the ultra-left on homosexuality?

sj at deakin.edu.au sj at deakin.edu.au
Mon Feb 6 20:52:14 MST 1995


I have a question to throw out into the crowd - I imagine that Alex Trotter
and Ralph Dumain, amongst others, may have something to say on the matter (I
hope so). Here goes:

Has anyone come across any ultra-left discussions of homosexuality from the
years *before* the late sixties? By ultra-left I mean the Dutch, German and
Italian 'Lefts' (e.g. Pannekoek, Mattick, Bordiga), as well as those groups
which emerged in the forties and fifties (the Johnson-Forest Tendency and its
various offshoots, Socialisme ou Barbarie, the situationists, those around
Munis). And I ask specifically about the period before 1968, since so many
people did start 'taking positions' on gay and lesbian identity after then.

My own suspicion - having been shaped by a lot of such perspectives in the
seventies - is that this wasn't an issue for any of the groups I've mentioned
apart perhaps for the *Correspondence*/*Facing Reality* and *News & Letters*
circles, and maybe not even for them... but I could be wrong. I also suspect
that the broader left libertarian milieu which such groups influenced would
have had rather more to say on the matter. Any thoughts or leads?

Steve Wright

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