Have you ever wondered if queer/ literature in the USA has an actual history? Sure, you can find books now with all sorts of queer protagonists, and you hear about news reports where libraries and schools have banned queer books, but what has changed since the beginning of the twentieth century?
Queer / LGBTQ+ Literature, Then and Now: Pre-Stonewall 4-week series on Outschool.
Before the Stonewall Riots in 1969, queer literature followed a fairly common theme in that queer protagonists were not supposed to be happy. While this is saddening, there is a lot to take away from these authors. Although their writing was shaped by society, queer authors were writing about themselves and people they knew. Their writing began to push against the biases against them, and helped pave the way for the queer authors we know today.
Queer / LGBTQ+ Literature, Then and Now: Post-Stonewall 4-week series on Outschool.
With the social change swirling, queer literature started undergoing a dramatic shift. Queer people looked at their lives, and the way they were perceived by society, and began refusing to be the repressed group the public wanted them to be. They began writing about protagonists who had normal lives, and who didn’t always have to be unhappy. Throughout the decades as queer people became more outspoken and open, their literature dealt with families, relationships, AIDS, and society, as well as the evolution in how people of varying sexualities and genders self-identified. While society at large still held the perception that queer people were unacceptable, or even mentally ill, queer people were quickly asserting otherwise.
Queer / LGBTQ+ Literature, Then and Now: the 21st Century 4-week series on Outschool.
Queer literature has exploded, particularly YA literature, and it is no longer easily put in a box. It is now possible to find books that feature protagonists in a wide variety of genders and sexualities in all genres. However, there are still obstacles for queer authors, and we will study how those obstacles have shifted and changed since the beginning of the twenty-first century.
NOTE: While queer literature has existed for centuries in one form or another, this class sequence will focus on literature from 1900 to 2020. In addition, as we will be focusing primarily on the social movement in the United States as shaped by the Stonewall Riots era, a good deal of the books are set in the USA. While the class focus has to be narrow in order to be manageable for a class series, every country has their own queer movement which is just as valid and just as important to learn about.