Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"We Are Able to Find Pride and Dignity in Being Gay": Culture, Resistance, and the Development of a Visible Gay Community in Lafayette, Louisiana, 1968-1989
by Manuel, Daniel C., II, M.A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2014, 105; 1557569
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis seeks to expand understandings of resistance, particularly in the context of everyday actions and social institutions. It achieves this by tracing the development of a gay community that became increasingly visible in Lafayette, Louisiana, from the late 1960s through the late 1980s. By crafting their own social mores and spaces, religious institutions, Mardi Gras associations, AIDS service organization, and political association, gay men resisted and contested efforts to marginalize or denigrate their identities and desires. Relying on oral histories and periodicals distributed within gay bars, this work highlights the importance of primarily non-political institutions in affirming gay identity, same-sex desire, and gender nonconformity. It finds agency within a group that has a largely undocumented history in Louisiana, outside of New Orleans. Previous scholarship on gay communities has focused too broadly on entire states or too exclusively on major metropolitan areas. This thesis, then, also brings to light the experiences of gay men in a small southern city, tracking the development of various means of resistance within that community.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Farmer-Kaiser, Mary
Commitee: Martin, Michael, Ritchey, Sara, Troutman, John
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: History
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, GLBT Studies
Keywords: American history, Gay, History, Lafayette, Louisiana, South
Publication Number: 1557569
ISBN: 9781303951244
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