SS144 Unit 9 Assignment 20th Century LGBT Rights Movement

20th Century LGBT Rights Movement

Purdue University Global


Gay rights have been a social movement in the United States and surrounding countries for years, as it is seen by many to be a disgrace for someone to love another person other than one of the opposite sex. Since the 20th century the LGBT community has grown stronger, and larger to fight for their rights. A video from a 1980’s news channel showed the political standpoint of the LGBT community in San Francisco, and the fight for equal rights in their gay community at the time. The video discusses the violence, and hatred towards the gay community, as well as the political push on gaining their rights.

The video starts off with two lesbian women and two gay men singing America the Beautiful with a twist in 1982 San Francisco. This song is sang with lyrics describing the fight each of these individuals are enduring to receive the same treatment as heterosexual people (Spencer Michels, KQED). This video shows the power of mayor Dianne Feinstein, who worked hard educating the community and the police force on the gay community. Harvey Milk is brought up as the first gay supervisor of San Francisco, along with his murder a few years later. San Francisco was a city known to accept anyone with any difference to one another. The gay community was one that wasn’t accepted by many people though their population showed to be larger than any other in the city.

The LGBT rights movement is an example of a reformative social movement. This type of social movement is to change or reform the way society views and treats this community (Henslin, 2019). The LGBT community fought against their counterparts by gaining respect in politics with Harvey Milk and others who became a part of the government for the city. The gay community did not give up on their fight for the rights they deserved.

Evolutionary theories describe this movement as it is one that continues to evolve in society. This movement has gone from people simply hating gay people to having people killed and discriminated against for years. According to Lewis Morgan (1877), all societies go through the three stage of savagery, barbarism, and civilization (Henslin, 2019). The LGBT rights movement started off with brutal attacks on this certain group, to murders, and finally in the 21st century coming to an agreement by most people. Not everyone agrees with what people do, but much like the racial movement, there is headway and more people are accepting of the LGBT community as it grows and fights against the bigotry.

This news cast shows the struggle it was in the 1980’s to be a gay or lesbian individual. This was not the start of the LGBT movement and it is certainly not where it ended, but this is the time where people started to make an impact on society. I would have joined this movement at the time, as I would now, because everyone has the right to live a life they desire. Who a person loves does not reflect the person they are. I am a lesbian, I may not have needed to fight as hard as those described in this video, but I do fight the demons of people who continue to hate against this community. Giving them a good run for their money would make my family, friends and myself proud.


Henslin. J. M. (2019). Sociology. Vital Source Bookshelf. Retrieved from . Retrieved on June 11, 2019.

Spencer Michels. KQED: Pride, Prejudice and Gay Politics October 27, 1982. Retrieved from