Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Sally M. Miller
First Committee Member
R. H. Limbaugh
Second Committee Member
The purpose of this thesis is to recall a period of history when women were expected to adhere to a rigid societal structure. It captures a glimpse of a few women's lives in California who courageously came forth to promote a positive identity for lesbians in the hearts of their budding community. Although lesbians of California will be the only women addressed in this study, lesbians and gay men in several states were active in setting the stage for the eruption of Stonewall, which marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement.
The women participating in this study have provided an illuminating personalized view of lesbian life within the context of the butch-fern phenomenon and their subculture's collision with mainstream society.
Marge Frantz is included even though she could not reveal the fact that she was a lesbian, but she is an example of a lesbian who took great risks and suffered many hardships in her political endeavors.
Conclusions drawn illustrate comparisons between the 1940s and 1950s lesbian subculture and that of today's lesbian community. This includes how expectations of lesbians have changed from one generation to the next, and what sparked the shift in those expectations.
Research methods include conducting a series of personal interviews, investigating archival material, and supplementing the data with secondary sources.
Sagewalker, Alex C.. (1998). Inverts, variants, and deviates West Coast lesbians of the forties and fifties : a thesis .... University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/2330
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in PacificSearch
If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email