Essay on A Feminist Perspective On Gay Activists

1225 Words Sep 28th, 2015 null Page
Gay activists today have a clear sense of their sexual and social identity and the history of their oppression. However, this identity has not always existed. It had to be created and, in the early 1950’s, it was. In this decade, the homophile movement began to develop an understanding of gay people as an oppressed social minority. (Gibson, Alexander, and Meem, 58) With no shared identity other than the history and experience of persecution, freedom from oppression became the common cause of the early movement. Dorothy Del Martin articulates this difficulty in a 1962 issue of the lesbian magazine The Ladder, “the homosexual minority is unlike any other minority group. Homosexuals cannot be bound together by tradition as in the case of Jews. They cannot be readily identified as can the negroes. Homosexuals do not have a common ground in the areas of religion, politics or economics..." (Martin, 331). Martin admits that gay people do not have a common ethnicity, religion, or class, but she argues that they are tied together by their common oppression. Martin continues, “the only issue that may draw homosexuals together in a common vote might be in the area of civil liberties and repeal of our outmoded sex laws.” (Martin, 331) The Mattachine Society strongly emphasized the creation of a community; one of their three stated missions was to unify. (“Mattachine Society Statement,” 283) The oppression that gay people experienced drove them to create a community where they could…

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