Hugh Ryan is an interesting fellow, so when I saw this book was coming out I was intrigued! Hugh is a curator of queer history, a writer and speaker and New York is his home. If someone was going to write the queer history of Brooklyn then this was the man.
I haven’t read a queer history book before, books about specific events or people sure, but this one is fascinating. This begins around the time of Walt Whitman. Ryan writes about the way that the waterfront “created conditions that allowed queer lives to flourish in Brooklyn.” It was a diverse community that was a place of privacy and numbers…and allowed queer folks to live in relative safety. But has that history been deliberately forgotten?
The book, of course, tells the stories of some of the more famous queer people living in the area…but also gives the reader a better understanding of what life in the 1850s and forward was like an LGBTQ person.
Consider giving this a read if you’re interested in history! This might surprise you! I’m not an avid fan of non-fiction, but this drew me in right away.
I received a digital ARC copy of When Brooklyn Was Queer from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.