URLF Project: PromotingQueerLiteracy

1960's and 70's

The 1960's and 70's represent the first time that queerness was visible in the United States. Government workers including Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings fought to bring an end to legal government discrimination and harassment. Gay rights organizations used respectability politics and argued they were the same as any one else to campaign for if not equality at least to be left alone. Growing queer rights riots including the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-in, and the Compton's Cafeteria Riot both in California demanded a more radical acceptance based off of other movement's political actions, such as the Black power, civil rights, and women's rights movements.
Media publicity, that for decades had been used to dox and shame queer people, costing jobs, family and security gradually changed in light of these acts of revolt. The stonewall riots especially, served retrospectively as a launching point for the nascent gay rights movement. Fighting against a named oppression and societal expectations gave a rallying point for queer people who had before been mostly isolated and afraid.
In the 1970's the first comic books by out lesbian women were published by Mary Wings and Roberta Gregory. Calls for community only continued to grow. The 70's represented a massive surge of queer activism and revolution as queer people found each other and began to build out community, from queer unions on college campuses, to drag and ballroom culture in major cities.


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