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West Shore Community College’s Humankind series is pleased to present a talk by Professor David Johnson titled “The Lavender Scare”. The talk will take place on Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

The Lavender Scare was a moral panic about homosexual people in the United States federal government during the mid-20th century. Paralleling the anti-communist campaign which is known as McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare, the Lavender Scare led to mass dismissal of many LGBTQ+ people from government service.

Johnson is a nationally recognized authority on gay and lesbian history, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of South Florida.

His book The Lavender Scare is based on years of research in the National Archives, dozens of interviews with former civil servants, and newly declassified government files. It is the first scholarly work to document the powerful personal stories of the gay and lesbian Americans who became scapegoats in the Cold War hysteria over national security.

Johnson’s work served as the foundational building block of the documentary titled The Lavender Scare. The documentary may be watched at the WSCC Commons in the Schoenherr Campus Center from Mon., April 8 through Thurs., April 11.

“This research hits home for me. As a queer faculty member, had I been living during this brutal campaign and working this very job, I might have been one of the victims.” said WSCC Curator and Visual Arts Professor Eden Ünlüata-Foley. “Our theme this year is Inclusion: Conversations Around A Crowded Table, and this is an important story to hear and have conversations about.”

This talk is presented as a part of the college’s Humankind series. This year’s theme of the series is Inclusion: Conversations Around A Crowded Table. More information on the series can be found at westshore.edu.