Stonewall Film Analysis

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Before Stonewall provides an historical overview of the development of the experiences of the LGBTQ community in the U.S. in the twentieth century, leading up to the police raid and riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. In the 1920s, gay people were very much present during the time of the prohibition in artist and dance communities, particularly in urban areas such as San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, New
Orleans’ French Quarter, and New York’s Harlem and Greenwich Village. They cruised at speak-easys and were frequently sexworkers. During this period, if one was found out, one was not accepted. It was common to be imprisoned or committed to a psychiatric institution if found out.
More broadly, gay and lesbian literature was produced to a
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During this time, gay bars in port cities also were

established. Considering lesbians during this period, employment for women increased higher than any previous period so it created a context in which lesbians gained a better sense of independence. Gay men and drag queens were used for entertainment, like in musicals, for entertainment purposes to promote the war effort.
In the ‘40s following the war, there was a trend of film showings at late night theaters that had gay overtones that was beginning of what turned into the gay genre within film. The first Kinsey Report was released in this decade that empirically revealed that gay men and lesbians represented a large segment of the population in the U.S.
Starting in the late ‘40s, U.S. state department employees were being fired for being gay or lesbian, suspected of having ties with communists in the context of the era known as
McCarthyism. Gay men and lesbians were widely perceived as Soviet spies, and when gay employees were tried, they were often coerced to incriminate others. An executive order was also drafted signed by former president Harry Truman that banned gay people from engaging in U.S. intelligence

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