City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves

Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972

Marc Stein

City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves

Marc Stein

480 pages | 44 halftones, 5 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2000
Cloth $58.00 ISBN: 9780226771793 Published June 2000
In this pathbreaking history, Marc Stein takes an in-depth look at Philadelphia from the 1940s to the 1970s. What he finds is a city of vibrant gay and lesbian households, neighborhoods, commercial establishments, public cultures, and political groups. In doing so, Stein shatters the myth that lesbian and gay history began with the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City and challenges the notion that only New York and San Francisco featured major lesbian and gay communities in the pre-Stonewall era.

Stein takes us on a tour through Philadelphia’s bars, restaurants, bookstores, bathhouses, movie theaters, parks, and parades where lesbian and gay cultures thrived.

We learn about the scientific experts, religious leaders, public officials, and journalists who attacked and ignored same-sex sexualities. And we read about the courageous people who fought back with strategies of everyday resistance and organized political activism.

Stein argues against the idea that a conspiracy of silence surrounded gays and lesbians in the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that same-sex sexualities were regularly discussed in controversies concerning the tennis player Big Bill Tilden, the Walt Whitman Bridge, sex murders and crimes, and police raids. Philadelphians became national leaders in the gay and lesbian movement. They conducted sit-ins at Dewey’s restaurant, organized pickets at Independence Hall, edited the movement’s most widely circulated publications the Ladder and Drum, and pursued court cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beautifully crafted and exceptionally well-written, Stein’s book not only provides a new starting place for thinking about lesbian and gay history but also challenges readers to rethink twentieth-century urban history.
List of Figures
Part One - Everyday Geographies, 1945-1972
1. Your Place or Mine?: Residential Zones in the "City of Neighborhoods"
2. "No-Man’s Land": Commercial Districts in the "Quaker City"
3. The Death and Life of Public Space in the "Private City"
Part Two - Public Cultures, 1945-1960
4. "The Most Fabulous Faggot in the Land"
5. The "Objectionable" Walt Whitman Bridge
6. Rizzo’s Raiders and Beaten Beats
Part Three - Political Movements, 1960-1969
7. "Come Out! Come Out! Wherever You Are!" 1960
8. "Earnestly Seeking Respectability," 1960-1963
9. "News for ’Queers’ and Fiction for ’Perverts,’" 1963-1967
10. "The Masculine-Feminine Mystique," 1967-1969
Part Four - Twin Revolutions? 1969-1972
11. "Turning Points," 1969-1970
12. Gay Liberation in the "Birthplace of the Nation," 1970-1971
13. Radicalesbian Feminism in "Fillydykia," 1971-1972
Sexual Pride, Sexual Conservatism
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