Season 8

Season 8 — Preview

Making Gay History is back! Join us as we mine the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in Chicago for stories from our proud LGBTQ past to bring you eight intimate conversations conducted between 1959 and 1981 by the legendary oral historian.

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Christopher Isherwood

Author Christopher Isherwood left England for Germany in 1929. His stories about his years there inspired the musical “Cabaret,” which shaped the image of decadent interwar Berlin in the popular imagination. But as he told Studs Terkel in this 1977 interview, to him, Berlin meant, above all, boys.

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Lorraine Hansberry

In 1959 Lorraine Hansberry became the first Black woman to have a play produced on Broadway. Soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made history, the 28-year-old writer and activist talked to Studs Terkel about racial and gender inequity and the role of art in confronting difficult truths about our world.

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“Les-Lee”

During a career that spanned more than three decades, Canadian female impersonator John Falk Tomkinson appeared around the globe under the stage name Les-Lee. In 1967 Studs Terkel sat down with the performer to talk about his art and upbringing, and his experiences of being “different.”

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Quentin Crisp

From a young age, Quentin Crisp was determined to be himself—makeup, painted nails, dramatically dyed hair, and all—even if it consigned him to a life of poverty and isolation. Hear the author, raconteur, and provocateur in a 1970 conversation with Studs Terkel before he found late-in-life fame.

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Mattachine Midwest

A half-century ago, Studs Terkel interviewed three members of the homophile group Mattachine Midwest: the organization’s president, a student activist, and lesbian pulp author Valerie Taylor. Join them for a wide-ranging and laugh-filled conversation about gay liberation both personal and political.

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