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Brief: A History of the Gay Right (w/Neil Young)


Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker

Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Philosophy, Spirituality, Society & Culture, Science

4.2 • 1.6K Ratings

🗓️ 13 April 2024

⏱️ 45 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Matthew is joined by historian Neil J. Young, co-host of the excellent Past Present Podcast, to talk about his new book: Coming Out Republican: a History of the Gay Right. Young’s riveting storytelling shows how, beginning in the aftermath of WWII, many American gay men—born into socially conservative and religious families from which they had struggled to individuate—hitched the wagon of their political hopes to a Republican party they believed would champion their privacy and individual civil rights. Ground zero for their fiercely libertarian clubs and action committees was San Francisco, where a culture of rugged entrepreneurship fostered the slogan “Keep the government out of our bedrooms, and out of our wallets.” It was an individualist politics that looked to Civil Rights and women’s rights movements for inspiration, but not allyship. In time that same GOP would lead a culture war against everything queer—paradoxically led by closeted gay politicians who, with deeply conflicted motives, legislated against their fellows. But even as the tide turned, many gay Republicans kept their shoulders to the unforgiving wheel of respectability politics. Young illuminates the flashes of bravery and self-reliance in these men’s stories, but also shows what happens when a marginalized group seeks acceptance and political power—instead of liberation—within a culture built on exclusion. Neil writes for WaPo, the Atlantic, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Vox, Politico, Slate, and the New York Times. Show Notes Coming Out Republican: A History of the Gay Right, Young Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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