The traditional narrative of the women’s suffrage movement has presented a “respectable” version of suffrage history primarily focused on the prominent role of elite, cisgender, heterosexual white women in fighting for the vote. Scholars are currently challenging that narrative. The story of California suffragists Gail Laughlin and Dr. Mary Austin Sperry “queers” our understanding of suffrage history by revealing the ways that suffragists transgressed normative boundaries of gender and sexuality not only in their norm-defying gender expressions, but in their non-heteronormative domestic arrangements.

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