The Fifth Freedom was a periodic free newspaper of the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier, Western New York's most prominent early gay rights organization. In being the official written mouthpiece of the region's first systematic gay rights organization, The Fifth Freedom expresses the earliest codified and widely distributed literature of the gay community within the region. With the publication of this digital collection, scholars now have universal access to this seminal civil rights-centric material. Covering the time period between 1970 and 1983, the literature of The Fifth Freedom necessarily comments on not only the self-expression of a largely "invisible" self-identified group in the years that followed the Stonewall riots and preceded the onset of the more well-known AIDS epidemic, but also upon the larger Western New York and American culture overall. The newspaper content as well as editorial direction both chronicle and critique a unique time in both American and world-wide history, as seen and expressed by an active, though underdocumented, population.
Collection owner: SUNY Buffalo State