New Exhibit to Open on LGBT Politics and the Radical Left

Philadelphia, PA, September 2, 2019 — The William Way LGBT Community Center is proud to present a groundbreaking archival exhibition running September 27-December 27, 2019.

The Most Revolutionary: LGBTQ Politics and the Radical Left, 1969-1999 is an historical exhibition designed to change how visitors conceive of modern LGBTQ activism. Using rare archival materials ranging from handmade banners to mimeographed newsletters, The Most Revolutionary shines a light on the radical ideas and movements that exploded in the late 1960s and how they continue to shape our world today. 

In the late 1960s the Black Power, New Left, anti-war, and women's liberation movements inspired millions of young people around the world to fight for revolutionary change. The early Gay Liberation movement that emerged in the aftermath of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion was a part of this growing radicalization, as evidenced by the growth of groups like the Gay Liberation Front. But by the late 1970s many mainstream LGBTQ activists had become focused on fighting for inclusion in mainstream institutions such as the military, marriage, and the Democratic Party. The activists and movements showcased in The Most Revolutionary, however, resisted this push towards accommodation and assimilation into the status quo. This exhibition will show visitors how LGBTQ activists built solidarity with movements against racism and sexism, how committed activists endured years of setbacks and defeat, and how movements against oppression today are shaped by these struggles of the past.

Visitors to the exhibition can explore an vast array of rare buttons, flyers, and posters about issues including the AIDS crisis, U.S. involvement in Central America, racism in the gay community, and labor organizing. These primary sources tell a rich story about resistance and survival, and contain many lessons for battles we face today.

The Most Revolutionary: LGBTQ Politics and the Radical Left, 1969-1999 is co-curated by John Anderies and Brad Duncan. John Anderies is the Director of the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center (IG: @waygayphilly). Brad Duncan is a curator and collector of radical literature based in Philadelphia (IG: @radical_archive). 

The material in the exhibition comes from Duncan's private collection, the Center's Wilcox Archives, and loans from Philadelphia activists. 

Opening reception: Friday, September 27, 2019: 6:00-8:00 pm

Talk by historian Emily Hobson, author of Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left, Sunday, September 29, 2019: 3:00-4:30 pm

Other public events will be announced soon. 


The William Way LGBT Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.

For more information please contact

John Anderies