Gay Men And Lesbian Women

1165 Words5 Pages
Throughout history gay men and lesbian women have been known to live lives of denial and secrecy, always in fear that they would get “caught” being gay. If caught it meant a number of things, people were fired from their jobs, their families excommunicated them, they might be committed to an institution for their “condition”, lives were ruined and some even committed suicide as a means of escape for the backlash they would endure if outed. The twenties were known as a time for the “Twilight World” for gay people, they were only able to show their true feelings and true selves in the late hours of the night in clubs that they knew they would be safe in. Gay people started leaving their small home towns and moving to gather in groups in big cities like The French Quarter in New Orleans or Harlem, New York. This was the beginning of the homosexual underground because they now lived in cities where there were freer social norms and more liberty to do as you pleased. Gladys Bentley, a famous musician and a well-known lesbian, married her longtime girlfriend in the twenties, and this was a very big deal. Lesbian themed books and plays started appearing like bestselling “The Well of Loneliness” and Broadway play “The Captive”. However, along with this surge of lesbian themed literature also came laws against it. The state of New York quickly outlawed overt references to homosexuality on stage; there was a small amount of tolerance as long as the word lesbian was not directly used. In the thirties Doctor Magnus Hirshfeld, a sexologist, did work in Germany so that men could dress as women, as long as they were properly identified and registered to do so. Hirshfeld stated, “Beneath the duality of sex there is a oneness. Every male is potent... ... middle of paper ... ...d they gained power by uniting together and becoming one. Recently, President Obama designated Stonewall and the surrounding neighborhood as a National Historic Site. This signifies what the men and women of the Stonewall Riots accomplished. It shows that these men and women made a difference by standing up and no longer taking the abuse. What they did the night of June 27, 1969 and the days following, not only changed things for themselves, but it changed things for all gay men and lesbians women and everything in between in the future. By declaring Stonewall Inn a historical site, he is acknowledging these peoples efforts and showing them that they made a difference and that everything they went through to get to where they are now, was not in vain. It’s an amazing thing how far not only gay society has come but how far society in general has come, just since 1969.

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