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 some 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? 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?

Also during this time, visibility of writers of color improved, and therefore queer writers of color became more widely-read. While reading, pay attention to how the experiences and writings of authors like Maurice Kenny, Audre Lorde, and Chrystos differ from their white counterparts. How do they address colonialism, especially the indigenous writers?

Tennessee Williams

James Baldwin

Allen Ginsberg

Audre Lorde

Maurice Kenny


Paula Gunn Allen

Adrienne Rich

June Jordan

Leslie Feinberg