Laud Humphreys (19301988) was a pioneering and fearless sociologist, an Episcopal priest, and a civil rights, gay, and antiwar activist. In graduate school during the late 1960s, he conducted extensive fieldwork in public restrooms in a St. Louis city park to discover patterns of impersonal sex among men. He published the results in "Tearoom Trade." Three decades later the book still triggers many debates about the ethics of his research methods. In 1974, he was the first sociologist to come out as gay. "Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology" examines the groundbreaking work through the life of a complex man and the life of the man through his controversial work. It is an invaluable contribution to sociology and a fascinating record of a courageous life."
John F. Galliher is professor of sociology and direct of the Peace Studies Program at the University of MissouriColumbia. Wayne H. Brekhus is assistant professor of sociology at the University of MissouriColumbia. David P. Keys is assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New YorkPlattsburgh."