Owles, Jim (1946–1993)
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After being discharged from the Air Force for circulating anti-Vietnam War materials, Jim Owles came to New York City from his native Chicago and joined the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), which supported many nongay causes. He was twenty-three years old in December 1969 when he and eleven other GLF members split off to form the single-issue Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), which quickly outgrew GLF to become the largest militant gay rights organization in the United States, with hundreds of members attending its weekly meetings. Owles was elected the founding president, a post he held for two years until the end of 1972.