November 18, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

In “Awakening,” a Community Rises Up

BY ANNETTE  SEMERDJIAN| Award-winning author Nathaniel Frank uncovers the history behind the political uprising of the LGBTQ community leading to the passing of equal marriage in the United States with his new book “Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America.” Although the 2008 elections were a huge win for the country with Barack Obama taking office, they were also a huge loss for equal rights with the passing of Proposition 8. Never did we expect that California would join the ranks of Florida and Arizona that year in celebrating a win for conservatives by banning marriage equality statewide. Even the county of Los Angeles had voted Yes to banning same-sex marriage on Prop 8. It was not only a huge shock to the LGBTQ community nationwide but also a huge wake-up call for political action.

It became suddenly apparent that people were not only indifferent about LGBTQ issues as we had thought but also very much against them, even in the blue state of California. The not-so-revealing revelation kicked the LGBTQ community and civil rights movement into high gear, as Frank depicts in his new book. It allowed LGBTQ folk across the nation to truly unleash conservative America’s biggest fear: the gay “agenda.” From celebrities to neighbors to local LGBT centers, people gathered in solidarity with repealing the hateful ban on equal marriage.

Frank explores the positive impact that the passing of Prop 8 had on the trajectory of equal rights for LGBTQ people. He recalls in a 2008 interview with grassroots organizer Matt Palazzolo for the New York Times where Palazzolo stated, “while we knew we’d been discriminated against in the past, we’d never felt it until now.” A new generation of protesters had risen up in light of their fellow citizens invalidating their marriages and banning their right to marry. Falsely thinking the trailblazers in the community had already paid their dues, the LGBTQ community began to continue laying pavement on the path to freedom from bigotry.

Frank hones in on what long-serving gay journalist Rex Wockner called “Stonewall 2.0.” He explains how the technology and social media of the new decade worked in favor for rallying together protesters for LGBTQ rights. Grassroots movements were the new wave allowing LGBTQ people of all walks of life to take agency in the power to fight for one’s own right instead of relying on major organizations to represent them.

Frank’s new book comes at a time when the country has taken a hit from the election of Donald Trump much like the LGBTQ community did in 2008. As the people of the United States rise to revolt, they take yet another page from LGBTQ people who rose to action for marriage equality.

“Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America” by Nathaniel Frank is now available for purchase.

Related Posts

BOOK LAUNCH “The (Other) F Word” Promotes Body Positivity in Queer Community

September 25, 2019

September 25, 2019

Body Image is hard. In a world that keeps telling you that you’re wrong – too femme, too butch, too...

GAY L.A. – New Doc Celebrates the Queer Legacy of Circus of Books

July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

The Sunset Boulevard store was the first to go, back in 2016. Last year, the West Hollywood flagship Circus of...

LA Mom Writes Picture Book Breaking Down Gender Identity for Trans Kids

June 20, 2019

June 20, 2019

Navigating gender can be confusing for anyone. Now imagine being a cis straight parent with a transgender daughter ready to...

“LGBTQ of Steel” Reflects Queer Community’s Strength

June 20, 2019

June 20, 2019

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Picture this: A group of LGBTQ individuals who bravely and without...

Queer Poetry to Pay the Rent

June 11, 2019

June 11, 2019

By Melanie Camp It started as an experiment. Brian Sonia-Wallace wanted to see if he could pay his rent through...

“Shooting Star” Attempts to De-stigmatize Porn Industry

May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019

The porn industry is a $97 billion business, making it bigger than the music industry. Yet, it remains an industry that...

The Language That Connects Us

April 26, 2019

April 26, 2019

The City of West Hollywood has a strong support for the arts, particularly poetry. One of the few cities in...

Lambda Lit Brings Queerness to National Poetry Month

April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the monthly Lambda Lit Book Club will read and discuss Midnight in a Perfect World by Collin Kelley on April...

OH SPIT! Queer Spoken Word Hits Long Beach

March 12, 2019

March 12, 2019

Catch Sister Spit at the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach Saturday! Nationally touring queer spoken word showcase Sister Spit will...

WEHO READS: Jacob Tobia’s “Sissy”

March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019

WeHo Reads welcomes gender nonconforming writer, producer, and performer Jacob Tobia in conversation with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC...

CALENDAR 3/8 – 3/30: The best goings-on around and about L.A., period.

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Letter Writing for Lesbian, Bi, & Queer Women’s Health When: Sunday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where:...

City of WeHo’s Lesbian Speakers Series Features “Self Starters” Wednesday

January 8, 2019

January 8, 2019

As a double minority, it can be hard for queer women to lead an industry, let alone make a noticeable...

Lambda Literary Opens Enrollment for Exclusive LGBTQ Writing Workshop 2019

November 13, 2018

November 13, 2018

Application dates and details regarding Lambda Literary’s highly anticipated Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices have been released. Attendees will...

CALENDAR: 10/20 – 11/4: The best LGBTQ+ goings-on around and about SoCal, period.

October 20, 2018

October 20, 2018

WeHo Dodgeball Annual Charity Halloween Tourney When: Saturday, Oct. 20 Where: 7600 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles What: Dress in silly...

When Flowers BLOOM; WeHo Selects Queer Publication Founder as Poet Laureate

October 17, 2018

October 17, 2018

Founder and editor of LGBT literary magazine BLOOM, Charles Flowers is the new City of West Hollywood Poet Laureate. The...