Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups

By Stephen E. Atkins | Go to book overview

Q

Queer Nation

The Queer Nation was the most militant of the gay activist groups in the United States in the 1990s. A loose coalition of gays and lesbians formed this group in 1990 to confront anti-gay activities. Each major city has a local chapter, but total membership remains low. Local chapters combine to conduct large national protests; demonstrations often involve between 1,000 and 2,000 participants. Almost from the beginning, the Queer Nation has specialized in direct-action confrontations with their tactics often verging on violence. Leadership in the Queer Nation is difficult to determine since local leaders assume the spotlight in local demonstrations. The most prominent national leaders, however, have been Steven Reichert and Michael Petralis. A common theme of all the leaders is to seek maximum publicity at all times. The organizational rallying cry is, “We're here, and we're queer.”

Among their more notable confrontations in their drive for national publicity was their fight to march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade in March 1992. After several demonstrations, a court case decided that the Queer Nation could march in the parade. Other demonstrations have been held at the 1992 Houston GOP National Convention and at a Houston grocery store. One of the Queer Nation's biggest defeats has been their vocal campaign to gain the military's acceptance of gays in the armed forces. Although the groups have different orientations, the leadership of Queer Nation has in the past worked closely with the AIDS activist group, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). Members often cross over and participate in the activities of both organizations. In the late 1990s, the Queer Nation became less active and less confrontational. See also ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power); Gay Liberation Movement.

Suggested readings: Don Aucoin, “Queer Nation at Center of Parade Debate, ” Boston Globe (March 11, 1992), p. 1; Margaret Cruikshank, The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement (New York: Routledge, 1992).

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Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology of Events vii
  • Introduction xxi
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 57
  • D 80
  • E 89
  • F 96
  • G 110
  • H 123
  • I 137
  • J 142
  • K 149
  • L 166
  • M 184
  • N 215
  • O 230
  • P 238
  • Q 252
  • R 253
  • S 267
  • T 291
  • U 301
  • V 304
  • W 306
  • Y 326
  • Z 328
  • Selected Bibliography 331
  • Index 339
  • About the Author 375
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