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Gay Liberation On Page One: Media Coverage Of The Stonewall Riots

754 words - 4 pages

The Gay Liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s arose amidst cries for civil rights, gender equality, and an end to American participation in the Vietnam War. Gay Liberation marked a revolutionary acknowledgement of gay rights in the United States; historians and activists argue that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 prompted this development. The Greenwich Village uprising was the first instance of gay resistance to win widespread media attention, albeit mixed. The Stonewall Riots acted as a catalyst for the Gay Liberation movement, as did the event’s presence in local and national newspapers, regardless of the shifting degrees of support the media coverage lent to the rioters. ...view middle of the document...

” Other facets of the early gay rights movement included chapters of the Mattachine Society in other cities in the United States and the magazine ONE, which concerned itself with issues faced by the gay community.
Even so, Americans of non-traditional sexual orientations faced intense discrimination after the end of World War II as well. During the 1950s, many Americans wanted to restore the social conventions that had existed before the war. The State Department saw anarchists, communists, immigrants, and homosexuals as threats to American security. The government considered gay people threats because they were widely believed to be particularly vulnerable to extortion. This resulted in military and employment discrimination, the latter especially prevalent at universities and in federal offices. Homosexuality remained on the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual until 1973, and wearing clothes of the opposite sex was illegal. Thus gay and transexual Americans were forced to repress their sexuality and commit to low-key activist groups like the Mattachine Society, if any. They faced potential arrest, unemployment, harassment, or institutionalization if they did otherwise.
In light of homosexual discrimination in the United States, New York City’s Greenwich Village became a haven for gay men and women. After the Seventh...

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