Public health advocate John Manuel Andriotte finds in LGBTQ history patterns of resiliency, mutual support, and community that suggest to him heroism, seldom acknowledged but enormously instructive. His book, Stonewall Strong, being released in paperback in the spring of 2019, canvasses past triumphs like the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the delisting of homosexuality as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and the emergence of ACT UP in response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. With redoubtable hope and creativity the community engineered increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage, culminating in the landmark Obergefell decision in 2015.
Mr. Andriote, who writes a blog for Psychology Today, interviews some of the leading LGBTQ intellectuals of the post-Stonewall era. From their personal stories he discerns capacities for transcending trauma that have helped ameliorate symptoms of minority stress. Among the subjects interviewed, the fiery activist and writer Larry Kramer comments that “Somewhere along the line I was able to work out that I love being gay, that it was the most important thing in my life.”
Harvard medical professor Kenneth Mayer, M.D. calls Stonewall Strong “a tour de force.” Dr. Mayer, who also is director of medical research at Boston’s Fenway Institute, says that in Stonewall Strong, Andriote “skillfully educates the reader how the lessons learned from addressing the [HIV-AIDS] epidemic have laid the foundations for a stronger, more resilient community.” He adds, “The book is well-written, compelling, and highly informative.”
Join Mr. Andriotte as he talks of the resiliency and renewal demonstrated time and again in the collective LGBTQ experience.