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The Gay Agenda|Ashley Molesso
The Gay Agenda : A Modern Queer History & Handbook
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Overview

A joyful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community's development, history, and culture, packed with facts, trivia, timelines, and charts, and featuring 100 full-color illustrations.

Compiled and designed by queer power couple and illustrators extraordinaire, Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham, founders of the popular stationery company Ash + Chess, The Gay Agenda is an inviting and entertaining guide that pays tribute to the LGBTQ+ community. Filled with engaging descriptions, interesting facts, helpful features--such as historical queer icons and events and LGBTQ+ acronym definitions--this fabulous compendium illuminates the transformation of the community, highlighting its struggles, achievements, landmarks, and contributions. It also salutes iconic members of the LGBTQ+ community--the celebrities, politicians, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens who have made a notable impact on gay life and society itself.

The Gay Agenda is a nostalgic look back for older generations, an archive for younger people, and a helpful introduction for those interested in learning more about the community and its contributions. From James Baldwin and Emma Goldman to Marsha P. Johnson and Jodie Foster; the Pink Triangle and the Rainbow Flag to Stonewall and the AIDS crisis; Matthew Shepard and Pulse Nightclub to Sodomy Laws and Obergefell; Drag and Transitioning to The L Word and The Kinsey Scale, Freddie Mercury and Ellen Degeneres to Laverne Cox and David Bowie, this magnificent digest is a keepsake honoring all LGBTQ+, and the ongoing fight to gain--and maintain--equality for all.

  • ISBN-13: 9780062944559
  • ISBN-10: 006294455X
  • Publisher: Morrow Gift
  • Publish Date: April 2020
  • Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Page Count: 176

The Gay Agenda

Elements of the current crisis­­ will ring familiar to folks of a certain age: the mysterious infection, the incompetent government response, the pernicious effects on the vulnerable, the marginalized, the isolated. The HIV/AIDS epidemic ravaged gay communities in the U.S. starting in the 1980s; only unrelenting pressure from queer activists would make the Reagan administration take notice. The first known report of AIDS was recorded in Los Angeles in 1981—just a dozen years after the 1969 uprising at New York’s Stonewall Inn, the days-long melee between queer and trans people and their police antagonists that marked a turning point in the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

In 2016 that site became a national monument. What an eventful half-century it’s been! These milestones and others are the subject of The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History and Handbook. Authors Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham, or Ash + Chess, as they’re known, are prolific illustrators and the proprietors of a stationery company in Richmond, Virginia. This colorful little volume starts around 1900 and offers a brisk romp through recent queer history, with a heavy dose of the arts and popular culture. Think Alison Bechdel, Paris Is Burning and—yep—“RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The authors take care, too, to restore some less well-known figures to their rightful places in the movement, such as Kathy Kozachenko, a lesbian elected to the city council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1974, three years before Harvey Milk joined the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

If you’re a parent, this could be something to share with your queer teen to help them understand the history they’re inheriting—or with any teen to help them be a more informed ally. But as the subtitle mentions, the last few dozen pages of The Gay Agenda form a “handbook,” offered “with the purpose of navigating your queerness or understanding someone elses’s”—so if you’re a queer kid, maybe this is a book you give your parents if they have questions about nonbinary pronouns, pansexuality or the concept of “chosen family.” Something for all; this history is America’s.