The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: "an Army of Lovers Cannot Fail"
Between 1966 and 1975 North American youth activists established over 35 school- and community-based gay liberation youth groups whose members sought control over their own bodies, education, and sexual and social relations. This book focuses on three groundbreaking New York City groups -- Gay Youth (GY), Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), and the Gay International Youth Society of George Washington High School (GWHS) -- from the advent of gay liberation in NYC in 1969 to just after its dissolution and the rise of identity politics by 1975. Cohen examines how gay liberation -- with its rejection of stultifying sex roles, attack on institutional oppression, connection between personal and political liberation, celebration of innate androgyny, and resolute anti-war and anti-capitalist stance -- shaped understandings of sexual identity, membership criteria, organization, decision-making, the roles of youth and adults, and efforts to effect social change.