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generated-brought together large numbers of us who for

the first time recognized the need to organize ourselves into

a strong, determined liberation movement.

We "found" ourselves, and joining others like us, began

our involvement in gay liberation. We joined consciousness–

raising groups. For the first time, we talked about our

personal feelings, experiences, and relationships with other

gay people, with our families, with our straight friends, and

we began to realize that in order to free ourselves we

needed a personal/political analysis of our oppression to

guide our actions.

For us, much of the analysis coming from our

consciousness-raising groups dealt with the ending of

male/temale social-sexual roles, our male chauvinism to–

ward women, our racism, and ways we could stop sexually

objectifying each other. We saw our liberation as purging

ourselves of the straight values we had learned as we grew

up in this society. But even though we knew male

supremacy (sexism) was at the root of our oppression, we

cLid not use our personal experiences in forming our own

political/economic analysis. We continued to believe in a

straight man's myth that the Marxist dialectic -creating a

socialist economic and political revolution by smashing

capitalism - would end all oppressions. But the Marxist

dialectic must be carried a step further, we realized. For in

its interpretation, it does not provide for the liberation of

Lesbians and Gay men.

Lesbians kept telling us we oppressed them with our

blatant chauvinism. Reacting as any male would when

criticized by women, we did not struggle with their

criticism. In addition, Third World people criticized us for

our racism. In the case of D.C. GLF, the attempted struggle

between black and white men was very competitive and

destructive. In not dealing with these two criticisms, GLF

ceased to function as an organized group in D.C., as well as

in other urban areas like New York, Chicago, and San

Francisco. Hanging on to the straight male qualities of

aggressive competi Liveness and individualism kept us from

dealing with the Lesbian and Third World criticisms and

involved us in many energy-draining actions with the

straight male Left, most notably Mayday. And this has been

the largest failure in the Gay movement as we have

experienced it.

For us, our analysis must show ways to give up the

straight, white, male privileges that give us power over

women, Third World peoples, and less masculinist gay men .

That means that Marxist ideology must be extended to

include an analysis of sexism. As a beginning, it must be

stressed

that the first division of labor was based on the

biological differences between men and women. Women

were the first people to be dominated by men because of

their biological vulnerability in the procreative process. Men

obtained power and privilege over women because of this,

and established the paLLer •., of domination which still

permeate our society and have become synonymous with

male-ness. Women's oppression is the basic oppression that

exists in every society and has been the archetypical model

of the domination of any oppressed group of people.

Straight men, with their privilege of domination, have

made women into sexual objects. They have twisted human

sexuality into a power relationship over women. And when

we, as Gay men, give up that power over women, we

become-in the eyes of the straight male- powerless

"non-men"-another group for them to dominate and to

fear. Straight men, defining their own masculinity in terms

of power over women, fear us because we reject that

concept and take on qualities that they consider feminine

or effeminate-or unmasculine. When we show that we can

be sensitive, gentle, affectionate, open, and caring, straight

men shit on us. And if we express our sexual attraction to

straight men

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our experience has been they freak out. They

only understand sexual attraction in terms of the domina–

tion they have over women and to deal with what we feel,

is to threaten that masculine power identity.

It is through an understanding and obliteration of this

masculine power identity that we continue to form our

analysis and to seek our identity. By destroying these

masculinist traits in ourselves and confronting these traits in

other gay men, we move toward "de-manning" ourselves,

toward giving up our male privileges, and toward ending our

immediate oppression of Lesbians and ourselves.

F

or us, Michael and Roy

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this struggle has meant

putting our energies into creating gay support

groups. Michael is involved in radical therapy and a

gay men's living collective. Roy is in a gay newspaper

collective and a consciousness-raising group.

We are also calling ourselves effeminists, root word

feminist which shows our link to lesbian oppression, and

faggots, a word previously used by straight men to oppress

us, but which we are using as a defiant statement of pride in

our new found identity and history. Even though we are

helping to create our own movement, we must understand

the Lesbian-Feminists' analysis and deal with the criticisms

they are making (see motive's Lesbian-Feminist issue).

This is where we, Michael and Roy, are, and we hope

that what we and our faggot brothers in this issue have said

reaches you and in some way touches

your

faggot/effem–

inist identity.

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