Who were the 'Homophiles'? The LGBTQ rights movement began long before Stonewall

Dec 2015
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Who were the 'Homophiles'? The LGBTQ rights movement began long before Stonewall
“Stonewall was not the start of the LGBTQ civil rights movement,” historian Eric Marcus said of the 1969 uprising. “It was a key turning point.”
By Ben Kesslen

"Stonewall’s monumental impact is not in question, but marking it as the start of the gay right’s movement erases those who fought for LGBTQ right before that fateful June night five decades ago, historians say. Before Stonewall, there was a nascent — but growing — “homophile movement,” mostly of gay men and lesbians, who formed groups to fight for their rights in the early 1950s. As the decade progressed, so, too, did their defiance."
"In the early days of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, “it was assumed that gay people were mentally ill,” Marcus said."
“The first person to challenge that in a serious way was Dr. Evelyn Hooker when she … compared a group of 30 gay men to 30 straight men,” he said. “She presented her study in 1956 at the American Psychiatric Association convention in Chicago, and she just about blew the roof off the place, because she said that there was no difference in terms of psychopathology between gay men and straight men."
"Homosexuality would ultimately be removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental illnesses in 1973, but Marcus said Hooker’s study “got the ball rolling.”









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June is Gay Pride Month. There is rich history before Stonewall that many may not know about concerning the LGBT Movement in America. The struggles and accomplishments that came to be are very worthy of note. It is worth reading through the whole report to learn about what transpired in the movement since the early 50's to better understand where they are today despite the continuing hate, prejudice and discrimination that still exists on the part of some who prefer to live with bigotry in their life.