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“I love stories about women who go against the grain and folks, this one sounds just like one of those stories. @amoslassen's reivew of Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring
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Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring
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From a 21st-century perspective, 1950s bar owner Branson wasn't particularly progressive. The 60-something matron barred "the obvious homosexual" from her modest tavern, strongly preferred patrons who could pass for straight, and didn't allow sexual touching. But the onetime palm reader's spunky memoir about running a gay bar on a crime-prone stretch of L.A.'s Melrose Avenue, first published in 1957, is filled with warm affection for "my boys" and with an uncommon understanding of (and sympathy for) gays, at a time when California law prohibited "inverts" from gathering in bars, and vice squad entrapment of "deviates" was commonplace. By pairing this new edition of Branson's insightful memoir with a study of 1950s America, Fellows (A Passion to Preserve) clarifies how ahead of her time Branson was: she believed, for example, that being gay was about more than sex and that gay men living together could consider themselves married. This stimulating account of support for gay rights pre-Stonewall is an eye-opener.
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ISBN-10: 029924850X
ISBN-13: 978-0299248505
Author: Will Fellows
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

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"A Welcome Treasure"
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