A Queer Love Story presents the first fifteen years of letters between Jane Rule – novelist and the first widely recognized “public lesbian” in North America – and Rick Bébout, journalist and editor with the Toronto-based Body Politic, an important incubator of LGBT thought and activism. Rule lived in a remote rural community on Galiano Island in British Columbia but wrote a column for the magazine. Bébout resided in and was devoted to Toronto’s gay village. At turns poignant, scintillating, and incisive, their exchanges include ruminations on queer life and the writing life even as they document some of the most pressing LGBT issues of the ’80s and ’90s, including HIV/AIDs, censorship, and state policing of desire.
Marilyn R. Schuster was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Smith College and is the author of Passionate Communities: Reading Lesbian Resistance in Jane Rule’s Fiction.
It is a joy reading this correspondence that allows us to truly get to know these two powerhouses of contemporary LGBT history, and to see how they grew as people due to the exchange of ideas and experiences that they shared with each other.
It’s one of history’s all-time great queer love stories.
A Queer Love Story … encompasses a quintessential period for the queer community in Canada … What emerges is not merely an engaging portrait of two provocative thinkers, but a snapshot of a period in Canadian history that saw a seismic change in the lives and attitudes and ideas of the nation’s queer community.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to “watch” their friendship grow. I highly recommend A Queer Love Story.