Herb Spiers: A Life


Herb Spiers

by Jonathan Ned Katz

Herbert Roth Spiers, of New York City, died on March 2, 2011, surrounded by his partner of nine years, Joseph Daniel, of Manhattan, his sister, Linda Godby, and other beloved relatives and friends. A long-time survivor of HIV, Herb died of cancer. He was an early gay activist in Canada and a founding member of ACT UP, New York.

Herb was born on November 8, 1945, in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State University where he studied philosophy and received an M.A. After graduating from Ohio State he taught political science at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus. He then moved to Toronto where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto.

In the early 1970s, he joined the burgeoning gay liberation movement in Toronto and was a founding member of Toronto Gay Action, a radical, confrontational group. Herb co-authored the statement “We Demand,” presented at the first public gay liberation demonstration in Canada, in Ottawa, on August 28, 1971.

Herb was also a founding member of the intellectually provocative gay liberation periodical The Body Politic, for which he wrote reviews and articles. His most cited article, written with Michael Lynch, is "The Gay Rights Freud" (May 1977). It documents the ways in which Sigmund Freud opposed social policies harmful to homosexuals. According to one historian, "this classic piece in a pioneering newspaper does reassert Freud's clear sympathies with homosexual men and women.[1] Herb’s nephew, Justin N. Hanson, who since the age of eight traveled alone to New York to stay with his uncle, is now at Ohio State, completing his senior thesis: “Inside The Body Politic: Examining the Birth of Gay Liberation.”

In the late 1970s, Herb moved to New York City, where he had long dreamed of living. He worked in a leather goods store until his apartment-mate Bernd Metz taught him book indexing using the quaint old method of hand-written index cards. He also began to spend summers with friends in the Pines on Fire Island, which became an important part of his life for many years.


Painting of Herb in a tux by Gabriel Picart.

In 1984, Herb joined S.I. International, an art agency representing European illustrators, mostly from Spain, who painted book covers for mass market paperbacks (gothic romance, historical romance, westerns, sci-fi). After that work dissipated, Herb started selling original fine art paintings created by the same artists who made the book covers. That business evolved slowly into S.I. Fine Arts, and in the late 1990s or 2000 Herb became the main U.S. owner of the agency, selling paintings, sculptures, and other art works to galleries. 

In the early 1980s, AIDS began to decimate Herb’s gay friendship circle, and government officials failed to respond actively and adequately to the crisis. Herb’s then partner, Ray Gray, an interior designer, died of AIDS in May 1984. The summer after Gray's death, Herb visited his friend Edmund White in Crete where, as White remembers, Herb's distress and mid-life crisis, together with parts of White's life, inspired the short story "The Oracle," that critics and White consider one of his best. White dedicated the story to Herb.[2]

For Gay Men’s Health Crisis Herb helped to produce a calendar introducing the idea of safer sex and making it fun. He also joined its Buddies Program and supported several men as they struggled against AIDS, decline, and death.[3]

In March 1987, after attending a meeting at the gay community center, Herb joined others to found ACT UP, the direct action protest group that drew public attention to the illness. Discussing the origins of ACT UP, Herb declared that there was "no founder . . . it was truly, from my experience, a group of people sharing a set of common beliefs, common frustrations, common anger, that came together.”

Herb headed the ACT UP Issues Committee that analyzed the organization’s medical and political priorities, and he participated in the writing of the Montreal Manifesto, also known as “The Declaration of Universal Rights and Needs of People Living with HIV Disease”. This was read publicly when ACT UP demonstrated for the first time at the International Conference on AIDS, in Montreal, in June 1989. Herb recalled this as his fondest memory of an ACT UP demonstration.[4]

Herb’s sister, Linda Godby, said her brother “never knew a stranger and was the most kind, compassionate, and generous man." In an obituary Herb drafted for himself, he ended: "A practitioner of Zen Buddhism, he strove to live in the moment and to show to everyone he met an open and loving heart."

Interviewed for the Act Up Oral History Project in 2008 by Sarah Schulman, Herb commented on ACT UP's fight against HIV and AIDS: "there’s still a great need for that activism." He commended those like Mike Milano, "who's still fighting the good fight, who is saying 'Hey, everybody out here, listen, it ain’t over.' Yes, people are surviving more and longer, but it ain’t over.”[5]

In addition to his partner and sister, Herb is survived by his sister's husband Herb, his brothers Bill, Jack and his wife Rita, and Jerry and his wife Aggie, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SurvivorShipAtoZ.org

A detailed list of works by and about Spiers, and a timeline of his life follows on OutHistory.org.


Herb in what appears to be a Chinese robe with leopard skin collar and cuffs, probably from the photographer's costume collection. Photo by Addie Passen:

Alphabetical Notes

Acting, dancing classes as youth: HS: "my mother had this notion that I should be an actor or a dancer, so instead of after school playing basketball and things like that with the boys, I had to go off to acting classes and dancing classes, and so I had the label of being a sissy." "I did a play, A Winter’s Tale, and [in forth grade] I played the prince, and it was a production of Ohio State University. . . ." (Schulman page 3.)[6]

ACT UP: Asks what brought HS to. HS says he heard Larry Kramer speak at the Community Center,. Jim D'Eramo was there. HS attended a group that met a week later; maybe Tim Sweeney acted as facilitator. HS's group worked on names for organization. A young man who lived in NJ, Steve, suggested ACT UP. HS didn't like it. But everybody else did. HS says he was wrong. Because of his earlier work in gay liberation and Body Politic HS was ready to join in, he says.(Schulman page 21-)

General meeting met Mondays at Community Center (Schulman, page 27).
Large numbers of women in ACT UP (Schulman, page 28).
SS suggests HS was involved in ACT UP starting in 1987. He says through the 1990s. He says he was on TV a number of times. Testified before government committees on AIDS. HS says in 1992-93 ACT UP ebbed and he was less involved. (Schulman, pages 35-36)
Liked Iris Long and others HS met in ACT UP.(Schulman, page 36)
NIH action mentioned by SS, HS says he was not involved. Staley was. (Schulman, page 37)
Universal health care as issue in ACT UP (Eigo on) versus narrower issues od drugs and treatments. HS agrees that narrower concept came to dominate.(Schulman, page 37).
Relation between gay liberation organizing and women's organizing and ACT UP discussed (Schulman, page 38-39)
Lack of knowledge of gay history discussed(Schulman, page 39).
HS discusses founding of ACT UP, and role of Kramer and the talk he gave. HS: there was "no founder or a founder, . . . it was truly, from my experience, a group of people sharing a set of common beliefs, common frustrations, common anger, that came together. . . ."(Schulman, page 39-40)
Impact of ACT UP discussed HS sums up: "there’s still a great need for that activism. Mentions Mark [Milano] "one of them who is still around, who’s still fighting the good fight", who is saying “Hey, everybody out here, listen, it ain’t over. Yes, people are surviving more and longer, but it ain’t over.”(Schulman, page 40-41-42)

ACT UP Issues Committee: Nobody knew much about the FDA, CDC, or the medical issues, or how you form a political organization around the crisis. (Schulman, page, 25-26).

Issues Committee was formed and HS became the chair, after the first chair. They met at HS's house. 30 people maybe. Meetings lasted 3-4 hours sometimes (Schulman, page 36).
Issues Committee was influential. Helped gestate AIDS Treatment Committee [Treatment & Data], from which Mark Harrington, Peter Staleey, Jim Eigo, and others emerged. Became experts on the disease.
HS met at his home privately with Burton Lee (name correct?), Bush's AIDS czar. He was Surgeon General, and he tried to understand gay response. (Schulman, page 26).
Issues Committee drafted document for AIDS meeting, Montreal, that ACT UP took over. "I wrote those demands." Eric Sawyer delivered demands [incorrect, Sawyer was not in Montreal: Sawyer to Katz, email March 2011]; Conyers Thomson delivered the demands in English and French, though HS thought he should. Tim McCaskell of the the AIDS Committee of Toronto joined them. (Schulman, pages 26-27) This is HS's fondest action (Schulman, page 36)
Act Up not a top down organization (Schulman, page 31)
Issues Committee faded away. The cocktail came in, Clinton administration, and more positive social and political response. (Schulman, page 35).

ACT UP Treatment and Data Committee: HS not too involved (Schulman, page 34)

AIDS: HS on first awareness of. New York Times "front page story". Soon afterward Larry Kramer and others were at Fire Island [Pines] handing out fliers about "gay cancer" and that something needed to be done. HS doubted there could be such a thing as "gay cancer.

Then a friend died (Larry). H visited him in hospital. He died c. 1980-81.
Idea that AIDS was sexually transmitted was mistrusted due to his sexual llberation background. Larry Downes, his doctor mentioned it. (Schulman, pages 20-21-22).
What were the issues discussed asks SS and HS explains. (Schulman, pages 27-28) Slow development of new drugs discussed (Schulman, pages 28-29). Bill Bahlman's research mentioned. (Schulman, page 30) HS gave reports on Issues Committees findings to general meeting, but did not do research.(Schulman, pages 30-31) Inaction of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) discussed. (Schulman, page 31)
See also GMHC, Kramer, Downes, Larry _______, Louise Hay, sexual liberation, Callen, Sonnabend, Montreal AIDS meeting that ACT UP took over

bars, clubs, NYC: Flamingo, Christopher Street and West Village area bars, piers. (Schulman, page 20)

Bébout. Rick. The Origins of The Body Politic.

Body Politic, The. HS: Toronto Gay Action led to forming of. (Schulman p. 6) "I was at the first, the collecting [sic -- collective] meeting that organized it, and I’ve been involved in it for many, many years afterwards until I moved here down to New York. Women and men? HS on. Chris Bearchell and Pat Murphy mentioned, and Pat's girlfriend. (Schulman page 14) PB and intergenerational sex issue; done in by financial pressures. (Schulman, page 15)

Callen, Michael. Developed the Community Research Initiative (CRI) and HS sat on board of that organization. (Schulman, page 29)

Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Canadian Vertical File: Spiers, Herb:
ACT-UP Oral History Project. Transcript of interview with Herb Spiers by Sarah Schulman, July 2, 2008. 42 p.
Spiers, Herbert R. “ Community consultation and AIDS clinical trials, Part 1.” IRB: Ethics and Human Research, May-June 1991, p.7-10.
Photographs, (1971-1978): Several photographs (12 entries) in the collection of CLGA.

Catholic Church. HS: mentioned by HS as attending. (Schulman, page 2.)

Catholic seminary preparatory school. HS: "I went to an all-boys’ school, too, which was a Catholic seminary preparatory. . . ." (Schulman, page 3.)

CBC Digital Archives: "Drag queens on Halloween". Broadcast Date: Oct. 30, 1973

Spiers interviewed. CBC description: "Exuberant cross-dressers, gay-baiting hecklers and glamorous female impersonators: they're all part of the scene at Toronto's Club Manatee on Halloween night in the early 1970s. The unlicensed gay dance club hosts a popular drag show every Halloween, attracting both friendly and hostile crowds. In this CBC-TV film from 1973, vignettes from the street outside are interspersed with scenes of three men and a woman dressing up for the evening – the men in women's clothes and makeup, the woman with a man's hat and pencil moustache. Warning: This item contains offensive language."

Christopher Street (magazine). Photo of HS on cover. Date?

Columbus, Ohio: Birth place and youth of HS.

Community Homophile Association of Toronto. HS: "it was meeting at a place called Trinity Church" (1969 or 1970).

death: HS saw open caskets in his early family life. (Schulman, page 24)

Fire Island (Pines):

Friends (Ohio) mentioned by HS: Patty Ryan (Schulman p. 3?) Tom Rossetti and his wife Carol. (Schulman, page 4.)

Gay Liberation Front (London). HS: (early 1970s) "we’d have people from GLF of London come over, and they’d stay at various houses and stay with people and talk with people and urge us on." (Schulman, p. 11)

gay liberation ideology vs. present ideology: HS and SS on. (Schulman, p. 16)

GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis): HS did a calendar for, with Jim D'Eramo. Safer sex mentioned. Sexual transmission of AIDS mentioned. Mitchell Cutler, started Buddies Program at GMHC, and HS was involved with that. Had several buddies. GMHC strove not to be political. GMHC got rid of executive director who tried to make it more political and came to ACT UP meetings. He came from Canada. SS asked if that was "Tim". (Schulman 22-23-24)

Graduate school. Ohio State, first. University of Toronto, second. Studied philosophy. HS mentions. (Schulman i pages 4, 5)

Hay, Louise: HS mentions as speaking at a church, and Gay and Lesbian Center. Discussed death. (Schulman, page 24)

High school, Columbus, Ohio. Mentioned. (Schulman, page 2._

Intimate relationships. HS mentions Grant in Toronto, and break up. (Schulman, page ?)

Hannon, Gerald. HS on article on intergenerational sex in PB. "Men Loving Boys Loving Men". (Schulman, p. 15) Supreme Court of Canada found BP innocent of breaking law. Second BP article on intergenerational sex and police raid on PB office. (Schulman, p. 16)

Landay, David. HS mentions L's website Survivorship A-Z.(Schulman, page 41)

Larry (friend of HS who early got and died of AIDS): (Schulman 24 and earlier)

leather good store, NYC: Herb worked in one summer and was fascinated. (Schulman, p. 20)

MacDonald, Paul. HS mentions influence on Toronto gay lib of "Paul Macdonald, who lived in London for a while, and the Gay Liberation Front in London was very, very active and took direct action." (Schulman, p. 11)

newspaper in Toronto, leftist, underground. HS: had the name "Guerilla" in its title. HS: "they had one column or editorial that I thought was very backward in terms of its understanding gay liberation. I wrote them a letter, and I got back to me that this had created a great stir . . . . (Schulman, p 13)

New York City. HS moved to from Toronto. (Schulman, p. 18-20.) Jim Steakly preceded her in move from Toronto. HS's great aunt inspired his interest in NYC and invited him as a youth to visit her. Bars and clubs mentioned by name.

Passen, Addie. Photo of Spiers in what appears to be a Chinese gown with leopard skin collar and cuffs.

Pink Triangle Press: HS on (Schulman, p. 15). Bought out Body Politic and Extra.

Psychiatrist in Ohio. Positive experience described by HS. (Schulman, p. 4)

Pucart, Gabriel. Painted large photo of Spiers in tuxedo.

Relatives. HS: "one relative who was in Jamestown and fought in the Revolutionary War, and they eventually migrated from there to Pittsburgh and then into the Central Ohio area, and this would have been back in the 1800s, early 1800s." [Schulman, page 1.)

sexual liberation: discussed as part of gay liberation, then as an aspect of AIDS crisis. (Schulman, see sections on GMHC, ACT UP, AIDS)

S.I. Fine Arts.

From the website: "S.I. International was founded three decades ago [c. 1981] in the United States, with the Spanish sister company S.I. Barcelona founded five decades ago. Based in Manhattan and Barcelona, the firm’s S.I. Fine Arts division annually sells millions of dollars in original oil paintings, sculptures, pastels and limited editions.
We represent an innovative and international variety of artists and sell primarily to galleries. S.I. focuses on representational work."

Silversides, Ann. AIDS activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community'. 2003.

Spiers prominently mentioned.

Sonnabend, Joe. HS mentions as unsung hero of AIDS crisis. Associated with Callen and Community Research Initiative. (Schulman, pages 29-30)

Spiers, Herb. "The Art of Gabriel Picart." 2009?

Spiers, Herb. Facebook.

Spiers, Herb. Interviewed by Sarah Schulman, July 2, 2008. Act Up Oral History Project. Interview Number: 090Source of data on ACT UP, AIDS, GMHC.

Spiers, Herb. "The life below the life : sexuality in the conception and perception of self and other : a philosophical analysis by Herbert Roth Spiers. PhD thesis 1978. (University of Toronto)

Spiers, Herb. Photograph. Cover, The Body Politic (Toronto), <pub data, page?>

Spiers, Herb. Photograph naked. The Body Politic (Toronto) <pub data, inside page? >

Spiers, Herb (co-author). "We Demand" [Petition for demonstration in Ottawa.] HS authored with David Newcom. (Schulman, p. 18 and see 1971, August 28, below)

Toronto. HS discuses first going to and meeting young man, Grant, and falling in love, in 1969 or 1970.. (Schulman page 4, 5.)

Toronto Gay Action. HS calls it "a very radical group" and "I became the convener". That "led to the founding of the first gay liberation newspaper in Canada, one of the earliest in North America, called The Body Politic. (Schulman, p 6.) HS describes its politics as left, socialist, or communist, Marxist. (Schulman, p. 13).

Toronto, commune in Kensington Market. HS: one of the gay liberationists moved in with me, and then we moved into a little commune in a place in Toronto called Kensington Market, and we were all gay liberationists there, and there was one woman with a little baby . . . " (Schulman, p. 9)

Toutain, J. :S. I. Artists Represented by Bernd Metz and Herb Spiers. [Paperback]. Publisher: Selecciones Ilustradas (1979) ASIN: B0046QR228

White, Edmund. "An Oracle." Christopher Street 98 (March, 1985): 32-49. [Dedicated to "Herb Spiers".]


Herb Spiers, left, Brian Mossop, long-time Canadian gay activist, right.


1945, November 8
Born, Columbus, Ohio 

1971, August 28
On August 28, 1971, homosexual men and women rallied on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in the first large-scale gay demonstration in Canada. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. "We Demand. The August 28th Gay Day Committee. Report in The Body Politic, Issue 1, Nov / Dec 1971. Reprinted in Flaunting It!, 1982. Spiers cited as co-writer with David Newcome of We Demand text.

1971, November

Spiers, Herb. [Review] MAURICE A GAY NOVEL. Body Politic, Nov/Dec 71, Issue 1, p12, 2/3p. Subjects: BOOKS; HOMOSEXUALITY; REVIEWS; FICTION; MAURICE (Book); FORSTER, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970

Loubser, Jan J. Herbert Spiers, Carolyn Moody. The York County Board of Education: A Study in Innovation.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1972. ISBN 0774400722 / 9780774400725 / 0-774 

1972, January
Spiers, Herb. CBC: PUT-OFF or NOTHING TO HIDE?: nothing to Show. Body Politic, Jan/Feb72, Issue 2, p1, 3p. Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY on television; TELEVISION programs; TORONTO (Ont.); ONTARIO; CANADA; CANADIAN Broadcasting Corp.; NOTHING to Hide (TV program); KERR, John

Spiers, Herb. CHAT GETS A CONSTITUTION. Body Politic, Jan/Feb72, Issue 2, p14, 2p. Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY -- Societies, etc.; ASSOCIATIONS, institutions, etc.; TORONTO (Ont.); ONTARIO; CANADA; CONSTITUTIONS.  

1972, May
Spiers, Herb. CREATIVE PSYCHE [and] HOMOSEXUALITY. Herb. Body Politic, May/Jun72, Issue 4, p6, 3p


online at: Ninth Street Center: Spiers

1972, July
Spiers, Herb. [Review] Contemporary Sexual Behavior: Critical Issues in the 1970's/The Modernization of Sex/Perversion: The Erotic Form of Hatred... (Books). Body Politic, Jul/Aug72 Supplement, Issue 5, p3, 3p. Subjects: BOOKS; REVIEWS; CONTEMPORARY Sexual Behavior: Critical Issues in the 1970s (Book); MODERNIZATION of Sex, The (Book); PERVERSION (Book); NEW Sexuality, The (Book)

1973, October 30
CBC Digital Archives: "Drag queens on Halloween". Broadcast Date: Oct. 30, 1973. Spiers interviewed. CBC description: "Exuberant cross-dressers, gay-baiting hecklers and glamorous female impersonators: they're all part of the scene at Toronto's Club Manatee on Halloween night in the early 1970s. The unlicensed gay dance club hosts a popular drag show every Halloween, attracting both friendly and hostile crowds. In this CBC-TV film from 1973, vignettes from the street outside are interspersed with scenes of three men and a woman dressing up for the evening – the men in women's clothes and makeup, the woman with a man's hat and pencil moustache. Warning: This item contains offensive language."

1973, [month?]
Spiers, Herb. simple & brief. Body Politic, 1973, Issue 9, p11, 1/6p Subjects: GAYS; OPPRESSION (Psychology); MENTAL health; Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians); Advertising Material Distribution Services; PAMPHLETS; PSYCHIATRY

1973, [month?]
Spiers, Herb. academics on sex. Body Politic, 1973, Issue 9, p9, 2p. Subjects: BOOKS; REVIEWS; GOALS of Human Sexuality, The (Book); MAN & Woman, Boy & Girl (Book); SINGER, Irving; MONEY, John; EHRHARDT, Anke A.

Winter 1973
Spiers, Herb. [Review} The Life to Come and Other Stories. Body Politic, Winter73, Issue 7, p10, 2/3p Subjects: BOOKS; GAYS; REVIEWS; FICTION; LIFE to Come & Other Stories, The (Book); FORSTER, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970 

1974, May
Spiers, Herb, and Headon, Chris; Hannon, Gerald; Walker, Merv; Walker, Nancy. [Reviews] BLACK Diaries (Book); GAY Church, The (Book); CITY Within, The (Book); WHAT Happened. Body Politic, May/Jun74, Issue 13, p8, 4p. Subjects: BOOKS; REVIEWS; BLACK Diaries (Book); GAY Church, The (Book); CITY Within, The (Book); WHAT Happened (Book) 

1974, September
Spiers, Herb. [Review] Different: An Anthology of Homosexual Short Stories. Body Politic, Sep/Oct74, Issue 15, p21, 2p. Subjects: BOOKS; HOMOSEXUALITY; REVIEWS; FICTION; DIFFERENT (Book)

1974, October
Bebout, Rick. "The Star sells hate." Picket at the home of The Toronto Star's publisher. Photo of Spiers with others. Spiers mentioned in history of The Body Politic publication. 

1974, November
Spiers, Herb. [Review] Outrage. [TV program.] Body Politic, Nov/Dec74, Issue 16, p19, 1/2p. Subjects: TELEVISION programs; GAYS; Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing; Television Broadcasting; TELEVISION broadcasting; OUTRAGE (TV program)

Spiers, Herb. [Review] Religion & Sexism; Images of Women in the Jewish and Christian Traditions. Body Politic, Nov/Dec 74, Issue 16, p22, 9/10p. Subjects: BOOKS; SEXISM; REVIEWS; NONFICTION; RELIGION & Sexism (Book)

1974, [month?]
Spiers, Herb. Commentary: Scottish law reform. Herb. Body Politic, 1974, Issue 11, p6, 1/4p. Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY -- Law & legislation; SEX & law; SCOTLAND; BILLS, Legislative; LAW reform

1975, December
Spiers, Herb. Press: The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood/Gays on the March. Body Politic, Dec75, Issue 21, p19, 4/5p. Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY; PERIODICALS; GAYS; CANADA; CIRCULATION

Spiers, Herb. [Review] Women in China (Book). Body Politic, Dec 75, Issue 21, p23, 1/3pSubjects: BOOKS; WOMEN; REVIEWS; NONFICTION; WOMEN in China (Book); CURTIN, Katie

1976, February
Spiers, Herb. [Review] Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations/Male and Female Homosexuality: A Comprehensive Investigation (Book). Body Politic, Feb76, Issue 22, p7, 2/5p. Subjects: BOOKS; REVIEWS; MALE Homosexuals (Book); MALE & Female Homosexuality (Book); WEINBERG, Martin S.; WILLIAMS, Colin J.; SAGIR, Marcel T.; ROBINS, Eli

Spiers, Herb. [Review] Saturday Night at the Baths [movie]. Body Politic, Feb76, Issue 22, p8, 1/3p. Subjects: MOTION pictures; HOMOSEXUALITY; REVIEWS; HOMOSEXUALITY in motion pictures; SATURDAY Night at the Baths (Film); BUCKLEY, David

1976, October
Spiers, Herb. [Review] Contemporary Sexual Behavior: Critical Issues in the 1970's/The Modernization of Sex/ Perversion: The Erotic Form of Hatred (Book). Body Politic, Oct 76, Issue 27, p3, 3p

Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY; CONTEMPORARY Sexual Behavior: Critical Issues in the 1970s (Book); MODERNIZATION of Sex, The (Book); NEW Sexuality, The (Book); ROBINSON, Paul; RUITENBEEK, Hendrik 

1977, May
Spiers, Herb, and Lynch, Michael. The Gay Rights Freud. Body Politic, May 77, Issue 33, p8, 4p. Subjects: HOMOSEXUALITY; HETEROSEXUALITY; LETTERS; PSYCHOLOGISTS; NEW Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (Book); FREUD, Sigmund, 1856-1939 

1977, June
Spiers, Herb. The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary (Book). Body Politic, Jun77, Issue 34, p18, 1/5p, 3 Black and White Photographs. Subjects: BOOKS; GAYS; REVIEWS; NONFICTION; SEXUAL Outlaw, The (Book); RECHY, John

 1980, May
Spiers, Herb. [Review] States of Desire: Travels in Gay America. (Book). Body Politic, May 80, Issue 63, p33, 1/4p, 1 Black and White Photograph. Subjects: BOOKS; TRAVEL; REVIEWS; NONFICTION; STATES of Desire (Book); WHITE, Edmund

2002, November
Keller, Julie. "Demure, conservative nudes entice American collectors: though both artists and collectors are drawn to the female form, the American public seems to prefer a quiet sensuality in paintings and fine art prints that portray the human body." Art Business News, Nov, 2002. Spiers interviewed and quoted:

"Though the appreciation of nudes is at an all-time high, the American marketplace does seem to have its limits and prefers what Herb Spiers of Selected International Fine Arts (SIFA) in New York calls "the demure nude." "From my experience, it is easier to sell demure nudes, which usually means they are seen from the back or partially covered," he explained." Etc.

2008, July 2
Spiers, Herb. Interviewed by Sarah Schulman, July 2, 2008. Act Up Oral History Project. Interview Number: 090 

Spiers, Herb. "The Art of Gabriel Picart." 2009? 

2009, April 24-26
Joe Daniel '92 MBA & Herbert Spiers are Gold Hosts of "The First Ever Yale LGBT Reunion. 


  1. Timothy F. Murphy, Reader's Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies (2000), page 234. The article in The Body Politic included the first English translation of four texts by Sigmund Freud concerning homosexuality (dated 1903, 1921, 1928, 1930). The Body Politic (Toronto), no. 33 (May 1977): 8-9. James Steakley had come across those texts in German, in Berlin, in 1971-1972, and told his Body Politic friends about them. Steakley to Jonathan Ned Katz, email March 22, 2011.

  2. Edmund White to Jonathan Ned Katz, March 15, 2011. Edmund White. "An Oracle." Christopher Street 98 (March, 1985): 32-49.

  3. Sarah Schulman. Interview with Herbert Spiers, Act Up Oral History Project, pages 23-24.

  4. Schulman Interview, pages 25-27. The Manifesto was written cooperatively by Spiers, in New York, and a member of AIDS Action Now! in Toronto. In a detailed account, Ann Silversides writes that ACT UP (New York) and AIDS Action Now! (Toronto) "worked together to produce the Montreal Manifesto, also known as 'The Declaration of Universal Rights and Needs of People Living with HIV Disease'. On May 22, [1989] Herb Spiers sent a revised copy of the manifesto from New York to Chuck Grochmal in Toronto." Ann Silversides. AIDS Activist: Michael Lynch and the Politics of Community (Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2003, pages 192-193. In an interview in 2008 with Sarah Schulman recorded for the ACT UP Oral History Project, Herb Spiers recalled participating in the writing of a demands statement read at the 1989 conference in New York.

  5. Schulman, page 40-41-42.

  6. Spiers, Herb. Interviewed by Sarah Schulman, July 2, 2008. Act Up Oral History Project. Interview Number: 090. Cited as Schulman.