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Aug 9, 2020

Our guest this week is Eric Cervini, an award-winning historian of LGBTQ+ politics and culture. A former Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he received his Ph.D., he is an authority on 1960s gay activism. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus, and on the Board of Advisors of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit dedicated to preserving gay American history. Cervini’s new book, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America, is a history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall.

In our conversation, Cervini tells the story of World War Two veteran Frank Kameny, whose security clearance was rejected because he was gay and who became an important figure in the American gay rights movement; what the absence of some gay activists from the public narrative says about who we remember and why; and how the United States should honor its LGBTQ+ heroes.

Music & Produced by Tre Hester.