The Lavender Scare

Author: David K. Johnson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226401960
Release Date: 2009-02-13
Genre: Social Science

The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?" Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle. The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.

The Lavender Scare

Author: David K. Johnson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226401901
Release Date: 2006-05-15
Genre: Social Science

The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?" Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle. The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.

The Lavender Scare

Author: David K. Johnson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226404811
Release Date: 2004-01-01
Genre: Social Science

The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?" Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle. The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.

Masked Voices

Author: Craig M. Loftin
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9781438440149
Release Date: 2012-04-01
Genre: Social Science

An analysis of unpublished letters to the first American gay magazine reveals the agency, adaptation, and resistance occurring in the gay community during the McCarthy era.

Letters to ONE

Author: Craig M. Loftin
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9781438442990
Release Date: 2012-12-01
Genre: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Collection of letters written to the first openly gay magazine in the United States. Long before the Stonewall riots, ONE magazine—the first openly gay magazine in the United States—offered a positive viewpoint of homosexuality and encouraged gay people to resist discrimination and persecution. Despite a limited monthly circulation of only a few thousand, the magazine influenced the substance, character, and tone of the early American gay rights movement. This book is a collection of letters written to the magazine, a small number of which were published in ONE, but most of them were not. The letters candidly explore issues such as police harassment of gay and lesbian communities, antigay job purges, and the philosophical, scientific, and religious meanings of homosexuality. “[a] remarkable book … about gay and lesbian life in the 1950s and ’60s.” — Los Angeles Times

And They Were Wonderful Teachers

Author: Karen Graves
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252076398
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Education

A stirring examination of how Cold War repression and persecution extended to gay and lesbian teachers in Florida

Gay Rights and Moral Panic

Author: F. Fejes
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9780230614680
Release Date: 2016-02-25
Genre: Social Science

Using the 1977 campaign against the Dade County Florida gay rights ordinance as a focal point, this book provides an examination of the emergence of the modern lesbian and gay American movement, the challenges it posed to the accepted American notions of sexuality, and how American society reacted in turn.

Prescription for Heterosexuality

Author: Carolyn Herbst Lewis
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807834251
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

In this lively and engaging work, Carolyn Lewis explores how medical practitioners, especially family physicians, situated themselves as the guardians of Americans' sexual well-being during the early years of the Cold War. She argues that many doctors vie

Citizen Invert Queer

Author: Deborah Cohler
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9781452915098
Release Date: 2010
Genre: History

In late nineteenth-century England, “mannish” women were considered socially deviant but not homosexual. A half-century later, such masculinity equaled lesbianism in the public imagination. How did this shift occur? Citizen, Invert, Queer illustrates that the equation of female masculinity with female homosexuality is a relatively recent phenomenon, a result of changes in national and racial as well as sexual discourses in early twentieth-century public culture.Incorporating cultural histories of prewar women’s suffrage debates, British sexology, women’s work on the home front during World War I, and discussions of interwar literary representations of female homosexuality, Deborah Cohler maps the emergence of lesbian representations in relation to the decline of empire and the rise of eugenics in England. Cohler integrates discussions of the histories of male and female same-sex erotics in her readings of New Woman, representations of male and female suffragists, wartime trials of pacifist novelists and seditious artists, and the interwar infamy of novels such as Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.By examining the shifting intersections of nationalism and sexuality before, during, and after the Great War, this book illuminates profound transformations in our ideas about female homosexuality.

The United States Since 1945

Author: Robert P. Ingalls
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781405167130
Release Date: 2009-03-09
Genre: History

Encompassing political, social, and cultural issues, this primary source reader allows students to hear the voices of the past, giving a richer understanding of American society since 1945. Comprises over 50 documents, which incorporate political, social, and cultural history and encompass the viewpoints of ordinary people as well a variety of leaders An extended introduction explains to students how to think and work like historians by using primary sources Includes both written texts and photographs Headnotes contextualize the documents and questions encourage students to engage critically with the sources

How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism

Author: Tina Fetner
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816649174
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social Science

While gay rights are on the national agenda now, activists have spent decades fighting for their platform, seeing themselves as David against the religious righta s Goliath. At the same time, the religious right has continuously and effectively countered the endeavors of lesbian and gay activists, working to repeal many of the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and to progress a constitutional amendment a protectinga marriage. In this accessible and grounded work, Tina Fetner uncovers a remarkably complex relationship between the two movementsa one that transcends political rivalry.

Sexual Orientation and Human Rights

Author: Laurence Thomas
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 9780585118918
Release Date: 2000-01-01
Genre: Philosophy

What rights govern heterosexual and homosexual behaviors? Two distinguished philosophers debate this important issue in Sexual Orientation and Human Rights. Laurence Thomas argues that a society which has the constitutional resources to protect hate groups can protect homosexuals without valorizing the homosexual life-style. He defends the view that the Bible cannot warrant the venom that, in the name of religion, is often expressed against homosexuals. Michael Levin defends the unorthodox view that the aversion some people experience toward homosexuality deserves respect. He further argues that while homosexuals enjoy the same rights as others to be free of violence and discrimination, they do not have more extensive rights.

The Straight State

Author: Margot Canaday
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400830427
Release Date: 2009-07-06
Genre: Political Science

The Straight State is the most expansive study of the federal regulation of homosexuality yet written. Unearthing startling new evidence from the National Archives, Margot Canaday shows how the state systematically came to penalize homosexuality, giving rise to a regime of second-class citizenship that sexual minorities still live under today. Canaday looks at three key arenas of government control--immigration, the military, and welfare--and demonstrates how federal enforcement of sexual norms emerged with the rise of the modern bureaucratic state. She begins at the turn of the twentieth century when the state first stumbled upon evidence of sex and gender nonconformity, revealing how homosexuality was policed indirectly through the exclusion of sexually "degenerate" immigrants and other regulatory measures aimed at combating poverty, violence, and vice. Canaday argues that the state's gradual awareness of homosexuality intensified during the later New Deal and through the postwar period as policies were enacted that explicitly used homosexuality to define who could enter the country, serve in the military, and collect state benefits. Midcentury repression was not a sudden response to newly visible gay subcultures, Canaday demonstrates, but the culmination of a much longer and slower process of state-building during which the state came to know and to care about homosexuality across many decades. Social, political, and legal history at their most compelling, The Straight State explores how regulation transformed the regulated: in drawing boundaries around national citizenship, the state helped to define the very meaning of homosexuality in America.

Coming Out Under Fire

Author: Allan Bérubé
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 080789964X
Release Date: 2010-09-07
Genre: Social Science

During World War II, as the United States called on its citizens to serve in unprecedented numbers, the presence of gay Americans in the armed forces increasingly conflicted with the expanding antihomosexual policies and procedures of the military. In Coming Out Under Fire, Allan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontation--not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed between gay citizens and their government, transforming them both. Drawing on GIs' wartime letters, extensive interviews with gay veterans, and declassified military documents, Berube thoughtfully constructs a startling history of the two wars gay military men and women fough--one for America and another as homosexuals within the military. Berube's book, the inspiration for the 1995 Peabody Award-winning documentary film of the same name, has become a classic since it was published in 1990, just three years prior to the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which has continued to serve as an uneasy compromise between gays and the military. With a new foreword by historians John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, this book remains a valuable contribution to the history of World War II, as well as to the ongoing debate regarding the role of gays in the U.S. military.

Sexual Politics Sexual Communities

Author: John D'Emilio
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226922454
Release Date: 2012-04-26
Genre: Social Science

With thorough documentation of the oppression of homosexuals and biographical sketches of the lesbian and gay heroes who helped the contemporary gay culture to emerge, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities supplies the definitive analysis of the homophile movement in the U.S. from 1940 to 1970. John D'Emilio's new preface and afterword examine the conditions that shaped the book and the growth of gay and lesbian historical literature. "How many students of American political culture know that during the McCarthy era more people lost their jobs for being alleged homosexuals than for being Communists? . . . These facts are part of the heretofore obscure history of homosexuality in America—a history that John D'Emilio thoroughly documents in this important book."—George DeStefano, Nation "John D'Emilio provides homosexual political struggles with something that every movement requires—a sympathetic history rendered in a dispassionate voice."—New York Times Book Review "A milestone in the history of the American gay movement."—Rudy Kikel, Boston Globe