Author Talks: Tinderbox: Robert Fieseler with Eric Marcus
Before Pulse, there was the Up Stairs Lounge. The 1973 mass murder of gay men and women at the New Orleans nightclub was little remembered. Now, for the first time, their story is reconstructed.
Robert Fieseler sets the largely overlooked tragedy of the Up Stairs Lounge arson that killed 31 men and one woman in its rightful historical place. The fire dragged a closeted, blue-collar gay community into the public eye and was one of the inciting events of the gay-liberation movement. Relying on interviews with survivors and archives, Fieseler chronicles the fire itself and its equally traumatic aftermath—families too ashamed to claim their loved ones, a Catholic Church that refused proper burial rights, and a city that turned a blind eye to the survivors’ care. However, toxic prejudice did not stop an impassioned group of activists from rising up and speaking out. Tinderbox restores their honor and makes the convincing case for the important role they played in the struggle for gay rights.
Robert Fieseler will discuss the book with Eric Marcus, creator and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast.
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