The post-Stonewall activist organizations:
While QLF and STAR were run by trans women, trans women also played significant roles in GLF and GAA.
Queens Liberation Front (QLF)
StreetTransvestite Action Revolutionaries.
(also Part III of Sylvia Rivera)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - New York
Gay Activists Alliance (GAA)
Gay Liberation Front (GLF) - London
See also The Five Years Following Stonewall - A New York Timeline
GLF London was founded in the basement of the London School of Economics in October 1970 inspired by what Bob Mellors
had seen happen in New York. All-London meetings were held at All Saints Hall in Powis Square, Notting Hill. The newspaper put out was Come Together
, named for a song on the Beatles’ Abbey Road
At first there was no drag, but slowly a significant minority started wearing frocks for the dances. This extended to street theatre, notably the Miss Trial demo outside the Old Bailey in support of the women who were on trial for disrupting the Miss World contest
. Then GLF disrupted the 1971 Christian Festival of Light
. Some GLF queens wore drag because it felt right, some for fun and some for political reasons. Some were living in communal squats and in poverty in Brixton and in Notting Hill, and wore drag all day every day – and became known as Radical Feminists.
They aligned themselves with lesbians against the masculine gay men who were dominating the GLF meetings. When the women finally split from GLF in February 1972, the Rad Fems began to dominate at the All-London meetings, which was a bit intimidating for newcomers. However the RadFems also demonstrated against the launch of the feminist magazine Spare Rib, which allowed The Sunday Times to run an article on the irony of feminist men telling women how they should behave. The fledgling Gay News used this to disassociate from what they referred to as 'fascists in frocks'. The initial issues of Gay News were hostile to GLF in general and even more so to the queens.
Separate from the RadFems and political drag was the GLF Transvestite, Transsexual and Drag Queen Group which started meeting in late 1971 run by Rachel Pollack
and Roz Kaveney
which formed a trans presence at the GLF meetings. They collectively wrote a manifesto
which was published in Come Together
, 11, the Lesbian Issue.
The official first gay pride march in London was the Carnival Parade on 1 July 1972. However a few days earlier, GLF had been allocated a time-slot with the Boilermakers Union to picket the US Embassy about what they were doing to Vietnam. Only the Radfems turned up, a band was playing, and a few started a waltz. The US school band packed up in a fit of pique. The queens sauntered off and ended up at Piccadilly Circus. The police asked where they, the queens and the rent boys, intended to go, and said they would escort the march which went via Oxford Street to Hyde Park.
As the all-London meetings declined, they were replaced by separate GLFs in different parts of London. Some of these put on dances which became welcoming places for those who wished to explore their gender expression.
By late 1973 the all-London meetings were almost over. Some of the surviving RadFems took over the anarchist Agitprop bookshop/commune at 248 Bethnal Green Road which they renamed Bethnal Rouge.
In 1974 two buildings in Railton Road, Brixton were squatted and became the South London Gay Community Centre.
- Gay Liberation Front Manifesto, 1971. Online.
- Psychiatry and the Homosexual. Gay Information, 1973.
- Andrew Hodges & David Hutter. With Downcast Gays: Aspects of Homosexual Self-Oppression. Pomegranate Press, 1974.
- Jeffrey Weeks. “The Gay Liberation front, 1970-72” in Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present. Quartet Books, 1977.
- Aubrey Walter (ed). Come Together: The Years of Gay Liberation, 1970-73. London: Gay Men's Press, 1980.
- Bob Mellors. We Are All Androgynous Yellow. Another-Orbit Press, 1980.
- Kris Kirk with photographs by Ed Heath. Men In Frocks. Gay Men's Press 1984: 95-107. Review.
- Lisa Power. No Bath but Plenty of Bubbles: An Oral History of the Gay Liberation Front 1970-73. Cassell, 1995.
- Stuart Feather. Blowing the Lid: Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens. Zero Books, 2015.
None of this is found at all in Christine Burns' Trans Britain. Review
This thing won't let me put my name on it as commenter. This is Hal Weiner, Founding General Counsel of the Gay Activists Alliance, INC. described here as a " Gay Attorney ". I think that's a typo..... you menat " GAY RIGHTS ATTY, right? No one since Oscar Wilde has had more of an opportunity to find out if they were gay or not. If I were, I would have had a lot better sex life in my younger days.... alas, I am not gay. But I was asked in an elevator full of my clients by an asshole lawyer who had the whole top floor of my building,, " I saw you on TV with those queer boys and girls last nigt, Weiner, you know you get the imression from that that you is one of them, is that true?" and all 20 of my clients turned to look at me, and I said " Let's put it this way, Saul, " not for YOU ".......ReplyDelete
I have just tested and was able type in a name in Vivaldi, Firefox and Edge - although not in Brave.Delete
You obviously intended this comment for GAA, not London GLF. I have made the change you requested on the GAA page.