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social sciences

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Baudry, André Émile (b. 1922)  
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By the late 1970s, this position seemed hopelessly outdated to the younger generation. France changed dramatically after the "May events" of 1968 and, as one of Baudry's critics commented, "Try talking about 'dignity' and 'morals' to the children of the barricades and of the permissive society!"

French gay liberationists of the 1970s were left-wing radicals, who tried to advance their cause through anti-establishment rhetoric, provocative behavior, and clamorous street demonstrations, all anathema to Baudry. Gay liberationists returned his contempt, and (paraphrasing Karl Marx) declared that "Arcadie is the opium of the homosexuals."

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They floated damaging rumors about Baudry, including the persistent (albeit unfounded) claim that he was a police informant. But, as Baudry recently told the historian Julian Jackson: "I have always drawn inspiration from a phrase the Jesuits inculcated in me, . . . 'all your life let an air of mystery float around you.' . . . I never responded to their accusations. I let them think what they wanted."

In the 1970s, as homosexuality came into the open in France, Baudry (who was an eloquent speaker) appeared frequently on radio and television and gave numerous interviews to the press, but he declined to work with other gay groups.

In 1982, Baudry abruptly ceased publication of Arcadie, closed down Clespala, and retired with his life partner, Giuseppe Adamo (who had worked as barman in the club), to the latter's native village near Naples, Italy. He still lives there, alone (Adamo having died) and almost blind, but always intellectually active.

Baudry's contribution to the gay cause in France should not be minimized, as gay liberationists have tended to do. Jacques Girard recognized in 1981 that "to establish a [homosexual] group in [the 1950s], a man was needed who believed in the cause, but who also understood the mood of the times. That man was Baudry." Unfortunately for Baudry, Girard added, "the times have changed, while the director of Arcadie remains the same."

Or, as philosopher Michel Foucault pointed out in 1982: "It would be naïve to reproach [Arcadie] for its conservatism: since it is in the nature of a movement of this kind to want . . . to bring [homosexuality] into the existing institutional structures. . . . Baudry's prophetic madness was to want to get homosexuality admitted into the bosom of the values that condemn it."

Michael D. Sibalis

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social sciences >> Overview:  France

France, the second largest nation in Western Europe, has a rich, if markedly ambivalent, relationship to glbtq people and cultures.

social sciences >> Overview:  French Gay Liberation Movement

The French gay liberation movement was born during the early 1970s on the foundation of a courageous, if conservative, homophile movement and the thrust of a massive wave of social activism.

literature >> Overview:  French Literature: Twentieth Century

The contributions of gay men and lesbians to twentieth-century French literature have been closely intertwined with the course of mainstream literature.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

social sciences >> Overview:  Montreal

In the last two decades, Montreal has become friendly to and supportive of its glbtq citizens and visitors.

social sciences >> Overview:  Paris

One of the world's most iconic cities and an influential hub of Western culture, Paris is also a major international glbtq center.

social sciences >> Consoli, Massimo

Writer, archivist, and theorist, Massimo Consoli was the founder of the Italian gay movement and its leading activist.

literature >> Foucault, Michel

One of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century, Foucault has had an enormous influence on our understanding of the lesbian and gay literary heritage and the cultural forces surrounding it.

social sciences >> Hahn, Pierre

One of the earliest gay militants in contemporary France, Pierre Hahn also received the first doctorate in France for work in the history of homosexuality.

literature >> Meier, Karl

Swiss actor, cabaret performer, and stage director Karl Meier was, under the pseudonym "Rolf," editor of Der Kreis, the leading European homophile publication, from 1943 until its demise in 1967.

literature >> Peyrefitte, Roger

As one of the most famous homosexuals in France in the latter half of the twentieth century, novelist Roger Peyrefitte helped shape the public perception of homosexuals in the days before gay liberation.

social sciences >> Vock, Anna

Activist and editor Anna Vock pioneered in organizing lesbians and gay men in Switzerland in the 1930s.


Girard, Jacques. Le mouvement homosexuel en France 1945-1980. Paris: Syros, 1981.

Jablonski, Olivier. "Baudry, André (Émile)." Who's Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2001. 32-35.

Jackson, Julian. "Sex, Politics and Morality in France, 1954-1982." History Workshop Journal 61 (2006). 77-102.

_____. Unpublished Interviews with André Baudry, 2004-2006. (Courtesy of Dr. Julian Jackson, Queen Mary University of London).

Martel, Frédéric. The Pink and the Black: Homosexuals in France since 1968. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Sibalis, Michael. "Gay Liberation Comes to France: The Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire (FHAR)." French History and Civilization: Papers from the George Rudé Seminar. Ian Coller, Helen Davies, and Julie Kalman, eds. Melbourne: The George Rudé Society, 2005. 267-78.


    Citation Information
    Author: Sibalis, Michael D.  
    Entry Title: Baudry, André Émile  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated January 25, 2011  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


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