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The Lavender Scare: The Forgotten War Against Homosexuals During The McCarthy Era

The McCarthy Era during the 50’s and 60’s is remembered as the time of the Red Scare, the headline-grabbing hunt for Communists in the United States, but what many don’t remember during that time was the Lavender Scare, a vicious and vehement purge of homosexuals, which lasted longer and ruined many more lives with more than 10,000 Federal employees lost their jobs for just being suspected of being homosexual.

The documentary The Lavender Scare shows how the government’s actions ignited an anti-gay frenzy that spread throughout the country, in an era in which The New York Times used the words “homosexual” and “pervert” interchangeably, and public service films warned that homosexuality was a dangerous, contagious disease. The documentary examines the tactics used by the U.S. government to identify homosexuals, and takes audiences inside interrogation rooms where gay men and women were subjected to grueling questioning. These stories are told through the first-hand accounts of the people who experienced them.

This documentary is a must for anyone interested in our LGBT heritage and history.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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