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In the 1950s, the queer rights movement was just getting started. The Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, and ONE Magazine were the three major organizations working for homosexual rights in the two decades prior to Stonewall. Often referred to as the homophile movement, they struggled to survive and succeed. While it had a few victories in the beginning, the homophile movement was dead by the time of Stonewall. This is unexpected: success often leads to more success, so what can account for the homophile movement’s unexpected trajectory? Using the resource mobilization theory, the political process model, and an examination of framing, this project will explain the ultimate demise of ONE, the Daughters, and the Mattachine. When the movement used frames that articulated a unified homosexual community that fought for itself, the movement was able to mobilize resources and seize political opportunities. On the other hand, when the movement used frames that emphasized the importance of assimilation on an individual level, it struggled to convince members that the movement was a worthwhile endeavor. Studying the homophile movement’s obstacles and accomplishments will help us answer questions about today’s queer and transgender movements.
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Katz, Tema Jasper, "A Lesbian Couple and Some Gay Communists Walk Into a Bar: How Homophile Activists Used Movement Frames (In)Effectively to Mobilize Resources and Seize Political Opportunities" (2015). Senior Projects Fall 2015. 56.