Peace Activism Introduction:

While hundreds of thousands of GLBT people have fought for this country in the armed forces, many others have struggled against military conflict. Whether as pure pacifists or critics of particular wars, GLBT activists have often been at the forefront of American peace movements.

Raised in the Quaker tradition in rural Pennsylvania, Bayard Rustin served jail time during World War II because of his passionate opposition to military conflict. Rustin would later go on to be a prominent leader of the civil rights movement. (Photo from PBS / Brother Outsider.)
The modern gay liberation movement emerged from the anti-war and civil rights movement. (Photo courtesy of Cathy Cade.)
There is a wooden peace sign on Michael Job’s door in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It’s hard to imagine that the man who greets visitors at that door with a warm smile was once an integral part of a machine gun team in the hill country of Vietnam. (Photo courtesy of Michael Job.)
Peace activists can chronicle their long struggle against war with protest buttons. (Buttons courtesy of Michael Job.)
Gays and lesbians were at the forefront of protests against what many saw as imperialistic interventions by the United States in Central America during the 1970s and 80s. (Photo courtesy of Cathy Cade.)
One of the cofounders of Lavender Veterans for Peace, Michael Job got deeply involved in the peace movement in the 1980s, working with groups like Veterans for Peace. (Photo courtesy of Michael Job.)
Michael Job traveled to Iraq during the era of the first Gulf War to bring medicine, supplies, and a message of peace from the United States. (Photo courtesy of Michael Job.)
Many gays and lesbians in the Bay Area have been exceptionally vocal about their opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Cathy Cade.)