David Thorstad

November 7th, 2007 by The Administrator

Isn’t it funny how Wikipedia will allow unpaid volunteers to spend hours constructing an article, only to let some bureaucratic administrator purge it because no one could link a source?


David Thorstad, American political activist and author, has been a prominent member of the gay rights movement since the 1970s, and was a founding member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a group which advocates the abolition of age of consent laws. He was also active in Trotskyist politics for some years.

From 1967 to 1973 Thorstad was a member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), once the main American Trotskyist organisation. After leaving the SWP because of its attitude to homosexuality he published a collection of internal party documents relating to its discussion of the gay liberation movement, under the title Gay Liberation and Socialism : Documents from the Discussions on Gay Liberation Inside the Socialist Workers Party (1970-1973). In the early 1970s Thorstad was president of the Gay Activists Alliance, a leading gay liberation group in New York.

In 1974 Thorstad and John Lauritsen published The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935), an important work which linked the modern gay liberation movement to older movements for homosexual rights, particularly in Germany, and showed the links between those movements and the socialist movement.

In 1978 Thorstad was a founding member of NAMBLA, and has remained active in its leadership ever since. He is one of a group of NAMBLA members who are being sued for the wrongful death of a ten-year-old boy in a long-running court case in Boston (Curley v NAMBLA, described at the NAMBLA article). In 2003, in the course of this case, Judge George O’Toole found that:

David Thorstad has been a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota since approximately 1992. Thorstad has been a member of NAMBLA since 1978, and served as a member of the Steering Committee from some undetermined time until September 1996. He is listed as a member of the Bulletin Collective, though he claims he “had no role in producing” the publication. He did contribute letters and articles to the Bulletin, and one of his articles was also posted on NAMBLA’s webpage. In 1995, he was nominated to be an official NAMBLA spokesman.

Thorstad’s involvement with NAMBLA led him to break with most of the mainstream gay rights movement, which has become increasingly hostile to NAMBLA’s views and activities since about 1980. In 1998 Thorstad told an audience: “Pederasty is the main form that male homosexuality has acquired throughout Western civilization – and not only in the West! Pederasty is inseparable from the high points of Western culture – ancient Greece and the Renaissance.” Thorstad describes the modern gay rights movement as “politically correct zombies,” and the “radicalism of such groups as Queer Nation” as “bizarre and offensive.”

Summaries of Thorstad’s views appear in his articles “Man/Boy Love and the American Gay Movement” in Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical, Socio-Psychological and Legal Perspectives (Theo Sandfort et al, editors, Harrington Park Press, 1991), and “Homosexuality and the American Left: The Impact of Stonewall,” in Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left (Gert Hekma et al, editors, Harrington Park Press, 1995).


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10 Responses to “David Thorstad”

  1. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    [Unfunny impersonation of myself by Rez - Dan]

    Futility tally: Repeated 15 times.

  2. Strato Says:

    It is unfortunate that the gay rights ‘activists’ of today have adopted a policy of collaboration, shunning the legacy held for them in truly gifted people like David Thorstad. We are fortunate that he is still writing notwithstanding the persecution he has faced. If anything, he seems to have grown stronger for it.

    He makes the following, pertient, comment in an article on gay marriage:

    “Sadly, the gay movement today pursues nothing more than minor tinkering with an unjust system. This has nothing to do with sexual liberation– which used to be the movement’s focus. Instead of the Gay Liberation Front slogan “Do you think homosexuals are revolting? You bet your sweet ass we are!” nowadays the message is: “We’re loving couples just like you. Welcome us into your great society, your churches, your war machine, your phoney-baloney political fraud (one party with two right wings, as Gore Vidal has aptly described it), give us your stamp of state approval. We’re not promiscuous hedonists like those gay men now dead of AIDS or perverts who have sex with youths. We’re respectable, predictable, reliable, and conventional. We’re patriotic; we can’t wait to serve in your increasingly hated military. We are Fa-mi-ly.”

    The full article entitled ‘Balls and Chains’ (November 2005) is available at guidemag.com.

  3. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    Now I like him even more.

    And he makes a change from Rez.

    The Guide is just about the only media organ I know of which has any semblence to the old gay rights – youth rights – sexual liberationist coalition.

  4. Steve Diamond Says:

    I’m fairly sure, they just don’t make people with guts like that, anymore.

    My hat is entirely off to Mr. Thorstad. That is a real activist with balls of steel.

    I can only imagine what kind of crap he has had to put up with over the many years, though there have been some news worthy attacks, like the law suit.

    I’m sure the ridiculous maltreatment by wikipedia is just another example, in a long line of prejudice discrimination.

    I also found that article on gay marriage to be…

    …powerful…very consciousness altering.

    I’ve supported gay marriage all along…but, on the premise that this is what the people involved honestly felt that they needed to do for themselves.

    I don’t view it as any great achievement in sexual liberation…just freedom for human beings.

    In fact, David is right on the money…gay marriage has nothing to do with sexual liberation…as marriage is a legal union. It does not really have anything to do with winning sexual liberation.

    To that end, gay marriage is nothing but fools gold.

    …and I have to agree…Why should we, or any sexual group, be measured by the norms of the so called “straights”?

    We don’t need to be “as good as”, or “just like” the “straights”…

    We have our own identity and customs, thank you very much…

  5. Adam Powell Says:

    I am all for gay marriage, but I accept that it is not a panacea for all ills. I mean, if people straight or gay, want to have a party celebrating their love and invite the vicar, then why not? I just hope it doesn’t become repression. But lack of economic and intellectual independence are most likely to oppress rather than marriage itself.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    So it’s prejudiced now to disapprove of child molesting?

  7. Catherine Willikers Says:

    Outlawing the cynical exploitation of children, even throughout early to mid teenage years, from labor laws to sexual age-of-consent laws is one of the few ways that the U.S. protects humans from being used as objects by those who have not yet fully humanized themselves.

    As in the case of so many other “adult” pursuits, even young people who may feel “ready for” and “knowledgeable about” sexual relationships with adults are protected, not hurt, by the laws that protect them from adults who have a more predatory outlook with regard to sexual congress.

    Any adult who loves a child (even a 16-year-old “child”) romantically can only demonstrate that love by forgoing sexual consummation until the object of his or her love has matured to an age of ability to discern the intentions of others, their own intentions and needs, and physically and mentally has the power to put into action his or her own choices.

    People who want to rush a sexual relationship timeline to take place during the youth of the object are highly likely, if not unanimously, people who require full control of the other person in their sexual relationships.

  8. piedpiper Says:

    “not yet fully humanized themselves”
    Are you suggesting that children are not human and they only become human after a certain time period? Perhaps socialized would be a better word or maybe ‘brain washed’.
    “even young people who may feel “ready for” and “knowledgeable about” sexual relationships with adults are protected, not hurt, by the laws that protect them from adults who have a more predatory outlook with regard to sexual congress.”
    Problem 1:If a child is forced into a sexual act there are laws that deal with it, this me is acceptable but how can it be acceptable to place a almost blanket ban on sexuality between certain ages how is this protecting this leads a more significant point. Problem 2: If these laws are about protecting children why the hell are there children on the database, why are there children sex fiends as others like to portray them your great laws are not only arresting so called dirty old men but the children your saying your protecting.
    “People who want to rush a sexual relationship timeline to take place during the youth of the object are highly likely, if not unanimously, people who require full control of the other person in their sexual relationships.”
    How do you know isn’t this just a opinion do children have no power over there parents for example if you have observed children you realise from a young age have manipulative powers over people, your view that all children are somehow unthinking dolls with no power of there own is madness.
    And finally…………
    “the object of his or her love has matured to an age of ability to discern the intentions of others, their own intentions and needs, and physically and mentally has the power to put into action his or her own choices.”
    With my love to mix it up a bit I’m not going to ask the obvious question but this, prove to me that adults have the ability to discern the intentions of others??? our history is riddled with adults doing stupid things murdering abusing belittling and I’m not talking about a few individuals but whole nations, if adults could discern my intentions I find it highly unlikely that they would be persecuting me and when it comes to power why am I not allowed to put into action my own choices?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    anybody who has sex with kids is a sick fuck…. period

  10. dre monster beats Says:

    Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! Its on a completely different subject but it has fairly a lot exactly the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

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