Date of Submission

Fall 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

Simon Gilhooley

Abstract/Artist's Statement

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.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.

Bard Off-campus Download

Bard College faculty, staff, and students can login from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Bard username and password.