Thursday, February 9, 2012

Poster of the Week


Gay-In
Gay Liberation Front
Silkscreen, circa 1970
Los Angeles, California
34390

CSPG’s featured Poster of the Week announces an annual Gay-In that took place in Griffith Park. The celebratory image in this 40+ year old poster is a fitting tribute to the court ruling this week, overturning California’s ban on gay marriage, in effect since voters passed Proposition 8 in 2008. It is also one of the featured posters in Decade of Dissent: Democracy in Action 1965-1975, currently on display at the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. through April 28, 2012.

The first of three annual Griffith Park Gay-Ins was held on May 30, 1968. It was a precursor to gay pride festivals that took place in major cities following the Stonewall riots of 1969. The Gay-In festivals suffered constant police harassment.

Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was the name of a number of Gay Liberation groups, the first of which was formed in New York City in 1969, immediately after the Stonewall riots. The Los Angeles chapter of the GLF was created in December 1969. One of the GLF's first acts was to organize a march in response to Stonewall, and to demand an end to the persecution of homosexuals. The GLF had a broad political platform, denouncing racism and declaring support for various Third World struggles and the Black Panther Party—some of whom would return the gesture of solidarity. They took an anti-capitalist stance, and attacked the nuclear family and traditional gender roles.

Poster Mystery – Help needed to clarify the history of the Gay-ins.
1. First Griffith Park Gay-In
The flyer advertising the first Griffith Park Gay-In, on Thursday, May 30, 1968, Memorial Day, can be seen on http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/The_first_Griffith_Park_Gay-In.

2. There is a reference to the 2nd Gay-In, July 1969 – but no specific date
http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Griffith_Park_Gay-In

3. A poster announcing the 3rd Griffith Park Gay-In, is dated Labor Day, 1970.

4. The event for which this poster was made is thus a mystery. Were there more than 3 Griffith Park Gay-Ins? Were there 2 Gay-In’s in one year? We hope to hear from anyone with information to clarify this poster mystery.

Thank you to Lincoln Cushing and the AOUON Archives for providing this image. CSPG does not have a copy of this poster, and if anyone has one, please consider donating it to this unique archive.

3 comments:

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  2. This is the 3rd Griffith Park Gay-In, of Sunday, April 5, 1970. The artist is Bruce Reifel. A line drawing of the poster was also published in the Advocate at around the same time (this was early in Rob Cole's editorship, so it may have appeared *after* the event; if you are interested in locating it, and it's not in the Advocate for April 5th, check the 2 issues before and the 2 issues after).

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  3. Bruce Reifel also illustrated some covers of Gay Sunshine, the gay liberation newspaper based out of Berkeley, CA.

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