Timothy Patrick McCarthy Photo

Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

In this course, we will explore the political and politicized lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and queer peoples living in the United States since World War II. Centering both an intersectional framework and historical critique of “progress,” we will focus our attention on the interrelationship between protest (how LGBTQ people have organized themselves), politics (how LGBTQ people have navigated the “culture wars”), and policy (how LGBTQ people have shaped and been shaped by laws and legislation) from the Stonewall Generation (1960s and 1970s) to the AIDS Generation (1980s and 1990s) to the Marriage Generation (2000s to present). We will study significant movement moments, hear firsthand from a diverse range of change agents (including allies and adversaries), and analyze specific legal and legislative inflection points. Targeted discrimination against queer people has been an urgent and ongoing problem in modern American politics and culture, yet too often it is treated as an afterthought in discussions and debates about human rights and social justice—despite the fact that such prejudicial practices continue to perpetuate stigma and violence against queer people in myriad ways. The modern LGBTQ movement in the United States offers some important lessons about the long and difficult struggle over representation and rights, oppression and liberation, assimilation and equality. We won't cover everything or figure it all out in one module, but any student who is interested in knowing this history and changing this world will be welcomed, affirmed, and valued in this course.