OUT/LOOK: A National Lesbian and Gay Quarterly (published 1988-1992) brought lesbians and gay men together after years of separation. It was consciously multi-gender and racially inclusive, addressed politics and culture, wrestled with topics that were controversial or had not yet been articulated, and emphasized visual material along with scholarly and creative writing. In a period when LGBT Studies and queer theory were coalescing but not yet established in the university, OUT/LOOK built a bridge between scholarship and the broader community and left a deep impact on LGBT community and the notion of the queer. For OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer, the original editors invited specific writers, artists, performers and activists to respond to one issue of OUT/LOOK by creating a new piece. Last summer, I worked with a much younger trans co-editor (who was born the year OUT/LOOK came out) to merge elements of those old issues and their new conceptualizations into a new publication that resembles the original magazine. It recognizes both the strengths and absences of the old OUT/LOOK, and marks out new ways to harness its potentialities in our present moment. Hopefully, OUT/LOOK and the Birth of the Queer will contribute to jumpstarting a national dialogue within the intergenerational spectrum of LGBTQ communities.
Don Romesburg is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University. He is editor of the Routledge History of Queer America (2018) and has published in numerous journals and anthologies with queer takes on public history as well as histories of adolescence, sex work, transracial adoption, family, and queer/trans performers. He was the lead scholar working to bring LGBT content into California's 2016 K-12 History-Social Science Framework. He now trains educators and works with educational material providers on implementation. For these efforts, he is the namesake of the Committee on LGBT History’s Don Romesburg Prize for K-12 Curriculum. Dr. Romesburg is also a founder of the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco.
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