“Come Out!! and think how can love corrupt, when there are as many sexes . . . as there are people. The G.L.F. is fighting for your freedom, as well as ours.”
The Gay Liberation Front was the first LGBT activist organization formed after the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City in June 1969. By including “gay” in their name—which no other queer organization had done prior to the GLF—they signaled to the world their radical, unapologetic, anti-assimilationist standpoint. A central goal of the GLF was to establish “a society in which all people enjoy freedom of existence and freedom to relate to each other in whatever manner they see fit, without fear of oppression or condemnation.” While fiercely insisting that the personal is political, they sought widespread cultural revolution where queers and other oppressed peoples would “start demanding, not politely requesting, our rights.”
For several years in many U.S. cities and abroad, the GLF operated as a utopian revolutionary organization that birthed other radical queer groups such as the Radicalesbians, Third World Gay Revolution, and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). By 1973, the efforts of the GLF and other activists helped push the American Psychiatric Association to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder, paving the way for more groundbreaking societal changes, many of which are still evolving to this day. With the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee and other NYC gay organizations, the GLF helped begin what eventually would become gay pride marches, encouraging queers to “Come Out” worldwide, despite their short time formally as an organization, the legacy and techniques of the GLF are long reaching and still inform the many individuals, activists, and organizations fighting for LGBTQIA rights to this day.
This CPH poster printed at the worker-owned and union-run Community Printers, Santa Cruz, CA.
This is #146 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.
Caroline Paquita-Kern is an artist, publisher, and Womxnimal based in Brooklyn.