History’s Passions: Sex Before Stonewall
Edited by Richard Labonte
Bold Stroke Books
What It’s About: Four authors re-imagine the past, when “gay” wasn’t an identity but men often found comfort in each others arms. In “Heaven on Earth,” Simon Sheppard delivers a vignette about young lovers on a murderous crime spree in the 1930s, while Dale Chase’s “Tender Mercies” sees a failed prospector sell his ass for nuggets.
Just a Taste: “My only stipulation: set your stories in the days before Stonewall. For Simon, that was Depression-era America and sex on the run; for Jeff, the Civil War, where soldiers were more than bunkmates; for Dale, California’s old-timey Gold Rush, where desperate fortune-seekers found release with the camp “boy”; and for David, the very queer era of Sodom and Gomorrah—four worlds the authors never lived in, but which they researched with diligence.
The result? Lots and lots of sex, to be sure, supplemented with an authenticity of settings that reminds us that queers are everywhere—and have been ‘everywhen.’” —From the introduction by Richard Labonte