Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



BOOK REVIEW: Get used to this, 'We're Here, We're Queer' covers the gay (19)90s
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times

This article shared 7103 times since Wed Oct 5, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

We're Here, We're Queer by Owen Keehnen , Prairie Avenue Productions, 485 pages, softcover, $19.

I have a few conflicts of interest reviewing this book—because of my occasional collaboration over many years with the writer—but I want to plow right through them to get to the heart of the matter: This is an important and highly recommended collection of interviews.

Owen Keehnen wrote for Outlines newspaper ( which purchased and merged with Windy City Times in 2000 ) . I was publisher of Outlines and I am now publisher of WCT. Keehnen has always been among my favorite writers. He loved the art of writing, and he respected the work of activists, writers and other cultural pioneers. He interviewed top names in those areas, and he syndicated some of the interviews beyond Chicago.

Keehnen and I also co-wrote Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow; he submitted pieces to my book Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community; and he and I are co-writing another book, Jim Flint: The Boy from Peoria ( coming out this December ) . And he used my Prairie Avenue Productions imprint for this book, though Keehnen did all the work and receives all the profits. So, clearly I like working with him, and really respect his energy and writing.

In the pages of his newest book, We're Here, We're Queer, we are treated to just an amazing time capsule of legends in our community, most interviewed in the 1990s for Outlines, and many of the people have since been lost to AIDS and other causes. Gathered all under one "roof", this is an impressive book.

Here is a list of just some of the more than 100 interviews in the book: Quentin Crisp, Edmund White, Samuel Steward, the Daughters of Bilitis founders Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, Harry Hay, Dorothy Allison, David Wojnarowicz, E. Lynn Harris, Tommy Tune, Joan Nestle, Holly Woodlawn, RuPaul, Darrell Yates Rist, Sarah Schulman, Paul Monette, Chuck Renslow, Jerry Herman, Sapphire, Susie Bright, Michael Cunningham, Dennis Cooper, Janis Ian, Pam Tent, Jewelle Gomez, Michelangelo Signorile, George Chauncey, Camille Paglia, Scott Heim, Scott O'Hara, Joan Jett Black, Kate Bornstein, Charles Busch, Nisa Donnelly, Emma Donoghue, Mark Doty, David Drake, Robert Ford, Kenny Fries, Jack Fritscher, Rudy Galindo, Jewelle Gomez, Allan Gurganis, James Earl Hardy, Jerry Herman, Ann Heron, Andrew Holleran, Allan Hollinghurst, David Leavitt, Eric Marcus, Scott McPherson, Leslea Newman, Felice Picano, John Preston and Dick Sargent.

All I can say is "whew" and what a critical work for our community's legacy. Keehnen also includes brief intros to some of the interviews, giving us a context and a perspective. The tragedy of so many voices now silenced quickly adds up. The book includes many interviews with people who were in their prime, but were lost to us during their most creative years.

"Collectively these primary source interviews provide substantial insights into an era that may have been only a few decades ago, but was also a world away," Keehnen said of this book. "It was a time of combustible urgency when out of dire necessity everything changed. There was no going back to the place where we had been. Suddenly we were everywhere and our message was a simple one, We're Here, We're Queer—Get Used To It."

Keehnen's work has been featured in hundreds of periodicals and anthologies worldwide. He co-edited Nothing Personal: Chronicles of Chicago's LGBTQ Community 1977-1997. He is also the author of the horror novel Doorway Unto Darkness as well as the forthcoming gay novel The Sand Bar.

The book is available on Amazon and in Chicago at Women & Children First and Unabridged bookstores.

This article shared 7103 times since Wed Oct 5, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Activist Peter Staley's Memoir 'Never Silent' is a real-life thriller 2021-10-13
--From - "Attention must be paid to such a man." Arthur Miller Peter Staley's much-anticipated new memoir, Never Silent, opens with almost unbearable nail-biting suspense, sweeping us into the behind-the-scenes machinations of an ACT UP takeover of ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son 2020-10-22
- By Richie Jackson $24.99; Harper; 163 pages Like father, like son. When you were small, people said you looked just like your dad. As you grew up, they said you had his sense of humor or his temper, you laughed alike, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw 2020-08-18
- By Charles Leerhsen $28; Simon & Schuster; 304 pages That man there? He's just a nice guy. Kind and generous, respectful and friendly, he's a true gentleman, and he's never judgmental. He loves children and animals, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man 2020-07-21
- By Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. $28; Simon and Schuster; 227 pages. You hadn't seen that container in ages. You really can't remember when you put it on the shelf. Sometime this year, six years ago, when ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane 2020-05-25
- You can call yourself whatever you want. Nobody says you can't have a different name every day, if that's your wish. Reinvent your life, create a new past, change your birth year, and tell new stories, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW An Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex 2020-04-15
- Coming out was difficult enough. Even if everyone supported you and very little changed, you changed; still, though you had doubts and fear, it was something you had to do. Now read the new book An ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Ian McKellen: A Biography 2020-03-17
- Author: Garry O'Connor. $29.99; St. Martin's Press; 356 pages Any old stick would do. When you were a child, that's what it took to become a wizard: a stick became a makeshift wand, an old towel ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Trans Generation 2020-03-08
- By Ann Travers $25; New York University Press; 261 pages Boy or girl? That's a common enough question, if you're an expectant parent. You might've even wondered it yourself: will you need pink things or blue, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health and Wellness 2020-03-02
- Edited by Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano. $29.95; Oxford University. Press; 287 pages You had a flu shot this year. You watch your cholesterol, eat better, stay active, and brush twice a day. So why do ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy 2020-01-22
- By Hallie Lieberman, $26.95; Pegasus Books; 359 pages Double-A. It has many uses, that little word-dash-letter. It's good for future baseball players. Good for a pre-teen girl. Great, if you're a student trying to bring those ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Toil & Trouble 2019-12-24
- By Augusten Burroughs $27.99; St. Martin's Press; 320 pages Halloween is over this year, but not for you. Your decorations are still up because the season is young. There's plenty of time left for skeletons, monsters, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston 2019-11-26
- Author: Robyn Crawford. $28; Dutton; 319 pages You saw that coming. It was easy to anticipate because the signs were there. It was plain as day, couldn't have been easier to see if it was flashing ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Island of No Secrets and Other Stories 2019-10-01
- By Lou Dellaguzzo. $13; Lethe Press; 243 pages Island of No Secrets and Other Stories is a book of short stories that aim to portray what it meant to be queer in the United States in the 1970s. While the time ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Sage Sapien, From Karma to Dharma 2019-09-17
- By Johnson Chong, $24.95; Koehler Books; 172 pages It's never clear who exactly Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma is for. The book, written by yoga impresario Johnson Chong, leans toward a number of potential audiences—yoga ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Taken by the Wind 2019-09-17
- By Ellen Hart, $25.99; Minotaur Books; 320 pages Your bag was packed. There wasn't much in it except for the necessities: your two favorite toys, a clean T-shirt, the stuffed animal you couldn't sleep without, and ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.