The Queer Histories of Brooklyn’s Working Waterfront with Hugh Ryan
Where: New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Ave.
917-275-6975 Price: Free
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Please join us on Tuesday, January 31st at 7pm in the Library’s Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustees Room as Hugh Ryan, the Library’s Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar for 2017, shares his current research.
Since the coining of the word “homosexual” in the late 1800s, up until the decline of the city’s light industry post-WWII, the Brooklyn waterfront has served as a complicated refuge for working class queer people, providing economic opportunity, inexpensive housing, social privacy, and sexual possibility—as well as police surveillance, racist exclusion, gendered fetishization, and the financial instability that haunts many low-income communities.
In this talk, Hugh Ryan will examine the working-class queer waterfront spaces of Brooklyn—from the military factories that gave all women (but especially lesbians) economic freedom and social privacy, to the complicated transgender visibility on display at the freak shows of Coney Island, to the cooperative houses created by queer artists during times of economic hardship. The talk will be organized around five major thematic sections: Factory Life, Coney Island, Outlaw Sexuality, Queer Communes, and Sailors.Buy tickets/get more info now