cover of book

Mapping Gay L.A.: Intersection Of Place And Politics
by Moira Rachel Kenney
Temple University Press, 2001
Paper: 978-1-56639-884-8 | Cloth: 978-1-56639-883-1
Library of Congress Classification HQ76.8.U5K466 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.7660979494

In this book, Moira Kenney makes the case that Los Angeles better represents the spectrum of gay and lesbian community activism and culture than cities with a higher gay profile. Owing to its sprawling geography and fragmented politic, Los Angeles lacks a single enclave like the Castro in San Francisco or landmarks as prominent as the Stonewall in Greenwich Village, but it has a long and instructive history of community building.

By tracking the terrain of the movement since the beginnings of gay liberation in 1960s Los Angeles, Kenney shows how activists laid claim to streets, buildings, neighborhoods, and, in the example of West Hollywood, an entire city. Exploiting the area's lack of cohesion, they created a movement that maintained a remarkable flexibility and built support networks stretching from Venice Beach to East LA. Taking a different path from San Francisco and New York, gays and lesbians in Los Angeles emphasized social services, decentralized communities (usually within ethnic neighborhoods), and local as well as national politics. Kenney's grounded reading of this history celebrates the public and private forms of activism that shaped a visible and vibrant community.

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