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The Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian; Gay; Bisexual; Transgender; and Queer (LGBTQ) History is the product of two years of focused labor by hundreds of researchers and editors. The ambitious three-volume set; composed of nearly 450 commissioned articles and sidebars; reflects how the field of LGBTQ studies has engaged with social campaigns for equality; freedom; justice and liberation worldwide since the 1970s.That queer experience can be located across diverse regional; national and global contexts and at different points in time is perhaps the most ordinary feature of human existence. The editorial board was thus tasked with adding intellectual rigor; political color; cultural vibrancy and social relevance to this seemingly mundane observation. Initially conceived as a global companion to Scribner___s Encyclopedia of Lesbian; Gay; Bisexual; and Transgender History in America (2004); the Global Encyclopedia of LGBTQ History quickly became a different kind of intellectual pursuit. While interest in the historical experience of gender and sexual minorities remains the same; the question of how to translate that impetus into a reference guide meaningful on a planetary scale necessitated a rethinking of the key terms captured in the new title. In this rethinking; the conceptual polarity between rigidity and elasticity marks a recurring theme in the way that the editors maneuvered the interest of the different stakeholders for whom LGBTQ historical knowledge matters most.