Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bayard Rustin covered in documentary, Out of the Past

Of course I spend most of my time thinking about the homosexual movement, so it is not surprising that I keep finding things connected, so here I get to San Antonio and Ron has just gotten a DVD called Out of the Past and it has coverage of Bayard Rustin.

It was good on him, pointing out mostly how J Edgar Hoover/FBI tried to destroy Dr. King by exposing Rustin’s arrest/homosexuality. At first King let him resign but (partly due to A Philip Randolph I think it was) he came back in time to do the March on Washington.

I liked the plan of the documentary. It is wrapped around the young lesbian in Salt Lake City in I think 1993 or so who started the high school gsa group. And then pointed out—even though she was not aware of the early people—Gerber and Gittings/Kameny, ending with the young teenager meeting Barbara and Kay as they are riding in a car in a pride parade (I assume in New York but it could have been the gay march in DC), but it seems that it would not have been he first one, so I was confused.

My usual complaint is that this is only an East coast “production” even though the basic theme is the Salt Lake City teenage lesbian. It covers mention only, as far as I can recall of DOB. I don’t think anything from Henry Gerber “happened” until the Daughters in the East, Gittings. I’m not sure it even mentions Kameny as being Mattachine, but it sure never mentions Harry Hay et al, and never ONE. What kind of a history ignores the very basic people and group that started a continuing movement?

I continue to have mixed emotions about the basic issue of this and almost all “histories” or biographies of homosexuals. I did not follow the usual trip apparently. I never sought out a book or worried about being the “only” one. Even at LSU I did not seek out more info—just “got it” in the psychology class and did then wonder why sociology was not covering this issue. BUT why didn’t the teenagers in 1993 have all the info they needed—not in a Mormon library perhaps but LIFE had had Don Slater and Hal Call pictured as having a publication in their 1964 article, and even by the ’80s most coverage had stopped being so negative. I was glad they covered Kameny and Gittings getting the psychiatric issue covered, but intelligent people know that a lot of “education” including ONE the magazine, institute, etc had led up to that point.

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