Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

In and Out of the Closet: The Queer History of Homosexuality in America.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "In and Out of the Closet: The Queer History of Homosexuality in America."— Presentation transcript:

1 In and Out of the Closet: The Queer History of Homosexuality in America

2 I. Gay New York A. The Myth of the Closet Image of homosexual life before Stonewall (1969) full of myths and misunderstandings

3 1. Myth of Isolation Gays forced to live solitary lives in constant fear of oppression and anti-gay sentiment Gays forced to live solitary lives in constant fear of oppression and anti-gay sentiment Vigilantes Vigilantes Harassment Harassment Laws Laws

4 Reality Yes, but laws enforced irregularly, most people viewed homosexuality with indifference or curiosity Drag Balls: open, crowded

5 2. Myth of Invisibility Even if a gay world existed, it was kept hidden and difficult to find Even if a gay world existed, it was kept hidden and difficult to find

6 Reality Homosexual enclaves were a tourist attraction in New York until the 1930s Homosexual enclaves were a tourist attraction in New York until the 1930s

7 Gay Enclaves

8 Greenwich Village

9 Ways of Identifying Each Other: Code Words and Dress

10 3. Myth of Internalization Gays internalized and accepted the public’s view of them as sick, perverted, and immoral, and this self-hatred led them to accept abuse rather than resist it Gays internalized and accepted the public’s view of them as sick, perverted, and immoral, and this self-hatred led them to accept abuse rather than resist it

11 Reality Some certainly, but many also celebrated their difference from the norm Some certainly, but many also celebrated their difference from the norm Articles, letters to editor, books, gay bars resist Prohibition, organize, dress Articles, letters to editor, books, gay bars resist Prohibition, organize, dress

12 II. Defining Self and Sexuality “Closet” not used by gays themselves until 1960s “Closet” not used by gays themselves until 1960s “Living a double life”: a mask that could be put on and taken off “Living a double life”: a mask that could be put on and taken off Letting one’s hair down Letting one’s hair down

13 Fluidity of Sexuality A. Homosexual: dichotomy of homosexual- heterosexual not used widely until after WWII A. Homosexual: dichotomy of homosexual- heterosexual not used widely until after WWII (had been used by psychiatrists and doctors earlier, but not in wide circulation) (had been used by psychiatrists and doctors earlier, but not in wide circulation) Use of division uneven and marked by division: middle class whites adopted it sooner than working class and blacks Use of division uneven and marked by division: middle class whites adopted it sooner than working class and blacks On the “down low” (DL) On the “down low” (DL) Dick Addison Dick Addison “Oh I’m gay, but I don’t want to do that.” “Oh I’m gay, but I don’t want to do that.”

14 B. Other/ None of the Above 1. Gay: originally anything pleasurable, became code word to identify each other 1. Gay: originally anything pleasurable, became code word to identify each other Do you know the gay places in town? Do you know the gay places in town? Become primary word of self-description after WWII Become primary word of self-description after WWII

15 2. Fairy/Faggot/Queen: used within gay community to describe men who dressed/acted in a flamboyantly effeminate manner 2. Fairy/Faggot/Queen: used within gay community to describe men who dressed/acted in a flamboyantly effeminate manner Flaming Flaming

16

17 3. Queer: used before WWII to describe their different sexual interest rather than womanlike gender status 3. Queer: used before WWII to describe their different sexual interest rather than womanlike gender status Changed to gay because queer took on negative connotations during WWII Changed to gay because queer took on negative connotations during WWII

18

19 Queer:Gay :: Negro:Black Changing self-description similar to evolution of African American Changing self-description similar to evolution of African American Negro  Colored  Black  Afro-America  African American Negro  Colored  Black  Afro-America  African American “That’s so gay” = “That’s so black” “That’s so gay” = “That’s so black”

20 Spectrum: behavior-based

21 Steroids: medical procedure to increase gays’ testosterone to make more “manly” Alan Turing: Chemical castration to avoid jail

22 III. The Creation of the Closet: The End of Prohibition Prohibition: gay community often provides the entertainment for straights going to illegal social clubs Prohibition: gay community often provides the entertainment for straights going to illegal social clubs

23 State Liquor Authority: crack down on illegal and immoral activity associate with drinking  gays targeted State Liquor Authority: crack down on illegal and immoral activity associate with drinking  gays targeted

24 IV. Breaking Out: Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement Friday, June 27, 1969: Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village Stonewall : Brown: gay rights movement existed for decades before Stonewall Homophile movement; Mattachine Society (LA), Society for Human Rights (Chicago)

25 Police raid  patrons fight back Police raid  patrons fight back

26 Three days of rioting : “gay power” slogans appear as graffiti throughout the area Three days of rioting : “gay power” slogans appear as graffiti throughout the area

27 Formation of Gay Liberation Front (GLF): Formation of Gay Liberation Front (GLF): “revolutionary homosexual group of men and women formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation for all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished. We reject society’s attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature. We are stepping outside these roles and simplistic myths. We are going to be who we are.”

28 “Say It Loud: Gay is Proud”

29 Goals and tactics influenced by CRM, Student movement, and Women’s Movement (esp. more radical elements) Goals and tactics influenced by CRM, Student movement, and Women’s Movement (esp. more radical elements) 1973: 800 gay and lesbian groups in US 1973: 800 gay and lesbian groups in US 1990: several thousand 1990: several thousand 1970: 5,000 march in NYC to commemorate Stonewall 1970: 5,000 march in NYC to commemorate Stonewall Oct. 1987: 600,000 march on Washington to demand equality Oct. 1987: 600,000 march on Washington to demand equality

30 V. Breaking Through and the Moral Majority Impact of Gay Liberation: Impact of Gay Liberation: Half of states decriminalize homosexual behavior by 1990s Half of states decriminalize homosexual behavior by 1990s (2003: Lawrence and Garner v. Texas : Supreme Court overturns sodomy laws) (2003: Lawrence and Garner v. Texas : Supreme Court overturns sodomy laws) Sexual orientation included in many anti- discrimination laws Sexual orientation included in many anti- discrimination laws 1975: government jobs no longer barred on basis of homosexuality 1975: government jobs no longer barred on basis of homosexuality

31 The New Right Responds: The New Right Responds: Anita Bryant “Save Our Children” in Florida Anita Bryant “Save Our Children” in Florida California Prop 6 (1978): Harvey Milk + Log Cabin Republicans + Ronald Reagan California Prop 6 (1978): Harvey Milk + Log Cabin Republicans + Ronald Reagan Reagan later criticized for AIDS inaction Reagan later criticized for AIDS inaction Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority (1979; early focus was potential loss of tax exempt status for segregated private Christian schools e.g. Bob Jones University, only later abortion and homosexuality) Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority (1979; early focus was potential loss of tax exempt status for segregated private Christian schools e.g. Bob Jones University, only later abortion and homosexuality)

32 "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" Jerry Falwell, Jerry Falwell,

33 AIDS AIDS intensified the anti-gay and pro-gay movements “God Kills Fags” AIDS Quilt

34 VI. Today: Tolerance vs. Acceptance Matthew Shepard’s murder (1998)  hate crime legislation (2009) Matthew Shepard’s murder (1998)  hate crime legislation (2009) “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”: queer-chic “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”: queer-chic Gay marriage debate (Prop 8 and lawsuit) Gay marriage debate (Prop 8 and lawsuit) Debate w/in community: do we want to be assimilated? Debate w/in community: do we want to be assimilated? Constitutional Amendment controversy Constitutional Amendment controversy Move to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Move to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Lawrence v. Texas (‘03); U.S. v. Windsor (‘13) Lawrence v. Texas (‘03); U.S. v. Windsor (‘13)


Download ppt "In and Out of the Closet: The Queer History of Homosexuality in America."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google