* D’Emilio earned his Bachelor’s (1970), Master’s (1972), and Doctoral degrees (1982) at Columbia University. His research interests include gay and lesbian studies; the history of sexuality; social movements; and U.S. history after 1945. His books are required reading at many schools, and he is often a keynote speaker at various academic gatherings. Among these was Smith College’s “Homeland Insecurity: Civil Liberties, Repression and Citizenship in the 1950s” event, where he warned that civil liberties are under assault in post-9/11 America.
* D’Emilio is a staunch proponent of pushing the “popular struggles” of the gay community both inside and outside the university. “Education must occur outside educational institutions,” he said. “Statewide organizations need to ask what they can do about teaching LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] history. Bars need to ask what they can display on their walls.”
* When D’Emilio in 2002 took a teaching job at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), he told The Chronicle: “There aren’t many jobs like this in the country. I turned down a position in history at UC-San Diego to come here. I was being hired by UIC to teach gay-and-lesbian studies and to build something. At UC [San Diego], gay-and-lesbian studies would have been an extracurricular thing.”
* Some of D’Emilio’s other publications include: “Making and Unmaking Minorities: The Tension between Gay History and Politics” (1986); “The Issue of Sexual Preference on College Campuses: Retrospect and Prospect” (1987); “The Homosexual Menace: The Politics of Sexuality in Cold War America” (1989); “Foreword to Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation” (1992); “Homophobia and the Trajectory of Postwar American Radicalism: The Case of Bayard Rustin” (1995); “Power at the Polls: The Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Vote” (1996); “Here to Stay: A Working Paper on Gay and Lesbian Family Issues” (1996); and “The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture” (2002).