From Harvey Milk to Prop 8, in this week’s issue Alex Ross traces the history of the gay-rights movement, interlacing the movement’s milestones with his own memories and experiences as a gay man in America. Ross writes, “I am forty-four years old, and I have lived through a startling transformation in the status of gay men and women in the United States… Around the time I was born, homosexual acts were illegal in every state but Illinois. Lesbians and gays were barred from serving in the federal government. There were no openly gay politicians. A few closeted homosexuals occupied positions of power, but they tended to make things more miserable for their kind.” But, he writes, “Today, gay people of a certain age may feel as though they had stepped out of a lavender time machine…. Gay rights have made such rapid progress that there is an urge to look back and assess what has happened.”
Continue reading Ross on the past and future of gay rights.