Start Date

27-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

27-4-2020 10:00 AM

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality | History | History of Gender | Political Science | Sociology

Description

The queer rights movement is often assumed to have advanced because of the collateral benefit of other social rights movements occurring around the same time, in the 1950s and 60s. However, the inception of an organized queer rights movement did not happen in line with any progressive time in United States public thought. In reality, the movement began at a time when America was at its least forward-thinking, during the Cold War. It was not the times becoming more progressive, but rather the shift in the model of oppression the queer community faced which allowed for the advent of an effective organization. The Cold War climate, as well as the organizational structure of the Daughters of Bilitis, allowed for the beginning of a queer rights movement outside of what had been seen in early attempts at queer organization, which focused mostly on scientific forms of homophobia. Bilitis was effective because it did not focus on one aspect of the movement, but rather tackled it holistically, looking at the social, scientific, and litigious aspects of homophobia, and acting accordingly.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/32903

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Apr 27th, 9:00 AM Apr 27th, 10:00 AM

Social, Scientific, Litigious: The Birth of a Queer Americanism

The queer rights movement is often assumed to have advanced because of the collateral benefit of other social rights movements occurring around the same time, in the 1950s and 60s. However, the inception of an organized queer rights movement did not happen in line with any progressive time in United States public thought. In reality, the movement began at a time when America was at its least forward-thinking, during the Cold War. It was not the times becoming more progressive, but rather the shift in the model of oppression the queer community faced which allowed for the advent of an effective organization. The Cold War climate, as well as the organizational structure of the Daughters of Bilitis, allowed for the beginning of a queer rights movement outside of what had been seen in early attempts at queer organization, which focused mostly on scientific forms of homophobia. Bilitis was effective because it did not focus on one aspect of the movement, but rather tackled it holistically, looking at the social, scientific, and litigious aspects of homophobia, and acting accordingly.