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
The American Israelite, 1923
The Austin Statesman, 1950
The Sun, 1950
Pageant Magazine, 1959
New York Times, 1960
Los Angeles Times, 1962
New York Times, 1964
Ann Landers Hartford Courant, 1964
The Washington Post Times Herald, 1965
New York Times, 1969