The traditional narrative of suffrage history sanitized the lives of suffragists contributing to the historical erasure of the queer history of the movement. Yet, it was often their very queerness that helped propel the movement forward. In Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement, Wendy Rouse highlights the alliances that queer suffragists built and the innovative strategies they developed to protect and preserve their most intimate relationships as they defied the gender and sexual norms of their day. In this talk, Rouse explores the important role of queerness and queer suffragist in the fight for the vote.
Wendy L. Rouse is a Professor of History at San Jose State University. Her scholarly research focuses on the history of women, gender and sexuality during the Progressive Era. Rouse is also the author of Children of Chinatown: Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1880-1920 and Her Own Hero" The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement.