NEW YORK CITY (Observer Update) - Gay Activists Alliance cofounder G. Donn Teal passed away Feb. 3 after a long illness. He was 76. Born in Columbus, Ohio, he was one of the founders of the GAA in late 1969. On February 23 of that year, his pro-Gay New York Times article "Why Can't 'We' Love Happily Ever After, Too?" appeared. The article served as a protest against the "doomed misfit/sinner" stereotype of American Gay men and Lesbians in film, on stage, and in literature. The article provoked great response, and was followed on June 1 by "Why Record Homosexual Anguish?" a Times review of A&M Records' original-cast recording of Mart Crowley's play The Boys in the Band.
Teal also wrote the first history of the Gay liberation movement, The Gay Militants, as well as articles for The Advocate, Ovation, Musical America, and other magazines and newspapers. In 1978 he wrote "Straight Father, Gay Son: A Memoir of Reconciliation" for The Village Voice ; the article was later republished under Mr. Teal's nom de plume, Roger Forsythe, in Ralph Keyes's 1992 HarperCollins anthology Sons on Fathers.
"As the author of a history of the Stonewall riots, I have always said that the Stonewall riots are important only because they gave birth to the Gay liberation movement, just as the fall of the Bastille is only important because it led to the French Revolution. If the book I wrote was about the spark that set off the revolution, Donn's book was about something immeasurably more important: the revolution itself," author David Carter said in a statement. Teal will be buried in Columbus, Ohio. A memorial service will be held in New York at a time to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Gay Men's Health Crisis.
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