Bisexuality, Multiple-Gender-Attraction, and Gay Liberation Politics in the 1970s

Martha Robinson Rhodes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Histories of the British Gay Liberation Front (GLF) portray it as radical and inclusive, seeking alliances with counter-cultural groups, and as an early proponent of the concept of 'queer'. However, its radical politics relied on a binary division between 'gay' and 'straight' that associated different-gender attraction with regressive politics and could not accommodate bisexuality or attraction to multiple genders. This article compares GLF's approach to bisexuality and multiple-gender-Attraction with that of the more 'moderate' Campaign for Homosexual Equality (C.H.E.) during the 1970s. Initially, C.H.E. was more accepting, although this declined over the course of the decade as it, too, became more associated with liberationist politics. Attention to bisexuality and attraction to multiple genders during this period therefore challenges historical narratives about the 'queer' inclusivity of gay liberation and of 1970s radical politics more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-142
Number of pages24
JournalTwentieth Century British History
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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