The Gay Liberation Front


The Gay Liberation Front The Activist GLF was interested in the sexual liberation for all people, as they believed that heterosexuality was a remnant of cultural inhibition and felt that change would not come about unless the current social institutions were dismantled and rebuilt without defined sexual roles. To do this the GLF was intent on transforming the idea of the biological family and clan and making it more akin to a loose affiliation of members without biological subtexts. Prominent members of the GLF also opposed and addressed other social inequalities between the years of 1969 to 1972 such as militarism, racism, and sexism but because of internal rivalries the GLF officially ended its operations in 1972

The Stonewall riots are considered by many as the catalyst in the organization of the GLF and other gay and lesbian movements. These riots are also considered to be the origin of the gay rights pacifism movement.On 27 June 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York, a gay bar was raided by New York police, routine at the time. The Stonewall Inn, was a well known LGBT establishment located on Christopher street in two former horse stables which were renovated into one building in 1930 and was subject to countless raids since LGBT activities and fraternization were generally illegal. When the police arrived, the customers began pelting them with coins, and later, bottles and rocks. The crowd also freed staff members who were put into police vans, and the outnumbered officers retreated inside the bar. Soon, the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), originally trained to deal with war protests, were called in to control the mob, which was now using a parking meter as a battering ram. As the patrol force advanced, the crowd did not disperse, but instead doubled back and reformed behind the riot police, throwing rocks and shouting “Gay Power!”, dancing and taunting their opposition. For the next several nights, the crowd would return in ever increasing numbers, handing out leaflets and rallying themselves. In early July, due in large part to the riots in June, discussions in the gay community lead to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front. Soon the word “Stonewall” came to represent fighting for equality in the gay community.One of the GLF's first acts was to organize a march in response to Stonewall, and to demand an end to the persecution of homosexuals. The GLF had a broad political platform, denouncing racism and declaring support for various Third World struggles and the Black Panther Party. Several GLF women such as Martha Shelley, Lois Hart and Michela Griffo went on to form the Lavender Menace.

We do not intend to ask for anything. We intend to stand firm and assert our basic rights. If this involves violence, it will not be we who initiate this, but those who attempt to stand in our way to freedom.— GLF Manifesto, 1971