My Queer Voices of the South podcast co-host John Marszalek and I interviewed author Steven Capsuto about his fascinating book, Alternate Channels, and that interview is now available for listening on the New Books Network.
Alternate Channels explores the fight for lesbian and gay visibility on 20th-century American television, as gay activists faced off with powerful, often vicious “traditional values” crusaders, with TV executives caught in the crossfire.
It documents countless programs, characters, and political skirmishes, examining lesbian and gay portrayals and the few pioneering depictions of bisexual and trans people.
The first edition was a semifinalist for what is now the Stonewall Book Award and has been widely used in universities. This revised edition, fact-checked from scratch, reinstates material that the original publisher cut and adds about 100 photos of TV shows from the early days to the year 2000.
The author built this account of events from archival materials, a thousand broadcast recordings, and his interviews with showrunners, network and studio executives, and early activists.