Fleishman, Jane. “The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging”, Skinner House Books, 2020.
Jane Fleishman’s “The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging”, is a collection pf stories of nine elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of Stonewall. Through candid interviews, they share their loves and sexual liberation in “the context of the political movements of the 1960s, 1970s, and today.” Each of these has spent a lifetime fighting for our community and our liberation and our “right to live, love, and be free.” Of course this came with a price and that includes the challenges that they faced about their sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, disabilities, kinkiness, nonmonogamy, and other identities.
Here are the struggles within the LGBTQ community: not all problems came from outside. Here are stories of those whose lives were changed forever by Stonewall and who, also, became agents of change themselves. These are stories that must be told and passed on from generation to generation. This is so especially true now as we face what this country is going through now. We could, quite possibly, lose all of our gains. The stories are beautiful and often heartbreaking but THEY ARE our stories.
Fleishman provides commentary and historical notes making this a text of great importance. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before and while I am a member of the elder generation, I never allow myself to lose sight ow how we got to where we are.
Reading the stories of the people who were there is something we cannot allow ourselves to ignore for to do is to ignore our own history and heritage.