Out in Central Pennsylvania

The History of an LGBTQ Community

By (author) William Burton Consultant editor Barry Loveland

Paperback - £19.95

Publication date:

22 June 2020

Length of book:

272 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271084794

Outside of major metropolitan areas, the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights has had its own unique and rich history—one that is quite different from the national narrative set in New York and California. Out in Central Pennsylvania highlights one facet of this lesser-known but equally important story, immersing readers in the LGBTQ community building and social networking that has taken place in the small cities and towns in the heart of Pennsylvania from the 1960s to the present day.

Drawing from oral histories and the archives of the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project, this book recounts the innovative ways that LGBTQ central Pennsylvanians organized to demand civil rights and to improve their quality of life in a region that often rejected them.

Full of compelling stories of individuals seeking community and grappling with inequity, harassment, and discrimination, and featuring a distinctive trove of historical photographs, Out in Central Pennsylvania is a local story with national implications. It brings rural and small-town queer life out into the open and explores how LGBTQ identity and social advocacy networks can form outside of a large urban environment.

Out in Central Pennsylvania offers an important addition to LGBTQ history, giving us an expertly researched and compelling story of local activism told by the men and women who built community and political consciousness in the decades after Stonewall. In situating the particular challenges and creative efforts of LGBTQ organizing within broader national movements, William Burton and Barry Loveland remind us that the history of our fight for equality is found not only in big cities but also in small towns and rural areas across the country.”

—James Polchin, author of Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall