St. Pauls Gay Bar: 1945

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St. Pauls Gay Bar: 1945

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Set 5, 2011, 5:56 pm

The Evening Crowd at Kirmser's

It is better. I just discovered this little book in the Library at the GLCC in Pittsburgh. It's a well written, poignant, memoir and history of gays in St. Paul, MN in the mid-1940s. Kirmser's is a straight bar by day and a gay bar at night where St. Pauls men and women can come together for a few hours to be themselves. If you don't have any idea what life for a gay man in the Midwest right after World War II, Brown paints a great portrait. The book tells a vivid story of the closeted, double lives gays and lesbians were forced to live during this time. This is Brown's autobiography but it's a great story of the time and place. In 2011, we really don't know how well we have it.

The introduction is written by Allan H. Spear. Until his retirement in 2000, he was the longest serving gay legislator in the US. He served in the Minnesota Senate for 28 years, starting in 1972.

This is a great companion books to Gay Bar: the fabulous, true story of a daring woman and her boys in the 1950s by Will Fellows and Helen P. Branson that came out in 2010. If you like Gay Bar you will definitely like this one. If you have any interest at all in gay history you will want to read both.