cover image And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality

And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality

Mark Segal. Akashic, $29.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-61775-410-4

Segal, the founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and former president of both National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild, provides an enticing frontline account of the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ people in the U.S. Segal is modest and, at times, even self-deprecating about his leading role in this historic fight, from the “zaps” he engineered in the ’70s (he infamously crashed Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News program in 1973) to the award-winning journalism he fostered at the helm of the Philadelphia Gay News. He describes a courageous and increasingly successful battle to oppose discrimination, raise visibility, and educate straight and cisgender people by putting a human face on LGBTQ communities. His optimistic viewpoint doesn’t gloss over the painful moments of that trajectory, either the personal humiliations and losses or broader devastation such as the AIDS epidemic, but the reader can clearly see how Segal’s fearless determination, cheerful tenacity, and refusal to attack his opponents made him a power broker in Philadelphia and a leading advocate on the national level. Segal fills his book with worthy stories, but the structure is uneven at times, and he sometimes awkwardly reintroduces people who appeared earlier as if readers are encountering them for the first time. What the book lacks in polish, it makes up in funny anecdotes and heart. Photos. (Oct.)