Four years ago, CLAGS sponsored a conference on the state of gay and lesbian history. I was one of several presenters in a session on biography. None of us on the panel had consulted beforehand. But by the beginning of the third or fourth presentation, a common pattern had emerged, and the audience erupted with laughter. Each one of us had opened our remarks with a mixture of apology and denial: we each were not, we assured the audience, writing a biography!