Book review: Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics, by Urvashi Vaid

irresistible revolution colorVaid, Urvashi. Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics. Magnus Books, 2012. $21.95. 238p. HB. 978-1-936833-29-0.

From outspoken advocate and LGBT community organizer Urvashi Vaid, Irresistible Revolution collects the author’s various speeches given to diverse audiences from lesbian feminists to Log Cabin Republicans. The collected essays push forward Vaid’s ideas concerning class, race, and gender equality within the LGBT community, with the hope that her ideas will eventually gain universal acceptance by the majority of Americans.

Many of the speeches included in Irresistible Revolution may be uncomfortable for members of the mainstream LGBT community. Vaid wants to directly challenge and force the LGBT community to reexamine how they treat those members who may be on the fringes. With recent federal progress on marriage equality and the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” many believe the goal of equality is over. Vaid argues that recent wins are only the beginning and the recent momentum must be harnessed to achieve true equality for all community members. The essay “What Can Brown do for You?” addresses the need for racial justice and equality describing how it will strengthen the overall movement. Moving from racial injustice to economic inequality, the entry “Assume the Position” speaks of the severe economic issues within the community, especially regarding those in the transgender community.

Throughout the essays, Vaid suggests the mainstream movement reach out to those living in poverty, listen to their needs, and join together to fight for their equality.

Irresistible Revolution would do well in any public or academic library expanding its LGBT section. Because it examines complicated societal issues, I would recommend this book to readers 16 years and older, especially to those patrons who are looking for books challenging mainstream ideas of the LGBT movement.

Reviewer: Talia Earle


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