Homophile Movement In The 1950's

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Queer women frequently felt unsecure and disgrace toward their sexuality in the mid twentieth century greatly influenced by governmental anti-gay policies and the notion of medicalized homosexuality. Changes were seen during the homophile movement in 1950s, queer women fought for their voices to be heard by establishing their organization – Daughters of Bilitis (abbreviated as DOB) – to connect with other lesbians via The Ladder magazine throughout the world and gaining support from well-educated individuals such as a group of San Francisco clergies. During the period, they also battled for their civil and political rights by organizing silent protests against government’s anti-gay policies and challenging the notion of medicalized homosexuality.…show more content…
In 1950s, American religious leaders, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, and lawmakers demonized the homosexuality as a contagious disease. During the early homophile movement, picketers (a.k.a. protesters) all worn conservative and conventional dresses and appearance merely carried signs that attract the public attention. DOB and many gay men fought and argued with authorities regarding homosexuals and exposed the ineffectiveness of homosexuality changing therapy with an expensive cost (112). Further, queer individuals protested in front of White House and Pentagon with posters like “Homosexuals Died for Their Country Too” to protest against the anti-gay policies of the U.S. armed forces (114). Once, forty-five people openly walked onto the sidewalks of the White House to demand their rights and call attention to discriminatory federal policies in 1965 (114, 117). Gradually picketing and public demonstrations increased in the first half of 1960s. On July 4, 1965, forty-four men and women joined the first Philadelphia protest – called the “Reminder Day” – at Independence hall to call attention to that the basic democratic rights were denied to many people in the United States simply because of who they loved (146). All these movements queer women have done contributed to the early queer women’s participation in the homophile
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