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Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
New Film Explores Gay Witch Hunts
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 12/05/11
Last updated on: 12/05/11
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Josh Howard's new film, The Lavender Scare, scheduled for release in 2012, explores the witch hunts of the 1950s and 1960s. It vividly reminds us that for gay men and lesbians the McCarthy-era was a time of police harassment, suspicions of disloyalty, and dismissals from jobs, especially in the public sector. The abuses of gay men and lesbians did not end with the repudiation of Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy in 1953, but continued into the 1960s and, with lesser intensity, beyond.

Directed by Academy Award-winner Howard, the film is based on historian David K. Johnson's 2006 book, The Lavender Scare. It is the first feature-length documentary film to tell the story of the U.S. government's ruthless campaign to hunt down and fire every Federal employee it suspected was gay.

Before the lavender scare was over, more than 10,000 federal employees had been fired. The film examines the tactics used by the government to identify homosexuals, and takes audiences inside interrogation rooms where gay men and lesbians were subjected to grueling and demeaning questioning. These stories are told through the first-hand accounts of the people who experienced them.

The Lavender Scare shows how the government's actions ignited a homophobic frenzy that spread throughout the country, affecting the lives of all gay men and lesbians whether they worked for the government or not.

But the harassment of homosexuals throughout the 1950s also led them to believe in the necessity of mutual support. Although fighting back was not always possible and many gay men and lesbians were affected by guilt and internalized the stereotypes of the era, the 1950s was also the beginning of activism in the lesbian and gay communities.

The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, which together inaugurated the American homophile movement, were in many ways shaped by McCarthyism.

Instead of destroying American homosexuals, the actions of the government had the opposite effect: they stirred a sense of outrage and activism that helped ignite the gay rights movement.

To learn more about film, visit the website The Lavender Scare.

Here is the trailer:

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