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.