Enter to win Queering Rehoboth Beach: Beyond the Boardwalk by James T. Sears!

Queering Rehoboth Beach: Beyond the Boardwalk by James Sears

Enter to win Queering Rehoboth Beach: Beyond the Boardwalk by James T. Sears! To enter the contest, fill out the form below between Tuesday, June 25, and Tuesday, July 16.

"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.


"(A) thorough, insightful history lesson about when late-20th-century gay men, predominantly from Washington, DC, started spending summer breaks in the area.... (Sears') great contribution is in the intimate, on-the-ground portrayals of the leaders and everyday people who made up the new Rehoboth and the institutions, bars, and guest houses they brought into existence.... This highly recommended title about Rehoboth Beach, DE, is a tour de force of micro history at its best. Both scholars and general readers will appreciate it."
 Library Journal

"Queering Rehoboth Beach is a miracle of storytelling and scholarship. James Sears has a historian's firm grasp of details as he traces the roots and evolution of the queer resort town and the multiple crises it has facedparticularly during the virulent homophobia engendered by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the rise of the religious right. But the strength and the beauty of the book reside in the powerful first-person narratives Sears has elicited from the participants in these events. These stories of ordinary and extraordinary queer lives are the vibrant backbone of queer history and why it matters. Queering Rehoboth Beach is both dramatic and contemplative, and most importantly, it is inspiring."

 Michael Bronski Professor of the Practice in Media and Activism in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University, and author of A Queer History of the United States

"Like Provincetown, Fire Island, and Key West, Rehoboth Beach has long attracted queer residents and tourists, despite its Methodist origins and struggles over staying 'family friendly.' Through exquisitely detailed oral histories from a large cast of characters, James Sears brings alive tales of the conflictsbetween straights and gays, residents and tourists, business interests and homeownersthat made Rehoboth the community it is today. This is a love letter to a small seaside town, and if you haven't been there already, it will make you want to give it a try."

Leila J. Rupp, Interim Anne and Michael Towbes Graduate Dean and Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America

About the Author(s)

James T. Sears is an independent scholar focusing on Queer History. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Growing up Gay in the South; Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life, 19481968Behind the Mask of the Mattachine: The Hal Call Chronicles and the Early Movement for Homosexual Emancipation; and Rebels, Rubyfruit, and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South. A former Fulbright Scholar, he has taught at Trinity University, Indiana University, Harvard University, Penn State University, the University of South Carolina, and was a research fellow at the University of Queensland and the University of Southern California. He continues to lecture throughout the world.

This contest expired on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2024. Click here for other contests to enter.

Connect with us