A century ago in Nevada the idea that there was a queer community worthy of equal right, privilege, and responsibility was beyond imagining. Same-gender love was a criminal offense and Nevada’s LGBTQ community faced a desperate battle for equality. As time passed, however, their movement slowly gained momentum.

Bars, bookstores, and bathhouses were among the first places where those who identified as queer could gather. Once isolated and fearful, queer people now could gain support and find their voice. Some of the most outspoken activists went on to publish magazines and spearhead groundbreaking events such as Gay Pride and the Reno Gay Rodeo.

Out of the Neon Closet is a thoroughly researched narrative of the Nevada queer community’s struggle, with history gathered from a wide range of printed sources and dozens of interviews recorded over a twenty-year period. Author Dennis McBride describes private social gatherings and high-profile events with the same care that he reports legal incidents and political upheaval.

From early twentieth century sodomy prosecutions through the legalization of same-gender marriage a hundred years later, Out of the Neon Closet recounts the personal struggles and political successes that have made Nevada’s queer community what it is today.

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