Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies



First Reader/Committee Chair



The ONE Exhibition explores an era in American history marked by intense government sponsored anti-gay persecution and the genesis of the LGBT equality movement. The study begins during World War II, continues through the McCarthy era and the founding of the nation’s first gay magazine, and ends in 1958 with the first gay Supreme Court case in U.S. history.

Central to the story is ONE The Homosexual Magazine, and its founders, as they embarked on a quest for LGBT equality by establishing the first ongoing nationwide forum for gay people in the U.S., and challenged the government’s right to engage in and encourage hateful and discriminatory practices against the LGBT community. Then, when the magazine was banned by the Post Office, the editors and staff took the federal government to court. As such, ONE, Incorporated v. Olesen became the first Supreme Court case in U.S. history that featured the taboo subject of homosexuality, and secured the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech for the gay press. Thus, ONE magazine and its founders were an integral part of a small group of activists who established the foundations of the modern LGBT equality movement.