“With verve and a crisp, authoritative tone, the author sweeps readers through a history of civil rights campaigning in the 1970s, domestic partnership ordinances in the '80s, and the story of how AIDS and protest movements produced an unshakeable solidarity. Frank's strikingly detailed, essential reportage reminds readers of the gay community's enduring fight for equality.”Kirkus Reviews
Rolling Stone | Jun. 25, 2019 | In the spring of 1968, weeks before the start of her final year of life, Judy Garland met with a biographer to discuss collaborating on her memoir. The author, Gerold Frank, was a journalist well-known for ghostwriting the life stories of celebrity women, including Zsa Zsa Gabor. The meeting, arranged through Sid Luft, Judy’s manager and third ex-husband, was set for 10 p.m. at New York’s St. Moritz Hotel. But at the appointed hour, Frank and Luft, who were dining at the Plaza nearby, got word that the superstar needed more time.
WASHINGTON POST | JUN. 21, 2019 | This month’s 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the Greenwich Village uprising that launched the modern LGBT movement, was always going to be complicated. What may seem like a straightforward chance to celebrate LGBT progress actually masks a fault line that has divided our movement since its start: whether our goal is equality or liberation, a fight for the right to be treated like everyone else or the freedom to be authentically ourselves. Do we seek belonging in the world as it is (including the military, marriage and parenting) or the chance to transform the world, by throwing off repressive norms, into a place where all of us — queer and non-queer alike — can be more free?
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.