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It welcomed drag queens, who received a bitter reception at other gay bars and clubs. It was a nightly home for many runaways and homeless gay youths, who panhandled or shoplifted to afford the entry fee. And it was one of the few—if not the only—gay bar left that allowed dancing. Raids were still a fact of life, but usually corrupt cops would tip off Mafia-run bars before they occurred, allowing owners to stash the alcohol sold without a liquor license and hide other illegal activities.

Fed up with constant police harassment and social discrimination, angry patrons and neighborhood residents hung around outside of the bar rather than disperse, becoming increasingly agitated as the events unfolded and people were aggressively manhandled. Within minutes, a full-blown riot involving hundreds of people began. The police, a few prisoners, and a Village Voice writer barricaded themselves in the bar, which the mob attempted to set on fire after breaching the barricade repeatedly.

The Gay Liberation Movement

The fire department and a riot squad were eventually able to douse the flames, rescue those inside Stonewall, and disperse the crowd. But the protests, sometimes involving thousands of people, continued in the area for five more days, flaring up at one point after the Village Voice published its account of the riots. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.


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The movement for LGBT rights in the United States dates at least as far back as the s, when the first documented gay rights organization was founded. Since then, various groups have advocated for LGBT rights and the movement accelerated in the wake of the Stonewall Riots of The gay rights movement in the United States has seen huge progress in the last century, and especially the last two decades.

Refusing to hide their homosexuality, they were brutalized, rebellious tearaways who took drugs, fought, shoplifted and hustled older gay men in order to survive. Their age, behavior, feminine attire and conduct left them isolated from the rest of the gay scene, but living close to the streets, they made the perfect warriors for the imminent Stonewall Riots.

These emerging social possibilities, combined with the new social movements such as Black Power , women's liberation , and the student insurrection of May in France, heralded a new era of radicalism. After the Stonewall riots in New York City in late June, many within the emerging gay liberation movement in the U.

The words "gay liberation" echoed "women's liberation"; the Gay Liberation Front consciously took its name from the National Liberation Fronts of Vietnam and Algeria ; and the slogan "Gay Power", as a defiant answer to the rights-oriented homophile movement, was inspired by Black Power, which was a response to the civil rights movement. Vanguard was a gay rights youth organization active from into in San Francisco. After he resigned in May , J.

Victorian Women’s Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archive

Marat joined Vanguard and led it in six months of protests. Glide Church began to sponsor it in June assisting Vanguard to apply to become a non-profit and apply for the EOC grant. The organization dissolved due to internal clashes in late and early On March 28, in San Francisco, Leo Laurence the editor of Vector , magazine of the United States' largest homophile organization, the Society for Individual Rights called for "the Homosexual Revolution of ," exhorting gay men and lesbians to join the Black Panthers and other left-wing groups and to "come out" en masse. Laurence was expelled from the organization in May for characterizing members as "timid" and "middle-class, uptight, bitchy old queens.

The GLF's statement of purpose explained their revolutionary ambitions: [27].

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We are a revolutionary group of men and women formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation for all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished. We reject society's attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature. Gay Liberation Front activist Martha Shelley wrote, "We are women and men who, from the time of our earliest memories, have been in revolt against the sex-role structure and nuclear family structure.

In December the Gay Liberation Front voted a cash donation to the Black Panthers, some of whose leaders had expressed homophobic sentiments. Mark Segal , a member of GLF from —71, continues [ when? As a pioneer of the local gay press movement, he was one of the founders and former president of both the National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild.

The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline

Aside from publishing, Segal has also reported on gay life from far reaching places as Lebanon, Cuba, and East Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Petersburg at Russia's first openly gay conference, referred to as Russia's Stonewall. In , he produced Philadelphia's official July 4 concert for a crowd estimated at , people. Mencken : to afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted.

Selections from the VWLLFA collection

By the summer of , groups in at least eight American cities were sufficiently organized to schedule simultaneous events commemorating the Stonewall riots for the last Sunday in June. The events varied from a highly political march of three to five thousand in New York and thousands more at parades in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. While groups using the Gay Liberation Front name appeared around the U. The lesbian group Lavender Menace was also formed in the U. S in response to both the male domination of other Gay Lib groups and the anti-lesbian sentiment in the Women's Movement.

Lesbianism was advocated as a feminist choice for women, and the first currents of lesbian separatism began to emerge. In August of the same year, Huey Newton , the leader of the Black Panthers, publicly expressed his support for gay liberation, [30] stating that:. Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups , we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.

Some people say that [homosexuality] is the decadence of capitalism. I don't know if that is the case; I rather doubt it. But whatever the case is, we know that homosexuality is a fact that exists, and we must understand it in its purest form: that is, a person should have the freedom to use his body in whatever way he wants.

Kleinberg, Herman Kleinstein, a Catholic priest, and a dwarf, were suddenly interrupted by a group of lesbians from the audience, yelling, "It's not true, we're not suffering! Down with the heterocops! The control room quickly cut off the microphones and switched to recorded music. Category:LGBT culture.


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the organization, see Gay Liberation Front. United States , Canada , Europe , and other areas.

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Sexual orientation. Homosexuality Bisexuality pansexuality polysexuality Asexuality gray asexuality Demographics Biology Environment. Social attitudes. Prejudice , violence. Nevertheless, Wolfenden argued that the unspoken preconception was that homosexuality was socially undesirable and recommended the maintenance of criminal sanctions on male homosexuality in public.

Johnston p. Gay Changes Vol. Australian Left Review , No. They argue that liberation histories have a trajectory of male, legal, political issue of law reform prior to the gay liberation movement i. Liberation broadened the political and social agenda beyond law reform. Includes extensive bibliography. The Resource Guide for Tertiary Students also contains the following:. Photographer: Jean Taylor, cs.

AUS recognises community attitudes on and off campus are becoming more oppressive towards lesbians and lesbians represent a real threat to male status and power. AUS calls for no discrimination against lesbians in custody cases, adoption procedures and that artificial insemination is made available to lesbians. Lesbian Festival, October Festival held on-campus at Uni Melbourne theatre, pool comp, music, poems, films, party, papers and discussion. A coalition of homosexual groups is currently working to have the law reformed to at least bring it into equality with the present law for heterosexual conduct.