History of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement

History of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement

Length: 758 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

THE HOMOPHILE YEARS (1940s-60s – WWII, Cold War, McCarthyism):
· Growth in the urban subculture of gay men and lesbians.
· Government and police harassment, persecution, and investigation of gays.

· The homophile movement remained small and relatively marginalized.

End of 1960s
· Rise of activism + “Gay is good”
· Reformist goals:
ü decriminalization of homosexual acts,
ü equal treatment and equal rights under the law,
ü dissemination of accurate,
ü “unbiased” information about homosexuality.
· Achievements:
ü right to publish gay and lesbian magazines,
ü first employment discrimination cases won,
ü constraints on police harassment,
ü dialogue opened in the scientific and religious communities,
ü media visibility,
ü organizational impulse,
ü denunciation of how gays and lesbians are a mistreated, persecuted minority.
· Problems: Society’s hostility against homosexuals and the penalties attached to exposure.

June 1969
· Stonewall Riot ð Symbol of a new militance. Result: a radical mass movement.

Early 1970s
· Gay Liberation Front (GLF): Radical gay and lesbian activism.
· Influences: civil rights movement, Black Power movement, white student movement, antiwar movement, and feminism.
· Goals:
ü Attack of the systemic oppression of gays and lesbians.
ü Analysis of gay oppression and sexism.
ü Making common cause with “all the oppressed” and commitment to a larger project of political change.
ü Public demonstrations and emphasis on visibility.
· Achievements:
ü New rhetoric of pride and affirmation.
ü Political, social, and cultural organizations that helped build a movement and a community.
ü Public affirmation of homosexual identity (coming out in public).
· Problems: Employment discrimination, arrests, political conservatism, economic entrenchment, and lack of attention to sexism and racism.

· Reformative politics: Rather than try to destroy the old in order to build something new, they sought recognition and inclusion in American society.
ü Gay Activist Alliance (GAA).
ü From liberation to activism.
· Emphasis on coming out and gay rights. They expected and demanded acceptance for who they were.
· Militant and angry protests.
· Language of pride and self-affirmation; rejection of mainstream cultural views of homosexuality.
· Single-issue organizations, completely gay-focused, with clearly specified structures and processes.
· Goals: ending job discrimination, media invisibility, church and military discrimination.
· Achievements:
ü 1973 ð the American Psychiatric Association eliminates homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
ü less discrimination and harassment,
ü greater visibility,
ü new economic opportunities for gay-oriented businesses (bars, bathhouses, discos, restaurants, etc.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"History of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Civil Rights: Gay and Lesbian Rights

- Famous children’s author Dr. Seuss once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind". Gay rights, at the moment, are one of the most publicized and well known controversial subjects of this decade. The sides clearly drawn one fighting for rights as simple as being married the other stating that it defames their religion and goes against the definition of marriage, being between a man and a woman. The individuals who are fighting for their civil rights are fallowing the same path that African Americans and women have taken, but the change has started and in over 13 states gays have been given their basic rights and more st...   [tags: don´t ask, don´t tell, same-sex]

Research Papers
1395 words (4 pages)

Civil Rights Movement and Women´s Right Essay

- ... "The South is absolutely embedded and believes wholeheartedly in Christian principles [that marriage is between a man and a woman]…” (National Public Radio). Like stated before, one of the main problems the LBGT movement face is religion. "Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children," it says. "We believe that children, families, society, and our nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished, primary social institution” (NY Daily News)....   [tags: rights and equal treatment, history]

Research Papers
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on United States And The Civil Rights Movement

- Should the state or federal government be permitted to make laws that tells a person where one is allowed to go for services for something as simple as having photography be done, due to one’s sexual orientation. One must not forget the complex history of how the United States came to be as far as remembering the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s (Timeline…). Also, should one’s religious views be allowed to precede another’s civil rights. It is unethical to allow religious views over an individual’s basic human right....   [tags: Human rights, Law]

Research Papers
880 words (2.5 pages)

The Civil Rights Movement Is A Fundamental Human Right And A Matter Of Basic Human Dignity

- how many more immigrants today face discrimination because of their language at work. How many more immigrants face discrimination because of their etnicity at work . Although freedom from workplace discrimination is a fundamental human right and a matter of basic human dignity that all individuals have the right to have and they are laws that protect it, in this world there are so many racist and discriminatory human beings that the victim of discrimination sometimes have fear to speak up against this individual because they are considered minorities in this country and feel that they will not have enough support to help them to solve this problem, notwithstanding the existing laws....   [tags: Human rights, Discrimination, Law]

Research Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

The Controversy Of Gay And Lesbian Families Essay

- Gay and lesbian families deal with a great amount of controversy from people all over the world. Although it is starting to be viewed differently as times and laws change, people wonder what the effects of having same sex parents have on the children being raised in that household. To better understand how gay and lesbian families are viewed in society, it is important to look at the history behind the gay rights movements, and studies aimed at the development of children who are growing up in a same-sex household....   [tags: Homosexuality, Same-sex marriage]

Research Papers
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Gay Men And Lesbian Women

- 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....   [tags: Homosexuality, LGBT, Sexual orientation]

Research Papers
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Equal Fight for Equal Rights

- “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” was a law established by congress that allowed homosexual men and women to serve in the military as long as they kept their sexual orientation private. On September 20, 2011, congress made history by passing a law repealing the “Don’t ask don’t tell” legislation of 1993 (CBS News). Thousands of service men and women came out of there proverbial closets, where many had been hiding their entire careers, to celebrate their new right to express themselves freely. Some even celebrated by marrying their longtime mates, an act that only brought to light a new issue....   [tags: Gay Rights]

Research Papers
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Lesbian Feminism

- We live in a world where a 21st century woman can vote, work full time, and raise a family on her own terms. Woman can choose when to have children, if they want to achieve a higher education, and obtain jobs that women in the 60’s only dreamt about. Most of these accomplishments were brought on by the Women’s Movement of the 1960’s. They brought up conventional thoughts and ideas that changed the course of history. However, in their quest for women’s rights and equality amongst men, there were some that were left out of the mass movement....   [tags: social issues, woman, children]

Research Papers
1836 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Gay and Lesbian Marriage in America

- Marriage, as both a legal institution and as a social tradition, has always been at the heart of the building blocks of American society. Throughout U.S. history, it has generally been understood, both legally and socially, as a monogamous union between two persons of opposite sexes. However, as the gay and lesbian liberation movement gains increasing exposure and influence, the topic of same-sex marriage has been brought to discussion. In the following pages, the legitimacy of same-sex marriages/partnership will be discussed, as well as the best means to achieve such an end....   [tags: Same-Sex Marriage ]

Free Essays
3792 words (10.8 pages)

Essay about The Gay Rights Movement

- The Gay Rights Movement The history of the gay rights movement goes as far back as the late 19th century. More accurately, the quest by gays to search out others like themselves and foster a feeling of identity has been around since then. It is an innovative movement that seeks to change existing norms and gain acceptance within our culture. By 1915, one gay person said that the gay world was a "community, distinctly organized" (Milestones 1991), but kept mostly out of view because of social hostility....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1050 words (3 pages)

Related Searches

ü a much larger and congenial gay world.

· Most gay men’s lack of understanding of institutionalized sexism forced lesbians to fight for political and action agendas that recognized their needs. Thus, they formed their own autonomous lesbian groups, developing a separate lesbian-feminist movement where lesbians with experience in women’s liberation and women with experience in gay liberation converged.
· Goals:
ü Developing an ideology of lesbianism that challenged the invisibility of lesbianism, the new rhetoric of gay liberation, mainstream feminism, and heterosexuality.
ü Building institutions and creating lesbian-only spaces where a culture and a community could flourish.
· Achievements:
ü a self-sufficient lesbian community
ü crisis lines and community centers,
ü magazines, newspapers, publishing companies, bookstores, film collectives,
ü food co-ops, restaurants, etc.
ü self-defense schools and shelters for battered women.

CHALLENGES (late 1970s):
· Religious fundamentalism and new conservatism: The New Right’s crusade against homosexuality. The movement lacked the financial resources, the numbers, the influence, and the political sophistication to counter the threat.
· Internal tensions in the movement.
· Collapse of the lesbian-separatist utopia because of economic recession.
· Autonomous organizing efforts of lesbians and gays of color, who demanded inclusion in both representation and setting of agendas.

THE IMPACT OF AIDS (1980s – early 1990s):
· Through the effective response to the epidemic, the movement achieved a high level of sophistication, influence, and permanence.
· Money, skills, and recruits went toward building AIDS service and advocacy organizations, as well as the broader agenda of gay politics.
· Dramatic increase in the level of organization and visibility of gays of color, whose communities were the most affected by the epidemic.
· Lesbians got involved in the fight against AIDS, thus starting to work more closely with gay men and assuming leadership roles in formerly male-dominated organizations.
· A new culture of sexuality developed.
· Activists with years of grassroots experience are now able to have “careers” in the movement.
· Return to tactics of direct action and civil disobedience.
· Revival of a radical political analysis and broad strategic vision within the movement.
· Participation in coalition with other movements around issues of common concern.

Ø Source: D’Emilio, John. “After Stonewall.” Queer Cultures. Eds. Deborah Carlin and Jennifer DiGrazia. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2004. 3-35.
Return to 123HelpMe.com