Why moral panic over homosexuality swept DC in 20th century

Antagonism toward gay people in D.C. surfaced after World War II, when the U.S. became a world superpower and built its national security force. “Secrecy had not really been a concern in Washington. … And now all of a sudden it is, and there is no greater secret, more shameful secret than that one is a homosexual,” says author James Kirchick. Photo by Shutterstock.

“Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington” details the brave and sometimes salacious characters of Washington D.C.’s gay culture during the 20th century.

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