Last updated on: 1/23/2012 | Author:

Jonathan Ned Katz Biography

Founder and Co-Director of
Con to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"

“It is particularly unsettling, I think, to speak of heterosexual history, for that history challenges our usual, implicit, deterministic assumption that heterosexuality is fixed, timeless, biological, synonymous with the conjunction of female male organs and acts. To the contrary, I argue, heterosexuality (like homosexuality) has an unheralded, various past, and an open, undetermined future… My social constructionist hypothesis does not, by the way, suggest that heterosexual or homosexual feelings are less real, profound, or legitimate because they are socially constructed, simply that they are not omnipresent, not a biological fate.”

“‘Homosexual’ and ‘Heterosexual’: Questioning the Terms,” A Queer World: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, Ed. Martin Duberman, 1997

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and Co-Director,, 2007-present
  • Curator, “The Pink and the Blue,” Yale University’s Sterling Library, 2004
  • Recipient, Yale University’s Brudner Prize, 2003
  • Taught a class on lesbian and gay history, Yale University, 2003
  • Recipient, The Magnus Hirschfeld Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Sex Research from the German Social-Scientific Sexuality Research, 1997
  • Taught a class on gay and lesbian history, New School for Social Research, 1991
  • Recipient, Writer-in-Residence grant, New York State Council on the Arts, 1985, 1984
  • Adjunct, Gay and Lesbian History, New York University, 1984
  • Positions in Development and Publications, Scholastic Inc., 1982-84
  • General Editor, Arno Press-New York Times reprint series on homosexuality, 1975
  • Founding Member, Gay Academic Union, 1973
  • Freelance Textile Designer, 1960-1972, 1976
  • Studied at the New School, 1961-62
  • Studied at the City College of New York, 1957-1960
  • Studied at Antioch College, 1956-57
  • Katz’s papers are collected by The Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library
  • In 2004, Katz returned to his childhood passion for art and began taking drawing classes. His work has been shown and sold in multiple art shows in New York.
  • Katz appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on May 5, 1997 to discuss sexual orientation following Oprah’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche.