Breaking the Left's Gay Taboo
Date Written: 18/01/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23336
A review of Allen Young's "Left, Gay and Green: a Writer's Life" that includes much historical context and the reviewer's personal history.
As implied by the title, Allen deals with three phases of his life. The left refers to his emergence as a key journalist of the left through the auspices of Liberation News Service, a radical version of Associated Press that fed articles to leftist newspapers around the country informing them about pending actions and providing analysis about the antiwar movement, campus rebellions, and the Black struggle.
As for the gay phase, Allen found the Stonewall rebellion as liberating as many gays and lesbians did. It inspired him to come out of the closet without worrying about what either his peers or parents thought....
The final phase of Allen's long journey was colored green. In the early 70s, he and a group of gay men on the left decided to build an environmentally sustainable commune in the backwoods of Western Massachusetts that reminds me of Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond project even though Allen seems to have disavowed such a connection in the concluding chapters on the Butterworth Farm.