In the picture, Activist and a founder of Gay Liberation Jim Fouratt photographed by Fred MacDarrah on Saint Mark's Place in 1967. The new younger leaders were social dropouts and castaways. Marty Robinson was the son of a Brooklyn doctor who gave up a prosperous home and future to live openly as a gay man. He worked all his life as a union carpenter. Jim Fouratt, a founder of Gay Liberation, was one of the street kids who started the Stonewall riots. All of these men cultivated a public image that was very counter-cultural and aggressively sexual, wearing tight jeans and making PDA with lovers at their events.
Jim Fouratt was an early member of the Gay Liberation Front and a participant in the Stonewall riots. Fouratt lived with Carl Miller, Allen Young, Giles Kotcher, Bob Bland and Punit Auerbacher in the Seventeenth Street commune. He became the manager for the club Hurrah in 1978 and brought in DJs to create the first "Rock Disco," with music videos playing as well as live music acts. In 1980 he opened Danceteria with Rudolf Pieper. He has also been a writer for Billboard magazine, where he has been an outspoken critic of rappers such as Eminem. In the late 1990's, Fouratt attempted to launch Beauty Records, a recording imprint funded by Mercury Records' Danny Goldberg, but that project was short-circuited when Mercury's parent corporation, Polygram, was bought out by Seagrams, and Fouratt's acts were let go.
GAA-NY's Founders, (Arthur Evans, left, Tom Doerr & Marty Robinson, right) 1969, Photo: Courtesy GAA Reunion Newsletter #6
Fouratt has also been an outspoken critic of transgenderism and transsexualism. He believes that transgender surgeries constitute "mutilation", that gender transitioning is akin to anti-gay reparative therapy, and that transgender identity reinforces gender stereotypes.
In 1969, the only gay organizations with any significant public identity were the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis. Just four years later, one could join a radical Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, a more mainstream Gay Activists Alliance, the National Gay Task Force,t the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and hundreds of other groups in New York, across the country, and around the world. "It was like fire, you know," said Jim Fouratt, a founder of the Gay Liberation Front in New York. "Like a prairie fire: let it roar.... People were ready." Fouratt joined a group that traveled around the country to create other GLFs. "I think we set up about forty chapters, most of them on university campuses," he recalled. Even at Catholic Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, gay students decided in 1971 to start their own organization. "I am a great believer in nonviolence," one of them wrote, "but if any of the football jocks or whoever starts to give me a hard time ... well, I don't like to brag about my karate, but ..." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 2956-2962). Kindle Edition.
At one of the last Mattachine meetings before the police attack on the Stonewall Inn, Jim Fouratt, a younger member, insisted: “All the oppressed have to unite! The system keeps us all weak by keeping us separate.” --Bronski, Michael (2011-05-10). A Queer History of the United States (Revisioning American History) (Kindle Locations 4384-4385). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.
Jim Fouratt, 1994, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123787)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Stonewall [Illustrated] by Martin Bauml Duberman
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Plume (May 1, 1994)
On June 28th, 1969, the Stonewall, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, was raided. But instead of the routine compliance expected by the police, patrons and a growing crowd decided to fight back. The five days of rioting that ensued changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life. This book tells the story of what happened at Stonewall, recreating those nights in detail through the lives of six people who were drawn into the struggle for gay and lesbian rights. Their stories combine into a portrait of the repression that led up to the riots, which culminates when they triumphantly participate in the first gay rights march of 1970.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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