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Q. What was it like for a lesbian during McCarthyism?
A. In the 1930s, the prevailing view of society and the medical community was that lesbians were decadent, pathetic monstrosities. Following World War II, to be a wife and mother was considered the only "normal" roles for women. This was followed by McCarthyism and the institutionalized insanity that caused many lesbians to live secret lives filled with guilt, pain and self-hatred.
During McCarthyism's witch hunt to rout out and rid our nation of "communists," gay men and lesbians were under similar attack. During this period, psychiatrists and society at large considered homosexuality to be a "perversion" and homosexuals to be "psychopaths." Furthermore, during McCarthyism's governmental exorcism, same-sex love was considered "criminal."