Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rocking the ClosetHow Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Vincent L. Stephens

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042805

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042805.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Visibly Hidden

Visibly Hidden

Postwar Disorientation, Queer Community, and Queer Ambivalence

(p.29) Chapter One Visibly Hidden
Rocking the Closet

Vincent L. Stephens

University of Illinois Press

This chapter illuminates how Johnnie Ray, Little Richard, Johnny Mathis, and Liberace achieved mainstream commercial success by discussing the dynamic gender norms of the postwar era. Drawing on Wini Breines, the chapter frames the era as one of “disorientation”--notably, the outgrowth of gender conformity was pervasive alienation. These tensions generated spaces of gender rebellion that were stigmatized in mainstream media exposés and publicized simultaneously. This visibility reflected a public interest in deviance and helped gay men and lesbians develop an awareness of a community that catalyzed the Homophile and Gay Liberation movements. Parallel to these political movements was a subcultural movement among queer artists in film, literature, and popular music that is discernibly queer yet trafficked in sexual ambiguity at the time.

Keywords:   postwar gender norms, Wini Breines, disorientation, deviance, homophile, gay liberation, sexual ambiguity

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.