Collections by Michelle Brown WSG LGBTQ Historian Dr. Tim Retzloff


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Dr. Tim Retzloff graduated from the University of Michigan in 2006 before getting his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2014. He teaches LGBTQ studies and U.S. history at Michigan State University. His engagement with U-M’s LGBTQ past began while a student at UM-Flint when a political science professor asked him to write a history appendix of LGBTQ history in Michigan. Retzloff authored the history appendix for the 1991 study commonly known as The Lavender Report. The Tim Retzloff oral history interviews (1993-2012) consist of over eighty oral histories conducted by Retzloff with members of Detroit's LGBTQ community to further his knowledge of what LGBT life was like between 1945 and 1985. His first book is based on these interviews. His research on queer life in Michigan has appeared in the journal GLQ, the collection Making Suburbia, Between the Lines Newspaper and the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves. Speaking from the perspective of an LGBTQ professor, Retzloff recently participated in a panel in honor of its sesquicentennial at Wayne State University. Retzloff believes “There’s a lot of LGBBTQ history that’s not known because we haven’t pursued and asked people their stories, “For him, one of the purposes of panels like the one at Wayne State University is to share those stories so that we know them and, while we can, we get them firsthand.”

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