Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Suffrage Movement
In this book, Wendy Rouse explores explores the important role of queerness and queer suffragists in the fight for the vote. The traditional narrative of women’s suffrage history sanitized the lives of queer suffragists contributing to the historical erasure of the queer history of the movement. Yet, it was often their very queerness that helped propel the movement forward. This book highlights the personal and professional alliances that queer suffragists built and the innovative strategies they developed to protect and preserve their most intimate relationships— relationships that were ultimately crucial to the success of the women’s suffrage movement.
Praise for the Book
Finalist for the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, 2023
Honorable Mention, Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2023
“A stunning achievement, Public Faces, Secret Lives provides a long overdue history of queer suffragists and their integral role in the movement.” ~Emily Skidmore, author of True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
“Not only a powerful revision of the largely heteronormative framings of the suffrage movement, Public Faces, Secret Lives is also testament to the queer community’s power to reimagine and revolutionize social movements today.” ~Leila J. Rupp, author of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award winner, Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History
“Asking new questions of old stories – that is what Wendy Rouse has superbly done by turning a queer eye on the women’s suffrage movement. Hiding in plain sight, or sometimes hidden by historical erasure, queer women were central figures in the movement, providing models of activism and non-heteronormative behavior for those who follow in their footsteps.” ~Susan Ware, author of Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote
June 12, 2023
March 26, 2023
History Park, San Jose
March 7, 2023
Santa Clara County Library
January 17, 2023
Women’s Museum of California
August 30, 2022
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian
June 7, 2022
California Historical Society
June 5, 2022
National Women’s History Museum
March 17, 2022
February 19, 2022
History San Jose
June 17, 2021
April 28, 2021
March 10, 2021
March 4, 2021
January 19, 2021
August 21, 2020
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March 19, 2020
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“‘Hurrah for Woman Suffrage!’ Young Suffragists and the Campaign for the Vote.” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 13, no. 3 (Winter 2021), 133-158.
“Gender, Sexuality and Love Between Women in California’s Suffrage Campaign.” California History 97, no. 4 (Fall 2020), 144-150.
Morning Edition. National Public Radio. WBUR Boston. June 2023.
CTV News Canada, Queering the History of the Suffrage Movement, September 1, 2020.