Lavender Lists: New Lists About Lesbian and Gay Culture, History, and Personalities

The GLBTRT has been reviewing books and movies in its newsletter since the early 1990s. Trace the evolution of queer publishing through these historic reviews. This review was originally published in Vol. 3, No 3 & 4 Spring/Summer 1991. 

Lavender Lists: New Lists About Lesbian and Gay Culture, History, and Personalities. By Lynne Yamaguchi Fletcher and Adrian Saks. Alyson, 1990. Paper. $8.95. (ISBN 1-55583-182-6).

This book of lesbian and gay lists will amuse, challenge, and inform readers of any sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian adults and teenagers will especially want to read it from cover to cover.

Over 100 lists are divided into seven chapters; a detailed table of contents and a nine-page index turn Lavender Lists into a useful reference tool for library and home use. Many items in the lists are a paragraph in length and provide a capsule look at people, events and things. Despite an inherent Western and twentieth century bias, many lists contain information from other cultures and eras. The authors also acknowledge that information about gay males predominates among the lists and entries. Most of the information is accurate, although some may be subject to question or interpretation. For example, Hadrian’s lover Antinous is listed under “20 People Who Committed Suicide” although the cause of his death on the Nile is still in doubt. My favorite lists were “16 Couples and How They Met” and “25 Noteworthy Practices in Other Cultures.”

This fascinating compilation is recommended for all public and high school library collections.

Reviewed by Joseph M. Eagan
Enoch Pratt Free Library
Baltimore, Maryland

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