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Word Count: 963
Late in the 19th century as large cities allowed for greater anonymity as wage labor apart from family became common and as more women were drawn out of the home evidence of a new pattern of homosexual expression surfaced At first these individuals developed ways of meeting one another and institutions to foster a sense of identity By 1915 one participant in this new gay world was referring to it as a community distinctly organized For the most part hidden from view because of social hostility an urban gay subculture had come into existence by the 1920s and 1930s World War II served as a critical divide in the social history of homosexuality Large numbers of the young left families small towns and closely knit ethnic neighborhoods to enter a sex-segregated military or to migrate to larger cities for wartime employment After the war many of them made choices designed to support their gay identities Pat Bond a woman from Iowa who first met other lesbians while in the military decided to stay in San Francisco after her discharge Donald Vining remained in New York City rather than return to his small hometown in New Jersey They along with countless others sustained a vibrant gay subculture that revolved around bars and friendship networks Many cities saw their first gay bars during the 1940s This new visibility provoked latent cultural prejudicesFirings from government jobs and purges from the military intensified in the 1950s President Dwight D Eisenhower issued an executive order in 1953 barring gay men and lesbians from all federal jobs Many state and local governments and private corporations followed suit The FBI began a surveillance program against homosexuals The lead taken by the federal government encouraged local police forces to harass gay citizens Vice officers regularly raided gay bars sometimes arresting dozens of men and women on a single night Under these conditions some gays began
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