Late in 1980, while at university, I began to haunt the offices of a moribund chapter of the Gay Liberation Front. One of their more pleasant services to the community was the maintenance of a small library, since books on any subject touching upon anything Gay were rare and hardly positive. It wasn't that they didn't exist, it was that neither the public libraries nor the bookstores would stock them. That chapter of Gay Liberation spent the lion's share of their meager funds purchasing and replacing books. In one of those books, I read about the Alpine County project. I would have sworn it was The Gay Militants by Donn Teal, but I find that that book was not published until 1994. It must have been some other book, but I cannot rule out the possibility of a much earlier edition. Such issues were energetically discussed by the visitors to the office, and when the adventures of the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Antelope, Oregon began unfolding in the popular press in 1984, the conversations became more thoughtful. Unlike the Alpine County project, which was never actually attempted, the town of Antelope did, for a time, have its name changed to Rajneesh through the ordinary democratic processes.
The offices of the Gay Liberation Front were more of a social gateway than a political headquarters of any kind. At that time, it was one of a few places within an eighty mile radius where young men and women could go and 'come out.' Gays were completely invisible in those days, to a degree that is quite impossible to explain to anyone under twenty today. We were as invisible as fairies, unless you managed to rub magical fairy ointment on your eyes. The Gay Liberation Front had a handy jar of that ointment (we kept it in the third drawer from the top in the filing cabinet). People came and went. There was a continuous stream of people who came and went. Those who had any interest in radical politics stayed; those who had no interest read our books, accepted our introductions, and happily made use of the magical power to see the invisible Gay Kingdom that had always existed in the shadows around them. While they were in attendance, however, they did discuss Alpine County ("they would have killed us all," they said) and Antelope, Oregon ("Those were Rajneeshis--had they been Gay, there would have been open warfare.") That was before AIDS. The newcomers also said, "I didn't know there were any Gay people over fifty" when they were instructed to behave themselves around the older gentlemen (who were over seventy) they had the occasion to meet inside our magic circle. When people were less defeatist, they eventually came around to the idea of a nation, especially if they stuck around long enough to see the outlines of the invisible kingdom they were being initiated into.
We were separatists in those days. The idea of a Gay nation was an intellectual puzzle. The more pressing concern was how to maintain what little integration the community already had. In that corner of the world, at least, AIDS destroyed it all. Invisible networks do not tolerate removed nodes well, and cannot survive the extinction of vast swaths of contacts. I settled for being a good husband (which was my initial goal anyway) and getting on with my life.
Much later in life, the Spousal-Unit and I encountered the strange tale of Dale Anderson and the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands. For some reason, the idea was electrifying. Cato Island is, of course, no place to set up a country. My interest in that project was more in the idea behind it than the Real Estate. Land is an essential element of any 'proper' nation, though. The peculiar circumstances of the Gay Kingdom led me to enter into discussions here. Unfortunately, my experience will be of little help to you. The Foundation was more or less created before my eyes; I cannot say that I ever learned of it.