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The Children of Harvey Milk

ISBN: 9780190460952 | 0190460954
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 4/1/2017

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A testament to the power of individuals to impact social change.

The gay rights movement has achieved social transformation at a dizzying pace, upending conventional views on sex, love, marriage, the family, and equality itself. While most scholars understand the movement as a broad-based social movement, Andrew Reynolds argues that the most important catalyst of gay rights is often overlooked: individuals. Specifically, openly gay politicians had a critical role in bringing about a more positive attitude towards homosexuality, both among other politicians and the general public.

The Children of Harvey Milk tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights. Based on in-depth interviews with more than fifty elected officials and high profile political candidates, Reynolds traces major breakthroughs for the gay rights movement through the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender politicians who advanced the cause. The book documents their successes and failures, heartwarming stories of acceptance and heartbreaking stories of ostracism, demonstrating the ways in which an individual can change the views and voting behaviors of those around him. Reynolds also includes rare vignettes of LGBT leaders in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean who continue to fight for gay rights in spite of threats, violence, and homophobia.

Blending personal stories with historical data, Reynolds offers both a compelling portrait of LGBT politicians and a powerful explanation of the importance of identity politics in the success of the gay rights movement. A touchstone narrative of the tumultuous journey towards gay rights, The Children of Harvey Milk is a must-read for anyone with an interest in gay rights, social movements, and social change.

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