Alex Burnett, winner of the 2019 Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies

May 14, 2019

Alex BurnettAlex Burnett
The Pembroke Center is pleased to announce that Alex Burnet has won the 2019 Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding honors thesis on questions having to do with women or gender. 

"My thesis," Alex explains, "explores how pro-gay demands for law & order gained popularity among primarily white gay and liberal political leaders in Los Angeles during the 1960’s and 70’s. Besides showing how liberal politicians and gay elites differentiated a 'respectable' class of gay Angelenos from their criminalized and racialized peers, my Thesis demonstrates that many LGBT Angelenos powerfully challenged the idea that expanded policing could bring gay safety—an ideology I call 'pro-gay, pro-police liberalism.'”

The selection committee was impressed with Alex’s analysis of how the rise of pro-gay, pro-police liberalism in 1970s Los Angeles depended upon the creation of images of both an economically productive (white) gay life and its other: working class folks and queer people of color depicted as “violent” and “street” people.

The Ruth Simmons Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.