Victory is the story of how a band of extraordinary individuals brought on a revolution that, in forty years, has transformed American life and our notions of human identity: how we find love and reproduce. When the modern struggle for gay rights erupted most notably at a bar called Stonewall in New York City’s Greenwich Village, in the summer of 1969, most religious traditions condemned homosexuality; psychiatric experts called people attracted to others of the same sex “crazy,” and forty-nine states outlawed sex between people of the same gender.
Drawing on rich archival material and in-depth interviews, political columnist Linda Hirshman chronicles the Gay Rights movement, viewing it within the tradition of American justice and freedom. As she persuasively argues, it was—and continues to be—a battle of citizens struggling to define themselves and take their rightful place in society. Hirshman shows how the fight for gay rights has changed the American landscape for all citizens—blurring rigid gender lines, altering the shared culture, and broadening our definitions of family.
While much has been written about particular aspects of the movement—the Plague Years, Stonewall, Harvey Milk, marriage and domestic partnerships—no one has told the full political story. Asserting their goodness while admitting their difference, facing every social adversary – church, state, medical establishment -- this focused group of activists transformed the world. From the Communist cross dresser Harry Hay in 1948 to the beautiful young female Senator from New York in 2010, the victory involved dozens of brilliant, idiosyncratic, vibrant characters. Moving from the streets of New York to the disease-ridden jungles of Zaire to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, covering issues from the Stonewall Uprising to the AIDS crisis to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Victory sheds new light on this essential chapter in our nation’s history that is sure to shape its future.