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89 MIN READ TIME

When Gays Wanted to Liberate Children

IN 1972 MEMBERS OF BOSTON’S Gay Men’s Liberation, one of the most significant Gay Liberation groups formed after the 1969 Stonewall riots, drove to Miami to hand out a ten-point list of demands at the Democratic National Convention. Emerging from a crucible of new queer political consciousness, feminism, and rage, the manifesto articulated a utopian political vision that was broad—today, we might say intersectional—extending far beyond what we would now conceptualize as LGBT politics. Its first demand, for example, was for “an end to any discrimination based on biology. Neither skin color, age nor gender should be recorded by any government agency. Biology should never be the basis for any special legal handicap or privilege.”

If many of Gay Men’s Liberation’s demands remain controversial forty-five years later, most are also still legible in today’s political discourse: the group sought to end U.S. imperialism, prevent discrimination based on sexual identity, and abolish the police. These all remain live demands of many radicals on the left. Demand six, however, is likely to strike even many of today’s activists as irresponsible, bizarre, and dangerous:

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