Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pre-Christmas Thoughts

Oh, am I enjoying Christmas Day-even though I'm not religious. 

One of our recent e-mail dialogues made me think of a good former friend, co-worker, Rudi Steinert, who was also a former HIC board member, who passed away before Don Slater, though I can’t remember when.  He lived across the street on Calumet from Tony and Don, where Dale Jennings lived before he went into the nursing home. He had relatives killed in the holocaust and was a very practical person. He got on the bus everyday and rode to a stationery store in Beverly Hills, and hosted several ONE/HIC events in his apartment. 
He would pick up men on Main St. (Need I say more?) Then he would clean them up, feed them, have sex and return them to Main St.
The reason I bring him up, is that he would explain the reason behind this special ad as sent by Jeanne Barney.  He said, the older you get, the more choosy you get.  It is nature's way of saying, I know I can’t get the young cute ones, but fortunately, I don't want them if they have any defect-so I am more\ selective—I reject them before they can reject me.  Sour grapes or something.

The ad Jeanne brought to our attention, from Craig’s List or some similar place:

I can host in my Q-shaped apartment on 39th Street between Delancey Street and Ninth Avenue. Please, no weirdos, druggies, smokers, drunks, hippie-types, fems, fats or African American colored black Oriental Asians of color. Sincere only need apply.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Architect published first Walt Whitman Work

I read an article by Eric Brock in a local paper (The Forum Newseekly, which is sort of the local L.A. Weekly) by a local historian on architects about one who designed octagon houses/building. Brock says that this man was also the person who paid for the publishing of the first Walt Whitman work. 
We need people to read all sorts of things and let the rest of us know about coverage on the subject.  We miss “Fenceberry,” both of whom are dead but were the modern version of Jim Kepner’s Tangents column. With so many articles and mentions of homosexuality, there needs to be volunteers who will let us know articles in publications or TV shows we should see.

On the Senate Caving in to Bush's War Funding plan

I realize most of you have not lived as long as I have, and been around to see politicians from Roosevelt on.
I can remember when it was the (Southern) Democrats who were racists and stopped any civil rights legislation, etc.  So it is short-sighted to blame Democrats for reality. As I said in my yearend email, my cause has made progress under every politician and “government” since the movement started in 1950, so it may be something to try to understand why—and I think this is true of the women’s and black’s civil rights movements.
But I, and those I have worked with, would still feel the same way even if we had not made progress yet.  It can be done, under our system.  The question is, how will the 10% of the population that is homosexual, plus our allies, friends, and families, vote in the coming elections?
We have as much voting power-assuming the voting machines are honest/accurate—as the “evangelicals.”  We have not made the progress we could have because rich queers have not supported our efforts all these years.  They of course think their money makes them safe and hidden—as if they are not called queer behind their backs, as are blacks, etc.
It is one thing to have been in the closet in the ’50s and ’60s, but money can be given to a cause anonymously, and the voting booth is secret. It is unforgivable for so many “gays” to keep waiting for a few cute celebrities to make “safe” for them to be open—they benefit already for the sacrifices others have made since 1950.

Our enemies support their cause; too many of us do not support ours. That is what makes the difference, and politicians have to be realistic.  It is the obviousness that we ARE making progress and our numbers are growing that has made the politicians work for us now, as much as they are.  If they are to lose the religious bigots’ votes, they might have to be able to replace them with gay votes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On Gay Retirement Centers

I would think our community would be interesting to us oldtimers if we could live where we could have meetings and share our experiences over the years.  And I would think college students would want to visit and hear these experiences to compare them with how life as a homosexual is today.  And it is even better if some of the people have lived in other places, not just good ole Southern California—although we have to pity them for not having been that lucky.  (I’m in LA, the state now, as I couldn’t afford to live in L. A. but of course loved it for the over 30 years I lived there and worked with ONE, Inc. and (also co-founded) the Homosexual Information Center.
We have lost the pioneers such as Harry Hay, Morris Kight, Don Slater, Jim Kepner, et al., but can you imagine what a pleasure living in a place with them and hearing them talk, even argue—maybe they are doing it in heaven of course.  But there are “pioneers” being made in our movement today and you may have some of them living there in the coming years and our community will be better off for having them safe and having time to share ideas as well as memories.  And the Center in Hollywood could have the benefit of these people.

For information, visit Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing in Hollywood, CA.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Homosexuality in the media just this week

I wonder what we could say if we decided to do a “report” to our community/movement pioneers, most of whom left us in the last decade.
I can tell them several things just this last week and they are all positive.
The Williams Institute (UCLA Law School) has issued several important reports on their research on who “we” are and where we are.  We are everywhere, and seem to be going into the “red” areas of the nation, including as families.
And there is new work at the Columbia University Law School’s Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic that helped get asylum for a Jamaican who feared harm if he returned  home.
Several gay/lesbian publications gave their readers Lisa keen’s  column on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of gay-friendly companies/businesses. The list has grown each year. This would make Don Slater and others happy since it means that private enterprise has been ahead of the government in giving us equal/civil rights even though many governments have also worked for domestic partner benefits and civil unions over the year.
Obviously the most important legal advance was the ending of the sodomy laws in the Lawrence Vs Texas close decision by the U S Supreme Court. Equally important an advance is legal same sex marriage in Massachusetts and in theory the equal “marital” rights in civil unions in New Jersey and other states.
I believe the media has slowly gotten better. And I believe that the entertainment “industry” has gotten much better—starting with the movie of the decade, Brokeback Mountain. And intelligent homosexual characters in major television shows such as Brothers and Sisters. These shows have discussed our issues better than some of us have.
When C-SPAN gives us coverage of a great speech by a homosexual preacher (in this case Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson) at a university (NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale FL) there can be no excuse for homosexuals and our allies to not know what resources are available to discuss religion and homosexuality.  And we can spread news of such shows by cell phones and the Internet, neither of which were available to our pioneers. 
The dropping of the “T” coverage in the ENDA bill in congress has gotten our movement/community to discuss not only the relationship among our various parts—although I seldom hear anything on bisexuality—but how we can work in politics for our cause?
We have a dozen or so gay/lesbian libraries/archives, all of which need support from our media and community, and at least that number of really good newspapers and magazines. There are queer courses at almost every major university, as well as g/l groups at the colleges.
Our causes seems to have NOT been slowed no matter who was president or who controlled congress.  That is an interesting sociological fact that needs to be investigated and explained.
So it seems to me that we have great reasons to feel gay and celebrate the past year and look forward to the coming decade, even though we will loose more pioneers, we will hopefully add new pioneers for this century.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kameny Takes on Brokaw: His Open Letter to Random House, with Walter Williams's Reply

This letter is worth reprinting, as are Walter Williams's comments, posted as a comment below.

November 26, 2007
Mr. Tom Brokaw
c/o Random House Publishing Group
Ms. Gina Centrello
Random House Publishing Group
Ms. Kate Medina
Executive Editorial Director
Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway
New York, New York, 10019
Dear Mr. Brokaw and Mmes. Centrello and Medina:

As a long-time gay activist, who initiated gay activism and militancy at the very start of “your” Sixties, in 1961; coined the slogan “Gay is Good” in 1968; and is viewed by many as one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Gay Movement, I write with no little indignation at the total absence of any slightest allusion to the gay movement for civil equality in your book Boom! Voices of the Sixties.  Your book simply deletes the momentous events of that decade which led to the vastly altered and improved status of gays in our culture today.  This change would havebeen inconceivable at the start of the sixties and would not have occurred at all without the events of that decade totally and utterly ignored by you.  Mr. Brokaw, you have “de-gayed” the entire decade. “Voices of the Sixties”??? One does not hear even one single gay voice in your book. The silence is complete and deafening.

As a gay combat veteran of World War II, and therefore a member of the “Greatest Generation,” I find myself and my fellow gays as absent from your narration as if we did not and do not exist. We find Boom! Boom!! Boom!!! in your book about all the multitudinous issues and the vast cultural changes of that era. But not a single “Boom,” only dead silence, about gays, homosexuality, and the Gay Movement.

The development of every other possible, conceivable issue and cause which came to the forefront in that period is at least mentioned, and is usually catalogued: race; sex and gender; enthnicity; the environment; and others, on and on and on—except only gays.

In 1965, we commenced bringing gays and our issues ”out of the closet” with our then daring picketing demonstrations at the White House and other government sites, and our annual 4th of July demonstrations at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The Smithsonian Institution displayed these original pickets last month, in the same exhibition as the desk where Thomas Jefferson drafted The Declaration of Independence. The name of the Smithsonian’s exhibition?  “Treasures of American History.” In your book: No Boom; only silence.

About 1963, a decade-long effort commenced to reverse the psychiatric categorization of gays as mentally or emotionally ill, concluding in 1973 with a mass “cure” of all of us by the American Psychiatric Association. No boom in your book; only your silence.

The most momentous single Gay Movement event occurred at the end of June, 1969, when the “Stonewall Rebellion” in New York, almost overnight (actually it took three days) converted what had been a tiny, struggling gay movement into the vast grass-roots movement which it now is. We had five or six gay organizations in the entire country in 1961; fifty to sixty in 1969; by the time of the first Gay Pride march, in New York one year later in 1970, we had 1500, and 2500 by 1971 when counting stopped. If ever there was Boom, this was it. In your book, no Boom, only your silence.

About 1972, Elaine Noble was elected to the Massachusetts state House of Representatives as the first elected openly gay public official. I had run here in Washington, DC, the previous year for election to Congress as the first openly gay candidate for any federal office. Harvey Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. No boom in your book; only your silence.

Mr. Brokaw, you deal with the histories of countless individuals. Where are the gays of that era: Barbara Gittings; Jack Nichols; Harry Hay; Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons; Randolfe Wicker; Harvey Milk; numerous others? No booms in your book; only silence and heterosexuals.

Starting in 1961 a long line of court cases attacked the long-standing U.S. Civil Service Gay Ban (fully as absolute and as virulent as the current Military Gay ban, which actually goes back some 70 years and was also fought in the 60s) with final success in 1975 when the ban on employment of gays by the federal government was rescinded. In your book, no boom; only your silence.

The assault on the anti-sodomy laws, which made at least technical criminals of all gays (and most non-gays for that matter, although never used against them) and which was the excuse for an on-going terror campaign against the gay community through arrests the country over, began in 1961 and proceeded through the ’60s and onward. In your book, 
no boom; only your silence.

In 1972, following up on Stonewall, the first anti-discrimination law protective of gays was enacted in East Lansing, Michigan, followed by the much more comprehensive one in D.C. in 1973, starting a trend which now encompasses some twenty states, countless counties and cities, and has now reached Congress in ENDA. In your book, no boom; only your silence.

The Sixties were a period of unprecedented rapid social and cultural upheaval and change. We gays were very much a part of all that. A reader of your book would never have the slightest notion of any of that. In your book, no boom; only your silence.

At the start of the Sixties gays were completely invisible. By the end, and especially after Stonewall, we were seen everywhere: in entertainment, education, religion, politics, business, elsewhere and everywhere. In BOOM our invisibility remains total.

The only allusions to us, in your entire book are the most shallow, superficial, brief references in connection with sundry heterosexuals. Where are the gay spokespeople? We are certainly there to speak for ourselves. But in your book, only silence.

Mr. Brokaw, I could go on, but this should be sufficient to make my point. The whole thing is deeply insulting. As I said, you have de-gayed an entire generation. For shame, for shame, for shame. You owe an abject public apology to the entire gay community. I demand it; we expect it.

Gay is Good. You are not.

Franklin E. Kameny, Ph.D.

Dr. Franklin Kameny
5020 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.  20016
Kameny Papers Project

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good Op-Ed on ENDA: Snatching Rancor From Victory's Jaws

Regarding a recent op-ed piece published by Paul Schindler, GayCityNews:

I may keep repeating myself, but facts are facts.  It is silly to keep quoting 300 groups as working for including ts in the ENDA bill.  Who are these people who believe their own propaganda.  That may be what's catching up with the rightwingers, so let's not get our community living in a fairyland. 
 I start with what we said in ’60s when we would publicize a NACHO meeting.  We listed lots of “groups” and numbers—Dorr Legg was an expert at distorting the facts—when the fact was that there were perhaps 30 honest people and they represented about 7 honest groups.  AND, toward the last of the meetings we suddenly found lots of unknown people showing up saying that they represented lots of people and demanding to vote and try to get us to go into other fields, including joining the Black Panthers, etc.  It amuses me to remember how Morris Kight kept telling us that we should work by consensus, a Harry Hay thought, and we knew for a fact that such things didn’t work, since one person making false claims would get us on a project that had no possible way of succeeding and what was a realistic job would thus not be done.  We didn’t care about the motive-but some had a political agenda that had nothing to do with our movement, but even if one was honestly devoted to an issue, it was nonsense to go on a tangent and waste our time, energy and money.  AND Morris suddenly forgot his previous thinking when it was his group that had to deal with newcomers with wild ideas.
Now I have a video that Barney Frank put out many years ago talking about ENDA. He was not even that famous and powerful then. I think we may have shown it at an early PFLAG meeting. This didn’t start in April or whenever someone discovered it.  Frank has proven over the years his devotion to our cause.  Even when Don Slater was not always agreeing with him, we never doubted his devotion. Now he is probably the most powerful homosexual in America. His election is NOT due to homosexuals voting.  Probably a good thing, as we now see how shallow some are. 
And what is all this nonsense about what HRC or some t group says. They don NOT represent the homosexual community, only a small portion of it. If you don't like what HRC or The Task Force is doing, do something yourself.  But why would someone or some group be negative? Be positive. Stop saying what Frank or HRC has done wrong. This has been going on for 20 years.  All  that time you could have been doing something.  Let’s see the total number of t groups and their supporters and let’s see them work. There is no doubt that some black people think the Black panthers helped gain civil rights. The fact is that they hurt the cause and slowed it down. It was the NAACP and Dr. King that got black citizens where they are today, with the support of many young black college students and some support from white and other citizens who believed and believe in equal rights for all citizens. That is what has gotten our cause where it is. Certainly we would not be here today if we waited for Ellen, or some celebrity or, some famous queer writer or some rich queer or prince on a white horse. It was provably the middle class, garden variety homosexual citizens who did the work and got us to where we are. And that is what got all minorities where they are.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guest Blogger: Paul Harris

On Sunday I managed to get a last minute ticket, after standing in the rush line, for the biodocumentary: “Chris and Don: A Love Story.”  It was about 90 minutes long and it was wonderful. The archival footage footage, especially of Don Bachardy, Isherwood’s long time artist-lover, was unbelievable. Bachardy was really cute as an 18 year old, and there was plenty of footage of him at that age and later, of course. Furthermore, Bachardy is still alive and was at the screening, happily fielding questions from the audience. One misleading thing was the film credits at the end. They gave a “cast of characters” listing, which misled some to believe that actors were portraying Bachardy when he was young. Not true. They explained that this only applied to a few spots necessary in assembling the film, and that most of it was genuine archival footage. You should definitely see this if it comes to a general release.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Other Side of Silence

I want to start making some points about my thoughts on The Other Side of Silence, by John Laughery (Owl Books, 1999).

I first would say I don’t understand why I never read the book before, and I sure hope we have it in our collection—fate got it to me as the local library is discarding unused books and here it was in the group. But I wonder if I would have the same feelings about it if I had read it years ago as I do now?
It covers a lot.  And is readable, which some have not been—such as Sear's Behind the Mask of the Mattachine.   All of the books are important in our history, but they all cover different parts and from different views.  I think Loughery does a good job, geographically.  He “got” that Dorr’s educational work was historic.  I don’t think he got that Don Slater’s work was extremely important, as much for his thinking as for his putting out the first public magazine dedicated to homosexual issues.
He mentions picketing or sitting in at the Los Angeles Times, (on 11/05/1969 in protest that the newspaper would not publish the word “homosexual”) which I have not found in the book so don’t know what he is talking about since he does NOT cover our picketing of the paper. And once again he implies that Troy Perry’s work elsewhere, including ad in the Advocate, got his church really gong.  Nonsense.  Anyone knows that it was the interview he got with John Dart the day he and we picketed the paper, a column which was reprinted all over the nation.
Equally he refers to the draft/military issue but does not give Don Credit for(or Harry, John, Vern, et al) for the Motorcade, a historic first. And the few errors I found were unimportant and geographical.  He says Morris was at TCU in  San Antonio, and I never heard of them having a branch, so assume he means Texas Christian in Fort Worth.  Unimportant.  And he misplaces Kessler first in Alabama but then says it is in Biloxi MS which it is.  Again, unimportant.
But to say that Dorr was the main financial backer of ONE is nonsense.  Dorr and Don and then Jim Kepner did wonders for ONE, Incorporated, but none of them had money.  And that is why it was so ironic that the moment Erickson came along and guaranteed us money with ISHR that, after Don and I were paid a month or two by ISHR, a point Dorr used against Don, being deceitful of course, we separated due to internal disagreements which the money should have solved, as Jim Schneider et al. said.
More later, but he, like Vern Bullough, says things that are very true and shows insight in the overall picture. I think, for instance, in Vern’s case, he alone made the point that I think is true now but didn’t the, that I was the straw that broke the camel’s back and got Don to separate.  That  point I think he makes in his introduction and is not made any where else in print.  I now think the booklet Joe Hansen did—Joe is also never mentioned in the book—is important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An open letter to CSPAN...

I believe that C-SPAN has failed to give adequate coverage to homosexuality, considering that it has been a major topic for years and hit the top ten with the Senator Craig arrest and the fight over ENDA with Rep. Barney Frank.
Only on rare cases have you covered the journalists, for instance, who cover the homosexual community and homosexual issues. When have you had the excellent editors/publishers of gay/lesbian newspapers and magazines. I can give you several that you need to have on either separately or as a group to discuss what is important currently to their readers.
To give balance, what about someone from L. A., say Karen Ocamb, who writes for two local publications (  Then for Mid-America there is editor/publisher Tracy Baim of Chicago’s Windy City Times and other media things ( And in Philadelphia we have not just a publisher of the newspaper, Philadelphia Gay News but activist Mark Segal, who can hold his own in any discussion (  Certainly there are journalists who are heard elsewhere, such as Deb Price, in her column in the Detroit News  (
And why not a show on gay/lesbian archives/libraries, with people from Chicago's Gerber Hart Library ( and the Homosexual Information Center's Todd White not only got his Ph.D. covering the history of the early movement, he has a book coming out soon from he university of Illinois Press, titled, Pre-Gay L. A. and has worked with the library at California State University, Northridge, to preserve our historic material, partly in the Vern and Bonnie Bullough Human Sexuality Collection there.
Each year there are conventions of gay/lesbian professional organizations, and certainly there could be some coverage of the Lesbian/Gay Journalists Assn.
Please try to get informed on the serious aspects of homosexual issues so that your viewers will have adequate information to judge the “sexy” issues such as Craig, etc.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Guest Blogger: Aristide Laurent

Only I would review a funeral!

We buried my long-time friend Allan Jackson yesterday. Alas, one less member of my diminishing group of old friends. It's starting to feel like a version of the Baatan Death March for Sissies.

The service was held at Metropolitican Baptist Church in Alta Dena (CA). I’ve never been to a black Baptist funeral before. I guess I can still experience “firsts” — even at my age.  For someone who was born and raised a devout Catholic, slowing morphing to lapsed Catholic, then recovering Catholic, and, finally, rabid anti-Catholic, I must say this was a totally unique experience for me.  As you can imagine the service was a long way from the gaudy, solemn ritual of requiem mass to which I've become accustomed over many years and many funerals.

The entire front row was composed of very white Mormons. Roy’s family drove in from Utah to support him in his time of loss. The second row seemed to be composed of what few blood relatives of Allan remained. I found it interesting that two of the country’s most perceived homophobic religions had come together to honor a gay man whose kindness, gentleness and love could surpass the faith-based nonsense & bigotry incorporated in their belief systems. In this church, on this day, we were all one in love and respect for a lost friend.

Former fellow poker club member, Howie, was one of the pallbearers. He looked very uneasy in his white gloves because this was probably the first time he’d been in a church since he was dunked in a cold baptismal font. Wow! Someone even less Catholic than I.

As the service began, I kept waiting for all the “hootin’ and hollerin’” I've heard so much about with Baptist fundamentalism. Everyone was very dignified ... except a member or two in the choir who would stand up, shout somethng, wave their hands in the air and sit down. The choir as a group was fine but the soloists were [to me] just dreadful. The male singer’s voice was [again, to me] extremely grating, like fingernails on a blackboard; and the female singer quite frankly could not carry a tune in a brass collection basket, bless her heart. That, too, was disappointing and completely destroyed the stereotype of gospel choirs as breeding grounds for future blues & hip hop stars. I expect no emergence of another Aretha Franklin or Al Green to come from this group.

Another lady walked up to the podium and began reading letters of praise from what seemed to be every Baptist Church in the county. She was barely laudable past the second row. The reading went on until my ass bones began to ache. We all know he was an exemplary human being, but most of my group here doesn't have all that much time left above ground. I leaned over and whispered to Gee & Richard “if she doesn’t stop reading those things soon, I'm going to go up there and rip them up, screaming ‘read this, bitch!’” The preacher spent too much time talking about himself and never once mentioned Allan’s life partner of 39 years, Roy Harris. My ballsy friend Richard called him on it at the cemetery (where the preacher actually forgot the words to The Lord's Prayer. Oy veh!). He said something like, “Oh, didn’t I?”

Then, it got down. The preacher began to preach and the audience began to get into it. People began praising and shouting and calling the name of the Lord! Then the preacher shifted into first gear and worked up a holy sweat. A lady sitting behind Korie & Miss Miller began to drown out the rest of the church with her shouting and praising. I looked over and saw poor Miss Korie with fingers shoved deeply into both ears as the lady behind him turned up the volume and flailing of hands. “OK... now we were beginning to rock,” thought I. The lady jumped up from her seat and ran into the aisle shouting and testifying until she reached the front row of mourners. All eyes were on her. She actually began to strut like a rooster, flapping her elbows back. I loved it. No Dies Irae, Dies Illa here. The only thing I understood from her testimony was that she was “80 years old and Jesus had touched her” (I assume not inappropriately). I could imagine Roy slinking down into his seat as his Utah family watched her transfixed. Roy later said that Allan had specifically requested that none of this carrying-on go on. But when the spirit moves you, ya gotta go with it. Hallelujah!

After Allan’s coffin was lowered into the ground at Forest Lawn of Hollywood, we all returned to our cars for the trip back to the church for a delicious repast of fried chicken and all the fixin’s. During the meal, people were supposed to give reminiscences of Allan. Gee and I were ready with our prepared speeches but never got to give them. I guess they were afraid we were going to tell too much. Smile. I must admit that I felt a deep tinge of sadness in my throat as the procession left the cemetery leaving Allan, a once vibrant human being, behind. I still choke up when I think how we must eventually abandon those we love so dearly to a cold grave and move on with our lives.

At least, for a few hours, the love of one gentle soul brought two homophobic religions & cultures together. Sometimes setting a good example does more than confrontation for acceptance as equal human beings. This was obviously one of those times.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You can't do everything, but you can do something

I think we need to remind ourselves of the facts of life in regard to the generic issue of who our cause/community/movement spends time supporting.
I am sometimes remembering my early life, which I mostly have forgotten. For instance, I had forgotten that as a teenager I for a time thought about trying to be a Methodist minister. My church in Sunday School was telling me that the church had been wrong to support slavery. The subject  of homosexuality never came up as far as I can remember. But at no time did I have a “problem” about my sexuality, and I have no doubt that everyone knew I was homosexual—one of the oldest sayings in our community is that other people knew we were gay before we did.
I don’t think there was any connection with my sexuality, which I did not read about, hear about, had no other person tell me or talk to me about, and my clear thinking that I should learn more about the race issue. I saw how wrong it was for our white high school—the only one at the time—to have good band instruments, books etc. and the black high school to only have what we handed down to them.  And as I say, my church confirmed this. And so did the YMCA in that its Hi-Y clubs while not talking about race sent some of us to summer camps that WERE racially integrated, in the south, in the late ’40s—I graduated in 1950. So in a sense I was involved in the black civil rights movement. I also supported the black bus boycott in Baton Rouge in the early ’50s, we picked up people needing a ride, and the boycott was successful. LSU started racial integration with graduate school people in 1950.  There were mixed emotions about this as the people at Southern University feared it would destroy the successful black colleges. But the Methodist Church and the LSU and Southern YM/YWCA clubs held joint meetings to get black students and white students to get some understanding of each other. By the way, it was always rumoured that LSU had a policy of trying to get students from No LA, mostly Protestant, as roommates with students from So LA, mostly Catholic, as we really were from two different worlds culturally.
My point is that Iwas thinking about the black civil rights movement. I, for instance, took it upon myself to write letters to advertisers in the Negro Digest thanking them for supporting Negro publications. The Dean of Men at LSU called me into his office finally and told me my grades were lousy and I should spend less time on such work and more on studying. I knew I was not going to be able to get better grades studying—I just was lousy at Latin, chemistry, and even biological science after repeating them in summer school. I graduated barely because the moment I got into sociology I knew I understood it, and even though I ended up with equal hours in psychology and education, since I spent so much longer in school, it was sociology that gave me grades to graduate. It was common sense. And it was in a psycholo0gy class that I said to the professor after some class that based on what they were teaching, I must be homosexual—I had had sex acts since 6 but never thought about it intellectually.
And after finishing midterm February 1955, I went into the army—I had already had the exam while in college, and left from Shreveport on a bus to Camp Chaffee AR. That was probably the most interesting act of my life it was going to be a total mystery to me. I had known something of college but had no idea of military life. It turned out to be ok, and of course the military was already racially integratd that was never an issue. I then went to Ft. Riley KS, a brief time at Ft. Benjamin Harris (Indianapolis) at Finance School. Then I was kicked out back in Ft. Riley and drove home to Bossier City, left the great Pontiac convertible, got on the train and went to L. A. And after two “regular” jobs over the next years, I started in the movement, taking the first step in 9/59 at the Mattachine Convention in Denver, and with Hal Call, then back to L. A. and ONE.
I say all of this to show that I had already had an interest in two civil rights movements. But I chose the one that hit me personally. I could not have done much for either cause but did what I could, as I still do, for the one I chose.
This is what we generically have to face when we have our organizations and publications under attack for not supporting a lot of other causes. We started an organization to work for civil rights for homosexuals. We don’t oppose other civil rights efforts, and if possible will work with them. But it’s truly ignorant people who think that is easy, and that other causes even want our help. Look at Bayard Rustin. He tried to promote both causes and got no help even from Dr. King. I think King was right: you have enemies for racial bigotry already, so why add enemies for sexual or religious or other reasons? Certainly bigots already accused the movements of being communist controlled, even of being un-Christian and to add queers would not help Dr. King’s cause.
Now we have the issue of slowing the movement for homosexual equal/civil rights so we can add the trans rights. As I’ve said before, listen to the tran leaders, who now want to be added to our “parade” even though for 30 or more years they have rejected any cooperation. For a few trans people to say that they have worked for years does not change the fact that their “leaders” and publications often have NOT wanted to work with homosexuals.
Part of the problem is that there are several types of trans—we even have had internal problems with male and female homosexuals not wanting to work together—and transvestites (see Virginia Prince et al.) rejected any effort to join the two in the fight for rights as they were/aren’t homosexual and their issue is not the same as ours. Then there are the transexuals who are not homosexual and just are seeking to change their sex and still be able to earn a living etc. Their problem is that in both cases, they can NOT be “out.”  Even if the laws are changed that will do them no good as they are hidden from their own families—spouses, children, employers, etc. Now that was true earlier of homosexuals, but it is no longer true, and thanks to allies such as PFLAG it becomes less true every month.
There are those who say that even if we get all laws changed, we will still face discrimination until we educate ourselves and the public about sexuality. That is what has been the effort of all organizations, from early Mattachine; ONE, Incorporated; DOB on. Today we are diverse yet a community/cause. We need all parts of our issue covered, legal, religious, psychological, etc. There is no conflict with supporting the organization or publication that is most important to each of us. They are all good and none should fear another. The Lesbian Connection serves, for instance, certainly women in our movement/community. They deserve support. But the National Council for Lesbian Rights also does great work and deserves support. Perhaps some women can support both efforts, but if not, they should choose one rather than giving up and not supporting either. No one should judge someone for which choice they make. Supporting one does not mean you oppose the other.
Hopefully we can read more than one magazine or newspaper. But we can’t read them all. If you or I can’t read a publication that may have a homosexual article, then hopefully some one in our commuity WILL read it and let us know about it. The Advocategives us more current news and about celebrities.  Our local gay/lesbian newspapers give us local news.  But if we are serious, we need to think about our issues, and that is why we need such publications as The Gay & Lesbian Review.  For information as we travel we can read gay travel publications, hopefully ones that will give us GAY information and not just general information we can get from AAA or other general publications.  And for an overview of our community and the services available all over the nation, we should use and support Gayellow Pages.
Some of us are religious and we thus want such groups and publications for our faith as Connection, the publication of Kinship, the (homosexual) Seventh Day Adventists. Even those of us who are not religious should understand that we should not give the bigots control of religion. And the same with political parties. Why should we let the bigots have the Republican party? If you believe in most of their thinking, join and fight to guide the party to be in favor of equality for all Americans. That does not mean you have to call Democrats bad.
I may just have missed the discussion of these issues in our media. If so I hope others will guide me to the places that are covering serious discussions. But even if there is little support for this type of discussion, and few advertisers, our media owes it to our cause to try. And we owe it to ourselves and future homosexual men and women to understand the issues and know what we need to do and know what resourees are available and even if we need new resources.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Articles in current issue of Gay & Lesbian Review

I want to talk about the good things in the current issue of the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide.
I hate to start with a negative, but that ad from the Hanns Ebensen travel thing says they had the first organized gay travel and of course ONE, Incorporated did.  In fact when we separated in 1965, Jim Kepner was on the 2nd or 3rd such trip to Europe.
I liked the articles on Isherwood, and this is relevant since as we know, things seemed good for homosexuals in Germany, then things went terribly wrong, as Harry Hay pointed out.
I liked the thoughts on Lauritsen’s book on Frankenstein, and how we sometimes internalize hate from society. Jesus didn’t mention homosexuality as the article points out, in the next article (from religion to eros). And black men being castrated as one article discusses is like the scene in Brokeback Mountain where the young boy is shown the castrated gay man. Strange fruit indeed.
As I said, I liked Percy’s letter and book review. But I didn't like Mississippi Sissy. Nothing like my experience in early Louisiana.
And the articles on Japan and China keep us reminded of homosexuals in other countries. And the book on theories of homosexual (Before Stonewall) is interesting. 
Anyway, thanks to Richard Schneider for another good issue.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Editors and publishers in our community need to communicate with each other and readers

I do not understand why men and women who are able to become editors and publishers of gay/lesbian publications do not seem to want to communicate with each other nor with their readers. I suggest that they all glance at an issue of Lesbian Connections and see what I believe our community needs.
Here is a well done publication that actually serves its readers/supporters. Even though it is aimed only at lesbians, the point is generic.
It has readers who write in and let other readers know about what is going on in their area of the country, share news of some book or event they know about, and even share pictures of their animals.  This is true community.
First, why has no national publication that I know of ever mentioned this publication?  The Advocate, OUT, etc. should be ashamed of themselves for their constant pictures and pages devoted to celebrities, most of whom are not gay, yet find no time to cover others in our community.  And along that line, why is it they ignore probably the best national source of groups and publications serving our community, the Gayellow Pages, the book and the online website?

Why do the readers of Lesbian Connection tell others of places in their community while the well paid writers and publications that cover “gay” travel ignore the resources in the different areas and instead give us only the same coverage we can get from any non-gay publication or writer?
It is time for homosexuals to support the few publications that DO give us information we need, that treat us as friends, not as consumers, giving us only material that helps their advertisers sell us their car or liquor, etc.  The fact that most publications give space to the people who pay for ads is understandable, but that does not mean the editors do not have an obligation to give the readers information, not just pictures of cars and clothes no sensible person would waste money on or be seen wearing.
This is the time for us to ask more than we could get in the ’50s and ’60s.  If we don't, we deserve the non-gay way we are treated.

Cell Phone contact...

For those of you who have tried to contact me by cell phone, I have cancelled the service because it was not working right. I may try another one later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comments in recent Seattle Gay News issues

I want to say, again, how much I enjoy reading not only he paper but the columns in it. I can recall recent ones, for instance, by Leslie Robinson, such as telling that MA law student who failed the bar exam how he could have handled it (Raising the Bar, 9/14).
And Beau Burriola’s columns of 9-21 on his cat that was killed while at his sister’s and how he came to like the cat and missed it, even though he is a dog man. And even more did I personally find his thoughts in the 9/28 issue of interest about how he would feel when he is old. I thought like that when I was young too, as I walked the LSU campus for the last time, knowing I was going into (drafted) the army right away and not knowing the future or what I would do in life or where.  And now I am looking back at that 20-something person from that person at 75 and find it all very interesting.  I know know the answers. I got kicked out of the army, went to L. A. and after 2 “regular” jobs, started working in the movement/cause at ONE (after spending some time with Mattachine in San Francisco) and later co-founded the Homosexual Information Center.  I obviously had no idea this is what I would do in life.
I could do this, as I had the financial and emotional support of my family and friends in LA and could not suffer loss of jobs or friends in L. A. That made a difference in how much in those ’60s and ’70s people could be “out” supporting the civil rights of homosexuals.  How good it is now to have homosexual professional groups supporting our community-medical doctors, lawyers, educators, psychologists, politicians, etc. And we have good newspapers, like yours, magazines, and lots of books as well as courses on most major university campuses helping everyone understand as much as we know about homosexuality.
I just hope that the young homosexual men and women of today don’t lose what we have given them.
(I have mixed emotions about the Chris Crain and Lisa Keen columns. I, for instance, liked what he said about gay sex police, but I think he is guilty of trying to force us to use only such terms as gay, that he thinks is best. Same with Lisa. But they at least keep us readers thinking.)

Senator Craig on NBC last night...

Even though I watched Larry Craig and wife on NBC (and immediately repeated on CNN) last night, I have no idea what to think of him.  What I do know, as we have all said, is that his arrest is a classic example of entrapment.  I don’t think it matters if he is gay or not.  What is obvious is that he still will be anti-gay and so he doesn’t deserve any sympathy. 

But it is pure evidence that many of us plead guilty even if we aren't, to avoid publicity and further costs, etc.  And that our “friends” often abandon us, many assuming we are guilty even if we weren’t.  So I hope he continues his fight, and if he really is an intelligent person, and wife and kids, he should sooner or later realize that his actions as a politician have hurt innocent people as well as the “gays” he doesn’t like or want to be.

See what another blogger has said about Craig:

Larry Criag is a Nasty Boy

I agree, mostly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GLBTQI Taliban is as evil as the religious fanatics of Islam and Christianity

Did anyone hear (Rep) Barney Frank speaking (on C-SPAN) on the floor of Congress yesterday?  Defending his support for a bill to help get equal rights to homosexual citizens? 
Who are the ones fighting the bill? Homosexuals and trans people, all “gays” who make lots of money and get lots of celebrity and benefits from doing what is popular. Appearing to be “pure” makes them look and feel good. Despite the obvious fact that in America not many “perfect” bills get through Congress, much less get signed by the President.
Who are these “experts” who want only a bill that is pure, including every possible person? It is as if they are saying that if one of their brothers or sisters has a chance to get some benefit, and they don’t, they will try to prevent that brother or sister from getting the benefit. And who made them the politically correct cops to decide what everyone should believe? They have also spent most of their efforts trying to force us to use only terms “they” approve of. As if they are experts on not only homosexuality, but also on politically or religiously correct beliefs. Which makes them like the Islamic taliban that destroys the statutes of other religions. As did Christians also.
I was there when Virginia Prince, in the ’60s told Don Slater and the others at the Hollywood Bowl concert we were enjoying, that Transvestia should NOT be listed in a homosexual guide, as they were NOT homosexual. They did not work for homosexual issues. NOW they are eager to use the clout gotten for the homosexual movement by the pioneers of the community, a brave few, and without putting much effort into the political and educational work, they want the benefits without the work.  What is that old saying, “they have not paid their dues.”
If homosexual Americans and our allies do not have enough common sense to ignore these fanatics, we deserve to suffer longer under discrimination. As it is, very few homosexuals have ever given any time, energy and money to help their cause, so it makes little difference to them anyway. They, like those early people in America who did nothing to support the efforts to free us from England, will benefit without paying their dues. And in many cases the few who do seek to help will support “celebrity” gays who do little but talk lots, usually nonsense, but manage to get on the TV talk shows and have movie stars come to their benefits. As is the case here when they work to stop our progress. They deserve to be exposed as the traitors they are. And let the trans people fight their battle, we will help, as we could with the bis, who also have done little for the homosexual cause. But as the civil rights fights of women, blacks, hispanics, atheists, etc. are not the same, who has the time, energy and money to work for all of them? The answer is that most people do nothing for any of them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On some frustrated Democrats wanting to move to France...

Perhaps things have changed since the ’60s when we told people that no where else was any better than the U.S. for homosexuals. I doubt it. As they pointed out to us when they visited from Holland etc., if you LIVE some place you are not any more free. It is only if you are a tourist who is willing to take risk you would not take at home that you think it is better. As I recall housing was a major problem. I think the same was and is true until Katrina of New Orleans and any major tourist place. People who would never risk sex in public in their home town do so there and seem upset that they are arrested. “But the gay guide said this was a great place for sex!”

At 75, I will not be going much anywhere, but I believe that, considering what has happened in and to our community since the ’60s, as it started in the ’50s, there is a major change for the better. If  things seem better, in even Germany, for example, Harry Hay and others would ask us to THINK. Going from one extreme to the other is not progress. And if it is not a result of general public education, it could go in the other direction tomorrow-and to blame Democrats is nonsense. They sure are not handling the Muslims very well.

And what’s more important, why would anyone want to leave their homes to run to a “safer” place? That is what the nation’s founders had to do since their governments didn’t allow them a voice. That has not been true here as if proven by how much we have changed things since the ’50s. Work to change things, don’t run away. And stop killing ourselves—suicide is nonsense, do something against those who harm us, not ourselves.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Guest Blogger: Jim Schneider

Regarding the Memorial Service of Yolanda Retter
Attended by HIC President James V. Schneider

This was the best organized memorial I've ever attended (exept for the end).

I arrived at MCC early by myself in time to get a good parking place.  The first four rows of seats were roped off for speakers, so I sat in the 5th row from the front.  A heavy lady sat on  the right side of me, and lo and behold, Karen Quimby spotted me and moved in to sit on my left side with her partner.  We had a nice little visit. Karen (who resigned from ONE a few years ago) now has a job representing people in the U.S. Congress from Santa Barbara where she and her partner live. At least 200 people attended and took up nearly all the seats. Only 20 men attended.  The rest were women, including one couple who brought their two young kids along. People from ONE Archives boycotted the event, except for Walter Williams who spotted me and came over to shake hands. He brought his laptop computer full of a big dissertation he wanted to present. A filming crew recorded the event from the upper balcony in the rear.  You may get to see a copy of the filming later on. Stuart Timmons contributed to the cost, but did not attend that I know of.
Scheduled speakers were pretty well organized and had humor in their messages. Music was superb. One Hispanic lady played her guitar and sang in Spanish. This kept the audience very attentive, except when it came time for ending with audience participation, at which time those who wanted or prepared to speak were asked to stand up and move to the side of the room in a row.  20 of us stood up and moved as directed. Then came a drag which was unexpected. Speakers were taking too darn long to read boring papers or recall uninteresting things from memory.  The emcee did not limit speaker time to 3 minutes, instead of letting them ramble on and on —7-8 minutes each.  Walter and I were near the end of the line when this problem was recognized. Half of the audience became bored, got up and walked out at which time they stopped the speakers and ended the memorial. Neither Walter nor I got to speak. I followed others to the refreshment room, ate and then left for home.     Good nite from Jim

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Good Old Days...

I’m about to try to cover a little flavor of the letters I faxed to Jim Schneider and Joseph Hensen in 1997– ’99. And our published newsletters would cover the history too. But obviously I am intrigued by rereading a decade later what in a sense is current history, compared to what we were doing 50 years ago. It seems to me that there has been more change in things I am in or interested in the last 10 years than all the 40 years previously.

Jim (and Joe) would know the difference; from phone calls at high cost, to the fax, after Don Slater died, at a cheaper rate—12 cents a minute I think and then 5 cents—(I sent hundreds of newspapers a single page on the book A Few Doors West of Hope) as I do now by email at NO cost.  And cell phone, so I don't have to be at home (although this one does lose calls, etc.)

And think about it, Todd White alone came in this time period. And Ron Tate retired and became active. I finally met and visited with Bill Percy, as did Paul Harris and Melvin Cain. While I used to have phone visits with Jeanne Barney and Morris Kight, not as much as I do by email now (I'm not sure she considers this a plus of course.) And I didn't know Aristide before this decade, or Tobias (Toby) or Toby (Johnson).  The sodomy case came after Don, but I think the CO case had happened before he died, didn't it? And the surge of gay characters on TV shows, and I had not heard of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert before—I didn't get satellite here in Louisiana before 2003 I think.

Some of the old issues remain—people still trying to stop us from using the term homosexual, the media still covering only the celebrities—how many covered Yolanda Retter’s death?  And I see letters I wrote in the past decade saying the same things I'm saying today. And we discussed before Don’s death about getting HIC on the internet and now Todd is doing that. And if our material is safe at CSUN and is known and available then that will at least make it hard for future historians to say they didn’t know our views and information and what we did.

I have said before but will say again, there are two things that are of great interest to me, and things that I dont think I or anyone else would understand when they are young. First, I have now outlived most of my friends and enemies. And second, in a sense I have lived to find the answers, or know how things turned out when I/we thought about the future 50 years ago. I’m afriad one thing didn’t change: me.  Specifically, I can (if I could send copies to you, show you how terrible my typing was on an old typewriter, still sitting on the floor in the kitchen, with no ribbon available—it was an old Sears given to me and can’t  be used now anyway), but it cut off part of letters, etc., and had lots of typos, and even with spell check I still have typos, but at least the letters are not cut off, etc. And oh how much easier typing is this way! And the cell phone, if working, is free after 7 and on weekends, and costs less than the old house phone.

As opposed to the old stereotype of older people telling young kids how much better they have it today, I'm telling them that and it is TRUE. I have always, for instance, told students that if they want to see how much progress has been made in talk about homosexuality, go look at old issues of Readers Guide to Periodical Index and see how few items are listed in the 60s and then glance at today, where hundreds a month are listed, even though most are from the Advocate and still don't reflect a diversity of opinion as much as ONE did back when it was the only publication.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Guest Blogger: Aristide Laurent

The Advocate celebrated its 40th birthday in West Hollywood last night. Being the last of the Big Four who started The Advocate back in 1967, I was invited to attend ... not by the latest powers that be but by my friend Stuart Timmons, acclaimed author of the tell-all tome Gay L.A.

The Hollywood Cat Lady (a/k/a Jeanne Barney) was similarly snubbed but invited by Stuart to attend as one of the remaining Founding Fathers/Mothers of the gay press movement. She snubbed back and refused to attend. You don't go, girl.  For anyone old enough to remember, Jeanne B used to write the advice column, Smoke From Jeanne's Lamp, for the old Advocate

The hearalded event turned out to be a gathering of the truly fab-boo. For being 40 years old, there were very few people in attendance who who were 40 years old or older. But,.then, maybe I'm the last of the great gay dinosaurs. After all, I was a mere child of 4 when I helped produce the early copies of the Advocate in the basement print shop of ABC TV studios. Cough. Cough.

The Advocate has, indeed, come a long way. In fact, it's come so long a way that Dick Mitch & Bill Rau, the original creators, are probably rolling over in their graves somewhere in the outskirts of Visalia, California. [Note: After their sale of the Advocate to David Goodstein, they bought a ranch outside of Visalia and raised multiplying onions ... really ... no joke here.]

After Dick Mitch was arrested in a bar raid and charged with lewd conduct in the late 1960’s, he became a fired-up activist and, with his lover, Bill Rau and friend Sam Allen, they bought the Pride Newsletter and changed the name to The Advocate. Since it was dangerous to be a "pervert" prior to the liberation movement, you didn't use your real name for fear of reprisals, not only from harrassment by the LAPD but the ever present possibility of losing your day job, family & friends. Dick Mitch became Dick Michaels, the editor; Bill Rau became Bill Rand; and I became “P.Nutz,” jack of many trades. As many of you know I provided the so-called “humor” of the early Advocate in a monthly column titled “Mariposa de la Noche” (Butterfly of the Night). When I look at those columns in my mature years, I shudder. What a flamer I was! [No rebuttals, please].

The defining purpose of the early Advocate was to unite and inform the gay community of what was happening in their closed society. When Goodstein purchased it and took over, it evolved into a glossy fashion/celebrity magazine. Perhaps that is because the main stream media was now covering gay news and there was no particular need for a newspaper/magazine which specialized in such previously regularly occurring stories as bar raids, lewd conduct arrests, pro- and anti- legislation in various halls of government, etc.. So we became fabulous.

And, last night, the fabulous people turned out for The Advocate’s 40th birthday bash. Mayor Villaraigosa was there; a gay Marine wounded in Iraq was there; Katherine Heigl fresh from her Emmy win for Grey's Anatomy was there (she's really beautiful but should eat more!) with her fellow nominee T.R. Knight (who looked much better in person than on the series). The celebrants in attendance were the young and the beautiful: gay young male gym beauties, straight young female beautiies in flowing fashion, lesbians dressed to the nines in the latest lesbian gear. This was a long way from 1967. For all my efforts back then, I had become an anachronism. Hmmm.... do I sound pink with envy? (see photo)

The fact that The Advocate had gone from being an advocate for gay rights to a commerical success was evident in the dominating presence of corporate sponsors, from a s representative of Southwest Airlines who addressed the crowd, to a shiny Saturn convertible for on-the-move gay couples. Sky Vodka provided the [free] pink “advocate martinis” which helped me keep smiling and hob-nobbing with the I’m-more-faboo-than-you crowd.

There were video greetings from a number of celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien and a host of others. I guess that is, indeed, progress as the stars of old, such as Liberace, Rod Hudson, Merv Griffin, et al., would never, ever have acknowledged the existence of those of us on the fringe of society back then.

While I stood there and downed one advocate martini after another, Stuart did what real cocktail partygoers do and worked the crowd. He shook hands with L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa and handed him a business card which read: STUART TIMMONS, HOMO HISTORIAN.  That cracked the mayor up, though I’m not sure he understood what it meant. The present editor of The Advocate assured Stuart & me that we “must get together and talk about the early days of The Advocate” ... hug, hug, kiss, kiss .... “Oh darling, there you are..... so good seeing you...” hug, hug, kiss, kiss. It wasn't actually phoney ... it's just what people do at cocktail parties. It's also why I try to NEVER go to cocktail parties.

As we left the gathering of the truly fabulous, I thought to myself: My job here is done. Let the young and the beautiful take it from here.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gay/Lesbian Publications on newsstands or online (as compared to old days)

The first question should be, are homosexuals reading the publications aimed at them. If not, can that be their personal failing or that of the editors and publishers? Here’s what I found at the local bookstore, good and bad.
Instinct Magazine has an excellent series of articles on the homosexual community in Durango CO. But most gay men’s magazines spend most of their space on silly clothing and non-gay celebrities. So it is good to find coverage of people who are working to change things.

In most gay publications the people covered are models, or people who may be gay but have done nothing for our community/movement.  That must mean that the editors are interested in celebrities, or think their readers are only interested in celebrities. I also find that many publications have not only ads, which is good, but articles on products, which means they may be like too many motion picture producers, who make money by putting products in their films. That is of course ironic since in the early days ONE Magazine and others could not get ads.

Outlook Magazine and others have book reviews, such as the new book by Victor J Banis, Longhorn. But none have reviews of books that cover homosexuality seriously. But we learn of a James Lyon who was in the movie Poison and died.
The Advocate has mention of the coming production of the Beebo Brinker Chronicles, by Ann Bannon, and a letter from Toby Johnson about how gay bombs might be a good weapon. 
Several publications have ads for the new retirement developments for wealthy homosexuals, such as the one at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, the ones in Santa Fe, Blue Ridge NC, etc. This is a sociologically interesting development in our community. Most ads are aimed only at rich gay/lesbian readers, as are the articles, on expensive housing, cars, clothes, vacations, etc. And most could be found in any general publication as they are not aimed specifically at homosexuals. In fact travel writers seem to never cover a gay/lesbian center, library, historical site, book store, but only cover hotels and bars that in some case are not even mainly gay. It seems to me that a gay visiting a new town would want to find the local gay/lesbian newspaper or magazine, and see what information the local gay/lesbian center would have, and perhaps find the local gay church.
Curve had lots of articles on lesbians, most of whom have done something for the cause, which makes them a better supporter of those who are working in our community.
OUT Magazine is an example of how the men’s magazines often are the opposite-they cover no community/movement people. I would like to discuss with the writers of the article in the current issue that devote a lot fo space to two men, one of whom adopted the other and had to get the state of Illinois to change its laws to do so, was a millionaire and the two men then spent their lives to growing lovely gardens. Is that what gays do? Apparently all their money and time and energy went to gardening and none to helping our community/movement.  And they are they type people OUT covers. Where are the articles on men and women who are working in our community/movement, dead or alive? I would think young homosexual men and women would be interested in knowing who changed America for homosexual citizens in 50 years and how they came to do it.
If so, they will, sadly, have to go to non-gay publications. I direct them to Details, which covers the issue of a homosexual man who has been in and out of the military and is an example of why we need to change the rules, something our movement has been trying to do since the early ’60s.
But on one of the most important issues we face, we also have to go to a general publication, Mother Jones. Here we find a great article on the issue of what makes us homosexual—or as the pc people would insist, gay. And here we find the view Don Slater and ONE/HIC has been making since the ’50s: it is NOT a good idea to insist that we are born homosexual. It doesn't matter whether or not this is true. It is lousy politics. And it can and is backfiring. The ex-gay and NARTH people are using it against us and there is a danger that the issue will go backwards and become a “medical problem” in which the main issue, our civil rights, is lost.
And the issue is found in another place, not on the newsstands but in a religiously oriented publication, the Record of the Evangelicals Concerned. Among the interesting news items we find a discussion of the Exodus, ex-gay meeting in Los Angeles in mid-June. And the strange statements by what have been promoters of ex-gay issues, such as Alan Chambers, who admits that he still has homosexual desires. More ex-gays have recanted, Michael Bussee, Jeremy Marks and Darlene Bogle. And covered is the “issue” that the Southern Baptist Church is still promoting ex-gay work but in a “kinder, gentler” way. But a member of that church has said that he thinks there may be a biological component of being gay. Is that good for us? Some think so, but most of us think that merely means we can be forced to change if they can find a way of doing that.
But is this and other important issues being covered in our press? Are we seeing books on the subject (Besen does cover it)? Mostly we are seeing books promoted by closeted gays who were rich and famous but now are safely able to come out thanks to he 50 years of a few homosexuals and allies who devoted their lives to making changes but are ignored by the current editors and publishers.
I of course have a conflict of interest, but I have no doubt that ONE Magazine, and later Tangents, did a better job of balanced coverage of homosexuality than the publications of today. Today there are so many, as in organizations, that they can specialize. But they even in doing that do not serve our community well. How many even have editorials? They seem to not want to say anything that might upset readers or advertisers, much like our politicians. And they often don't even have letters to the editor sections, so they don't even let their readers have a voice. Most don't carry movement news. 
I think it may be a good thing that many people now turn to the internet and gay/lesbian sites. There we find news, and views. So I won't have to go to the newsstand in my local book store much any more. Once the advertisers learn this, they may go to the internet too, where most of us have gone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Letter to the New York Times

History will judge President Bush on his "administration" and his appointments, and it will be that he and they were incompetent and unethical. The war in Iraq will not be more important than that issue.  And there is nothing now he can do to change it. His is a failed presidency, and he has failed not only the majority of American citizens but even those few radical rightwingers who supported him.  He has in the end given them nothing, as has been true of all previous presidents. I believe that is true even in regard to the U. S. Supreme Court appointments.
What we have is a president who has tried to protect our nation from a danger, the threat of rightwing religious nuts of the Muslim faith, trying to take over our nation and making it an Islamic theocracy, by going to war, rightly so, in Afghanistan, and questionably in Iraq, and it isn't going to matter to history if the reasons given for invading Iraq were valid, the danger to us is clear.
But he and his administration have been a part of the danger to our nation from rightwing religious nuts of the Christian faith, trying to take over our nation and making it a Christian theocracy. And the method has been as dangerous as the threat from the Islamic Taliban. He has put people in places of power who either used laws to push a religious agenda, or violated laws-as has been shown in the Justice Department, etc. His "Monica" is a greater threat to our nation than Clinton's "Monica" ever was. There is no possible justification for loading a department with hundreds of graduates of one religious oriented law school (Pat Robertson's Regent University) and then have that department fire competent and ethical people who did not follow their political agenda. And that is not even to consider the incompetence of Alberto Gonzalez.
If Bush is truly religious, then he must be judged as a failure since under his stewardship our nation has been made a less safe nation to live in, and he has threatened our civil liberties unnecessarily which it was clear he would do when he was willing to threaten the civil liberties of homosexual citizens to gain political favor with bigots in order to win elections.
It is ironical that his administration has violated the military's policy on homosexual personnel, don't ask, don't tell, and kicked out valuable people needed to fight the war in Iraq, and so we have, in theory, only heterosexual men and women fighting a war that is important to homosexual people since if we lose the "war" the Muslims will follow their 'book' and laws and kill us.
In addition to his own sins that history will judge him for, his party has so much sleaze and hypocrisy that that alone would lead "history" to say his time in office was a terrible time. As many people have said, no work of fiction would be believed if it covered the many acts of hypocrisy that has come from Republicans, who claimed they would lead our nation back to dignity and morality. How do you explain that the very people who tried to pass laws against sex acts have been convicted of seeking and performing those very acts? How do you explain former Republicans now in jail for stealing from the taxpayers?  How do you explain law enforcement agents who violated the laws they were hired to enforce, going into a hospital and trying to coerce an attorney general to allow them to violate the law?
When they were willing to violate the rights of one minority, homosexual, that should have been a warning to intelligent Americans that they would be willing to violate any and all citizens' rights if it benefited their agenda. And if a term said it was wrong, they would change the term, as Karl Rove was so good at doing.
At the end of his time, we are worse off in every way than when he came into power, and that includes the radical righwingers he let dictate to the rest of us. They did get special rights, as did corporations, and the rich rich, as they falsely accused homosexuals and others of seeking—as science has shown, when someone accuses you of something, you can be sure it is they who are guilty of it.
The next election will tell us whether or not Americans have learned to judge a party and person by their actions, not their sermons. We will know if they have learned what is really important for our government to be doing to and for us, whether it is keeping homosexuals from marrying and from fighting for the country in the Armed Forces or keeping religious bigots from dictating what we have to believe.  Do we want to fight a war based on what some people think their Bible, or Koran says about how the world will end or when a "savior" will return, using another nation's existence as a TOOL?
History will judge American citizens too, as will future generations, if they are still free.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Review of Gay L. A.

Gay L. A., by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons, from Basic Books, NY, 2006, $27.50, 429 pages.

A review by someone who was there for about a 10th of the material covered.
The main thing this excellent book points out is that the continuing  movement for civil rights for homosexual Americans started in about 1950 in Southern California, by the founders of early Mattachine (Harry Hay, Dale Jennings, et al.) and ONE, Inc. (Tony Reyes, Don Slater, Dale Jennings, Dorr Legg (Bill Lambert), Martin Block, et al.), which came out of that start, and that each decade since then there has seen a large growth of people and organizations and publications that pushed he cause forward.
The first 100 or so pages cover early L. A. which was transgendered Indians (often called berdache) and then the closeted movie stars, none of whom did a thing to make the world a better place of homosexuals—and there were ways to do that and remain in the closet, then as now. Then we come to the moment when a few good men and women decided to fight back, at the discrimination, by cops, preachers, psychiatrists, and the media—which gaily published names, address and employers of those arrested. Women were arrested as well as men.
And the work of ONE, Inc. is covered after the early Mattachine essentially died in L. A. as it was "moved" to San Francisco by the Hal Call faction which took over to remove the communist legacy that they feared would eventually destroy the cause in the McCarthy era.
The internal disagreements in ONE that eventually led to a separation are covered in a sense, but not well, as I will discuss later. But almost every decade saw gay/lesbian groups have internal disagreements, up to today, so that is a generic problem.
When ONE was the only local organization it had to do everything: publish its main work, ONE Magazine, and then educate homosexuals and non-homosexuals-often while under attack for making the issue public which closeted gays feared would hurt them by making the public aware that not all homosexuals were acting like the opposite sex.
Each decade from 1960 on saw new organizations, such as PRIDE, publications like the Advocate, and later specialized groups, such as political ones (MECLA), religious ones (MCC), ethnic groups, women's groups, running and hiking clubs, as well as the a growing number of gay bars.  And finally homosexuals became politicians and won offices, such as state senator, and became judges. Gay attorneys became willing to handle cases which they had been afraid to in the first decades. (That is why the movement had to rely on allies such as attorneys like Eric Julber, who handled the ONE Magazine case all the way to the U S Supreme Court, and won (1958) and Herb Selwyn, who incorporated Mattachine and the Homosexual Information Center and other groups and handled arrest cases. They didn't get as much notoriety and make as much money as others, such as Gladys Towle Root or Harry Weiss, but the did the most important work for the nascent movement.
The authors say what they intend to do in their introduction and tell us what they did in the ending pages. Mostly they did a good job in the 351 pages, and they give us lots of notes and an index. Any student of the history of the homosexual movement will have to know what is in the pages of this book.
But regarding the one part of history that I was in, I believe that the authors, for what eve reason, seem to have a biased view of the problems at ONE, Inc., and I wonder if the fact that Stuart was at one time a director of ONE Institute might have given him a biased view of the facts. I'm not sure they would have come out different even if they had interviewed me, wich they could have but didn't. But I will leave it to my co-workers at ONE and the Homosexual Information Center (many of whom are no longer with us) and to other serious scholars of the civil rights movements to point out some significant distortions of the facts.
Often it is just the words they select that give a "flavor" that is wrong.  For instance, Faderman and Timmons seem to say that Don Slater agreed to sign a settelement agreement, as if Dorr Legg didn't have to sign the agreement too.  And they imply that Don owed Dorr materials, when a reading of the settlement (which is on our website at, as is much of the material covered, including a famous speech by Dale Jennings that the book mentions but fails to cite) would show that mainly all Dorr got was the right to the name "ONE." And they imply that Don held material and didn't give it back till his death in 1997. In the first place, the notes of this hisotyr are full of material from ONE Institute, which would seem to say Dorr had the material--otherwise how woudl Faderman and Timmons have access to it? But Don Slater's death was irrelevant since the material belongs to the Corporation and not to him as an individual.
A distinction that should be made is that ONE Institute is not ONE, Inc. ONE, Inc. is owned by the funding arm of ONE, the Institute for the Study of Human Resources, so that any material in dispute would be ONE's, not the Institute's. 
The authors seem to say that the internal problems in ONE were mainly between Don and Dorr (the only remaining, and equal, co-founders of ONE, Inc.) and only became problematic in 1965. The problem had actually been building for several years, as former board members kept pointing out to Don. Many were upset over Dorr's behavior and attitude. As several told Don later, they had warned him, but until Legg hit the magazine, Don just ignored the problem. But they pointed out that ethically only Don and Dorr had a right to decide what ONE would do as they were the reason it existed. And there were obviously two sides to the issues: Dorr was right that we needed to promote education with the education classes and that lousy Quarterly, etc. But they were local and money spent on the courses was not getting a return. Don was right that the magazine brought in the money and "educated" a national audience.
What I never understood is why this was an issue in 1965, since by the time Reed Erickson had come from Louisiana, as I had (and LSU as I had) and was funding our work by ISHR. Later Dorr would try to deceive the court and public by claiming that Don was mentally ill to have moved the material and was not even a ONE employee at the time. Technically (although time would prove Don's mental ability was better than Dorr's) that was true, since once ISHR was started, Don and I were "moved" to ISHR, and paid by ISHR, so as to help cut the overhead at ONE. 
When Dorr rigged the election in 1965 (to keep me from being elected to the board, which again was strange since up to that time I worked mainly with Dorr, not Don), Don knew he had to do something to save the work he had done since 1952. He consulted with an attorney and then acted. On Easter Sunday, 1965, a few of us (Don, Tony, Jano, Melvin and I) moved ONE to Cahuenga Blvd West. Dorr refused to try to compromise, and Jim Kepner got what may have been a "deciding" vote, Chet Sampson's, to go to Dorr by telling him Don would not last a month—another bit of evidence that even good people can be wrong—and thus Jim Schneider's attempt to get a settlement was killed and  as a  reward for his  work  Dorr kicked him off the board.
Dorr filed a lawsuit to recover ONE's materials. His attorney, Hillel Chodos, was misinformed from the start, but then blundered and got the judge mad at him, and our attorney, Ed Raiden (and Lequita McKay) was doing a good job, so the judge made it plain he was not going to waste much time on this frivolous case and the attorneys decided to work fast on a settlement, which they did and the judge approved.
Dorr immediately violated the settlement by issuing a claim that we were crooks and he had won. One day he and I were sitting on the floor in our office on Cahuenga dividing books we were going to give him, and the next we stopped all contact. We did NOT give up the name ONE.  Since The Tangent Group (a dba) had incorporated in the name of the Homosexual Information Center, and was the first honest homosexual organization gain tax-exemption, we continued to operate as ONE for tax purposes, until we closed the Bookservice years later. Government agencies knew and understood the two ONEs and we had no problem.  I think later there was also a third ONE, since the center in Long Beach at first was ONE in By ABCBeach.
There are other little questions I have as to why the authors chose to cover one incident and ignore another which was done by HIC.  For instance, they (in covering troy Perry and the MCC also cover him picketing with Gay Lib (and Morris Kight) at the Los Angeles Times, and getting a good mention the paper. The reason for the picket I gather was trying to get the paper to use the word "homosexual." Well, why do the authors ignore, then, the HIC-sponsored picketing of the paper, earlier, which was over their refusal to let us use the word homosexual in an ad for a play we were helping sponsor, Geese, by Gus Weill, also of Louisiana? We held discussions after the performances, and while we got no publicity, the paper did change its policy. Troy Perry got the publicity then, since John Dart, a religion writer, came down while we picketed and interviewed Troy and his article was carried not only in the Los Angeles Times but in many other papers.
Also, while the authors cover our work as the Committee to Fight Exclusion of Homosexuals From the Armed Forces, they say only that it was covered by ABC news. Why do they not say the person was Connie Chung, and that Tom Brokaw also interviewed us for NBC. They say correctly that the Los AngelesTimes ignored us but don't say that Peter Bart, now with Variety, did a good article in the New York Times. They gore Don’s further work with draftees, covered by Randy Shilts in his book Conduct Unbecoming. Don won court cases and was successful in his legal work, using attorneys, psychologists, etc.
They report that someone appeared on the Regis Philbin show. Why then not point out that I also appeared on his show, and was treated badly. And that I was on the Louis Lomax show, Don was on Joe Pyne, and Harry and John were on shows, etc. But probably most important, they don't mention that Maria Cole and Stan Bohrman had Don Slater on as co-host of their KHJ show for a week—Don had others as guests to talk about aspects of homosexuality. If we are going to honor celebrities who seem gay-friendly now, why not honor Maria Cole who did it before it was cool?
And a part of the cause they ignore, while covering almost too much the movie stars, are writers and authors. Why do they mention Joseph Hansen only once and in a strange way? "By 1948, the center of action had moved west along with the burgeoning migration, as L. A. writer Joseph Hansen reports." (Where?) That's it! There is o mention of him being a world-famous author, probably the first "out" one, and a co-founder of HIC, with his wife Jane.
And the only other author/writer and book mentioned that I remember was ONLY mentioned because it was an example of how "Hollywood" had been fearful of gay movies. That of course is Patricia Nell Warren and her famous book, The Front Runner.
We hosted political speakers and argued when Dorr tried to support Lamport despite his anti-gay ways. We supported the Gay-In. We had a play, thanks to Don Schneider, who organized with friends a benefit for HIC by a performance of an all-male version of The Women, at which time Don [Slater] was arrested, and we changed the rules making a permit necessary. We had a good time as well as working for the cause.
Some may think I'm worrying too much about these details, but it is interesting that the authors went to the trouble of seeking out Marvin Edwards, who came to L. A. with Dorr, and was arrested and left town, so why not take the trouble of seeking out "primary sources"to be sure their version of events were right, and give readers both sides of arguments?
But the information and groups covered in this book are important and I know of no other place they are on the record. And the history of this movement and the work to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans needs to be told, just as those of the black movement, the women's movement, etc.
Because of what a few brave souls did in 1950 (Mattachine), ’52 (ONE), ’55 (DOB) and the people and groups and publications that follow each decade, starting in the dozens, then hundreds and now thousands, we now celebrate our lives, as the founders/pioneers dreamed of. We have the institutions they dreamed of, churches, center, housing for older homosexuals, in a few places for the poor, and in several places large housing developments where retired homosexuals live in luxury.
The authors have done a good job of telling this history in a book that is a pleasure to read and deserve the gratitude of those who helped make this history. This book removes any excuse for future historians not to know how we got to where we are today and who helped get us here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Oct.-Dec. 1969 issue of Tangents Magazine. Cover story: “The New Homosexual”

It seems strange that we could call people in gay lib the new homosexuals—but they used the term too then, and we forget, or at least I did, that major magazines, thanks partly to Stonewall, covered homosexuals in that time. Esquire had a great article, Time had a messy article, etc.  But I think it may be worthwhile to look at what we did that issue, and suggest that today's editors might want to think about how the world will look back at their work 30 or 40 years later.
(The cover, by Joe Johnson is red and white with picket signs, including Kameny's Gay is Good.)
The editorial was fussing at Time for its silly handling of its October 31st coverage (“The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood”).  Same of sick theory, etc.
The main cover story was interviews with two "new homosexuals," Leo Laurence and Gale Whittington, co-founders of the Committee for Homosexual Freedom in San Francisco (Gale spoke at HIC and Leo was interviewed by Joe Hansen). Gale pointed out their work with Gay Guerilla Theatre and work on UC Berkeley campus, and San francisco City College, etc. He said members might be unemployed since employers would fire activists, citing his firing at State Steamship Co. and their picketing of Tower records for firing someone. He said SIR (Society for Individual Rights, which had thought Mattachine was old foggy) was old foggy and its members were not really "out.” He admitted they tried to infiltrate SIR and take control—something people then and now have tried to do which made leaders of such organizations wary and uptight. He said that in the future it would be the integrationists that are successful, not the separatists. They were going to picket a Pat Rocco film in San Francisco. (Exploitation problem, as they felt about another movie, The Gay Deceivers). They also picketed a drag ball by the Tavern Guild, saying it merely was a money-making effort. The philosophical thoughts of CHR is scattered, marxist, anarchistic, and even moderate and Republicanist.
Leo (also with the Institute for Homosexual Liberation) said it was an organization of thinkers.  They had written in the Berkeley Barb and formed the Committee for Homosexual Freedom. They were trying to develop gras-root support for the community. “We simply want the homosexual the bisexual to be able to live the life he wants and as he chooses, without harassment from the state, or from employers, or from the church or rom the schools, or from his neighbors...."  They want to get young people involved. They had picketed the San Francisco Examiner with about 100 people, while HIC had only gotten about 20, including Leo. Leo said HIC's picket was too quiet, they had shouted slogans in San Francisco.
There was a discussion about different ways to change things. For instance Dick Leitsch and NY Mattachine had gone to Mayor Lindsay and quietly gotten the harassment by police stopped. Leo seemed to think it needed people to get organized and force change. (He pained out how he had been falsely arrested in a S. F. picket with cops saying he did things he didn't.) He assumed our judicial system is unjust.  But the change should be from  non-violent action. First we must liberate ourselves. "The homosexual community is a scared community because of thousands of years of oppression, of being taught that it's wrong, of guilt."  "The worst enemy of the liberation movement is the closet queen, particularly the young ones, because the liberation movement is beginning to make him ask himself questions about where he is and is almost forcing him....Now when you start forcing a man to do something, you create a counter-movement against it." But you must allow people to develop at their own rate.  "Hopefully it will come before all hell breaks loose."  I find that thought interesting, since over 20 years later nothing like that happened, yet change has come, great change from my viewpoint.
In the news section, we mention the article "The New Homosexuality," by tom Burke in the December issue of Esquire.  It was a good article.  As I think about all of these names, where is this man today—where is Gale today, and where are the authors of books that have homosexual elements that we and Barbara Grier did (writing under the pseudonym Gene Damon) reviewed in 1969? We cover a brief mention of our picketing the L. A. Times when it rejected an ad with the word homosexual, saying "the word homosexual would be offensive to our family readership."  Man have times changed.  Several examples of young men in prison being raped, partly at the urging of the cops, are given, one by a Tulane law student in New Orleans, and conscientious objectors are "punished" in Lewisburg PA's prison by the guards by being put deliberately into places other prisoners can rape them.
And in Minneapolis MN in 1969 we learn of the founding of FREE (Fight Repression of Erotic Expression), at the university.  Founder was Stephen Ihrig, 21 and a unnamed lesbian. Again, where is Ihrig today??? And in Reno, the University fo Nevada has sex week featuring talks on lesbianism, etc. (Led by Rita Laporte of DOB). And there is a long exchange between Dr. Charles Socarides and his usual bull and John Gagnon (NY Sate University sociologist). Temple University named March (Margo) Frantz homecoming queen. Where is he today?
And we mention the play that was the cause of the ad we wanted in the L. A. Times, playing at the Coronet Theater, Geese, by Gus Weill. I think Weill is in L.A. and has worked with the PBS station, but I know of nothing in our field he has done. (We held discussions after several of the nights, with I think Evelyn Hooker, Joe Hansen, etc.)
In the letters section there is comment on how Playboy got uptight about letters they had (printed) from Kameny and me. And how NACHO had not really worked for the issue of homosexuals and the military, missing the point about our seeking equality of homosexuals in the military since they opposed the Vietnam war—but of course 3 or 4 groups in NACHO DID have events, such as our Motorcade, which got lots of publicity and a good article by Peter Bart in the New York Times. And there is the timeless issue (in a letter) of just what the income is of the average homosexual. AND, someone wants us to change our name to Homophile Information Center as it is more “acceptable."  Wonder wonder that dear soul would think today with lots of use of the words queer, gay, dyke, etc.
Well, what do we think about today's "New Homosexual"? Have we settled any issue we discussed in 1969? It seems strange that the government is still anti yet most major corporations are gay-friendly and large cities place ads seeking gay tourists. Yet, even with no sodomy laws now, we still have people being arrested for sex acts. And the religious nuts are still a major problem.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Leo Laurence’s Mention in a Tangents Magazine

I have been trying to reread back issues of the Tangents magazine and other material that ONE/HIC has done over the years that I have with me here in Louisiana. And while glancing at the Tangents magazine of Aug–Sept. 1969 (the the cover image to the right), I found such items as an editorial warning us to “beware the ghetto mentality.”
This editorial was backed up by Don Slater’s excellent article on the issue of the military’s policy of excluding homosexuals from the armed forces. This editorial covers the work of the Committee to Fight Exclusion of homosexuals From the Armed Force—because we opposed anyone having to tell the government about their private sex lives, pointing out that non-homosexuals were using the gay factor to avoid the draft, and that based on Kinsey and common sense, the could eliminate about a third of available men from the draft, since many non-homosexuals had had an act and what proof is there if someone has a “tendency” and that we were not a blackmail threat, etc. There was and is NO way to prove someone is homosexual. That is what we told the court in the few cases that actually got to court, and we won every time.
Of course this involved our very basic beliefs: In a sense (a message to Sen. Craig) the only authority as to whether someone is homosexual or not is that person’s word. Homosexuality is a sex act, which can be performed by many different kinds of people. (Remember, at this time the sodomy laws were still in effect so admitting you were homosexual, and having to prove it by or through an act, made you a criminal.) The question should be eliminated.  Of course, today we have no draft.
Then in the news section I read the following:

Berkeley, Calif.—“Homosexuality is a natural style of life, not an abnormality, sin or perversion. Only fascists call it ‘queer.’ Homosexuals are making major contributions to our society, and to the revolution, but history books and the press ignore it...The homosexual revolution is part of the whole street revolution fighting fascism in the U.S. By locking arms with our brothers and sisters in the movement, we will ALL win our freedom...”

So began the text of a leaflet by Leo Laurence, which he and his lover, Don Burton, distributed at a Black Panther rally in Bobby Hutton Park. In the new underground paper, The Berkeley Tribe, Laurence writes, “The Panther official who okayed distribution of our leaflets said, ‘Our board of Control hasn’t endorsed this, but we’re for anyone who wants freedom, so go ahead.’”

The next item in the issue may have been our first discussion of Stonewall. Laurence’s leaflet had reported, “The first gay riots in the history of man turned New York City streets into a bloody confrontation between pigs and thousands of gays and hypothesizers last month...” In our news item, we covered words of Jerry Lisker of the New York Daily News about police saying things were thrown and calling the Inn “a mecca for the homosexual element.”
And the Gene Damon (Barbara Grier) column on books was good—I wonder if people today have heard of the hundreds of books that had a gay element that she covered? And of course the letters to the editor were always a great part of Tangents that readers liked.