Friday, April 18, 2014

Family, fanatics, as discussed in The True Believer

I have just found an old copy of the book The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer and am glancing at it.  What I find interesting is the two ideas of fanatics being outsiders and family making a difference.  I wonder if anyone else has read the old book and what they got out of it.

What I am trying to get an understanding on is if the founders/activists in our movement were fanatics.  I do not think so, which seems to not follow this book's thinking.

It seems to me the strength, from the start, is that we followed the rules, used the system, and never thought there had to be a revolution to arrive someday at equality.  I know some people had strong ideas and were often combative, but I did not find anyone I knew or heard about as being a fanatic, willing to run out and die for the cause.

I thought Don Slater, and others, were so sure of their thinking and cause that they just plugged on and expected success to come someday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tangents (magazine), reborn, as good as ever

The reborn Tangents is as good under the new editor and writers as it ever was.  Don Slater and other editors would be proud of this issue (Vol V, #1, Spring 2014).

The editorial says why we need to continue the work of ONE/IGLA/HIC.  The memorial to co-founder Jim Schneider tells how we struggled to continue the work after the loss of the main one who inspired us, Don Slater.

The article on Jim Kepner and his Little Blue Books is a good explanation of how an archive works.  My review of Tracy Baim’s “history of the gay press” (Gay Press, Gay Power) explains how the history has been preserved by our community media.

There is a strange and interesting “exchange of views of our history and thinking” in the two separate yet almost conversational essays between Stephanie Donald’s memory of Jack Nichols and Craig Schoonmaker’s memory of the movement and his views on terminology—and it seems to me this discussion is as alive today as it was in the era discussed.

Listen to the views on marriage of Jack and Craig.  “Jack’s work on gay rights was hard work for full equality.  Marriage equality was never a consideration for him because he felt that getting married, at least for men (and he felt for women, too, but  thought the ‘nesting instinct’ was harder to break in the females) was taking the ‘sexual’ out of ‘homosexual’ and forcing gay rights into heterosexual assimilation, which would destroy gay and lesbian history and culture.”  While, in a sense, Don Slater would say some of this, he did NOT agree that we had a culture—and did not want us in a ghetto.  

But, here is Craig:  “I can say, however, that I am hostile to some of the notions of people who fought not for openness but for ‘privacy’ (shame) and who advocated the silly notion that homosexuality is only a point on a ‘continuum’ and related notions that we must not narrow ourselves to gay—only but must always see ourselves first and foremost as ‘human’.”  Again, Don would not agree with most of his thinking.  We never understood why people could not grasp the obvious need to protect our privacy—something now heard when discussing the government listening to our cell phone and email discussions.  Why would asking for privacy mean we are ashamed?

As to terminology, Craig says the word “queer” is bad, yet many young LGBT people say it is better than a long list of letters.  But the issue is alive and was an article in The New York Times in the last week or two—saying only the word gay is acceptable.

So reading Tangents is reading what is in the current discussion of issues of homosexuality.

So the Homosexual Information Center is continuing its work of preserving history but also speaking to today's issues.  Again, the pioneers of this movement would be eagerly reading this issue and joining the discussion.

I did not “know” many co-workers in the cause

Morning thoughts inspired by Stephanie Donald:

There were, thankfully, many even early workers in our cause that I did not know or know well.  Those more interested in the spiritual side I did not know because I was not interested in that—not that I opposed it.

Some of them worked with Harry Hay, and it is worth pointing out that they knew and worked closely with Harry, and John Burnside, and “saw” him in a way I did not.  We worked with Harry and visited with him and saw another side—such as going to Renaissance Faires, living in San Juan Pueblo.  Yet the side of Harry they saw did not conflict with the side I saw, as they shared the spiritual interest with him I was not interested in. 

That may explain why a few people I did not like, or appreciate: they were interested in an aspect I was not.  I knew I did not have time to get involved in all aspects.  Some did, such as Jim Kepner, though mostly he wanted to know what others were doing, knowing it was history.  But he tried to write/support ONE, Advocate, etc.  Others thought getting into politics would be a good way to educate on our issues.  Some kept pushing in their church.  And some, including our own Jim Schneider, pushed law issues—he got attorneys to defend school teachers, etc.

(That interest in pushing to use the courts to get “justice” he shared with Don Slater.  They both did it on issues other than sexuality.  Jim (Schneider) fought over the government’s taking his land (eminent domain to put in a parking lot for the school).  Jim Kepner made it into a book; the house was moved to Commerce where it remains. Don Slater fought the city over trying to dictate use of houses in his district—historic, Carroll Street/Echo Park.  And cutting back his shrubbery—they caved in when he pointed out they were not trying to make others cut their’s back.  (The house is on a corner lot and could make it hard for drivers to see—at least that was the argument.)  At the house in CO, he fought an increase in property taxes—and won, and fought the attempt to make him pay for part of an irrigation ditch expansion when the man doing the work had ignored him-since he was “an absentee owner.”  He won.

It was such stubbornness that made him such a good activist.  But which made a few fellow activists not like him and misunderstand him.  And his sense of humor was misunderstood—he would play devil’s advocate or argue something he did not believe in order to “educate” the issue—summed up in what I have learned to be important in any effort: watch out for unintended consequences.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Letter to the NY Times re: Brendan Eich

As regards the NY Times essay, “The Case of Brendan Eich,” by Ross Douthat, published April 8:

Why can’t people write a simple explanation?  The issue is not complicated.  Religious bigots for centuries have had their way, told others what to do and now that they are NOT going to be able to do this, they cry victim.  This man is not a victim.  He not only commit ted an act of omission, he committed an act of commission and now wants to not be held accountable.  He is not guaranteed to NOT be held responsible, although it seems bankers and rich people are usually able to cheat and not be held accountable.

It would be interesting, and Jon Stewart could handle this, to hear he man’s explanation of why he chose to donate money to the effort to deny homosexual Americans equal rights?  Is he going to say he didn’t know that was the purpose?  Who asked him to donate?  Has he donated to any LGBT efforts?

Don Douthat’s article is nonsense, but he admits it—he wants to protect special rights for religious views (his).  I ask YOU why you do not ask people like Jon Stewart to do an article?  I suspect he has a larger and better educated audience than you do.  That is a sad commentary—but then I’ve tried dealing with the media since the 1960s and find no more competent and ethical people in your work today than I did then.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Letter to Rod Skoe by David Thorstad

Regarding anti-bullying legislation currently under consideration at the capitol, as reported by ABC News:

Hello, Rod Skoe,

As a longtime gay activist, I urge you to vote against this bill. I have read it. It is onerous (to school administrators) and promises something it cannot deliver. Moreover, it is the wrong way to approach bigotry and stupidity or harassment toward students perceived by hetero-arrogant youths. Some of its language is way too broad and could apply even to religious opinions others find annoying.

Instead of this legalistic one-size-fits-all approach to a problem that is, in any case, overblown, it would make more sense if the state provided comprehensive sex education beginning at the kindergarten level (as is done in Sweden, for example). There is no reason a teenager should feel hostility toward another student perceived to be gay, because nobody is born with such attitudes. Early and comprehensive sex education would counter such attitudes, which students most likely absorb from bigoted or narrow-minded parents, and by the time they are feeling their hormones in post-puberty, they would have a more reasonable and less skewed view of differences when it comes to sexual behavior. When I was in high school, I had sex and sex play frequently with my buddies, in school during lunch hour, outdoors, and at my home and theirs. Some of those guys grew up to be completely hetero, yet they were merely acting out on their own same-sex urges at the time. Why should youths today be any different?

Harassment of any student by other students, for whatever reason, should be nipped in the bud by school administrators. They do not need a law to do that. Any teacher or administrator who fails to take action to stop harassment should be fired for not doing their job.

Part of the problem is that the gay movement (and society as a whole) has come to project identity as the bee’s knee of sexuality. That is baloney. People are more flexible and their sexual expression hardly fits into identity politics, especially at a young age.

This legislation is misguided and should not pass.


David Thorstad

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It is the old scientific problem of not being able to predict, but to try to explain after it has been discovered

Regarding Doug Mainwaring’s article, “Same Sex Marriage: ‘Thoroughly Tiresome’ by Design”:

There is so much wrong about this thinking that it is not worth answering.

But people seriously interested in how our movement has been successful might want to know a little about the timeline.  And it sure didn’t start with the writers of this book in the 1980s. (Maybe, like most academics, they were in an ivory tower.) I wonder how many people read the book—I did not.  Where are these men today?  What other books and resources has Mainwaring used?

But a few minor points.  First, psychology did not even think of trying to change the views of religion—in that time it USED that religious thinking—check back at what psychiatrists testified in courts, think of how many people they said they could cure.  They never did a single scientific research effort, they based their “answers” on religious nonsense—that is why we said our enemy included mostly Jewish psychiatrists.  And why Dr. (Evelyn) Hooker’s research was not welcomed.

Fortunately there are still many LGBT pioneers/activists who can testify to how little support they got from the media—ask the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, et al.  Take a look at what the “media” was saying about us until the ’90s.  And that includes what were supposedly “liberal” and intellectual publications.  AND the ACLU did not think we had a valid issue until about 1965.  And did the writers miss Stonewall, 1969?

But that makes the point—by the ’80s we had already been successful.  I wonder how the people interested in abortion think of the claim that that issue is settled.

The article writer is against same-sex marriage?  Why?  I have no interest in it but would not take the time to oppose it while other members of the community want it.  And deserve it: either marriage benefits are for everyone or for NO  one.  That is the American way.  Equality of opportunity.  But, like many preachers, I wonder why he is so concerned about this one issue?  Is he active in other efforts to gain our civil rights?

Turn the issue of who is a victim around. Does he accept the religious nuts idea that they are victims if we gain equal rights?  As they once said black Americans made them—white people—when THEY sought marriage, including interracial marriage?  Has he studied the real history “marriage?”

It is not hard—it is easy, to learn the history of the movement to gain civil rights for homosexual Americans.  The lasting effort began, as is well recorded, in 1950 (early/original Mattachine).  I went public in 1952 (ONE magazine.).  It started in Los Angeles, San Francisco joined, then major cities, with organizations and publications.  It had NO support from the media, academia, rich people, celebrities,  liberals, religious groups—ONLY middle class Americans.  By the mid 1960s, the dozen or so main groups joined to form a national effort (NACHO) and held the first coordinated public demonstration in 1966—over the issue of homosexuals and the military.  It was covered NOT by the local press but by an article by Peter Bart in The New York Times. Two local TV stations did send reporters to interview us—Tom Brokaw for NBC and Connie Chung for CBS—both have for some reason forgotten this. 

There had been a few TV talk shows and LIFE magazine had done a decent article in 1964, but not much media coverage was given to our efforts until 1969. By that time they needed us more than we needed them.  The media does not try to give citizens news until it is no longer news—no  longer controversial—they do not want to upset the advertisers.  BUT, that is an interesting point—it has been the free enterprisers, capitalists that have welcomed the community and given us support—not the politicians, governments (that should be treating all citizens equally) and certainly not the religious people who claim to love everyone.  Major corporations supported us long before the politicians, and the religious do-gooders have still not seen the light.)

The Myth of Gay Affluence

Regarding the Atlantic article on the “Myth of Gay Affluence”:

I doubt that anyone else will “get” what this article says abut the view of homosexuality. It is not about income of LGBT people, but it is about what we did NOT have when this movement started—academics studying and giving support to us, no matter on what aspect.

It seems every week the Williams Institute is quoted as reliable voices on our issues.  Ask how many academics were speaking in the 1950s and ’60s.  But the few that did were were not believed by most self-hating homosexuals—who were still accepting the lies that said they were no good—they were criminals, sick and sinful.  They just could not believe the results of the research of Dr. Evelyn Hooker, who proved that “experts” could not tell, based on tests, who was and was not homosexual.

The media didn’t cover the issues much and if they did they quoted the bigots like Bergler, Bieber, et al., vice squad officers and charlatan preachers, all of whom had a personal interest, in keeping the status quo, something to gain if we were kept as people to arrest, cure, and save.

If ONE magazine writers said something positive about homosexuality, even our readers were skeptical—saying we were biased—as if the bigots were not.  But if we got an “expert” to say the same thing, many would believe it—although some still could not believe that an “objective,” “normal” person would say homosexuality was OK, or that we had civil rights. And that included even the liberals at the ACLU.

The fact is that we are consumers, and we should be loyal to the businesses that treat us fairly.  And most of the people in our community I know do travel, buy cars, eat well, and even go to Disneyland, with or without children. So we do not ONLY have sleazy, high-priced gay bars to accept us now.  Why is that a problem?  And we can-not to say we do-vote and support politicians who join our efforts to get and keep equal/civil rights.  It is common sense.

AND, we now have more biological family members, neighbors and friends who will also vote for those who are gay-friendly, and eat at the cafes we feel comfortable in, etc.  That is why so many people no longer support most churches, they don’t like preachers and members who preach and practice hate. 

The New York Times lets “experts” and PC police tell us that we can NOT use the word homosexual

A letter to the NY Times on the recent article decline of the use of the word “homosexual”:

The self righteous arrogance of these “experts” on who has a right to use what term is shameful for you to accept with no comment.  You and these people destroy their own words when they admit that the point is to remove sex from terms.  How religious can you get?  Are these people ashamed of their sexuality?

And we used homophile NOT because we didn’t like the honest word homosexual but because it included non-homosexuals who were not bigots and supported our efforts.  We always used gay, such as gay bars.  

But you might be writing another article a few years from now saying that the pc police say only queer or some other term is acceptable.  Sadly, you are always following experts who are not.  (I am a co-founder of the Homosexual Information Center, which came out of ONE, which came out of Mattachine.  Your “experts” might want to learn history.)

(end of letter)

Why are the “gays” so unsure of themselves that they can not just say that they prefer the term gay but instead have to make it a crime to use another word such as homosexual. 

And why would the paper of record publish an article and only give one view and use biased “experts,” and distort history.  For instance some of us who were there in Chicago at the NACHO conference in 1968 (referred to in the article) were not “eager” to support Frank’s idea of Gay is Good, since it was an obvious copy of Black is Beautiful.

Politicians have proved that changing a term to make it sound better or hide the truth works.  And last night on HBO’s Real Time, Bill Maher talked about this and gave a wonderful example.  He said, since we know Republicans don’t like giving food to the poor, why don’t the Democrats change the term from food stamps to “Jesus coupons.” Is this the type game we have to play to educate people? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brandon Wolf: Houston's Archive Scene and How it Got to Where it is and What Could be Done

There is more to the story, and having lived in Houston for 37 years, I know most of it.     

Charles Botts started collecting gay books back in the 1970’s.  By 1980, his house was full.  He was a member of RMCC, and asked them if they would let him create a gay/religious library.  At the time, they were quite willing.  I remember that it lined the walls of the board room, at one community meeting I attended, I kept looking at all the books. It was vast.   

People started asking if they could give archival materials to him, and he said yes. He was the closest thing to an archives at the time.  He inherited a Texas gay archives from someone who gave it to the owner of Wilde N Stein Books.  When he went out of business, he asked if the archives could go to RMCC, and Charles said yes.  

Even as early as 1992, Charles knew things were getting too big, and wanted to get an independent location.  RMCC was looking for a new facility, but took ten years to find one, so he was never ‘forced’ to find a new home.  In 1995, he died of AIDS.

He left all the books and archives and $50,000 from the sale of his townhouse to ‘the RMCC library’.   Probate court said there was no legal entity with that name.  So everyone agreed to change the will by court order to RMCC, with the understanding that it was just for the purpose of getting the money to the library/archives.    

Charles’ brother gave the money to the church, and said he wouldn’t put restrictions on it, but did ask they include protecting the archives in their mission statement, which they promptly did.  He indicated later that it had been his wish that RMCC would take the money, and hire a development person to build a donor base and find a permanent home.  Instead, the church shut the archive office door and it became a closet — no one kept up with things at all.  

Then in 2000, they wanted to move to a new facility.  The board wrote Ralph Lasher who had been pastor when Charles was there, about the whole thing.  Lasher wrote back and explained what I just did. All the board wanted was to know they ‘owned’ the archives, and they used the $50,000 for the downpayment for the new church.  They gutted the shower room (they bought a church campus) and stuck everything in there.  No a/c, no humidity control, no nothing.

Enter Larry Crisione and two volunteers.  Larry put up shelving and got things arranged — bought a portable a/c so the volunteers could work during the week — and started indexing everything.  He did have porn, but it was a minor part of the collection and under tight control.

Things hummed along until 2008, when I happened to visit there for the first time, researching the history of the Dianas.  I heard they had a Gay Monopoly game that had a Diana card. Sure enough, they did.  They dug out their Diana material, which I wasn’t impressed with at first — old programs I already had, etc.   Then my jaw dropped.  They had the working folder dating back to 1964 of Charles Hebert, the driving force behind the Dianas. It ended in 1987, when he was murdered.  I was stunned, reading the scripts from 1964 – on.    

Larry began to explain how badly the church treated him.  For example, a donor gave him money for a wireless Internet connection.  When the church found out he was going to install it, they said he had to put it in their main office and they would wifi it to him.  It didn’t pierce the wall, but they didn’t care.   So I asked the Dianas to give Botts a donation to put in the Internet, direct wiring.    

I did another history — of Legacy Health Services — and once again, Larry and crew provided me with files of papers back to the very beginning: 1978.  I felt they needed money to grow, so got a volunteer lawyer to help them with a 501(c)(3).   GCAM had become impossible — 10 storage rooms and nothing indexed — so Botts was a treasure trove to me.   

Then at the beginning of 2011, Larry said the board was hinting they might have to start charging him rent.  I kept thinking about that $50,000 they just appropriated for the downpayment.  In the summer of 2011, I got the news that the church was selling the archive. I couldn’t believe it. The letter of the law said the church owned it, but that was never the spirit of the law. So many people including me had donated to the archives believing it was a community archive. A group of five of us went to talk to the board.  They kept going on and on about how they wanted a ‘water ministry’ — showers for homeless.  When they had a priceless archive in their facility and never gave jack about it.    

One day, he came in and the archive was re-keyed.  After a couple months, they let the volunteers in, but Larry couldn’t be there without a staff member from the church present.  

They were shopping around to universities, but having no luck.  One night the board president came a meeting of ARCH (an umbrella group that all GLBT preservation efforts belong to). She was eaten alive, and never came back.  But Judy Reeves, of GCAM, was taking all this in.  

It was a stalemate until the summer of 2012.  Suddenly, an announcement is made that the archive had been sold to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed amount of money, and that Judy Reeves would be the official representative. She predicted a research library would be open in early 2013.  Instead, it just disappeared, and I know of at least six researchers who tried to access the collection and were told no.   

It was pretty obvious to me that Judy had done a backroom deal with the board.  Jimmy Carper was his bosom buddy, and her rich lover had died and left Jimmy a house and money. I finally discovered he was the mystery buyer.    

The church had stipulations to whoever bought it: 1) retain it as a separate collection, 2) retain the name Botts, and 3) open it to public for research.    

But the old crew didn’t just walk away.  They started over with new donations of materials constantly coming in, and rented space over Grace Church.   

Judy send the crew a cease and desist order about the name, and they sort of told her to go to hell.     So now we have three archives.     

I’ve always seen a big difference — GCAM is massive but not indexed — Botts is small, but highly indexed.   

That folder of old Diana stuff went with the sale, so the Dianas stopped any further contributions to GCAM.  Even though they claim the Botts Research Library has nothing to do with them.  Although they did allow it to be stored in a facility that Jimmy was working on when he died — two apartments made into a large area for GCAM and Botts Research.  

I was so furious when the sale happened, I posted four things to Facebook which basically called the church, the pastor, and Judy Reeves thieves.  Also the lawyer who handled the sale.  He ended up suing me for a million dollars for slander.  I found a good attorney, who had him so scared he came begging.  He dropped the suit.  My attorney was just pissed that he was using the justice system to punish me for speaking out.

There was an uproar for a few days on Facebook, and that was it.  Short shelf life.    

So we went from two archives, to three.  And the church, in my estimation, were total thieves. They didn’t ‘own’ that collection – but they had the legal papers that said they did, and leveraged them to drain the archive, first of $50,000 and second of the selling price of community property.  Charles would be horrified if he knew what happened to his collection.    

After the lawsuit, I stopped barking.  Every ‘friend’ in the community I had deserted me. So I got bitter and thought fuck it.     

On the more positive side, this ad appeared in the February issue of OutSmart.  I don’t know any details except that the money will go into a trust.  Pride Houston will raise money, but have no intention of heading up the development.      

Just for the hell of it, I put together this Powerpoint.  Based simply on my blue-sky dreams of what a museum should be.   And hope that someday someone with great passion and the ability to develop will come forward and take it on.   I decided it was better to go for the gold, instead of a dinky storefront.   It may end up there, but I figure big donors will give to something professional before they will to a converted ramshackle old storefront somewhere.   The recent ‘banner project’ excited people about our history, so I thought this was a good time to toss an idea out there.  It at least gives people something to chew on. 

The Powerpoint is just my own independent thoughts, backed by no individual or organization.     Personally, I think the only way we will get a museum is to build one, and hopefully the archives will want to put their stuff there.  Sort of ‘our place, your material’.  It will take a skilled, seasoned development person to raise the kind of money needed for a museum.  And not just a museum — a museum designed with today’s world in mind — and also Houston’s location as a hurricane venue.   

And that’s the story of the archives.  None of what I wrote is personal opinion or hearsay. I have copies of legal documents and letters to back up every claim I’ve made.    

I still think RMCC deserves some sort of award for scrapping the bottom of the gutter. History isn’t for sale.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Williams Institute and Lambda Legal advances

When I see the work of Williams, and Lambda Legal, and the centers, I think obviously of what the early movement founders would think and how happily surprised at how good these resources are.

While I feel that the magazine then, and our community publications today, the media, are a great part of the success of the movement, and Don Slater and other early journalists deserve credit, it is clear that the other parts of the ONE effort, the educational, and their legal efforts such as to assure the right to publish the magazine, Dorr's part, is equally important. It gives the evidence to the media to combat the lies of the bigots.

Both efforts are necessary if the members of our community are to know what is going on and also to know the truth, and that means they need to know about themselves. It is good to say, “I’m here, I’m queer, get over it,” but when they hear lies, they need to know the truth to combat those lies. That was the first thing we had to accomplish to succeed-how did these people today GET to the “place” where they could say, I’m queer?  They were not saying it in 1950.

Monday, March 10, 2014

LSU Alumni Magazine news, current issue

I am not sure what parts of the LSU Alumni Magazine most people read,but, sadly at 81, most of us read what fellow students are no longer with us. But I also glance at what young ones are doing, and so want to say how good it is to read the news of Sehzad Sooklall, 2006 MCOM, who  is now at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law. I wonder if he was active in the LSU LGBT group, as he is at the Law School and that may be helpful to others who wonder if lgbt people are active in such organizations.

It would be interesting to see an article on what happened to graduates who were active in LGBT work at LSU and what they are doing today. Since I was at LSU from 1950 to 1955, there was no such group or resource, and I have found little help then and now at the library, etc.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thoughts on the Shreveport council person who feels a victim of the LGBT effort to gain civil rights

A reading of history, even bad history, shows that the use of religion to force someone’s view on others usually backfires in the long run. And the worst misuse of “history,” that all political factions use, is trying to tie their enemy to either Hitler, the Holocaust, Communists, and now Muslim extremists.

A city council person who is so unAmerican that he thinks his religious beliefs are adequate excuse for his views on other Americans is the worst type, especially when he plays the “victim” card.  It is absurd for Christians to claim they are being persecuted, much as apparently some WASP people are now doing (i.e. the Teaparty types).

Intelligent people might want to consider how old and absurd this tactic can be and they might want to see the “ultimate” attempt at playing the victim card by those in control, the majority and those who started the fight themselves. And it is the Nazi Germans who are the “Answer.”

Find among the many thoughtful points about war, bad generals and politicians, made by Charles Fair in his book, From the Jaws of Victory, the “view” of some Germans during the war:

“...On the other hand the morale of the Germans is lower than might be imagined.  In part this was doubtless due to quite concrete evidence that nobody loved them-that good Germans were as usual surrounded by ferocious foes bent upon their destruction and beginning in fact to accomplish it.  In his May 1 and 2 entries Count Ciano says: ‘Losses in Russia are heavy...British aviation is striking hard...The Germans react and strike back at the English cities but with less violence.  Which only partly consoles the German population, accustomed as it has always been to dish it out but never to take it.  WHICH LEADS MANY OF THEM, WHO HAVE DEVASTATED HALF OF EUROPE, TO WEEP ABOUT THE 'BRUTALITY OF THE ENGLISH, WHO MAKE MANY INNOCENT PRUSSIAN FAMILIES HOMELESS.’”

  "The worse of it is that they really feel this way."  And many unChristian Christians believe that they are victims of citizens whose civil rights they have denied for years, just as they supported slavery and denied women equality, etc.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This is an important discussion...

Regarding the SALON article Esquire’s astoundingly homophobic “Looking” review expects gay men to be “mincing”:

Sharing this review is good. It is important because future LGBT TV shows will—hopefully—come on board and the LGBT community needs to put shows and reviews in perspective. (Past such reviews would be like those of Boys in the Band.)  And even though the writer and Esquire do not want to have a discussion, we in the community need to.

Daniel D’Adarrio does a great job of pointing out the nonsense of the reviewer, Mick Stingley, who make only one or two good points in the midst of his “protesting too much” his heterosexuality. His bias shows if he finds TV shows about heterosexuals trying to hook up entertaining. And many movies seem to need a future car chases to keep us interested.

It would be interesting to see what the LGBT media says about the show. That would make a good article for Esquire or The New York Times.

I have said I did not find the show entertaining or representative, even of San Francisco members of the community. But then I find most shows equally boring, especially if they depend on short “cute” jokes. But it could be that viewers will get more interested if the characters grow in future episodes.

I suggest that, for punishment, Stingley be forced to watch LOGO channel for a week.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Let me tell you the truth about liberals: RE: How the L-Word Was Won

Regarding Ed Driscoll’s review of Fred Siegel’s book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism has Undermined the Middle Class:

The article/book is way too long, and nonsense, picking and choosing, BUT

As I have told everyone—and was mostly ignored of course—if anyone can tell you and the world about the hypocrisy of liberals, we can. As a liberal Democrat, whose co-workers were mostly conservative Republicans, I was constantly frustrated with the total failure of liberals to support our work and in fact they oppose it, STARTING with the ACLU, until after we were on the road to success, which was in the early 1960s, despite the lazy historian and journalist theory that we didn’t exist until Stonewall (1969).

Our files contain rejections for our ads and “news” by all liberal publications. And who gave us publicity and let our voice be heard? Conservatives like Joe Pyne, the Rush Limbaugh of his day.  Where were all those liberal, closeted gay, writers who refused to write for us or even mention us?  Then and now most academics are not gay-friendly. The most vicious reviews of early gay books, etc. came from liberal, mostly closeted reviewers.  

And the most complaints, giving excuses for NOT supporting the first national homosexual publication came from—bingo!—LIBERALS. I suggest that lgbt journalists go read letters we got and see the foolish thinking of self-righteous liberals.

And we were opposed by every government agency, every religious group. We were called sick,  criminal and sinful. And when we told members of the community, mostly in the closet, that we were none of those things, they didn’t believe us. We were at the same time accused by fake liberals of being ashamed of being homosexual.That is why Hal Call justified using “experts/heterosexuals” to speak in the Mattachine Review. If “they” said it, liberals believed it, if we said it in ONE, they accused us of being biased!!!

It goes without saying that no liberal attorney, physician, publisher, landlord, etc, would help us.

But history, hard to escape today as not a day goes by without some LGBT person or issue being discussed in the media, proves, the few, starting in secret with Mattachine, becoming public with ONE, grew, each decade, until now millions of LGBT people will no longer waste time trying to tell the truth to liberals.

We used the system and have won: only a few ignorant bigots refuse to see the facts. We are truly the perfect example true conservatives should use to prove their case.

And it is a shame that many good Americans do not understand just how great the nation is and that our civil rights work and success, in courts in legislatures, and eventually it will be in the churches and colleges but they are a little slow—and that they should be proud that when given the truth, they have been able to make the right choices on sexuality, etc., and  each generation has brought us closer to the dreams of the founders: a more perfect nation.

I gather the writer of this article is in reality a typical liberal in conservative clothing.  Like too many academics, lost in the trees and missing the forest.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A question from M Cherry: What was Don Slater and Jim Kepner's relationship like?

The relationship among Dorr Legg, Don Slater, and Jim Kepner was beneficial to the movement but, mainly due to Dorr, constantly caused frustration. He of course got Jim upset when he told him to say ONE was tax-exempt when it was not, and that is the final straw—at the time-that made Jim quit because he felt personally vulnerable if the IRS accused him of false claims. I don't recall—as I was not there—the relationship on the magazine, but think it was ok.  

The main issue Don had with Jim was that he was trying to be in ALL groups, which I don't think was a bad thing, but then Jim made what I think was his worst mistake when the separation came in 1965.

Jim was leading the ONE European tour, and Rudi Steinert was on it as was the man behind the tours, Chet Sampson. Dorr had promised Rudi Don could use his proxy in voting at the annual business meeting/Winter event. As Chair, he then refused to allow it.  I am not sure if Sampson was a voting member or if someone had his proxy.

But Kepner was called about our moving the office, and told told Chet, Rudi, et al. to support Dorr, as Don would not be successful. I always felt that this was nuts since he had had more problems with Dorr’s imperious attitude than anyone.

History shows that legally Don won, but both factions kept going, and both continued to contribute to the cause.

Jim eventually, as in fact Dorr did, worked with Don, doing book reviews, etc. (Jim and Dorr refused to work on the NACHO military protest in 1966. We did the Motorcade—but for different reasons, and of course Morris Kight didn’t participate either.

We think Jim removed some books when he visited our Tangents office, but he had contributed many books to ONE, and since we had acquired most of the library, I doubt that made much difference—we think most of the material Dorr had when he died was really Jim’s, as the two libraries joined—thus ONE/IGLA and, for a brief time, ONE/IGLA/HIC.

I don’t seem t have much of Jim’s material—he published a newsletter in the 1990s, Jim Kepner’s Song & Dance, and of course he went broke and lost his home publishing Pursuit & Symposium magazine. I think his politics differed—but so did mine. He added to our work and was interested in aspects Don & Dorr were not.  He of course worked on ONE Institute Quarterly, which had the same problems I think the few current LGBT academic publications have—they are unreadable and on obscure topics on no general concern.

RE: Putin says gays at Olympics must 'leave children alone'

Regarding the article from France 24, “Putin says gays at Olympics must 'leave children alone”:

There are several things we need to say to Putin, the anti-abortionists, the religious sexual hypocrites/bigots:

Hopefully, most people would agree with you that adults should not use children sexually.  Saying that is an easy way for politicians to get support, like saying they support mom and apple pie.

BUT, locally, in one small area of the world, there is a report of a parent who has killed their child, starved their child, let a friend abuse the child—not sexually—every month, so I want to know why you do not say to visitors, don't harm or KILL children?

It is easy to say leave children alone.  But that is not what children need—they need support.  Many parents, not just single parents, work to support the child, and need family and neighbors supporting them. That is why the Boy Scouts, church camps, day care and other such resources  are good for society as well as the parent.  

So, what are you doing to give these parents support, as a person, a citizen, the head of a nation, as a “religious” person?

Trying to get MORE Gay Pride in West Hollywood

As someone who has worked in the effort to gain equal rights for homosexual American since 1959, I want those involved in CSW and those in West Hollywood wanting to do more, to know that the pioneers would be very gay to hear you seeking to do more, yet be practical in doing it, to entertain and educate the LGBT community.

Congratulations.  You are in a great American tradition of trying to improve on even what is a success.  But no one should miss the point: this is what was once a hidden, closeted part of society that is now pushing themselves to celebrate their lives. 

It might be good to have a booth for the local LGBT libraries/archives, which are preserving the history of the movement/cause.  I think of at least three, June Mazer (in West Hollywood), ONE Archives (at the USC library) and the Homosexual Information Archives (at the Cal State Northridge library).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Update from Utah by guest blogger D. Michael Quinn

On my last vacation night in Utah on January 11th, the chair of the Democratic Party of Utah (Jim Dabakis—second from the left and recently married to his husband Steve Justesen) invited me to a huge celebration (complete with 12-tier wedding cake) of the 1,300 same-sex marriages LEGALLY performed in Utah during December 2013.

Steve was stranded by a snow-storm on the East Coast, and couldn’t make it to the party.  I’m on the far-right, which is the opposite of my position on the political spectrum.

Jim quipped that a judge had given an invitation to Utah's Republican governor Gary Herbert to attend, but Jim (on his own authority) questioned its legality and issued a stay of that invite.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Duck Dynasty: it is religion (and get some perspective)

The (Shreveport) Times has devoted much space to the issue of the views on race and homosexuality of a member of the TV show Duck Dynasty. Most of the articles/views are thoughtful and contribute to the discussion. But it seems to me that there are two main aspects that make the views less complete.  One is ironically shown by the accompanying article by Prentiss Smith in the same issue (12-29-13) and its Conversations space devoted to Free Speech v. Business. He gives the history of being black in America from slavery to today, with his family as the example.

It is usual that someone that is anti-gay is also a racist. While Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty may not think of themselves as racist—the fact that they can not understand how much progress has happened and how much better life is for black Americans SINCE the end of Jim Crow proves they are out of contact with the real world. And to those who are scared by hearing the (religious) views of Robertson and Duck Dynasty, I say, get a life—where have they been if they have no clue to how things have changed, for the better, for LGBT Americans since the movement to gain civil rights for homosexual Americans began in 1950.

What is not being honestly discussed is that it is religion that has made some citizens second-class—and despite the work of Dr. King, et al., the main enemy of getting equal rights for black and homosexual Americans was and is the church and its misuse of the Bible. And religious leaders of most churches from the time of slavery to today have pushed their views not only in the pulpit but into laws making all Americans “believe” as they do.  In a sense religion takes away freedom  of speech and choice from citizens, and businesses, not only by intimidation but by putting their ideas into laws.

The question is, and the new Pope is part of the discussion, what will happen to churches/religion when once again their main agenda is lost and our nation is a more perfect union because the majority of good Americans ignore the lies of the church/religion?  How sad, for Jesus, that those claiming to be His followers are the obstacles that work against a great nation fulfilling the dreams of its founders.