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Criminal: Lavender Scare

A drawing by Julienne Alexander
Julienne Alexander
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Criminal
The Lavender Scare was a period during the Cold War when hundred of military and federal personnel were outed and fired for being homosexual.

In the 1950's, men and women in the military across America were given dishonorable discharges after being outed as gay. It was called the Lavender Scare.

Helen James was serving in the U.S. Air Force when she realized that she was being investigated. The results of that investigation would change the course of her life.

"It wasn't okay to be gay or lesbian. An you could be outed and compromised by the enemy so to speak, and tell any secrets that we had," James told host Phoebe Judge. "You know, we were just considered to be a threat to national security. So they wanted us gone."

Criminal is recorded at WUNC.

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.
Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
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