Can you be homosexual without being gay? The story behind J. Bryan Lowder’s piece on the future of cruising, drag queens, and camp.

What Was Gay? Here’s How I Got the Story.

What Was Gay? Here’s How I Got the Story.

Slate Plus
Your all-access pass
May 12 2015 11:49 AM

“I Realized It Was Dishonest Not to Include Myself”

How do you tell the story of gayness? J. Bryan Lowder and his editor John Swansburg discuss.


Illustration by Charlie Powell.


Illustration by Charlie Powell

This story is part of a special Slate Plus feature package on “What Was Gay?” Be sure to check out the other Slate Plus exclusives related to this story, including a full audio version of the piece and “But What About the Lesbians?”—a closer look at the female perspective on gayness.

As a member of Slate Plus, you’ll get access to exclusive podcasts—including this conversation between J. Bryan Lowder, an associate editor at Slate and the author of “What Was Gay?” and Slate deputy editor John Swansburg, who edited his long-form piece.

In this behind-the-scenes podcast, Lowder chats about the origin of his piece, his decision to weave himself into the story, and what surprised him most about the history of gayness.

Feedback about today’s podcast? Let us know!

For more information on how to subscribe to the Slate Plus podcast feed, go here.