Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Amy Limoncelli

Committee Members

Tuska Benes

Jay Watkins


This thesis will discuss a community of transnational sexual reformers and their influence on public and private views of homosexuality between the 1890s to the 1930s. This community of sexual reformers had ties to the World League for Sexual Reform (WLSR), an international organization that operated from 1928 to 1935. The WLSR discussed birth control, sexual education, prostitution, venereal disease, and, of course, homosexuality in terms of the law and society. By analyzing the few leading figures who studied homosexuality and sexology at the beginning of the 20th century, I have found that the correspondence and discussion of homosexuality or ‘sexual inversion’ created a transnational network between Britain and the rest of Europe. Many historians have written about these influences from individuals before, but this thesis re-examines this idea from the lens of community. How a community with transnational influences affected the way individuals engaged in ideas of homosexuality in their other social movements. The community and individuals’ efforts for removing prejudice towards homosexuals were ultimately unsuccessful in changing the public on a large scale, but they did give more information to queer individuals about other experiences, reducing isolation.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.