OUR STORY IS WORTH TELLING
Our Gay History in 50 States is an educational book that tells the story of queer American history, state by state. The stories that make up this book celebrate significant people, places, and events, and highlight struggles, successes, and contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community, creating a history to be passed on to future generations.
The state by state format illustrates that LGBT history happens in every state, everywhere LGBT people live, and that gay history is American history. We see this book as an opportunity to increase acceptance of the queer community, to highlight the diversity within the community itself, and to educate American society as a whole.
The target audience of Our Gay History in 50 States are readers ages 15 and above. However, the content of the book can easily be amended by the reader to fit younger audiences.
OUR HISTORY IS WORTH SHARING
The historical story line will cover issues such as the evolution of Gay Pride and marriage equality, along with topics such as freedom, oppression, celebration, sadness, responsibility, hiding, protesting, love and happiness, and most of all, being true to one’s self no matter the cost.
To make this book accessible in public schools, libraries, and other learning centers across the county. All of this content and more will be available to our audiences at a reasonable cost and for purchase at retail outlets and online.
We envision that Our Gay History in 50 States will create a stronger future generation - one that is more equitable, respectful, and visibly engaged in challenging systemic oppression. Thank you for your interest in promoting our gay history and thank you for supporting this project!
PAY IT FORWARD
The book’s content has been prepared through extensive research by queer youth from across the country who were paid a living wage for their efforts. On top of that, a percentage of profits from book sales will go to LGBTQIA+ oriented non-profits such as The Matthew Shepard Foundation, RECLAIM!, Aegis Foundation, The Trevor Project, Mossier Social Action and Innovation Center, and other LGBTQIA organizations across the country.
ABOUT THE TITLE
We understand that the title may suggest a more limited scope than the book actually covers. This book is not only about gay and lesbian people, but everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve chosen the title because the history we are highlighting started with the “gay rights movement.” There was a time that this umbrella term provided aid and comfort to anyone who was not accepted by the dominant culture. Without those early pioneers, we likely wouldn’t be fighting (collectively) for the full inclusion of bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, 2-spirited, asexual, and allied persons. The title is not meant to exclude any in our community, and we hope this explanation provides some clarity regarding why it was selected.
THE TERM "QUEER"
"Queer" is a controversial term that means different things to different people. For older generations, queer was a derogatory term used to hurt anyone who didn’t “fit in.” Younger generations have reclaimed the term “queer” as a self-affirming umbrella term. We encourage reclaiming ourselves and our lives on our own terms. So this book will use the term queer in this positive fashion (thanks millennials!).
People always wonder how were able to secure information on so many queer people in so many conservative states. This was a threshold challenge that we addressed from the very beginning. LGBTQIA+ people are born in every part of our great country and were it not for societal pressures, discrimination, and violence, they may have chosen to stay in their hometowns. We wanted to honor this fact, so each honoree’s contributions are being credited to their home state (their state of birth).