Gay Liberation

Topics: Homosexuality, LGBT social movements, Gay Liberation Pages: 4 (1438 words) Published: September 1, 2010
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 but kept mostly out of view because of social hostility. According to the Milestones article, after World War II, around 1940, many cities saw their first gay bars open as many homosexuals began to start a networking system. However, their newfound visibility only backfired on them, as in the 1950's president Eisenhower banned gays from holding federal jobs and many state institutions did the same. The lead taken by the federal government encouraged local police forces to harass gay citizens. Vice officers regularly raided gay bars, sometimes arresting dozens of men and women on a single night (Milestones). In spite of the adversity, out of the 1950s also came the first organized groups of gays, including leaders. The movement was small at first, but grew exponentially in short periods of time. Spurred on by the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the homophile (Milestones) movement took on more visibility, picketing government agencies and discriminatory policies. By 1969, around 50 gay organizations existed in the United States. The most crucial moment in blowing the gay rights movement wide open was on the evening of July 27, 1969, when a group of police raided a gay bar in New York City. This act prompted three days of rioting in the area called the Stonewall Riots, including the appearance of numerous gay power signs. Almost overnight, a massive movement had begun, with participants enthusiastically joining in. By 1973, there were almost eight hundred gay and lesbian organizations in the United States; by 1990, the number was several thousand. By 1970, 5,000...
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