Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History


Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History


Gender and Women's Studies

Document Type




Though largely neglected in classrooms, LGBT history can provide both a fuller understanding of U.S. history and contextualization for the modern world. This is the first book designed for university and high school teachers who want to integrate queer history into the standard curriculum. With its inspiring stories, classroom-tested advice, and rich information, it is a valuable resource for anyone who thinks history should be an all-inclusive story.

Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History offers a wealth of insight for teachers. Introductory essays by Leila J. Rupp and Susan K. Freeman make clear why queer history is important and provide global historical context, showing that same-sex sexual desire and gender change are not new, modern phenomena. Teachers in diverse educational settings provide narratives of their experiences teaching queer history. A topical section offers seventeen essays on such themes as sexual diversity in early America, industrial capitalism and emergent sexual cultures, and gay men and lesbians in World War II. Contributors include detailed suggestions for integrating these topics into a standard U.S. history curriculum, including creative and effective assignments. A final section addresses sources and interpretive strategies well-suited to the history classroom.

Taken as a whole, Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History will help teachers at all levels navigate through cultural touchstones and political debates and provide a fuller knowledge of significant events in history.



Publication Date



University of Wisconsin Press


Madison, WI


Sexual minorities, history


Curriculum and Instruction | History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction. The ins and outs of U.S. history: introducing students to a queer past / Susan K. Freeman and Leila J. Rupp
  • Outing the past: U.S. queer history in global perspective / Leila J. Rupp
  • Part One. The challenge of teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history. Forty years and counting / John D'Emilio
  • Putting ideas into practice: high school teachers talk about incorporating LGBT history / Daniel Hurewitz
  • Questions, not test answers: teaching LGBT history in public schools / Emily K. Hobson and Felicia T. Perez
  • Observing difference: toward a pedagogy of historical and cultural intersections / Kevin Mumford
  • Part Two. Topics in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history. Transforming the curriculum: the inclusion of the experiences of trans people / Genny Beemyn
  • Sexual diversity in early America / Thomas A. Foster
  • Nineteenth-century male love stories and sex stories / David D. Doyle, Jr.
  • Romantic friendship: exploring modern categories of sexuality, love, and desire between women / Dasa Francikova
  • Industrial capitalism and emergent sexual cultures / Red Vaughan Tremmel
  • Men and women like that: regional identities and rural sexual cultures in the South and Pacific northwest / Colin R. Johnson
  • The other war: gay men and lesbians in the Second World War / Marilyn E. Hegarty
  • The red scare's lavender cousin: the construction of the cold war citizen / David K. Johnson
  • Public figures, private lives: Eleanor Roosevelt, J. Edgar Hoover and a queer political history / Claire Bond Potter
  • Community and civil rights in the Kinsey era / Craig M. Loftin
  • Queers of hope, gays of rage: reexamining the sixties in the classroom / Ian Lekus
  • Sexual rights and wrongs: teaching the U.S. Supreme Court's greatest gay and lesbian hits / Marc Stein
  • Queer generations: teaching the history of same-sex parenting since the Second World War / Daniel Rivers
  • The New Right's anti-gay backlash / Whitney Strub
  • How to teach AIDS in a U.S. history survey / Jennifer Brier
  • "Don't ask, don't tell": the politics of military change / Aaron Belkin
  • Teaching same-sex marriage as U.S. history / Shannon Weber
  • Part Three. Discovery and interpretation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history. History as social change: community-based archives and oral histories / Nan Alamilla Boyd
  • Teaching LGBT history through fiction: a story-logic approach to the problems of naming and evidence / Norman W. Jones
  • Screening the queer past: teaching LGBT history with documentary films / Nicholas L. Syrett
  • Popular culture: using television, film, and the media to explore LGBT history / Sharon Ullman
  • Queer history goes digital: using Outhistory.org in the classroom / Catherine O. Jacquet.

Citation for published book

Rupp, Leila J, and Susan K. Freeman. Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014. Print.

Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History