Gayism In Stonewall

875 Words 4 Pages
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
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But by 1935, all references to homosexuality was banned in film. In the 1930s, Magnus Hirschfield, a
German sexologist who toured the U.S., advanced developments of transsexual medicine as well as social recognition of trans people, though this language wasn’t used during that time, but was squashed after the rise of the NAZI party in Germany. During World War
II, gay men and lesbians played a large role with serving in the military.To some extent, they were open as gay or lesbian, but were tolerated at this time, not accepted, because of the need for labor for the war effort. 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
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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 operations.
In the ‘50s, one difficult thing to navigate for gay men and lesbians was the social pressure to marry into heterosexuality and to bear children, as that was a normalized lifestyle and anything that strayed from that was coded as pathological. Also, in the ‘50s, the first gay organization, known as the Mattachine Society was founded by a small group of gay men in L.A. such as Harry Hay and Chuck Rowland. The group focused on sponsoring discussion groups and fighting police entrapment, as it was a repressive time for gay people within the political atmosphere of McCarthyism. During this decade, the first gay magazines were established like the Mattachine Review and One. In 1955, Del
Martin and Phyllis Lyon formed Daughters of Bilitis, a women’s organization whose

primary goal was to educate and outreach to their members and the general public

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