Speaking for Our Lives
Historic Speeches and Rhetoric for Gay and Lesbian Rights (1892-2000)
Read the words they risked everything for!
This landmark volume collects more than a hundred years of the most important public rhetoric on gay and lesbian subjects. In the days when homosexuality was mentioned only in whispers, a few brave souls stood up to speak for the rights of sexual minorities. In Speaking for Our Lives: Historic Speeches and Rhetoric for Gay and Lesbian Rights (1892-2000), their stirring words have finally been gathered together, along with the political manifestoes, broadsheets, and performance pieces of the gay and lesbian liberation movement.
Speaking for Our Lives comprises speeches and manifestoes prompted by events ranging from demonstrations to funerals. Scholars and researchers will appreciate the brief commentary introducing each piece, which discusses the author, the occasion, and the political and social contexts in which it first appeared.
You’ll find the words of a broad variety of individuals and groups, including:
- the Victorian humanist and crusader Robert Ingersoll
- key groups such as the Mattachine Society, Homosexual Law Reform Society, Gay Activists Alliance, and International Gay Association
- activists and educators Robin Morgan, Joseph Bean, and Dr. Franklin Kameny,
- artists and journalists of the movement, such as John Eric Larsen, Joan Nestle, Barbara Grier, and Jim Kepner
- elected officials, including Bella Abzug, Ed Koch, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gerry Studds, Tammy Baldwin, and Bill Clinton
Table of Contents
- SECTION I: PRE-1950
- March 30, 1892. Address at the Funeral of Walt Whitman
- October 8, 1904. What Interest Does the Women’s Movement Have in Solving the Homosexual Problem?
- 1928. Appeal . . . on Behalf of an Oppressed Human Variety
- SECTION II: THE 1950s
- September 1952. Address to the International Committee for Sexual Equality
- January/February 1955. An Open Letter to Senator Dirksen
- May 15, 1955. Resolution
- August 1956. The Homosexual Faces a Challenge
- October 1956. President’s Message
- January 26, 1957. How Homosexuals Can Combat Anti-Homosexualism
- November 1958. Progress Report
- SECTION III: THE 1960s
- August 25, 1962. A Decade of Progress in the Homophile Movement
- March 1963. Towards a Sexually Sane Society
- 1964. Open Letter to the Florida Legislature’s Johns Committee
- July 22, 1964. Civil Liberties: A Progress Report
- August 7, 1964. Resolution of the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union on Federal Employment of Homosexuals
- November 16, 1964. On Getting and Using Power
- December 1964. SIR’s Statement of Policy
- July 1965. What’s in It for Me?
- July 1965. Introductory Address
- February 19-20, 1966. Homophile Organizations Adopt Statement
- August 20, 1966. A Challenge to San Francisco
- November 1966. What Concrete Steps Can Be Taken to Further the Homophile Movement?
- April 21-23, 1967. Homophile Movement Policy Statement
- May 1967. Why I Joined the Homophile Movement
- August 1967. Washington Statement
- SECTION IV: THE 1970s
- February 14-15, 1970. Western Homophile Conference Keynote Address
- January 27, 1971. An Open Letter to Gay Activists Alliance
- 1971. Preamble to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Gay Activists Alliance, Inc.
- 1971. The GAA Alternative
- June 25, 1971. Frieda Smith Tells It Like It Is
- August 28, 1971. We Demand
- February 1972. The Lesbian and God-the-Father
- February 13, 1972. Waffle
- August 1972. Democrats, Nation, Hear Gay Delegates
- August 1972. Address to the Democratic National Convention
- August 1972. Speech to the American Bar Association
- August 1972. Speech to the Resolutions Committee of the American Bar Association
- 1973. The Potential of Our Vision
- January 8, 1973. Viewpoint
- March 16, 1973. Walt Whitman: Poet of Comrades and Love
- April 14, 1973. Lesbianism and Feminism: Synonyms or Contradictions?
- May 9, 1973. Stop It, You’re Making Me Sick
- January 18, 1974. Remarks for Integrity/Houston
- May 4, 1974. Joint Statement
- Summer 1974. Sexual Liberation Through Revolution, not Reform!
- September 13, 1974. For My Granddaughters . . .
- March 25, 1975. Seeks Equal Protection
- August 10, 1975. British Theologician Speaks to Gays
- September 19, 1975. The Possibilities Are Staggering
- January 10, 1976. The Gay Pagan’s Manifesto
- March 30, 1976. Privacy and Sexuality
- July 11, 1976. Speech at the NYSCGO Demonstration
- August 17, 1976. Statement on Sex and Violence on Television
- August 17, 1976. Gay People on Television
- August 29, 1976. How Do You Define Lesbianism?
- March 1977. Neither Profit Nor Salvation
- June 8, 1977. Prayer Breakfast
- June 9, 1977. Tribute to Troy D. Perry
- August 1977. A Lesbian Mother on the Abortion Issue
- August 24, 1977. Resolution on Anita Bryant
- January 1978. An Open Letter to Anita Bryant
- April 30, 1978. Gay Rights Can Be Achieved
- May 12, 1978. A Union Leader Speaks for Gay Rights
- June 17, 1978. Speech at Boston Lesbian and Gay Pride Rally
- June 25, 1978. Speech at Gay and Lesbian Pride Rally, New York City
- July 1978. Lesbian Schoolworkers Stand Against Briggs
- September 19, 1978. A House Divided
- 1979. Letter to the Pope