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Abstract

This project is an analysis of the manner in which gender identity development was experienced by non-heteronormative people in the first half of the twentieth century, focusing on the experiences of gay men, with particular focus on the life of Anthony (Tony) Mascioli, a Rochester native and 1954 graduate of the Brockport State Teacher’s College , now The College at Brockport. Tony’s journey from a lower middle class, socially conservative, and mostly closeted lifestyle, to an upper class, extremely liberal, and totally open gay lifestyle sheds light on the manner in which American society’s view of homosexuality has evolved and on how heterosexism and classism intersect in both Tony’s life and in the formation of gay male identity as a whole. This research includes analysis of gay history, theories of gender identity and development, and personal experiences of identity as related in interviews and personal histories.