This paper seeks to trace the complex attitudes towards homosexuality in the 1960s through the lens of the Vietnam War. I postulate that adopting the cause of protesting the ban on homosexuals in the military, coupled with the expansion of voyeuristic and sensationalized depictions of homosexuals, served to unify the gay community and strengthen homosexual identity. The voyeurism of Vietnam as the “Living Room War” brought the homosexual man out from the shadows, and though homosexuality continued to be considered a marker of mental illness and instability, the desire to see the taboo world of the gay man changed the baseline and ultimately began to normalize homosexuality overall.

First Advisor

Doug Sackman

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2018



Included in

History Commons