Hugh Ryan is creating Queer history
27

patrons

$172
per month
Hey, I'm Hugh Ryan, and thanks for checking out my Patreon page! I'm a queer historian who believes that to truly understand American history, we have to look at sexuality and gender identity - what they are, how they've changed, and how they change the way we live our lives. And to really understand these topics, I think we have to also talk about race, class, religion, ability, etc.

Ok, sure, but what does that mean in practice?

As you can imagine, this is a super lucrative job & I spend most of my day diving into silos full of golden coins, a la my personal hero, Scrooge McDuck.

Actually, it means that I spend a lot of time in archives & write about things like drag kings from the 1930s, David Wojnarowicz's controversial queer video art from the 1980s, being part of a thrupple (even though I hate that word), a long-forgotten transgender soul music pioneer, the Japanese-American AIDS activist who ran with the Black Panthers, the meaning of the word cisgender, and the cosmetics heiress who created a safe space for queer people during the Harlem Renaissance.

Mostly, though, I'm writing a book about the queer history of Brooklyn, which will come out in hardcover in 2019 from St. Martin's Press. I'm also turning that research into an exhibition for the Brooklyn Historical Society. For this work, I've been thankful to receive fellowships from the New York Public Library, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Watermill Center.

Cool, what else ya got?

In 2010, I founded The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, which helped local communities around the country create their own exhibitions on LGBTQ history. I've also co-created exhibits for Visual AIDS / La Mama Galleria, a compilation of historical HIV/AIDS videos, and an online archive for the artist David Wojnarowicz. I sit on the Board of Advisors for the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art & for the academic publication QED: A Journal In GLBTQ Worldmaking. For my day job, I help raise money to provide free legal services to low- and no-income New Yorkers at the Urban Justice Center.

Tell me more about that Brooklyn book?

I thought you'd never ask! A few years ago I realized that despite living in Brooklyn for nearly two decades, I knew next to nothing about its queer history. Ever since, I've been on a hunt for the long, fascinating, and mostly forgotten queer stories of Brooklyn. If you like sailors, drag kings, spies, lesbian heiresses, gay brothels, sex workers, poets, the Brooklyn Bridge, Walt Whitman, Carson McCullers, Alice Dunbar Nelson, the New York City Subway, or Coney Island - boy, do I have some stories to tell you!

(And if you want to know more about queer Brooklyn and can't wait for the book, check out this presentation I gave at the New York Public Library last year, this podcast I did with the Brooklyn Historical Society, or this Q&A I did with Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York.)

As you can probably tell, I could talk about queer history all day, but I'll stop here for now. Thanks for reading this far, and (if you choose to do so) thanks for supporting my work!
Tiers
The Inverts
$1 or more per month 9 patrons
At this level, you'll get exclusive access to my patron-only updates, with information about my speaking gigs, my upcoming events, and any and all new pieces I've published.
The Queens
$5 or more per month 11 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Uranians
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere, PLUS a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Tribades
$50 or more per month 1 patron
At this level, I will thank you in the acknowledgements of my book, PLUS you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere,a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Androgynes
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a personalized copy of my book when it comes out in 2019, PLUS I will thank you in the acknowledgements of my book, PLUS  you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've  recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere,a monthly unpublished  excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn,  PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece  I've written.
Goals
$172 of $500 per month
When I reach $500/month, I'm going to create a monthly short video talking about some aspect of my research that I won't be able to go into fully in my book.
2 of 2
Hey, I'm Hugh Ryan, and thanks for checking out my Patreon page! I'm a queer historian who believes that to truly understand American history, we have to look at sexuality and gender identity - what they are, how they've changed, and how they change the way we live our lives. And to really understand these topics, I think we have to also talk about race, class, religion, ability, etc.

Ok, sure, but what does that mean in practice?

As you can imagine, this is a super lucrative job & I spend most of my day diving into silos full of golden coins, a la my personal hero, Scrooge McDuck.

Actually, it means that I spend a lot of time in archives & write about things like drag kings from the 1930s, David Wojnarowicz's controversial queer video art from the 1980s, being part of a thrupple (even though I hate that word), a long-forgotten transgender soul music pioneer, the Japanese-American AIDS activist who ran with the Black Panthers, the meaning of the word cisgender, and the cosmetics heiress who created a safe space for queer people during the Harlem Renaissance.

Mostly, though, I'm writing a book about the queer history of Brooklyn, which will come out in hardcover in 2019 from St. Martin's Press. I'm also turning that research into an exhibition for the Brooklyn Historical Society. For this work, I've been thankful to receive fellowships from the New York Public Library, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Watermill Center.

Cool, what else ya got?

In 2010, I founded The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, which helped local communities around the country create their own exhibitions on LGBTQ history. I've also co-created exhibits for Visual AIDS / La Mama Galleria, a compilation of historical HIV/AIDS videos, and an online archive for the artist David Wojnarowicz. I sit on the Board of Advisors for the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art & for the academic publication QED: A Journal In GLBTQ Worldmaking. For my day job, I help raise money to provide free legal services to low- and no-income New Yorkers at the Urban Justice Center.

Tell me more about that Brooklyn book?

I thought you'd never ask! A few years ago I realized that despite living in Brooklyn for nearly two decades, I knew next to nothing about its queer history. Ever since, I've been on a hunt for the long, fascinating, and mostly forgotten queer stories of Brooklyn. If you like sailors, drag kings, spies, lesbian heiresses, gay brothels, sex workers, poets, the Brooklyn Bridge, Walt Whitman, Carson McCullers, Alice Dunbar Nelson, the New York City Subway, or Coney Island - boy, do I have some stories to tell you!

(And if you want to know more about queer Brooklyn and can't wait for the book, check out this presentation I gave at the New York Public Library last year, this podcast I did with the Brooklyn Historical Society, or this Q&A I did with Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York.)

As you can probably tell, I could talk about queer history all day, but I'll stop here for now. Thanks for reading this far, and (if you choose to do so) thanks for supporting my work!

Recent posts by Hugh Ryan

Tiers
The Inverts
$1 or more per month 9 patrons
At this level, you'll get exclusive access to my patron-only updates, with information about my speaking gigs, my upcoming events, and any and all new pieces I've published.
The Queens
$5 or more per month 11 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Uranians
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere, PLUS a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Tribades
$50 or more per month 1 patron
At this level, I will thank you in the acknowledgements of my book, PLUS you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere,a monthly unpublished excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn, PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece I've written.
The Androgynes
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
At this level, you'll receive a personalized copy of my book when it comes out in 2019, PLUS I will thank you in the acknowledgements of my book, PLUS  you'll receive a monthly photo of some fascinating historical find I've  recently unearthed from some archive, somewhere,a monthly unpublished  excerpt from my book-in-progress about the queer history of Brooklyn,  PLUS exclusive access to my patron-only updates, PLUS every new piece  I've written.