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Much has been published about LGBT History in the last 40 years; however, much of the literature focuses on metropolitan experiences. This LibGuide seeks to provide a starting point for those interested in Southern LGBT History.
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 riots that many say signified the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement.

Photo credit: By Diana Davies, copyright owned by New York Public Library

LGBT Connections at NCCU


Is there really LGBT History in the South?

There most certainly is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) history in the South! The challenge is in finding it. A wealth of literature exists by noted authors such as Martin Duberman, John D’Emilio and Lillian Faderman examining the history, development of gay and lesbian identity, political organizations, rights movements and responses to AIDS. There are few works, however, dedicated to the Southern LGBT experience; the majority document  the larger urban centers such as New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago.  Scholarly literature based on the LGBT experience in southern cities, evident especially in the work of John Howard, has only begun to appear in the last decade.

Researchers in Southern LGBT history must be patient and resourceful. Be sure to use the numerous keyword search terms provided in this guide, as the terms associated with the LGBT community have changed over the last 50 years. From homophile to queer, literature exists if you search using a variety of methods.

This guide was created to help others find what can be a frustrating field to navigate. More and more books and articles are published each year examining this important history. Please feel free to email me with additional information if you find new sources.

What Keywords Should I Use in my Search?

Throughout history, LGBT communities have been known by many names. This can mean difficulty conducting a simple search for materials. Here are a few key terms to think about when searching for items related to LGBT history.

  • Bisexual
  • Coming Out
  • Gay
  • Gay and lesbian
  • Gay Liberation Movement
  • Gay men
  • Gay youth
  • Gender Identity
  • Homosexuality
  • Lesbian
  • Lesbianism
  • Lesbians
  • Male Homosexuality
  • Queer
  • Same sex
  • Sexual Orientation

Out in America

About Jennifer

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Jennifer Scott

Key Dates

Although some see the Stonewall Inn Riots as the birth of the Gay Rights Movement in the U.S., organizations and individuals had been working for decades prior to raise awareness of homosexuals. PBS has compiled a timeline that gives some key dates for the movement. This can serve as a jumping off point for research into many different events and personalities in LGBT history.


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