Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some LSU football supporters are like some Obama supporters

Sometimes our friends can do us more harm than our enemies-as some LSU footbal players learned when their own fans were more unhappy with them than the West Virginia supporters-who are supposed to oppose them. That is what is reported by Glenn Guilbeau in The Times Monday (LSU bites back at ferocious fans). And the way Coach Miles thought about those booing fans, when the team is winning, could apply to some Obama supporters: "Those are the type people who go to work and complain abut the coffee when they didn't make it."

And Guilbeau goes even further into what could be said about "supporters" in a separate column (Good passing games don't always add up to victories) when he talks about how even a maybe Heisman Trophy quarterback (Arkansas' Ryan Mallett) may not be passing right. And this also relates not only to LSU's Patrick Peterson's playing, but to how everyone thinks they know better how to get Obama more liked and successful.

Maybe fans of football and politics should talk, sociologically and psychologically.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Articles in current issue of Montrose Gem

To the Editor of the Montrose Gem:

I glanced online at your current issue of Montrose Gem and thought I'd say I found your donation of books to the (glbt) Resource Center at the University of Houston a good idea even if you miss the books. Do I understand that there is also a Resource Center at Rice University too? That is good for students. I hope all new students learn of these and the lgbt groups there. Is the Gem distributed on campuses? I do wonder how many people read books today. Many say they don't have time, with required reading etc. I think there should be a short list of important books, such as for History month. Of course some will read fiction for pleasure. I must admit I did not read books on the subject of homosexuality until I was already "out."

I also found the article on meanings of Montrose (History at a Glance, by Craig Farrel) interesting. It is curious, sociologically, how some area of a city becomes more "gay-friendly" than others. My only contact with the area was years ago when a cousin, Lanny Brown, lived there—he died later—and worked for a florist there.

I think we need to make history sexy, apparently. With all the good current mention of homosexuality it may not be interesting for young homosexual men and women to get past watching Ellen, Real World, and gay/lesbian characters on many tv shows, to learn that life was not always so "gay." Just as someone had to work to make America as good as it is, someone had to actually work to make America more gay-friendly. And it started, in 1950, in the worst of times, the McCarthy era of making someone scapegoats—communists—and making homosexuals sound bad by accusing us of being communists. That was not so wild, since the founders of this movement were communists-but had been kicked out of the party because they were homosexual. And immediately the movement was taken over by conservatives. Today we all all types, politically, religiously, socially, etc. (The current issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review is devoted to showing such diversity, with articles, ironically, on the Radical Faeries, also founded by the movement's main-co-founder, Harry Hay, and then the male bears, and a certain type of lesbian-out of the mainstream.)

That is why another article is so important for young people to try to understand, and that is that, while it was Republicans that blocked the ending of DADT, there are two glbt Republican groups working to change the views in the party. An even harder problem to deal with is the religious bigotry about sexuality, ironically in the black churches of using the same Bible that approved of slavery to say homosexuality is wrong. And proof that the ones preaching this nonsense the most are closet queen black preachers-see Bishop Long of Georgia. It takes a little perspective to learn who our enemies are, and how to deal with them. But it is much easier today than in 1950—long before Stonewall—when the founders started to educate themselves and others about the truth about sexuality, especially homosexuality. We are still making progress. And it is good to have Montrose Gem keeping us informed, and entertained.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why the Tea Party "cause" is and is not like the homosexual "cause"

The media is obsessed with the Tea Party and members call it a "cause." But there is no one "party." The same is and was true of the homosexual cause.

The first and most important element in both causes is the enthusiasm of the people. TV talkers keep saying that there is vitality in the Republican Party, but don't say it is in fact the Tea Party people who have the momentum, not the 'professional" party members. And that members/voters have lost interest in the Democratic Party-probably for the same reason there is no excitement in the mainstream Republican Party. Year after year there seems to be no change, no matter which party is in power or who is leading the party. Some people seem to think our nation needs a third party-but the only effort is with those in the Tea Party events and candidates.

It seems the cause/purposes of the people supporting the Tea Party efforts, appeared about the time of the 2008 election-and it is doubtful that the media created the "party." Fox News does not deserve credit or criticism for covering what was already happening.

The homosexual cause did not start so suddenly, it was created slowly from secret meetings in 1950 and spread and new joiners had enthusiasm for what the effort was doing-gaining equal/civil rights, which had been denied in 3 areas, religious, legal and medical. It had to work with NO support from the media until about 1969 and Stonewall.

There is another difference between the two causes. It seems the tea party members merely seek to regain what special rights they had, often at the expense of people of color and other minorities. But they blame the present situation on professional, "experienced' politicians, and media "experts."

Such people don't have any doubts that they deserve their rights, and their cause is "just.' That was not true of homosexual Americans in 1950. Most of those members had believed the experts/professions who had said they were sick, sinful and criminal and did not deserve to be accepted as equal citizens, unless they changed their basic nature. So they too had to realize that the 'experts' and professionals were all wrong.

Can these two causes work together in areas where they both seek to make the government and society responsive to their needs and make politicians accountable for what they do?

One other news item of the day shows one possibility, and why the bureaucrats should worry about the members of both causes-and some people are members of both causes-and that is the report that once again voting machines broke down in several states-meaning that the bureaucrats have made no progress in protecting the integrity of one of the most important aspects of citizenship. And this lack of competence continues under all administrations, federal and state and local. Let us find some new citizens to put in office who can function.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My contact with/RE: Mattachine Society

In response to a query by Greg Jeu, Publisher, OutSmart Magazine:

I was never a member of Mattachine, the first-early (Foundation), started in 1950 and essentially killed by 1952/3 when Hal Call and cohorts kicked the founders out at an annual meeting. I think this is not important to most people, but is sociologically and historically since as usual both sides were good people and had good reasons for how they acted and thought. I also was not a member of the Mattachine (Society) which Hal, and then Don Lucas, et al restarted in San Francisco. The early meetings of Mattachine were at secret, sort of like some communist groups and earlier secret societies. From one small group meeting, it slowly grew to dozens, and spread from Los Angeles over the south and then up north.

Harry Hay, Dale Jennings, et al were either Communists or leftwingers. They were then kicked out of the party for being homosexual-remember Harry had actually married to be a good party member, although I don't think his family background explains this. I think some material is good in Stuart Timmon's book, The Trouble with Harry Hay (Stuart has recovered from a stroke and is working with others to honor Harry this year I think, although I have had no contact and don't get response from what was, nor his . I think a friend, Lee Mentley of Stuart's, could get more info if you want ( . I don't have contact with James Sears whose book on Mattachine covered most of this, Behind the Mask of the Mattachines.

My connection to Mattachine was short. It started in September, 1959 when I finally decided to go to ONE's offices-having had the magazine from newsstand. I met Jim Kepner first, and we went down to a drugstore-Thrifty's across from Pershing Square at 6th St., a few blocks from ONE's offices at 232 S Hill/233 S. Broadway-upstairs from (I actually forget if it was Goodwill or Salvation Army) a used clothing store. But I remember it was a block from Grand Central Market, a great place and a block from a large Mexican-American movie theater and near the Bradbury Building, The Los Angeles Times and City Hall and across the street from a Cooper's Donut place, where we would go after evening meetings.

I had forgotten the reason Jim told me about the coming Mattachine convention in Denver and it was I think that he was going to speak. I did not go with him, and honestly can't remember if i drove or took a bus, but assume I drove, went to the meeting, my first active participation in a homosexual activity. It was "historic" for two reasons, actually getting large local media coverage, which backfired and the local people suffered. The second was getting "coverage" in San Francisco, because they had let some unknown person propose the group send a "thank you" to the San Francisco mayor for being 'gay-friendly"- not the right term but what it meant. The stooge was doing this for another man seeking the office-Wolper I think, and it was used in his ads against Christopher. Not for a really good reason, but the local press/media and public got unhappy with this-even though they were still not "friendly" and so the attempt backfired and Christopher won re-election. And Mattachine got some publicity-this was before SIR, etc.

After the convention I went to San Francisco-again I don't think I went with Hal, but when I got there I stayed a week or so with him and worked at the office on Mission St. They were also PanGraphic Press, which supported them, and so I helped put small books together and some on the Mattachine Review. I had read a book, Advise and Consent and said it was worth talking about so they told me to do a book review which I did but don't think it was used until a year or so later-61. Then I returned to Los Angeles and started volunteering at ONE. Jim Kepner got mad at dorr Legg for misleading them over the issue of tax-exemption etc, same type thing Don Slater finally got tired of a forced the separation in 1965. (Ironically it was only when we finally got a tax-exempt part -ISHR- that Dorr felt safe enough to really push his agenda (education) and tried to stop Don's part (the magazine mainly.)

When Jim quit, Dorr got them to offer me the job, paid, as a staff member-the pay was a joke of course; both Don and Dorr had partners supporting them-Tony Reyes danced at a night club on Olvera St. I had income from my family. (Most of this is covered in Todd White's book on all three early organizations, Mattachine, ONE and then the Homosexual Information Center-Pre-Gay L. A. I don't think you ever reviewed gthe book. You did print a chapter of an earlier book on Kepner-I forget which book.

We moved to the Venice Blvd address, at Western, in 1962 and then the separation came in April-Easter-1965. Ironically at that time Harry Hay had met John Burnside (I believe first at a ONE meeting) and John eventually left his wife and they started living together and he moved his business-making teleidoscopes- to a building around the corner from us at Washington Blvd at Western. Later, when Don & Tony bought a small house in the Four Corners area of Colorado, John and Harry spent a few years living in a cottage at San Juan Pueblo Indian Reservation in NW New Mexico.

Harry had dropped out as did Dale Jennings, for a while, but kept contact with the movement and also worked, while in NM with stopping a dam that would have harmed the Indians/Native Americans. Dale went on to write a little-including the movie, The Cowboys, which starred John Wayne, and a book The Ronin, both of which bring in a little money each year-HIC owns his estate. And harry did the Gay Faeries thing. Harry's views did not agree with those of ONE people but they always loved each other and worked together.

I should point out that the reason Hal Call et al kicked Harry et al out was that while their work had started a great movement, they would have killed it soon as they had the communist background during that era, McCarthy, etc. Harry even appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee-one of the few who made them look foolish. Hal, a veteran, as in a lesser way was Don Slater, was a conservative, as were by then most of the founders of ONE, Inc when it came out of early Mattachine to be the public voice, before early Mattachine essentially died.

Soon after Hal, et al started in San Francisco, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, et al started DOB-Daughters of Bilitis, and then The Ladder. ONE published this history of the movement in the first book-Homosexuals Today, which also covered most European groups/publications.

I thought I'd put this in context, sorry it goes so long. Over the years we always had contact with Hal Call and he left money to ISHR-he sided with Dorr and helped him rebuild the information before the legal issue was settled-we gave him back a copy of the membership. I could not keep contact iwth Don Lucas. We also had good relations with SIR and Guy Strait, early San Francisco people and groups.

Hope your article goes well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Examples of abuse of the Freedom of the Press by journalists

Two current examples of how journalists, either because they are incompetent and/or unethical, have caused harm to the nation should worry any journalists who are (competent and ethical).

The popular one, that even a few tv talkers have tried to deal with, is wild coverage of a small-time preacher in Florida, who sought fame and fortune by announcing he was going to burn the Koran. While many journalists and media types excuse coverage of some person or "news" by saying it has been covered on the internet, on some website or blog, there is no excuse for giving further coverage and most people ask how the mention on some obscure website jumps to discussion on every major tv and news program. How did the public know what was on a website? Does someone spend all day searching every possible website for some sexy news?

It is queer that journalists/media persons can ignore lots of real news and yet constantly repeat every new word from this preacher. And never ask if the preacher, and their pimping/exploiting his claims, might be causing harm to the young men and women in the military, serving to protect our nation from harm. Is "freedom of the press" so sacred it must prevail even if it leads to harm of our nation?

The second questionable actions by a journalist is more specific and possibly made the difference in the success or failure of a proposed passage of a legal attempt to stop same sex marriage, the Proposition 8 in California. If I understand the claim, found in an article on The Bilerico Report explaining why one person did not attend the recent convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in San Francisco.

The reason is that a host was a journalist who acted strangely in the handling of coverage of an event. The first question is why a glbt journalist with common sense did not find the problem with some nutty lesbian school teacher inviting her students to witness her wedding in a time when such a marriage was being voted on-Prop 8. Why support such a stupid, selfish person? But if you are going to cover the event, why would you deliberately make it more controversial, but make the story more sexy so that it would sell more papers, by contacting the people who opposed such a marriage?

The question for journalist ethics has been asked before. If you are going to cover an event by an atheist, for instance, why is it a journalist rule that you must then contact someone or some organization that hates atheists to give their view? Do you invite an atheist to give an opinion every time you report some religious event or discussion?

There is a possibility that this lgbt journalist helped Prop 8 pass, since the claim had been made by the Mormon church ads that if such marriages were allowed it would lead to support of homosexuality in the schools, indoctrinating children. And here was the glbt journalist providing the bigots with "proof."

Perhaps this report is wrong, that the journalist did not put himself into the news instead of reporting it. But the issue has to be dealt with in a generic discussion and the profession needs to tell the public if it approves of journalists, like the entertainers on Fox News, making news, rather than reporting it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some thoughts for and about Muslim Americans by ONE homosexual American

If you were told a religion or "faith" tells its followers that you are evil and should be killed, it should be logical to fear and hate that religion.

I believe that Islam says that and therefore my common sense guides me to only one action-to demand that all religions in America follow the U.S. Constitution and to support separation of church and state, which was the intent of the founders.

Other religious groups have faced the same issues Muslims are now facing, currently forced on them by the proposed mosque in New York City. Catholics faced such issues, no matter what their nationality, when first coming to America. And the issue in a sense was settled when President Kennedy sought the office and explained how he viewed the issue of following the laws of the nation—not changing them—rather than the dictates of a foreign power (the Pope).

Intelligent Americans, no matter their views on religion, know that too often religion is a dividing force rather than a uniting one, and that fanatics in religions need to be controlled by the rest of followers when they misuse the religion and misinterpret the 'sacred" books to do harm to others. An example in America is how Protestants in the southern part, mainly, used the Bible to support white people owning black people/slaves, leading to a Civil War, and then again using their Bible to support harm to black Americans by joining the KKK. The sin was not only commission, but omission, since other Christians did not speak out against this evil.

America is not fighting a religious war in the Middle East-it is fighting a cultural war, in which fanatic Muslims have attacked us. the issue of the mosque in New York has led charlatans, in the name of Christianity, to exploit the issue of religion-and it is necessary for true Christians to speak out against such fanatics, who would, for instance, burn books, including the Koran.

In America, the majority does not decide civil/equal rights. But it has taken all these years to come close to living this ideal, and Muslims need to understand this as well as Mormons, who seek their rights but want to deny these rights to homosexual Americans. At the start, the nation's founders had to compromise, such as allowing slavery in the Constitution, but it was clear to them and everyone since-except those who personally benefitted from slavery—that it would have to go if we were to live up to the ideal of all men being created equal. And Christians have to admit that the Bible does allow for slavery but that does not make it right and the ideal promoted by the Bible leads to the end of slavery.

It is not asking too much of Americans today, living in the greatest nation on earth-and free to leave if they don't agree—to work to preserve and defend our values and to make this a more perfect nation-one that we have because millions of Americans since the founding have given their lives to defend.