This is a speech given by Huey Newton in 1970, one of the founders of the Black Panthers, addressing gay and women’s rights. Hearing this from him as a man willing to discuss this topic with such honesty, particularly in the fact that he acknowledges his own hang ups with homosexuality is something we rarely hear, let alone from some one in the public eye. Calling on people to recognize all oppressed people, which can so often become compartmentalized, is why I find this speech so important.
“We should try to form a working coalition with the gay liberation and
women’s liberation groups. “
Read the whole speech here.
“Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about
homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals
and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed
groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.
I say ” whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know,
sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the
mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in
the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we
want to hit the women or shut her up because we are afraid that she
might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start
We should be willing to discuss the insecurities that many people have
about homosexuality. When I say “insecurities,” I mean the fear that
they are some kind of threat to our manhood. I can understand this
fear. Because of the long conditioning process which builds insecurity
in the American male, homosexuality might produce certain hang-ups in
us. I have hang-ups myself about male homosexuality. But on the other
hand, I have no hang-up about female homosexuality. And that is a
phenomenon in itself. I think it is probably because male
homosexuality is a threat to me and female homosexuality is not.”