Adrian Brooks


Adrian Brooks is an American writer and activist who's been the vanguard of progressive political, spiritual, and social movements since the 1960s. An international traveler, poet, performer, playwright, painter, and designer, he is also a novelist and nonfiction writer. Born in Philadelphia, Brooks was raised Quaker. After graduating Episcopal Academy in 1966 as an early hippie and anti-war protester, he attended the international Friends World Institute — a radical Quaker school intent on its students becoming nonviolent "agents of social change." In 1968 he volunteered for Martin Luther King in Washington, D.C. Following Dr. King's assassination, Brooks did field work in Mexico and East Africa before attending Woodstock in 1969, then went to India with the Friends World Institute. In the early 70s, he was active in New York's then radical SOHO Movement, then moved West where he became a prominent as one of the first gay liberation poets and as the scriptwriter and star performer of the legendary San Francisco "Angels of Light," an offshoot of the Cockettes. Brooks remains devoted to good works and activism to this day. He supports orphans and assists education in rural India and contributes to the Huffington Post as well as Lambda Literary. He lives in San Francisco.

The Right Side of History Review

"Written in straightforward and often bold language, The Right Side of History brings fresh concepts to a polarizing topic. Same-sex marriage has been approved, and demands for LBGTQI social reform have increased worldwide, but general understanding has lagged. This compilation will help. For those in the LBGTQI community, Brooks furnishes heritage, heroes, and a genuine hope for a better future." —VOYA Magazine, October 2015

"The Right Side of History is not an original work of historical scholarship. The essays, when they aren’t first-person pieces or interviews, rely on secondary sources for most of their historical claims. However, as I was reading it I thought of myself as a twelve-year-old, and how I likely would have benefited enormously from having a copy of The Right Side pressed into my hands as a birthday or Christmas gift. I was the sort of child who voraciously read young peoples’ biographical sketches of inspiring women of history (some of whom I now know were decidedly queer). This collection would have helped me see possibilities for myself in a similar way as those women-of-history collections did — helped me find language and historical context for longings I was just beginning to form. I suggest you consider this book for the queer, questioning, and just plain historically interested teenagers in your life; it’s never too early to start peering through the windows of the past and considering how and where you might fit yourself."