The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging (Paperback)
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“It deserves prominent placement on LGBTQ history bookshelves. . . . An indelible collection of wise voices resonating with experience, pride, resilience, and revolution."
—Kirkus starred review
Foreword by Kate Bornstein and Barbara Carrellas
In The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging, sexuality researcher Jane Fleishman shares the stories of fearless elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. In candid interviews, they lay bare their struggles, strengths, activism, and sexual liberation in the context of the political movements of the 1960s and 1970s and today. Each of these inspiring figures has spent a lifetime fighting for the right to live, love, and be free, facing challenges arising from their sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, disabilities, kinkiness, non-monogamy, and other identities. These are the stories of those whose lives were changed forever by Stonewall and who in turn became agents of change themselves.
A sex-positive and unapologetic depiction of LGBTQ culture and identity, The Stonewall Generation includes the voices of those frequently marginalized in mainstream tellings of LGBTQ history, lifting up the voices of people of color, transgender people, bisexual people, drag queens, and sex workers. We need to hear these voices, particularly at a time when our country is in the middle of a crisis that puts hard-won civil and human rights at risk, values we’ve fought for again and again in our nation’s history.
For anyone committed to intersectional activism and social justice, The Stonewall Generation provides a much-needed resource for empowerment, education, and renewal.
About the Author
Jane Fleishman, PhD, MS, MEd, is a certified sexuality educator, researcher, and writer with more than forty years of experience. In her recent TEDx talk, “Is it OK for Grandma to have sex?” she articulates her mission to promote the sexual well-being of older adults. She has co-chaired national conferences for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and the Sexuality and Aging Consortium; launched a popular column on sex and aging for Live Well magazine; co-hosted the Our Better Half podcast with Dr. Ashley Mader and Dr. Rosara Torrisi; and hosted a monthly radio show, Sex Matters. She also contributed to Our Whole Lives: Older Adults, the final piece in the pioneering lifespan sexuality education curricula. She received the William R. Stayton Award for Leadership in the field of human sexuality in 2016. Jane Fleishman is currently an instructor and consults at many senior living residences throughout the United States. Visit her website at janefleishman.com.
“The Stonewall Generation is a critical addition to LGBTQ history and sociology. Generous, thoughtful, diverse—these stories brought on many memories. Reading this book reminds me how glad I am I came out and got to be part of our history.”
— Kate Clinton, comedian and author of Don’t Get Me Started and I Told You So
“The Stonewall Generation is a gem of a book, with interviews that illuminate different aspects of LGBTQ life in the United States and how aging intersects with identity, activism, and sex. Jane Fleishman’s thoughtful commentary and historical notes make it perfect for people who may be less familiar with LGBTQ history, and I think everyone will find something surprising or inspiring in these pages.”
— Tim Johnston, Senior Director of National Projects at SAGE, author of Welcoming LGBT Residents: A Practical Guide for Senior Living Staff
“The Stonewall Generation offers a compelling intervention to two facets of anti-LGBTQ oppression that have been ignored for too long: the erasure of our elders and the dispossession of our history. These oral histories offer candor, charisma, and caution to illuminate hidden pasts and inform our movement’s future. A must read.”
— Alok Vaid-Menon, Trans Writer & Performance Artist, author of Beyond the Gender Binary
“The Stonewall Generation is living history—from a few who were in the Stonewall bar that evening to those who weren’t even aware of it. Each voice tells a unique story that blends together with the others and offers us the history of our oppression and the resiliency of our community. What better way to honor and appreciate this generation of LGBT older adults?”
— Lisa Krinsky, Director of the LGBT Aging Project, The Fenway Institute
“This is a stunning book that gives voice and visibility to people who have been largely ignored by our society. It’s time to listen to them.”
— Joan Price, advocate for ageless sexuality, author of the award-winning Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex
“The Stonewall Generation is essential reading for educators, allies, and everyone in queer and trans communities, who deserve a rich and storied relationship to their elders.”
— Jules Gill-Peterson, Associate Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh, and author of Histories of the Transgender Child
“Fleishman is adept at candidly discussing elder LGBTQIAA+ sex, not just sexual identity. Too often, what we identify as is given primacy, and what we do in the bedroom is glossed over—particularly when discussing the lives of elders. This creates different, but no less destructive silences. The Stonewall Generation fills these gaps in our collective knowledge with the joyful, tearful, and always heartfelt reminiscences of a group of brave—and unflappable—elders.”
— Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer