Cover image for Rough news, daring views : 1950s' pioneer gay press journalism
Rough news, daring views : 1950s' pioneer gay press journalism
Kepner, Jim.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harrington Park Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 462 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.95.U5 K46 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Rough News--Daring Views: 1950s'Pioneer Gay Press Journalism is a collection of the most challenging and wide-ranging essays on gay life--its political, social, religious, and historical aspects--to appear in the pioneer gay press in America. Jim Kepner's contributions to ONE Magazine, the Mattachine Review, ONE Institute Quarterly of Homophile Studies, ONE Confidential, and other publications, at a time when to produce or possess any such material was judged illegal and subversive, are invaluable to students of gay history, homosexuality and the law, and religious and biological arguments on the subject, as well as for analysts of the progress and goals of the gay liberation movement. It is also a popular reader for gays, researchers, teachers, and journalism students interested in the almost overlooked history of the gay and lesbian movement before Stonewall.

The importance of Jim Kepner's contributions to the 1950s'gay press cannot be overstated. In the author's words, "I shed the apologetic attitudes, explored the meaning of gayness, looked at various social and legal aspects of gay life, and critically analyzed the homophobic views of many psychotherapists, theologians, and others, exploring our history and literature, and covering then-current witch-hunts against gays and discussing how we could define and advance our cause. My articles covered . . . a wide range of gay concerns, generally moving well ahead of the timid or homophobic thinking of most gays at the time (though, as shown here, my own ideas also had some evolving to do)." In Rough News--Daring Views, you'll uncover revolutionary articles and reports on: the first detailed refutation of claims by a psychotherapist that all exclusive homosexuals were neurotic and could be cured the first American outline for a class on Homosexual Sociology the first exploration in the American gay press of the question of Whitman's homosexuality accounts of the new thinking by British churchmen about homosexuality, morality, and the law, and an overview of religion and homosexuality accounts of legal battles and a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court anecdotal explorations of the gay beach, the single life, and gays lonely at Christmas time explorations of the biological evidence of homosexuality the early progress of the gay and lesbian (then referred to as "homophile") movement an account of the 1907-1909 trials on homosexual charges of intimate friends of Kaiser Wilhelm II that effectively removed moderates from the German Imperial government and set Germany on the disastrous road to World War and Nazism

Kepner's writings from the pioneer gay press in America will help gays today understand where they came from, how they thought about themselves five decades ago, how society treated them, and how gays began to reject the definitions put on them by authorities, and begin the process of redefining gays and their place in the world.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Along with Harry Hay and Dorr Legg, Kepner was an important chronicler of the struggle for gay rights in the 1950s and beyond. This volume presents his writings from that period--mainly those that appeared in One magazine (1953-64). Kepner was an active contributor to gay life in Los Angeles, and this fascinating collection explores a period when gays and lesbians could easily end up in jail because of their sexual orientation. Although more narrowly focused than a similar work such as Edward Alwood's Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News Media (CH, Feb'97), Kepner's book is important for anyone interested in the development of gay journalism and politics. The copious anecdotes and brief essays create a personal vision of a world where being gay was considered by many to be a perversion. Kepner's was one of the period's most vocal gay voices, repeatedly reminding readers that gays and lesbians deserve full human rights. This volume will make readers more knowledgeable about the pre-Stonewall roots of the gay rights movement. All academic and public libraries. S. A. Inness Miami University