Thursday, August 8, 2013

watching, waiting and learning

... A Queer History of the United States continued. So, if the medical community was analyzing LGBT's, the social purist were demonizing LGBT's and LGBT"s themselves were in the closet, understandably I might add, can we still say there was an LGBT movement going on in the late 19th century? Well, yes we can! The use of that phrase was not stolen from Obama's 2008 campaign, it just fit my point.
    Anyhow, even though most LGBT's were in the closet the groundwork for today's movement was still being laid. Other groups like labor with the 1886 Chicago Haymarket Square riots in which police killed eight protesters, the 1896 supreme court Plessy vs. Ferguson case that legalized segregation, and Women's suffrage were all showing LGBT's how it's done and that it can be done! Although Plessy... was a losing case for African-Americans it did reveal the shortcomings of using ''legal'' channels alone to fight injustice. Although lives were lost, Haymarket Square showed how violent state repression can move public opinion. And Women suffrage showed how grassroots organizing can create a groundswell of mass support.
    Today's LGBT movement is most definitely modeled after previous movements. The courts, the ''kitchen table'' and the streets have all been used, and are being used, to gain LGBT rights. So, it is fair to say that the LGBT movement existed in a dormant state in the late 19th century. If a movement can be considered a living thing, then it was standing on the sidelines watching, waiting and learning.

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