Aaron Lecklider

Professor / Author / Critic

Love's Next Meeting: The Forgotten History of Homosexuality and the Left in American Culture
  • Available Now
  • University of California Press
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520381421
  • ISBN-10: 0520381424

PopMatters: "Best Books of 2021"

Well before Stonewall, a broad cross section of sexual dissidents took advantage of their space on the margins of American society to throw themselves into leftist campaigns. Sensitive already to sexual marginalization, they also saw how class inequality was exacerbated by the Great Depression, witnessing the terrible bread lines and bread riots of the era. They participated in radical labor campaigns, sympathized like many with the early, prewar Soviet Union, contributed to the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, opposed US police and state harassment, fought racial discrimination, and aligned themselves with the dispossessed. Whether they were themselves straight, gay, or otherwise queer, they brought sexual dissidence and radicalism into conversation at the height of the Left's influence on American culture.

Love's Next Meeting explores the relationship between homosexuality and the Left in American culture between 1920 and 1960, uncovering a lively cast of individuals and dynamic expressive works revealing remarkably progressive engagement with homosexuality among radicals, workers, and the poor.

"Aaron Lecklider offers readers a fuller understanding of how queer liberation and gay rights were connected to—and excluded from—radical social movements." Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987–1993

"With prodigious archival sleuthing and literary and artistic analysis, Aaron Lecklider lifts the veil on the Left-queer nexus that decades of efforts—led by some usual suspects and other surprising ones—sought to cover up, misrepresent, and even erase. This powerful historical account gives us a seat at love's next meeting where we learn how artists, writers, poets, sex workers, hustlers, intellectuals, and many others came to view their sexual desires as a marker and extension of their politics." Julio Capó Jr., author of Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940