Journal of Sustainable Social Change


Workers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)-identified have always been a part of the workplace in the United States, yet there has been a lack of awareness about how to advocate for the needs of these people. This lack of awareness was challenged by Congresswoman Bella Abzug. Abzug’s campaign for creating an equal working environment for sexual minorities initiated gradual changes in the public discourse concerning workplace and other broad equality measures for these communities. To frame these gradual transformations within a historical context, we use Lewin’s force field analysis framework to examine the change efforts of Abzug. Abzug had beginning success in thawing the status quo yet her visions for equality for LGBTQ people have yet to be realized. Using Abzug’s social action as an example, this article concludes that allies must continue to challenge societal oppression, power, and privilege and to demand civil rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.