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'Returning Forest Darlings'

By Loyola University on Tue, 04/07/2020 - 12:14

Gay Liberationist Sanctuary in the Southeastern Network, 1973-1980

Jason Ezell; “Returning Forest Darlings”: Gay Liberationist Sanctuary in the Southeastern Network, 1973–80. Radical History Review 1 October 2019; 2019 (135): 71–94. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-7607833

This essay describes how, in the late 1970s, gay liberationists in the Southeast developed a rural sanctuary practice out of their intersections with back-to-the-land movements, leading to the formation of Short Mountain Sanctuary in 1980. It draws on writings in the gay serial RFD, as well as on oral histories and event documentation, to trace how members mobilized regional collectivism, rustic print practices, and spiritual affect to imagine a rural underground at the edges of the state’s reach. This account serves as an alternate case study to US sanctuary movement histories, which heavily feature city and church.