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Discrete CollectionsHall-Carpenter Archives
TitleGay Liberation Front
Extent2 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryThe first meeting of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) took place on 13 October 1970 in a basement classroom at the London School of Economics, and was instigated by Aubrey Walters and Bob Mellors, who had been influenced by the development of the GLF in the USA. It was the beginning of a three year period of great activity, including demonstrations, debates, street theatre, the establishment of a new gay press, and the establishment of communes. Local GLF groups were founded across the country, with Leeds and West Sussex being particularly active. The first ever public gay protest in Britain took place on 27th November 1970, when approximately 80 GLF members gathered for a torchlight demonstration on Highbury Fields, Islington. In August 1971 the GLF organised a further public event when members marched along Islington's Upper Street back to Highbury Fields. This was an exclusively GLF event but led to the first real Pride in London in 1972. In the spring of 1973 the London GLF set up the support group Icebreakers. The first issue of Come Together, the journal of Gay Liberation was produced in 1971. By the mid-seventies, the influence of the GLF in the USA and elsewhere had begun to decline. Throughout its existence the GLF had no formal management structure. An account of the GLF entitled No bath but plenty of bubbles: an oral history of the Gay Liberation Front, 1970-1973 was written by Lisa Power.
DescriptionPapers of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), 1970-1979, comprising: Material created by the London GLF, 1970-[1976], notably Diaries, 1971-1974; accounts and financial reports, 1973-1974; notes and papers on GLF meetings, including the Steering Committee and the General Meeting, 1971-1972; copies of GLF newspapers and journals, including Come Together, 1971, Gay International News, 1970s and Gay News, 1972-1974; GLF newsletters, [1971-1974]; papers on various subjects, mainly relating to gaining gay rights through activism, 1971-[1975]; flyers and tickets for GLF events, [1971-1975], including Gay Pride, dances and discos, Christmas parties, and concerts. Papers of local Gay Liberation Front groups, 1970-1979, mainly comprising newsletters, leaflets, flyers and tickets for events, stickers, and articles on gay rights and legal reform, as well as some administrative materials such as accounts and reports on accommodation. Material created by the Gay Liberation Front Youth Group, 1974, namely a flier for a protest march against the age of consent for homosexual men. Material relating to the Festival of Light, [1971-1975], mainly concerning the disinformation campaign by the GLF. Miscellaneous GLF material, [1970-1979], including tickets for events, leaflets, details of campaigns, GLF publications, badges, photographs of GLF demonstrations and stickers.
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