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337 Segments




The Transformative Role of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Blanche Wiesen Cook is the author of the new biography "Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2 1933-1938. (Viking) This edition covers The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the build-up to World War II. Cook a professor of history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is author of "Eleanor Roosevelt," "Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution," and "The Declassified Eisenhower."


The Controversy Behind "Cruising"

Scott Tucker of the Lavender Left, director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force Rita Addessa, and Women Against Violence Against Women Member Peggy O'Donnell address the controversy behind William Friedkin's film Cruising, which stars Al Pacino as an undercover cop infiltrating the gay S&M scene in New York. The guests take a close look at the film's exaggerated and dehumanizing portrayal of gay people and discuss their planned protests. Fresh Air listeners call in with their questions and comments.


Gay Culture Across America

Edmund White traveled the United States to learn about the conditions of gay communities across the country. He talks about masculinity and sexual practices amongst gay men, as well as the rise of sadomasochistic culture.


A Radical Look at Gay Male Sexuality

Author John Rechy has made a career writing novels and nonfiction about gay men, particularly their sexual behavior. While critical of sadomasochism, he views promiscuity as a revolutionary act which signals a radical break from mainstream heterosexual behavior.


Rita Mae Brown Avoids "Discomfort" in the Media

The novelist has a new novel set in Alabama which features, among other characters, two memorable prostitutes. Brown has also started writing for television. She talks about the increasing presence of gay people in mass media, and her own experiences as an out lesbian.


Remembering the "Mayor of Castro Street"

Randy Shilts has a new biography about Harvey Milk, the openly-gay mayor of San Francisco who was assassinated at the age of 48. Shilts details Milk's coming out later in life and his adroitness as a unity-building politician.


A Daughter Reflects on "Dear Abby"

Margo Howard, the daughter of the advice columnist Ann Landers, has written a new book about her mother. She joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss the growth of the the Dear Abby column's popularity and Landers' changing views over the decades.


Edmund White and "A Boy's Own Story."

Novelist Edmund White's newest work, "A Boy's Own Story," follows a young gay man growing up in the midwest in the 1950s. The novel has some autobiographical elements. White joins the show to discuss his life, growing up as a homosexual person, and his novel.


Divine and John Waters on Drag, Film, and Baltimore.

Divine is known for acting in drag in John Waters' films. Divine has developed a club act which will play in Philadelphia and is publishing a paper-doll book. Divine's drag persona was developed with director and writer John Waters. A retrospective of Waters' films is currently playing in Philadelphia. The two join the show to discuss their careers, lives, and the public's reaction to their boundary-pushing films.


A.I.D.S. Panel with Physicians Walter Lear and Nick Ifft.

Dr. Walter Lear is the founder and co-chair of the National Gay Health Coalition, the former state Health Commissioner, for Southeast Pennsylvania and the president and founder of the Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health in West Philadelphia. Dr. Nick Ifft is the secretary of Philadelphia Health Professionals for Human Rights (an organization of gay and lesbian physicians and dentists), the coordinator of the Philadelphia A.I.D.S. Task Force, and a general practitioner at South East Health Center in Philadelphia. The doctors join the show to discuss A.I.D.S.


Gays and Lesbians in the Military During the Second World War.

Historian Allan Bérubé has been researching gays and lesbians during World War II, particularly gay men in the military. Bérubé began the research for the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project, an oral history which collected stories from older gays and lesbians about life "pre-Stonewall." Bérubé's work was the covered in the Mother Jones article "Coming Out Under Fire."


The History of Gay and Lesbian Politics in the United States.

John D'Emilio is an Assistant Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina. His latest book, "Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities," is an historical analysis of the creation of gay activism from 1940-1970. The book looks at how World War II helped create a gay community, the politics and organizing styles of early homophile groups, such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, and the impact of the civil rights movement, student activism, and feminism on gays. D'Emilio joins the show to discuss his research and conclusions.


Coming to Terms with Coming Out

Two members of the Philadelphia-based support group called Parents of Gays join Fresh Air talk about how they grew to accept their children's sexual orientation, and how they help other parents do the same. To ensure anonymity, the members only use their first names.


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