Last year, Stonewall vet, Fred Sargeant, told me all about his dear friend Ellen Broidy, one of the four founders of Pride. He was concerned about how media underplays (or ignores altogether) the contributions lesbians have made. Broidy tells me that since 2018, this has changed — that in the last few years, media has contacted her for interviews, lining up whenever Pride month rolls around. She says, “I feel like a bear that hibernates all winter, and then June comes, Pride month comes, and everyone is lined up in front of my den.”
And they should be lining up… Ellen Broidy, a Jewish lesbian shero from New York, holds the key to the past. A past that’s been aggressively revised over the last several years.
Broidy tells me there’s a group she calls the “survivors” from the Gay Liberation Front, who are “trying very very hard to correct the historical record.” She says, “In fact, we just finished signing off on a letter today to two of these newspapers. We had to fight last year with The New York Times, where they refused to change their story, but then printed a correction the next week. So this has been an ongoing struggle for us.”
Her message to younger people is “Every now and again, as you’re marching forward, turn around and wave back at us. We’re still here. We’re still important. Much the same way as I needed to acknowledge the shoulders that I stood on, I would like others to acknowledge us. We did a lot of work. And it wasn’t easy.”
After spending her youth fighting for our rights, Ellen Broidy (along with the other Gay Liberation Front “survivors”) has been put in a position where she must fight again now, just to set the record straight. The level of homophobia behind a movement that would put them in that kind of position, is profound. But this new movement — overcrowded with so many letters that have inched their way into the acronym — has forgotten one vital thing: That the history they’ve attempted to bury is still here, all around them, with the same strength and determination they had before. And they’ve banded together to fight the erasure of our history, the erasure of truth.