Chapter

Introduction

Lucy Robinson

in Gay Men and the Left in Post-war Britain

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719074349
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074349.003.0001
Introduction

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This book brings together and cross-references Left history and gay histories that have previously been separate. The relationship between gay men and the Left is significant in itself, after all the decline of the conventional Left offered particular new possibilities for gay political organisation. But more than that, the relationship between class and identity politics also brings social and political change in post-war Britain into clearer focus, allowing us to trace changes in both political culture and the politics of culture. Across the various forms of the Left under discussion here—both revisionist and traditional Labour, Stalinism, Marxist/Leninism and Trotskyism, a shared assumption exists; that there is little relation between the politics of homosexuality and the politics of class. The book examines the Left's attitude to homosexuality and homosexuals in post-war Britain, the variety of transgressive political identities adopted by homosexual men outside of the Left, the Gay Liberation Front in London and the ways in which New Labour has negotiated the politics of sexuality.

Keywords: gay men; Left; Britain; identity politics; Trotskyism; homosexuality; class; Gay Liberation Front; New Labour; political culture

Chapter.  4344 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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