And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality
A] swiftly written debut memoir... Segal] vividly describes his firsthand experience as a teenager inside the Stonewall bar during the historic riots, his participation with the Gay Liberation Front, and amusing encounters with Elton John and Patti LaBelle....A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement's true pioneers.
With great verve and spirit, Segal has rendered a lively and dramatic memoir of the early days of the gay rights struggle; the infighting over strategies and objectives; the long, hard road of progress; and a look at the challenges still ahead.
The reader can clearly see how Segal's fearless determination, cheerful tenacity, and refusal to attack his opponents made him a power broker in Philadelphia and a leading advocate on the national level. Segal fills his book with worthy stories...funny anecdotes and heart.
The stories are interesting, unexpected, and witty.
Activist Mark Segal who was present at Stonewall and later went on to found the Philadelphia Gay News was a featured judge at Miss'd America and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award the night of the pageant. In his new Memoir And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality, he writes about how he was kicked off a television show in the 1970s called Summertime on the Pier because he was dancing with another man, but four decades later, he cut a rug with his husband Jason Villemez while the Marine Corps Band played Barbra Streisand at the White House's first ever Gay Pride reception hosted by President Obama.
A historic memoir, chronicling Mark's] life in the LGBT political scene in Philadelphia....Segal also presents his personal and family life in a warm, engaging matter and this writing extends to his interactions with public figures.
--Huffington Post, Living History: Three Books to Find Yourself In
Much this book focuses on his work, but the more telling pages are filled with love gained and lost, raising other people's children, finding himself, and aging in the gay community. A must-read.
--The Advocate, 30 Best Books You Missed in 2015
Read about Stonewall from someone who was there: Segal moved to New York just in time to participate in the movement, and began a long and storied career as an activist during the riots.
--New York Public Library, included in the Love & Resistance: LGBTQ Memoirs list
A conversational, nicely constructed combination autobiography and history lesson that recounts Segal's contribution to LGBT activism, from his early days as a member of the Gay Liberation Front in New York to his stewardship of a successful weekly newspaper.
On December 11, 1973, Mark Segal disrupted a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News when he sat on the desk directly between the camera and news anchor Walter Cronkite, yelling, Gays protest CBS prejudice He was wrestled to the studio floor by the stagehands on live national television, thus ending LGBT invisibility. But this one victory left many more battles to fight, and creativity was required to find a way to challenge stereotypes surrounding the LGBT community. Mark Segal's job, as he saw it, was to show the nation who gay people are: our sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers.
Because of activists like Mark Segal, whose life work is dramatically detailed in this poignant and important memoir, today there are openly LGBT people working in the White House and throughout corporate America. An entire community of gay world citizens is now finding the voice that they need to become visible.
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About the Author
Mark Segal has established a reputation as the dean of American gay journalism over the past five decades. From the Stonewall demonstrations in 1969 to founding the Philadelphia Gay News in 1975, along with his more recent forays into TV and politics, his proven commitment as a tireless LGBT advocate has made him a force to be reckoned with. Respected by his peers for pioneering the idea of local LGBT newspapers, he is one of the founders and former president of both the National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. Segal was recently inducted into the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association's Hall of Fame and was appointed a member of the Comcast/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Board, where he advises the entertainment giant on LGBT issues. He is also president of the dmhFund, though which he builds affordable LGBT-friendly housing for seniors. He lives in Philadelphia.
"Segal's writing style is engrossing and never ponderous...And Then I Danced is highly recommended for all LGBT history collections and especially for readers with interest in Pennsylvania/Philadelphia politics."
--ALA's GLBT Round Table
"Segal's book has been described as part autobiography, part history lesson. He grounds the history with a moving glimpse into the lives of his struggling but dignified, and, in their own modest way, heroic parents. The historical sections recount Segal's clever interventions to save America from its addiction to hate, and to empower straight and gay allies who were ready and eager to help but were just waiting for an opening...Time and again, Segal found a way to provide that opening in the vast wall of silence."
"Fascinating and instructive...And Then I Danced is a flowing read across decades of incidents and strategies leading to today's remarkable degree of GBLTQ inclusion...Mark Segal takes 'Yes we can!' to the level of 'Yes we did!'"
--Philadelphia Jewish Voice
"With gentle humor and the slightest touch of sardonicism, Segal writes further about people he's known, his newspaper and a different kind of activism. That in-the-trenches stuff is great to read, partly because his narrative is indicative of the times in which it all happened...Segal lets readers into his personal life: his loves, losses, and (spoiler alert!) a very happy ending. Drama seems to follow me, he writes, and readers will be glad for it."
"Mark Segal made national news on December 11, 1973 when he interrupted a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News by yelling 'Gays protest CBS prejudice!' at none other than Walter Cronkite. He was wrestled to the floor on live national television, an incident often credited as the beginning of the end of LGBTQ invisibility. In his new memoir, Segal looks back on that defining moment in history, as well as the many battles that followed."
"Mark Segal is living proof that each and every one of us has the power to create tremendous change...He has made America a better place for everyone in the LGBT community."
"Mark Segal is one of the major actors in the struggle for LGBT equality in the U.S...A life as eventful as Segal's demands that a book be written about it."
--South Florida Gay News
"One of the most involving, can't-put-it-down chronicles of the post-Stonewall LGBT movement yet penned."
--Gay City News
"The book's title, And Then I Danced, suggests the closing of a circle. Forty years after he got kicked off Ed Hurst's Summertime on the Pier TV show for dancing with another guy, Segal and his newlywed husband, Jason Villemez, danced at President Obama's White House to the U.S. Marine Corps band. For insider Segal, it will not be the last dance."
"Segal's refreshing, optimistic prose reflects the author's worldview...His first-hand accounts are memorable, particularly his description of his teenage self, new to New York, inside the Stonewall bar during the 1969 riots. Historic; eminently readable."
"One of the most well-respected voices in LGBT journalism and activism, Philadelphia Gay News' Mark Segal tells the story of his journey."
"Philadelphia has become one of the most popular gay tourist destinations in the United States. Mark Segal, a key player in the city's LGBT community, and a powerful national influencer for over four decades, recounts his life as an advocate in a new memoir."
"Because of activists like Mark Segal, whose life work is dramatically detailed in this poignant and important memoir, today there are openly LGBT people working in the White House and throughout corporate America."
--Philly Chit Chat
"The 320-page book takes readers from Segal's meager beginnings in a Philadelphia housing project to his pinnacle of dancing with his husband in the White House."
--The Bay Area Reporter
"From his burgeoning coming out--beginning with a childhood pull to the Sears Roebuck male models--Segal's story is as much a commentary on the times as it is on his own experience."
--Erie Gay News
"Like other nonviolent protesters before him, Mark wasn't content with sitting back and waiting for things to change. He knew people were suffering and the status quo needed to change quickly. The poor kid from Philadelphia became a hero to the LGBT community and to all of us who despise injustice."
--Philadelphia Business Journal
"This fall, two of the most well-known writers and publishers in LGBT media have published books that look at some of the stories behind the story. And these two books are likely become required reading for anyone who is a student of history and anyone who just wants to know more about the road to equality...Mark Segal, founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, has put pen to paper to chronicle his own life, from his childhood 'on the wrong side of the tracks' in Philadelphia, to his presence at the Stonewall Inn in New York that fateful night in June, 1969, to his current efforts in politics and activism."
"Truly amazing--a walk through gay history by an individual who delivers a first-hand account of events."
"I have read about Segal in other places but nothing is like reading about it as he tells it...Because of Segal and others we have openly LGBT people working in the White House and throughout corporate America. He has helped make it possible for an entire community of gay world citizens to finding the voice that they need to become visible."
--Reviews by Amos Lassen
"In this memoir we see the inside story of how the battle of LGBT civil rights was played and won. It is a compelling story told by someone who is at the forefront of the fight and who deserves substantial credit for its victories."
--Governor Ed Rendell
"Mark Segal's work for LGBT equality is historic and significant. The fact that he is still connecting our community is a testament to the passion which he shares in this memoir."
--Billie Jean King
"Read Mark Segal's memoir and you'll get the inside story of how and why he interrupted a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. What happened afterward will surprise you. It's one of many surprises in this must-read first-person account of LGBT history as it unfolded after Stonewall. Segal was a witness to that history, and he made some of it happen, changing our country and our lives for the better."
--Louis Wiley Jr., executive editor, Frontline (PBS)
"Mark Segal's approach to his considerable accomplishments is a classic example of the best in American boosterism. His optimism, zeal, and perseverance have served our community well."
--Don Michaels, former publisher of the Washington Blade
"And Then I Danced is a fascinating page-turner that prompted my tears, laughter, envy, and astonishment--but most of all left me feeling very proud of what our community has accomplished and grateful to Mark for sharing his intimate memoir. While there are many who have witnessed the extraordinary history of the LGBT community, few have played as major a role in creating it as has Mark. It is no exaggeration to say that there is no person alive today who has been a more central participant in as much of the contemporary LGBT rights struggle than Mark Segal."
--Sean Strub, author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival
"Mark Segal has for decades been a pathfinder for LGBT journalists of all stripes. We're indebted to him for his years of radical activism, helping to foster a movement for change that has had a dramatic and positive impact for millions."
--Michelangelo Signorile, author of It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality
"Real change never comes without real guts and real vision and real leaders. Mark Segal is the real deal."
--Robert Moore, cofounder of Dallas Voice
"Mark Segal's ideas run from the alpha to the omega. Sometimes I think there's got to be more than one Mark Segal: he has done way too much for one lifetime. I highly recommend this book. If you can't get to meet Mark in person, this is the next best thing!"
--Michael Luongo, author of Gay Travels in the Muslim World
"Before there was Ellen, Will, Grace, Rosie, Andy, and Anderson, Mark Segal was the squeaky gay wheel of American television, pulling stunts that forced the medium to open its closet door. If Walter Cronkite were still alive, he'd say: Not HIM again! And that's the way it is. And was. Read all about it."
--Bruce Vilanch, Six-Time Emmy Award Winner
"Mark Segal has taken the LGBT aging world by storm, and in the process has made a remarkable difference for our community's courageous pioneers. We've all learned so much from him."
--Michael Adams, executive director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders
"Mark Segal has been a courageous and eloquent leader of the LGBT community and cause for longer than many lifetimes. His efforts have indisputably changed important elements of broad public importance--a permanent mark on the world. His life story is as compelling as it is important, and this rendering of it is as delightful as it is provocative."
--Michael Pakenham, former editor of the New York Daily News