This essay considers the archival practices, historiographic habits, and political orientations that might explain the resistance to or rejection of the notion that sex radicalism, defined broadly to include various challenges to sexual respectability, was an important component of US homophile activism in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, the essay asks why important historical and archival projects, including the early work of Jonathan Ned Katz and John D'Emilio and the recent EBSCO LGBT Life digitized database, have paid little attention to Drum, a widely circulating homophile movement periodical that promoted gay sexual liberation, and instead have highlighted the significance of more respectable periodicals such as ONE, Mattachine Review, and the Ladder. In exposing the historical erasure of North America's most popular homophile movement periodical of the 1960s, this essay suggests new ways of thinking about gay and lesbian history, queer memory, and sexual archives.
Marc Stein; Canonizing Homophile Sexual Respectability: Archives, History, and Memory. Radical History Review 1 October 2014; 2014 (120): 53–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-2703724
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