Welcome to Fairyland

Queer Miami before 1940

By Julio Cap贸 Jr.

400 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 26 halftones, 2 maps, 1 table, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3520-0
    Published: November 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3519-4
    Published: November 2017
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-3521-7
    Published: October 2017
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5312-7
    Published: October 2017

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit Bookshop.org

Awards & distinctions

2018 Rembert Patrick Award, Florida Historical Society

2018 Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award, Florida Historical Society

2018 Stetson Kennedy Award, Florida Historical Society

Bronze Medal, 2017 Florida Book Awards, Florida Nonfiction

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, LGBTQ Studies

2018 Charles S. Sydnor Award, Southern Historical Association

Poised on the edge of the United States and at the center of a wider Caribbean world, today鈥檚 Miami is marketed as an international tourist hub that embraces gender and sexual difference. As Julio Cap贸 Jr. shows in this fascinating history, Miami鈥檚 transnational connections reveal that the city has been a queer borderland for over a century. In chronicling Miami鈥檚 queer past from its 1896 founding through 1940, Cap贸 shows the multifaceted ways gender and sexual renegades made the city their own.

Drawing from a multilingual archive, Cap贸 unearths the forgotten history of "fairyland," a marketing term crafted by boosters that held multiple meanings for different groups of people. In viewing Miami as a contested colonial space, he turns our attention to migrants and immigrants, tourism, and trade to and from the Caribbean--particularly the Bahamas, Cuba, and Haiti--to expand the geographic and methodological parameters of urban and queer history. Recovering the world of Miami鈥檚 old saloons, brothels, immigration checkpoints, borders, nightclubs, bars, and cruising sites, Cap贸 makes clear how critical gender and sexual transgression is to understanding the city and the broader region in all its fullness.

About the Author

Julio Cap贸 Jr. is associate professor of history at Florida International University.
For more information about Julio Cap贸 Jr., visit the Author Page.


鈥淔or any history buff, Cap贸鈥檚 book is truly a gem that sheds a lot of light on an era in [Florida] that gets little notoriety outside of the gay media circuit.鈥濃South Florida Gay News

鈥淕rapples with important questions such as under what historical circumstances norms get shaped, bifurcated, and become hegemonic. Cap贸 Jr.鈥檚 work is an extraordinary contribution that offers innovative ways for understanding the role of gender and sexuality in shaping the social, cultural, and urban landscape of Miami.鈥濃Black Perspectives

Welcome to Fairyland聽eschews the earlier scholarly impulse in lesbian and gay studies to produce histories of same-sex desire and community-building without grappling with how gender, race, and class inequities structured differential access to spaces of leisure and transgression where those formations might have emerged.鈥濃Los Angeles Review of Books

鈥淥ne of the most innovative and important recent works in LGBT history. Cap贸 has uncovered astonishing finds that recover the remarkable past of a city that too many people believe has no history to speak of.鈥濃Gay & Lesbian Review

鈥淒emonstrates the centrality of queer and transnational analysis to understanding the 'instant city' of Miami and provides an important model for future scholarship in queer, urban, and southern histories.鈥濃Journal of Southern History

鈥淭his engaging and densely researched book stretches the very idea of what queer history can be. . . . A wide-reaching and provocative volume that makes clear how the histories of sexuality and gender are interwoven with and informed by the histories of race, class, and empire.鈥 鈥Canadian Journal of History