LGBT+ History Is American History
In 2014, Zaylore Stout took a drive across the country. State line after state line, he found himself detouring to landmarks of the LGBT+ heroes and history in each new place. And so, like a travel guide through the LGBT+ past and present, Our Gay History in Fifty States was born.
Encompassing all fifty states as well as Washington, DC, and island territories, Our Gay History in Fifty States documents the highs and lows of American LGBT+ history. In its pages, you’ll learn about LGBT+ presidents and Two-Spirit warriors, the inclusive progression of the gay rights movement, iconic orange juice boycotts, and the true origin of vogue dancing. From the childhood homes of historical figures to the safe spaces of grassroots organizations, this book is filled with destinations for those on their own local or cross-country tours of the past.
Sometimes, seeing yourself in history is all you need to validate your battle for the future. While we continue pushing toward a more inclusive country, the stories of Our Gay History in Fifty States remind us that LGBT+ history is—and will always be—American history.
Zaylore Stout is an attorney, community organizer, and an internationally published author. Originally from Southern California, he received his BA in International Business Management from California State University–Fullerton. He’s a graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he was elected student government president. Zaylore founded his own law firm, Zaylore Stout & Associates (ZSA), with locations in Minnesota and California.
Zaylore Stout & Associates was an inaugural recipient of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Business of Pride Award in 2018. Zaylore’s advocacy outside of the courtroom has also been noticeable; he led the charge for the passage of a gender inclusion policy in the St. Louis Park school district and the implementation of ranked-choice voting in St. Louis Park. This made St. Louis Park the only suburb in Minnesota to pass these initiatives.
“We call it Pride because this is a community that was forced to be ashamed of ourselves. The people who started the Stonewall Riots decided they wanted to take that name and remind people to be proud of who they are. The progress we’ve made since then wouldn’t have been possible without our allies. Now this book and the vastly diverse array of people it highlights exemplify who our community truly reflects: America.” —Wilson Cruz, actor
“This isn’t really a history book or a reference book—it’s a celebration of our people’s lives, passions, accomplishments, and contributions. Finding your state and poring over its entries will feel like paging through a big gay yearbook, lovingly compiled just for you.” —Molly Beth Griffin, Lambda Literary Award finalist, author of Silhouette of a Sparrow, and contributor to Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride
“With Our Gay History in Fifty States, Zaylore Sapphos Stout has created something entirely new—a comprehensive, state-by-state chronicle of LGBTQ history for youth. This type of content is sorely needed in schools. [It] provides a wider lens of the experiences of others, building the foundational knowledge essential to empathy and ally behavior. Stout’s book is an important reminder to all students—of all identities— that all stories matter.” —Cheryl Greene, Deputy Director of Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
“Throughout history, the LGBTQ people, voices, and contributions have been summarily ignored, silenced, and erased. In this book, Zaylore Stout gives voice to so many stories. This state-by-state guide to history offers young people an impressive list of role models, heroes, and moments to look up to and emulate. I can’t wait to share these with my students to offer a more diverse and inclusive history.” —Amy Zsohar, Communications professor & PhD
“This informative collection of stories and facts helps bring to life the experience of LGBT people in all parts of our country. It shows that everyday people from all walks of life can become heroes and make significant contributions to our community. These stories can inspire anyone looking to make a difference in their own corner of the world.” —Andrew Park, former Director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, and founder of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights in Philadelphia
“Our Gay History in Fifty States is a fantastic road trip. From surprises to familiar faces/spaces, Zaylore Stout’s book is important knowledge for the twenty-first century. LGBTQIA+ history is everyone’s history.” —Kirstin Cronn-Mills, author of Beautiful Music for Ugly Children and LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality
“Colorful, dynamic, and engaging, Our Gay History in Fifty States is packed with fascinating anecdotes and inspiring history. This book makes me want to take a road trip to visit every place it mentions! A celebration of the diversity and complexity of the many American LGBTQ communities and individuals that have enriched this country’s history, Our Gay History in Fifty States is a powerful and essential new resource.” —Noam Sienna, A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969