Book Launch: The Boys of Fairy Town

Join us for an evening in celebration of Jim Elledge's The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century! Elledge will appear in conversation with local LGBT historian Owen Keehnen. A Q&A and book signing will follow the event.

About the book:

A history of gay Chicago told through the stories of queer men who left a record of their sexual activities in the Second City, this book paints a vivid picture of the neighborhoods where they congregated while revealing their complex lives. Some, such as reporter John Wing, were public figures. Others, like Henry Gerber, who created the first "homophile" organization in the United States, were practically invisible to their contemporaries. But their stories are all riveting. Female impersonators and striptease artists Quincy de Lang and George Quinn were arrested and put on trial at the behest of a leader of Chicago's anti-"indecency" movement. African American ragtime pianist Tony Jackson's most famous song, "Pretty Baby," was written about one of his male lovers. Alfred Kinsey's explorations of the city's netherworld changed the future of American sexuality while confirming his own queer proclivities. What emerges from The Boys of Fairy Town is a complex portrait and a virtually unknown history of one of the most vibrant cities in the United States.

About the author:

Jim Elledge is the author of 24 books. His most recent nonfiction book, Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist, received the Georgia Author of the Year award in biography and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Randy Shilts Award for gay nonfiction.

About Owen Keehnen:

Owen Keehnen is a Chicago-based author, editor, activist, and LGBT historian. His articles have appeared in The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review and the New York Native among others. He was a contributor to Gay Press, Gay Power and wrote ten biographical essays for Out and Proud in Chicago. Keehnen is co-founder and senior biographer of The Legacy Project--a program focused on pride, acceptance, and bringing proper recognition to LGBT people throughout history. He has served on the board of Chicago’s Gerber/Hart Library. In 2011 he was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.


The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781613739358
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicago Review Press - June 1st, 2018

Event date: 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657
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