Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America

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Because of concerns for secrecy and the founders' leftist ideology, they adopted the cell organization being used by the Communist Party of the United States. In the anti-Communist atmosphere of the s, the Society's growing membership replaced the group's early Communist model with a more traditional ameliorative civil-rights leadership style and agenda. Then, as branches formed in other cities, the Society splintered in regional groups by The Mattachine founders attempted to use their personal experience as gay men to redefine the meaning of gay people and their culture in the United States, along with intervening in social life in general.

It later adopted the name The Mattachine Society in reference to the society Mattachine, a French medieval masque group that supposedly traveled broadly using entertainment to point out social injustice. The name symbolized the fact that gays were a masked people, who lived in anonymity and underprivileged. The society began sponsoring discussion groups in , which provided lesbian and gay men an ability to openly share feelings and experiences, also fear and internal disagreements. For many, this was the first and unique opportunity to do so, and such meetings were often highly emotional affairs.

Attendance at the Mattachine Society meetings dramatically increased in short time, and such discussion groups spread throughout the United States, even beginning to sponsor social events, write newsletters and publications, and hold fundraisers. Society's Statement of Missions and Purpose from stands out today in the history of the gay liberation movement by identifying two important themes.

First, it called for a grassroots movement of gay people to challenge anti-gay discrimination, and second, it recognized the importance of building a gay community. The society was forced to endure heavy pressure and public scrutiny during the anti-communist McCarthyism period, due to the communist leanings of some of the Society's members.

In a column of the Los Angeles newspaper in March in regards to the Society, it was called a "strange new pressure group" of "sexual deviants" and "security risks" who were banding together to wield "tremendous political power. This article generated a dramatic change that in the end, a strong coalition of conservative delegates challenged the societies goals, achievements and instruments. Leadership was demotivated to pursue further activities, the original founders resigned in , and the organization was turned over to the conservative elements who brought in new elements of advocacy and group composition.

Some modifications had to be done and advocating took the approach of accommodation rather than mobilizing gay people. They sought the support of the psychiatric profession who they believed held the key to reform. This, however, had a devastating effect as discussion group attendance declined and many local chapters folded.

The national structure was dissolved in , with few chapters lasting a few more years. Organisation's name was unique and not associated or affiliated with other movements that adopted this original symbolic name. Maybe the most important impulse in creating and spreading homosexual propaganda is the one born at academic campuses and among future members of intellectual cream. Success of the early informal homosexual student groups, along with the inspiration provided by other college-based movements and the Stonewall riots, led to the proliferation of Gay Liberation Fronts on campuses across the country by the early s.

These first LGBT student movements passed out gay rights literature, organized social events, and sponsored lectures about the gay experience. Also, by gaining institutional recognition and establishing a place on campus for GLBTQ students, the groundwork was laid for the creation of GLBTQ groups at colleges and universities throughout the country and generation of wider acceptance and tolerance.

At many colleges and universities, these organizations were male-dominated, prompting lesbians to demand greater inclusion and often to form their own groups. During the s, high school and junior high school students have begun to organize Gay-Straight Alliances , enabling even younger LGBT people to find support and better advocate for their needs. The Student Homophile League was the first student gay rights organization in the United States, established at Columbia University in by Stephen Donaldson , who was a former member of the Mattachine Society.

The organization ceased to exist the following academic year. This goal stems from studies showing that LGBT college students have higher levels of depression, bullying, and suicide.

The new frontier of LGBTQ civil rights, explained

Campus wide activism, at the University of Arizona and at many colleges, has focused on dealing with these issues with respect for the LGBT community. The coalition is focused on campus-community organizing for LGBT equality in Pennsylvania and resource development for educational institutions. Although the pre-Stonewall student Homophile Leagues were most heavily influenced by the Mattachine Society, the Post Stonewall student organizations were more likely to be inspired and named after the more militant Gay Liberation Front or GLF.

GLF-like campus groups held sponsored social activities, educational programs, and provided support to individual members much like the earlier college groups. However, activists in the GLF-type groups generally were much more visible and more politically oriented than the pre-stonewall gay student groups. These new activists were often committed to radical social change, and preferred confrontational tactics such as demonstrations, sit-ins, and direct challenges to discriminatory campus policies.

This new defiant philosophy and approach was influenced by other militant campus movements such as Black Power, anti-Vietnam war groups, and student free speech movements. Many GLF members were involved with other militant groups such as these, and saw gay rights as part of a larger movement to transform society; their own liberation was fundamentally tied to the liberation of all peoples.

Despite the fact that most of these early groups stated themselves to support women's liberation, many of the gay student groups were dominated by men. In fact, activities were more aimed at the needs of gay men, even to the point of exclusion to the needs of lesbians and bisexual women. This extended to frequently directing attention to campus harassment of gay men while ignoring the concerns and needs of gay women. Gay women were frequently turned off by the focus on male cruising at many of these events, and as a result, lesbians and bisexual women on some campuses began to hold their own dances and social activities.

As gay began to increasingly refer only to gay men in the s, many lesbians sought to have the names of gay student organizations changed to include them explicitly, or formed their own groups. They saw a need to organize around their oppression as women as well as lesbians, since they knew they could never have an equal voice in groups where men held the political power. The Activist GLF advocated for sexual liberation for all people; they believed heterosexuality was a remnant of cultural inhibition and felt that change would not come about unless the current social institutions were dismantled and rebuilt without defined sexual roles.

To do this, the GLF was intent on transforming the idea of the biological family and clan and making it more akin to a loose affiliation of members without biological subtexts. Prominent members of the GLF also opposed and addressed other social inequalities between the years of to such as militarism, racism, and sexism, but because of internal rivalries the GLF officially ended its operations in This event served as a catalyst for the emergence of a new breed of gay militant activists quite unlike the more conventional organizations of the past two decades, and became known as gay liberation.

Within weeks of the Stonewall event, gay and lesbian activists organized the Gay Liberation Front. GLF was shaped in part by the Students for a Democratic Society , a radical student organization of the times.

He asserted that "the artificial categories of 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual' have been laid on us by a sexist society, as gays, we demand an end to the gender programming which starts when we are born, the family, is the primary means by which this restricted sexuality is created and enforced, Our understanding of sexism is premised on the idea that in a few society everyone will be gay.

We reject society's attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature. Members did not limit activism to gay causes. In late s and early s, many homosexuals joined protests with other radical groups such as the Black Panthers , women's liberationists and anti-war activists. Lesbians brought the principles of radical feminism on the emerging new philosophy, and GLF activists argued that the institution of heterosexual families necessitated the oppression of homosexuals, allowing them to define their gayness as a form of political resistance.

GLF activist Martha Shelley wrote, "We are women and men who, from the time of our earliest memories, have been in revolt against the sex role structure and nuclear family structure. Many of the leaders of these two groups had been either active in or heavily influenced by the ideas first promoted by GLF.

Even though many activists became disenchanted with the organization, their determination to carry forth the spirit of gay liberation through new groups such as the Gay Activists Alliance and the Radicalesbians proved invaluable in the continuing fight for GLBTQ rights. ONE, Inc. It formed the public part of the early homophile movement, with a public office, administrative infrastructure, logistics, a telephone, and the first publication that reached the general public, ONE Magazine , a huge leap of gay movement. The Los Angeles Postmaster seized and refused to mail copies of ONE Magazine in on grounds that it was "obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy.

Olesen that the mere discussion of homosexuality was not obscene, and the magazine continued to be published and distributed until HIC One Archives. This is an international organization for gay , lesbian , transgender , bisexual , and intersex people who identify as members or ex-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church.

Although a core belief is that "homosexuality and homosexual relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ," [23] it is not in fact supported by the doctrine in this religion. Through the influence of the Los Angeles chapter, Affirmation groups appeared in many cities around the country. The organization works to end discrimination based on sexual orientation , HIV status, and gender identity and expression. McNiff , that same year.

An early victory came in Fricke v. Services it provides include litigation, advocacy, and educational work in all areas of LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender civil rights and the rights of people living with HIV.

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The organization also operates a telephone hotline and website. In , GLAD received national attention for its work in winning marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts. In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health , it successfully argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples was a violation of the state constitution.

Commissioner of Public Health. The goal of the unnamed organization was the elimination of homophobia , and the increase of gay , lesbian and bisexual visibility through a variety of tactics.

Fueling the Frontlines

Within days, in response to the brash, "in-your-face" tone of the broadside, Queer Nation chapters had sprung up in San Francisco and other major cities. The name Queer Nation had been used casually since the group's inception, until it was officially approved at the group's general meeting on May 17, Rather than denote a particular genre of sexual identity, "queer" came to represent any number of positions arrayed in opposition to oppressive social and cultural norms and policies related to sexuality and gender.

Their political philosophy was succinctly summed up in the now-cliched slogan, "We're Here. We're Queer. Get Used to It. Just as importantly, "queer" became an important concept both socially and intellectually, helping to broaden what had been primarily a gay and lesbian social movement into one that was more inclusive of bisexual and transgender people. The lived political necessity of understanding the nexus of gender and sexuality in this broadening social movement, in turn, helped launch the field of " queer studies " in higher education.

In the United States, what little information scholars have been able to recover about the political sensibilities of transgender people in the early 20th century indicates an acute awareness of their vulnerability to arrest, discrimination against them in housing and employment opportunities, and their difficulties in creating "bureaucratically coherent" legal identities due to a change of gender status. They generally experienced a sense of social isolation, and often expressed a desire to create a wider network of associations with other transgender people.

In fact, there are quite a few arguments as to when the true beginning of the American Gay Rights Movement starts. The earliest date being claimed is that of in Chicago when the Society for Human Rights was founded to declare civil rights for gays. One of the initial or founding organizations was the Mattachine Society. The Mattachine Society was led by Harry Hay and began to slowly gain national attention and membership. Some historians also mark the beginning of the movement as a gay march held in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia to protest the dismissal of homosexual federal employees.

An even later occurrence that is also said to have been the beginning of the movement for Gay Rights was the Stonewall Riots , Stonewall Inn of Though this was a regular incident in gay bars like Stonewall, the reaction of its patrons, as they refused to leave and clashed with the raiding police officers, ultimately led to street riots. This event gave way to mass media attention on the issues facing the LGBT community and therefore increased public awareness, making it possible to have an influential movement.

Men and women who participated in the military's homosexual world began to realize that it was a part of their identity. As they moved back to the cities they began to live their new lifestyle openly and in great numbers only to be severely oppressed by the police and the government. S and as said before this may be to their unfortunate political and social positions. Though there is much confusion as to the beginning of the movement, there are clearly defined phases throughout the movement for gay rights in the U.


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The homophile movement , which stresses love as opposed to sexuality, focused on protesting political systems for social acceptability. Any demonstrations held by homophile organizations were orderly and polite, but these demonstrations had little impact for they were ignored by the media. During this phase, the number of homophile organizations increased rapidly, as many of the LGBT community became inspired by the various cultural movements occurring during the time period, such as the anti- Vietnam War movement or the Black Power movement.

Activism during this phase encouraged "gay power" and encouraged homosexuals to "come out of the closet," so as to publicly display their pride in who they are. They were also more forceful about resisting anti-homosexuality sanctions than activists from the previous phase, participating in marches, riots, and sit-ins. These radicals of the s would later call the previous homophile groups assimilationist for their less vigorous methods. Also during this phase there was an increase in lesbian centered organizations within the movement.

LGBT movements are opposed by a variety of individuals and organizations. Opponents say same-sex relationships are not marriages, [42] that legalization of same-sex marriage will open the door for the legalization of polygamy, [43] that it is unnatural [44] and that it encourages unhealthy behavior. Some people worry that gay rights may conflict with individuals' freedom of speech, [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] religious freedoms in the workplace, [55] [56] and the ability to run churches, [57] charitable organizations [58] [59] and other religious organizations [60] that hold opposing social and cultural views to LGBT rights.

There is also concern that religious organizations might be forced to accept and perform same-sex marriages or risk losing their tax-exempt status. As a result of the stigma that he faced as a gay teacher he emphasizes the necessity of the public to take radical approaches to making significant changes in public attitudes about homosexuality. Former California senator, John Briggs proposed Proposition 6 , a ballot initiative that would require that all California state public schools fire any gay or lesbian teachers or counselors, along with any faculty that displayed support for gay rights in an effort to prevent what he believe to be " the corruption of the children's minds".

David Campos , author of the book, Sex, Youth, and Sex Education: A Reference Handbook , illuminates the argument proposed by proponents of sexual education programs in public schools. Many gay rights supporters argue that teachings about the diverse sexual orientations that exist outside of heterosexuality are pertinent to creating students that are well informed about the world around them. However, Campos also acknowledges that the sex education curriculum alone cannot teach youth about factors associated with sexual orientation but instead he suggests that schools implement policies that create safe school learning environments and foster support for gay and lesbian , bisexual , and transgender youth.

It had been suggested that education has a positive impact on support for same sex marriage. African Americans statistically have lower rates of educational achievement, however, the education level of African Americans does not have as much significance on their attitude towards same-sex marriage as it does on white attitudes.

Educational attainment among whites has a significant positive effect on support for same-sex marriage, whereas the direct effect of education among African Americans is less significant. The income levels of whites have a direct and positive correlation with support for same-sex marriage, but African American income level is not significantly associated with attitudes toward same-sex marriage. Location also affects ideas towards same-sex marriage; residents of rural and southern areas are significantly more opposed to same-sex marriage in comparison to residents elsewhere.

Women are consistently more supportive than men of LGBT rights, and individuals that are divorced or have never married are also more likely to grant marital rights to same-sex couples than married or widowed individuals. Also, white women are significantly more supportive than white men, but there are no gender discrepancies among African Americans. The year in which one was born is a strong indicator of attitude towards same-sex marriage—generations born after are considerably more supportive of same-sex marriage than older generations. Statistics show that African Americans are more opposed to same-sex marriage than any other ethnicity.

Religion , as measured by individuals' religious affiliations, behaviors, and beliefs, has a lot of influence in structuring same-sex union attitudes and consistently influences opinions about homosexuality.

LGBT History Month: Rivendell paves the way for LGBT publications

The most liberal attitudes are generally reflected by Jews , liberal Protestants, and people who are not affiliated with religion. This is because many of their religious traditions have not "systematically condemned homosexual behaviors" in recent years. Moderate and tolerant attitudes are generally reflected by Catholics and moderate Protestants. And lastly, the most conservative views are held by Evangelical Protestants. Moreover, it is a tendency for one to be less tolerant of homosexuality if their social network is strongly tied to a religious congregation.

Organized religion, especially Protestant and Baptist affiliations, espouse conservative views which traditionally denounce same-sex unions. Therefore, these congregations are more likely to hear messages of this nature. Polls have also indicated that the amount and level of personal contact that individuals have with homosexual individuals and traditional morality affects attitudes of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Though gay and lesbians struggled to go public with their efforts in the U. S, they still were met with opposition. Despite participating in very few public activities in the early 19th century, many gays and lesbians were targeted by police who kept list of the bars and restaurants that were known to cater to the population.

Many were arrested for sodomy or hospitalized in mental facilities for homosexuality. They were also fired from many jobs for their lifestyles. States had many laws that made homosexuality a crime and the government would often support the states, as in the Immigration Act which denied homosexuals entry into the country. This persecution seemed to only intensify after World War II, because many gays and lesbians were living more openly.

Thousands of federal employees including soldiers were discharged and fired for suspicions of being homosexuals. Though since that time, there has been more activism by the LGBT Community, through an increasing number of organizations coupled with more visibility and aggressive protest. However, many rights are withheld today even after same-sex marriage is approved nationwide in the US on 26 Jun Nevertheless, activists of the modern Gay Rights Movement still struggle to seek full equality.

The term identity politics has been applied retroactively to varying movements that long predate its coinage. Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger, a strong supporter of liberal conceptions of civil rights , argues that a liberal democracy requires a common basis for culture and society to function. The most important and revolutionary element of identity politics is the demand that oppressed groups be recognized not in spite of their differences but specifically because of their differences. The earlier stages of the development of the modern gay movement were closely linked with identity politics.

Gay Press, Gay Power

In order for gay and lesbian issues to be placed on the political agenda, gays and lesbians had to identify publicly with their homosexuality and 'come out'. Advocates of identity politics believe in self-determination on the part of oppressed groups. Proponents of identity politics argue that those who do not share the life experiences that it brings to members of an oppressed group cannot understand what it means to be a person with that identity. Not limited to activity in the traditionally conceived political sphere, identity politics refers to activism, politics, theorizing, and other similar activities based on the shared experiences of members of a specific social group often relying on shared experiences of oppression.

The term identity politics and movements linked to it came into being during the latter part of the 20th century.


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It can most notably be found in class movements, feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements, disability movements, ethnic movements and post colonial movements. Identity politics is open to wide debate and critique. Minority influence is a form of social influence which takes place when a majority is being influenced to accept the beliefs or behavior of a minority. Tracy Baim is publisher and executive editor at Windy City Times, which she co-founded in She is founder of the Pride Action Tank.

In , he chaired Illinois Unites for Marriage, the statewide coalition that led the successful effort to win marriage equality in Illinois. Keron is an organizer with ten years of experience working for social change and he most recently served as the membership director for United Working Families in Chicago. Keron has been a trainer and campaign strategist for the Midwest Academy, where he worked with groups at the city, state and national levels to design and implement strategic campaigns on a wide set of issues, including public education.

In Keron began a three-year position as the director of Interfaith Worker Justice in New Orleans, helping to build local coalitions to strengthen rights for workers. It is an honor to develop resources and establish solutions as a member of the Pride Action Tank Advisory Board. His current research project, Open TV beta , is a platform for television by queer, trans, cis-women or artists of color.

Aisha N. Davis, Esq. Throughout the course of her legal education, Aisha has worked on human and civil rights both domestically and internationally. Over her career, Densham established numerous expert panels, leadership councils, and national coalitions that brought together community stakeholders, public officials, federal and state leadership, as well as private sector executives, to achieve lasting impact.

Perhaps most importantly is a parent to an amazing and brilliant art student. Brenikki R. Floyd has over ten years of experience conducting HIV prevention research with an emphasis on increasing health equity among underserved populations. Her research interests focus on the effects of early violence exposure on dating abuse and unsafe sex as well as the effectiveness of innovative health communication strategies i. Additionally, Dr.

Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature

He was born in Cicero in January , and has spent his entire life—and the past fifteen years as an activist—in the city. Lisa Gilmore is principal and founder of Illinois Accountability Initiative IL-AI , which strives to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in their self-determined efforts to create and sustain accountability practices in local communities, among individuals, and within systems and institutions. IL-AI believes that community accountability practices can increase safety and reduce harm in the lives of LGBTQ people, transforming communities and directly challenging social conditions that support oppression and violence in many forms.

Before dedicating herself to LGBTQ-specific anti-violence efforts, Lisa worked for several years with adults dually diagnosed with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Jocelyn Hare is a post-graduate urban fellow under the Richard M. As a fellow much of her work is focused on The Gary Project, an initiative established between Chicago Harris and the city of Gary, Indiana where graduate students from UChicago gain hands-on urban policy experience. In that capacity Hare has worked with local government, tech groups and hundreds of volunteers in Gary to lead and pioneer a mobile phone survey app, designed to map levels of housing conditions in the city.

Megan is also the founder of Benevolent — a platform using bleeding-edge technology and leveraging donor proclivities to fill gaps in the safety net for low-income families. She has spoken at the White House and at national conferences on social innovation, philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. No institutional affiliation. LOG IN. Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by:.

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