Open main menu

David Thorstad (born June 6, 1941)[1] is an American political activist engaged with pro-pederast and pro-pedophile activism within the North American Man/Boy Love Association (commonly known as NAMBLA), of which he was a founding member. He was also a former president of New York's Gay Activists Alliance.[2]

David Thorstad
(1941-06-06) June 6, 1941 (age 78)

Known forPro-pedophile activism with NAMBLA
Movementpro-pederasty and pro-pedophile activism, age of consent reform

Thorstad describes himself as a bisexual pederast and atheist (a "recovered" Pentecostal) who has "never been charged with violating any sex laws".[3]

Early activismEdit

Thorstad was also active in Trotskyist politics for some years. For more than six years, he was a member of the Upper West Side branch of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and a staff writer for its newspaper, The Militant. He left the SWP in December 1973, citing the organization's lack of enthusiasm for the gay liberation movement and failure to develop a "Marxist materialist analysis" of it. In 1976 he self-published a collection of internal party documents relating to its discussion of the gay liberation movement, under the title Gay Liberation and Socialism: Documents from the Discussions on Gay Liberation Inside the Socialist Workers Party (1970-1973).[4]

In the early 1970s, Thorstad was president of the Gay Activists Alliance, a leading gay liberation group in New York.[5]

In June 1973, Thorstad and John Lauritsen published The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935), a fourteen-page historical survey in the SWP internal Discussion Bulletin which attempted to prove that the gay liberation movement had a long and substantial history, particularly in Germany.[6] This was expanded the next year into a 92-page book of the same name published by Times Change Press, a New York publishing house specializing in feminist and politically progressive books.[7] The book was translated into Spanish[8] and German.[9]

In 1977, David founded the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[10]

NAMBLA and pro-pedophile activismEdit

In 1978, Thorstad was a founding member of NAMBLA, "served as a member of the Steering Committee from some undetermined time until September 1996" and was one of a group of NAMBLA members who were sued in 2000 for the wrongful death of a ten-year-old boy in a long-running court case Curley v. NAMBLA in Boston.[11]

Thorstad claims that pederasty is the main way in which homosexuality has been expressed in modern culture,[12][13] and that "child abuse hysteria is an industry of insanity aimed at homosexuals [which] ... plays on the impression people have always had of homosexuals as being child molesters", and describes opposition to NAMBLA as "... [similar] to one waged by 'lesbian feminists who jumped right on the bandwagon' of what he calls the anti-gay male/child pornography scare", according to The Advocate.[14] He has also likened being a pederast in the United States as the equivalent of being "a Jew in Nazi Germany" and has criticized the mainstream LGBT community for its assimilationist approach towards capitalist and heterocentric society.[13] He has also said that the label LGBT is "the most absurd one of all" and is "far too fixed an identity, eliding the fluidity of sexuality and sexual behavior ... in that sense[,] Kinsey's scale is valid."[12] He also believes that "assimilationist homosexual groups[,] ... the psychiatric profession and the bourgeois media, such as the New York Times ... all nowadays blur distinctions by lumping everything under the rubric 'pedophilia,' an absurdity apparently intended to criminalize love and force very different behaviors into one negative pigeonhole."[12]

Summaries of Thorstad's views appear in his articles "Man/Boy Love and the American Gay Movement" in Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical, Socio-Psychological and Legal Perspectives,[15] and "Homosexuality and the American Left: The Impact of Stonewall", in Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left.[16]



  1. ^ Guy Hocquenghem (1980). Le Gay voyage: Guide et regard homosexuels sur les grandes métropoles. Albin Michel. ISBN 978-2-226-01040-7.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Hubert (1991). "Sexual Hysteria—Then and Now". OurStories. Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California. pp. 17–18. A former president of New York's Gay Activists Alliance and a founding member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), Thorstad is uniquely qualified to write on this topic.
  3. ^ Matt C. Abbott (August 12, 2010). "Admitted pederast accuses me of spreading a lie; 'Theology of the Body' debate rages". Renew America. Retrieved August 29, 2015. What gives you the right to spread the lie that I am a 'convicted pederast'? Why haven't you checked your facts? I will acknowledge that I am a pederast (among many other things, including recovered Pentecostal and now atheist and bisexual and human being), but I have never been charged with violating any sex laws, let alone been 'convicted' of violating any of them.
  4. ^ Gay Liberation and Socialism: Documents from the Discussions on Gay Liberation Inside the Socialist Workers Party (1970-1973) p.1, 11
  5. ^ "Historical Note". Gay Activists Alliance Records, 1970-1983. New York Public Library Digital Library Collections. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  6. ^ John Lauritsen; David Thorstad (1973). The Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935). J. Lauritsen and D. Thorstad.
  7. ^ John Lauritsen; David Thorstad (1995). The Early Homosexual Rights Movement: (1864-1935). Times Change Press. pp. 94–96. ISBN 978-0-87810-041-5.
  8. ^ John Lauritsen; David Thorstad (1977). Los Primeros movimientos en favor de los derechos homosexuales: 1864-1935 (in Spanish). Tusquets Editor. ISBN 978-84-7223-578-6.
  9. ^ John Lauritsen; David Thorstad (1984). Die frühe Homosexuellenbewegung: 1864-1935 (in German). Frühlings-Erwachen. ISBN 978-3-925393-06-8.
  10. ^ Bernadicou, August. "David Thorstad". August Nation. The LGBTQ History Project. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  11. ^ Barbara Curley, et al., Plaintiffs v. North American Man Boy Love Association, et. al., Defendants, O'Toole, D.J. Memorandum and Order on Motions to Dismiss, Civil Action No. 00-10956-GAO (United States District Court of Massachusetts March 31, 2003).
  12. ^ a b c Matt C. Abbott (August 22, 2010). "The mind of a pederast". RenewAmerica. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Pederasty and Homosexuality by David Thorstad (archived at WebCite)
  14. ^ Here Publishing (23 August 1994). The Advocate. Here Publishing. p. 37. ISSN 0001-8996.
  15. ^ Theo Sandfort, Edward Brongersma, and Alex van Naerssen, editors, Routledge, 1990
  16. ^ Gert Hekma, Harry Oosterhuis, and James Steakley, editors, Haworth Press, 1995