The first 'homophile' group in the United States was the Mattachine Society, founded in 1950 in Los Angeles by Marxist political activist Harry Hay and a small group of his friends. Given the anti-homosexual and anti-communist climate in the U.S. in the 1950s, anonymity was integral to the group during its formative years. The Society's goals were to bring together homosexuals isolated from their own kind; to educate society about homosexual culture; and to assist victimized gays. The Society struggled, as the LGBTQ community still does, with the sometimes conflicting goals of celebrating gay sexuality vs. seeking acceptance and respectability. Although contemporary LGBTQ people mark the 1969 Stonewall Riots as the beginning of gay liberation, the Mattachine Society had already been engaged for two decades in a struggle against police raids, entrapment, censorship, criminalization of sexuality, and labeling by psychiatric organizations.
12" x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm) image size