LGBTQ Heroes: André Baudry

The gay man who was one of the key founders of the homophile movement.

LGBTQ Heroes: André Baudry

André Baudry was a French writer who was the founder of the homophile review Arcadie.

Born in 1922, Baudry was a former seminarian and philosophy professor.

Baudry became interested in the debate about sexuality following the publication of the Kinsey report in 1948, the Deuxième Sexe by Simone de Beauvoir en 1952, and the theology thesis of the same year entitled Vie Chrétienne et problèmes de la sexualité by Marc Oraison. This thesis, which clearly articulated the position for the Catholic Church to take a more inclusive attitude towards homosexuality, was blacklisted by the Church.

The Arcadie review was created by André Baudry with the support of Roger Peyrefitte and Jean Cocteau. It was immediately forbidden for sale to minors and was censured.

André Baudry was prosecuted in 1955 for “outrage aux bonnes mœurs” – outrage against good morals. He was convicted, and fined 400,000 francs.

The review emphasised homosexuality as a form of consciousness and self-identity as opposed to a sexuality per se. Baudry sought to shape the popular image of homosexuals as conventional members of society with conventional desires.

In 1960, at the time of the promulgation of the Mirguet amendment which cast homosexuality as the source of all social ills, Baudry eliminated the classified ads and photographs from the review, out of fear of being shut down.

During its years of publication, Arcadie was the most influential homophile publication in francophone Europe.

The number of subscribers fluctuated between 1300 and 10,000.

In 1975, André Baudry was invited to testify on the television on les Dossiers de l’écran. He renamed the Arcadie association the Mouvement homophile de France.