From the archive: “The Right to go Nude”

On June 26, 1977, the local iteration of Pride took place in San Francisco, California. This was the 8th annual iteration of the event since the original San Francisco Gay Liberation March on June 27, 1970.

By 1977, the event was locally called “Gay Freedom Day”, later to become “International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day” in 1980, then finally the “San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade and Celebration” by 2019.

Lots of people, then and now, just called it “Pride” or “Gay Pride”—including “the anarchist flashers” who wrote and distributed this flyer in 1977. Apart from the title above, the whole of the text is presented below the break (with a bit of typographic clean-up as well as a few links to Wikipedia).


To the marchers,

We are outraged by the attempted ban on nudity in this year's Gay Pride Parade proposed by the Parade Committee. But we oppose a boycott because the parade does not belong to any committee. It is a parade of, by and for all people supporting liberation for gay people. We support the natural right of people to go nude not only on Gay Pride Day, but every day of the year.

The anarchistic dykes and faggots who set off the Stonewall Rebellion did not debate beforehand whether or not they would be offending the Church or State.

The human body is not the problem for any society. Sensual repression only distracts us from the real problems. Chronic unemployment, private property, and white and male supremacy are problems. U.S. exploitation of Chile, South Africa, Puerto Rico and Iran is a problem. Co-optation is a problem. Gay Liberation does not mean assimilation into the existing norms of a sick, imperialist society.

Sexual liberation is impossible if we regard our own bodies as 'obscene' or 'offensive'. Nudity is offensive when used as a sexual weapon or commercial enticer, as it has been on many of the bar floats in the parade.

Many people will prefer not to go nude because of the objectification they may be subjected to, and we support them. Women especially have suffered from sexual exploitation and are aware of how their bodies can be abused and manipulated. For example, a double standard persists that allows men to go bare-chested while women may not. This helps to create a commercial market out of women's bodies. We encourage you to dress or undress as you wish.

The only way we can move on with liberation is to move on. Go nude on Gay Pride Day, if that is what you want to do. We encourage you to support any and all who choose to do so.

Don't Mourn, STRIP

―The Anarchist Flashers

[comments: Reddit ++]