Friday, February 25, 2011

How the media handled the government's marriage issue this week.

Jon Stewart, last night, and will be repeated 2 more times today on Comedy Central, did a great fast job of attacking MSNBC, and indirectly much of the media, on how it covered what may be a very important change in the legal battle over DOMA/marriage. The woman anchor is listening to a reporter breaking the news of how the Attorney General of the US is no longer going to defend the Constitutionality of the act. And suddenly she cuts off the reporter to switch to another reporter who has "breaking news" that Lindsey Lohan is in court.

Now at first you see what stupid journalists they are, if they claim to be journalists. Who thinks it is news that Lohan is in court and may go to jail? BUT, the change of legal attitude toward DOMA is new. And so it should be the prime news.

BUT, is it possible that our cause is better off if the "news" is handled as not that important? History may show that some "progress" is made easier if it is not well publicized.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Remembering Joseph Hansen, etc.

We know some of our editors and co-workers should get covered on the Tangents Web site.  I was talking with Bill Percy and mentioned Joe Hansen. Percy said he would put up something on Joe, provide a list of the books, etc.  But I am not sure even I know all the books, etc, but I may try a short thing for Percy, but hope someday we can better cover Joe Hansen.  Also we never mention Morgan Farley, yet he was sort of famous in his day.

Is there a list of former ONE and HIC members—such s Susan Howe, Rodney Riggall, David Kennedy, Melvin Cain, Peter Blume, Rudi Steinert, etc.?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Awarning to young homosexual Americans: 2 current events show that religions are the source of most of our problems, no matter what issue you are con

The catalyst for covering this subject is the two events discussed on this week's edition of the HBO tv series hosted by a modern day "Mattachine": Real Time with Bill Maher.

He first covered the fact that while the world celebrates the events in Egypt in which citizens kicked out a corrupt dictator of 30 years, Fox New may in fact have a point-the fact is that Muslim men raped a foreign journalist supposedly because she wore clothing that did not follow their religious dictates and a large majority of citizens have said they approve of such religious control of the nation. It is not just a small group of extremists who want to force everyone to follow Islamic dictates. Maher said correctly, there will still be no true democracy there until there is sexual equality. That is true of the Islamic attitude toward homosexuals-they want us dead.

The second event he covered are current celebrations in southern states of the anniversary of the Civil War-which they lost. That war was to keep slavery. And it was supported by most citizens, including those who did not own slaves, and worse it was endorsed by churches. A hundred years later those churches, Methodists and Southern Baptists, etc, have apologized to black Americans for their violation of human rights. They have repented-but to make the point relative still, members of the local Methodist Church enter the building under the proof that they approved of slavery, written in stone over the entrance-Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The church divided and both parts used the same book, the Bible, to prove that their god did or did not approve of slavery. Today they use that some resource to attack homosexual Americans. They changed racially-they must be forced-educated-to change on sexuality.

Is it possible that young glbt people think the battle/movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans has been won or progress will continue automatically, with them having to do nothing? We live in a world that others worked to make better. It could be reversed if future generations don't continue the work we have done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Local versus national, and the media may be to blame-/RE: Not so much personal issues as different priorities

I wonder if, again, the media might have a part. Even though I think our work did not get coverage, from the start it did in a way locally. The first notice was the Mattachine letter to school board people-who in their right minds would start a movement and aim at the children first, instead of laws, etc.? But, as we know and forget when dealing with the bigots, just the attack by Paul Coates, et al, against Mattachine-and they sure learned of the communist part right away-got the organization known, by people who had not heard of it by word of mouth yet. So his attack actually got new people involved. Dale Jenning's arrest/entrapment and the effort to fight the cops got notice in the community but not the media. And ONE"s magazine victory got very little notice. But by the 60s we were picketing the Los Angeles Times, having a Motorcade through L. A., on 5 or 6 tv talk shows, and radio talk shows, so it would have been hard for closet queens to NOT know of our work.

If no media coverage was head in Houston until later, then maybe there was no new groups started, etc. And the publicity in L. A. got new people started- many we didn't like too much, as they exploited the movement, got paid jobs with politicians, etc. And of course MCC started, and got lots of publicity when Troy Perry got interviewed by John Dart, the religion person at the Los Angeles Times when we were picketing-and the article was carried in many newspapers around the country-a gay church!!!

There was no competition between Mattachine and its offspring ONE since Mattachine in L. A. died and Hal Call restarted it in San Francisco. And the "proof" that the magazine was the essential part of the early effort was the fact that he and then the DOB immediately started a magazine too. It was national, not just local, and for a while they were the only way to get movement news. And the only news of books, etc.

Even though I had never heard of any book or the idea, apparently most people think the Kinsey book and Cory's book prepared the nation for a discussion on homosexuality. And so the timing was right. World War II sure moved people away from their old homes and small communities-and apparently even today people are still leaving the rural/small town areas.

As to conflict, it seems not so much internal as external-we now have 2 glbt Republican groups, 2 or 3 military groups, and I see no conflict among the several lgbt legal service organizations. I do wonder if the media covering DADT ever heard of Randy Shilts' book, Conduct Unbecoming. Even glbt journalists don't seem to know history and the path this and other parts of the movement have taken.

Mattachine was a great 'brand.' No doubt about it—ONE is strange, not exotic. And as to our history—only 3 people I know of still exist who were ONE: co-founder Tony Reyes, who is not active in the movement, Jim Schneider who was on the board of both ONE Inc before the division and on ONE Institute after the division. I am the only actual paid staff member living that I know of. And now ONE is lives on as 2 archives/libraries, preserving our history, which is now a small part leading up to Stonewall, Lawrence vs Texas, DADT, marriage, and all the great groups working today.

Why are LGBT history books ignored by the media, including the LGBT media?

ONE example—here is a view by William Percy:
From one of Walter William’s finest students, C. Todd White’s Pre-Gay L.A. probably ranks as the best work on homosexuality yet published (University of Illinois Press). An anthropologist by training, White meticulously integrates individual biographies with institutional and social history in a charming and gripping narrative. The book is hard to put the book down because the splits and various movements in L. A. and beyond were so dramatic that one would not think it was published by a university press. It describes facts and personalities that scholars and young glbt people should want to find out about. It adheres to the finest traditions of objective scholarship; White excitingly describes how all of the major issues confronting the movement since Stonewall were discussed in depth and intelligently before that riot.  
White focused more institutional history rather than the broad-ranging sensationalized Gay L.A: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians (2006). It began with the Indian village on which the Spanish built, emphasizing movie stars and celebrities. White also downsized the exaggerated role assigned to Harry Hay in Gay L.A and corrected its misuse of the term gay for the ’30s and ’40s.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to deal with sperm donor and the child/and how to write a good book about Molly Ivins (Windy City Times, 2-9-11)

I only accidentally read the very good article by Mary Bowers because the heading was not "interesting." (And Baby Makes More) But I dont think I've read any better discussion on how to deal with the sperm donor who-despite signing away rights to the child-becomes involved in the child's life-often at the urging of the child. It seems to me that it is anothe rexample, as the writer says very well, that the real world is not the same as the theories. No matter what the man or woman thinks, it often doesn't work out that way, and the only real issue is what is best for the child. The article is done with a great sense of humor, which helps us get through life.

It is an issue not dealt with in most discussions of marriage, but ironically is in the issue of adoption. In this case the donor is known, but it could become an issue even if the donor is not known, in theory. In the case here the worry is that the man will want visitation rights. The writer says that if the women worry about the man getting time with the child-and the women don't want that- send the man to her as she has kids she would love to let someone handle for a weekend. That is reality. And even more is the fact that many kids later seek to know the donor/father.

So I hope a better heading will let readers know the subject of future articles.

And another issue I think of as being in the real world is two fold. It does seem to me that most people no longer actually read books, and that there is a need for a modern-day Readers Digest. Too many books seem to be "over-written." And that seems to be what Tracy Baim is saying in her review of the new book on Molly Ivins. (Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life; by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith, published by Public Affairs) Solid research, put into print can often be a bad thing if it drags the book down, making it slow reading. Too much information is worse than too little. And good editors should eliminate any duplication. As good an "entertainer" as Molly was, in writing and speeches, it is lousy that the authors don't get this across. Maybe this book will at least get people who want to know of her life to read her books. Your readers deserve an honest review of books-it is not fair to promote a book just because it is about some good person or cause, if the book is of no real value. For those who do buy books, many don't have that much money to spend, so need to know what books actually are worth reading.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gay Veterans Gallery

Thanks for sharing this Web page on Gay Veterans.  It is good and needed-evidence of LGBT people who served our nation well.