[New York City]: [Come-Unity Press]/[Gay Revolution Network?], [circa 1972]. Single sheet, folded horizontally at center, measuring 17” x 11”, printed both sides. Near fine or better: fresh as the day it was made, with a crisp fold, but we're not sure if it was issued that way.
This is a gorgeous enigma that contains promotionals for LGBTQ resources and projects, poetry and a short manifesto. While we are fairly certain that it was printed by the Come!Unity Press, its text presents a conundrum that needs further research as to which group may have been behind it.
The flier opens to one full page of text and art with a large flower just below the fold which reads “Gay Revolution Networker.” Vines emanating from the flower point to projects, resources and articles targeted to the gay community. Written late in the year, the section on the Gay Anarchist Survival Project was a call for volunteers to help create a soup kitchen and food distribution service for the LGBTQ community in need. There are also plugs for the Gay Men's Health Project, the gay switchboard, Mary Flowerpot's radio show, “Lesbian Nation,” and a couple mentions of the Gay Revolution Network (“GRN”).
The breadth of this evidence naturally led us to believe this flier to be a product of the GRN, but we are unable to locate much about the GRN and the short manifesto on an outer page which is mostly anti-Gay Activist's Alliance (“GAA”), also complains about the GRN. Written by someone called “Velvet,” the essay is entitled “natives of the island (fighting the gaa blues, part 1).” Its two very long sentences complain about the sexism in the GAA, while calling the group complacent and ignorant. Velvet stated that the “gaa rejects the whole concept of a sexual revolution whereby those who have at least attempted to develop their own consciousness about sexism will be the new guiding force for gays coming out, the young people who must no longer be faced with the closety rhetoric of an organization that represents a dying consensus—the one that says its OK to be a superficial faggot as long as you polish, with diligent secrecy, your lambda button.” The artwork underneath the essay includes printed script which reads, “the part about sexism goes for GRN too.”
While there is no direct statement of publication, we believe this was made by the Come!Unity Press as the multi-color printing and paper mimics their style, and the body of the text mentions an upcoming “Gay Revolution Networker collection meeting,” at Come-Unity. Another possible clue is a single issue of a periodical held by Amherst entitled “Gay Revolution Networker,” published in 1972 and with OCLC including text from it: "A self determined project of the Gay Revolution Publicity Project.” While OCLC locates no copies of this flier, a folder entitled “Gay Anarchist Survival Project” is part of Cornell's Come!Unity collection.
A visually compelling artifact of early 1970s LGBTQ organizing in New York City that also documents schisms within the community. Near fine. Item #4544