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Gay Men and the Left in Post-war BritainHow the Personal Got Political$
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Lucy Robinson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074349

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074349.001.0001

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The next big thing: from Gay Left Collective to Greater London Council, paedophile identity and the state of the Left

The next big thing: from Gay Left Collective to Greater London Council, paedophile identity and the state of the Left

Chapter:
(p.123) 5 The next big thing: from Gay Left Collective to Greater London Council, paedophile identity and the state of the Left
Source:
Gay Men and the Left in Post-war Britain
Author(s):

Lucy Robinson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719074349.003.0006

Punk and Rock Against Racism took on the liberation movements' emphasis on culture and lifestyle. The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) had not helped to build a world-wide revolution. For all intents and purposes, it appeared that many of the original aims of gay liberation ‘[could] be gained this side of socialism’. This chapter looks at what gay activists did instead of the third liberational stage. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, post-GLF organisations took on the self-conscious role of discerning ‘what went wrong?’ in the liberation years and what opportunities there were now for gay left politics. Groups such as the Gay Activist Alliance and the Gay Workers Movement continued to work to unite gay activism with the Left, alongside the Gay Left Collective's more theoretical stance. The Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) explored the lessons learnt from lesbian and gay politics and tried to relate them to a different, more challenging, sexual identity. Meanwhile, other gay activists edged closer to the mainstream, for example by supporting the Greater London Council.

Keywords:   Gay Left Collective, Greater London Council, gay activism, Paedophile Information Exchange, gay politics, Gay Liberation Front, punk, Left, lifestyle, culture

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