Allen Young was born in Liberty, New York in 1941, and spent his childhood on a poultry farm in the Catskill Mountains. An openly gay writer, journalist and activist, he earned an MA from Columbia School of Journalism and a second MA from Stanford University's Institute of Latin American Studies. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from the Inter-American Press Association, which allowed him to live and research in Brazil and Chile. Young has written on gay liberation, politics and Latin America for numerous publications, including The Advocate, Gay Sunshine, The Body Politic, Fag Rag, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times and the New Left Review (London). He has also been a staff writer for The Washington Post and the Liberation News Service, and was once characterized by the CIA as an "infamous homosexual writer."
In 1970, Young met lesbian writer, Karla Jay, with whom he shared similar interests in the gay liberation movement. The two began a professional partnership and went on to collaborate on several projects. Together they edited a few seminal books, including Out of the Closest: Voices from Gay Liberation (1972), After You're Out: Personal Experiences of Gay Men and Lesbian Women (1975), and Lavender Culture (1978). In 1977, Young and Jay began researching and writing The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences & Lifestyles (1979), which is described as "the first comprehensive survey of the homosexual community."
In 1973, Young moved to Royalston, in rural Massachusetts, where he has lived as a writer and antiwar and community activist. In 1983, he founded Millers River Publishing Company, which focused on publishing books of regional interests. After retiring, Young continued to be an active community advocate for protecting the farms and forests of his rural Massachusetts home. In 2004, he received the Writing and Society Award from the University of Massachusetts English Department, honoring a distinguished career of commitment to the work of writing in the world. In addition to his collaboration with Karla Jay, Young is the author of twelve other books, including Gays Under the Cuban Revolution (1981) and North of Quabbin Revisited: A Guide to Nine Massachusetts Towns (2002).
As of March 2008, Allen Young continues to live in Massachusetts.
Sources: Allen Young Papers, Coll2008-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California
Jay, Karla and Allen Young. The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences & Lifestyles. New York: Summit Books, 1979.