Lesbians In The 50's

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The 1950's was a very challenging time for homosexuals. It is quite different then today's views. During the 50's there was very little tolerance for homosexuals. Today, homosexuals are entitled to everything a heterosexual person is entitled to. There are national organizations of homosexuality and people who lobby and fight for rights of homosexuals. Life of a homosexual has always been struggling and hardship for acceptance but in the 1950's, homosexuality was highly secretive and frowned upon.

Penn and Faderman both have articles that show these hardships of homosexuality. They are encounters of women and men choosing a homosexual relationship and the baggage that comes along with that. First off, by being homosexual you were at great risk to loose your job. Employers did not want homosexuals working for them because of many reasons. One of those reasons was the fact that homosexuals were thought of as "emotionally unstable." These people were considered different because of their sexual practice but in turn were treated unfairly because of their preference.

It was very common for front marriages at this time. Many homosexual people would marry to hide their homosexuality. It would be a drastic change if people found out. They would loose their jobs, income and respect. Often homosexuals would be grouped and investigated. It was said at the time that homosexuality lead to drug use, burglary, sadism and even murder. This was an obvious misjudgment and just another way for government to punish homosexuals. Homosexuals were being blamed for problems in government and strictly discharged from the military. Many people were kicked out of the military for being homosexuals or even thoughts of a person being a homosexual. The many homosexuals who presented a front and kept themselves in the forces benefited. This was a huge backfire from the government.