Saturday, June 26, 2010

We need a lgbt think tank, talk about issues, goals, methods, etc.

I was talking with someone today and it reminded me of how good it was in the early days to sit with people and talk about issues. And many of those "issues" are still issues today, even though in a different atmosphere.
I see shows on C-SPAN taped at various think tank events-mostly rightwing. So what is missing, as far as I know, except in our publications, is discussion and exchange of thoughts among us in the community/movement.
I can think of many news items that are not "gay" but are indirectly related to our cause and might be useful to us if we could view them for a lgbt view.
Also, since no one can read all blogs or pcations, it would be helpful to everyone if some of us could read certain publications and let the rest of us know if they have articles of interest. An example is found on today's links in Daily Queer News. There is an article in Village Voice on glbt publications and how they may be in trouble. Comments added show how interesting others found the article, most disagreeing with the idea of the writer. That is good journalism and a good education in itself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Knowing the bgasic truths just don't seem to matter: Today someone said the civil rights movement "started' in 1945, and that the feminists have brou

In a sense it is frustrating, but it just shows that even serious people don't always seem to know how to say facts without trying to put them in context. On a morning news show a reporter/commentator started a segment by giving what would be discussed and apparently for some reason it is a legal case from the 1945 era and he said, this was the beginning of the civil rights movement.

Then a good discussion was held on C-SPAN's morning show, based on the cover story of the current Atlantic Monthly, by Rosen-she was taking questions. And her article seems to be well documented. But it still left confusion in some people's minds about why men are becoming a minority-I didn't know, for instance, that apparently in Australia they have some sort of affirmative action for boys. But the question of did feminists and NOW cause this fact that men are losing jobs more than women, graduating from college less, etc.

Poor men.

It seems to me that in a few paragraphs you could tell anyone our history, including the slow growth of women's rights, civil rights in general, etc. How wars played a part, loss of jobs men do due to strength, etc.

But that would not include necessarily a list of names and dates. BUT to say the (black) civil rights movement started in 1945 (apparently with a trial, which would mean that the homosexual movement started with Dale Jenning's trial in L. A. in 1952)., or with Dr. King's march in Selma, or at Stonewall is just nonsense and it is time we demanded that the media stop being lazy and pushing for sexy leads, teasers-how many times can a reporter say, the world is coming to an end, more right after the commercials?

And a glance at the documentary Word is out, shown on TCM this week, puts in perspective that we have been "out" at least since 1978, all over the nation, in small towns, etc. So why even then did the media ignore this? Why do they ignore it now? Why will any writer claim no one was out before someone or some event happened-which that THEY didn't know anything about the issue till THEY discovered it, whenever.

Another point I continue to find important and maybe others don't is, last Sunday, on CBS' Sunday Show, they did a segment on men's underwear-something we would have been arrested for if ONE had done it. On Comedy Central's show, Tosh.O, they did a song whose lyrics talks about anal sex, again, think about what the closet queens would have thought if they got a magazine in the '60s with such a poem, etc. If you haven't seen such examples of discussing of sexuality recently, you have not been watching TV. That to me is progress. Beyond what Playboy, etc did on the subject in the late '50s and '60s.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Word is Out on TCM last night

Anyone seeing Word is Out, made in 1978, can no longer say that the public didn't know "out" glbt people. The only reason young lgbt people didn't feel better is fi they wantd to have celebrities out to make them feel better, which is nonssense.
I would sure like to know where all these people are today, the ones still with us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is Rex Wockner the glbt media version of Fox News?

The current issue of Windy City Times has the usual weekly column by Rex Wockner, Quotelines. Usually it is what some current celebrity has said suddenly becoming gay-friendly, and promoting a new movie or book, etc. Seldom is there a quote from those actually working for the homosexual civil rights movement. Ironically, in this issue there are two troubling quotes.

First there are the relative newcomers to the cause, Get Equal or some such name, who spend time fussing at other older lgbt groups. Attacking our co-workers is worse than not having a quote at all. Sort of the issue of sins of commission versus omission.

Then I am confused at what might be part of Wockner's agenda, or view of how to help the cause in the opposite direction. He has a quote from writer Eric Marcus. The problem is that the quote is a "good" quote as opposed to the quote most of the media has from Marcus, which is a "bad" one, if he actually said it, which he either didn't or didn't mean to say.

The quote used is merely what many other people have said since the homosexual civil rights movement started in 1950-some say to be accurate it was then the homophile movement. "There's the assumption among gay people that if only this famous person came out, things would be better, and that's never the case."

To expand on what has been said, by many, is that we don't need to be honoring or be proud of someone who was or is homosexual or glbt who has not done anything for the cause, much less who has worked against the cause. So why is anyone happy or gay to claim Liberace, for instance, who actually sued a publication that said he was homosexual?

The "other" quote of Marcus is that he seemed to say that there were no "out" people before Stonewall. Why did Wockner not say this and explain it rahter than seem to try to cover it by using the quote he did Now many people immediately pointed out such people as Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings, etc, much less the people who founded the movement and first published a magazine on the subject of homosexuality? Which the media ignored even when it won a U. S. Supreme Court case (1958) in order to be able to mail a publication dealing with homosexuality. I mean ONE of course.

As young people seem to say a lot, "I'm just sayin."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time Magazine's coverage of Stonewall Uprising in the Short List section, June 28, 2010

I suggest you reread your words used in reporting on the documentary Stonewall Uprising, unless you really understood their true meaning. You say it evokes the "Rosa Parks moment of the gay rights movement." That is more accurate than most people know, including most "gays." The black civil rights movement had been going on for years, and the event with Rosa Parks was the result of long preparation for that moment. That is true of Stonewall, since there has been a homosexual civil rights movement, now called a glbt movement, continually since 1950, and the same type incidents had happened earlier in several cities, but the lazy media just had not "discovered" such an event until it happened in their area.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What we remember from having worked in the homosexual civil rights movement in the early days

I think the best part of these exchanges is getting us to look at our lives and the history we lived through and the little bit we helped make.
I must admit now, although I guess I knew it all along, is how easy my life was compared to a lot of us. I had a good early life-was having sex but never thought about it as an "issue." And none of the boys were homosexual. Most are dead now. The only part abut sex I remember-other than when parents caught 4 or 5 of us under a small wooden bridge in the alley behind our house-when I was about 4, checking ourselves out-is that i was reading in a magazine a story of Flicka, the horse, and apparently it mentioned birth of a colt, and I asked my mother what that was about and she told me how babies were born. it was totally unimportant to me-I'm guessing I was about 11.
I first thought about the subject in a psychology class at LSU in 1954. I went into the Army in Feb 55, never thought about sex the first 8 weeks, and only later had sex. And then got kicked out late 56, went to L.A., got regular job-had not told anyone where I was going, went with about $200 (on tran). Found a place/bed in a rooming house on Mariposa at 3d, near Normandie, immediately, got a job, and for about 2 years only got in movement as far as reading ONE Magazine. Finally got in contact in late 59, then went to Mattachine's convention/conference in Denver, and I think I've said the rest.
My parents knew (about me being homosexual), after the Army. But I was alone and on my own for only less than a year-all other times I had their financial support and their support otherwise even though they never really understood the homosexual part. We got back together when I joined the Methodist Church in L.A. which told the Bossier church where I was. They gave money to Tangents/HIC when I asked for it. I had lots of sex with marines and sailors, one of each on a long term basis. When in LA I picked up airmen from Barksdale AFB. I settled down for the about 13 years Melvin and I were together, starting in 1963 the day JFK was killed, having met walking down 6th Street. And don't worry about sex now.
I'm retelling this to point out that I never had any problems with being homosexual. I never had a job to lose, or lost a family, etc. I did work temp jobs mainly to be able to get Social Security and thus Medicare. Otherwise I gave all money I had to Tangents/HIC. Never planned ahead. So I also lucked out that from the family I have the house and car, which makes me able to live on a small SS income.
So that affects in a sense how I look at the issues. It sure makes a difference from what you and others had to face. And I had to learn this. But it is sure what was in the mind, and was the intention, of the founders; to make life better for young people so that they would not only not have to face what you did, but if they did, to have resources to help them.

Billy Glover

What the FBI and media and world should have learned about this civil rights movement and why we have been so successful

To Ron Tate, re: Boston Globe article "FBI gives a glimpse of its most secret layer (Bryan Bender, Globe Staff, March 29, 2010)

I could not find mention of Hal Call but did of Mattachine in 1958, which of course is a totally different Mattachine from the original one, which was started by communists, but in no way aimed at undermining the U. S. government. And in fact they were kicked out of the party for being homosexual—Harry, Dale, and later Jim (Kepner) I think.

If the FBI did its job, they would know that that was exactly why Hal took over Mattachine and moved it to San Francisco. It was tremendously successful in southern California and then less so in San Francisco, but that is generic—it was new and so it grew from one small gathering in a home to hundreds all over the state. But the people did not know of Harry's communist connection, and Hal feared if they did it would kill it. It was killed anyway, in order to save it.

That is why it is so historically important, despite the East Coast bias and wall to wall Stonewall exploitation by the lazy media, to know that the original Mattachine (Foundation) morphed into ONE, Inc., as the major people (only because they thought it was time to reach out publicly since it had been so successful in reaching people who were still in the closet) decided to go public and publish the magazine, and to do that they had to incorporate, get a public office, and later hold public meetings-to which most of the members would still be afraid to attend—etc.

And then ONE had to fight the legal battle (from 1954 to 1958) with the Post Office—over mailing the magazine. So, I'm not a happy camper if the FBI thought Mattachine San Francisco was more important than we were at ONE and HIC. I wonder if the reporter/journalist saw an mention of ONE, DOB, etc.?

But if they did investigate, they had to see immediately that Hal and ONE, Dorr and Don mainly, were "conservatives," and not a threat. I don't think there was any conscious plan, but it is clear that the movement started with left-wingers, some actually former communists-kicked out of the party, and IMMEDIATELY was taken over by extreme conservatives.

I think serious social scientists And political scientists will say that the reason this civil rights movement, which started in 1950 in the McCarthy era, has been so successful is because it took the best from the left and right and used them to work all angles. And another irony is that we did it better than the government does things, and the first converts were in fact big business.

Such a story may not be sexy, but it sure is historically important. And that is why the slogan is right-we started with that ripple in los Angeles in 1950, and have grown to a raging wave all over the nation—and the media just caught on about the time of Stonewall.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

GLBT History Timeline in current issue of Frontiers in LA

Response to Bill Kelley:

I guess. Reid R was, with his partner, who passed, heading ISHR after Dorr died. I think they were working with Dorr when they had to sue Reid Erickson (the donor/cofounder of ISHR, with Don & Dorr) to keep control of the building at Country Club Place. (We were not there obviously, having moved to Hollywood/Cahuenga Pass in 1965.) I assume Walter Williams had something to do with all these people working together and getting to USC.

The error is that the Don/HIC material was donated to ONE-we never gave it up, Reid Rasmussen, et al, never had control of our material- but we merely moved it into the building which in reality WE (meaning Jim Schneider) got ready for occupancy. John O'Brien and the ONE people screwed it up and USC stopped all communication until Jim talked them into funding the fixing of that fraternity house. (This obviously happened after Don died, but I think Dale Jennings was still around, and opposed the move as he didn't trust John O'Brien, et al.) Then we saw them, as Dorr had tried, stealing our material, and moved out and now are placing our material at Cal State, Northridge.

I think you know that Don & I were the first paid employees of ISHR, but that lasted a month or so until Dorr screwed us. As a typical scoundrel he used that fact to deceive the attorneys by saying Don was no longer a ONE person. We knew that Reed would not let us have the money, he was into education and that was Dorr's area. And that was his motive of course-not so much money or even power, but wanting to be a leader in the education part of the movement. We thought it would not work, and it didn't, but again mainly for the same reason we could not get along with Dorr.

Ironically it was the same reason Jim Kepner didn't most of the time and why he resigned the 2d time (I think in late 1960) when they then hired me to replace him. Why? The same reason ONE lost the right to grant degrees, after having it for a time. Dorr lied to everyone and in both cases refused, for some queer reason, to work with the state and give them necessary information. In Jim's case, he had been told, and thus told others, that ONE was tax-exempt, but in fact Dorr lied and never completed the work. This put Jim in a terrible situation. So he quit. Later obviously he came back on a volunteer basis to work with the Institute, and help on that darn ONE Institute Quarterly. And he was on the ONE European tour when the separation came in 1965, Easter.

There are good reasons to try to understand some of Harry Hay's thinking, since some times he undid the very thing he wanted. And the same is true of Dorr. Don alone, I think, was good all ways. I was terrible, had to learn everything and was not good as a writer/editor or speaker. I just believed in them and the purposes so kept going. The hope is that I did more good than harm. I think Todd's book mentions my disagreement with Joe and Jane Hansen, for instance. I thought they could have done more-mainly by mentioning us in his books, and speeches, etc.

And I had learned from Dorr the financial part a little, and so was not friendly with most of the other board members even though I liked them all. Rodney Riggall, for instance, who did give some money, as did David Kennedy and others, had ideas, not to raise money, but how we could better spend our money. He was wrong. (He died years ago of prostate cancer, and the irony is that, as his partner, Ben Coonfield, who still lives in the family home in Prairie Grove/Fayetteville AR says, his father was an md and attorney, who actually went in court against some md people for malpractice, so Rodney knew things, and he suspected the cancer but could not get the doctors to do anything until it was too late. Rodney had worked in his father's office at the hospital.) David thought changing the bank branch would help us-it hurt us, as we were (and now are) better at the Universal Studio/city branch of B of A as they knew how to deal with non-conforming people and groups. And after David died we moved back. Now it might not make a difference, but it did then.

But due to our purpose and the real world of that time, I doubt anyone or thing could have made a difference. But we did things, and the media ignored them. But Dorr did no better. He then had to fight Reed the way he fought us, but in that case he was right, and won half of the property and Reed's daughter got the other half.

That is a story in itself, as I understand it. Reed said, perhaps truthfully, that he could not put the property into ONE's name right away as the seller was a woman evangelist, new age, who was anti-gay and would block it if she knew who really was buying it. But then he got into drug problems, etc and never transferred it and then the daughter sought it all after he died I assume.

I don't know if there was a possibility that Dorr could have gotten more in the separation, legally I mean, but (I think Todd's book explains this) he screwed himself by lies and deceits and his attorney, Hillel Chodos, did by calling the judge's office and speaking rudely and it was the judge he unknowingly talked to. Murphy's law, what could go wrong did. So, as our attorney, Ed Raiden said- and Lequita, (his asst attorney-forget her name, but think it was McKay) we have no money to fight, but I'm not charging you much and Hillel is charging them a lot, and I know the facts and he doesn't and it turns out the two judges are wise, so I think we just have to sit tight, and he was right, we only really gave up the name, which as the 2d judge pointed out, we had said we didn't want.

ISHR was separate after Dorr's death in 1994 I think. I'm not sure but think it was then that the Kepner library joined with ONE. Don, and Jim Schneider had talked with ONE about rejoining before his death in 1997. We decided to try it, except for Dale, and then had to work to get the building ready, and shortly after had to retake our material as they broke all promises of a separate office, keys, etc.

ONE Institute was not ONE, Inc and didn't have legal title to anything except what Reid, et al, gave them. And us copies. Some board members didn't like it, John O'Brien being one I think, but ISHR did give Todd money. And for some reason decided to quit and give Williams Institute the money remaining.

I'm not sure what else I should mention to give the "fair and balanced' view of the 3 organizations.

Subject: Re: GLBT History Timeline in current issue of Frontiers in LA

Let's see:

One, Inc., founded, 1952.

ISHR established, 1964, and incorporated, 1965, "d/b/a One, Inc.," and being "the financial branch of ONE, INC."

One Institute established (presumably by One, Inc.), 1956, with educational and travel programs, speakers bureau, and quarterly publication.

One Institute ceased operations, 1994.

One Institute Archives initiated, 1994, consisting of Kepner materials, Slater materials, International Gay and Lesbian Archives materials, and One Institute materials. Housed at USC since.

One, Inc. (merging corporation), merged into ISHR (surviving corporation), 1996.

ISHR completes final transfer of One, Inc./ISHR materials and One Institute name to One Institute Archives, 2000.

Copies of One, Inc./ISHR materials also deposited by Reid Erickson with Cal State Northridge.

ISHR funds donated to The Williams Institute.

ISHR dissolved, October 2008.

Have I got this right?

Bill Kelley, Chicago

It is our time, the evidence is clear! But let's get our history right as that is how we learn what works.

The homosexual civil rights movement started with a few people, and they were not all out, certainly not the hundreds attending the meetings of Mattachine in L.A., but the leaders were, and there were only a dozen at ONE out, but each year after that we grew. Those at the national organization, NACHO, were maybe 50 but they represented a few hundred more, many of whom were out. I think Bill Kelley has spoken to that for Mattacine Midwest. While small in number, I recall fussing then and later to a woman (Nancy maybe?) who was doing the recording for NACHO at Chicago in 1966 or 8, and at the time I opposed letting either of the new groups at Kansas City or Houston host the next meeting as they were too young and small. I was right. What happened to them? Phoenix was the one in K.C. And Houston did keep going and today Ray Hill is still active (his picture is in the current issue of OutSmart) and the Diana Foundation people are still going, but they were originally not out. (OutSmart Magazine just did a great job on them.)

So by 1969 I have no doubt there were at least a thousand out, but reaching ten times that number. And we were already working with allies, such as the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, (San Francisco and L.A., and we had Clay Colwell, a preacher on a cover of ONE.) etc. There were "retreats," a typical church thing, discussing the issues. The preachers in some cases were ahead of their congregations who were not quite ready to talk about homosexuality. Glide Memorial Methodist in San Francisco was a good example of educating the members. This was true when the church started working on race issues.

It took Vern Bullough to push the ACLU to join us, and I'm still not clear why the East Coast clams their ACLU did it first. Again, thousands of people saw us in person, when we talked to churches, high school and college classes, and when we were on the talk shows, radio and tv. And Don Slater co-hosted a week of talking with Maria Cole and Stan Bohrman on their KHJ TV show.

And Don Slater and Hal Call were pictured in Life Magazine, long before Stonewall. Perhaps they and all of the other people and events we did were not cute enough or outrageous enough to get closet queens to jump out, but Stonewall was? Now it is Ellen, and the cute guys on Real World. I'll take whatever gets to or for whatever reasons young people finally understand the reality of their sexual proclivities, orientation or whatever. And that they will not be full citizens until we change a few more laws and hearts and minds.

Our successs defies easy explanation, and two areas sure confuse even us. First, why did the terrible problem of AIDS not destroy us—it did take away thousands of us, but the public never seemed to use that to harm us. And the bigots must really feel frustrated that a film that was in a sense negative and should have helped their "cause," Brokeback Mountain, in fact brought an outpouring of glbt support from the general public.

Where in 1950 it seemed everything worked against us, luck was not on our side, now it seems it is the bigots who can't seem to get anything right and they are unlucky.

Friday, June 18, 2010

There were people "out" who we may know about if the media ignored them.

To Bet Power:

Thanks for reminding me about Compton's-isn't there a documentary about it? And you are right about those people who are not listed in our history but were there, working, taking risks, long before Stonewall. And the issue, not just of Bayard Rustin, but of people like Eckstein, who worked for several causes, in this case race and sex. And that is an issue we need to deal with today, that Prop 8 showed us.

And thanks for putting it so well, there was a more conservative approach, and then a more militant phase.

RE: Movie Review: Stonewall Uprising NYT Critics' Pick

There was general agreement, and we all got along, but then there was no way for any of us to exploit the movement then.

After the separation of ONE, we still all went to the NACHO meeting and got along. I think Bill Kelley would agree, and Frank Kameny. But obviously none of the people working in the movement today were there, and there are attempts to do this again—meetings among people and groups that work on the same issues (as I pointeout a meeting of glbt college heads will be in chicago next month). And there is a group for lgbt centers, and for elected officials, etc.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GLBT History Timeline in current issue of Frontiers in LA

To Karen Ocamb:

I want to put on the record that once again frontiers seems to discriminate against some elements of our community/movement, even when strangely enough it misses by covering one source in one section but ignoring it in another.

Specifically, you cover only ONE L. A. library/archive and ignore others, including Mazer Archives (West Hollywood) and the Homosexual Information Center Archives (Cal State, Northridge). What is strange is that you then strangely ignore the second most important event in the Timeline you give, which was the morphing of early Mattachine (1950) into ONE, Inc and ONE Magazine in 1952. The first public organization and first national publication, which won a U. S. Supreme Court battle, running from 1954 to 1958 with the Post office about the ability to mail material discussing homosexuality-covered in the book Courting Justice, by Deb Price and Joyce Murdoch.

To make even a small effort to give your readers some sample of the history of the homosexual civil rights movement, which started in L. A. and spread nationwide, and ignore the founders of the movement, Harry Hay, Dale Jennings, and shortly thereafter Don Slater, Dorr Legg, Jim Kepner, is giving a inaccurate view of the history and denying these people their due.

How about a mention of resources that do give the history, such as books by Paul Cain (Leading the Parade), Jim Sears (Behind the Mask of the Mattachines) Todd White (Pre-Gay L. A.) and two books that Stuart Timmons worked on (Gay L. A. and the Trouble With Harry Hay).

Public libraries in other major cities have hosted discussions on such works, such as New York City and Chicago. I'm surprised that the librarians in Los Angeles have ignored this valuable history. And the same can be said about the librarians at the L. A. universities, since they have not, to my knowledge, done events like most major universities have done, such as the University of Chicago, CUNY, the University of Minnesota, etc.

What is that biblical saying, "a prophet is without honor in his own country?"