A Milwaukee Tradition: A Comparative History of the Gay People's Union and the City Club of Milwaukee
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For over a century, there has been a tradition of progressive grassroots organization in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a result, a recognizable pattern has emerged amongst reform groups seeking reform even in vastly different eras like those inhabited by the early City Club of Milwaukee in the 1910's and the Gay People's Union (GPU) in the 1970's. Using available archival evidence, this paper will show that the GPU fit into that tradition and indeed pushed its envelope of that tradition to a level it had never seen before. In the early 1970's, grassroots community and student groups supportive of GLBT rights, like the GPU, formed in Milwaukee and began pushing for the rights of their members. They did this by pursuing and developing inter-group networking, organizational methods, and political agency that were consistent and comparable with techniques developed by progressive-era rights groups like the City Club of Milwaukee, while simultaneously developing a much more complex strategy for public outreach to help themselves obtain their vastly different goals.
Gay People's Union (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Gay liberation movement--Wisconsin--Milwaukee
Milwaukee (Wis.)--Politics and government--20th century
Progressivism (United States politics)--History
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