Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Mary Mitchell

Second Advisor

Dr. Günter Bischof

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Mosterman


The demands of WWII mobilization led to the creation of the first standing women's army in the US known as the Women's Army Corps (WAC). An unintended consequence of this was that the WAC provided queer women with an environment with which to explore their gender and sexuality while also giving them the cover of respectability and service that protected them from harsh societal repercussions. They could eschew family for their military careers. They could wear masculine clothing, exhibit a masculine demeanor, and engage in a homosocial environment without being seen as subversive to the American way of life. Quite the contrary: the outside world saw them as helping to protect their country. This paper looks at the life of one such queer soldier, Dorothee Gore. Dorothee's letters, journals, and memorabilia demonstrate that for many lesbians of her generation, service in the WACS during WWII was a time of relatively open camaraderie and acceptance by straight society.


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