KPFA is proud to invite you to a special Zoom Event on Thursday June 23rd at 6:00 pm when we welcome Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller, to celebrate their new book, Bad Gays: A Homosexual History, in conversation with Marke Bieschke.
An unconventional history of homosexuality
We all remember Oscar Wilde, but who speaks for Bosie? What about those ‘bad gays’ whose unexemplary lives reveal more than we might expect? Many popular histories seek to establish homosexual heroes, pioneers, and martyrs but, as Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller argue, the past is filled with queer people whose sexualities and dastardly deeds have been overlooked despite their being informative and instructive.
Based on the hugely popular podcast series of the same name, Bad Gays asks what we can learn about LGBTQ+ history, sexuality and identity through its villains, failures, and baddies. With characters such as the Emperor Hadrian, anthropologist Margaret Mead and notorious gangster Ronnie Kray, the authors tell the story of how the figure of the white gay man was born, and how he failed. They examine a cast of kings, fascist thugs, artists and debauched bon viveurs. Imperial-era figures Lawrence of Arabia and Roger Casement get a look-in, as do FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover, lawyer Roy Cohn, and architect Philip Johnson.
Together these amazing life stories expand and challenge mainstream assumptions about sexual identity: showing that homosexuality itself was an idea that emerged in the nineteenth century, one central to major historical events.
Bad Gays is a passionate argument for rethinking gay politics beyond questions of identity, compelling readers to search for solidarity across boundaries.
Huw Lemmey is a novelist, artist and critic living in Barcelona. He is the author of three novels and writes on culture, sexuality and cities for the Guardian, Frieze, Flash Art, Tribune, TANK, The Architectural Review, Art Monthly, New Humanist, Rhizome, The White Review, andL’Uomo Vogue, amongst others. He also writes the weekly essay series utopian drivel.
Ben Miller is a writer and researcher. He is a Doctoral Fellow at the Graduate School of Global Intellectual History at the Freie Universität Berlin, has taught on queer history, literature, and visual cultures at the Humboldt Universität and The New Centre for Research & Practice. Ben is also a regular contributor to the Arts and Leisure pages of The New York Times.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts editor of local independent news site 48 Hills and legacy alternative weekly paper the Bay Guardian. He co-owns the Stud bar and is the author of Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens and Into the Streets: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States. His writing for DJ Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy, Them, The Advocate, and other outlets concentrates on queer nightlife and history.