Jack Nichols
Jack Nichols is now known as a founding father of the gay and lesbian liberation movement and of the movement for male liberation, editor of GAY (the first gay weekly newspaper), co-founder of the Mattachine Societies of Washington, D.C. and Florida, and a warrior who broke ground for gay equality.
--Harrington Park Press, 2004

His latest book is The Tomcat Chronicles: Erotic Adventures of a Gay Liberation Pioneer (Park-Harrington Press, a division of the Haworth Press, 2004). Nichols' polemic, The Gay Agenda: Talking Back to the Fundamentalists (Prometheus Books) was published in 1996. He is also the author of Men's Liberation: A New Definition of Masculinity (Penguin); Welcome to Fire Island: Visions of Cherry Grove & the Pines (St. Martin's Press); and is co-author with Lige Clarke of I Have More Fun With You Than Anybody (St. Martin's Press); and Roommates Can't Always Be Lovers: An Intimate Guide to Male/Male Relationships (St. Martin's Press.)

I Have More Fun With You Than Anybody has been hailed as the first non-fiction memoir by a male couple.

Jack Nichols can be reached at mailto:jack.nichols@earthlink.net

"Jack Nichols was always pushed to the front because he looked like the all-American boy."

---Keith Howes, Gay News, London

"Full of zest for life and appreciation of its finer values-kindness, generosity, pursuit of knowledge, intelligent conversation, loyal friends." His arguments are both cogent and persuasive...He presents them well and occasionally he breaks new ground."

---Publisher's Weekly

"Jack Nichols and Lige Clarke organized the Mattachine Society's first civil rights movement-style picket of the White House in April, 1965."

---Washington History (Fall-Winter 1994-1995) Caption under Nichols' & Clarke's Photo

jackbio67 copy.jpg - 9.29 K Jack Nichols:
jtsearssmall.jpg - 3.90 K James T. Sears, Ph.D. "Influential across three generations of gay activists, Nichols is truly the movement's poet-anarchist, its political Pinnochio.Influenced by the poetry of Walt Whitman and the philosophies of the East, Jack Nichols, more than any other Southerner of the homophile era, helped energize the gay movement."

---James T. Sears, Ph.D., author Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life (1948-1968)

"Nichols intense passion and graceful writing style combined to create rousing messages reminiscent of the inspirational words written by Thomas Paine two centuries ago."

---Rodger Streitmatter, Ph.D., author UNSPEAKABLE: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America

Rodger Streitmatter, Ph.D.
Charles Kaiser "Jack Nichols and Franklin Kameny did more than anyone else to infuse the gay movement with the spirit of the 60s." "Jack Nichols and his lover, Lige Clarke, wrote the first gay-authored account of the Stonewall riot."

---Charles Kaiser, author The Gay Metropolis, 1940-1996

"In the mid-1960s Kameny and Nichols were firmly established as the leaders of a radical wing of the homophile movement. They had introduced picketing as an acceptable form of protest for homosexuals, and they had dared to take on the powerful psychiatric profession."

---Edward Alwood, Ph.D., author Straight News: Gays, Lesbians & the News Media

Edward Alwood, Ph.D.

John Loughery "With all the passion of his heroes, Walt Whitman and Thomas Paine, Nichols is the individual with a wide view, grounded in both literature and activism. He not only talks back to the fundamentalists, he talks back to us.above all about the dignity of our struggle."

---John Loughery, author of The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives and Gay Identities: A Twentieth Century History

"Together Nichols and Kameny founded the Mattachine Society of' Washington on November 15, 1961. As Kameny shared with me, he and Jack 'struck it off to some considerable degree. He ended up being a close friend and coworker...(He) was figuratively, even if not perhaps literally, the second charter member after me. And was always an officer of the group. And we worked well on quite a number of things.'...The two men quickly became a most effective team, particularly in the area of challenging the mental health profession on its unthinking assumption that homosexuality, per se constituted mental illness. As Jack averred to Jim Sears in Lonely Hunters, 'Kameny and I agreed we must plan challenges to the psychiatric establishment. This singular aspect of our cause united the two of us, perhaps, more than did any other issue.' " Paul D. Cain

Paul D. Cain, author of Leading the Parade: Conversations with America's Most Influential Lesbians and Gay Men

Vern L. Bullough, RN, Ph.D. Jack Nichols and Lige Clarke became the most celebrated and recognizable gay male couple in America. Together they were involved in the launching of the first homosexual weekly, GAY. After Lige Clarke was murdered in Mexico in 1975, Jack carried on without him and remained one of the leading advocates for gays and lesbians in the country.

Vern L. Bullough, RN, Ph.D., editor of Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, 2002

"Jack Nichols has been active in the gay movement since 1961. He was a pioneer. To those of us who came of age during the Stonewall period, he is probably best known as one half of a couple known simply as "Lige and Jack." They were the quintessential gay lib lovers and their byline and photos seemed to appear in every early gay lib publication.They became so familiar to us-as a couple-that they became cultural icons."

---Douglas Beach in the New York Native

"For the 35th anniversary of Stonewall, veteran activists led the New York Heritage of Pride parade, some with many more than 35 years of experience in the movement. Riding on two flatbed trucks marked "Veterans of Stonewall and Early Activists" near the front of the march, these legends were cheered by thousands. Three of the most distinguished activists of all time sat in the front of the first float, a veritable Mount Rushmore of movement icons-Frank Kameny, Jack Nichols, and Dr. George Weinberg."

--Andy Humm in Gay City News, New York, July 1, 2004

"One of the earliest and most influential members of the Mattachine Society of Washington was Jack Nichols…He, his friends, and his lover Lige Clarke who worked in the Office of the Army chief of Staff, became immersed in the work of the organization…Nichols suggested the White House as a (protest) target. "The U.S. government persecutes us and so does the Cuban government," he told Kameny, suggesting that they combine their grievances against the two governments. That night they called other Mattachine members and got ten people to agree to picket."

David K. Johnson, Ph.D.

---David K. Johnson, Ph.D., author of The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, 2004

Academic Recognition
With a 1998 plaque-- "Jack Nichols: Congratulations for being designated a recipient of the 'Public Service Award' of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality for 1998.This award which is based on career achievement is given to individuals whose service has had a major impact on society. It is given for outstanding achievement or major impact in such areas as public awareness of sexual issues, public advocacy, professional practice by educators or health specialists and legislation or public policy formation. Your pioneering and ground breaking efforts in organizing the gay and lesbian community provides the basis for this much deserved recognition by The Society."

---Howard J. Ruppel, Jr., Ed.D., Ph.D. Executive Director, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Historical References
The Gay Militants, by Donn Teal, Simon & Schuster, 1971 (paperback-St. Martin's Press, 1995)

The Gay Crusaders, by Kay Tobin & Randy Wicker, Paperback Library, 1972 (Chapter 10)

The Gay Insider USA, by John Francis Hunter, Stonehill, 1972 (Chapter 34)

Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities, by John D'Emilio, University of Chicago Press, 1983

Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay & Lesbian Movement, Edited by Mark Thompson, 1994 Introduction to 1972-pages 65-66

Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay & Lesbian Press in America, by Rodger Streitmatter, Ph.D., Faber and Faber, 1995

Straight News: Gays, Lesbians and the News Media, by Edward Alwood, , Ph.D., Columbia University Press, 1996

Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian & Gay Southern Life, by James T. Sears, , Ph.D., Westview-Harper Collins, 1997 (Chapters 6 & 7)

The Gay Metropolis 1940-1996, by Charles Kaiser, Houghton-Miflin, 1997

The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives & Gay Identities-A Twentieth Century History, by John Loughery, Henry Holt, 1998

Witness to Revolution: The Advocate Reports on Gay & Lesbian Politics 1967-1999 Edited by Chris Bull pages 15-17, Alyson Books, 1999

Alternate Channels: The Uncensored Story of Gay and Lesbian Images on Radio and Television 1930s to the Present by Steven Capsuto, Ballantine Books, 2000, Chapter 7

Rebels, Rubyfruit and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South, by James T. Sears, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001 (Chapters 3 & 15)

Voices of Revolution: The Dissident Press in America, by Rodger Streitmatter, Columbia University Press, 2001 (Chapter 13)

Leading the Parade:Conversations with America's Most Influential Lesbians and Gay Men by Paul D. Cain, Foreword by Jack Nichols, Scarecrow Press, 2002

Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, edited by Vern L. Bullough, RN, Ph.D. Harrington Park Press (an imprint of Haworth Press), 2002

The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government , by David K. Johnson, Ph.D., University of Chicago Press, 2004

Films and Major TV Shows:
Gay Pioneers, a film by Glenn Holsten, 2001, produced for PBS by WHYY, Channel 12, 150 6th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

The Homosexuals, a CBS-TV documentary, hosted by Mike Wallace, March 7, 1967

VD Blues, presented by the Educational Broadcasting Coroporation, hosted by Geraldo Rivera and Dick Cavett 1972. Transcript published by Avon Books, 1972.

© 1997-2002 BEI
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Gay Today should not be assumed.