Great Wall of L. A. 1950: Origins of the Gay Rights Movement: Final Coloration

Great Wall of L. A. 1950: Origins of the Gay Rights Movement: Final Coloration

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This drawing represents the emergence of the first Gay and Lesbian organizations. On the left, are the women who formed the first lesbian rights organization, known as the "Daughters of Belitis". Here, they are mimeographing their first newsletter, "The Ladder".
On the right of the composition, are men sitting at a Gay bar. In the mirror is the reflection of who they really are: warm, affectionate and caring. Each man wears a mask on the back of his head symbolizing the false front to society that Gays had to assume in order to avoid persecution. The masks represent the Mattachine Society, founded in 1950 by Harry Hay, among others, who in this image here is raising the call to organize. Inspired by the Mattachine male dancers of Medieval France, the Mattachine Society was the first to advocate social equality for homosexuals.

  • This is a giclée of an original coloration used for determining the colors for the Great Wall of LA. It was used by the youth and artists in the LA River when painting the Great Wall over five summers from the late 1970s to early 1980s. 
  • Artist: Judith F. Baca
  • Original Coloration Completed: 1983
  • Paper Size: 21.5" W x 12" H Image Size: 18" W x 6.25" H