The Unsung Heroes Of Gay History: Peter Fischer of the Gay Activists Alliance

GAA Peter Fischer


Peter Fisher was an American author and one of our movements original gay rights activist.

An alumnus of Amherst College and Columbia University, he served in the US Air Force prior to becoming an early member of the Gay Activists Alliance, a protest group that split off from the Gay Liberation Front after the Stonewall riots with the goal of “writing the revolution into law.”  Fisher led a number of the zaps“, or protests that targeted at anti-gay public figures and businesses that were organized by the GAA, as well as serving as an unofficial historian for the group. 

Describing his intense joy marching in the first Christopher Street Liberation Day march in 1970 that commemorated the first anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, Peter Fisher wrote, “There’s no going back after that. You can’t feel those things and take them back to the closet and nurse them.

Veteran gay and AIDS activist Bill Bahlman, 60, who worked in GAA with Fisher, said, “Whenever he spoke at a GAA meeting, everybody listened. He could turn the debate on an issue around. And at demonstrations, he was larger than life.”

Peter Fischer HarpersFischer chaired ‘The Harper’s Action Committee, which staged a take-over of Harper’s Magazine’s offices after they ran a viciously anti-gay article. Peter also chaired the GAA’s National Gay Movement Committee which sent out field workers across America to organize gay groups in cities lacking them.

Fisher received the Stonewall Book Award in 1972 for The Gay Mystique: The Myth and Reality of Male Homosexuality, later described as “one of the first books to look at the subject from the inside rather than from a heterosexual’s viewpoint.  

The Gay Mystique* should still one of the “canon” books every gay man should read.

Peter Fischer joined GAA in 1970 where he met fellow activist Marc Rubin,  their loving relationship endured 37 years until Marc’s death in 2007

July 10, 2012, Peter Fischer committed suicide by suffocation.  He was 68.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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