Since its establishment as a mining camp, Denver was an integral part of life for many westerners, including homosexuals. Although Denver's early gay culture has received little scholarly attention, its history is unique and revealing, as its experience does not necessarily reflect those of other larger urban communities. This study examines how upper and middle-class white gay men navigated the boundaries of sexual morality to help define homosexual personhood for the public and form the basis of Denver's gay community between 1940 and 1975. Within the context of national discourse regarding "homosexuality," breadwinner liberalism, and the sexual revolution, the emergence and cohesion of Denver's gay community occurred during a transformation from homophile activism to the gay liberation movement. Subsequently, the history of gay Denver demonstrates the importance of politicization and sexuality in the construction and organization of gay scenes and the politics of moral respectability. Well before the materialization of a national "gay rights" movement and the gay liberation movement in the American twentieth century, Denver functioned as an example of how white gay men attempted to unify and create the basis of an early gay political movement.
|Advisor:||Agee, Christopher L.|
|Commitee:||Levine-Clark, Marjorie, Whitesides, John G.|
|School:||University of Colorado at Denver|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American history, GLBT Studies, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Colorado, Denver, Gay men, Identity, Queer people|
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