Tag Archives: LGBTQ history

New York v. Uplinger: Gay Rights at the Supreme Court

In 1983, Buffalonian Bobby Uplinger and his lawyer, Bill Gardner, took Bobby’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bobby had been arrested for making a sexual invitation to an undercover cop, and he and Bill were intent on showing that this case–and the many others like it around the U.S.–was a violation of a gay man’s constitutional rights. In this episode, Averill and Sarah introduce an oral history the History Buffs collected from Bill Gardner about this case. Tune in to learn how Bill and Bobby’s story turned out.


Show Notes & Further Reading

William Gardner, Oral History Interview. Conducted by Averill Earls and Elizabeth Garner Masarik on behalf of the Buffalo Oral History Project, 22 November 2015, in the home of William Gardner.

Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky and Madeline D. Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. New York: Routledge, 1993. 

1916: Roger Casement

In August of 1916, Roger Casement was executed for his role in the Easter Rising in Ireland. Before his trial, however, the British government leaked documents to the press and politicians. These were identified as Casement’s diaries and ledgers, which chronicled a series of homosexual encounters. Though many immediately denounced the Black Diaries (read excerpts of the diaries transcribed by Angus Mitchell here) as forgeries, asserting that the British government was trying to tarnish the name of a hero to circumvent public outcry against his execution – which, certainly, the British government was seeking to do – the damage was resounding. The question of forged or not forged has been asked again and again for decades. Why? After his death, it was assumed and reiterated by the Irish public and Casement’s friends that he could not be both homosexual and a nationalist. Dan and Averill return to the question of Irish identity in this special episode for the 1916 Easter Rising centenary, contemplating who counts, who doesn’t, and why.

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Show Notes

Primary Documents – Sir Roger Casement’s Speech Following his Conviction as a Traitor, 29 June 1916

Roger Casement,” Britannica 

“Roger Casement,”  BBC 

The 1916 Rising,” Department of the Taoiseach 

Kathryn Conrad, “Queer Treasons: Homosexuality and Irish National Identity,” Cultural Studies, 15:1, 124-137

Kevin Grant, “Bones of Contention: The Repatriation of the Remains of Roger Casement,” Journal of British Studies Vol. 41, No. 3 (July 2002), pp. 329-353

Michael Laffan, “Sir Roger David Casement,” RTE 

Brian Lewis, “The Queer Life and Afterlife of Roger Casement Books of Critical Interest” Journal of the History of Sexuality 14.4 (2005) 363-382

Ronan McGreevy, “Roger Casement Made a Fool of Himself,” Irish Times 21 Oct 2015

Michael O’Sullivan, “Lies, Damn Lies & Forensics: The Ghost of Roger Casement,”History Ireland Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer, 2002), pp. 5-6

Jeffrey Panciera, “Why Roger Casement Still Haunts Us,” The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide 21.3 (May/Jun 2014): 16-19.


Further Reading

Digital Walking Tour of Dublin during the Easter Rising

Lots of episodes on the Easter Rising on RTÉ’s The History Show 

Blog posts on the Easter Rising at The Irish Story

Helen McBride, “Eirebrushed: Erasing Women from Irish History,” on Nursing Clio

Sinéad McCoole,  No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years, 1900-23 (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003).

Fearghal McGarry,  The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Sabhdh Walshe, “Eight Women of the Easter Rising,” New York Times 16 Mar 2016

Gay & Irish on St. Paddy’s Day in the US

Each year since 1990, the Irish-American Gay and Lesbian Organization of New York City has requested to march in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Each year the parade organizers have refused the request. In 1993, NYC Human Rights Commission mandated that the IGLO had to be included in the parade, a mandate that was overturned as “unconstitutional” by a Federal judge. The court case was predicated on free speech, asserting that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which had organized the parade for 150 years, had the right to decide what was said in their parade, and what was not said. That legal precedent has had far deeper consequences. Underlying this battle over a quintessential celebration of Irish-Americanness, there was a question of what Irish-(American)ness is, and who gets to define that identity. Join Averill and Marissa for some of the history of the New York City and Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parades, the fight for inclusion and exclusion, and the shaping of Irish-American identities.

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Show Notes

David Beriss, “Introduction: ‘If you’re gay and Irish, your parents must be English,” in Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power v2 i3 (Taylor and Francis Online, 1996), 189-196.

Richard Conway, “The Gay Ban of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Un-Irish,” The Guardian 

Averill Earls, “Queering Dublin: Same-Sex Desire and Masculinities in Ireland, 1884-1950,” Forthcoming Dissertation, SUNY Buffalo, 2016.

Lisa Guido, “St Patrick’s Day Parade, NYC 1991-1992” vimeo

Christopher Harrity, “Out@NBCUniversal Makes St. Patrick’s Day History,” The Advocate

Shelia Langan, “Timeline of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade LGBT Controversy,” IrishCentral 

Daniel Reynolds, “NYC Mayor Opens St. Patrick’s Day Parade to LGBT Marchers,” The Advocate

About the AOH,” Ancient Order of Hibernians 

The Founding of APO

Elisabeth George, PhD Candidate in History at the University at Buffalo, talks about the founding of AIDS Project of the Ozarks (APO), an AIDS service organization that operates out of Springfield, MO and was incorporated in 1985.

2012 AIDS Quilt DC

2012 AIDS Quilt, Ryan White and Pedro Zamora (Ted Eytan/Flickr|BY-SA)

Show Notes and Further Reading.

There is lots on the AIDS crisis and disease in the United States. See, for example:

  • Brier, Jennifer. Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses from the AIDS Crisis. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • Cohen, Cathy. The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999.
  • Farmer, Paul. AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, Updated Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Lekus, Ian. “Health Care, the AIDS Crisis, and the Politics of Community: The North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project, 1982-1996” in Modern American Queer History, edited by Allida M. Black (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001): 227-252.
  • Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007.
  • Verghese, Abraham. My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.
  • Ramirez-Valles, Jesus. Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.
Here are a couple of interesting related links about AIDS service organizations, political movements, and efforts to increase understanding and awareness of AIDS in the US:
And a couple of good histories on the American New Right and the Reagan-era social and political climate when the AIDS crisis emerged:
  • McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • Wilentz, Sean. The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.

Featured image: AIDS quilt, Washington, D.C. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.