“And it is still not much different in Europe!” Understanding and Translating Anxiety: Homophile Emotional Ties Across the Atlantic 1950-1965


  • Sébastien Tremblay




Reacting to social and state repression in 50s and 60s US-America, homosexuals tried to redefine their masculinities through the homophile movement. Through the analysis of compiled letters sent by its readership to the biggest US-American homophile magazine of the time, ONE, this paper states that some homosexuals expressed anxiety when confronted with a contemporary crisis in masculinity, for which they were blamed. Crossing the Atlantic, ONE and its Swiss multilingual counterpart Der Kreis/The Circle/Le Cercle offered new perspectives for many gay men and lesbians, breaking their isolation and carrying out their desires. This paper confirms a sort of understanding in Switzerland of what was being felt by US-American homosexuals and demonstrates that a translation of those feelings was possible. Each magazine interpreted homosexual realities with different emotional and literary styles when it came to respectability, culture and legal affirmation. However both acted as a new form of communication networks for members of their communities.