Year of Graduation


Document Type




Directing Professor

Peter Coogan


This thesis will challenge many scholarly works that define being “out” and visibility as the ultimate expression of gay resistance. To define outness as the ultimate expression of resistance is to erase a group of people who did not have the privilege of always being able to be out and any contributions they made towards LGBT resistance. When studying LGBT resistance, it is important to acknowledge the necessity of political resistance, but that does not mean that other forms of resistance should be ignored. To analyze the importance of LGBT resistance outside of the public sphere means to re-examine the importance that the actions within the private sphere have on society. This thesis will also attempt to fill in the gaps left by urban-centric LGBT history. Evidence will show that a “gay world” did in fact exist in rural America, and while urban gay life was distinct and the birth place of gay movements in the twentieth century, the presence of rural gay men and women show that the city was not “necessary.”