Jeff Auer: Main Page
I'm a public historian and a fourth year PhD student in the History Department at the University of Nevada at Reno. I received my B.S. degree from the University of Southern California and my M.A. degree in American Studies from California State University Fullerton, where I wrote my thesis on the 1970s gender bending movement, Glitter Rock. My research interests are Post-War American History, Post-War Nevada History and GLBT History.
My current research focuses on tying together several different, important strands of GLBT life in Post World War II America.
The overall theme of my work, which all these tie into, is popular aspects of gay life from 1945 through the present. As time goes on, I plan on expanding these articles as I find new information. All of it is important to gay people (and straight) as it shows how things have not only changed for gay people over time, but how certain aspects of gay life have evolved into the mainstream.
I originally was drawn to OutHistory.org as a participant in the Since Stonewall contest. It was here that I posted my first entry on a history of gay Reno.
My first focus of writing is Gay Bathhouses. I wrote a piece in the May/June 2008 issue of Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide on the history of gay bathhouses and the most notorious one of all, the Continental Baths. See: Jeff Auer, "Bette at the Bathhouse", Gay & Lesbian Review, May - June 2008, Volume 15, Issue 3, page 59.
Gay Clothing Stores
Another research interest for me is the emergence of the Gay Clothing Store in U.S. cities starting in the 1960s. One way that gay men fought against mainstream society was by cloaking themselves in the most outrageous forms of fashion and wearing them at a time when America was still living under the stifiling norms of Cold War era society.
A huge aspect of gay life in the Post-War era starts in 1970 with Gay Discos. Much has been written about straight discos but little comprehensive work has been done on gay ones.
Gay Male Beauty Contests
An aspect of U.S. GLBT life that appears in the 1960s that my research has led me to is the male beauty contest. The first of these contests to become hugely successful was the Groovy guy contest in Los Angeles. The next one was the Mr. David Contest.