“The closet” has often been described as a strategy to resist the anti-queer and anti-trans violence of American culture in the period after the Second World War, and the culture of the LGBTQ closet has often been seen in complex terms–both as an accommodation of homophobia/transphobia, as well as a more subtle form of resistance to homophobia/transphobia. In your responses this week, explore the ways in which the culture of the closet both reinforced AND challenged the homophobia and transphobia of US culture in the 1940s-1960s. As you look at the readings for Week 10 by Johnson and Stryker, and view the film about the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot (*via libraries.rutgers.edu, select the Kanopy database), you might also consider the ways in which gender created new ways to think about LGBT self-image. In particular, you might concentrate on the ways in which gender identities converged based on masculinity and femininity, as well as trans and cisgender identity. You might also think about the importance of race and class in addition to gender differences. For example, did “Liberation” mean something different for cisgender gay, lesbian, and bisexual people and transgender members of the community? Was “Liberation” more complicated for working-class people and/or people of color?
What was “the closet,” and how was Gay, Lesbian-Feminist, and Trans Liberation a movement to liberate people from the institutions of oppression known as “the closet”? How do you see different institutions of the “closet” in our readings from the past three weeks (choose one or two examples from Weeks 7-9), and how do you see manifestations of subversion and political liberation in the readings in Week 10 (choose at least one example)? The first four files upload are readings from week 7-9, and the last two are from week 10.
As you develop your answers to the Discussion Board, remember to focus on naming specific people, locations, terms, etc. from the readings. Remember to cite page numbers.
You should write about 350-500 words (or about a page to two pages in double spaced, 12-point font), but you may write as much as you wish.