the ultra-left on homosexuality?

XTROT666 at aol.com XTROT666 at aol.com
Tue Feb 7 21:53:02 MST 1995


On Tue, 7 Feb 1995 sj at deakin.edu.au wrote:

> 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?

   I don't know if this would be a fruitful search, but you might look into
those who supported the Cuban revolution early on (anarchists and
trotskyists, among others) before they were forced into exile or shipped off
to work camps. I know that many in the Literary circles (some of whom were
with Fidel in the attack on the Moncada barracks) were homosexual, including
those who worked on the literary suppliment Lunes before it was suppressed,
around the time of the Padilla affair.
   If some of these folks were active during Batista (or before), they might
have published something on homosexuality. I don't know where you would start
with this. I know that Black Rose books in Canada has an excellent book on
Cuba; they might have some resources. And you can always work your way
through the mountain of Cuban exile writings.
   (The mountain is growing larger every day. I read that Norberto Fuentes
recently left for Mexico after a hunger strike. Are there any great Cuban
writers left on the island?).
   Good luck.                                     Don Kenner

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