"An amazing story filled with compelling figures and many triumphs and setbacks. Frank tells the story masterfully in beautiful prose that made this book impossible to put down, even though I already knew the ending."

Erwin Chemerinsky

University of California, Irvine School of Law

LATEST ARTICLES

A Gay Inmate’s Last Chance, and the Weight of History

April 10, 2019

MEDIUM | Nathaniel Frank | Apr. 10, 2019 | In 1974, a lonely 17-year-old boy named Charles Rhines, who lived in a small town in South Dakota, joined the Army. Rhines had grown up closeted, and probably autistic, in rural America, and like many gay boys of that era, he hoped military service would prove his manhood and give him somewhere to belong. Instead, just months after enlisting, and days after a playful twirl in the barracks appeared to rile up a fellow soldier who accused him of showing off his back side, Rhines was struck from behind while in an open bay shower. He was hit so hard his forehead bounced off the hard tile wall and he fell to the ground. Through the mental fog appeared his accuser and three other soldiers, who held him down and took turns anally raping him.

The military's new transgender policy is a ban, no matter how the Pentagon spins it

March 20, 2019

Los Angeles Times | Mar. 20, 2019 | The Pentagon last week released its latest policy memo on transgender military service, an effort to bring President Trump’s tweeted ban in line with court rulings that had blocked the administration from implementing it. There are numerous problems with the policy, but one, in particular, ought to bring the entire edifice tumbling down: It is based on the wholly deceptive claim that allowing transgender individuals to serve would mean giving them “special accommodations” — a reprise of the religious right’s strategy of opposing gay rights by calling equal rights “special rights.”

Trump’s Shutdown Is a Historic Opportunity for Democrats

January 16, 2019

SLATE | Jan. 16, 2019 | With Democrats now in charge of the House of Representatives, and the country nearing a fifth week of the disastrous Trump shutdown, progressives are beginning to feel new momentum. But while Democrats may be poised to win the short-term political argument over the shutdown, the pain and suffering it has inflicted are part of a long-term right-wing strategy that’s older and broader than many people realize. That strategy involved a decades-long campaign to turn everything from the courts to the Congress to the country’s overall cultural character sharply rightward by stigmatizing forms of collective action—government, unions, even voting—that history shows are necessary counterweights to the greed of the powerful.