The Vision of Arcadie: Homosexuality and Ethics

in Living in Arcadia

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226389257
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226389288 | DOI:
The Vision of Arcadie: Homosexuality and Ethics

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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In the years 1945–1955, a number of homophile organizations throughout the West, including Arcadie, were founded to defend a common vision of homosexuality. They argued for a broadly “reformist” and “assimilationist” agenda espousing the view that homosexuals were entitled to the same respect, and the same rights, as any other individuals. These movements emphasized that same-sex relations encompassed more than sex. The homophile moment was premised upon the idea of a stable homosexuality identity distinct from “pederasty” or boy-love and from theories of a “third sex.” The organizations aspired toward a model of homosexuality and ethics, to determine how homosexuals might live their lives. Searching for the truth about homosexuality, Arcadie started with science and sought to connect homosexuals to their history and culture. In looking at France's homosexual past in the mid-twentieth century, an important figure was André Gide, who had died three years before André Baudry founded Arcadie. The precondition of Arcadie's vision for homosexuals to live as fully integrated citizens was the exhortation to “dignity.”

Keywords: Arcadie; homophile organizations; France; homosexuality; André Gide; dignity; science; homosexuals; ethics; André Baudry

Chapter.  10243 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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