The Association of (Gay) Suburban People

The time was March 1978; the setting was an American Legion Post in suburban Detroit; the event was a dance. An ordinary Saturday night in suburbia; yet not ordinary at all. The dance was sponsored by a gay organization, and it allowed the mostly closeted attendees to stake a discreet claim to public appearance — and to do so in a time of entrenched homophobia.

From the late ’70s to mid ’80s, in an era of entrenched homophobia, a group of gay suburbanites formed an organization that mixed pride and defiance, political rallies and Tupperware parties.




  • shannon-mattern-new2
  • Barbara Penner
  • Aaron Rothman
  • Despina Stratigakos

Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York.

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Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is the photo editor of Places, and an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos is a columnist for Places. She is an internationally recognized historian and professor in the architecture department at the University at Buffalo.

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