B.A., Emory University
Ph.D., Temple University
Brett Krutzsch is a scholar of religion in the United States with a particular focus on issues of sexuality, politics, and queer history. His first book, Dying to Be Normal: Gay Martyrs and the Transformation of American Sexual Politics, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2019. The book examines how secular LGBTQ activists used public mourning and memorialization as strategies to influence political debates over LGBTQ rights, encourage assimilation, and achieve social acceptance. The book focuses on the memorialization of Matthew Shepard, Harvey Milk, Tyler Clementi, Brandon Teena, and F. C. Martinez, campaigns like the It Gets Better Project, and national tragedies like the Pulse nightclub shooting. Throughout, Krutzsch counters the common perception that religion and LGBTQ politics have been oppositional and, instead, demonstrates how secular activists used religion to bolster the argument that gays are essentially the same as straights and, therefore, deserving of equal rights.
Dr. Krutzsch’s newest research examines religious, racial, and queer communal responses to Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders’s recommendations for sex education in America’s public schools that led to her forced resignation in 1993. He is also co-authoring a book chapter with Samira Mehta that compares institutional Jewish responses to interfaith marriage with same-sex marriage. And, he is co-editing a book with Nora Rubel (University of Rochester) on the Jewish and queer themes in the television show Transparent.