Gay Men and Lesbians in Cold War America
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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I am deeply grateful to many people who have helped make this book a reality. First and foremost, I thank Lois Banner and Steve Ross in the history department at the University of Southern California for serving as co‑chairs of my dissertation committee, for reading countless chapter drafts over many years, ...
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In the spring of 1954, a man named John walked by a newsstand in downtown Los Angeles and spotted something he had never seen before. It was a small magazine called ONE: The Homosexual Magazine. ONE was the first, and at that time, the only American magazine directly marketed to gay and lesbian readers. ...
Chapter 1: ONE Magazine and Its Readers
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The publication of ONE magazine’s first issue in January 1953 was a watershed moment in the history of American sexuality. Though not the first American publication to cater to homosexual readers (male physique magazines had been coyly cultivating gay male readers for years), ONE was the first American publication openly and brazenly to declare itself a “homosexual magazine.” ...
Chapter 2: Newsstand Encounters: ONE Magazine’s Volunteer Agents and Public Visibility
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ONE did not appear on newsstands throughout the country by serendipity or magic. The civil rights impulse that saturated ONE’s pages was also evident in the magazine’s distribution. A grass‑roots network of gay men and lesbians, persons who shared ONE’s desire to improve the collective status of gay people, brought about the magazine’s national proliferation and visibility. ...
Chapter 3: Imagining a Gay World: The American Homophile Movement in Global Perspective
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ONE received letters from all over the world. Most of its non‑U.S. correspondence came from Canada and Western Europe, but a small number of letters trickled in from Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Australia.1 Newsstands and bookstores in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Vienna, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City sold ONE.2 ...
Chapter 4: ONE Magazine Letter Archetypes
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Most of ONE’s correspondents wrote to the magazine to begin, renew, or cancel a subscription. They usually used the preprinted subscription form found in each issue, but some individuals penned subscription requests on their own stationary. These requests often said little more than “Please renew my subscription.” ...
Chapter 5: “Branded Like a Horse”: Homosexuality, the Military, and Work
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The anxieties unleashed by the federal government’s lavender scare were captured poignantly in the character of Brigham Anderson from Allen Drury’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Advise and Consent, which was published in 1959. Anderson was a handsome, confident U.S. Senator from Utah, married with a young child. ...
Chapter 6: Classroom Anxieties: Educators and Homosexuality
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In the popular 1953 Broadway play Tea and Sympathy, a teacher named Harris befriends a sulky, naive, and effeminate teenage student named Tom Lee. Both Harris and Tom Lee are rumored to be gay at their elite prep school, and rumors fly wildly after other students witness the two swimming in the nude at a local beach. ...
Chapter 7: Family Anxieties: Parent and Family Responses to Homosexual Disclosures
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Tom Lee, the harassed protagonist of Tea and Sympathy, has a strained relationship with his father, Herb. Herb cannot bear the idea that his son might be homosexual. Herb searches for clues to disprove the rumors, but he is repeatedly disappointed. Herb cringes at the effeminate way Tom plays tennis. ...
Chpater 8: Homosexuals and Marriage under the Shadow of McCarthy
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In Tea and Sympathy, a housemaster’s wife, Laura, takes pity on poor Tom Lee. She disbelieves that Tom’s effeminacy, sensitivity, and fondness for classical music means he must be gay. But Laura is not so sure about her macho husband, Bill. During their brief marriage, their sex life has dwindled to nothing. ...
Chapter 9: “I shall always cherish Sunday”
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In 1964 Donny, a young African‑American man who lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey, wrote an extraordinary letter to ONE magazine.1 Over the course of nine typed pages, Donny described a gut‑wrenching saga of sexual awakening, crushing heartbreak, and emotional breakdown. ...
Chapter 10: Unacceptable Mannerisms: Gender, Sexuality, and Swish in Postwar America
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In the mid‑1950s, playwright Robert Anderson and Metro‑Goldwyn‑Mayer (MGM) executive Dore Schary faced a dilemma. They wanted to turn Anderson’s stage hit Tea and Sympathy into an MGM film, but the motion picture censorship code forbade movies with homosexual themes. ...
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When I began reading the letters written to ONE editors, I was expecting horrifying tales of suicides, homophobic violence, and involuntary lobotomies. Instead, I was surprised by the upbeat tone of so many letters. Even in the bleakest descriptions of antigay discrimination, a sense of humor, irony, and resilience often prevailed. ...
Appendix: Categories of ONE Correspondence
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Sources and Bibliography
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Page Count: 268
Illustrations: 2 tables, 18 figures
Publication Year: 2012