National Library of Medicine History Talk - Dr. Randall Sell, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”: Struggles and Stories to Be Heard for Today and Tomorrow”

Kenneth Koyle Announcement
United Kingdom
Subject Fields
Human Rights, American History / Studies, Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies

You are cordially invited to the next NLM History Talk, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”: Struggles and Stories to Be Heard for Today and Tomorrow,” to be held virtually on Thursday, June 8, at 2pm ET,

Join us to welcome our speaker Randall Sell, ScD—Professor, School of Public Health and Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University.

Starting with two documents in the archival collections of the NLM, Dr. Sell will examine how early sexual and gender minority (SGM) Americans worked to normalize the presence of SGMs in society. Ralph Werther (1874-?) hoped that his writings might render “nature’s step-children” lives more tolerable and he “offered no apology” for their publication. Specifically, he hoped to repeal laws under which SGMs were incarcerated, put a stop to a continuous string of murders of these stepchildren, and save “hundreds” of these “melancholy sexual intermediates from suicide.” In addition to these objectives, Allen Bernstein (1913-2008) gives further justification for his writings stating that “travelers returning from strange adventure in far ends of the world owe civilization a report.” But Werther and Bernstein struggled, often unsuccessfully, to get their writings published and into libraries such as the Army Medical Library, the predecessor institution of the NLM. In this talk, Dr. Sell will examine their struggles and stories, and those of other SGM writers, including those working today.

Participate in the Q&A via the live feedback interface of the videocast.

Individuals with disabilities who need other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time for coordination.

Visit Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM History of Medicine Division, to read our interview with Dr. Sell.

This free program, like all NLM History Talks, will be live-streamed globally, closed-captioned live, and subsequently archived in the NIH Videocast archive of History of Medicine programs.

 NLM History Talks promote awareness and use of NLM and related historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The series also supports the commitment of the NLM to recognize the diversity of its collections—which span ten centuries, encompass a range of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe—and to foreground the voices of people of color, women, and individuals of a variety of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds who value these collections and use them to advance their research, teaching, and learning. Learn more here.   

Contact Information

Kenneth M. Koyle

Deputy Chief, History of Medicine Division

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Contact Email