"Queer Legacies" Virtual Event with John D'Emilio, Owen Keehnen, and Gerber/Hart Library & Archives!

John D'Emilio will discuss his new book Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives on Thursday, October 22nd at 7 pm Central Time. The author will be joined in conversation by Owen Keehnen, author of Dugan's Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady. Hosted by Unabridged Bookstore and the Gerber/Hart Library & Archives!

The variety of LGBTQ life in Chicago is too abundant and too diverse to be contained in a single place. But since 1981, the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has striven to do just that, amassing a wealth of records related to the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people and organizations. In Queer Legacies, John D’Emilio—a pioneering scholar in the field—digs deep into Gerber/Hart’s collection to unearth a kaleidoscopic look at the communities built by generations of LGBTQ people. Excavated from one of the country’s most important, yet overlooked, LGBTQ archives, D’Emilio’s entertaining and enthusiastic essays range in focus from politics and culture to social life, academia, and religion. He gives readers an inclusive and personal look at fifty years of a national fight for visibility, recognition, and equality led by LGBTQ Americans who, quite literally, made history. In these troubled times, it will surely inspire a new generation of scholars and activists.


John D’Emilio is professor emeritus of history and gender and women’s studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, and the current President of the Board at Gerber/Hart Library & Archives. A Guggenheim Fellow and a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies, he is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities and Intimate Matters, which was cited in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court case overturning US anti-sodomy laws.


Owen Keehnen is the author of several fiction and non-fiction titles, his most recent being Dugan's Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady. He is the cofounder of the Legacy Project, a history/education organization focussed on reclaiming and celebrating our LGBTQ past. His current writing projects include A Place for Us: LGBTQ Life at the Belmont Rocks, about the importance of this queer space in the development of Chicago's LGBTQ community as well as an overview of drag performance in Chicago from the 1960s-1990s. Keehnen is also part of the working committee to make AIDS Garden Chicago a reality. He was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2011.



Gerber/Hart Library and Archives was founded in 1981 on the belief that knowledge is key to dispelling homophobia and the marginalization of sexual and gender minorities. Focused primarily on the Midwest, Gerber/Hart has grown to become one of the larger independent LGBTQ libraries and archives, containing a 27,000 volume circulating library, 600 periodicals, 700 newsletters, 150 archive collections (980 linear feet), 1,700 linear feet of Special Collections items, and four exhibition venues.

Open to everyone, Gerber/Hart is dedicated to promoting research, learning, exploration, and discovery in a safe and welcoming atmosphere that reflects the diversity of the communities that it serves. To learn more, please visit gerberhart.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @gerberhart.

This discussion will be hosted on Zoom. After completing your purchase you will receive an email confirmation for your order, and a follow up email with log-in information will be sent before the event begins. For questions, please email matt@unabridgedbookstore.com

Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives By John D'Emilio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226727530
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 28th, 2020

Event date: 

Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657