Reading between the lines for gay history in 19th century America

The Library Company of Philadelphia has launched, “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America.” The exhibition suggests early 19th century America contained a spectrum of same-sex relationships and gender identifications.

But the Library Company, located in the heart of Philadelphia “Gayborhood” at 13th and Locust, did not find a rainbow flag in its collection. The terms “gay” and “lesbian” didn’t have their modern meanings then.

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