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Pierre Hahn
(1936 - 1981) France

Pierre Hahn

Journalist and activist


Born in Paris, Hahn, when he was 19, went to see André Baudry, head of France's principal hmosexual movement in the 1950s, and noticing a copy of his monthly review, asked, "Monsieur Baudry, may I look at Arcadie?". "You do not look at Arcadie," came the reply; "you participate in it." Hahn ws soon a regular contributor under the pseudinym André Clair.

At 20, Hahn went int a mental hospital at the urging of his father, who hoped to cure his homosexuality. This left him with a horror of every kind of confinement and repression. He embarked on a journalistic career and then in the mid-1960s started writing about homosexuality.

Having already studied racism in the periodical Jeune Afrique, he wanted (in his own words) "to link discrimination against hmosexuals with the discrimination that victimizes North Africans, for example". In 1971 Hahn was among the founders of FHAR (Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire - Homosexual Front for Revolutinary Action), a political radical movement patterned on American gay liberation groups.

Hahn wrote for the mainline press under his own name, but also for gay publications under pseudonyms (Pierre de Valmore, Gilles Santis). In 1971 he published Français, encore un effort, a compendium of quotations about homosexuality from antiquity to the present, followed in 1979 by Nos ancêtres les pervers, an historical study of 19th century homosexuals.

In 1981 he successfully deended a doctoral thesis at the University of Paris VIII on "The Birth of Homosexuality". Depressed because of an unhappy love affair, however, he soon afterwards committed sucide. Gay militants took up a collection to pay the funeral costs of a man whom they recognized as a pioneer of their movement.


Source: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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