Tying Cold War and LGBT+ history

The Lavender Scare project

Topic & Content: I have chosen to carry out a project which is tied to LGBT+ history for two reasons. First of all, by volunteering at LGL (Lithuanian Gay League), I will be able to organize an event at LGL (an agreement with local partner) premises and naturally attract attention of those who are interested in LGBT+ rights/history. Secondly, I’m highly motivated to extend  my historical knowledge of the field in order to improve as an activist. It is also important to mention that the project is still in the „idea phase“ and any comments/ideas are more than welcomed.

Usually the Gay Liberation Movement and Stonewall Riots are acknowldeged as beginning of LGBT+ movement. For this reason, an important period which started in U.S in 50‘s is often forgotten. The Lavender Scare was the persecution of homosexuals in the 50‘s and 60‘s, basically it paralleled the anti-communist campaign and gay men and gay women were thought to be communist sympathizers. It mainly resulted as mass firings from the US government workforce.


Pedagogical goals, approach & method

  • To both evoke and offer further understanding of LGBT+ history through creative methods.
  • To question wether this particular period had or have influence in our country.

I‘m thinking of gathering some controversial (?) /thought evoking material from various sources and setting up a comics workshop. There are numerous books published on the topic as well as video material and hopefully I‘ll be able to get an access to that. After sorting out historical material, I‘d organize a workshop event at LGL in which I‘d be able to present the material. Even though The Lavender Scare mainly resulted with firings from government workforce, I believe this story to have relevance in present:

“There are still 29 states in the country in which it is perfectly legal to fire people simply because they are LGBT<…>  the story of The Lavender Scare will help educate people about the need for laws on both the state and national level to protect LGBT people from employment discrimination”

(Source: http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2013/04/26/9-things-to%C2%A0know-about-lavender-scare )

Also, I‘m thinking of including some examples from my own viewpoint in order to inspire/set an example for participants since I‘m a bit afraid they can show lack of interest.

For example, short fact :

in the 50‘s adversaries of the medium had turned their sights on Batman and Robin – opponents assumed that this crime-fighting duo were „homosexual lovers“, basically any mention of LGBT culture was forbidden until 1989.

(Source: https://www.bookish.com/articles/10-moments-that-shaped-lgbt-history-in-comics/)

Outcome: batman2

Overall outcome would depend on the shown interest from the community. Usually such workshops gathers quite the attention. Ideally, after the workshop, I‘d be able to make a zine as a final outcome. This can also be a motivational aspect for participants.

I also thought about starting a discussion on wether the covered period had any influence on our country. Yet the workshop itself would take up some time and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to load even more activities on participants. Maybe suggesting to do a comic on the question would be a better idea and a great workshop startint point. (?)

Target groups. Even though events at LGL are open for everyone, I consider my target group to be other volunteers and local LGBT+ community.

Evaluation. I don‘t have a clear idea about the evaluation from participants yet. I liked the “suitcase, question mark, garbage bin” method from Antonia‘s project, maybe I could use this method, maybe I‘ll come up with something else later.

As for my own evaluation, if I‘ll be able to capture participants attention and inspire them to come up with enough material to put up a zine, I‘ll consider my work done well.

Timetable and milestones

May- June. Gathering and organising the information. Doing more comics work as an example.

End of July- beginning of August. I‘d like to carry out the workshop between 25of July – 10 of August. This way, I‘ll have plenty of time for preparing the information and choosing the best date available. A few weeks before the workshop, I‘ll make a public facebook event.

End of August. Putting up and printing out the final zines.


Thursday 10th March

On the 7th day of the Training course we tried artistic methods and participated in a graffiti workshop “ART&FUTURE WITHOUT WALLS”.The workshop was organized by organization called “Schoolclash” (facebook)

Before the workshop, all of us met in the green seminar room where we had the 12476397_1578661322451874_1846068137_nchance to know the organization “Schoolclash” better. We talked a bit about how the organization originated, what are they up to nowadays and street art in general. The presenter was really charismatic and we were excited to participate in the following activities.


After the introduction part, it was time to go to the “Schoolclash” premises where we were told about the following tasks. There were 3 col1081527_1578661262451880_179023422_nd war related topics, so we divided into 3 groups and each group had to fill in a piece of “wall”. In addition, everyone had a chance to make their personal artwork too. Before starting, we were briefly informed about the technique of street art. It was interesting to see how different groups chose different working methods. While 2 groups shared thoughts and tried to make them into one idea, other group decided that everyone can do as they wish and in the end their thoughts somehow connected.


Overall, the workshop went by really fast. Even at the beginning some people seemed skeptical, as the day went, they have immersed themselves in the creative process one way or another. In the afternoon, we set up a vernissage where each of us had a chance to tell the others about their artwork. The results were delightful. At the end of the workshop, we agreed that this method is good for bonding people and eliminating discomfort between them since people tend to relax and open up doing artistic things.

After the workshop, we once again gathered in the green seminar room where we were asked to fill in 4 sections (perspectives, places, metho12527755_1578661202451886_375295630_nds, objectives) and connect them together in board. By doing that, we understood how each 4 sections connects to each other. This was helpful not only for the following activities, but also for self-reflection since we were able to see the „final picture“ of everything we have done so far.

Before the evaluation, we started brainstorming about the in-between course projects we will have to carry out until the second part in Bucharest. It was inspiring to see other participants ideas and methods.