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We Raise Our Voices
Gay and Lesbian Pride and Politics

Sexual Freedom & Liberation

Gay Liberation Front flyer, letter, and sticker (1970)
“…a movement against conformity to arbitrary standards, for an open society in which each of us may choose his own way of life…”
The Gay Liberation Front formed in 1970 to take part in the April 15th Moratorium against the Vietnam War on the Boston Common. Members passed out flyers, buttons, and stickers, while also carrying signs to protest the war and demonstrate openly being gay. Reacting against other gay organizations in Boston that primarily focused on gay rights, the GLF adopted a more far-reaching and radical critique of American values and society. Using the term “liberation,” which was common to the anti-war, women, and civil rights movements, the GLF called for an open society and the freedom for self-expression, as well as an end to bigotry and racism. In particular, GLF took a stand against “machismo – that perversion of sexual identity that we’ve allowed to define masculinity and so oppress everyone, both gays and straights alike.” From the William J. Canfield papers.

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