Each June in Washington, D.C. and across the world, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrate Pride, a tradition that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this June. But with parades cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LGBTQ+ community and allies are faced with a novel problem: how do we celebrate Pride without parades?
Dr. Eric Cervini, award-winning historian and author of THE DEVIANT'S WAR: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America, will argue that Pride existed long before the annual marches began in June 1970.
THE DEVIANT’S WAR begins in 1957 when a government astronomer named Frank Kameny received a summons to report immediately back to Washington. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual. But for the first time, a homosexual fought back, building a movement to fight against the government’s gay purges. What unfolds is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and victory. Ultimately, Cervini tells a story of hope: if generations before were able to celebrate their own versions of Pride in the midst of the McCarthy Era's gay purges and through the AIDS crisis, we can certainly maintain--and improve upon--the tradition of equality and inclusion today.
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