Socialism and LGBT rights
The connection between left-leaning ideologies and LGBT rights has a long and mixed history.
- 1 History
- 2 Anarchism, libertarian socialism and LGBT rights
- 3 The homophile movement
- 4 Communist and Socialist Countries
- 5 After 1968
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
The first currents of modern socialist thought emerged in Europe in the early 19th century. They are now often described with the phrase utopian socialism. Gender and sexuality were significant concerns for many of the leading thinkers, such as Charles Fourier and Henri de Saint-Simon in France and Robert Owen in Britain, as well as their followers, many of whom were women. For Fourier, for example, true freedom could only occur without masters, without the ethos of work, and without suppressing passions; the suppression of passions is not only destructive to the individual, but to society as a whole. Writing before the advent of the term 'homosexuality', Fourier recognised that both men and women have a wide range of sexual needs and preferences which may change throughout their lives, including same-sex sexuality and androgénité. He argued that all sexual expressions should be enjoyed as long as people are not abused, and that "affirming one's difference" can actually enhance social integration.
Marx, Engels, Ulrichs and Schweitzer
From the earliest European homosexual rights movements, activists such as Karl-Heinrich Ulrichs and Magnus Hirschfeld approached the Left for support. During the 1860s, Ulrichs wrote to Karl Marx and sent him a number of books on Uranian (homosexual/transgender) emancipation, and in 1869 Marx passed one of Ulrich's books on to Engels. Engels responded with disgust to Marx in a private letter, lashing out at "pederasts" who are "extremely against nature", and described Ulrichs' platform of homosexual rights as "turning smut into theory". He worried that things would go badly for heterosexuals like himself should homosexual rights be gained.
Known to both Ulrichs and Marx was the case of Jean Baptista von Schweitzer, an important labor organiser who had been charged with attempting to solicit a teenage boy in a park in 1862. Social democrat leader Ferdinand Lassalle defended Schweitzer on the grounds that while he personally found homosexuality to be dirty, the labor movement needed the leadership of Schweitzer too much to abandon him, and that a person's sexual tastes had "absolutely nothing to do with a man’s political character". Marx, on the other hand, suggested that Engels use this incident to smear Schweitzer: "You must arrange for a few jokes about him to reach Siebel, for him to hawk around to the various papers." However, Schweitzer would go on to become President of the German Labor Union, and the first Social Democrat elected to a parliament in Europe.
August Bebel's Woman under Socialism (1879), the "single work dealing with sexuality most widely read by rank-and-file members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)", was even more explicit in warning socialists of the dangers of same-sex love. Bebel attributed "this crime against nature" in both men and women to sexual indulgence and excess, describing it as an upper-class, metropolitan and foreign vice. Although he did publicly support the efforts to legalize homosexuality.
The Magnus Hirschfeld circle
The leading figure of the LGBT movement in Germany from the turn of the 20th century until the Nazi government came to power in 1933 was undoubtedly Magnus Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld, who was also a socialist and supporter of the Women's Movement, formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee to campaign against German Penal Code Section 175 which outlawed male-male sex. Hirschfeld's organisation did a deal with the SPD (of which Lassalle and Schweitzer had been members) to get them to put forward a bill in the Reichstag in 1898, but it was opposed in the Reichstag and failed to pass. Most of Hirschfeld's circle of homosexual activists had socialist politics, including Kurt Hiller, Richard Linsert, Johanna Elberskirchen and Bruno Vogel.
Contemporaries of Marx and Engels, Michael Bakunin and Sergei Nechaev were influential anarchists and, some believe, gay lovers. They didn't write about sexual liberation or speak publicly of any romance, but their passionate relationship is revealed in private letters. Bakunin wrote to Nechaev on June 2, 1870, after being betrayed by him: “I loved you deeply and still love you, Nechaev... how deeply, how passionately, how tenderly I loved you and believed in you!”
In Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism, he passionately advocates for an egalitarian society where wealth is shared by all, while warning of the dangers of authoritarian socialism that would crush individuality. He later commented, "I think I am rather more than a Socialist. I am something of an Anarchist, I believe." Wilde's left libertarian politics were shared by other figures who actively campaigned for homosexual emancipation in the late 19th century, John Henry Mackay and Edward Carpenter.
Free love and anarchy
In Europe and North America, the free love movement combined ideas revived from utopian socialism with anarchism and feminism to attack the "hypocritical" sexual morality of the Victorian era, and the institutions of marriage and the family that were seen to enslave women. Free lovers advocated voluntary sexual unions with no state interference and affirmed the right to sexual pleasure for both women and men, sometimes explicitly supporting the rights of homosexuals and prostitutes. For a few decades, adherence to "free love" became widespread among European and American anarchists, but these views were opposed at the time by the dominant actors of the Left: Marxists and social democrats. Radical feminist and socialist Victoria Woodhull was expelled from the International Workingmen's Association in 1871 for her involvement in the free love and associated movements. Indeed, with Marx's support, the American branch of the organisation was purged of its pacifist, anti-racist and feminist elements, which were accused of putting too much emphasis on issues unrelated to class struggle and were therefore seen to be incompatible with the "scientific socialism" of Marx and Engels.
The Verband Fortschrittlicher Frauenvereine (League of Progressive Women's Associations), a turn of the 20th century left-wing organisation led by Lily Braun campaigned for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Germany and aimed at organising prostitutes into labor unions. The broader labour movement either attacked the League, saying they were utopians, or ignored it, and Braun was driven out of the international Marxist movement. Helene Stöcker, another German activist from the left wing of the women's movement, became heavily involved in the sexual reform movement in 1919, after World War I, and served on the board of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft. She also campaigned to protect single mothers and their children from economic and moral persecution.
Across the Atlantic, in New York's Greenwich Village, "bohemian" feminists and socialists advocated self-realisation and pleasure for women (and also men) in the here and now, as well as campaigning against the first World War and for other anarchist and socialist causes. They encouraged playing with sexual roles and sexuality, and the openly bisexual radical Edna St. Vincent Millay and the lesbian anarchist Margaret Anderson were prominent among them. The Villagers took their inspiration from the (mostly anarchist) immigrant female workers from the period 1905-1915 and the "New Life Socialism" of Edward Carpenter, Havelock Ellis and Olive Schreiner. Discussion groups organised by the Villagers were frequented by the Russian anarchist Emma Goldman, among others. Magnus Hirschfeld noted in 1923 that Goldman "has campaigned boldly and steadfastly for individual rights, and especially for those deprived of their rights. Thus it came about that she was the first and only woman, indeed the first and only American, to take up the defense of homosexual love before the general public." In fact, prior to Goldman, heterosexual anarchist Robert Reitzel (1849–98) spoke positively of homosexuality from the beginning of the 1890s in his German-language journal "Der arme Teufel" (Detroit).
During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and derided by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life.
European homosexual anarchists
|The writings of Daniel Guérin offer an insight into the tension sexual minorities among the Left have often felt. A leading figure in the French Left from the 1930s until his death in 1988, Guérin was also bisexual. After coming out in 1965, he spoke about the extreme hostility toward homosexuality that permeated the left throughout much of the 20th century. "Not so many years ago, to declare oneself a revolutionary and to confess to being homosexual were incompatible," Guérin wrote in 1975. In 1954, Guérin was widely attacked for his study of the Kinsey Reports in which he also detailed the oppression of homosexuals in France. "The harshest [criticisms] came from marxists, who tend seriously to underestimate the form of oppression which is antisexual terrorism. I expected it, of course, and I knew that in publishing my book I was running the risk of being attacked by those to whom I feel closest on a political level." After coming out publicly in 1965, Guérin was abandoned by the Left, and his papers on sexual liberation were censored or refused publication in left-wing journals. From the 1950s, Guérin moved away from Marxism-Leninism and toward a synthesis of anarchism and communism which allowed for individualism while rejecting capitalism. Guérin was involved in the uprising of May 1968, and was a part of the French Gay Liberation movement that emerged after the events. Decades later, Frédéric Martel described Guérin as the "grandfather of the French homosexual movement."|
Anarchism's foregrounding of individual freedoms made for a natural marriage with homosexuality in the eyes of many, both inside and outside of the Anarchist movement. Emil Szittya, in Das Kuriositäten-Kabinett (1923), wrote about homosexuality that "very many anarchists have this tendency. Thus I found in Paris a Hungarian anarchist, Alexander Sommi, who founded a homosexual anarchist group on the basis of this idea.” His view is confirmed by Magnus Hirschfeld in his 1914 book Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes: “In the ranks of a relatively small party, the anarchist, it seemed to me as if proportionately more homosexuals and effeminates are found than in others.” Italian anarchist Luigi Bertoni (who Szittya also believed to be homosexual) observed that “Anarchists demand freedom in everything, thus also in sexuality. Homosexuality leads to a healthy sense of egoism, for which every anarchist should strive.”
Anarcho-syndicalist writer Ulrich Linse wrote about "a sharply outlined figure of the Berlin individualist anarchist cultural scene around 1900", the "precocious Johannes Holzmann" (known as Senna Hoy): "an adherent of free love, [Hoy] celebrated homosexuality as a ‘champion of culture’ and engaged in the struggle against Paragraph 175.” The young Hoy (born 1882) published these views in his weekly magazine, ("Kampf") from 1904 which reached a circulation of 10,000 the following year. German anarchist psychotherapist Otto Gross also wrote extensively about same-sex sexuality in both men and women and argued against its discrimination. In the 1920s and 1930s, French individualist anarchist publisher Emile Armand campaigned for acceptance of free love, including homosexuality, in his journal L’en dehors.
The individualist anarchist Adolf Brand was originally a member of Hirschfeld's Scientific-Humanitarian committee, but formed a break-away group. Brand and his colleagues, known as the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen, were heavily influenced by homosexual anarchist John Henry Mackay. The group despised effeminacy and saw homosexuality as an expression of manly virility available to all men, espousing a form of nationalistic masculine Lieblingminne (chivalric love) that would later be linked to the rise of Nazism. They were opposed to Hirschfeld's medical characterisation of homosexuality as the domain of an "intermediate sex". Brand "toyed with anti-Semitism", and disdained the Jewish Hirschfeld. Ewald Tschek, another homosexual anarchist writer of the era, regularly contributed to Adolf Brand's journal Der Eigene, and wrote in 1925 that Hirschfeld’s Scientific Humanitarian Committee was a danger to the German people, caricaturing Hirschfeld as "Dr. Feldhirsch".
Despite these supportive stances, the anarchist movement of the time certainly wasn't free of homophobia: an editorial in an influential Spanish anarchist journal from 1935 argued that an Anarchist shouldn't even associate with homosexuals: "If you are an anarchist, that means that you are more morally upright and physically strong than the average man. And he who likes inverts is no real man, and is therefore no real anarchist." However, despite this history, present-day anarchists widely accept homosexuality as they are opposed to any form of social oppression and injustice.
The homophile movement
McCarthyism in the US believed a "homosexual underground" was abetting the "communist conspiracy", which was sometimes called the Homintern. A number of homosexual rights groups came into being during this period. These groups, now known as the "homophile" movement, often had left-wing or socialist politics, such as the communist Mattachine Society and the Dutch COC which originated on the left.
Harry Hay, who is seen by many as the father of the modern gay rights movement in the United States, was originally a trade union activist. In 1934, he organised an important 83-day-long workers' strike of the port of San Francisco with his lover, actor Will Geer. He was an active member of the Communist Party. Hay and the Mattachine Society were among the first to argue that gay people were not just individuals but in fact represented a "cultural minority". They even called for public marches of homosexuals, predicting later gay pride parades. Hay's concept of the "cultural minority" came directly from his Marxist studies, and the rhetoric that he and his colleague Charles Rowland employed often reflected the militant Communist tradition.
The Communist Party did not officially allow gays to be members, claiming that homosexuality was a 'deviation'; perhaps more important was the fear that a member's (usually secret) homosexuality would leave them open to blackmail and made them a security risk in an era of red-baiting. Concerned to save the party difficulties, as he put more energy into the Mattachine Society, Hay himself approached the CP's leaders and recommended his own expulsion. However, after much soul-searching, the CP, clearly reeling at the loss of a respected member and theoretician of 18 years' standing, refused to expel Hay as a homosexual, instead expelling him under the more convenient ruse of 'security risk', while ostentatiously announcing him to be a 'Lifelong Friend of the People'.
The Mattachine Society was the second gay rights organization that Hay established, the first being 'Bachelors for Wallace (1948) in support of Henry Wallace's progressive presidential candidacy.
In 1951, the Socialist Party USA was close to adopting a platform plank in favor of gay rights, with one article in the Youth Socialist Party press supporting such a move.
Communist and Socialist Countries
The lowest point in the history of the relationship between socialism and homosexuality undoubtedly begins with the rise of Joseph Stalin in the USSR, after Lenin's death, and continues through the era of state communism in the Soviet Union, East Germany, China and North Korea. In all cases the conditions of sexual minorities, including transgender people, worsened in communist states after the arrival of Stalin. Hundreds of thousands of homosexuals were interned in gulags during the Great Purge, where many were beaten to death. Some Western intellectuals withdrew their support of Communism after seeing the severity of repression in the USSR, including the gay writer André Gide.
Historian Jennifer Evans reports that the East German government "alternated between the view [of homosexual activity] as a remnant of bourgeois decadence, a sign of moral weakness, and a threat to social and political health of the nation." Homosexuality was legalized in East Germany when Article 174 was repealed in 1968.
There was a variety of attitudes to homosexuality in the Socialist countries. Effeminate men and homosexuals were sometimes forced to participate in programs of 'reeducation' involving forced labor, conversion therapy, psychotropic drugs or confinement in psychiatric hospitals.
The revolutionary Cuban gay writer Reinaldo Arenas noted that, shortly after the communist government of Fidel Castro came to power, "persecution began and concentration camps were opened [...] the sexual act became taboo while the "new man" was proclaimed and masculinity exalted.". Homosexuality was legalized in Cuba in 1979. Fidel Castro apologized for Cuba's poor historical record on LGBT issues in 2010.
Following the 1953 uprising in East Germany, the government defended the traditional family, while homosexuality was regarded as contrary to "healthy habits of workers." This agenda was pursued using the existing Article 175 of the penal code, which had been applied under the Nazis. While there had been no law against sodomy in the USSR, such a law was introduced in 1933, added to the penal code as Article 121, which condemned homosexual relations with penalties of imprisonment up to five years. With the fall of the Soviet regime and the repeal of the law against sex between consenting adult men, prisoners convicted under that part of the law were released very slowly.
Emerging from a number of events, such as the May 1968 insurrection in France, the anti-Vietnam war movement in the US and the Stonewall riots of 1969, militant Gay Liberation organisations began to spring up around the world. Many saw their roots in left radicalism more than in the established homophile groups of the time, such as British and American Gay Liberation Front, the British Gay Left Collective, the Italian Fuori!, the French FHAR, the German Rotzschwule, and the Dutch Red Faggots.
The then styled Gay Lib leaders and writers also came from a left-wing background, such as Dennis Altman, Martin Duberman, Steven Ault, Brenda Howard, John D'Emilio, David Fernbach (writing in the English language), Pierre Hahn and Guy Hocquenghem (in French) and the Italian Mario Mieli. Some were inspired by Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization, which attempts to synthesise the ideas of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. 1960s and 1970s radical Angela Davis (who officially came out as a lesbian in 1999) had studied under Marcuse and was greatly influenced by him.
In France, gay activist and political theorist Guy Hocquenghem, like many others, developed a commitment to socialism through participating in the May 1968 insurrection. A former member of the French Communist Party, he later joined the Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire (FHAR), formed by radical lesbians who split from the Mouvement Homophile de France in 1971, including the left ecofeminist Françoise d'Eaubonne. That same year, the FHAR became the first homosexual group to demonstrate publicly in France when they joined Paris’s annual May Day march held by trade unions and left-wing parties.
In the United Kingdom, the 1980s saw increased opposition to LGBT rights from the right wing Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher, who introduced Section 28 in 1988 in order to prevent what they saw as the "promotion" of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle in schools. However, the Conservatives' main opposition, the Labour Party, did little to address the issue of LGBT rights, ignoring calls from left-wingers such as Ken Livingstone, to do so. Meanwhile, the popular right-wing press featured pejorative references to lesbians, supposedly especially associated with the all-female anti-nuclear protest camp at Greenham Common, and individuals such as Peter Tatchell, the Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.
However, the growing commercialisation of the western gay subculture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries (the "pink pound") has come under heavy criticism from socialists, for instance, Hannah Dee remarked that it had reached "the point that London Pride - once a militant demonstration in commemoration of the Stonewall riots - has become a corporate-sponsored event far removed from any challenge to the ongoing injustices that we [the LGBT community] face." At the same time, an alliance between fundamentalist Muslims and the Socialist Workers Party led a leading member Lindsey German to reject gay rights as a "shibboleth" that must automatically be observed.
The American Revolutionary Communist Party's policy that "struggle will be waged to eliminate [homosexuality] and reform homosexuals" wasn't abandoned until 2001. The RCP now strongly supports gay liberation. Meanwhile, the large and influential American Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in the US released a memo stating that gay oppression had less "social weight" than black and women's struggles, and prohibited members from being involved in gay political organisations. They also believed that too close an association with gay liberation would give the SWP an "exotic image" and alienate it from the masses. That position was abandoned long ago.[when?]
As the Gay Liberation movement began to gain ground, Socialist organisations' policies evolved, and many groups actively campaigned for gay rights. Notable examples are the feminist Freedom Socialist Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the International Socialist Organization and the Socialist Party USA. The Socialist Party USA was the first American political party to nominate an openly gay man for President, running David McReynolds in 1980.
- Charles Fourier, Le Nouveau Monde amoureux (written 1816-18, not published widely until 1967: Paris: Éditions Anthropos). pp. 389, 391, 429, 458, 459, 462, and 463.
- Most of the information on this incident is taken from: Kennedy, Hubert, Johann Baptist von Schweitzer: The Queer Marx Loved to Hate. In: 'Journal of Homosexuality' (ISSN 0091-8369) Volume: 29 Issue: 2/3, pp 69-96. Hereafter, original sources cited by Kennedy are given.
- The letter, dated June 22, 1869, is published in Marx, Karl, Engels, Friedrich: Collected Works, vols. 42, 43 (New York: International,1988), 43: 295–96
- Linsert, Richard. 1931. Kabale und Liebe: Uber Politik und Geschlechtsleben. Berlin, Man.
*Footman, David, 1947. Ferdinand Lassalle, Romantic Revolutionary (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1947; reprint, New York: Greenwood, 1969), p. 182.
*Mayer, Gustav, 1909. Johann Baptist von Schweitzer und die Sozialdemokratie, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung (Jena: Gustav Fisher, 1909). p 91
- Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, vols. 42, 43 (New York: International,1988), 42: 120
- Hekma et al. (1995). p. 14
- Bebel, August (1879). Woman under Socialism. translated by Daniel De Leon, New York: New York Labor Press, 1904. pp 164 - 165. In a footnote added in 1909, he remarked that the Eulenburg scandal proved that homosexuality was widespread in the upper classes.
- Robynski. 1994. Nechaev And Bakunin: Left Libertarianism's Lavender Lineage. Northcote, Vic: Autonomous Tendency.
- Confino, Michael (ed.) Daughter of a Revolutionary: Natalie Herzen and the Bakunin-Nechayev Circle, trans. Hilary Sternberg and Lydia Bott (LaSalle, IL: Library, 1974), pp. 273, 275.
- According to his biographer Neil McKenna, Wilde was part of a secret organisation that aimed to legalise homosexuality, and was known among the group as a leader of "the Cause". (McKenna, Neil. 2003. The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde.)
- See, for example, Heywood, Ezra, 1876. Cupid's Yokes: or, The Binding Forces of Conjugal Life: An Essay to Consider Some Moral and Physiological Phases of Love and Marriage, Wherein Is Asserted the Natural Rights and Necessity of Sexual Self Government. Princeton, MA: Co-operative Publishing.
- Messer-Kruse, Timothy. 1998. The Yankee International: 1848-1876. (University of North Carolina)
- Poldevaart, Saskia, 2000 The Recurring Movements of ‘Free Love’, Written for the workshop ‘Free Love and the Labour Movement’, Second workshop in the series ‘Socialism and Sexuality’. International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 6 October 2000
- Karlinsky, Simon. 1981. "The Menshivik, Bolshevik, Stalinist Feminist", January 4, 1981, New York Times. full text online
- Researching the "Father of the Homosexual Movement" and the "Godmother of the Homo-Sexual Reform Movement" - The Magnus Hirschfeld society of Berlin.
- Sochen, June. 1972. The New Woman: Feminism in Greenwich Village 1910-1920. New York: Quadrangle.
- Cott, Nancy. 1987. The Grounding of Modern Feminism, New Haven/London.
- Katz, Jonathan Ned. Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1976)
- *The Parti Communiste Français was "hysterically intransigent as far as ’moral behaviour’ was concerned" (Aragon, victime et profiteur du tabou, in Gai Pied Hebdo, 4 June 1983, reproduced in Homosexualité et Révolution, pp. 62-3, quote p. 63.);
* The trotskyist Pierre Lambert's OCI was "completely hysterical with regard to homosexuality"; Lutte ouvrire was theoretically opposed to homosexuality; as was the Ligue communiste, despite their belatedly paying lip service to gay lib. (à confesse, Interview with Gérard Ponthieu in Sexpol no. 1 (20 January 1975), pp.10-14.)
* Together, Guérin argued, such groups bore a great deal of responsibility for fostering homophobic attitudes among the working class as late as the 1970s. Their attitude was "the most blinkered, the most reactionary, the most antiscientific". (Etre homosexuel et révolutionnaire, La Quinzaine littéraire, no. 215, no. spécial : ‘Les homosexualités’ (August 1975), pp. 9-10. Quote p. 10)
- Guérin, Daniel. 1975. Etre homosexuel et révolutionnaire, La Quinzaine littéraire, no. 215, no. spécial : ‘Les homosexualités’ (August 1975), pp. 9-10.
- Letter of 27 May 1955, Fonds Guérin, BDIC, F° Δ 721/carton 12/4, quoted in Chaperon, ‘Le fonds Daniel Guérin et l’histoire de la sexualité’ in Journal de la BDIC, no.5 (June 2002), p.10
- Berry, David. 2003. For a dialectic of homosexuality and revolution. Paper for "Conference on "Socialism and Sexuality. Past and present of radical sexual politics", Amsterdam, 3–4 October 2003.
- Frédéric Martel, Le rose et le noir. Les homosexuels en France depuis 1968 (Paris : Seuil, 2000), pp.46
- Hirschfeld, Magnus, 1914. Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes (Berlin: Louis Marcus)
- Linse, Ulrich, Individualanarchisten, Syndikalisten, Bohémiens, in "Berlin um 1900", ed. Gelsine Asmus (Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, 1984)
- Otto Gross
- Mosse, George L. Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe. New York: Howard Fertig, 1985.
- Quoted in Cleminson, Richard. 1995. Male inverts and homosexuals: Sex discourse in the Anarchist Revista Blanca, Published in Gert Hekma et al. (eds.)"Gay men and the sexual history of the political left" by Harrington Park Press 1995, ISBN 1-56023-067-3.
- A-infos: Poland, Warsaw, anarchist Action Against Homophobia and Repression
- On Mattahine's left beginnings, see: John D'Emilio, Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970. (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1983). On the COC, see: Hans Warmerdam and Pieter Koenders, Cultuur en ontspanning: Het COC 1946-1966 (Utrecht: NVIH, COC & Interfacultaire Werkgroep Homostudies, Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, 1987), p. 58.
- Feinberg, Leslie (June 28, 2005), "Harry Hay: Painful partings", Workers World, retrieved 2007-11-01
- Phelps, Christopher. "On Socialism and Sex: An Introduction". New Politics (Summer 2008).
- "The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present", Paul Russell. Kensington Books, 2002. ISBN 0-7582-0100-1, ISBN 978-0-7582-0100-3. p. 124
- Pollard, Patrick. Gide in the U.S.S.R.: Some Observations on Comradeship, in Journal of Homosexuality (ISSN 0091-8369) Volume: 29 N°: 2/3
- Evans, Jennifer V. "The Moral State: Men, Mining, and Masculinity in the Early GDR", German History, 23:3, 2005, pp.355-370
- Arenas, Reinaldo
- Minning, Heidi, 2000. Who is the 'I' in "I love you"?: The negotiation of gay and lesbian identities in former East Berlin, Germany, in: 'Anthropology of East Europe Review', Volume 18, N° 2, Autumn, 2000
- "Russia: Information on the treatment of homosexuals in Russia, including imprisonment and involuntary medical treatment, and the situation of HIV-positive citizens of Russia". United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. 8 May 1998. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Gay movement boosted by ’79 march on Washington, Lou Chabarro 2004 for the Washington Blade.
- Turner, Alwyn W. (2010) Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s, London: Aurum, p.165
- Turner, Alwyn W. (2010) Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s, London: Aurum, p.160
- Dee, Hannah (2010) The Red in the Rainbow: Sexuality, Socialism & LGBT Liberation, London: Bookmarks Publications, p.8-9
- Cohen, Nick: "The lesson the left has never learnt", New Statesman, 21 July 2003 (website)
- Revolutionary Communist Party. On the Question of Homosexuality and the Emancipation of Women. Revolution. Spring 1988.
- RCP Draft New Programme 2001
- SWP and Gay Lib
- Lesbian and Gay Liberation: A Trotskyist Analysis
- Journal of Homosexuality, 1995, Volume 29, Issue 2/3. ISSN 0091-8369 — Simultaneously published as: Gay men and the sexual history of the political left, Gert Hekma et al. Eds. Harrington Park Press 1995, ISBN 1-56023-067-3.
- Hidden From History: Reclaiming The Gay and Lesbian Past 1988.
- Eileen Phillips (editor), (1983), The Left and The Erotic, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 184 pages, ISDN 5315 584 4
- Engels, Homophobia and the Left By Max Elbaum 2002. online text
- Marxist Theory of Homosexuality 1993. online text
- Homosexual Existence and Existing Socialism New Light on the Repression of Male Homosexuality in Stalin's Russia By Dan Healey. 2002. GLQ 8:3, pp. 349 – 378.
- Sex-Life: A Critical Commentary on the History of Sexuality, 1993, Don Milligan.