LGBTQ America Today
An Encyclopedia [3 volumes]
by John C. Hawley, Editor
November 2008, 1436pp, 7x10
3 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33990-5
$321, £247, 280€, A440
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08730-1
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Hundreds of alphabetically arranged biographical and topical entries survey the current state of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer American culture.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture is a vibrant and rapidly evolving segment of the American mosaic. This book gives students and general readers a current guide to the people and issues at the forefront of contemporary LGBTQ America. Included are more than 600 alphabetically arranged entries on literature and the arts, associations and organizations, individuals, law and public policy concerns, health and relationships, sexual issues, and numerous other topics. Entries are written by distinguished authorities and cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. Students in social studies, history, and literature classes will welcome this book’s illumination of American cultural diversity.

LGBTQ Americans have endured many struggles, and during the last decade in particular they have made tremendous contributions to our multicultural society. Drawing on the expertise of numerous expert contributors, this book gives students and general readers a current overview of contemporary LGBTQ American culture.

Sweeping in scope, the encyclopedia looks at literature and the arts, associations and organizations, individuals, law and public policy concerns, health and relationships, sexual practices, and various other areas.

Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. While extensive biographical entries give readers a sense of the lives of prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans, the many topical entries provide full coverage of the challenges and contributions for which these people are known. The encyclopedia supports the social studies curriculum by helping students learn about cultural diversity, and it supports the literature curriculum by helping students learn about LGBTQ writers and their works.


  • Hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries help students in social studies classes learn about the present state of LGBTQ American culture.
  • Entries on literature and the arts help students in literature classes learn about the artistic achievements of LGBTQ Americans.
  • An alphabetical list of entries conveniently overviews the contents of the encyclopedia.
  • A guide to related topics directs readers to entries likely to interest them the most and helps facilitate student research.
  • Entry bibliographies and a closing bibliography aid student research by noting the most important and exciting places to look for additional current information.


"Tracing the history and covering what is occurring today, the work is both historical and current, focusing on LGBTQ life in the United States in all its aspects. Bolded terms in each entry indicate cross-references, although a listing of these at the end of the entry would be clearer for the average user. ...Bottom Line: The writing is simple enough for high school students to comprehend yet academic enough for college students and scholars to reference. The coverage is sufficient for a basic background and understanding of the topic, and additional readings enable the work to be used as a starting point for additional research. Suitable for larger public libraries, academic libraries, and high school libraries."—Library Journal, March 15, 2009

"Hawley and a host of contributors address more than 600 topics of importance to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) history in the last 60 years. Contemporary individuals and concepts key to understanding GLBTQ culture and contributions to US society form the crux of the work and create a context in which one may view the GLBTQ community. The alphabetically arranged, signed entries are descriptive in nature, ranging in length from 100 to 2,000 words… The title's emphasis on the popular and contemporary is its greatest strength. Overall, this is a welcome addition to the canon of GLBTQ encyclopedias. Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, May 1, 2009

"Directed toward academics and students in high school and beyond, LGBTQ America Today is an impressive three-volume encyclopedia that would make an excellent contribution to any academic reference collection."—ARBAonline, May 1, 2009

"...This comprehensive encyclopedia traces not only the history of the momentum toward gay rights and broader cultural acceptance but also the impact that this force has had, and continues to have, on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American culture. The encyclopedia purports to be 'an interdisciplinary record of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer life,' and to a great extent succeeds in being so. ...Each entry ends with a bibliography of both print and electronic works, and cross-referencing, denoted by terms in bold within the text, is superb. The first volume begins with a list of entries and a detailed guide to related topics, while the third volume concludes with a general bibliography and a comprehensive index. Black-and-white illustrations, though relatively infrequent, do serve to extend the text. With a narrower focus and a broader topical treatment than Great Events from History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Events, 1848–2006 (2006), LGBTQ America Today is a sound purchase for college and university libraries, especially those with strong gay studies programs."—Booklist, July 1, 2009

"If comprehensiveness is a collection development goal, then LGBTQ America Today is a worthwhile purchase."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, October 1, 2009

"LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia provides a powerful 3-volume set of A to Z detailed references that are more article collections than brief encyclopedia entries. . . this is an extensive survey that's a 'must' for any college-level library strong in LGBTQ social issues and reference collections."—Midwest Book Review, February 1, 2010

"LGBTQ America Today is a great resource for secondary-school and academic libraries because of its interdisciplinary focus and cross-references. With its focus on the past sixty years in the United States, it is an ideal reference work on popular LGBTQ culture as well as on historical events and movements."—Feminist Collections, December 1, 2009
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