Sexuality and Socialism

History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation

Sexuality and Socialism is a remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Inside are essays on the roots of LGBT oppression, the construction of sexual and gender identities, the history of the gay movement, and how to unite the oppressed and exploited to win sexual liberation for all. Sherry Wolf analyzes different theories about oppression—including those of Marxism, postmodernism, identity politics, and queer theory—and challenges myths about genes, gender, and sexuality.

About the author

Sherry Wolf is a public speaker, writer, and activist who is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review where she has written on U.S. imperialism, gender, sexuality, and the history of the Left. Wolf is also the author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation (Haymarket Books, named one of the Progressive’s “Favorite Books of 2009”). She blogs at


Grit TV interviews Sherry Wolf and fellow speakers at the October 11 National Equality March, Staceyann Chin and Aiyi'nah Ford

Sherry Wolf talks with KALW's Rose Aguilar about the movement for gay marriage that exploded after the 2008 presidential elections. This panel discussion was part of the Northern California Socialist Conference.

To watch Sherry Wolf's interview with Grit TV about the bullying of Olympian athlete Caster Semanyana, visit:


"Sexuality and Socialism is the most intelligent and enlightened discussion on sexuality to come from the Left in a long time. No other work that comes to my mind explains the history of sexuality and sexual repression in the United States as comprehensively and compellingly."
--Ron Jacobs, Dissident Voice

"Sherry Wolf: Lesbian, Activist, Communist & Badass-ist... spoke to a pre-National Equality March rally. She. Blew. It. Up.”
--Austin Chronicle

“Sherry speaks with such eloquence and plain common sense that I can't help but want to know more about her ideas and convictions.”
--Derek Washington, “In the LV” radio host, Director of LGBT Outreach, Clark County Democratic Black Caucus

“The icons of the new generation of activists are people like Lady Gaga, Dustin Lance Black, Judy Shephard, Lt. Daniel Choi (ret.) and Sherry Wolf (author of Sexuality and Socialism).”
--Don Gorton, Join the Impact Board Member

“‘WHAT HUMANS have constructed they can tear down.’ This is the powerful insight of this rare book that is at once politically important, theoretically and historically sophisticated, and clearly written. Sexuality and Socialism is enlivened in its engagement with a number of controversies, including those over the alleged biological determination of homosexuality, the myth of Black homophobia, and the consequences of postmodernist theories for the politics of gay liberation. Above all else, Wolf puts forward a cogent defense of the Marxist tradition—long and wrongly reviled as homophobic in itself—as a way to explain how LGBT oppression arose and what we can do to put it to bed.”
—Dana Cloud, University of Texas at Austin

"Into this moment comes Sherry Wolf’s Sexuality and Socialism, a manifesto of mobilization and equality that matches the challenges of the present with a far-reaching vision of social and sexual liberation inspired by the spirit of Stonewall and the sex-affirmative liberatory socialist tradition."
—Christopher Phelps, Ohio State University