Reading up on a new LGBT encyclopedia
Lesbian News is glad that there’s a new LGBT encyclopedia coming out courtesy of academic publisher Gale. We firmly believe in always learning something new about the history of the LGBT community.
After all, there’s still so much we don’t know about our own history that’s been overshadowed by mainstream history– even as universities and online repositories work towards alleviating this lack.
LGBT encyclopedia: Focuses on the global history
This new encyclopedia, “Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History,” will focus on– as the title states– on the global history of the LGBT people.
The publisher claims that this will be “the first international, authoritative and academically rigorous reference title” that focuses solely on LGBT history.
Currently, this encyclopedia is composed of three volumes or 1,800 pages and 383 entries of LGBT history. These range from prominent figures to events around the world.
Likewise, topics range from activism, art, literature, film, health, and sociology from nearly 70 countries.
Encyclopedia editor Howard Chiang explained that the editorial board had recruited experts from different world regions to ensure transnational topical coverage.
“Gale created the Global Encyclopedia of LGBTQ History to address the lack of academic, international LGBTQ content available for libraries and researchers,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale.
“While other reference titles exist on LGBTQ topics, this new encyclopedia is the first authoritative academic resource that truly provides a global perspective on LGBTQ history,” Gazzolo added.
Looking for information in an LGBT encyclopedia
Of course, there are other types of encyclopedia focusing on the LGBT community around, ranging from compilations of universities to the the online encyclopedia WikiQueer in 2012.
However, as Samantha Allen wrote in 2017 in The Daily Beast when digging into the three-volume “SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies”: “We know so much already about the LGBT community. But there’s even more that we don’t know.”
Allen noted that there was a lot of information one can gain from these as “even after almost a decade of studying and writing about LGBT issues, I was surprised by what I found” in these fonts of information.
But despite the vast amount of knowledge in the SAGE encyclopedia, she said there were still limits to the available information, from the transgender people in the military to older bisexual people.
Allen wrote: “More often than I would have liked, I ran up against these roadblocks as I tried to sate my curiosity. I counted about 40 instances alone of the phrase ‘little research’.”
Encyclopedia editor and Clark University psychology professor Abbie Goldberg noted the importance of these sources of information.
Goldberg said: “Researchers from numerous disciplines have turned to, or intensified their focus on, LGBTQ issues; this research, in turn, has been used to inform key political and legislative decisions, such as the recent US marriage equality decision.”