Thursday, August 28, 2008

To NBC News for their lousy coverage of Olympic Gay Diver Matthew Mitcham

NBC should be ashamed of itself for doing what too many politicians have done: doing something they know is wrong and then lie about it. The day is near when they will pay for such deceits. They will have fewer viewers and will be in the league with Fox News.

NBC should apologize to the swimmer and the homosexual community/movement. Our shame as a community/movement is that so-called gay and lesbian journalists (ncluding GLAAD) have done nothing to protest your incompetent and unethical behavior—certainly to expose their unprofessional work.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why people love and leave West Hollywood

To the Editor of WeHo News (

I think I understand the feelings of Geroge Reese on trying to understand the people who come to WeHo, usually with some reason in mind, stay a while, can’t seem to feel they belong, then leave, and to explain their “failure” blame the people who have lived there for years.

How many of these people are "gay?" Although it isn't mentioned, is money a problem? I’m sure living costs in So Cal are high. And if it is hard to find friends, that is hard too. But if they left somewhere else, that should give them a clue to look at themselves.

I lived in L. A. for over 30 years, love it, and still find it worthwhile to read WeHo News, Los Angeles Magazine (have you seen the current issue—a very anti-establishment issue even with the lead article on finding the best school for kids) and the Los Angeles Times.

The obvious answer to feelng a part of somewhere or some group is to JOIN and work. You do some good and meet people. If you have come to a gay-friendly city and can't find some organization to join, you have a problem being "gay." I wonder, for instance, how many women, and men, have visited the Mazer Archives there?

But what is wrong with young people moving around while they have the chance and enjoying lots of cities? Readng gay/lesbian publications, such as Lesbian Connection—women seem to be good at talking among themselves about how they feel about where they live-and publications aimed at people with special interest, such as RFD and Maize, aimed at people living in smaller towns, rural areas and in communes. I think it would be fun to experience living in Santa Fe, then Palm Springs, then Fort Lauderdale, etc.

The only issue is if you feel when you leave that you have to explain why you were not staying.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LGBT History and Journalism

I have been looking at journalists and the media since about 1960. And I have yet to find the journalists as a group or individually doing even a minimally good job of covering most aspects of homosexuality. As they have done about Britney, or gay marriage and now seem to be doing on trans issues, as to compensate for failure to attack HRC etc because of shouting by a small segment of the population, they mostly have ignored the major issues we have faced. They ignored Don Slater, continue to never mention ONE, Incorporated, which was the largest organization, and for some time created the only national homosexual publication, because of two things—ONE Magazine did not fit the popular stereotype of “gay,” and we were not young and cute and they didn’t agree with our positions.

Hal Call was attacked for going into porn, but we got no support for NOT gong into porn. We picketed the Los Angeles times and were ignored-except that the paper then changed its policy which is what we wanted. Our Motorcade, even though for once the New York Times actually did a good article-written by Peter Bart, now in Hollywood at Variety I think-but no one else did, not even the gay media.

Don Slater was doing the military issue long before anyone else, he was in court, won cases, even though the policy didn’t change, but his work was ignored, except for a brief mention, mostly in error in Randy Shilts book. I was on Regis Philbin’s TV talk show on the issue, and he was rude and there was no coverage of this in the media, as there was no coverage of Harry Hay and John Burnside’s appearance on other TV shows.

There has been silence on the few books that actually try to cover our history, such as the book Vern Bullough editged, of short bios of pioneers, Before Stonewall, and Paul Cain’s interviews in Leading The Parade. Most other books are East Coast oriented.

Show me one article in any g/l publication, by any g/l journalist on the g/l libraries/archives.

As I understand it, one of the two men whose legal case got rid of the sodomy laws (Lawrence vs Texas) died in Houston, ignored and unhonored. Now I want g/l publications to sell. But how many covers and long articles can we have on non-gay celebrities while we ignore the people who have DONE the work that changed this nation for homosexual citizens?

Do young homosexual men and women ever hear of actual homosexuals who have worked for change? Instead they are given as “inspirationals” young, cute, girls and boys who know nothing on the subject, do nothing for the cause, but look good.

Who is working to try to get academia to use homosexual educators who KNOW the subject and should be teaching classes instead of some hacks who just are handed the course to fill a pc duty to say they have “done” the gay thing? Why are universities allowed to give their students less than the best education on this subject?

I gather there is a convention of g/l journalists meeting as I write. Who are they hearing from? Is Frank Kameny being heard? Who is speaking for our cause? What we will hear are attacks on HRC by trans people who came out of the closet, if they have, a year or so ago and have done nothing on their own but want to become leaders and take over existing g/l organizations instead of taking time to learn about life.

Or we will hear from Ellen and Elton. As if they can give much insight as to how to live as an average homosexual. And as if they actually did much work to change laws and attitudes.

I wait to hear some coverage of people and groups in our community/movement that are daily working yet are never heard from yet are the ones who actually are making the changes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Article by Donecia Pea (8-5-08 issue) on Robert Darrow's receiving the G. Scott Griffin award

Donecia Pea did a good job of giving the readers of The (Shreveport) Times understand why Bobby Darrow deserved the honor of receiving the first G. Scott Griffin award, for his contributions to the local community.

His work with local theater groups contriubted our the culture of tfhe Ark-La-Tex, and his support of the Philadelphia Center helps keep it as a valuable part of the fight against AIDS.

It is good to have coverage of people who contribute positively to our community.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seatle Gay History article an example of how an activist is made

The serie of articles over the years on Seattle's gay history have been good. The one in the July 25th issue is interesting as it tells us how one person went from being an "innocent" to being an activist and working to educate people on homosexuality and the need for civil/equal rights.

Don Paulson does a great job of letting us feel how young Patrick Haggerty journeyed from being a Peace Corps person who didn't understand his feelings (and in a sense is happy he was forced to face them after being kicked out of the corps, even though at the time he missed the co-worker he loved, and the job they were doing), he went on to serve mankind as an open homosexual.

He had a supportive mother, that helped, and while he got no real help from the hospital he went into, a nurse there did the best thing possible, she said, “Listen up. One, you're gay. Two, you don't belong here. No one in this hospital has anything for should leave this hospital and figure it out on your own.” He faked a cure and got out.

Beautiful irony, he went immediately from being a patient to being a psychiatric case worker. And we, the community/movement got a gay libber, artist, musician, songwriter for the earliest openly gay LP, Lavender Country, recently archived in the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame. (Music historian Chris Dickinson describes Patrick as the "lost pioneer of gay country music.)

Truly inspirational. And then we have the humor of Leslie Robinson who talks about the United Methodist Church (my traditon) and its struggle with homosexuality and how some ministers in California are doing same-sex marriage despite the "rules" of the church and to quote her,"In other words, Methodist ministers are making matrimonial mischiel. Miscreants are misbehaving by marrying members, making a mockery of Methodist mandates. Mercy." I love it! (General Gayety, indeed.)

And the letter (thanks for using mine) of Buzz Flowers Callawy saysmuch too, when he was asked by someon about being gay-"Does it really matter?" Amen.

Two women’s articles in 8-6-08 issue of Windy City Times

There are two very different articles involving women in this issue of the paper and both are important, one historically and one currently.

First, the column Chicago Gay History, by John D'Emilio, talks about writer Valerie Taylor and has information not many of us knew. She had to struggle to support her family after leaving her husband, and was able to do this with writing later on.

She, like many in her time, (born Velma Nacella Young in 1913 in Aurora IL) had a hard time finding friends. The Ladder helped but it was local Mattachine Midwest that helped too, as she helped it, in the ’60s. And she grew and did not stagnate and did not hide in the closet. She deserves our respect.

Then we have a different take on the gun-owning issue, from (Rev) Irene Monroe, who asks the question, would homosexuals be safer is we had our own guns to fight back when attacked by terrorists/anti-gay people. This is interesting coming from a woman and also using the information from the Pink Pistols, a group founded by (Libertarian activist) Douglas Krick, in Boston. It now has 48 chapters. Self defense is an issue we need to discuss.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August Issue of OutSmart Magazine

I wonder if others were as impressed as I am with your August issue’s cover and the way it depicts the two young Christian singers, as well as the article by Steven Foster. Being Christian and homosexual and being singers makes life interesting.

But I must comment on a few other items that I think are very important. Most places have had some troubles with their pride parades, as is shown by the letter to the editor dealing with people—fortunately I assume that are gay or gay-friendly which makes it a lot less bad—who run into the parade and push for beads, etc and even try to touch cute young people. Even in family oriented Mardi Gras parades this happens, especially with drunk adults.

I always like the two political columns, LeftOut and Outright.

And it is important to warn people not to donate money to fake groups-such as the one claiming to do AIDS work which itdoes NOT do. There are several groups doing good AIDS work, but sometimes it is the fakes that seem to get the atention.

Nancy Ford’s article on the four lesbian bars is very interesting. Many cities have few if any lesbian bars.

I am wondering about the listing in the Calendar section of the listing for the meeting each third Thurday of the month meeting on glbt books at the Houston Library. Have you ever had someone cover a meeting? I wonder if many people know of it and what books are covered and how well the library “covers” glbt books. The subject of how many people read, and buy books is interesting—I think many things are interesting,I know—since book stores are closing, sales are down, yet more books are being published and C-SPAN and other places, such as blogs discuss books even as such publications as the Los Angeles Times are ending their book sections.