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Queering the Redneck RivieraSexuality and the Rise of Florida Tourism$
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Jerry T. Watkins III

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056913

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056913.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Queer Circulation and the Economics of a Moral Panic

Queer Circulation and the Economics of a Moral Panic

(p.31) 2 Queer Circulation and the Economics of a Moral Panic
Queering the Redneck Riviera

Jerry T. Watkins III

University Press of Florida

Bay County’s economy in the 1950s was retooled to accommodate and focus on tourism. The rapidly changing economy and population created opportunities for queer connection even as it created the backlash against homosexual visibility. The communication networks and advancements in transportation, which made Florida so attractive to visitors, also made it attractive to queer men. Information networks, from national magazines to local graffiti, pointed the way to queer hot spots while better roads and vehicles made them easier to reach. Queer men circulated, congregated, made contact, had sex, and were at times punished for it. The men arrested in a downtown public toilet in October of 1961 were subjected to a campaign of public shame. Selling “The Sunshine State” and the policies that went along with it made this time in Florida a perfect storm that swept up the residents of Bay County in a moral panic.

Keywords:   Moral Panic, Queer, homosexual, Public shame, Networks, “The Sunshine State”, Tourism

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