By Christopher M. Babits
On a warm autumn night, at an Olive Garden outside Dallas, I prayed with a psychiatric doctor and his wife. We had met a year earlier at the same conference we were at now—the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI). This annual meeting brings together people who practice and support sexual orientation change and gender identity therapies, and me—a historian of religion, gender, and sexuality in modern America. In between bites of breadsticks and chicken parmigiana, I asked the couple about their support for what’s often called “conversion therapy.”
By Avery Dame
“Cisgender (adj.): Designating a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds to his or her sex at birth; of or relating to such persons. Contrasted with transgender.” – Oxford English Dictionary
Marisa Richmond is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of History and Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been a member of the AHA since 1987.
The Committee on LGBT History is soliciting submissions for next year’s meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington, DC, January 4–7, 2018. We welcome scholarship focused on any region and period and especially encourage those working on areas outside of the United States and periods before the twentieth century.
By Roger Horowitz
The Business History Conference (BHC), the largest professional organization of business historians in the United States, has cancelled plans to hold its 2018 annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its decision is in response to the adoption of the HB2 bill by the state government, and the recent rejection of a repeal of the measure by the North Carolina legislature. BHC will instead hold its 2018 annual meeting at the Baltimore Embassy Suites Inner Harbor.
By Nicholas L. Syrett
In the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, many queer people are fearful about losing the gains made in recent years in LGBT civil rights. Following the xenophobic and racist rhetoric emerging from his campaign, queer people of color, some of whom are undocumented or Muslim, are scared for what the future brings. At times like this, the work of queer historians is important in ensuring that the queer past is not erased altogether.
Sporting a T-shirt reading “I Was a Lesbian Child,” a young woman grasping a handful of helium balloons gazes out from the cover of the new issue of Perspectives on History. Taken in New York City in 1992, Donna Binder’s photograph of an action by an activist group known as the Lesbian Avengers reminds us that efforts to make curricula inclusive have a history.
When College of the Holy Cross professor K.J. Rawson first imagined what would become the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), he had in mind something fairly simple: a collection of finding aids that would solve a problem he’d faced himself as a researcher—the difficulty of figuring out “where transgender-related materials are held.” The collection Rawson envisioned would guide researchers through the contents of scattered transgender history archives. What emerged instead is a multi-institution collaboration; a centralized digital repository of unprecedented scale that has made accessible digitized materials related to transgender history gathered from collections across the world.