Gay liberation


Article about the gay liberation movement


Quicksilver Times, Juy 14-24, 1970, p. 8.








Washington (D.C.)

Original Format



Page 8 July 14-24, 1970 Quicksilver Times
Gay Liberation
by a radical lesbian
Four girls and two dogs pulled into
thebusy corner in the heart of Green :
wich Village where a crowd of
gays and'\straights mingled, argued,
and confronted each other last week. I
Off to the side, three smiling sisters
warmly directed us to the Women's
Center -- the Church of the Holy
Apostle. TheTe we discovered a really,
tumed-on group of "Liberated women"
and joined them for a weekend of consciousness-
raising and getting it
First a pot-luck supper — what a
feast! We swapped recipes and samplet
cheeses, breads and salads. Remember
way back when "cooking is the way to
a man's heart" and "make someone a
good wife" s h i t ) . This time i t was |
just friends breaking bread together.
An a l l women's dance downstairs
brought over a hundred of us together.
(After some previous dances with gay
men the women realized that the maledominated
affairs oppressed then and
they preferred sisters only events.)
Late in the night, the more p o l i t i - -v
cally-minded adjourned to create
slogans and banners for Sunday's his- i
t o r i c march, commemorating the Christopher
Street gay r i o t one year ago
protesting a police raid of a gay
bar. As the wine flowed so did our '"'
true sentiments'. Encouraged by s i s ters
we boldly wrote -- "Lesbians
Unite," "Gay is...ummm Groovy"; "I am ..
a Lesbian and,I am Beautiful,"."Hi
Mom Guess What," " The Lavender .Menace
loves your daughter," "We are the type
of women our mother warned us about."
Into the morning we talked of the fu- -.-•
ture of gay liberation, of women's
liberation -- of the inevitable c o n nection
between the two, of our newly-:
emerging consciousness and fulfillment
with each other; of personal and polit
i c a l alternatives.
The next day, apprehensive and
excited, we joined forces. Over
ten thousand of us merged, a coalition
of gay groups, militant and moderate,
from all over the east coast. A
large number of Washington gays found
each other; reuniting with old friends
embracing new ones. Crowds lining the
sun-lit sidewalks were questioning,
identifying, shocked, s i l e n t.
A motherly figure shook-her finger
at me saying "But'Why wouldn't you
let me live my l i f e as I wish? I t 's
just as good with ,a man i s n ' t i t ? I
replied, "You are questioning^ yourself.
Why are you here? Examine
your own unease when confronted by .
other women with what we feel is a
better life style. Are you'fami 1
with the concept of "the woman as
nigger?" This means that women hav. .
too long accepted and like you even
defended their oppression by continu
ing to be treated as nice, empty
packages to be kept by their men."
A psychiatrist benignly preached,
" I t ' s not your peoples? fault. It's,
your upbringing, your parents, a ;
'traumatic experience." I responded
''To me, i t ' s not a matter of cause K
or fault, as you so academically put;
it». Any more than heterosexuality K
i s . In this society at this time, w
the only sane thing for us to be is i
lesbian. Our society is sex-obsesseu
So i t mistakenly labels our efforts V
to extricate ourselves from being
treated as merely sexuaf objects as
a sick sex substitute. Actually we
have something better in mind.
Love and Self-fullfillment for example.
Within the straight society
we have only.roles to relate to the
"opposite sex." We are not yet persons."
Some of the s i s t e r s and brothers
seemed friendly. But many lesbians
preffered to march together. The
"Queens" led the show. The Gay Liberation
Front, the Lavender Menace,
the Gay Activist Alliance, Mattachine
Society participated. We started
down Sixth Avenue. (Tax out, I
thought. Queers with a parade permit
proudly marching through Manhat-
"tan. And theipolice who had a year
ago provoked the protest now "protecting"
the protesters. One out of
six. How many cops?) Cameras snapping
along the route. Traffic stopped
for an eleven block unity. On
the sidelines, friends clapped and
Blushed as the chants of "Gay Power"
and "Out of the Closets and into the
Streets" gained s p i r i t along the
line of march. ' Women with their
companions, men with their buddies,
unidentifiable as gay or straight.
How many of you out there are with
jus in s p i r i t , how many will be with
ius in body next year. It sure
wouldn't have been me last year!
Two "hip" appearing, denim-clad
males jumped behind the lesbian
banner. I was apprehensive. "Hey,
your brothers are up ahead." '.'We'd
rather be here," they replied.
"Say, are you gay?" "No, but I've
always wanted to make i t with a
lesbian," leared the bearded-one.
"Off the pig sexist", we shouted.
Steamy pavement, tired feet,
good vibes, thirsty dogs. • One fanat
i c on the side lines had really
gone'to a lot of trouble with an
Amerikan flag and a sign "Sodom and
Gomorrah." "Look at that queer."
"Not a bad fag." More comments from
the marchers. He was threatened.
Hostile. What compelled him to so
have to prove his masculinity, to
What a mixture in.the movement;
pretty g i r l s , strong women,, college
students, black, oriental, white.
We were t i r e d , relieved, happy. We
had shared with our gay s i s t e r s a
new-found pride.
And now Gay Liberation Front comes
to D.C. For those sisters and brothers
who are ready to "come out and
l i v e , " we meet Tuesdays at 8:00 pm
in Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown



Quicksilver Times, “Gay liberation,” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed July 16, 2024,

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