In 1938, eighty years ago, two men from my hometown cruised the same downtown park, hoping for some kind of homosexual connection. It’s unknown if they ever met. Their lives took drastically different paths.
Desire or loneliness or curiosity or happenstance drew Jack Pierson and Homer F___ to the footpaths of Willson Park in Flint back in the late 1930s, then planted with bounteous bushes and trees and lined with park benches along its perimeters.
Continue reading “Ripples from 1938”
On the first anniversary of Michigan LGBTQ Remember and this companion blog about Queer Remembering, I thought it might be time to reflect. Then I realized how silly that was since the entire project is all about reflecting.
But the one-year mark does seem like a good opportunity to discuss how I have decided which people to include here. Who to queerly remember?
Continue reading “Who to Queerly Remember?”
LGBTQ Michiganders are coming out, hidden in plain sight.
They’re coming out in obits, as the deceased and as survivors.
Continue reading ““Beloved Life Partner””
I use gay obituaries to explore history.
Paul Cameron uses gay obituaries to tell lies.
Continue reading “Bogus Data”
I did not personally know Betty Jo Hudson or Vielka Holness. I never met Rexford Palmer or Duane Froelich. Katharine Coman died before I was born, before my grandma was born. Still, I seek to remember them.
Continue reading “Remembering LGBTQ Strangers”
Somehow, in my 53 years, I never realized until recently that the refrain of “Auld Lang Syne” is posed as a question:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
As someone who pursues the life of a historian, and as someone who has devoted much of the past year to bringing to mind lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer acquaintances, I want emphatically to not forget.
Continue reading “Remembering LGBTQ Acquaintances”
My grandfather, who in conversation would often ask “Why should I give a rat’s ass?” as if out of the blue, loved to tell stories of yesteryear. Although I was never sure if his salty language came from growing up in the Thumb or working in Flint’s factories, I came to understand his storytelling as a significant means of conveying personal values, culture, and history to his grandkids.
Continue reading “Giving a Rat’s Ass about LGBTQ History, 2017 edition”