About Mary Ann

Dessert First

 

I am an author, researcher, historian, archivist, yoga therapist; sometimes all in the same day. It’s a freelance life with long-term assignments. In addition to my own spec work, I still accept collaboration efforts.

 

It was nothing personal. The year 2020 sucked for everyone. Then the following year sucked too mostly because it had touched 2020.

 

That’s all behind us now. Since May of 2020, the historical biography, MORRIS KIGHT, HUMANIST, LIBERATIONIST, FANTABULIST: A Story of Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs (Process Media/Feral House) has been on store shelves, home bookshelves, on coffee tables, in coffee shops, libraries, backpacks. It’s been to beaches, parks, prisons, and on vacations. It continues to be well-received and the love is palpable. It is still available.

Mary Ann Cherry
2019 | photo Don Saban

Any day, the Morris Kight biography could be banned in Florida and a dozen other states. I secretly get a kick out of that, but it also concerns me. And there you have another good reason to buy books.

 

As before, so it is after the pandemic. I continue to be of service and will show up when invited. I’ve been adding more book readings and multi-media presentations to my schedule. My diverse professional background is best summed up here.

 

After years of research and combing through different archives, lately I’ve been on the other side of the research desk. I created a digital archive of an international social services agency, AIDS Healthcare Foundation. In 2018, I coordinated and facilitated the donation of the Janet Cunningham Papers, a significant addition to the Punk Archive at UCLA Special Collections. Later that same year, I coordinated and facilitated the donation of the Henry W. Peck Collection to ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

 

In March 2022, ONE Archives accepted a collection of handwritten notes and files and over 10 GB of digital files, mostly consisting of research that I did on Morris Kight in addition to adjunct projects that include scripts, photographs and videos. Once this material is processed, a detailed description of the Mary Ann Cherry Collection will be available here.

 

Probably the most important lesson that I learned from the quarantine is to have dessert first when the mood strikes. 

 

As before, I am still a skilled and certified yoga therapist. My specialty is helping others with challenging conditions (i.e., neurological, adult developmental disabilities, and ageing) through private and semi-private sessions. My understanding of Ayurvedic principles while respecting Western counterparts continues to evolve. My personal practice is an ongoing refinement of my experience of this incredible teaching where science meets art.

 

That’s enough from me for today. There’s always more where that came from so stop back soon and check the blog.

 

Please drop a line include a few words. It’s always nice to hear from you.

 

-Mary Ann

We buy books because we believe we’re buying the time to read them. 

~Warren Zevon

"Morris Kight: Humanist, Liberationist, Fantabulist – A Story of Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs" is to L.A. what Randy Shilts’s The Mayor of Castro Street was to San Francisco.

…Cherry paints a fascinating picture of Morris’ efforts to put his sex-positive, leftist principles into action… She also doesn’t flinch from looking into the darker, sadder corners of Kight’s life.

Just in time for LGBTQ Pride Month, check out Mary Ann Cherry’s bio of gay-rights trailblazer Morris Kight, whose work led to the American Psychiatric Association removing homsexuality [sic] as a disease, anti-violence progress for LGBTQ people and other advances.

Morris deserves this book and the LGBTQ community owes Mary Ann a debt of gratitude for adding such an important, serious contribution to LGBTQ history.

… when more books are written, Cherry’s will certainly remain an invaluable resource. It’s a must-read.

There is so much information here which is beautifully written, that the book is a pleasure as well as an important addition to the LGBTQ canon. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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