Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation

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Before the Gay Rights Movement took shape, there was the moment when gay people stepped out of the closet and into the public eye. For many, this period in the 1970s and ’80s is forever intertwined with the AIDS epidemic, but in truth, there is so much more to the story.

Stand by Me valiantly attempts to correct the historical record and revise the harmful, outdated images of bathhouses and promiscuity that plague both official and non-official accounts of the gay community and its history. From the Up Stairs Lounge massacre to an internal battle within the gay community over religion, from prison culture and shameful political maneuvering to the cultural importance of literature, nightlife, and body image, numerous crucial moments and landmarks that were all gathering places, battlegrounds, and steps forward for the community as a whole have been overshadowed.

Downs infuses great passion and intent in every paragraph, striving to the raise the level of discourse even as he’s tossing outmoded ideas aside left and right. This is history as it should be told, as complex and as personal as possible.

In the wake of the Orlando massacre, we need this book and ones like it more than ever.

Reviewed By:

Author Jim Downs
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 2016-03-01
ISBN 9780465032709 Buy this Book
Issue August 2016
Category History


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