Allen Young



Allen Young, born in Liberty, N.Y., on (June 30, 1941) to Rae (Goldfarb) Young and Louis Young. His parents, both secular Jews, spent their youth in New York City, then relocated to the hamlet of Glen Wild (estimated pop. 100) in Sullivan County, in the foothills of the Catskills, and started a poultry farm, also providing accommodations for summer tourists in this region known as the Borscht Belt. He was a red diaper baby. He graduated from Fallsburgh Central High School and received an undergraduate degree in 1962 from Columbia College, Columbia University. Following a Masters of Arts degree in 1963 from Stanford University in Hispanic American and Luso-Brazilian Studies, he earned a Master’s of Science degree in 1964 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After receiving a Fulbright Award in 1964, Young spent three years in Brazil, Chile and other Latin American countries, contributing numerous articles to the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and other periodicals.

Young returned to the United States in June 1967 and worked briefly for the Washington Post, resigning in the fall of that year to become a full-time Anti-Vietnam War movement activist and staff member of the Liberation News Service. Young, Marshall Bloom, Ray Mungo and others worked in the office at 3 Thomas Circle producing the news packets that were sent to the hundreds of underground newspapers bi-weekly or tri-weekly. A member of the Students for a Democratic Society, he was part of the Columbia University protests of 1968 and was among more than 700 arrested. When the Liberation News Service split in two in August 1968 Young became a recognized leader of the New York office.

In February and March 1969 Young went to Cuba, where he was instrumental in the organization of the Venceremos Brigade. Young became disillusioned with the Castro regime after observing the lack of civil liberties and other freedoms, and especially the government's anti-gay policies. After the Mariel Boatlift he wrote “Gays Under the Cuban Revolution”, breaking with those New Leftists who continued to defend the Cuban Revolution. After the Stonewall Riots in New York City, Young became involved in the Gay Liberation Front. During the second half of 1970 he lived in the Seventeenth Street collective with Carl Miller, Jim Fouratt, and Giles Kotcher where he was involved in producing “Gay Flames.”  Young wrote frequently for the gay press, including The Advocate, Come out!, Fag Rag, and Gay Community News among others. His 1972 interview with Allen Ginsberg, which first appeared in Gay Sunshine is often reprinted and translated.

Young has edited four books with Karla Jay including the ground breaking anthology “Out of the Closets.”

Young moved to rural Massachusetts in 1973 to an 'intentional community'. Carrying a sign which read Royalston, Mass. population 973 he attended the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. He was a reporter and assistant editor for the Athol Daily News from 1979–1989, and Director of Community Relations for the Athol, Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, 1989-99. He joined the Montague Nuclear Power Plant protests shortly after Sam Lovejoy's toppling of the weather tower in 1974. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, and in 2004 received the Writing and Society Award from the University of Massachusetts Amherst English Department "honoring a distinguished career of commitment to the work of writing in the world." Since 2009, he has been writing a weekly column, entitled Inside/Outside, for the Athol Daily News.