Yesterqueer

“A New Menace”: How Pre-Stonewall Headlines Depicted Homosexuality

 

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The use of the word homosexuality in mainstream news headlines before Stonewall was not pretty, not pretty at all, depicting us as everything from danger perverts to be feared to silly nuisances to be dismissed.

Early headlines ranged from “Homosexuality A New Menace” in the 1917 Los Angeles Times to “Debutants Bow at Local ‘Pansy’ Ball” in the 1931 Afro-American.  Even the kindly advice columnist Ann Landers was skeptical of our sanity.

To see how far we’ve come in such a relatively short time, let’s take a trip back in time.

Los Angeles Times, 1917

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The American Israelite, 1923

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   Afro-American, 1931afro-american-1931

The Austin Statesman, 1950

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The Sun, 1950

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Pageant Magazine, 1959

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New York Times, 1960

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Los Angeles Times, 1962

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New York Times, 1964

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Ann Landers Hartford Courant, 1964

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The Washington Post Times Herald, 1965

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New York Times, 1969

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