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Reforming SodomProtestants and the Rise of Gay Rights$
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Heather Rachelle White

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624112

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624112.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Writing the Homophile Self

Writing the Homophile Self

(p.43) 2 Writing the Homophile Self
Reforming Sodom

Heather R. White

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines three overlapping endeavors authored and organized by homosexuals during the postwar years. Each of these efforts shows how the project of articulating a homosexual identity contended with twinned narratives of condemnation and self-actualization found in the Protestant therapeutic orthodoxy. The “homophile movement,” the most well-known of the three efforts, is the main focus of this chapter. The authors of this type of literature took up the dominant therapeutic paradigm to turn that quest for authenticity into a project of homosexual self-acceptance. They contended with the intertwined doctrines of sin and sickness from within it, as its homosexual subjects. This collective carved out a social space that recognized and valorized same-sex attraction. The chapter also investigates how Protestantism provided practices of homosocial kinship and a set of narratives and beliefs that gave language to a homosexual identity.

Keywords:   homosexual literature, postwar period, homosexual identity, Protestant therapeutic orthodoxy, homophile movement, homosexual self-acceptance, homosocial kinship

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