The Children of 1969: Growing up in Queer Cultures of the 1970s

Saturday, January 4, 2014: 11:50 AM
Columbia Hall 7 (Washington Hilton)
Daniel W. Rivers, Ohio State University
This paper explores the experiences of the first generation of children in openly lesbian and gay households and how their presence shaped the liberation era in the United States. It examines and contrasts the lives of children growing up in both lesbian feminist and gay male communal radicalism, as well as the less politically focused lesbian and gay urban enclaves that emerged in the metropoles in this period. Working from a combination of oral histories, movement literature, published memoir, and scholarly studies, this paper will ask how children of queer parents interpreted, challenged, and contributed to the political and cultural changes they grew up in. The paper also looks at their interactions with the mainstream culture outside of their cultures of origin, and asks how these dialogues shaped this generation of children of lesbian and gay parents and what these histories can tell us about the current focus on family/domestic rights in the modern LGBT civil rights movement.