Societal class has always been a separating factor between people of different caliber in the United States and across the globe. Whereas this has affected the state of living among people, there has also been an increase in the difference that has been made by class in the society. Other areas that were not affected greatly by class such as sexuality have in the recent times been transformed by societal class. More so, homosexuality remains as one of the most profound sexual issue that has been affected by class.
To begin with, belonging to a certain class as a gay person offered an added advantaged or disadvantage that could either elevate a person’s prospective in the society or bring him to a downfall. Chauncey (1995) argues that most people who were found to be doing well in the gay sexual relationship belonged to a low class at one time that would not have enabled them to find their partners. For instance, in 1927, nineteen-year-old gene Harwood decided to move to New York City from his small hometown in upstate New York after an older gay friend, who had already moved there, returned to tell him about the gay life possible in the city. Speaking in other words, one had to belong to a class in order to find a rightful sexual partner whom they could consider long time relationship.
In reference Houlbrook (2006), there has always been a difference between languages that is used by different societal classes. In this regard, he argues that as a member of a particular class, one had to learn a new language that was only understood by that class and not any other class. ‘Heterosexual people didn’t know what we were talking about –thought it was Chinese or something…. Therefore, one’s ability to excel in finding a partner relied heavily on how much one understood the language that was spoken in that class. On the other hand, the working class people in the society were easily identifiable since they were able to adorn attires that exhibited their inner beliefs, behaviors and their general character as sexual beings.
The issue of class also made a difference in such a way that the upper class people in the society were the ones that were associated with gay behaviorism. In this regard, gayness was equated with mindless upper-class. Therefore, one could not succeed as a gay without having a specific class that he or she belonged to. As a result of this, the working class people in the city were more likely to be associated with homosexuality as compared to those in the rural areas. It is also important to note that every class had its own kind of belief and moral system. In this regard, the moral standards that were exhibited in a particular person’s life were influenced by the societal class that this person belonged to. For instance, adorning expensive clothing and perfumes was seen more among the upper class people in the society than among those who belonged to the lower class. ‘They were both powdered and painted…they smelt strongly of perfume and spoke very effeminately’.
There are a few reasons why class made a difference among the gays in the United States, especially during the first half of the twentieth century. First, societal class created a foundation on which gay people would practice their homosexual behaviors. Notably, it was against the moral standards of the society for one to declare himself or herself as a homosexual. In addition, the creation of a class made it easier for these gays to find others whom they could associate with. In this regard, one could easily find a partner by joining a particular class in the society.