conversation with that history and to position themselves as part of that lineage.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.