Gay Bar Culture Bibliography

Query: From Amy Brunner <> 07 May 1996

I have a student researching Gay Bar Culture for her Gay and Lesbian Identities. She is interested in dance patterns, power distinctions(racial, class...) and other interactions. She has researched at a bar and has also spoken with a few women who attend the bar frequently, but is lacing in scholarly research in the area. I thought I recalled some information on a book about the bar scene in Syracuse in the 40s and 50s on this list and mentioned that to her. If anyone has any suggestions or advice both of us would enjoy it greatly.


I believe it's Buffalo, not Syracuse: Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold by Davis and Kennedy. Excellent methodology of oral history as well.

On gay bar culture, you student will certainly want to look at Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D.Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, Routledge, 1993

Your student might want to read "Remembering Lesbian Bars: Montreal, 1955-1975," in Gay Studies from the French Cultures, ed. by Rommel Mendes-Leite and Pierre-Olivier de Busscher(1993).

Abbott and Love, Sappho Was a Right On Woman

Berube, Alan, Coming Out Under Fire (he looks primarily at gay men, but does include lesbians during WWII, and finds the beginnings of gay/lesbian bar culture in GI recreation.)

Buring, Daneel, Just completed her dissertation at U of Memphis entitled "Building Gay Community Behind the Magnolia Curtain: Memphis from the 1940s through the 1960s" (should be available thru University Microforms soon)

Cruikshank, The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement

Davis, Madeline and Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, "Oral History and Study of Sexuality in the Lesbian Community" in Feminist Studies, 1986 12(1): 7-26. (They look at working class lesbian bar culture in Buffalo,NY in 1940s-1960s.)

D'Emilio, John, Making Trouble(essays) and Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities

Duberman, Vicinus & Chauncey, Hidden From History and Stonewall

Faderman, Lillian, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth Century America, Columbia U Press, 1991(She has a chapter that discusses class differences in lesbian social interaction.)

Feinberg, Leslie (Sp?), Stone Butch Blues ( takes place in lesbian bars in the 50s, not "scholarly work but finely observed herstory)

Kahn, Janet and Gozemba, Patricia, "In and Around the Lighthouse" in Gendered Domains, eds. Dorothy Helly and Susan Reverby.(also a look at working class lesbian bar culture in Lynn,MA in 1950s-1960s.)

Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold

Lorde, Audre, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

Marcus, Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights

Meyer, Leisa, "Creating GI Jane" in Feminist Studies 1992 18(3): 581-601. ( She looks at the Women's Army Corps and the issue of sexuality, and so, of course, includes lesbians.)

Nestle, Joan, A Restricted Country

Ruiz, Vicki L. and DuBois, Ellen, eds, Unequal Sisters

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