The Queer Lives of Early Moviegoing Girls

Lecture, All Ages
Advocate & Gochis Galleries at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

1125 N McCadden Pl
Los Angeles, 90038

Queer audiences have always existed, but the invention of Hollywood cinema in the early 1910s provided them with new avenues to express nonconforming gender, sexual, and social identities.

Drawing on her book A Queer Way of Feeling (University of California Press 2023), Diana Anselmo presents this 90-minute lecture and Q&A discussion which will explore the queer archives everyday female moviegoers crafted while growing up in the United States during WWI. Teeming with collages of cross-dressed actresses and gender-bending love poems, early fan-made documents cast light on the long history of non-normative young people turning to commercial media to articulate desires, identities, and feelings that colored outside social convention.


Diana W. Anselmo is a feminist film historian and queer immigrant. She is the author of A Queer Way of Feeling: Girl Fans and Personal Archives of Early Hollywood (UC Press 2023), and an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

This program is organized by Diana W. Anselmo as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute. This program is co-presented with the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

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