All-Gay Symposium

Here are two other notices about the first Gay Symposium that Dunbar and others organized for the weekend of November 28-30, 1969. The Berkeley Tribe mentions that topics to be covered include gay communes. The notice in Kaliflower states that the symposium will “contain such flaming items as a discussion group on communes and their relevance to gay liberation.” This symposium was where the Sutter Street Commune distributed Edward Marshall’s book Transit Glory. Anyone who heard my talk on the life and times of Irving Rosenthal may recall that this was one of two Beat poetry books that Irving printed in New York in 1967 at his Carp & Whitefish press and which presented a dilemma for Irving when he converted to the Digger Free philosophy. Ultimately, the poet and writer Richard Brautigan convinced Irving to give away both books for free. The commune distributed the Whelan book, Invention of the Letter, during a Free City poetry reading at Glide Church the year before. Notice the envelope in which the individual cards that made up the Marshall book were enclosed. The label FREE was stamped on by the commune to signify its liberation from the world of commerce. Nevertheless, Transit Glory is much sought after by collectors today and fetches hundreds of dollars in the rare book market.