This page focuses on the Third World Gay Revolution, a group organized in the summer of 1970 by Black and Latino members of the Gay Liberation Front.
In July of 1970, a group of Black and Latino gays and lesbians split off from the Gay Liberation Front to form the Third World Gay Revolution. Arguing that they "suffer[ed] a triple oppression" by capitalism, racism, and sexism, TWGR members developed a broad political platform. In a statement modeled on the Black Panther Party's Ten Point Program, the group demanded—among other things—"self-determination for all third world and gay people"; "liberation for women"; "a free educational system that teaches us our true identity and history"; "full employment for third world and gay people"; "decent housing"; and "an immediate end to police brutality and murder of third world and gay people."
Members of TWGR also challenged the discrimination they faced in gay liberation and "third world” movements. GLFers worked hard to confront their own racism—and the group made antiracist politics an integral part of its platform, devoting significant time and resources to support organizations like the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Young Lords Party (YLP).
Nonetheless, in introducing their group to the readers of Come Out!, TWGR members explained:
"Third world gays suffer an oppression which is not shared by our white sisters and brothers, one which they could never really FEEL. Therefore, despite the many organizations emerging in the Gay Liberation movement, third world people haven’t been able to relate to any of these. This is due to the inherent racism found in any white group with white leadership and white thinking."
TWGR organized Consciousness-Raising groups that provided a space for gay people of color to explore their oppression and come together around their particular struggles.
Despite its criticisms, TWGR maintained ties with both gay liberation and “third world” movements. In the fall of 1970, the group helped to lead the gay delegation at the BPP-sponsored Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention. Members also proudly carried “gay banners” at actions for the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, and at least one gay liberationist saw them as the "real connection to the struggle to transform the Black Liberation movement."
Although TWGR collapsed after only a few months, the group highlighted the ways racism and homophobia simultaneously affect the lives of gay people of color, helping to spark new movements that continue to this day.