Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Week #2 Post
When reading the second part of Gay LA I enjoyed hearing the specific measures taken to target the largest adversaries of the queer community during the period of 1950’s when there was the beginning of more leniencies. The first adversary targeted was the church, which I found particularly interesting due to the at times radical nature of religion. Churches deemed homosexuality sinful at the time, something that has made little headway in current times. Pope Francis while calling for tolerance and banning discrimination has yet to make official changes to the doctrine, which still posses, the Catholic Church against but ‘sympathetic’. Queering is still taught in catechism, also called Sunday school, to this day as a sin despite reform efforts. Though some churches were sympathetic during the 50’s it was not the norm, leaving many queer individuals of religious beliefs without a place to exercise them without judgment.
A piece of history mentioned that was thought provoking, especially as UCLA students, was that there was a UCLA conference here where over two thousand women freely able to express their sexuality. I thought it was amazing to see that even in the 60’s UCLA was a pillar of acceptance and fostering unity. Mary Margret Smith in the book said that she was so overwhelmed with a sense of belonging and not being alone that she wept. I could not even imagine the joy and relief she must have felt being in a space where she was accepted and ultimately labeled herself a lesbian feminist from being so empowered. A question that came to mind when reading this was if there was more conferences or events supporting the queer community by UCLA at this time? As well as if this was the first conference that was only one of the many to follow. I think it would be interesting to hear more about the queer history of UCLA – for I don’t believe it is something widely discussed in reference to the history of the school.