Gay Liberation
Overview and Analysis:
In the 1960’s, gay and lesbian people struggled to fit in society. In fact, homosexuality was not allowed at all, it was against the law. The only way people could perform homosexual acts, was if it was in private. Homosexuals were not accepted in society and all they wanted was to be able to love one another. Some people took a stand for what they wanted and the Student Homophile League at Columbus University New York, the first known gay student organization, was created. Within 10 years, almost eight hundred homosexual organizations were created. Very little things were done to help homosexuals, but in 1965, Frank Kameny of Washington, DC, organized regular Homosexual Reminder Days on the ellipse across from the White House. Their main goal was the employment of gays and lesbians in the federal civil service.
Gay and lesbian people were often threatened and arrested during the gay liberation movement. Every night, officers would raid gay bars and sometimes arresting dozens of men and women, but one night at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, some of the gays fought back, throwing objects at the police. These raids, known as the “Stonewall Riots”, lasted for several nights. Although these raids had very little effects, it helped homosexuals come together to get what they wanted, which was to be able to be able to show a public display of affection to one another. Gay liberation in the 1960’s helped people “come out of the closet” to fight for what’s right, creating gay signs and trying to get socially accepted the way they are. What these people did back then was just the start for gay people fighting for their rights. So even though they did not achieve very much respect at all, it set the stage for bigger and better things in the future.


This video is about the Stonewall Uprising/riots. It is one, if not the only, event that directly led into the Gay Liberation Movement. These riots are defined as a series of spontaneous, violent demontrations against the police raid that happened here. Not very many establishments at the time allowed openly gay people to be welcomed in. The Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia, and they allowed all types of people in to stay.
Because this police raid was like no other in the past, it attracted many people and skyrocketed into a riot. Directly following this event, many of the Greenwich Village residents bonded into organized activist groups. Leading marches and protests, the people of the gay community were concentrating their efforts to establish a place where gays/lesbians were not forced to hide their sexual orientation in fear of being arrested. I think this video is a great one that shows what exactly happened during these riots and directly reflects the actions taken before.
This video shows a broad overview of the different events that have taken place during the Gay Rights Movement. It starts with Richard Cornish being executed in 1624 for homosexuality and ends with California becoming the second state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage; and everything in between. This video represents how far people have come because they had the strong will to achieve what they believed was right. In 1917, people could not even enter the U.S. if they had "abnormal sexual instincts." Leading into 1935 when Sigmund Freud wrote a letter "urging compassion and tolerance towards homosexuality." And then in 1979, over 100,000 people joined the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. When Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person to win the election for Congresswoman people started looking at gay people in a different way. They thought that if gay person can win positions in office then gays must not have been as bad as people thought. A big and life changing event happend in 2004 when Massachussettes became the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex mariage. To many peoples' dissapointment only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire have legalized gay marriage to this day. But if it wasnt for Massachusettes taking that big leap of faith, proving to people it was ok to have this, who knows where we would be and if we would have any states that legalized it.

Photo Montage:

This picture reads “Come Out!” “Come Out!” was a newspaper written in the late 60’s. This newspaper was written by and for the Gay community. I think the title is very brave because it is telling people to not be afraid and to come clean. However, back in the day, people judged you so much if you were apart of the Gay community. This picture represents how brave this community was no matter what.

This is a picture of man holding a sign that reads, “Gay, Proud and Angry.” This picture is very risky, yet brave, because he is proud of being gay and he embraces it, but people don’t except him for who he is. He wants the equality and justice he deserves. I like this picture because it really gives you a feel on how it was back then being considered, “different.” He was a very brave man to be holding such a sign which such an opinion back in that time.

This is a picture of a “Gay-Pride” flag. The gay pride flag resembles the whole community itself. These colors represent their happiness with who they are. I like this picture because it is of the flag standing tall and blowing in the wind. It resembles how strong they are and how they never give up. This will always be a symbol of the Gay community and their actions to keep fighting.

"Homosexuality" by: Frank O'Hara
So we are taking off our masks, are we, and keeping
our mouths shut? as if we'd been pierced by a glance!
The song of an old cow is not more full of judgment
than the vapors which escape one's soul when one is sick;
so I pull the shadows around me like a puff
and crinkle my eyes as if at the most exquisite moment
of a very long opera, and then we are off!
without reproach and without hope that our delicate feet
will touch the earth again, let alone "very soon."
It is the law of my own voice I shall investigate.
I start like ice, my finger to my ear, my ear
to my heart, that proud cur at the garbage can
in the rain. It's wonderful to admire oneself
with complete candor, tallying up the merits of each
of the latrines. 14th Street is drunken and credulous,
53 rd tries to tremble but is too at rest. The good
love a park and the inept a railway station,
and there are the divine ones who drag themselves up
and down the lengthening shadow of an Abyssinian head
in the dust, trailing their long elegant heels of hot air
crying to confuse the brave "It's a summer day,
and I want to be wanted more than anything else in the world."

Frank O’Hara lived through the gay liberation movement in the 1960s. He supported this movement because he himself was gay. In the beginning of this poem, he talks about how they are ‘taking off our masks’ which to me means that they are going all come out and show people who they really are. ‘Let alone “very soon”’ means to me that they are fighting for there rights and they want to be left alone so they can have their privacy. They wanted the same rights and freedoms as everyone else but they were being deprived of there rights. They talk about using there own voice to help them get through their hardships. This poem shows how they felt about not being able to live their lives, and how they actually felt about having their freedoms taken away.

“You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” by: Dusty Springfield
When I said "I needed you",
you said you would always stay.
It wasn't me who changed, but you,
and now you've gone away.
Don't you see that now you've gone,
and I'm left here on my own,
then I have to follow you, and beg you to come home.
You don't have to say you love me,
just be close at hand.
You don't have to stay forever, I will understand.
Believe me, believe me, I can't help but love you,
but believe me, I'll never tie you down.
Left alone with just a memory,
life seems dead and so unreal,
all that's left is loneliness,
there is nothing left to feel.
You don't have to say you love me,
just be close at hand.
You don't have to stay forever, I will understand.
Believe me, believe me!
You don't have to say you love me,
just be close at hand.
You don't have to stay forever, I will understand.
Believe me, believe me, believe me

Dusty Springfieldwas considered one of the top gay icons of the 1960s. Her song “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”hit the charts in 1966 and was eventually hit number one. Dusty considered herself “A Gay Black Mans interpretation of a female soul singer, filtered through the prospective of a closeted lesbian Irish Catholic with layers of catholic guilt that she tried to run from.” To me this means that she was proud of who she was. I appreciate her for being able to come out and share her feelings, especially during the times. Springfield was an idol for a reason during the situation of not being accepted as a homosexual. People looked up to people like Dusty to help them keep pushing forward.

1. (Letter) "Dear Don, I think I see what you're driving at in your valued note of the 12th, and you have good company in your dissatisfaction. We are paralyzed. I keep wondering if it be my fault and what I could do to mend things. Partly our paralysis is for want of money. We are stalled also by a lack of an assured consensus. Corporation meetings fail to provide us any clear sailing orders. They point up the cross purposes and divergences of opinion that plague our organization, plague the whole movement.
It might help if interested outsiders participated in our meetings. Some such outsiders are our creditors. Other helpful outsiders attending are those men, if there be any, whom we would like to have ''invest in us. Is it possible that some successful businessman might influence our corporation members beneficially?
Our most loved and respected corporation members have an elfin disdain of mere money. That is part of their charm, and without it I imagine One would never have got started. Time was when that what-the-hell, -let’s-go-for-broke attitude was appropriate and availful [sic]. You didn’t know what the future held, you did not have so much as a shirt to lose, you could improvise then and modify later according to developments and you were young and full of mustard. You felt a powerful urge to start something and you started something.
Your very success has changed your situation. You have a lot to lose now: having built something wonderful, you can not stand by and see it ruined. Thousands of men have been looking to become your partners in the great endeavor. Hundreds cling desperately to One for support in trials the horror of which the unthinking can’t imagine. We who have anything to do with managing this wonderful thing have to be conscious of the harm that can come of mismanagement. I’d like nothing better than to step out and let some good man succeed where I have failed. Where can we find that man?
If you have been prolific of shifts, devices and expedients so have I and so have others. If you feel that your suggestions seem to have fallen through a crack in the floor somewhere, I know exactly how you feel. But no malice is at fault, no devil at work. Poverty and the predisposition to poverty are the trouble. Our pixiecrats are incurably antiplutogenic. They believe in poverty in principle. When you started One you probably expected the magazine to make ends meet and bring in a little revenue in addition.
When it failed to break even you did not suppose you were going into the begging business; you thought you would have to ask special help only to get past a temporary shortage. After twelve years, our corporation has reconciled itself to being perpetually insolvent. I’m shocked at the thinness of the legal ice we’re skating on. We expect to make a big appeal for contributions once a year and to debate occasionally the practicality of our getting out a special solicitation in between times. Our magazines don’t make money for us: they’re a drain on us. And you’re older men by twelve critical years in a world where youth is at a premium and age is an embarrassment and a calamity.
If we are to bring, money in we must first want to. Nearly as I can tell, you don’t want men to buy One on terms on which they’ll buy it. You’d rather have them shun the magazine—indeed you shun them—unless they’re courageous, extroverted and a little scrappy. You want all men to be Don Slaters. That would be a delectable world, but it is not the world we happen to live in. You’re not going to change, and any hint that you adopt less of a damn-your-eyes policy in the magazine’s format will only make you more determined to express the pure, absolute or 200-proof Don Slater with no concessions to conventions and cowards.
I’m not criticizing. As I say, you are that which you are and that’s why One got, created. In the lines attributed to a Negro preacher of a hundred years ago, According to the gifts they has, folk does the best they knows: We don’t despise the violet because it ain’t a rose.
Let me ask, Whom do you know among the members of the corporation who will change any more readily than you will? What argument can you advance that hasn’t been used already? For example, could you tell Mr. Good anything that would make him confident that your magazine will become a money-maker for him and for us? Could you bring yourself to make changes that would enable more firms to advertise on One?
To ask these questions is to answer them. Each man’s behavior is a function of his principle, his character, his self-respect. That being true, there is no use in calling meetings. We are at a deadlock. It may be deplorable, but any man who might consent to the sacrifice of his principle would expect a disaster to result—and he might be right."

This letter represents a great deal of the pleading during of that period of time. The Gay community was starting to form the Corporation "One" was just starting to emerge. The popularity of this coporation was only becoming popular by the LGBT community. When this letter was written there was a big dispute that this corporation might be leading people to the wrong decisions. It was also argued that it was too "opinionated". When the letter says, "we dont despise a violet because it aint a rose" this made the letter more powerful for me because it said that because something isnt what you want it to be that doesnt make it right to hate it. This was the main goal of the Gay community during this time and today.

2. (Press Release) Press Release regarding the Raid of the Black Cat BarNew Year’s Eve, 1966
by the Taven Guild of Southern California, dated January 5, 1967

Today 16 Los Angeles citizens appeared in court (Div. 59) to enter pleas to charges resulting from a police mass arrest at a bar located at 3909 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. The bar has been open approximately 2 months. The arrests took place New Year's eve (January 1, 1967) and were made by a large goup of police officers. About 12 vice-squad officers (plainclothesmen) started beating patrons to the floor about 5 minutes after midnight. They did not identify themselves except by their weapons. After beating the patrons, the 16 to be arrested were laid face down on the sidewalk outside the bar. 5 patrol cars, containing 2 uniformed officers each, were brought from a near-by side street where they had been parked for sometime and the individuals arrested were taken to the newly opened Rampart St. Police Station. 3 bartenders were among those arrested.
Officers then went to a second bar, at 4001 Sunset Blvd., attacked the lady bar owner and the bar's manager and bartender, who came to her aid. The owner and manager were not arrested, although the manager was left on the sidewalk bleeding. The bartender was so badly beaten that he is still in County General Hospital, where he has undergone an operation to remove his ruptured spleen. He had gone 2 hours before being sent to the hospital. He was finally booked on a felony charge of assaulting an officer.
Attorney for the defendants is Los Angeles attorney Ray L. Smith. For further information, contact Mr. Smith at 125 West 4th St., Suite 635, or at MA 62327.
Tavern Guild of Southern California11012 Ventura Blvd., North Hollywood, Calif.

This press release was a big scandal during this time because of the ammount of people that were injured. Many people that owned a business and worked freely in it were injured for no reason at all. Arresting these people because they are gay made the Gay community feel the need to start fighting back and recieve the treatment that they knew they deserved. some of these people were beaten so badly surgery was needed to keep them alive. The next step in this was to start a revolution.

There have not been a lot of changes from the 1960s, to now. Gays/Lesbians still don’t have full rights in all 50 states, and they can’t be married. There have been few laws stating that they can have the right to be viewed as equals in the work space, but there have also been laws stating that they are not the same as opposite-sex relationships. There is a little bit more room to be publicly gay, they are no longer stopped on the streets, but they are still outwardly judged. Today there are many anti-gay communities and organizations that do not support the gay and lesbian communities to any rights. There are many pro-gay organizations as well, one being; International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. The IGLA is a national organization that brings together more than 750 gay and lesbian groups to help fight for their rights. They have been around since 1978 during the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Overall, the gay and lesbian community has not really changed from the 60s, to now. They are still denied the rights and freedoms of everyone else and have to live in a way that makes them unhappy. There are so many different ways that the government and other citizens could be helping these people instead of discriminating them. We stopped the segregation of African Americans, we should stop the segregation of the homosexual.

Reference List:
Overview & Analysis-
Robinson, B.A. "Timeline of the gay liberation movement During the 1960s.
" Religious Tolerance. N.p., 11 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.      
Firstrunfeaturesnyc. Stonewall Uprising - Theatrical Trailer. You Tube. N.p., 12
Apr. 2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <
Instablogs. Timeline of Gay Rights Movement in USA. You Tube. N.p., 13 June
2009. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <
Wikipedia. "Stonewall Riots." Wikipedia. N.p., 8 Mar. 2011. Web. 11 Mar. 2012.
Photo Montage-
Gay Liberation Front. N.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
Race in Gay America. 4 Aug. 2009. 2009 Instinct Magazine , n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
Sanders, James. “Peter Tatchell celebrates 40 years of Gay Liberation Front.” Millivres Prowler Limited, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
Sainburg, Tim. "Contemperary Poerty." New York School. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. [[ #Homosexuality_and_The_Gay_Rights_Movement| #Homosexuality_and_The_Gay_Rights_Movement]].
"Dusty Springfield 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.'" Elyrics. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
Jones, Laurence. "Top 10 Gay Icons of 1960s Soul." That *Soulful* Kinda Feelin'. N.p., n.d. Web. 25
Jan. 2010. <
Primary Documents-
White, C. Todd. "Manuel Boyfrank’s Letter to ONE Magazine editor Don Slater."
online Tangent. N.p., 12 June 2003. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
White, C. Todd. "Press Release regarding the Raid of the Black Cat Bar New
Year’s Eve, 1966." Online Tangent. Homosexual Information Center, 15 Oct.
2006. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <>.
"The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline." Infoplease. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.