Monday, September 22, 2008

The Gay & Lesbian Review’s election issue (9-10/08) is good

I find the coverage of homosexual issues in The Gay & Lesbian Review usually good-discussions that are more in depth than our weekly g/l newspapers can cover. So while we almost daily,on some websites, get political news—and even Barney Frank every hour now due to the financial crisis without any mention of him being homosexual, it is good to hear his thoughts in this issue of GLR along with what others are thinking about the election.

But we also hear views on homosexuality from several people that are interesting (the people and views)—some of which fit my thoughts and experiences.

And I see that GLR will have an issue thinking about how the internet is going to affect our community/movement. But it was almost completely covered on the inside cover of this issue by William Percy's ad for his website ( It said it all.

We can now share our ideas and news online. Free. Fast—perhaps too fast. While it took a month to get out ONE Magazine, and almost as much trouble writing and making copies of a newsletter, and it cost lots of money to have a phone and call long distance, today we can do it instantly, and if needed get a reply instantly.

That changes everything about communication. I can now “talk” to people in a few minutes that I had to write a letter to, or spend money calling (and often not reaching) and waiting for a response. And I can talk to several people at the same time, we can share our ideas and news. That should make our community/movement work better—even if it also can do the same for our enemies.

But there is much of importance in this issue, on politics and lives of homosexuals. And the article by Michael Hattersley got it started well. He thinks that there is much about our movement’s issues in this campaign that is like all civil rights issues—from 1948s campaign on and especially like that of the black civil rights movement. And he points out something that is seldom discussed in the black movement’s history but is relevant to us—it is possible that purists—in our case leftwingers—may lose the election for Obama by demanding perfection where they do not ask that of McCain/Republicans. That happened in some cases in the black struggle for equal rights, and what politicians to support. (Duberman, covered later, might speak to this.) The advantage of Obama is that he is not a child of that past era and its internal conflicts.

A humorous note is found in the BTW when it is “reported” that an ”untended consequence” of the Bush attempt to “Stimulate” the economy was that some people used the money to buy pornography.

The article by Barney Frank of how we as a community should view this election is important. We can not forget the question of who will make the next appointments to the U. S. Supreme Court. And we as a community need to tell the world, and politicians that we are a large voting block, and we have family and friends who will vote to help get us our equal/civil rights, and the irony is that the nation is further along on this path than many politicians.

In thinking of the question of Obama being the “real deal” Timothy Patrick McCarthy mentions an interesting “connection” between Lincoln and Obama—since the hope is that Obama will slowly come to our view of homosexuality and our rights, as Lincoln slowly came to believe in the rights of black Americans, some of whom were slaves. And that we, like blacks then, deserve our rights as a family and our dreams are as important as those of the majority.

Christopher Burnett (CSULB) is right when he, as others, says that how the vote goes on same sex marriage in California will be important to all of America, and is a vital election to win.

The article on Martin Duberman’s “return” to Harvard (for an award) makes two points that I personally have thought about much. First, young people (at Harvard today for instance) can have no idea how miserable it was to be homosexual in the ’50s. And how much harm the “professions” then were to us, especially mental health people, in his case a psychotherapist—who DID harm.

And the article by Chris Freeman (USC) on Isherwood and Bachardy is good, as is the documentary—Chris & Don: a Love Story—and among the good information I found most interesting, because it fits my personal thoughts as well as many others, is Bachardy’s thought that it was almost fate that he and Isherwood get together.

And another example, as if we needed it, of how our reluctance to be open is a waste, is found of all places in a book, The Ground Under My Feet, by Evan Kollisch, (reviewed by Lillan Faderman) mainly about a woman who escpaed as a child from Nazi germany but is also a lesbian and didn't feel free to say this at a meeting of others who had the same life changing experience. Finally she did speak of it and found total acceptance.

It is always interesing to see the list of research going on, mentioned in the Bulletin Board section. But it was funny to see the ad for Larry Townsend’s book, TimeMasters, having lost him, as well as so many people of his generation (mine too) such as Del Martin and John Burnside, to mention a few.

But they and GLR give us reason to continue to work for our cause.

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