“The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History & Handbook” by Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham— Celebrating Our Community

Molesso, Ashley and Chessie Needham. “The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History & Handbook”, William Morrow, 2020.

Celebrating Our Community

Amos Lassen

“The Gay Agenda” is a celebration of the development, history, and culture of the LGBTQ community and it is filled with facts, trivia, timelines, and charts as well as 100 full-color illustrations.

For the elders of the community, this is a nostalgic look back while for younger people it is a helpful introduction to the community. We have “James Baldwin and Emma Goldman, Marsha P. Johnson and Jodie Foster and many other icons; the Pink Triangle and the Rainbow Flag, Stonewall and the AIDS crisis; Matthew Shepard and Pulse Nightclub to Sodomy Laws and Obergefell; Drag and Transitioning to The L Word and The Kinsey Scale, Freddie Mercury and Ellen DeGeneres to Laverne Cox and David Bowie, this magnificent digest is a keepsake honoring all LGBTQ+, and the ongoing fight to gain—and maintain—equality for all.”

Unfortunately many are not aware of the rich history aside from major milestones. In “The Gay Agenda”, Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham look at the LGBTQ+ community and share its past as it shows that history to be “a story of love, life, and progress.”

The book is divided into two sections, history and information. The majority of the work is the history section in which we get a timeline that begins in about 600 B.C.E  and goes to the present day. On this timeline fare brief snapshots of influential people, works, places, and events. While each entry is quite brief, the authors do a great job with bringing us some of the people and events that while not always new to us have been many times not been fully included in our history. We have here an excellent representation of Bi, Lesbian, Non-binary, and Trans members of the community.

The informational section is something of a glossary that acts as an introduction to the community for those who are unaware or not familiar with it. As someone who identifies as a member of the gay community. This is a great starting point to explore the community.  

This is a fun read even though I do not always agree with same of what is here. This is probably because our history has always been somewhat white-washed. We do have people of color here but not to the degree I would have liked.

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