Timmons, Stuart 1957-
Timmons, Stuart 1957-
Born 1957. Education: Attended college in Los Angeles, CA.
Journalist, researcher, and fiction writer.
The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement, Alyson (Boston, MA), 1990.
(With Lillian Faderman) Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to various periodicals, including L.A. Weekly and the Advocate.
Journalist and fiction writer Stuart Timmons is fascinated with the history of the Los Angeles area, where he has lived for more than thirty years. He is particularly interested in the role of Los Angeles in the gay movement, particularly since it receives far less attention than other cities known for their gay rights activism, such as San Francisco and New York. In Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians, which he wrote with Lillian Faderman, Timmons offers readers a detailed history of the role of homosexuals in the region, going back to long before Los Angeles existed as a city. He includes an array of intriguing facts, such as the existence of cross dressers in area Native American culture and legal cases on record from the late nineteenth century where men were prosecuted for so-called crimes against nature. Timmons also maintains that Los Angeles has been a forerunner in advancing gay lifestyles and culture. In an interview for Life and Times, Timmons explained: "Many organizations and institutions started in Los Angeles long before they were taken up in New York or San Francisco. The first gay organization that was a national gay rights group started in Los Angeles in 1951. It was called the Mattachine Society. Within ten years, there was a gay newspaper called One Magazine. It was distributed on newsstands all across the country." He went on to note that the first gay uprising was not the Stonewall riots in New York, but actually a riot in Los Angeles that took place a decade earlier.
A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the book "an exceptionally literate, overstuffed chronicle of gay Tinseltown," noting that the West Hollywood gay community plays a major role in Timmons's history. In a review for Booklist, contributor Whitney Scott commented: "This meticulously researched, very readable text merits a place in sociology, gender-studies, and urban-history collections." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that "while much gay history has centered on white gay men, the authors add important material about the vital role of lesbians and people of color." Whitney Strub, in a review for the Library Journal, concluded that "Faderman and Timmons make an irrefutable case for the importance of the city to queer history."
Timmons's earlier book, The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement, is a biography of the founder of the Mattachine Society, a gay organization that began in 1951 in Los Angeles. Harry Hay was an Englishman with a charismatic personality, and his goal was to debunk the stereotypes often associated with homosexuals, such as mental instabil- ity and perversion. According to Genevieve Stuttaford, reviewing for Publishers Weekly, Timmons has produced "a book written with a verve worthy of its subject."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2006, Whitney Scott, review of Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians, p. 9.
Choice, July, 1991, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement, p. 1751.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1990, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay, p. 1383; August 1, 2006, review of Gay L.A., p. 766.
Lambda Book Report, January, 1991, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay, p. 27; March, 1992, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay, p. 42.
Library Journal, September 1, 2006, Whitney Strub, review of Gay L.A., p. 166.
Publishers Weekly, October 5, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay, p. 84; July 24, 2006, review of Gay L.A., p. 45.
Small Press, December, 1990, review of The Trouble with Harry Hay, p. 41.
Los Angeles Times Online,http://www.latimes.com/ (November 5, 2006), Eloise Klein Healy, review of Gay L.A.
New York Blade Online,http://www.nyblade.com/ (November 27, 2006), Kathi Wolfe, "Discover Queer LA."
Washington Post Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (November 30, 2006), Charles Kaiser, "LA Confidential."