"Workers of the World Caress"
An interview with Gary Kinsman on gay and lesbian organizing in the 1970's Toronto Left1

by Deborah Brock
Gary Kinsman has been a queer left activist for over thirty years. The publication of his book, The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities in Canada was the first book length academic study of sexual regulation in Canada. Gary is currently an Professor at Laurentian University. 2

Deborah Brock first met Gary Kinsman when they were both doctoral students at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Debi and Gary pursued their shared interest in sexual regulation through joint research projects inside the university, and through their anti-racist socialist feminist activism inside and beyond it. Debi is currently an Associate Professor at York University.

BROCK: I would like us to begin by discussing how you became involved in gay and left politics. I believe that you became involved in the left first, and subsequently began to develop a politics of lesbian and gay inclusion within left politics. The 'political moment' for this was the early 1970's, a period in which the left in North America was quite large, and in which there was wide spread participation in social movements by young people in particular. Of course, the work that you did, some of which we are going to discuss today, was not simply a product of that political moment, but was also part of creating new forms of politics and political organizing....

KINSMAN: Yes, I became involved in the left before I became involved in gay politics. So I guess that's the place to start. I was raised in the white middle class suburban neighborhood of Don Mills and probably didn't have much of a political sense of the world until I was in high school. I attended Victoria Park Secondary School from 1969 to 1974. It wasn't until high school that I started doing fairly well academically, I think because I began to read quite a lot, and be exposed to what were new ideas for me. I read Fidel Castro and later Che Guevara. My parents took me on trips to Florida, where I remember listening to Radio Havana Cuba on the short wave radio. I began to identify as being anti-capitalist and left-wing.

I recall writing letters to Radio Havana Cuba asking questions about their thoughts about the FLQ, waiting to see if it would be actually be answered on air 'cause they would regularly respond on air to people's letters. I don't remember mine being answered. The first explicit political engagement I had was in the fall of 1970. The War Measures Act had just been declared. One of my teachers said "what do these people in Quebec want"? I don't know what possessed me but I actually stood up and said something, informed by what I had learned listening to Radio Havana Cuba and through my independent reading. My impression was that my classmates and teacher thought that I was really odd. But I was beginning to be perceived as an intellectual and sort of eccentric. Shortly afterwards I, along with one of the other students at my school, participated in a Pollution Probe event. But most significantly for me, I decided to attend an event at the University of Toronto, which was being organized by the Emergency Committee to Defend Quebec Political Prisoners. Michel Lemieux, who was the lawyer for some members of the FLQ, spoke at it, as well as Michel Chartrand who was at that point still the head of the Montreal section of the CNTU/CSN (Confederation of National Trade Unions In Quebec). It was also a very eventful meeting because the Edmund Burke Society (a fore-runner of the Western Guard) disrupted it, I think by spraying mace, resulting in Red Morning (a largely youth-based radical organization that supported the Black Panther Party and the FLQ, that had grown out of the New Left and anti-war movements) and Communist Party of Canada -Marxist-Leninist (the major Maoist organization in Canada at that point) people beating the shit out of the Edmund Burke Society people. This marked a transition for me, from being engaged intellectually and reading about these kinds of political differences, to actually seeing these differences played out. I bought a number of political newspapers at this event, including Mass Line which was one of the publications of the Communist Party of Canada -Marxist-Leninist, which was filled with reference to their leader Hardial Bains. I also bought an issue of Young Socialist that had John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the cover and contained an interview with them. I really wanted to get involved in some sort of organization and when comparing these two papers, I really didn't find Mass Line very interesting. Young Socialist, on the other hand, seemed really interesting. So I wrote to the Young Socialists which was the youth group to the Trotskyist League for Socialist Action. At that point in time the League for Socialist Action was the official section of the Fourth International in Canada. It was aligned with the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) in the United States, as a minority current within the Fourth International. In 1971 I became a member of the Young Socialists, without telling my parents.

I began going downtown to attend meetings, after growing up feeling like Don Mills was the whole world and never really going to other parts of the city. It was a while before I learned that the John and Yoko issue that had really influenced my decision to join the Young Socialists was really an aberration. It was part of a turn towards the youth radicalization that wasn't fully authorized by the central leadership. Ross Dowson, the central leader of the LSA at that time, was away in Europe and things were actually fluctuating around in odd ways politically. I became one of the Young Socialists' high school activists and began to do a bit of activism at my school. For example, I participated in organizing the Victoria Park Socialist student movement. I was involved in organizing an event where 400 students refused to attend classes in support of the teachers' work to rule campaign. We assembled and then marched to other schools.

BROCK: How did you connect with gay activists in the left?

KINSMAN: By the summer of 1971 I was beginning to learn about the gay movement. The LSA and the YS made a 'turn' by opening towards the gay movement. This occurred partially because some gay members of the LSA were working with some important activists in groups like Toronto Gay Action. And the first major gay rights demonstration in Canada occurred in August of 1971. It was organized largely by Toronto Gay Action, which had initially been the action caucus of CHAT (The Community Homophile Association of Toronto). Its more radical intentions emerged and it was voted out and became a distinct organization. Several members of the LSA were involved, although TGA was a broader organization; it was a reflection of gay liberation style politics in the Toronto context.

BROCK: Could you explain what Gay Liberation Front politics were?

KINSMAN: Well, politics that were not assimilationist, for example it did not articulate its politics as "gay is just as good as straight". Instead slogans that were often used were things like "Smash heterosexual imperialism". This expressed the notion that gay liberation was a revolutionary movement that had some relationship to the women's liberation movement. It had links with feminism and anti-racism and youth movements It had some critique of capitalist society, had some major radical impulse behind it, was often organized in a new left fashion, was not organized in hierarchal ways. It was not wedded to a single approach or tactic to achieving liberation. It also promoted the notion that gay sexual politics was not just about a minority sexuality but was about sexual possibilities for everyone, in some ways subverting the distinction between homosexual and heterosexual. They would organize gay contingents in anti-war demonstrations, and have speakers at a range of political events.

So through being a member of the Young Socialists I became aware that there was something called the gay movement. As for my own sexuality, obviously I was going through things at this time, although my first articulation of my own sexuality was that I thought there were things in both women and men that I was attracted to. Although I must say that the sexual play that I had engaged in when I was much younger was almost all entirely done with boys, or at least I found that more interesting. So when I actually came into contact with information about a gay liberation movement and learned that they were holding demonstrations, and that the Young Socialists, the organization that I was a part of, actually supported these actions, it had an impact on me. I increasingly came to feel that I want to explore those possibilities.

In the spring of 1972 two women friends at my high school invited me to a party at the home of a guy named Barry. When the party ended, Barry asked me to stay over, and so we had a sexual encounter. That crystallized things for me. I did want to explore this further. I had fun and I was okay with the experience. Probably a couple of weeks later the LSA hosted a forum that featured a member of The Body Politic collective. The first issue of The Body Politic had been produced specifically for the August 1971 demonstration in Ottawa. I intentionally decided that I would try to attract the speaker's interest, and it did work. Once my sexual interests became known I was also approached by some of the older male members of the LSA, and I developed a somewhat longer term relationship with one of them. I was still a high school student throughout all of this, living at home in Don Mills, and had some pretty severe constraints placed upon me. My parents by then knew that I was involved in the Young Socialists and they were having a difficult time with that, but they didn't know anything about my sexual involvements.

So the left actually provided for me my first sexual contacts. Then I began to politicize around gay activism too. I started to go to demonstrations. When the Young Socialists need to have a speaker for the Pride event in 1972, which were then held on the anniversary of the August 28th march in Ottawa, someone suggested me. That was the first time I took on a political role in relationship to the gay liberation movement.

During this period, I was also becoming a political oppositionist within the Young Socialists. The League for Socialist Action was aligned with the Socialist Worker's Party in the U.S, but this current was actually a minority in the Fourth International. The LSA and YSA majority had a position that if you organize people on a single issue, even at a level of lowest common denominator, as long as you have people involved in mass actions somehow it will radicalize them. I was no longer convinced that this really worked, partly from my own experience in organizing. I began to realize that things were a little more complex than just having a popular issue and the lowest common denominator politics and arguing for mass action in that context. So I became closer to the dissidents within the Young Socialists and the League for Socialist Action, who were aligned with the European majority of the Fourth International. This dissidence would lead to the formation of the Revolutionary Marxist Group. The majority, which was based in Europe, was identified with the work of Ernest Mandel (Mandel was a leading figure in the Fourth International from the 1950s through to his death in 1995. It had currents in Latin America including armed groups like the Revolutionary Army of the People (ERP) in Argentina in the early 1970s. That majority had an impact within the organizing going on in the context of the Canadian State.

Although the Young Socialists was a youth organization of the League for Socialist Action, we did not have membership rights in the League for Socialist Action because the youth organization served as the training ground. We had to apply for membership in the League for Socialist Action. Eventually I did apply, but I was rejected because of my shift in position. I pointed out that Hitler had gigantic mass demonstrations and this did not lead to people actually radicalizing in a progressive political way. Anyway, I was already identified as a political dissident. I didn't get more involved in gay related politics at that point in time because I became much more involved in this political form of dissidence.

BROCK: Could you map the relations between these organizations and their respective positions? For example, could you clarify the relation between some of the tendencies and the organizations that they were a part of.

KINSMAN: Okay. The International Communist Tendency was a tendency of the Young Socialist youth group. The Revolutionary Communist Tendency was part of the League for Socialist Action. They basically critiqued the leadership for being too close to reformism, for being too legalistic, for supporting single issue mass action strategies that the tendency believed really didn't work, and for taking the organization in directions that were not radical enough. Those were sort of the bases upon which political differentiation was made. It wasn't always concrete but, for instance, one thing that the tendency would have been clear on was that we opposed the destruction of a multi-issue women's liberation movement. The leadership of the LSA/YS wanted to produce a single issue mass action campaign around abortion.

Although the ICT and RCT were quite strong in supporting the women's liberation movement, they opposed the LSA's attempts to convert the multi-issue women's liberation movement into a single issue, abortion rights campaign. For instance, the LSA acted to try to dissolve the Toronto Women's Liberation Caucus3 which they had a lot of influence in, and converted it in to the forerunner of what became the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL). Even though people in the ICT, who would later become part of the Revolutionary Marxist Group, were supposed to be anti-feminist, in practice their policies on women's liberation and feminism were actually much better. So I became really involved in that current.

BROCK: Can you to clarify the distinction that you are making between the women's liberation movement and feminism?

KINSMAN: This was a distinction that was made in the early years of the Revolutionary Communist Tendency and the very early RMG. It was quickly surpassed when, of course, it became clear that this distinction really didn't work. On a theoretical level the RMG initially had an incredibly sectarian approach towards feminism. Basically, that feminism is a bourgeois ideology that divides the working class; however, we should fully support the struggle for women's liberation. As people became more involved it was clear that this distinction was no longer tenable. Clearly feminism was the word that was being used by the people who were involved in the women's liberation movement, and it can be articulated in ways that linked gender struggles to class struggles, and so on. The initial position was evolved beyond quite quickly, by late 1975/1976 in the RMG. There was a pamphlet produced on women's liberation that was probably the most profound thing that anyone, any organization on the left had yet said about these issues.

BROCK: What are some other examples of differences that were occurring?

KINSMAN: Using the example of the anti-war movement, the RCT and the ICT would have supported the anti-war movement not only organizing around "U.S. Out Now!" and "End Canadian complicity" but also "Victory to the NLF!" The NLF was the Vietnamese National Liberation Front that was then waging a war of national liberation against US imperialism. There was nothing at all articulated around the direction for gay politics. But I was introduced to Walter, one of the leading figures in the Revolutionary Communist Tendency, who had been part of the dissident tendency on the East Coast, but had seen that tendency destroyed by the leadership of the LSA and had then moved to Toronto. Walter was also gay. I'll just explain how this destruction happened, as one instance of repression by the LSA leadership. The perspective of the LSA majority was that you were supposed to win the NDP to socialism. In the early 1970s some YS and the LSA people in New Brunswick became the defining force in the Waffle current in that province, and then the Waffle took over the provincial NDP basically. The central NDP then expelled the whole NDP section in New Brunswick because it had been taken over by the Waffle. This was in the context of the battle between the NDP leadership and the emerging Waffle current across the country. But what also happened was that the LSA and the YS expelled all of the members that actually tried to implement winning the NDP to socialism, indicating that the LSA and YS did not actually support this implementation. It was a propagandistic slogan. So, a lot of the people who were expelled or had problems in the East Coast moved to Toronto. Walter was one of them. He had become a leading figure in the Revolutionary Communist Tendency, and would travel to Brussels and talk with Ernest Mandel and others in the international leadership. Anyway, so I was introduced to him and we developed a sexual relationship. A consequence was that I was somewhat tied into the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Tendency and then the RMG, as it emerged. Another consequence was that we began to try to formulate some gay politics in the context of the RMG, once it was formed. But initially it was basically the two of us doing the organizing. There were other gay and lesbian members, though. Once the RMG was actually formed as a separate and distinct revolutionary organization, Walter and I began to talk about how we could actually integrate our being gay into the politics of the group and also begin to participate in gay organizing beyond the RMG. I was also a student activist at York University at that time; opposing tuition fee increases, going to meetings of what was then called the York University Homophile Association, and having some connections with Harbinger, the sexuality related counseling center for students. Much later on, a high point of activism for me at York was when we occupied the president's office in support of the York University Staff Association (YUSA) strike in 1978. I was also doing international solidarity work, as well as organizing work for the RMG.

So this was also the context in which I began to work with Walter, formulating our gay politics. We produced written texts for important gay events, as a way of putting forward our developing political positions.

BROCK: So we are beginning to identify some of the forces that would lead to the split with the LSA and the formation of the RMG.

KINSMAN: The current that I was involved in was also disloyal because we were part of a broader clandestine organization called the Regroupment or "Marrakesh" which was the code word for the political formation that included the Old Mole student group at the University of Toronto, and the Waffle's Red Circle (a left grouping in the Waffle). The Old Mole was the newspaper of a group of student radicals, and would eventually become the newspaper of the RMG. The Waffle was a left Canadian nationalist current in the NDP that tried to push the NDP further left, but was instead expelled.

So there was a re-groupment process occurring from 1971 to 1973 involving people from a range of left organizations. Our meetings had an underground character; we would use code words, and we started using pseudonyms. The LSA was interested in policing our relationships. So for instance, if they saw someone within the LSA or the YS talking to someone in the Old Mole or the Red Circle, we would actually get in shit for it.

BROCK: So you were more concerned about policing within the organization by the leadership of the organization than you were concerned about infiltration by the RCMP?

KINSMAN: Right, although there are further complexities there. There are two things I'll mention. Earlier I mentioned that when I joined the YS it was doing a turn towards youth radicalization. However, later that summer the official leadership reinforced its control by holding an internal trial for two people. It was official policy that you could not smoke marijuana and be a member of the Young Socialists because it puts you at risk of police entrapment. So there was actually a trial organized for two people who were known to smoke marijuana and they were expelled from the organization. I must say this had something to do with me beginning to feel like this organization was too rigid and hard-line. They were really put on trial because they were political dissidents, and they were people who would have supported the European majority, so the YS leadership was using something else against them.

I had never smoked marijuana before I joined the Young Socialists , but within a couple of weeks of joining I was smoking dope with people who lived in some of the activist collective houses in the Queen Street area.

But we were very concerned about RCMP tactics as well. In 1972 I attended a Young Socialist convention where during the lunch break the RCMP put down letters on every single chair attacking the mental stability of one of the leaders of the League For Socialist Action. People were quite freaked out by this. This was a concrete attempt to exacerbate differences between groups. From their previous surveillance the RCMP knew that there were big factional fights going on. Immediately after this occurred a joint statement was issued by the International Communist Tendency and the majority of the YS identifying this as a police operation. So it didn't work at all from the vantage point of what the RCMP was trying to accomplish, which was to create further distrust and divisions. In a certain sense it actually reaffirmed and bolstered the organizations. Ross Dowson, a central leader of the LSA, launched a major legal case against the RCMP. There clearly was ongoing RCMP and police infiltration.

BROCK: You certainly have found plentiful evidence of this by gaining access to RCMP records through the Access to Information Act -ATIP. I know that you discuss this further in your forthcoming book, The Canadian War on Queers.4

KINSMAN: It did mean that if you did see people who you didn't think were the type of people you would usually see in the left, you were really suspicious of them then. There was a certain amount of paranoia around that.

So this was in addition to the internal differences that were occurring within the YS and LSA. Many of us in the ICT and RCT were really concerned that we would be expelled, and we realized that our long term objective was to leave the League for Socialist Action. But we wanted to be able to leave it on our own terms. Prior to the 1973 RMG convention a process was put into place to found the Revolutionary Marxist Group. The RMG was in effect already in existence, without naming it. The component parts - people who were already members of other left organizations- were in contact with each other and had begun to hold joint meetings. There was a decision made that LSA members would stay in the LSA longer. However, those of us who were in the International Communist Tendency through our involvement in the YS would leave. We found all sorts of justifications for this and issued a statement at a meeting and walked out.

When it came to gay organizing, Walter and I acted more or less as individuals. We constituted ourselves as the RMG gay caucus and we sometimes would have worked with other gay or lesbian people in the organization, but largely we did stuff on our own. We would issue statements that weren't necessarily authorized by the leadership but we thought it was actually useful to have some presence in the gay movement and also to start to raise gay liberation questions inside the RMG. And I mean at that point the RMG had absolutely no position at all on any of these questions. The RMG did gradually evolve particularly under the pressure of lots of women who were in it, a lot of women who became significant feminist activists and who had a very strong feminist position by 1976. They provided a context for us to actually be able to do a lot more work in terms of raising gay and lesbian matters.

BROCK: Let's talk more about your relation to broader gay and lesbian organizing.

KINSMAN: In some ways, early on the RMG gay caucus was very stand-offish and, I would say, rather sectarian towards the mainstream of gay rights organizing.

As I mentioned earlier, Toronto Gay Action was formed sometime in 1971, out of the action caucus of CHAT. TGA reflected a Gay Liberation Front type of politics. This approach developed a little bit later than the formation of Gay Liberation Fronts in US, which really took off after the Stonewall riot in 1969

As I mentioned earlier, Toronto Gay Action was the major force behind the march on Ottawa in August 1971. It was the political milieu out of which the Body Politic collective emerged. It also organized gay anti-war contingents on numerous anti-war demonstrations. I remember TGA participating in the demonstration against the Amchitca bomb blasts; I think those would have been in 1972. A representative of Toronto Gay Action was one of the speakers, and there were about ten thousand largely high school students who participated in that demonstration.

BROCK: So GLF politics were deeply interwoven with the broader left politics of the time. What are your impressions of how the spectacular rise of the women's liberation movement impacted upon lesbians in TGA?

KINSMAN: By 1972-1973 TGA and CHAT were comprised mainly of gay men. Most lesbians left CHAT and TGA to form separate lesbian collectives. Many of them became more involved with the feminist movement.

For example, some of the women who had been involved in CHAT defined themselves as members of the cunt caucus, They raised their concerns about the marginalization of lesbians in the organization, and walked out. Becki Ross documents this in The House That Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation.5 Some members of the cunt caucus still had a relationship with CHAT but basically there were major problems around the continuing sexism among gay men, including the gay men who said they were supporting feminism and were opposed to sexism. In addition, lesbian separatism was starting as a particular type of political current, and also more women were getting involved in feminism and coming out in the context of the feminist movement. So there was less reason to be connected with the gay men who were organizing. Also TGA and the new left more generally advocated non-hierarchal organizations, without established leadership. However, in many of these organizations there was nevertheless a de facto leadership, and lots of undemocratic activities occurring.

This led to numerous tensions, and eventually Toronto Gay Action fell apart. But it was an important group giving birth to other projects. The organization that was built to replace it was the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) which had some of the same people in it. However, there were ways in which its political basis was quite different. It was based on an interpretation of LSA politics, applied to the gay situation. The objective was to develop a mass movement based on a single issue, and the single issue was human rights. The way to actually fight for it was to fight for sexual orientation protection in human rights legislation. GATE became the major gay activist organization in Toronto in 1974. It in turn helped to create the basis for the emergence of the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario (CGRO) in 1975. CGRO was later renamed the Coalition For Lesbian and Gay Rights In Ontario (CLGRO).

During the time that GATE existed, there were other organizations across the country taking up similar names; for instance, the Gay Alliance Towards Equality in Vancouver was established. I am not trying in any way, shape or form to suggest that either of these Gay Alliance Towards Equalities were front groups for the League For Socialist Action, but some of the LSA gay activists in those groups were quite involved in setting them up and getting them going.

BROCK: Were there gays and lesbians from a range of left politics involved in GATE?

KINSMAN: Initially there were people from the organized left and people associated with the NDP. There was also at least one member of the Communist Party of Canada involved in GATE, as well as people who could be described as being more from an anarchist-libertarian background, for example, the Alternatives Collective. The only organized far left current that was involved in the early gay liberation activism in Toronto were Trotskyist related groups like the LSA and the Young Socialists. Toronto Gay Action was clearly a left-wing gay organization. Gay Alliance Towards Equality was not explicitly identified that way. It was much more a gay rights organization, with it's central focus being gay and to some extent lesbian concerns. Its central focus was human rights for gay people, and the recognition of sexual orientation as a human rights issue that should be included in human rights codes. There were no more connections made between the gay struggle and the struggle against capitalism and little with feminist struggles.

That said, Brian Mossop, who has written about this experience in Canadian Dimension, was one of GATE's main activists throughout its history.6 He was expelled from the Communist Party, probably in 1976, because he was seen as being too public and too active around gay questions, and its just too embarrassing to have someone like that as a member. He was a member of their central committee if I am not mistaken, a long time member of the Communist Party of Canada.

Another connection between gay and left politics occurred through the New Marxist Institute, through the development of a course on gay sexuality and politics starting in 1975.

BROCK: Tim McCaskell has kept his records for the development of the course, which was a project of the Marxist Study Group. There was a series of meetings to decide the content of the course and the suggested readings, as this involved establishing how to draw the links between gay liberation and its relevance to Marxism and vice versa.7

KINSMAN: By this time the Revolutionary Marxist Group had been formed-I will return to this in a bit. Those of us from the RMG who were participating in the study group actually had a political perspective which was defined in some ways by that of the RMG as a whole.8 You could see this in some of the documents that we produced. Our perception was that in numerous areas of struggle anti-capitalist currents were emerging. for instance, a Black workers' organization had emerged partly under the impetus of Rosie Douglas. Rosie Douglas was a Black activist who had been involved in the student protests against racism at Sir George Williams University in Montreal in the late 1960s, and played a role in trying to bring together black anti-capitalist radicals. However, he was deported by the Canadian government back to Dominica. Warrior Societies were emerging among aboriginal people. We were anticipating that there would be some sort of anti-capitalist formation emerging out of gay activism, and I believe that some of us thought that this would actually emerge out of the Gay Marxist Study Group. We wrote a proposal for a Gay Liberation Front style politics,9 and we wanted was some sort of organization to come out of this that was not just a discussion group, and was both a radical left organization and a gay organization. The most active thing the Gay Marxist Group did was to support the CUPE 1230 strike of University of Toronto library workers in 1975. We actually got GATE to support that strike because one of the issues in the strike was recognition of sexual orientation protection.

However, there was too much political disunity among us and a certain lack of interest in becoming that. As well, people were moving away from Toronto, so the group didn't actually hold together for very long. Following the collapse of the study group those of us in the RMG gay caucus concluded that because we invested so much energy into the Gay Marxist Study Group we actually neglected organizing with people in GATE and other groups. Although it was not entirely distinct groups of people participating in these organizations, they were in some ways really different projects.

BROCK: Given how sectarian left politics were at the time, it is notable that people were able to work together at all on the basis of a shared commitment to bringing gay and lesbian sexuality and politics into Marxist analyses.

KINSMAN: Yes, our numbers included people clearly committed to Maoism, to third world liberation in some form, people who were influenced by more libertarian interpretations of Marxism, and people who were more influenced by a Trotskyist perspective on Marxism. So it was interesting that the group was able to hang together and have discussions for a period of time.

One of the discussions that we had concerned the central source of gay oppression. An important difference emerged; one that I was, in retrospect, on the wrong side of. There was a counter positioning, or you could use a Maoist formulation like a two line struggle, between 'Is it the family that's the main source of gay oppression?' or 'is it the state that is the main form of gay oppression'? Obviously, in some ways it's both and what's important to define is the inter-relationship between the two of them. But certainly for those of us coming out of Trotskyist traditions the way in which support for gay liberation was usually articulated was that gay people were oppressed by the family. It was a somewhat functionalist argument; one which states that the family is central to women's oppression and its also directly functional to and a crucial cornerstone of capitalism. Therefore if gay oppression is intrinsic to the maintenance of the family it is also crucial for capitalism.

That is how the early LSA would have addressed this question, although it quickly disappeared as an issue as the LSA moved further and further away from support for the gay liberation movement. This approach also informed the RMG's perspectives and politics around gay oppression, and in retrospect this led us to talk about legal rights and legal equality as simply being about achieving formal equality, and not recognizing how confronting state forms of organization and state relations around some of these questions was actually quite important.

Other gay Marxists such as Tim McCaskell and George Smith argued that state forms of organization were absolutely central to the oppression of gays, and so it was the state that you had to primarily organize around. My point here is that there were political debates and discussions going on within the gay left about the origins of gay oppression. We were certain that it is related to capitalism but the question was, how?

BROCK: Could you explain a little bit more about the two-line struggle, which was so important to Maoist thinking?

KINSMAN: I am not a Maoist so I don't fully understand it, but my summary interpretation is that when there is a two-line struggle one side is right and one side is wrong and one side has to defeat the other.

However, clearly you could see a relationship between state forms of oppression and the regulation of families and family forms of organization. But none the less, there was a certain reality to that as a type of political distinction. For those of us in the RMG support for gay liberation was organized for us politically through support for feminism and support for women's liberation. So if you took up the position that the state was central, this de-centered the argument that the oppression of women was organized through the family. By the early 1980's, however, especially after the experience of the bath house raids in Toronto, I began to shift to the position that state forms of organization and regulation were actually central. So I'm engaging in self-criticism, which is another good Maoist notion.

So we are up to about the mid- 1970's. Walter and I were trying to get other lesbians and gays in the RMG involved in organizing around lesbian and gay oppression. It was particularly difficult to get some of the lesbians in the organization involved. I don't think we understood that what we were doing was perceived as gay male politics and wouldn't have been all that interesting to them. Also, we tried to move back a bit from our extreme critique of civil rights strategy.

BROCK: That formal equality was a very limited tactic that spoke to accommodation within the existing power structure, without actually helping to transform the conditions in which people live.

KINSMAN: Yes, and we began to talk more concretely about what the limitations of simply fighting for civil rights and human rights were. We wanted to acknowledge the importance of those struggles, but also the limitations.

The RMG gay caucus wrote statements for the first National Gay Conference, held in Ottawa in June 1975. The conference led to the formation of the National Gay Rights Coalition (NGRC)-later re-named the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition (CLGRC). National gay and lesbian conferences were held every year from 1975 to 1980. We produced a series of documents, including one in 1975 titled "Smash All the Closets. For a Militant Gay Movement".10 This was written in collaboration with the Groupe Marxiste Revolutionnaire in Quebec, the Quebec organization to which the RMG was tied. We worked with someone who had been an early activist in the Front de Libération Homosexuel in Montreal in the early 1970's which was, along with the group from Vancouver, the first GLF style groups to appear in the Canadian context. However, the FLH in Quebec was modeled after national liberation struggles in Quebec as well. It didn't last very long but it was quite a significant organization for a short period of time. It was based among francophones, unlike some of the organizations that emerged later.

So, unlike many other movements, a cross-country organization existed. It was based in Ottawa and Gays of Ottawa was clearly the major group involved in running it, but nonetheless it did provide a cross-country political forum for people to come together every year. The RMG gay and lesbian caucus organized around the conferences every year.

Probably the most significant developments in this cross-country organizing occurred at the Saskatoon conference in 1977, where there were a series of workshops on organizing in the unions and other topics, and a group of lesbian-feminists managed to pass a motion entitling lesbians to 50% control of the voting rights in conference decisions. The most devastating conference was probably the one in Halifax the following year when the fifty per cent lesbian control motion that had been adopted in Saskatoon was defeated.

Gays and lesbians in the RMG also participated in campaigns that were organized by the other organizations in the gay rights movement. For instance, there were protests against the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star related to heterosexist articles that they had carried. There was a large demonstration in the mid 1970's focusing on employment rights for gays and lesbians, with John Damien as the central focus of struggle. GATE Toronto and CGRO were central to the early organization of the defense of John Damien, a racing steward who had been fired in 1975 because he was gay.11

BROCK: Let's talk a little more about the formation of CGRO. It was the first province wide lesbian and gay organization in Ontario.

KINSMAN: CGRO was formed in 1975 at a conference held at the Don Vale community center in Toronto. I believe that GATE Toronto called the conference in collaboration with other groups across the province but with the specific intention of producing a province wide gay organization whose central focus would be fighting for human rights protection in the Ontario Human Rights Code, although it may have been organized on a slightly broader basis. CGRO developed out of this process, and began to develop its own character, although GATE survived for a number of more years after that, lasting until the late 1970's as the major gay rights organization in Toronto.

As for the RMG, some major political discussions were held in the organization as a whole around these questions, and around our support for women's liberation. However, there wasn't a full clarification of the RMG's support for lesbian and gay liberation, although the lesbian and gay caucus was actually doing a fair amount of work. In practice the RMG was actually moving in a position that was quite supportive of lesbian and gay liberation but that was not formalized or generalized in the organization as a whole. So there were certain problems that were still presenting themselves. We were still confronting heterosexism in the organization. We did zaps at RMG social events, for instance, getting same gender couples to dance together. I would even wear little jean skirts.

BROCK: I can't imagine you, Gary…

KINSMAN: I can't imagine it myself but I did do it. Clearly heterosexism still existed in the RMG and was still quite pervasive in the left by and large, for sure. But we did have a feeling by '76 and into '77 that things were really getting better. There was more support for what we were doing. The discussions around feminism and women's liberation and its integration into the organization as a whole in a way that would transform the organization as a whole were actually leading us to feel quite positive about what possibilities were for the inclusion of lesbian and gay politics and organizing.12

BROCK: Although progress was made, this optimism was short lived. What happened?

KINSMAN: Among Trotskyist organizations, a whole series of splits occurred around the world, largely between the supporters of the European Majority of the Fourth International and the supporters of the US Socialist Workers Party. By 1977, the European leadership of the Fourth International and the Socialist Worker's Party current (which included the LSA) decided that they should re-merge all of these organizations and build a stronger Fourth International. They believed that the programmatic differences between the organizations weren't that profound.

This created a new context for those of us who were organizing in the RMG as the majority of the leadership of the RMG, made the decision that we would rejoin the people that we had split from. The difficulty for us wasn't just facing all those political questions that led to the differences of the past and the hostilities that had been generated about that. It also raised a particular problem for us because while the RMG had been moving more and more towards supporting lesbian and gay liberation, the LSA had been moving further away from it. The LSA central committee produced these ridiculous arguments that "the party" didn't take positions on scientific questions. Long time gay activists in the LSA left the organization. Also, the SWP in the US was now beginning to move towards what they referred to as an 'industrial turn' which was the implantation of students and other people into industrial jobs, with 'industrial' defined fairly narrowly, although interestingly enough in the Canadian context, a post office was accepted as being an industrial location. So this set up a very weird context for the fusion discussions because we were being forced to fuse with an organization that was beginning to embark on this industrial turn and that was increasingly becoming hostile to the lesbian and gay liberation movement. The fusion did take place in 1977, so after that period these organizations all became tendencies in the Fourth International. By 1979, the Socialist Worker's Party in the States was making some quite vile comments about the lesbian and gay movement, and this was influencing their supporters in Canada who had previously been in the League for Socialist Action.

BROCK: The industrial turn required people who were members of the organization to give up their own jobs and go to work in particular factory settings in order to reach out to and recruit the working class.

KINSMAN: Yeah. Some revolutionary socialist organizations whether they were Trotskyist, Maoist, Stalinist, whatever, have used this tactic of implantation. It is basically that, if you think that the industrial working class is supposedly the revolutionary force, the way to get workers in your organization is to send students and middle class people into the factories. That's the whole strategy. On some levels it can work, but just think about how most working class people would deal with someone who quit a job as a teacher to work in a factory. It involves bringing in people who don't have working class experience, don't actually know how to operate in these contexts, and somehow thinking that this can be a useful political strategy. Most of us in the RMG and the Groupe Marxist Revolutionaire in Quebec certainly supported people getting involved in unions where they could but thought it was idiotic to take people out of teacher's unions and to throw them into industrial unions. We thought public sector unions were just as important as industrial unions. We had a broader working class orientation; one that recognized the significance of other social groups.

So with the fusion in 1977 the RMG became part of the Revolutionary Worker's League. We now had to work on a day to day basis with some of the remaining gay and lesbian members of the ex-LSA who were also members of Revolutionary Worker's League. This was really trying 'cause our politics were incredibly different. But, at least for a period of time in Toronto, we were actually able to do some fairly effective work in terms of the protest against Anita Bryant.

BROCK: Anita Bryant was a former Miss America, employed as a spokesperson for Florida orange juice. She was also a spokesperson for the Christian right, and campaigned against equal rights for lesbians and gays.

KINSMAN: The first demonstrations against Anita Bryant were held in solidarity with protests in the United States, prior to her visit to Canada in 1978. In Toronto there was a lot of rage and anger. It clearly did touch a nerve.13 The Body Politic published an editorial that was basically a Canadian nationalist editorial about how we should ignore Anita Bryant, but clearly that didn't resonate with people We formed a committee to Stop Anita Bryant that involved some people from Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT), GATE and the RMG, and after the summer of 1977 the RWL. At one demonstration someone made an effigy of Anita Bryant. At the end of the demonstration all of these gay men started chanting "burn the bitch" which the women from LOOT and WAVAW quite understandably had a really hard time with. We had to have a lot of discussions about how to prevent things like that from happening again, as some of the rage from gay men could easily become sexism.

When the Body Politic raid occurred in late 1977, although the Revolutionary Worker's League already existed, the majority of people in the RWL doing gay and lesbian related work in Toronto were from the ex-RMG current. The leadership of the RWL was a compromised amalgam, and even though the RMG-GMR was technically in the majority it had to make compromises and concessions to the ex-LSA current. We did actually do some very effective work in support of the Body Politic; for example, there was a forum held by the RWL very soon after the raids and hundreds of dollars were raised for the defense of the newspaper. We got involved almost immediately.

BROCK: The offices of the Body Politic were raided following the publication on an article titled 'Men Loving Boys Loving Men'.14 Debates about this article, which seemed to advocate cross-generational sex, also created some tensions between and among lesbians and gay men...

KINSMAN: For instance, there was a big response in some parts of the lesbian-feminist community that said the Body Politic deserved the raid because it was publishing such an awful article. You got that from some gay men as well. In the organizing against Anita Bryant's visit to Toronto LOOT the Lesbian Organization of Toronto and I think Wages Due Lesbians (connected with Wages For Housework) put forward a slogan, "Opposition To Sexual Violence Against Young People." Some of TBP people were upset with this statement because they felt there was some implication against the article, although it certainly wasn't overtly there. But we were able to navigate through that.

But probably the RWL's most significant work occurred when Anita Bryant came to Toronto in January 1978. There was a massive expansion of the Stop Anita Bryant Coalition, because Canadian right-wing groups were really beginning to organize against lesbian and gay rights. Bryant was invited to speak at People's Church in North York, and we were able to navigate a position that had LOOT and WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) lead a march up Yonge Street.

There were probably 1200 at the downtown rally and march, and then maybe six or seven hundred for the demonstration outside People's Church the next night. People from the ex-RMG but also one or two people from the ex-LSA were quite involved in this and we were actually doing some really good on the ground work and gaining some more respect for what was now the Revolutionary Worker's League in terms of lesbian and gay politics. So we were quite involved in those mobilizations and also in organizing support for dropping all the charges against the BP.

BROCK: Can you tell me how the ex-LSA current's responded to the on-going organizing around gay and lesbian issues?

KINSMAN: One of the features of 'the industrial turn', as they referred to it, was to intensify their opposition to the lesbian and gay movement. They tried to pull all of their people who were doing work in the lesbian and gay movement out of it on the grounds that the movement and communities are "peripheral," "marginal," "lacking in social weight;" these are actually quotes. They said that the gay movement was into lifestyle politics and not centrally relevant to what should be going on in the union movement. They did organize some opposition to the first march on Washington, which occurred in the 1979 and which I participated in. It probably had a couple of hundred thousand people at it; It was quite an important political event in the US, and helped create the basis for the emergence of Lavender Left currents in the gay movement. So the leadership was increasingly coming out in opposition to the lesbian and gay movement, in a way that was interrelated with the turn to industry. They began to take this up in the Canadian context, where we were trying to organize for a profound debate on gay and lesbian liberation. What happened is that while we were pushing for this debate, we were instead reduced to giving reports at central committee meetings. I remember one was really botched because one of the commitments in the RWL, as it should have been, was that you couldn't discuss a document at the centRal committee unless it existed in both English and French. So we prepared the document in English and sent it to Montreal to be translated. It actually was translated but never arrived back to the central committee plenum in Toronto. We arrived at that meeting thinking that this was where the first decisive discussion would take place, and we were told that it couldn't take place because the document was not translated into French. There was a big fight. Some of us wanted to leave the organization at that point. The central leaders of the ex- RMG current convinced us that would be a terrible mistake. We continued organizing but we were increasingly feeling that our position was not going to be accepted. So we organized a working group, because we were not ready to form a tendency or a faction at that point.

BROCK: Could you explain how people formed tendencies or factions within larger organizations?

KINSMAN: The RWL, the RMG and the LSA were organized along Leninist lines. In proper Leninist procedure you are supposed to be able to organize tendencies and factions if you do have political disagreements with the leadership. You are supposed to be able come to a political position somehow, however, without ever meeting with anyone else and just declare yourself some sort of tendency. What this actually means in practice is that it is only people in the leadership who have the political discussions that can lead to the declaration of tendencies or factions. A tendency would be formed when you think that you have developed a distinct political position. This usually occurred in a pre-convention period, when you would form a tendency to organize support for your position. A faction would be formed when you believed that the political position of the majority of the organization was politically bankrupt, and you were prepared to wage a major struggle to overturn it. What we began to argue for was that there had to be some sort of intermediate transitional groups because it was impossible for rank and file members who were not part of the leadership bodies to overnight have a fully elaborated political position. So we argued that there should be either working groups or caucuses that could be precursors of tendencies, and that these could be a space where political positions could be developed. We were also moving in the direction of forming caucuses of oppressed people inside of organizations, which was considered incredibly anti-Leninist: Caucuses provided ways in which people would organize and meet that were not part of the proper structures of a Leninist organization. I am not talking about what Lenin himself wrote; but the perspective of actually existing Leninist organizations where there is democratic centralism. You are supposed to have input into the decisions that are made, but once they are made you are expected to obey the line that has been established. At this point in time I was in theory and in practice breaking away from Leninism.

When the first edition of Sheila Rowbotham's piece called "The Women's Movement and Organizing for Socialism" in Beyond the Fragments was published in 1979, initially as a contribution in a pamphlet and later as part of a book, it was quite influential.15 In my case, it had an important influence on my political perspectives in moving beyond Leninism. It developed a critical analysis of Leninism and Trotskyism from the basis of the organizing of the feminist movement . We first formed a caucus to develop our political positions and produce documents to present them, but the context in which we were doing this was no longer just a political debate within the Revolutionary Worker's League. We were actually getting attacked by the leadership of the Socialist Worker's Party at their leadership body meetings. They described us as an anti-Leninist current that was petty bourgeois life stylist in character and a clear example that the gay and lesbian movement is actually of little social significance to the revolutionary process. So what's interesting is that even though the Socialist Worker's Party would have argued that gay liberation was peripheral to the revolutionary process and even though that was the position that the ex-LSA people in the RWL adopted, it became one of the central areas that they chose to fight around. It became central to their politics of trying to impose an industrial turn inside the Revolutionary Worker's League, and central to their project of dividing the ex-RMG/GMR leadership, something that they were eventually successful at doing. Some of the ex-RMG leadership continued to support us, while others moved towards the position of the industrial turn in the context of this and other debates.

Members of the ex-RMG leadership told us over and over again that they supported us, but when it came to the leadership discussions where we presented our political positions this was not always the case. Judy Rebick, who was then in the leadership of the RWL post-RMG, adopted an intermediate position between ours and the position that our current was anti-Leninist and petty-bourgeois life stylist.

At one of the meetings of the RWL in Montreal six of us found ourselves out in the hall crying, and one member decided to leave. We held a caucus meeting that thirty people attended, including some of the best people who were involved in the Revolutionary Worker's League. This led to the formation of Tendency Z soon after.16 We had about thirty-five people in this tendency and they certainly were not all lesbian and gay, although lesbian and gay people played a leading role in facilitating it. We produced a whole series of documents, including one on lesbian and gay liberation and the trade union movement. We produced a major text that was much more expansive than our tendency declaration, but when we submitted it to the RWL internal discussion bulletin, they first told us it was too long and we had to cut it down. When we re-submitted it they eventually told us that they lost it. After this we did not see the point of re-submitting it.

Many of us were still quite involved in the gay and lesbian movement; in fact, getting increasingly involved in the movement and finding that this was the place we wanted to be. We were giving ambivalent signals to people who expressed an interest in joining the RWL. We really didn't know if we wanted to encourage them to join anymore. We told them, "well maybe not now. Now is not a good time." It became very clear to us by early 1979 that our position would never be seriously discussed in the organization.

So Tendency Z began to fall apart. On March 8th 1980 (International Women's Day) four of us issued a letter of resignation called We May Not Be Witches But We Sure Have Been Burned.17 The context for titling our letter in this way was that there was a lesbian feminist collective within the Ligue Ouvriere Revolutionnaire, the Quebec wing of the RWL and the fused organization in Quebec. The lesbians were ex-GMR members who at a meeting of the RWL/LOR, issued a statement in which they labeled themselves 'the witches collective' and left the organization. Many of the people who had been in the RMG/GMR were leaving the organization when it became clear that the former LSA people, in alliance with some of the former RMG leadership, were going to be able to be successful in imposing the 'industrial turn' on the RWL. Also, at this point in time the former GMR people recognized that the former LSA/LSO while still supporting self-determination for Quebec on the question of independence, now viewed this as a subordinate question to penetrating the industrial working class. Everything- Quebec independence, feminism, lesbian and gay politics- were all being subordinated to what the leadership perceived as developing an implantation in the industrial working class.

So the Witches Collective quit on the basis that their needs and concerns as feminists and as lesbians weren't being addressed. Our statement that "we may not have been witches but we sure have been burned" was intended to express some belated solidarity because, at that point in time, we still hadn't made the decision to leave the organization. So we issued this statement describing some of what had happened to us, expressing our concern that the organization was never going to seriously discuss our position, and that the contradiction between being gay and lesbian activists and members of the revolutionary organization that had been produced for us was untenable. We were being asked to choose between being members of the RWL or being lesbian and gay activists. We were going to continue to be engaged in revolutionary politics, but outside the framework of the RWL. An LOR member appended a statement in French to that resignation letter expressing more of his particular political perspectives. I was in favor of discussing what we had learned about the problems of actually existing Leninism through this experience, but we did not put that in. I had learned that existing Leninist organizations were incapable of actually integrating and learning from feminism and from lesbian and gay liberation politics as well. So on March 8th, 1980 we resigned and I became a refugee from the Leninist left. But I continued to be quite involved in lesbian, gay and later AIDS activism.

BROCK: How did you continue to link your left and your lesbian and gay politics?

KINSMAN: Some of us tried to form a Beyond the Fragments group, which didn't last very long. Some of us were connected with the Lavender Left network in the United States. The Right to Privacy Committee was formed after the bath house raids. During this period, there was a massive explosion of the lesbian and gay movement. In Toronto this took off in a much more profound way in 1981 following the bath raids, but also with the more explicit emergence of an anti-gay right wing. In response to the right's attack on gays and lesbians, there was the formation of groups like Gays and Lesbians Against the Right Everywhere (GLARE). It eventually became Gay Liberation Against The Right Everywhere because most of the lesbians decided to organize separately as Lesbians Against the Right (LAR). For a period of time LAR was quite a substantial lesbian organization in the city. GLARE initiated a number of actions, including a sit down demonstration at Yonge and Bloor Streets, and a day of workshops and festival activities against the right wing, which was held at the 519 community centre and was a fairly significant event.

Some GLARE people were involved in the Right to Privacy Committee. I was involved in the public action committee. That was a pretty massive sub-committee at some points. Shortly after the bath raids, there could be hundreds of people at meetings. So we used this as a base to initiate the first Pride celebration, which was held at Grange Park. There were about 1500 people on the first Pride March. We wanted to celebrate the Stonewall Riot, to bring together lesbians and gay men, and to organize on a political basis that also had fun and celebration attached to it. RTPC was involved but only peripherally because it was really involved in doing other things. Lesbians Against the Right was involved much more centrally but there were major tensions. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had formed [a group of gay men who expressed their political resistance to the Christian right by doing drag in nun's habits] and many of the women in LAR did not want them on the stage because of the perceived sexism. In the end they weren't on the stage but they were there at the event and Lorna Weir gave a major speech. Lesbians Against the Right produced a small booklet that included Lorna's speech. So there were still conflicts over sexism, how could lesbians and gay men work together.

A lot happed that probably would not have occurred without the bath raids. For example, the raid did establish an impetus and a basis for Pride Day so that could continue over the next number of years. It was some people from GLARE, including Kyle Rae, who largely maintained it for the next couple of years, until a Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Committee was formed. GLARE eventually dissolved itself, by 1983. It had begun to shrink. We were doing popular education work but not a lot else.

I want to point out one other thing about the context of the response to the bath raids which was it actually did politicize and radicalize hundreds of gay men in the city in some really interesting ways. For example, on International Women's Day GLARE had a contingent and the Right to Privacy Committee had a contingent and together there were probably hundreds of gay men, which was actually quite incredible because some of those gay men had previously never shown any explicit support for feminism. It also meant that there were other connections made concerning police repression, with other minority groups, and this was quite incredible for a period of time. We were all in a very different political context by then. But by that point in time, the RWL was no longer relating to gay and lesbian struggles, the International Socialists were starting to have some involvement, but by and large most people who were involved in the Queer movements and who were left-wing were not actually affiliated with any type of organization anymore. I also became involved with the Canadian Committee Against Custom Censorship. I became much more a socialist or left activist within the lesbian and gay movement, and an AIDS activist. There was lots to do.

1 Gary Kinsman and Walter first began to use the slogan, "Workers of the World Caress" when they were members of the Revolutionary Marxist Group Gay Caucus. See Walter, and Kinsman "Workers of the World, Caress! Sexual Liberation through Revolution, Not Reform" unpublished document, approximately 1973. I asked Gary about the source of the slogan. KINSMAN: I think that it originated in France among people organizing a radical sexual politics modeled on Wilhelm Reich's work in German in the 1930s (although Reich himself didn't use "Workers of the World Caress") I don't think that either Walter or I generated it ourselves but who knows, it was a take off of "workers of the world unite" and we first used it on a flyer with an image of miners hugging. We did fairly systematically use it both as a take off on Marx, but also a way of talking about workers while sexualizing or eroticizing the lives of workers." [Ed: "Workers of the World, Caress", is an alternative translation of "Workers of the World, Embrace" the slogan employed by Daniel Guérin - one of the radical sexual activists identified by Kinsman above - and as described in David Berry's article "Workers of the World, Embrace! Daniel Guérin, the Labour Movement, and Homosexuality" in the print edition of Left History 9.2]
2 Gary Kinsman The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero sexualities (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1996).
3 See issues of the Velvet Fist and the Other Woman, and also Women's Liberation, RMG document series 1, 1976, pp. 15-16.
4 Gary Kinsman, The Canadian War on Queers forthcoming; Gary Kinsman, "Constructing Gay Men and Lesbians as National Security Risks, 1950-1970" in Whose National Security? Canadian State Surveillance and the Creation of Enemies G. Kinsman, D. Buse, and M. Steedman, eds. (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2000), 143-153; Gary Kinsman, "National Security as Moral Regulation: Making the Normal and the Deviant in the Security Campaigns Against Gay Men and Lesbians in Making Normal: Social Regulation in Canada Deborah Brock, ed. (Toronto: Nelson, 2003), 121-145. Also see Human Rights League Operation Freedom "Is the Police State at Our Doors? The Shady Side of 'National Security'" 1:2 (April 1978); and Nancy Nicols "Stand Together" V Tape 2002 (VHS 124 minutes).
5 Becki Ross, The House that Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995), 33-37.
6 For example, see Brian Mossop and Ken Popert, "Why Are Gay People Oppressed?" Publication source and date unknown.
7 For example, see the documents listed under Gay Marxist Study Group in the Bibliography.
8 For example, see the documents listed under Revolutionary Marxist Group in the Bibliography.
9 Gary Kinsman, "Proposed Platform for a Gay Liberation Front," unpublished document. No date.
10 KINSMAN: "Smash All the Closets: For A Militant Gay Movement" was written by Walter and myself in collaboration with Gerrard in Montreal. This marked the beginning of our trying to provoke this kind of discussion every year during the NGRC conference. We produced "Towards A Militant Gay Movement: Number 2" for the Toronto conference in 1976, and parts of it clearly were written by Gerrard in Montreal. I don't know if we produced more than those two."
Revolutionary Marxist Group / Group Marxiste Revolutionnaire, "Smash all the Closets: For a Militant Gay Movement". Contributions to the discussion at the National Gay Conference, 1975. Unpublished document.
Old Mole Collective, "Toward a Militant Gay Movement ... No. 2" Unpublished document, 1976.
11 Revolutionary Marxist Group, "Re-Instate John Damien. Full Rights for Lesbian and Gay Workers," 5 February 1977. Unpublished document. Also see Nancy Nicols, "Stand Together" V Tape 2002 (VHS 124 minutes).
12 Revolutionary Marxist Group, "Women's Liberation," Document Series No. 1, 1975. Unpublished document. Also see the Revolutionary Workers League, "Women's Rights, Lesbian Rights, Gay Rights," 1978. Unpublished leaflet.
13See Nancy Nicols, "Stand Together."
14 Gerald Hannon,"Men Loving Boys Loving Men" The Body Politic 39 (December 1977/January 1978). Also see Deborah Brock, Making Work, Making Trouble: Prostitution as a Social Problem, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.
15 Sheila Rowbotham, Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism (London: Merlin Press, 1979).
16 Revolutionary Worker's League "Declaration of Tendency Z" and "Our Overriding Task: The Turn to Industry" Discussion Bulletin (October 1979) 3:7.
17 Natalie Amy and Gary Kinsman, "We May Not be Witches ... But We Sure Have Been Burned" Resignation Letter to the Revolutionary Workers League / LOR, with supporting statement by [unknown] 8 March 1980. Unpublished document.

From Liberation to Rights: The Politics of Responsibility




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