Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965


"A smart, insightful, readable book. Boyd expertly outlines the political, economic, and legal contours of San Francisco's queer history. With a rich array of sources, she reconstructs the nightclubs and bars where customers, workers, and owners fought for the right to public assembly and helped inaugurate a movement for gay and lesbian civil rights."--Joanne Meyerowitz, author of "How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States

"An outstanding book, a major contribution to U.S. gay, lesbian, and queer history. Nan Boyd has produced a fascinating account that helps us to understand why and how San Francisco has come to occupy such pride of place in the queer imagination. Traversing the complicated geography, the multiple gender and sexual cultures, and the multi-layered politics of a great metropolis, Wide-Open Town is a must-read for historians, students and scholars of sex, gender, and sexuality, and all those who have ever left their hearts in San Francisco."--Marc Stein, author of "City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972

"Boyd spins out a fascinating story of a unique community and in the process informs our understanding of the development of gay/lesbian communities and activism in places beyond San Francisco. She does this by showing the links between and relationship of cultural resistance and various forms of political organizing, and by rethinking the ways that major events in U.S. history, such as Prohibition and the Second World War, have shaped gay/lesbian history."--Leila J. Rupp, author of "A Desired Past

"Nan Boyd has excavated a queer pre-history of gay liberation movements in San Francisco. By highlightingsex and race tourism as well as the centrality of gender transgression to the creation of gay communities, she sheds new light on the formation of sexual identities in the twentieth century. Both insightful and highly readable

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • José Sarria
  • Reba Hudson
  • Joe
  • Del Martin
  • Phyllis Lyon
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Berkeley, CA
Publication year:
  • 2003


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