Proud: 1945- Present


These authors are some of the earliest examples of having a queer identity attached to their names as they write and publish. While there was still significant oppression and erasure efforts of the author’s work, exemplified in the censorship of Brick’s homosexual relationship with Skipper in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, these authors were allowed an amount of freedom unprecedented in American history.

While reading, compare the open expressions of identity in these authors to the subversive tactics some of the previous authors used in their work. How does Whitman’s homoeroticism compare to Ginsberg’s homoeroticism? How is Audre Lorde’s experience as a lesbian different than Ruth Fuller Field’s? Or the intimate relationships of Roosevelt and Hickok and the Dickinson women? How do the experiences of Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, both queer writers of color, compare to those of their white counterparts?

Tennessee Williams

James Baldwin

Allen Ginsberg

Audre Lorde