Making Gay History | LGBTQ Oral Histo...

Intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history brought to you from rare archival interviews.

Personal Journals
Season 8: Episode 8: Meg Christian
Olivia Records cofounder Meg Christian helped ignite the women’s music movement of the 1970s with lesbian classics like “Ode to a Gym Teacher.” Meet Meg, in song and conversation, in our final episode drawn from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.
27 min
Season 8: Episode 7: Leonard Matlovich
When Leonard Matlovich was thrown out of the Air Force for being gay, he sued for reinstatement. It was 1975 and it was the first case of its kind. Hear the LGBTQ rights pioneer—and startlingly frank one-time racist—in conversation with Studs Terkel.
22 min
Season 8: Episode 6: Jill Johnston
Sparks flew when radical lesbian feminist Jill Johnston sat down for an interview with Studs Terkel in 1973. Jill had just published a controversial manifesto called “Lesbian Nation,” which advocated that women break with men entirely. It was provocative stuff—even for the usually unflappable Studs.
22 min
Season 8: Episode 5: Mattachine Midwest
A half-century ago, Studs Terkel interviewed three members of the homophile group Mattachine Midwest: the organization’s president, a student activist, and lesbian pulp author Valerie Taylor. Join them for a wide-ranging and laugh-filled conversation about gay liberation both personal and political.
23 min
Season 8: Episode 4: Quentin Crisp
From a young age, Quentin Crisp was determined to be himself—makeup, painted nails, dramatically dyed hair, and all—even if it consigned him to a life of poverty and isolation. Hear the author, raconteur, and provocateur in a 1970 conversation with Studs Terkel before he found late-in-life fame.
25 min
Season 8: Episode 3: "Les-Lee"
Canadian female impersonator John Falk Tomkinson appeared around the globe under the stage name Les-Lee for over three decades. In 1967 Studs Terkel interviewed the performer to talk about his art and upbringing, and his experiences of being “different.”
19 min
Season 8: Episode 2: Lorraine Hansberry
In 1959 Lorraine Hansberry became the first Black woman to have a play produced on Broadway. Soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made history, the 28-year-old writer and activist talked to Studs Terkel about racial and gender inequity and the role of art in confronting difficult truths about our world.
20 min
Season 8: Episode 1: Christopher Isherwood
Author Christopher Isherwood left England for Germany in 1929. His stories about his years there inspired the musical “Cabaret,” which shaped the image of decadent interwar Berlin in the popular imagination. But as he told Studs Terkel in this 1977 interview, to him, Berlin meant, above all, boys.
23 min
Season 8: Preview
Making Gay History is back! Join us as we mine the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in Chicago for stories from our proud LGBTQ past to bring you eight intimate conversations conducted between 1959 and 1981 by the legendary oral historian.
6 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 13: Larah Helay...
When high schooler Larah Helayne heard MGH’s episode with Jean O’Leary, it changed the course of her life. Plans to become a nun gave way for a new role as an LGBTQ trailblazer. In this season finale, we celebrate the history-makers who came before and those who follow in their footsteps.
23 min
Introducing Those Who Were There: Voices from t...
MGH is Eric Marcus’s first love. But he also co-produces Those Who Were There. Have a listen to this episode featuring Leon Bass. He faced racism growing up in 1930s Philadelphia, in the Army during WWII, and discovered its ultimate endpoint at a German concentration camp.
28 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 12: Bayard Rustin
Making Gay History stands with the countless Americans protesting systemic racism and the deaths of black and brown people at the hands of the police. And we draw inspiration from civil rights heroes like Bayard Rustin, an out and proud black gay man who dedicated his life to fighting injustice.
26 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 11: Larry Kramer
June 25, 1935 - May 27, 2020. In the early ’80s, author and playwright Larry Kramer was one of the first people to sound the alarm about AIDS. He became one of the loudest voices in the fight against the epidemic, calling an indifferent world to account.
22 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 10: Perry Watkins
When Perry Watkins was drafted in 1968, he assumed the Army would reject him for being gay. They didn’t. When they got rid of him after 15 years of service, he fought back. As we face the systemic inequalities Covid-19 has once again laid bare, an enraging tale of prejudice, triumph, and tragedy.
21 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 9: Joyce Hunter
In 1939 Joyce Hunter was born into a world so hostile it’s a wonder she wasn’t crushed. Instead, the challenges and brutality she faced proved to be the launchpad for an expansive life of pioneering activism and accomplishment. A guiding light in tough times.
22 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 8: Morris Foote
In late 1955, the police of Boise, Idaho, started a sweeping investigation into an alleged “homosexual underground.” Fearing arrest, Morris Foote fled town, not to return till 20 years later. A story of Pride from the U.S. heartland to remind us that what unites us transcends red/blue state divides.
17 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 7: Ellen DeGeneres
Today, Ellen DeGeneres needs no introduction. But as she explained in a 2001 MGH interview, her very public 1997 coming out took a dramatic professional and personal toll. When life goes off the rails, there’s no knowing what the future holds. We’re challenged to push ahead to fight for better days.
28 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 6: Kay Lahusen'...
When did you make gay history? Join host Eric Marcus, pioneering photojournalist Kay Lahusen, and a group of LGBTQ history-making elders for their monthly retirement community dinner. Happy memories from the recent pre-pandemic past.
17 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 5: Vito Russo
Vito Russo’s legacy—as a film historian, activist, and co-founder of GLAAD and ACT UP—is hard to overstate. In this 1988 interview, legacy was also very much on Vito’s mind: it was the height of the AIDS epidemic, which had claimed Vito’s boyfriend, and now Vito was sick, too. As we remember the people lost to the current pandemic, listen to Vito reflect on what it means to leave something behind.
21 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 4: Shirley Willer
“I’ve spent a large percent of my life being angry.” That was Shirley Willer, reflecting on the death of a close friend and fellow nurse who in 1947 received fatally inadequate hospital care because he was gay. Shirley channeled her anger into activism in the early homophile movement—let’s listen to her story as we face the challenge of what to do with our own anger during this pandemic that has upended our lives.
20 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 3: Wendell Sayers
Wendell Sayers understood isolation. Born in western Kansas in 1904, Wendell was the first black lawyer to work for Colorado’s attorney general; living openly as a gay man wasn’t an option. When he attended meetings of the Mattachine Society in the 1950s, his race set him apart. Yet Wendell created a world for himself where he found purpose and meaning.
19 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 2: Edythe Eyde
Musical uplift for anxious times. When Eric Marcus interviewed lesbian publishing pioneer Edythe Eyde in 1989, she treated him to a concert for one on her front porch singing her gay songs from the '50s and ‘60s. You can’t not smile.
17 min
Revisiting the Archive: Episode 1: Frank Kameny
In 1957, Frank Kameny was fired from his job at the U.S. Army Map Service for being gay. He went on to fight the federal government for 14 years and never lost his resolve. And he won! Inspiration for us all in these challenging times.
17 min
Bonus: From the Vault: Sylvia Rivera & Marsha P...
In 1970, a young radio reporter recorded an interview with Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and other members of the newly formed Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries—STAR. Nearly 50 years later, MGH unearthed their remarkable conversation in a basement archive.
22 min
Season 6: Episode 5: Damien Martin
Damien Martin grew up in foster care and on the streets of Philadelphia, so he knew all too well about the needs of vulnerable youth. In 1979, when he and his partner, Dr. Emery Hetrick, heard about a 15-year-old gay kid thrown out of a shelter after being gang-raped, they decided to take action.
32 min
Season 6: Episode 4: Nancy Walker
In 1976 Nancy Walker joined the Gay Community News, an influential Boston-based weekly paper. She was in her 40s, an outspoken New Yorker, and a moderate pragmatist. Not surprisingly, Nancy and the younger, more radical GCN staff often locked horns...
25 min
Season 6: Episode 3: Barbara Smith
For nearly half a century, Barbara Smith has been speaking truth to power—as a woman against misogyny, as an African American against racism, as a lesbian against homophobia, and as a black lesbian against those in the gay rights movement who sideline the concerns of LGBTQ people of color.
23 min
Season 6: Episode 2: Vernon E. "Copy" Berg III
In 1975, long before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Navy asked, and Officer Copy Berg told: “Yes, I am gay.” When Copy chose to challenge the military’s ban on homosexuals, the Pentagon fought back with all guns blazing.
25 min
Season 6: Episode 1: Ruth Simpson
There’s a war on out there. That was Ruth Simpson’s Stonewall takeaway—and she was ready to fight. But when Ruth pushed the NY chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis to be more political, the FBI and the police took note.
26 min
Season 6: Preview
Making Gay History is back with more stories from Eric Marcus’s decades-old audio archive. In our sixth season, hear intimate interviews with five inspiring LGBTQ pioneers who came into their own as activists in the 1970s.
3 min
Bonus: Stonewall 50 Minisode: Craig Rodwell
This was the moment Craig Rodwell had been waiting for. He’d been bumping up against the limits of how far the Mattachine Society was willing to challenge the status quo. And when the Stonewall uprising blew things wide open, Craig grabbed the reins and never looked back.
15 min
Bonus: Stonewall 50 Minisode: Barbara Gittings ...
Stonewall turned the page on the homophile movement. Pre-Stonewall activists like Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen were dinosaurs in the eyes of some of the gay liberationists, and they found themselves fighting for a place in the new chapter of LGBTQ history that unfolded after the riots.
10 min
Bonus: Stonewall 50 Minisode: Morty Manford
Nineteen-year-old Columbia University student Morty Manford thought it was just another night at the Stonewall Inn, but then the police swept in and the raid was on. Morty shared his memories of that night with Eric Marcus in this archival interview from 1989.
12 min
Bonus: Stonewall 50 Minisode: Marsha P. Johnson...
A rebroadcast of Eric’s 1989 interview with Marsha P. Johnson and Randy Wicker. Hear conflicting perspectives on Stonewall from this pair of unlikely roommates. Marsha co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries after Stonewall; Randy had led the way in the earlier homophile movement.
15 min
Stonewall 50: Episode 4: Live from Stonewall
What made Stonewall different? How can we carry the lessons of the uprising with us today? Eric is joined by one archivist and four activists to answer those questions in an intergenerational conversation recorded at the Stonewall Inn on May 23, 2019.
63 min
Stonewall 50: Episode 3: "Say it Loud! Gay and ...
Like so many other acts of queer resistance, the 1969 Stonewall riots could have become a footnote in history. But the protests and organizing that followed launched a new phase in the fight for LGBTQ rights. Hear how queer anger found its voice and how joy propelled the first pride marches.
39 min
Stonewall 50: Episode 2: ”Everything Clicked… A...
The Stonewall uprising began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. Revisit that moment, and the hours and days that followed, with voices from the Making Gay History archive. Relive in vivid detail the dawning of a new chapter in the fight for LGBTQ rights.
32 min
Stonewall 50: Episode 1: Prelude to a Riot
Conflict has context. In the first episode of Making Gay History’s Stonewall 50 season, we hear stories from the pre-Stonewall struggle for LGBTQ rights. We travel back in time to hear voices from the turbulent 1960s and take you to the tinderbox that was Greenwich Village on the eve of an uprising.
36 min
Stonewall 50: Preview
A special season of Making Gay History to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Hear the voices of the rioters, and of the activists who turned a riot into Gay Liberation—a new and expansive phase in the LGBTQ rights movement.
3 min
Season 4: Episode 11: Martha Shelley
Brooklyn-born Martha Shelley was a rebel. She didn’t like being told what to do, wear, or say. She hated the lesbian bars, and even after joining the Daughters of Bilitis she strained against the self-imposed limits of the homophile movement. All along, the 1960s revolution called to her.
23 min
Season 4: Episode 10: Dick Leitsch
Dick Leitsch came to New York City in the early 1960s to smoke cigarettes, drink cocktails, and pick up handsome young men. He got his wish and then some, but the native Kentuckian also took on the police and political power brokers to successfully fight entrapment and discrimination.
25 min
Season 4: Episode 9: Ernestine Eckstein
Ernestine Eckstein is an iconic figure from the 1960s homophile movement—from photos showing her as the only African American woman at the earliest protests, to her trailblazing cover story in The Ladder. Now we can put a voice to those images with a never-before-heard 1965 interview.
33 min
Season 4: Episode 8: Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin was a champion of the black civil rights movement—mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. But because he was gay and out, he faced bigotry inside and outside the movement. The FBI and Sen. Strom Thurmond tried to destroy him. But he persisted.
33 min
Season 4: Episode 7: Reed Erickson
Reed Erickson was a trans man with a big checkbook, a pet leopard, big dreams for a better world for gay people and trans folks—and single-handedly financed ONE Incorporated and founded the first trans rights organization. Morgan M Page and AJ Lewis join MGH to help us bring Reed’s story to life.
28 min
Season 4: Episode 6: Stella Rush ("Sten Russell")
“I’m a bisexual ki-ki s.o.b butch-femme.” Stella Rush railed against rules and binaries: butch/femme, gay/straight. Fighting for social survival, and wielding a pen, Stella (aka Sten Russell) carved out a place for herself on ONE magazine’s mostly-male 1950s masthead and on the pages of The Ladder.
21 min
Season 4: Episode 5: Dorr Legg, Martin Block, a...
ONE, the first national gay magazine, attracted the attention of the FBI and was at the heart of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case. Dorr Legg, Martin Block, and Jim Kepner were key to ONE’s success. But don’t expect them to agree on its origin story.
31 min
Season 4: Episode 4: Billye Talmadge
Investigated by the FBI, blackmailed, but bold enough to keep going, Billye Talmadge was one of the early members of the earliest lesbian rights organization in the U.S., the Daughters of Bilitis.
22 min
Season 4: Episode 3: Harry Hay
Harry Hay had a vision, and that vision led to the founding of the first sustained gay rights organization in the United States—the Mattachine Society, in 1950. Mattachine (and Harry’s) first task—establishing a gay identity.
24 min
Season 4: Episode 2: Magnus Hirschfeld
More than a century ago, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld chose to take a stand for LGBTQ rights, founding a movement, providing a safe space, and seeking justice through science. The Nazis crushed his vision, but not his legacy.
27 min
Season 4: Episode 1: Introduction
Our fourth season is about beginnings. So we’re going to start at the beginning and hear from the activists and visionaries who got the ball rolling for LGBTQ civil rights. In this episode, meet some of the trailblazers who will guide us from 1897 in Germany to the eve of the Stonewall uprising.
16 min
Season 4: A Message from Our Listeners
Making Gay History is coming back with all new episodes that bring queer history to life through the voices of the people who lived it. Hear the trailer now.
3 min
Bonus: Farewell Dick Leitsch
May 11, 1935 - Jun 22, 2018. Dick Leitch, Kentucky native, New Yorker at heart, one-time president of the Mattachine Society of New York, was an early gay rights advocate who challenged police entrapment and championed rights of gay people to get a drink without fear of harassment or prison.
11 min
Bonus: Kay Lahusen’s Gay Table
Join us as Making Gay History pulls up a chair at Kay Tobin Lahusen’s monthly gay dinner table. Spend some time this gang of elders and hear how love, friendship, and activism live on for these trailblazers—even in their retirement community.
14 min
Bonus: Love Is Love
The right to love and be loved for who we are has always been a driving force in the fight for LGBT civil rights. Eric shares four special love stories from his archive featuring activists who helped change the course of history.
11 min
Season 3: Episode 11: Morty Manford
Morty Manford was one of thousands of young people who joined the fight for gay liberation in the early 1970s. As a member of the Gay Activists Alliance, he challenged New York City's mayor face to face in a successful effort to get the police off the backs of the gay community.
24 min
Season 3: Episode 10: Greg Brock
Greg Brock blazed a trail for LGBTQ journalists by being himself at a time when being yourself could sabotage your career or cost you your job. But Greg didn't just come out on the job, he came out to everyone on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" for the first National Coming Out Day on October 11, 1988.
18 min
Season 3: Episode 9: Paulette Goodman
As a Jewish child growing up in Nazi-occupied Paris, Paulette Goodman knew what it meant to be a despised minority. After the war, her family sought refuge in the U.S. But when Paulette found out that her child was gay, she discovered that there was another battle to be fought and won.
21 min
Season 3: Episode 8: Morris Kight
Morris Kight was a whirling dervish champion of LGBTQ civil rights. He cut his activist teeth in the labor, civil rights, and anti-war movements, and from 1969 on brought all his passion to bear on catapulting himself and L.A.’s gay liberation efforts onto center stage.
19 min
Season 3: Episode 7: Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were the originals. With six other women, they co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis—the very first lesbian organization in the U.S. DOB seems tame and timid today, but in 1955 it was risky and radical for a fearful time.
21 min
Season 3: Episode 6: Larry Kramer
In 1981 Larry Kramer sounded an alarm almost no one wanted to hear. Gay men were dying from a mysterious disease and the only way to stop its spread was to stop having sex. The outspoken activist went on to co-found GMHC and ACT UP, two of the leading organizations in the fight against AIDS.
23 min
Season 3: Episode 5: Deborah Johnson & Zandra R...
In 1983, Deborah Johnson and Zandra Rolón Amato went to a Los Angeles restaurant for what was supposed to be a romantic dinner. Instead they wound up in court. They fought back against discrimination and won.
18 min
Season 3: Episode 4: J.J. Belanger
You may know his face from an iconic 1953 photo booth photo. But there’s a full life’s story behind that photo that includes love, heartbreak, Alfred Kinsey, and fighting for trans rights.
21 min
Season 3: Episode 3: Ellen DeGeneres
Everybody loves Ellen. But that wasn’t always so. When she came out on screen and in real life the backlash was fierce and her future cast in doubt. In this 2001 interview, hear a beloved icon at a crossroads.
25 min
Season 3: Episode 2: Perry Watkins
Sergeant Perry Watkins played by the rules. The U.S military did not. Drafted in 1968, he was thrown out fifteen years later despite his honesty and stellar record of service. He fought back and won.
21 min
Season 3: Episode 1: Sylvia Rivera — Part 2
Welcome back to Sylvia’s kitchen, for the second part of a never-before-heard interview from 1989. Pull up a chair for a conversation with the Stonewall veteran and trans rights pioneer who reflects on a life of activism while she cooks a pot of chili.
18 min
Season 3: Preview
We’re back with more stories from queer history as told by the people who lived it. Drawing on decades-old archival audio tape, you’ll hear intimate, personal interviews with LGBTQ civil rights pioneers.
3 min
Bonus: Edythe Eyde's Gay Gal's Mixtape
Already a visionary with her pioneering lesbian 'zine Vice Versa in the 1940s, "Gay Gal" Edythe Eyde broke the mold again when she started singing positive ballads and gay-friendly parodies in LA's gay clubs in the 1950s. Here's her mixtape.
12 min
Bonus: Rewind: Sylvia Rivera
Another chance to hear trans icon and Stonewall uprising veteran Sylvia Rivera relive that June 1969 night in vivid detail and describe her struggle for recognition in the movement.
10 min
Season 2: Episode 11: Tom Cassidy
CNN business anchor Tom Cassidy kept his “private life” strictly separate from his public life. Three decades ago he had to. But then he was diagnosed with AIDS.
22 min
Season 2: Episode 10: Joyce Hunter
Joyce Hunter’s childhood and adolescence were stolen from her and she was determined to keep that from happening to other LGBTQ youth. She survived suicide attempts, years in an orphanage, and a brutal anti-gay attack to change the lives of countless of young people.
22 min
Season 2: Episode 9: Evander Smith and Herb Don...
Four years before the 1969 uprising at NYC’s Stonewall Inn, a San Francisco confrontation between the police and that city’s LGBT community proved a turning point. Gay attorneys Herbert Donaldson and Evander Smith were among the night’s heroes.
21 min
Season 2: Episode 8: Barbara Gittings and Kay L...
When the Stonewall uprising upended the 1960s homophile movement, Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen refused to be put out to pasture. They brought all their passion, humor, and determination to the gay lib ‘70s and showed the youngsters how it was done.
19 min
Season 2: Episode 7: Herb Selwyn
Herb Selwyn never hesitated to stick his neck out for others. That included gay people at a time when other straight attorneys cashed in on the persecution of homosexuals and gay attorneys were too frightened to represent a despised minority.
21 min
Season 2: Episode 6: Morris Foote
On November 2, 1955, when 30-year-old Morris read on the front page of Boise's newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, that the police were rounding up and arresting gay men, he did the only thing he could think of. He ran. He didn't feel safe setting foot in Boise for the next 20 years.
16 min
Season 2: Episode 5: Jean O'Leary - Part 2
Jean O’Leary had a vision for the national LGBTQ civil rights movement. On March 26, 1977 she led the first delegation of lesbian and gay activists to the White House. And in 1988 she co-founded National Coming Out Day.
14 min
Season 2: Episode 4: Jean O'Leary - Part 1
Jean O’Leary was passionate—about women, nuns, feminism, and equal rights. She left an indelible mark on the women’s movement and the LGBTQ civil rights movement, but not without causing controversy, too. After all, she was a troublemaker. And proud of it.
17 min
Season 2: Episode 3: Hal Call
Hal Call never minced words. The midwestern newspaperman and WWII vet wrested control of the Mattachine Society from its founders and went on to fight police oppression and champion sexual freedom. He also made more than a few enemies along the way.
21 min
Season 2: Episode 2: Shirley Willer
Shirley Willer had good reason to be angry—she was beaten by the police and a dear friend was allowed to die. Because they were gay. She channeled that anger into action, traveling the country in the 1960s to launch new chapters of gay rights organizations.
17 min
Season 2: Episode 1: Marsha P. Johnson and Rand...
Meet Marsha P. Johnson and Randy Wicker—two very different heroes of the early LGBT civil rights movement. Marsha was a Street Transvestite Action Revolutionary. Randy led the first gay demonstration in 1964 in coat and tie.
16 min
Season 2: Preview
Making Gay History is back with more hidden histories mined from Eric Marcus’s 30-year-old audio archive. Ten new episodes featuring intimate, personal interviews with LGBTQ civil rights pioneers—some known and some long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to queer history.
3 min
Bonus: Love Is Love
The right to love and be loved for who we are has always been a driving force in the fight for LGBT civil rights. Eric shares four special love stories from his archive featuring activists who helped change the course of history. Happy Valentine's Day!
11 min
Season 1: Episode 10: Vito Russo
Vito Russo loved movies, but he looked behind the silver screen and saw how Hollywood was sending a message that LGBTQ people were less-than-human. He decided that that had to change. He wrote a book, co-founded GLAAD, and when his life was on the line, was one of the people who founded ACT UP.
21 min
Season 1: Episode 9: Barbara Gittings and Kay "...
Self-described gay rights fanatics and life partners Barbara Gittings and Kay “Tobin” Lahusen helped supercharge the nascent movement in the 1960s and brought their creativity, passion, determination, and good humor to the Gay Liberation 1970s, leaving behind an inspiring legacy of dramatic change.
20 min
Season 1: Episode 8: Dear Abby
A generation ago, tens of millions of people turned to "Dear Abby" in her daily newspaper column for advice. Long before others did, and at considerable risk, she used her platform and celebrity in support of gay people and their equal rights.
14 min
Season 1: Episode 7: Chuck Rowland
A WWII veteran who turned theory into action, co-founding one of the first LGBT rights groups, the Mattachine Society, in 1950—a time when gay people were considered sick, sinful, criminal, and a threat to national security.
18 min
Season 1: Episode 6: Jeanne and Morty Manford
When Jeanne Manford’s gay son was badly beaten at a protest in 1972, she took action and founded an organization for parents of gays known today as PFLAG.
17 min
Season 1: Episode 5: Frank Kameny
Frank Kameny fought for what was right. And he never gave up. Lessons for us all.
19 min
Season 1: Episode 4: Dr. Evelyn Hooker
In 1945 Dr. Evelyn Hooker’s gay friend Sam From urged her to do a study challenging the commonly held belief that homosexuals were by nature mentally ill. It was work that would ultimately strip the “sickness” label from millions of gay men and women and change the course of history.
17 min
Season 1: Episode 3: Edythe Eyde aka Lisa Ben
In 1947, Hollywood secretary Edythe Eyde, aka Lisa Ben, had the audacity to publish “Vice Versa,” the first ever “magazine” for lesbians. Even more audacious, she imagined a future gay utopia that has all come to pass.
15 min
Season 1: Episode 2: Wendell Sayers
You’ve never heard of Wendell Sayers, but once you hear his story, you’ll never forget him. Born in Western Kansas in 1904, Wendell was the first black lawyer to work for Colorado’s Attorney General, and risked everything to join a gay discussion group.
15 min
Season 1: Episode 1: Sylvia Rivera
A never before heard conversation with trans icon, self-described “drag queen,” and Stonewall uprising veteran Sylvia Rivera. Sylvia relives that June 1969 night in vivid detail and describes her struggle for recognition in the movement.
12 min
Season 1: Preview
The Making Gay History podcast mines Eric Marcus’s decades-old audio archive of rare interviews to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history.
3 min