Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Blog Post 2
Part II of Gay L.A. highlights the transition from the silent era to a bolder political era in Los Angeles. However, it was not as clear cut as a riot sparking marked change and abolished discrimination, as the political and social atmosphere of LA was quite complicated. Not only was there the challenge of fighting external adversities, but also the challenge of battling internal differences. This brings up the important point that a marginalized identity is often stripped of all its parts, all its differences, and all of its varying identities, to create a simplistic identity to create unity in the face of adversity. This seeking solidarity and unity, while powerful in achieving progress, comes at the cost of internal conflict and opposing views on political approaches. One of the most prominent internal conflicts of the Los Angeles gay community was that between lesbians and gays. As women did not have the financial status as men, lesbian women often found it harder to gain sufficient support and resources, the way gay men could.
While overall, the gay history of Los Angeles mostly goes untold and unknown, it is even more significant how untold the story of the lesbian community has remained. It is particularly important to note that the spaces of which these two different identities could exist freely an openly were different, and this would create incredibly differences in political mobilization and visibility. This most importantly demonstrates how despite both being marginalized, their experiences and identities were mostly different. Lesbian communities opened women’s spaces and art galleries, as opposed to clubs and bars which was a freedom still only really afforded to men. The political turmoil within gay organizations, particularly between gays and lesbians, created a notable divide between both groups, causing each to evolve in different ways. Lipstick lesbians and golden boys soon developed into punk bands, signifying a new era for gay Los Angeles. This evolution and constantly dividing lines of unity is particularly relevant to our current political climate, and debates of intersectionality will continue to be brought up until those who are marginalized are finally afforded an individual identity, as opposed to only being afforded a group identity, while both may hold value.