The preliminary design for a new gateway to Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Brooklyn was unveiled this summer. The park honors Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender woman of color who was a pioneer of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. [Read more…] about Marsha P Johnson State Park Gateway Design Unveiled
In 1943 Henry Alexander Murray, a psychologist at Harvard University, was commissioned by William Joseph Donovan (“Wild Bill Donovan”) – founding father of the CIA – to prepare an investigative report on behalf of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Designated as the “Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler,” it became a ground-breaking study in the fields of offender profiling and political psychology. The inquiry into the malignant and narcissistic personality of the Führer was an effort to understand the “charismatic” nature of his leadership and an attempt to “predict” patterns of his behavior and actions. [Read more…] about Bayreuth & New York; Wagner & Bernstein
Before the arrival of European settlers, the flatland area that would become Harlem (originally: Nieuw Haarlem after the Dutch city of that name) was inhabited by the indigenous Munsee speakers, the Lenape. The first settlers from the Low Countries arrived in the late 1630s.
Harlem was an agricultural center under British rule (attempts to change the name of the community to “Lancaster” failed and the authorities reluctantly adopted the Anglicised name of Harlem). During the American Revolutionary War in September 1776 it was the site of the Battle of Harlem Heights. Later, rich elites built country houses there in order to escape from the city’s dirt and epidemics (Alexander Hamilton built his Harlem estate in 1802). [Read more…] about Harlem on Fire: Langston Hughes & Wallace Henry Thurman
The quick-witted Hugh Ryan has a nose for history, as demonstrated in his book When Brooklyn Was Queer. His latest The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison mines little-known historical sources to point out how a large and vocal population of queer-identified and trans people passed through the old cement monstrosity that used to stand next to today’s Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan‘s Greenwich Village.
Now a community garden, the site is a shout away from the Stonewall Inn, and Ryan writes the story of some of those imprisoned voices left out of the customary tales of the riot. In fact, prisoners set fire to their bedclothes and tossed them from the barred windows overlooking 6th Ave chanting “gay rights, gay rights gay rights.” Even before Stonewall’s impassioned response to police exploitation of gay bars, House of D. queer women, transmasculine people and other women were rioting for their rights in the jail. [Read more…] about Arrested Attention: The Women’s House of Detention
The Women’s House of Detention, a landmark that ushered in the modern era of women’s imprisonment, is now largely forgotten. But when it stood in New York City’s Greenwich Village, from 1929 to 1974, it was a nexus for the tens of thousands of women, transgender men, and gender-nonconforming people who inhabited its crowded cells.
Some of these inmates — Angela Davis, Andrea Dworkin, Afeni Shakur — were famous, but the vast majority were incarcerated for the crimes of being poor and improperly feminine. Today, approximately 40 percent of the people in women’s prisons identify as queer; in earlier decades, that percentage was almost certainly higher. [Read more…] about The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison
In the new book Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement (NYU Press, 2022) Wendy L. Rouse of San Jose State University reveals that the suffrage movement included individuals who represented a range of genders and sexualities. However, owing to the constant pressure to present a “respectable” public image, suffrage leaders publicly conformed to gendered views of ideal womanhood in order to make women’s suffrage more palatable to the public. [Read more…] about A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement
It’s a day to memorialize people killed as the result of transphobia, the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming/non-binary people. We also remember those who died as a result of suicide. This day serves to bring attention to the continued violence and non-acceptance endured by the transgender community which we see at an alarming new rate. [Read more…] about Transgender Day of Remembrance
The latest episode of Empire State Engagements features a conversation with Ashley Hopkins-Benton of the New York State Museum. She discussed her panel exhibition on the history of the Pride Center of the Capital Region, as well as her work to recover and incorporate more LGBTQ+ history into the State Museum’s content. [Read more…] about Ashley Hopkins-Benton On LGBTQ+ History At NYS Museum
When Benjamin Franklin traveled to Paris in 1776 seeking support for the Revolution, the old charmer became a popular guest at the city’s glittering salons. His successor Thomas Jefferson continued his PR work and established contacts with the city’s most prominent salonnières. Thomas Paine too was a visitor of various salons. Thanks to their socio-diplomatic involvement, the American Revolution became a central topic of discussion at such gatherings. [Read more…] about Salons: American Rebels, French Etiquette and Lesbian History
In honor of the second anniversary of the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), the Division of Human Rights (DHR) and other NYS agencies, in conjunction with Gender Equality New York (GENY) and New York Trans Advocacy Group (NYTAG), are hosting a virtual town hall on Monday, January 25th. [Read more…] about Division of Human Rights Hosting GENDA Virtual Town Hall