Hidden Pasts & Desires: Gay and Lesbian Lives During WWII

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Program Type: Guest Speaker
Age Group: Adults

Event Details

This presentation will explore the experiences of gays and lesbians during World War II. Historians of sexuality often see WWII as a watershed moment in LGBTQ history. With the massive mobilization of young people from across the country into single-sex environments, joining the armed forces gave young persons their first exposure to gay and lesbian desires and identities. With this exposure came a proliferation in gay and lesbian identified persons but also increased persecution from the armed forces specifically. The history of gay and lesbian lives during WWII is foundational to understanding the gay and lesbian rights movement through today. Presented by Ashley Barnes-Gilbert, a prior George L. Mosse Scholar of LGBTQ History, she received her PhD from the Program in Gender and Women’s History at the UW-Madison. She currently lectures at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she teaches a number of courses, including Feminist Theories, Women: Race and Ethnicity, Women and Work, and Queering American History.