Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Sara Hayden

Commitee Members

Casey Charles, Steve Schwarze


coming out, consciousness raising, constitutive rhetoric, Fryer, gay rights movement, homophile movement, homosexuality, Kameny, metaphor, queer theory


University of Montana


This thesis offers a rhetorical criticism of two speeches delivered from a 1972 panel at the American Psychiatric Association (APA): Franklin Kameny’s “Gay, Proud and Healthy” and John Fryer’s “I am a Homosexual.” Both speeches seek to challenge heteronormative constructions of homosexuality through the construction of a positive homosexual identity. Kameny’s speech uses an extensive set of metaphors to deconstruct the sickness theory of homosexual, challenge the role psychiatrists should play in society, re-conceptualize sexuality, and empower homosexual identity. Fryer’s speech enacts a constitutive rhetoric through the use of consciousness raising strategies and a collective coming out narrative which creates a motivated subject position. Both speeches worked as part of a larger movement to try and delist homosexuality as a mental disorder.



© Copyright 2013 Dustin Vern Edward Schneider