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Queering Rehoboth Beach

June 8 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT

The Delaware Historical Society and Huxley & Hiro Booksellers present “Queering Rehoboth Beach,” an author event with James Sears.

“Create a More Positive Rehoboth” was a decades-long goal for progress and inclusiveness in a charming beach town in southern Delaware. Rehoboth, which was established in the 19th century as a Methodist Church meeting camp, has, over time, become a thriving mecca for the LGBTQ+ community. In Queering Rehoboth Beach, historian and educator James Sears charts this significant evolution.

Sears draws upon extensive oral history accounts, archival material, and personal narratives to chronicle “the Battle for Rehoboth,” which unfolded in the late 20th century, as conservative town leaders and homeowners opposed progressive entrepreneurs and gay activists.

He recounts not just the emergence of the gay and lesbian bars, dance clubs, and organizations that drew the queer community to the region, but also the efforts of local politicians and homeowners, among other groups, who fought to develop and protect the traditional identity of this beach town. Moreover, issues of race, class, and gender and sexuality informed opinions as residents and visitors struggled with the AIDS crisis and the legacy of Jim Crow.

Queering Rehoboth Beach is more than just an inspiring story about a community’s resilience and determination to establish a safe space for itself in the wake of the era of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It is also a terrific beach read.

Free event, registration required: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/queering-rehoboth-book-talk

About the author:

Historian and educator James T. Sears is a former professor at the University of South Carolina, Trinity University, Harvard University, and Penn State. During his career at USC, Sears established himself as one of the preeminent scholars of southern Gay culture. Drawing the wrath of conservative groups, Sears taught a graduate course on the impact of Christian fundamentalism on education, earning him the moniker “Satan of the University”. He was awarded South Carolina’s American Civil Liberties Union First Amendment Award. Sears has also founded two LGBT journals and he is a prominent activist for gay rights.


June 8
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
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Huxley and Hiro
419 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
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Delaware Historical Society
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