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Author Owen Keehnen talks about LGBTQ history in Chicago and the books he has written on the subject

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As a queer writer Owen Keehnen has had his fiction, essays, erotica, reviews, and interviews appear in dozens of LGBTQ magazines and anthologies world...

Дата загрузки:2022-02-02T11:55:14+0000

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As a queer writer Owen Keehnen has had his fiction, essays, erotica, reviews, and interviews appear in dozens of LGBTQ magazines and anthologies worldwide. His newest book, Voices in Isolation: 4 Queer Plays of Social Distance has recently been released. He is the author of the humorous gay coming-of-age novel Young Digby Swank. Additional fiction titles include the sweeping gay saga The Sand Bar, and the first-personal horror novel Doorway Unto Darkness about a serial killer. His novel The Matinee Idol is about the life, loves, and challenges of a gay actor in silent film era. Keehnen’s book, Love Underground, is a suspense filled gay love story set in 1962 at the Lawson YMCA, which is told in diary form. Night Visitors, his collection of short gay horror tales was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Owen Keehnen has also had an impact as a local LGBTQ grassroots historian. Along with Chicago publishing icon Tracy Baim, Keehnen co-authored three biographies of Chicago LGBTQ community pioneers. Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow, Jim Flint: The Boy From Peoria, and Vernita Gray: From Woodstock to the White House. Combined, these three works comprise a sweeping history of Chicago LGBTQ life from the 1960s to the present. Using the subject of each book as a vehicle for telling a larger story, Baim and Keehnen cover three distinct aspects of LGBTQ history in Chicago, the leather world, the drag scene, and the lesbian scene. Keehnen covered Chicago’s disco scene in the 1970s and 1980s in the biography, Dugan’s Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady. Owen was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2011.
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