Would you be interested in a brief narrative of the details of [a graduate school of education] kicking me out, ejecting me, requesting I stop attending as a part-time student and future Ed.D. candidate around the end of November, 1947?

So begins a letter we received from a man who said that he was asked to leave a graduate program in education because of his homosexuality. Such dismissals made on the basis sexual orientation occurred in many different areas of U.S. society during the immediate post–World War II era.1 Consequently, the publication of this Special Issue on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Education by the Harvard Educational Review, a journal connected with a prestigious university and with a long and respected scholarly tradition, resonates with symbolic power. Indeed, the subject has moved from "closet to cover" over the last fifty years — from a hidden topic talked about behind closed doors (if at all) to the front cover and central focus of this Special Issue.

We received the above letter, as well as 124 original manuscripts, in response to our call for papers about lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, and education. This tremendous response amazed, impressed, and overwhelmed us. It made evident the sociosexual transformations that have been occurring in the United States over the past twenty-five years. This response also validated our view that a growing body of knowledge is being developed in lesbian and gay studies, and that societal changes in the perceptions and experiences of sexuality have left many people with reflections, research, and ideas to share.

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