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How Speaking Up Makes Progress

by Michelle Majstorich

Silence and Activism explores the course of queer rights since the Holocaust (dealing mainly with US history). It focuses on the role of speaking up amidst silence, and how as each person speaks, the collective voice gets clearer and louder, more progress is made. The argument starts by examining the life of Pierre Seel, a French homosexual who was imprisoned during the Holocaust and ended up being silent about his experience for forty years (until anti-gay comments by Bishop Leon Elchinger caused Pierre to become an advocate for homosexual victims of the Holocaust). It then goes into United States history, specifically looking at key queer rights events like the Stonewall Riots, Act Up Protests, Don't Ask Don't Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. It finishes by examining how these events culminated into the state of affairs we have today with people speaking out more than ever despite negative feedback.

Other media by this contributor

Silence and Activism

"Silence and Activism" explores the course of queer rights since the Holocaust (dealing mainly with US history). It focuses on the role of speaking up amidst silence, and how as each person speaks, the collective voice gets clearer and louder, more progress is made.

from USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (and various (2012)
Creator: Tell Majstorich
Distributor: USC Shoah Foundation (and various)
Posted by Michelle Majstorich
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