J Edgar Hoover

The Truth About J. Edgar Hoover’s “Cross-Dressing”

The story of J. Edgar Hoover dressing in women's clothing is part of American myth. But does this story tell us more about Hoover or about the nature of gossip?
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Knowledge and Nostalgia at the Museum: From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler imagines the museum as a site of hands-on learning and intimacy with the past.
Businessmen

The Secret Gay Business Network of Midcentury America

In the 1940s and 50s, a life of business travel represented a sense of freedom for gay men that would have been impossible in earlier decades.
Condoms

A Short History of the Condom

Dating back to at least medieval times, the condom has taken a winding path to social acceptance.
Brigham Young and wives

Brigham Young and the Defense of Mormon Polygamy

Mormon leader Brigham Young tried to create a culture of polygamy in the nineteenth century. How did he justify the practice in Victorian-era America?
Nazis Kurt Daluege, Heinrich Himmler, Ernst Röhm in 1933

Ernst Röhm, The Highest-Ranking Gay Nazi

Ernst Röhm, the highest-ranking gay Nazi, presents an interesting study in the construction and containment of masculinity by the right.
Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose

The Turn-of-the-Century Lesbians Who Founded The Field of Home Ec

Flora Rose and Martha Van Rensselaer lived in an open and acknowledged lesbian relationship. They also helped found the field of home economics.
Sir Roger Casement

Why Was Roger Casement Hanged?

A century after being executed as a traitor, Roger Casement continues to fascinate.

The Ongoing Legal Plight of LGBTQ Refugees

Until governments recognize the right to freely express sexual and gender identity, safe haven for LGBTQ refugees is uncertain at best.
Cover of the book The Catcher in the Rye written by J. D. Salinger.
 (left) The front cover of the first issue of Playboy, December 1953 (right)

J.D. Salinger and Playboy: The Fight Against Obscenity

The Citizens for Decent Literature launched various anti-obscenity campaigns against magazines like Playboy and MAD and books like Catcher in the Rye.