Lee Wind

Oct 5, 2023

No Way, They Were Gay?

Hidden Lives and Secret Loves

Zest Books 2021

Which stories are left out of the history books? What’s in the documents omitted from the “official” record? And what happens when we go in search of people’s hidden lives?

Today’s book is  No Way, They Were Gay? Hidden Lives and Secret Loves (Zest Books, 2021), by Lee Wind, in which he reminds us that “history” was crafted by the people who recorded it. And sometimes, those historians were biased against, didn’t see, or couldn’t even imagine anyone different from themselves. That means that history has often left out the stories of LGBTQIA+ people: men who loved men, women who loved women, people who loved without regard to gender, and people who lived outside gender boundaries. Historians have even censored the lives and loves of some of the world’s most famous people, from William Shakespeare and Pharaoh Hatshepsut to Cary Grant and Eleanor Roosevelt. Throughout the text, Lee Wind shares primary sources—poetry, memoir, news clippings, and images of ancient artwork—and explores the hidden (and often surprising) Queer lives and loves of two dozen historical figures. No Way, They Were Gay was honored as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection, and was selected for the Chicago Public Library’s 2021 Best of the Best Books list.

Our guest is: Lee Wind, who writes stories that center marginalized kids and teens and celebrate their power to change the world. Closeted until his 20s, Lee writes the books that would have changed his life as a young Gay kid. His Masters Degree from Harvard didn’t include blueprints for a time machine to go back and tell these stories to himself, so Lee pays it forward with a popular blog with over 3 million page views (I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?) and books for kids and teens. He is the author of No Way, They Were Gay? His day-job is for the Independent Book Publishers Association (as their Chief Content Officer), and for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (as their official blogger).

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell. She is the producer and show-host of the Academic Life podcasts.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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