In this episode, we hear from Timothy Stewart-Winter, an Associate Professor at Rutgers University with a background studying sexuality and incarceration. Stewart-Winter wrote the book “Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics” and co-directs the Queer Newark Oral History Project. In this episode, they speak about the policing of sexuality and some of its consequences, beginning with the 1990s and the rise of sex offender registries. Last week, we heard from Joe, who lives with the stigma of being on a sex offender registry after spending time inside. Now, we trace the laws that led to this impact for the 900,000 people in the United States on state sex offender registries. They also talk about the case of the New Jersey Four: a group of queer women of color who were assaulted in New York City in 2003, and how they were put on trial for their own self-defense. In speaking with both Joe and Stewart-Winter, it becomes clear just how disproportionately sex offense laws are used against queers and people of color.
We then end with the last part of a conversation between Micol and Joe. Joe was at the center of last week’s episode, when he talked about his experiences outside after doing time for a sex offense conviction, and his dilemma surrounding his need to apologize to the victim in his case.