What role did America’s newspaper advice columnists play in shaping and forming societal attitudes toward LGBTQ people throughout the 20th century? They served the dual function of offering advice and satisfying the curious. They also often provided the first mention of homosexuality outside of newspaper crime blotters. More than 100 million readers regularly read the columns.
This book chronicles some of the most popular and widely circulated newspaper columns between the 1930s and 2000, including Ann Landers, Dear Abby, Helen Help Us!, Dr. Joyce Brothers, The Worry Clinic, Dear Meg, Ask Beth, and Savage Love. It examines the function of these columns regarding the place of LGBTQ people in America and what role they played in forming a public opinion. From these columns, we learn not only the framework of how straight Americans understood their homosexual brethren, but also how attitudes and feelings continued to evolve.