Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Clifford Kuhn - Chair
Dr. Michelle Brattain
The decades after World War II were a time of growth and change for queer people across the country. Many chose to move to major metropolitan centers in order to pursue a life of openness and be part of queer communities. However, those people only account for part of the story of queer history. Other queer people chose to stay in small towns and create their own queer spaces for socializing and community building. The Gulf Coast of Florida is a place where queer people chose to create queer community where they lived through such actions as private house parties and opening bars. The unique place of the Gulf Coast as a tourist destination allowed queer people to build and join communication networks that furthered the growth of a sense of community leading ultimately to the founding of Bay AIDS Services and Information Coalition in 1989.
Watkins III, Jerry T., "Underneath the Rainbow: Queer Identity and Community Building in Panama City and the Florida Panhandle 1950 - 1990" (2008). History Theses. Paper 31.