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Members of the squad spied upon suspected gay people and opened their mail. As the government fired gay employees, private companies began doing the same. HARRY HAY AND THE MATTACHINE SOCIETY In the 1950s, there was little to no support for gay people in the United States. There were no societies they could turn to. They had no celebrities with whom they could identify. And there were no marches where they could proclaim their pride and solidarity. Gay people faced loneliness, isolation, and prejudice.

University chancellor Laurence Chalmers rejected the group. ”10 With the help of the ACLU, the student group sued the university. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case. Although it did not become an official college organization, the GLF remained active on the University of Kansas campus. Students at other universities had greater success with their gay rights groups. In 1967, Columbia University freshman Robert Martin, who later changed his name to Stephen Donaldson, founded the nation’s first Student Homophile League.

3 Although he led this crackdown, Hoover may have been keeping his own secret. Throughout his career, he had a very close relationship with his assistant, Clyde Tolson. The two men spent extensive time together. They were rumored to be in love. There were also unproven rumors that Hoover sometimes dressed in women’s clothing. Could the FBI director have been gay? If he had been, it would have certainly ruined his career. Some people think his aggressive attack against gay people was an attempt to hide his own secret.

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Gay Rights Movement by Stephanie Watson


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