ARC Review: And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality


And Then I Danced by Mark Segal

Mark Segal is among those who were there at the beginning of the Gay Rights movement. Since Stonewall and his involvement in the founding of the Gay Liberation Front, Segal has been a lifelong activist for equal rights for LGBT people. This book is his memoir.

And Then I Danced takes us from Segal's childhood as a poor Jewish kid in the South Philly projects to his presence at the Stonewall riot and involvement in the rise of New York's Gay Liberation Front, and then to his return home to Philadelphia where he has been a primary mover in advancing the LGBT cause, and is the publisher of the Gay Philadelphia News. 

Along the way Segal was part of the Gay Raiders known for his "zaps" - targeted disruptive political actions designed to garner publicity and help educate the public about gay issues and concerns. The daring and visibility of their zaps increased quickly and gained national attention. Segal zapped The Tonight Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Today Show and finally, the CBS Evening News with Walter Kronkite. The network cut away when Segal ran into the studio while Kronkite was delivering his nightly report. Kronkite was so impressed with Segal's daring that, after the show resumed, he reported on the incident live. He questioned Segal later about why he'd done it, after which Kronkite began regularly including reports on gay issues and concerns on his nightly news broadcast. He and Segal ended up becoming friends.

I got the sense from this audiobook that Mark Segal is an easy guy to like. Though the book covers some serious topics (including AIDS in a segment I thought too short) the tone throughout is conversational, with Segal occasionally displaying a wry sense of humor. 

The other impression I came away with is that Segal is an accomplished politician, in the best sense of the word. He had to be in order to have accomplished all that he has in the big city environment of Philadelphia. Much of his later story is one of the struggle for gay rights as a local, political fight with national implications, and his political wins are impressive.

Originally published in 2015, the audiobook version was released yesterday. The audiobook is narrated by Adam Barr whose smooth voice compliments Mark's story well.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in understanding more about the struggle for LGBT equality, particularly from the political perspective. I rate Mark Segal's And Then I Danced Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

NOTE: My Advanced Reviewer's Copy of And Then I Danced was provided at no cost through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. The audiobook was published yesterday, August 16th by OrangeSky Audio.

And Then I Danced links:

📙  Borrow this book: Find out if your library has the ebook or audiobook available.

📘 Buy this audiobook: Amazon | | Scribd  

📗 Support Indie Bookstores: Find the audiobook at an Indie Bookstore near you.