In the wake of the distribution of shocking anti-gay flyers as Cleveland State University, author Ken Schneck offers a book that takes pride in Cleveland’s diversity.
Arcadia Publishing is set to release the latest book in their Images of Modern America series with LGBTQ Cleveland, coming to bookshelves on May 21. The book, written by Ken Schneck, Ph.D., takes a look at a span of almost 50 years. The result sounds like the pitch for a Hollywood blockbuster: a series of unforgettable characters united with one common goal — to fight for their rights and against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.
Featuring images of Cleveland from award-winning photographers and boasting celebrity appearances by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Joan Jett, and Billie Jean King, LGBTQ Cleveland captures scenes of the city coming together to combat the antigay agenda at candlelight vigils, events such as “Dancing in the Streets,” and even the 2014 Gay Games.
Schneck describes the book as “100 percent” Cleveland. And, while it is written in the spirit of the city’s infectious, can-do attitude, LGBTQ Cleveland also provides a full context of both the community’s trials and triumphs— and how they were received from various perspectives.
While the book like this certainly makes it clear that Cleveland has come a long way in terms of gay pride, certain relatively recent events would make it appear as though the LGBTQ community still has a long way to go in the Forest City. In October 2017, Cleveland State University experienced controversy when a student posted an unapproved poster promoting an anti-LGBTQ agenda (specifically encouraging members of the community to commit suicide).
Schneck aims to provide a wider context to events like this. “This book is all about the pause: providing the reader an opportunity to stop for a second and appreciate the history that has come before us even as we let past struggles and celebrations inform our current work,” Schneck said.
Schneck, who has also written Seriously…What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew (2017, 1984 Publishing) is also an associate professor of education and director of the Leadership in Higher Education program at Baldwin Wallace University. He teaches courses on anti-racism, ethical leadership, and working with communities to create a more engaged and equal world.
For over 10 years, Schneck had hosted and produced the award-winning radio show This Show is So Gay, on which he has interviewed over 500 notable LGBTQ and Ally figures. He is also a frequent contributor to publications such as The Huffington Post, Cleveland Magazine, and Prizm Magazine.
Last modified: May 17, 2019