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An often overlooked consequence of World War II in America is the effect it had on the expression of people’s sexuality. World War II was an extreme disruption in gender roles and patterns of the twentieth century. Many men and women were taken from the overwhelmingly heterosexual environments of their families and small towns and were sent to single-gender environments in an attempt to help the wartime effort. For instance, Men were drafted or voluntarily enlisted in the military to help the wartime effort, placing themselves in a largely male environment. For women that enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) the results were similar, they were socialized solely with women. The WAAC also gave women the ability to exist outside of the strict gender stereotypes they experienced at home. These situations allowed for people to explore and pursue their sexuality. Expirences that LGBTQ people had as enlisted soldiers during World War II lead to the creation of visible gay culture and identities in 20th century America. After the war their experiences gave LGBTQ people the community, confidence, and knowledge of themselves to create visible gay culture in the sense of meeting places and organizations, effectively serving as a coming out experience. The blue discharges that many LGBTQ veterans received also effectively caused veterans to recognize themselves as a targeted minority and fight against discrimination publically.



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