The major collective action frames of the U.S. gay liberation movement between 1969 and 1973 are described and their development traced. The origins of these frames lie in either the sixties protest wave or in the older homophile movement. These frames—gay is good, sexual liberation, heterosexism, oppression is everywhere—emerged dialectically and creatively from these two protest streams. Their emergence illustrates the utility of a focus on both social movement continuity and cycles of protest in explaining how social movement culture is created. This creative convergence did not produce a unitary ideology or a master frame from which the movement drew its strategy, goals, and collective identity. Instead, it created a tension between the notion of gay people as a minority group and the notion of gay people as cultural critics.

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