Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Queer Twin Cities

Queer Twin Cities

Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
https://doi.org/10.5749/j.cttts9w9
Pages: 360
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttts9w9
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Queer Twin Cities
    Book Description:

    Drawn from the pioneering work of the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project—a collective organization of students, scholars, and activists devoted to documenting and interpreting the lives of GLBT people in Minneapolis and St. Paul—Queer Twin Cities is a uniquely critical collection of essays on Minnesota’s vibrant queer communities, past and present.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7537-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. INTRODUCTION QUEER TWIN CITIES
    (pp. xi-xxviii)
    Jennifer L. Pierce

    Gus Van Sant’s filmMilk,a chronicle of Harvey Milk’s career and the first Hollywood portrayal of a gay political movement, provoked mixed reactions from activists, scholars, and a spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)–identified individuals. Some celebrated the wide exposure of Milk’s story, while others criticized its historical accuracy. In Minnesota, debate focused on two scenes involving a gay Minnesota teen. In the first, Milk advises the desperate and suicidal young man to get out of town and catch the first bus to San Francisco. This important scene is structured so that viewers will identify with...

  2. 1. QUEERING ORAL HISTORY REFLECTIONS ON THE ORIGINS OF THE TWIN CITIES GLBT ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
    (pp. 1-19)
    Jason Ruiz

    As the authors of the following chapters illustrate, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul share a long history as the social, cultural, and political hubs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other queer life in the Upper Midwest. In the 1970s, for example, “Gay House” served as a model for neighborhood resource centers across the nation. In the same decade, the lesbian coffee shop and co-op movements provided spaces to gather and organize and were a highly visible part of life in South Minneapolis. Although it might be an overstatement to call the Twin Cities “the San...

  3. 2. CALCULATING RISK HISTORY OF MEDICINE, TRANSGENDER ORAL HISTORY, AND THE INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD
    (pp. 20-39)
    Michael David Franklin

    In June 2005, my colleague Dorthe Troeften and I drove to a modest retirement community on the outskirts of Minneapolis to pay a visit to Carol, a white transgender woman in her late seventies who had contacted the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project (OHP) in order to contribute her life story. As we all sat around her living room for roughly two hours, Carol shared her life with us: memories of her experimentations with cross-dressing as a child in upstate Minnesota, of her overseas military service during the Korean War, of her overlapping experiences in public as a male...

  4. 3. SEXUALITY IN THE HEADLINES INTIMATE UPHEAVALS AS HISTORIES OF THE TWIN CITIES
    (pp. 40-89)
    Ryan Patrick Murphy and Alex T. Urquhart

    The following pages present a century’s worth of headline-making public debates about sexuality in Minnesota. Intimate tales from the archives at the Minnesota Historical Society, the University of Minnesota’s Tretter Collection of GLBT history, the region’s largest daily newspapers, and the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project shed light on the political, economic, and social forces shaping the events depicted here. Although modern concepts of identity such as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gay dot these pages, the following is not a comprehensive queer family album. Telling a single, coherent story of the Twin Cities GLBT past might have us ask...

  5. 4. THE MYTH OF THE GREAT WHITE NORTH CLAIMING QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR HISTORIES IN THE TWIN CITIES (A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION)
    (pp. 90-118)
    Charlotte Karem Albrecht, Brandon Lacy Campos and Jessica Giusti

    This chapter is based on a roundtable discussion that took place in the community room at Brandon’s apartment building on Saturday, March 31, 2007. This diverges from other chapters inQueer Twin Citiesin several ways worth noting. First, most chapters focus on historical processes and individual histories, but we address the politics of being queer and “of color” in the Twin Cities today. Much of the oral historical evidence that shapes this book is drawn from interviews with older queer people, but our group consisted of relatively younger residents who were eager to engage in a dialogue around the...

  6. 5. A SINGLE QUEER VOICE WITH POLYPHONIC OVERTONES ELISE MATTHESEN AND THE POLITICS OF SUBJECTIVITY IN THE TWIN CITIES
    (pp. 119-149)
    Mark Soderstrom

    We each create our own history, but we do so in a cultural context not of our choosing. This is the essence of what is called subjectivity. While dominant populations might understand themselves as self-made, nondominant populations are more likely to understand themselves as complex products of their own will in negotiation with their environment. In other words, a queer woman forms her subjectivity in and despite both heteronormative and homonormative culture; the subjectivity of a queer “farm kid” may negotiate one set of prejudices about sexuality on the farm and another set about rural life from queer people in...

  7. 6. TWO-SPIRITS ORGANIZING INDIGENOUS TWO-SPIRIT IDENTITY IN THE TWIN CITIES REGION
    (pp. 150-170)
    Megan L. MacDonald

    Glbttwo-Spirit (GLBT2SP) indigenous people began organizing in the late 1980s in the Twin Cities region in an amazingly active way. While unclear if they perceived themselves as part of a more U.S. national, or transnational, GLBT movement, indigenous GLBT organizers in the Twin Cities region certainly embedded themselves at the centers of indigenous politics and community building on an intertribal level. They founded groups that became powerful cross-country networks for intertribal GLBTTwo-Spirit connection, conversation, and support. These networks are of particular importance because, while Minnesota is home to many bands of primarily Anishinaabe and Dakota people, the Twin Cities themselves...

  8. 7. SKIRTING BOUNDARIES QUEER BAR CULTURES IN THE POSTWAR TWIN CITIES
    (pp. 171-202)
    Amy M. Tyson

    On February 27, 1955, Cedric Adams, a Minneapolis news columnist, alerted his readers to “a social danger in our midst.”¹ The social danger was what Adams called the “homosexual problem,” which “a father right here in Minneapolis” brought to his attention by means of a letter. Adams included the letter in full in his SundayTribunecolumn so that he could help “point a finger at the condition” that was supposedly threatening Minneapolis youth.² Through the letter we learn that the father had always considered his “a typical American family,” with two boys in college and a daughter in high...

  9. 8. SEX AND THE CITIES REEVALUATING 1980S FEMINIST POLITICS IN MINNEAPOLIS AND ST. PAUL
    (pp. 203-239)
    Pamela Butler

    In 1989, a woman who identified herself as “A Former Dancer” wrote a letter to the editor ofCity Pages,the popular Minneapolis weekly paper. She was responding toCity Pages’“exposé” of Solid Gold, a new downtown club that marketed topless dancing, “boxing bimbos,” oil and hot-cream wrestling, and other “adult” entertainment to business travelers and middle-class men, women, and heterosexual couples. According to theCity Pagesarticle, Solid Gold’s self-conscious claim to “classiness” was limited to its expensive decor, and undermined by its clientele—one need only look as far as the “fat, sweat-drenched men” in “polyester stretch...

  10. 9. THE GAY LAND RUSH RACE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY IN THE LIFE OF POST-WELFARE MINNEAPOLIS
    (pp. 240-268)
    Ryan Patrick Murphy

    In a deluge of freezing rain on an October night in 2005, I hurry into a cocktail party in a storefront in the Stevens Square neighborhood of inner-city Minneapolis. A hip young woman in a fashion-forward geometric pattern dress and go-go boots immediately approaches me as a potential customer—a young white man in a group of other fashionably dressed young men. As she reaches out to shake my hand I am distracted by the splendor of the scene before me. Richly textured granite countertop samples, austere stainless steel appliances, gleaming chrome plumbing fixtures, and snaking lighting tracks surround a...

  11. 10. PRIVATE CURES FOR A PUBLIC EPIDEMIC TARGET(ING) HIV AND AIDS MEDICATIONS IN THE TWIN CITIES
    (pp. 269-304)
    Alex T. Urquhart and Susan Craddock

    On a predictably cold day in February 2005, the Minnesota HIV Services Planning Council held its monthly meeting at the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church. The organization was, as usual, seeing to its primary mandate of allocating Ryan White Funds.¹ For those living with HIV, one of their most important functions was and is the allocation of this money to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, more commonly known as ADAP, run by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Over years of political and economic shifts, the council has faced a number of difficult decisions. But on February 8, 2005, the...

  12. 11. GAY WAS GOOD PROGRESS, HOMONORMATIVITY, AND ORAL HISTORY
    (pp. 305-318)
    Kevin P. Murphy

    From the very beginning, the development ofQueer Twin Citiesfaced a number of significant challenges. One important challenge stemmed from the interdisciplinary nature of the collective, which includes not only historians, but sociologists, geographers, and those working in the interdisciplinary fields of American studies and gender, women, and sexuality studies. These individuals brought with them not only varying methodological approaches but a diverse range of intellectual interests; some shared a queer theoretical stance that was skeptical of the empirical underpinnings of social history. We engaged in generative debates, for example, over the ways in which our project might lead...