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, race, and queer history.
His first book, Dying to Be Normal: Gay Martyrs and the Transformation of American Sexual Politics, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press (March 8, 2019). The book examines how secular gay activists used public mourning and memorialization as strategies to influence political debates over LGBT 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 LGBT politics have been oppositional and, instead, demonstrates how secular gay 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 1993 recommendations for sex education in America’s public schools that led to her forced resignation. He is also currently co-editing a book with Nora Rubel (University of Rochester) on the Jewish and queer themes in the television show Transparent.