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Gay Liberation
October 1, 2009 12:13 PM   Subscribe

1969: The Year of Gay Liberation is an online exhibit of the New York Public Library focusing on the radical gay rights movements of the late sixties and early seventies, focusing on the organizations The Mattachine Society of New York, Daughters of Bilitis, Gay News, Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries and the Gay Activists Alliance, and the events of the Stonewall Riot and Christopher Street Liberation Day. This is but one part of the NYPL's fine LGBT collection, which includes, among other things, resources for teens, AIDS/HIV collections, and digital collections on ACT UP, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, Bessie Bonehill, Gertrude Stein, Gran Fury, Julian Eltinge, Richard Wandel and Walt Whitman.
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not only is this very awesome and extremely relevant to my interests, it is also tangentially work-related, so I can faff about and read through this entire site all day tomorrow and get paid for doing so.

I am srsly fucking delighted.
posted by elizardbits at 12:56 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


More Radical Faeries!
posted by munchingzombie at 1:02 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fantastic.
posted by rtha at 1:24 PM on October 1, 2009


Heh, Walt Whitman. It's interesting how his orientation has sort of seeped into so many references about him. I first had an inkling of this when a friend began reading about him and started peppering her adjectives with some of (allegedly) Whitman's, saying, "That's so buttfucking cool."

Not long after, I came across a tangential reference in some bit of fiction. A passage in the book referenced a woman who was angry with her boyfriend for yet another instance of infidelity, this time with a young man. The boyfriend exclaimed something like, "He was nude, sitting by a creek, reading Leaves of Grass! What was I supposed to do?!"

Needs more Siegfried Sassoon.
posted by adipocere at 1:25 PM on October 1, 2009


adipocere: Heh, Walt Whitman. It's interesting how his orientation has sort of seeped into so many references about him. [...] Needs more Siegfried Sassoon.

Conversely it's interesting how little Sassoon's homosexuality is remarked on. I suppose it falls into the shadow of the First World War.
posted by Kattullus at 1:33 PM on October 1, 2009


A.E. Housman reprasent!
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:05 PM on October 1, 2009


Thanks for this, I'll keep reading [6th comment. Hmm].
posted by dash_slot- at 2:14 PM on October 1, 2009


It's always such a relief to see the NYPL or any library, really, take something like this on.

I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but ever since that time my home county banned mention of gay pride in public libraries, it's been a bit of a sore subject.
posted by wreckingball at 2:30 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, I was never quite how anyone missed Sassoon's orientation. I first read "A Letter Home" and not long into it that whole "admiration of another man's sterling character" routine, which was not uncommon then, it just took a turn. I wasn't expecting a love-in-the-trenches story, but there it was. You probably already know this, but "A Letter Home" was made into a truly beautiful song, "The Valleys," by Electrelane.

This online exhibit should be followed by a viewing of Gay Sex in the 70's for full effect.
posted by adipocere at 2:42 PM on October 1, 2009


I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but ever since that time my home county banned mention of gay pride in public libraries, it's been a bit of a sore subject.
posted by wreckingball at 5:30 AM on October 2 [+] [!]


I've seen county commissioners do some dumbass shit but that truly takes the cake. And then the supermajority to rub salt into the wounds? Did they ever take it to court to get the policy struck down?
posted by Talez at 3:22 PM on October 1, 2009


The ACT UP collection sure brings back a lot of bittersweet memories.
posted by desjardins at 3:24 PM on October 1, 2009


adipocere: You probably already know this, but "A Letter Home" was made into a truly beautiful song, "The Valleys," by Electrelane.

No, I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me, though, as it combines two things I love dearly, Siegfried Sassoon and Electrelane.
posted by Kattullus at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2009


desjardins: I know exactly how you feel. Every poster has a funny story and people who died attached to them for me.

I'm so glad there were those in ACT UP who knew enough to keep things, and film actions and write about them, because some of it was so surreal in the moment that trying to explain it becomes nothing but laughter alternating with sobs.
posted by ltracey at 4:07 PM on October 1, 2009


very cool! will share this with lots of people, and only wish i could see the exhibit in person...
posted by kuppajava at 8:05 AM on October 3, 2009


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