Persecution of Homosexuals in the McCarthy Hearings: A History of Homosexuality in Postwar America and McCarthyism
Keywords:Postwar United States, homosexuality, McCarthyism, McCarthy hearings, House of Un-American Activities Commission (HUAC), Red Scare, Lavender Scare, communism
The postwar years were a time of great changes for homosexuals in the United States. The conjunction of the fear and anxiety of the first Cold War years, negative stereotypes held as scientific truths explaining homosexuality, and the greater awareness people had about the existence of gays and lesbians resulted in an environment of misunderstanding and persecution. Within this environment, positive scientific contributions toward the understanding of homosexuality such as Kinsey's report were twisted to fit the larger societal preconceptions, and even influenced the creation of legislation aimed at eradicating homosexuals from the government.