HOW THE FEAR OF HOMOSEXUALITY HAS CHANGED SINCE THE 1950S TO TODAY

HOW THE FEAR OF HOMOSEXUALITY HAS CHANGED SINCE THE 1950S TO TODAY

 

LEGEND:

Blue points- Los Angeles. There are two images at this location. One is the Cooper’s Donuts, and the other is where the writer of Gay Bar had her bar located.

Red point- This location is Tallahassee, Florida. The picture of Senator Johns is from this area.

Greenish/ Blue point (Hard to see behind the green)- This point is Gainesville, Florida. Located here is University of Florida, where the Johns Committee was in full force.

Lighter green- South Eola Drive is where the Gay Pride Parade was this year.

Purple- PULSE nightclub.

Burgundy- Southern Nights, another LGBT+ nightclub.

Darker green-Zebra Coalition, a place for LGBT+ youth to feel safe and supported.

Dark pink- This is Rollins College where the Sandspur is published.

Darker purple- This is also Rollins College, where Chase Hall is.

Lighter orange-Liverpool where the electroconvulsive therapy was being used.

Pink- Frankfurt where a picture of Kinsey was taken.

 

Not until the 1950s, sex was barely discussed about in American culture. Women were expected to stay virgins until their they were married. While men did not have to live up to this expectation, women had to make sure they did not go too far in a relationship.  In 1948, Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female came soon after in 1953. These two books brought the relationships that spouses had outside of their marriage to light. American people realized that non-traditional sexual ideas were wrong [1]. In the findings, Kinsey claimed that masturbation was normal. Ideas likes these caused many issues with Americans [2]. The study reported that around ten percent of men were strictly gay.  This small percent from this study caused fear in the American people. They saw a threat to the traditional family ideal. Homosexuals were seen as “moral perverts and a threat to national security”. Men and women, who were homosexual and served in the military, were dismissed. At a local level, some police would harass homosexuals [3].  An example of this is William Parker, the former Los Angeles police chief. He viewed homosexuals as a hazard to the public [4]. Due to this, homosexuals wanted a place where they could be safe. Gay bars started during the 1950s to provide a space for them. Helen P. Branson opened a gay bar as a safe house from the hatred they would receive [5]. Most of these bars were not well-known as what they were to outsiders. Bars like this and clubs soon became a huge part of the LGBT+ community. LGBT+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other forms. This can be asexual, pansexual, genderfluid, etc.

College campus were not considered a safe place. The University of Florida is no exception to this. The Johns Committee was started in 1956, which was a group that investigated people who were accused of being a homosexual. The committee was supported by many hateful groups, like the Ku Klux Klan and Christian groups. This committee caused fourteen faculty to be fired. The Johns Committee was dedicated to locating students and professors that were part of the LGBT+ community. They created pamphlets to “educate” people. The cover of the pamphlet was an image of two men passionately kissing.[6] By 1965, the committee was dispersed [7].  In 1993, their records were released. It showed how hostile the committee had been. The committee had a powerful impact. They had influenced parents to turn a blind to what was happening [8]. During this time, people saw homosexuality as an mental illness. Sometimes homosexuals would be put in to insane asylums. Conversion therapy was believed to fix this “illness”. This had harmful effects on the people who went through it. They would have to put up with a lot, like electroshock therapy [9]. Over the years, the acceptance of the LGBT+ community has dramatically changed. While they still have some work to do, the treatment and acceptance has improved.

The picture shows Los Angles in 1950. Helen P. Branson owned a gay bar in Los Angles. The book never states what the name of the bar is, which shows how secret it was .

The picture shows Los Angles in 1950. Helen P. Branson owned a gay bar in Los Angles. The book never states what the name of the bar is, which shows how secret it was.

This is a picture that I took of Southern Nights. Southern Nights is a well-known LGBT+ night club. It is very busy on the weekends. Compared to Helen’s bar, this one is not such a secret. This image shows that these clubs are acceptable today, and can be popular. Like the other bar, it is a safe place where they can be themselves.

This is a picture that I took of Southern Nights. Southern Nights is a well-known LGBT+ night club. It is very busy on the weekends. Compared to Helen’s bar, this one is not such a secret. This image shows that these clubs are acceptable today, and can be popular. Like the other bar, it is a safe place where they can be themselves.

This is an image of the pamphlet that was created about homosexuality. The pamphlet included “lingo” that was claimed to be used by homosexuals. The pamphlet allowed for a huge misconception about gay males .

This is an image of the pamphlet that was created about homosexuality. The pamphlet included “lingo” that was claimed to be used by homosexuals. The pamphlet allowed for a huge misconception about gay males .

This is an image of Chase Hall. Here, the Lucy Cross Center is a place for LGBT+ students and staff. Instead of being hunted down, it is a support system from the school. Unlike University of Florida then, Rollins is aiming to help.

This is an image of Chase Hall. Here, the Lucy Cross Center is a place for LGBT+ students and staff. Instead of being hunted down, it is a support system from the school. Unlike University of Florida then, Rollins is aiming to help.

These two pictures show how Rollins College is accepting of the LGBT+ community. The school allowed the students to publish this, without getting in trouble. This is a great example how acceptance has changed at colleges .

These two pictures show how Rollins College is accepting of the LGBT+ community. The school allowed the students to publish this, without getting in trouble. This is a great example how acceptance has changed at colleges .

This image relates to the four above. In this picture, Senator Johns, who created the committee, is talking about his plans to find more homosexuals. Johns wanted the LGBT+ community to stay far away from him.

This image relates to the four above. In this picture, Senator Johns, who created the committee, is talking about his plans to find more homosexuals. Johns wanted the LGBT+ community to stay far away from him.

The Lavender Scare was the fear of homosexuality, and similar to the Red Scare. In this picture, is Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn during hearings. People who were homosexual tried to keep it a secret to prevent losing their lives.

The Lavender Scare was the fear of homosexuality, and similar to the Red Scare. In this picture, is Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn during hearings. People who were homosexual tried to keep it a secret to prevent losing their lives.

This is from Orlando Pride parade. Rather than keeping their orientation a secret, people are showing it all. They no longer fear losing everything due to their orientation. The nation has become more accepting of the LGBT+.

This is from Orlando Pride parade. Rather than keeping their orientation a secret, people are showing it all. They no longer fear losing everything due to their orientation. The nation has become more accepting of the LGBT+.

During the 50s, some believed that homosexaulity was a mental illness. Conversion therapy sometimes included elctroshock. These methods did not convert the patient to being straight.

During the 50s, some believed that homosexaulity was a mental illness. Conversion therapy sometimes included electroshock. These methods did not convert the patient to being straight.

This is Zebra Coalition. This is a safe place for LGBT+ youth. They provide many services, like therapy. It’s an oragantion that supports that commuitny. Unlike the old ways, homosexulatiy is not seen as an illness. Conversion therapy is not as common anymore. Today, it is understood that there is nothing wrong with someone who is LGBT+

This is Zebra Coalition. This is a safe place for LGBT+ youth. They provide many services, like therapy. It’s an organization that supports that community. Unlike the old ways, homosexulatiy is not seen as an illness. Conversion therapy is not as common anymore. Today, it is understood that there is nothing wrong with someone who is LGBT+.

 

This image is of Cooper’s Donut shop in Los Angeles. It was located near two gay bars, and soon became a place to hang out. In May 1959, two cops began to check IDs. Five people were arrested, and soon a riot broke out. This is considered the start of violence .

This image is of Cooper’s Donut shop in Los Angeles. It was located near two gay bars, and soon became a place to hang out. In May 1959, two cops began to check IDs. Five people were arrested, and soon a riot broke out. This is considered the start of violence .

The picture is showing the memorial that is set up at PULSE. Once a club for the LGBT+ community, is now a memory of what happened. PULSE is an example of violence towards this community. The LGBT+ community still experiences violence, but more people are willing to stand with them now. People were able to put their differences aside in this time of tragedy.

The picture is showing the memorial that is set up at PULSE. Once a club for the LGBT+ community, is now a memory of what happened.
PULSE is an example of violence towards this community. The LGBT+ community still experiences violence, but more people are willing to stand with them now. People were able to put their differences aside in this time of tragedy.

This image connected to the photos above. This was taken at PULSE. People come and leave items. This picture displays that the sadness and tragedy were felt around the country. The white top reads “From Seattle with LOVE”.

This image connected to the photos above. This was taken at PULSE. People come and leave items. This picture displays that the sadness and tragedy were felt around the country. The white top reads “From Seattle with LOVE”.

This is a photo of Alfred Kinsey, who wrote Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. These two-works started the conversation about sex in America .

This is a photo of Alfred Kinsey, who wrote Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. These two-works started the conversation about sex in America .

The fear of homosexuality was so strong that public service announcements were created. This is a still from Boys Beware (1961). In this PSA, the threat of homosexual males is examined. These males appear to be sexual predator on young boys. There is also a Girls Beware as well.

The fear of homosexuality was so strong that public service announcements were created. This is a still from Boys Beware (1961). In this PSA, the threat of homosexual males is examined. These males appear to be sexual predator on young boys. There is also a Girls Beware as well.

This Alan Turing, who committed suicide by poisoning himself. He was a well-known mathematician and computer smart. Turing also was a homosexual. He committed suicide after he had to choose between prison, or take a hormone treatment .

This Alan Turing, who committed suicide by poisoning himself. He was a well-known mathematician and computer smart. Turing also was a homosexual. He committed suicide after he had to choose between prison, or take a hormone treatment .

The overall treatment and acceptance of members in the LGBT+ has transformed since the 1950s. The fear of homosexuality was one of the many anxieties that the American people had. It seemed that during the 1950s, there was always something to worry about. New anxieties were developing every day. Never had people been presented the idea of homosexuality until the 1950s. For them, this was something new that seemed to be gaining speed. The 1950s was just the beginning for the future of the LGBT+ community. This was their decade to let the country know that they existed, and they no longer had to hide. They were not the stereotypes that surrounded them. Today, society seems to be making a lot of progress. Gay marriage was legalized on June 26, 2015. The United States became the twenty-first country to do so [1]. This was a huge step for the LGBT+ community.  It seems that society wants to make progress for all genders. A few months ago, California passed gender-neutral bathrooms. This allows any gender to use the bathroom [2]. Target, the company, has been changing to accommodate the LGBT+ community. Some stores already follow gender neutral bathrooms. The next step is to remove gender specific labels. Target has moved to a different brand called Pilliowfort to replace Circo. Pillowfort will provide items that are gender neutral [3].  The country seems to be heading in the right direction. The progress that has been made is amazing, compared to where it had started. The LGBT+ community can feel safe and free, instead of hiding.

[1] Ariane De Vogue and Jeremy Diamond, “Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide,” CNN, June 27, 2015, http://www.mbc-lawoffice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Supreme-Court-Ruling-on-Same-Sex-Marriage.pdf.

[2] Kate Gibson, “California Approves Gender-neutral Bathrooms,” CBS News, September 30, 2016, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-approves-gender-neutral-bathrooms/.

[3] Phil Wahba, “Target’s New Kids Collection Isn’t for Boys or Girls,” Fortune, February 08, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/02/08/target-gender-neutral/.

[1] Richard Layman, American Decades 1950-1959 (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1994), 272.

[2] Jolyon P. Girard and Randall M. Miller, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in the America, (Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009), 33.

[3] Stanley I. Kutler, Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1996), 104.

[4] Helen P. Branson and Will Fellows, Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), 74

[5]  Gay Bar: The Fabulous, 73.

[6] David K. Johnson, “Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956–1965”, Journal of American History 99, no 4. (2012), 1303.

[7] Diane Hamer, 2012. “The Pink Scare.” The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide 19 (5): 41.

[8] David K. Johnson, “Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956–1965”, Journal of American History 99, no 4. (2012), 1303.

[9] Alicia K. Matthews and Laura C. Hein, “Reparative Therapy: The Adolescent, the Psych Nurse, and the Issues.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing : (Official Publication of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses, Inc 23 (1) (2010) 29–35.