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Gay men and the left in post-war Britain: How the personal got political

posted on 2023-06-08, 07:49 authored by Lucy RobinsonLucy Robinson
Gay Men and the Left demonstrates how the personal got political in Post-war Britain. Working across ultra-disciplinary boundaries, it argues that attention to gay activism help us to fundamentally re-think the nature of post-war politics. In a timely intervention Gay Men and the Left contributes to current debates about the shape of Political History. Whilst the Left were fighting amongst themselves and the reformists were apologising in the corner, gay men starting organising for themselves. First individually within the existing organisations, and later rejecting the idea of formal political structures altogether. Gay activists intersected with Trotskyism, Stalinism, the New Left, feminism and youth movements. come out , come together, change the world. Culture, performance and identity took over from economics and class struggle as gay men worked to change the world through the politics sexuality. Through the post-war years, the growth of the teenager in the 1950s, CND and the counter-culture of the 1960s, gay liberation, feminism and explosions of discontent around Punk, anti-racism and the miners¿ strike all helped to build a politics of identity. When AIDS and Thatcherism impacted gay men's lives in the1980s, gay politics came into its own. Today's politicians bemoan the present generation of young people as apathetic and disengaged, Gay Men and the Left argues that these politicians are looking in the wrong place. Today, how you shop, how you live, how you have sex and how you organise your private life are all ways to impact the world. Gay Men and the Left shows how gay men and their politics have been central to this change in the Post-war world.


Publication status

  • Published


Manchester University Press






Critical labour movement studies

Department affiliated with

  • History Publications

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Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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