The Gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s urged lesbians and gay men to "come out", publicly revealing their sexuality to family, friends and colleagues as a form of activism, and to counter shame with gay pride. Coming out and Pride parades have remained an important part of modern LGBT movements, and the visibility of lesbian and gay communities has continued to grow. The movement involved the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.
The phrase gay liberation is somewhat synonymous with the contemporary gay rights movement and broader LGBT social movements, but following the academic use, this article is about movements of a particular historical period that shared similar goals and strategies. Specifically, the word 'gay' was preferred to previous designations such as homosexual or homophile; some saw 'gay' as a rejection of the false dichotomy heterosexual/homosexual.
Gay lib is also known for its links to the counterculture of the time, and for the Gay liberationists' intent to transform fundamental institutions of society such as gender and the family. In order to achieve such liberation, consciousness raising and direct action were employed. By the late 1970s, the radicalism of Gay liberation was eclipsed by a return to a more formal movement that espoused gay and lesbian civil rights.
Famous quotes containing the words gay and/or liberation:
“Coming out, all the way out, is offered more and more as the political solution to our oppression. The argument goes that, if people could see just how many of us there are, some in very important places, the negative stereotype would vanish overnight. ...It is far more realistic to suppose that, if the tenth of the population that is gay became visible tomorrow, the panic of the majority of people would inspire repressive legislation of a sort that would shock even the pessimists among us.”
—Jane Rule (b. 1931)
“The womens liberation movement at this point in history makes the American Communist Party of the 1930s look like a monolith.”
—Nora Ephron (b. 1941)