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The Strange Media Career of the Homosexual

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Gay Rights and Moral Panic
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Abstract

Prior to the late 1940s, the most prevalent media image of the male homosexual and the one most familiar to the American public was the “fairy.” It drew upon both the turn-of-the-century scientific notions of homosexuals as sexual inverts and, more significantly for media representations, upon the experience of the emerging urban area–based homosexual communities such as Greenwich Village, where many male homosexuals affected female mannerisms, dressed in an effeminate style, and often gave themselves female names. While effeminacy was no means typical of all homosexual men, it clearly marked a man as homosexual.1

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© 2008 Fred Fejes

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Fejes, F. (2008). The Strange Media Career of the Homosexual. In: Gay Rights and Moral Panic. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230614680_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230614680_2

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-230-10826-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-230-61468-0

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