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[c. 7,400 words] [End]
[CAUTION: Adult language, adult topics]
Copyright L. Craig Schoonmaker 1971, 2001
[Homosexuals Intransigent! presents here the text, and reproduces a couple of chunks of the mimeographed original, of a publication that contains what we regard as some of the most important pieces that appeared in the gay press of the day, including "Stranger in Every Land" and "The Orange Separatist: a parable". Also included is proof of our assertion that HI!'s founder and President is the man who first offered the term "Gay Pride". Alas, so little that is meaningful has changed that the thought pieces in this publication are as valid today as they were in 1971.]
[Below is a scan of the original mimeographed masthead of this issue.]
HI! At last, in June, our special Second-Anniversary issue, celebrating the second birthday of the organization that publishes this magazine (of the same name). On April 1, 1969, The City College/CUNY granted HI! a charter as a student organization. Our relatively long history [for organizations around at that time, since most were established well after Stonewall, whereas HI! was established two months before the Stonewall Riots] has been marked by ups and downs, and right now we're not quire sure [where] we stand. Read our mag and see what we're thinking; then let us know how you feel.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE. . .
Stranger in Every Land
The Orange Separatist; a parable
cc: HI!'s Readers
Second Anniversary Reprints
About the organization
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STRANGER IN EVERY LAND
To be homosexual is to be an alien in one's own country and every country.
The blacks have Africa; Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rico; Mexicans, Mexico; Jews, Israel. We? We have nothing. No homeland. Nowhere where we are in control, where we are the rule and others the exception. We have nowhere to go if things become intolerable here, nowhere to go to seek our own. Nowhere to look to find our collective pride. Nowhere to point to as the powerful homeland of a proud people. Nowhere.
To be homosexual is to have no past. All literate peoples have a past except us. We have no past because our people have always hidden.
Our trials are unknown; our martyrs, unmourned; our great deeds, unverified; our great men unvilified, thru secrecy alone. We cannot say, "our fathers . . .". We cannot say, "our traditions . . .". We cannot fight for our heritage, for we have none.
We have looked for our past, and thought we had found it in Greece or Rome. But Greece was bisexual, not homosexual. And Rome was basically, sometimes intolerantly heterosexual. We were sometimes tolerated, indulged, but never in control. And that's the closest we have come to a past a millennium and more ago.
To be homosexual is to have no future. We cannot talk of "our children", for we shall have none until procreation and sex are clearly separated. They are not now, so we shall have no children. We cannot look to the future with confidence that our old age will be filled with warm memories and comforted by the warm presence of a life partner, for most of us have not yet come to think in terms like that or to set our lifestyle now to make such a thing possible, or to expect and demand permanency and meaning in our relationships. We have no future. We must live for the present.
To be homosexual is to have a hellish present. Bodies come and bodies go quickfire, ceaselessly. And when they've gone, we sleep alone, bereft of sex, but more, bereft of love. And truly, without love, what? Work has no meaning, no solace when workday is thru and the empty space beside us as we trundle off to bed confronts us. Day at work, night at bars, looking, searching, hoping, finding, losing. Pretending. Pretending when alone; pretending when together that maybe it will last; pretending when it doesn't that we're glad no sticky involvement. Wandering haphazardly thru a haphazardly organized gay society, the chances of finding a compatible man oh! low. Where there is a gay society. Outside the huge cities, sitting, dreaming, cruising tearooms, risking arrest, beatings; wondering if maybe "they" are right: that maybe homosexuality is dirty, disgusting, evil. And everywhere knowing that homosexuals don't count for anything: turning on TV, radio, jukeboxes to find out we don't exist. Knowing that what you are is too awful to let people in general know. And worst, feeling there is no prospect of all this changing, no hope for dignity much less pride; permanency much less love; meaningfulness much less fullness of life. And even the most militant, the proudest of us, wonder from time to time if it might not be better to be the other way.
But we cling to the dream tenaciously, furiously of locked hands and interlocked lives, of warmth in the darkness and pride in the sunlight, of hope for the future and satisfaction now, and we glory in the spirit of the militant present.
To be homosexual is to have no culture. Homosexuals have no language, music, art, literature; no poets, painters, sculptors, or lyricists. We have no television, no radio, no theater, no newspapers, no magazines. No institutions, no etiquette. No dance but many dancers.
Cowards, faggots, and parasites constitute our cultural present: coward writers who write heterosexual works; coward dancers who dance hetero dance; faggot singers who sing hetero songs; faggot actors who act hetero roles in the nude ofttimes, for hetero audiences; hetero parasites who run gay bars, baths, etc., and take our money from us to feed into the drug traffic, prostitution, gambling, murder, etc.
Even the hopeful start to a homosexual culture is marred by the faggot-straight mentality so clearly and appallingly manifested in "homosexual" publications directed to both sexes, with advice columns for "homosexual" men written by heterosexual women, or nudes and pornography for the opposite sex or straights to view; or faggot humor and old-time faggot camp; or men-and-women-together-now, homosexual-lesbian unity clear hetero-pattern foolishness advocated in shithead editorials.
We cannot turn on the radio without being hit by hetero propaganda, from faggot singers rendering love songs to "hers" to the near-obscene hetero bedroom whispers of The Carpenters.
We cannot turn on television or go to the movies without seeing heterosexual propaganda or, rarely, faggot drivel.
We have no major artists, no major writers, no major singers, no major dancers, no major anything or anyone to set forth our lives and our loves, our tastes and our enthusiasms for us to reflect upon and glory in and go home or to bed warm and proud from. From the moment we rise to the moment we go to bed we are surrounded, hopelessly, pervasively, inescapably and maddeningly, by hetero-faggot shit.
To be homosexual is to be congenitally unable to understand what your neighbors say without first translating it into your own idiom. Sometimes the translation is simple and quick: just substitution of the word "he" for "she", or such. But sometimes it is not possible to translate, and the system breaks down, leaving us aware again of our isolation and inappropriateness. How do you translate the song"I Am woman"? How "I am softer to the touch It's a feeling I like feeling very much" when you are fully as hard as your partner? "Does it take more explanation than this?: I am woman, you are man." Yes, damn it. It takes a hell of a lot more explanation than that! But the tune is catchy, and we want to sing along. It doesn't work, tho; straight men can make it "You are shorter, so I can be taller than . . . you are woman, I am man". But for us to say even that is to cop out and kowtow, to be false to ourselves yet again. It just doesn't work. And to want to make it work is to want to destroy oneself and homosexuality.
To be homosexual in a heterosexual world is to be confused about one's identity. As a child who grows up without mirrors may never have a clear image of himself, so we homosexuals who live without the myriad reflections of oneself that a culture provides may never have a clear image of ourselves. We look into the heterosexual culture and find our own images distorted, destroyed. We are invited to identify with that which we are not. We are constantly in danger of being seduced into thinking of ourselves as women or straight men. We are neither, but until we have the mirrors true mirrors of homosexual literature, theater, cinema, television, song, etc., to tell us time and again who and what we are, until we know without a shadow of a doubt what life as a homosexual is all about, we shall never be clear in our own minds who and what we are.
To be homosexual in a heterosexual world is to be absurd. There is no place for us in the world of men-and-women. There never will be. So either we must create a place for ourselves and build a homosexual world, or we shall never have a place, but shall live forever as displaced persons: stateless, cultureless; devoid of history, power, and pride; isolated as individuals and as a group; hopeless, foolish, pitiful and contemptible. Homosexual separatism is the only way we can salvage our lives, and we must start NOW. [Return to index]
Upon a time
There was a man
Who lived in a white house
On a great lawn
Full up with flowers
In an alabaster city
Of this our country.
His house was a palace
Of brilliance and style
Warmth and charm,
Culture and wit;
An office of action;
Castle of hope;
House of caring,
A building of building;
Seat of our strength.
His handsome face,
Male and strong,
Smile warm, enduring,
His voice spoke warmth, care and joy.
He was our father,
Our lover, our leader,
Lord of our land,
The stars in the flag,
Our wonder, our pride.
But he died
of a bullet in his head
Died of a bullet thru his head.
Sky blue, bright
Clouds fluffy, white
Sun streaming, shining
Crowds smiling, waving
Fill the streets of Dallas, Texas,
in this our country
November 22, 1963.
Our joy, our pride,
Open to the crowds, the sun, the sky,
ONE TWO THREE
Oh God . . . NO! . . .
He died, died, died
Of a bullet in his head
Died of a bullet thru his head.
Hot, hard metal
Smacked his hair
Pierced his skin
Smashed his skull
Mashed his brain
Ripped a hole
Destroyed his mind
Took his life
Tore us up
He was the stars in the flag.
"The President of the United States
. . . is dead."
Of a bullet in his head.
We stared, not believing, at the set,
Still, we cried.
And the world wept with us as we cried, disbelieving.
Still, he died died died
of a bullet in his head.
Died of a bullet thru his head.
Died of a bullet,
Died of a bullet!
Died of a bullet thru his head.
We cried and raged.
The system died.
The schoolbooks lied.
Nothing would be the same again.
He was the stars in the flag.
Years of smiles
vanished in a day of tears.
Years of confidence
vanished into fears.
Years of pride
vanished into shame.
Where once were dreams
too-early mornings' bitterness alone remains.
Day of his death,
Death of his day.
We buried the smiles,
We let him down
Into a hill
by a valley of valor.
We let him down
into earth berserk
And ourselves into earth insane.
He who was stars is now but a torch.
We are the stars in the flag.
Tho he died, died,
of a bullet in his head.
We're not dead.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * COMMENTS
I can't remember that day without crying. John F. Kennedy was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to us as a nation. And when he was taken from us in an insane act of violence, our faith in ourselves and what this country stood for in our minds was shaken. Trauma national, personal. That's what we underwent. Perhaps it was worst for homosexuals, because there at last was vindication of our rejection of stereotypical masculinity, in John F. Kennedy's powerful manhood with care. He was our kind of man; some of us even wondered if he was one of us. Scintillating, brilliant, warm, kind, caring; strong, gentle, powerful and intent on using power wisely to benefit people in need everywhere on earth where his power could reach. He was daring and courageous and was willing to risk everything to defend a principle, as when he insisted the Soviet Union remove its missiles from Cuba not because we were endangered by them, for the Soviet Union can already reach every part of our territory, but because those missiles could endanger and intimidate Latin America. He gave us the Peace Corps and a feeling that we really could change the world, each of us, and change it for the better. He dared to assert that justice must finally come to all our citizens, and opportunity to all the world's people. And he, this fine man, was the President of the United States! John F. Kennedy is in the White House and all is well with the world. We are proud of him and of the country that gave him to us and to the world.
And then he was taken from us by a flash of three little pieces of hot, flying lead. Incredible.
I remember where I was when I first heard pieces of conversation that I pieced together wrongly, I hoped to conclude that the President of the United States had been shot. Don't you remember where you were when you heard the news? And I remember that on the bus home or the walk home from the bus to my house in New Jersey, I composed the refrain of this poem to music. But that night I was thinking of a different poem.
I was going to write that the murder of the President was a pointless act, for the strength of a democracy, of a great democracy, arises from the people, and that we could replace the Kennedys and the others in the present leadership elite with others just as qualified, just as great, just as dedicated. I was certain or at least I insisted on asserting to myself that the people would never let themselves and the nation slide back into negativism and isolation and inaction. I was sure that we would build a new world as a monument to John Kennedy and all that he made us be. I was wrong.
We've let him down badly. Kennedy is dead, and so is his dream. So is his country. So are his supporters. The hip culture has nothing to do with the reality that Kennedy wanted us to face and overcome. The New Isolationism espoused by so many young people would make him roll in his grave if he were capable of knowing and rolling. The headlong drive to abandon the South Vietnamese people to dictatorship of the unturnoutable Communist kind would have infuriated him. He got us into Vietnam, you know, and it wasn't to build an empire on the backs of those poor people, nor to rob their land of its unneeded natural resources (we have lots of resources of our own and we have access to others much more convenient to our shores), but to help people in trouble. He would have run the war differently, I'm sure, and stressed reform far more. But he would have stayed there until the South Vietnamese had a good government and absolute certainty of being able to resist Communist takeover. He would point out the utter damnability of the stance that we in this country must have total freedom but the Vietnamese should be allowed to go under to Communist repression. Such criminal selfishness would have been shown for what it is. But he's dead. And no one with his kind of appeal has yet arisen to say these things.
What has all this got to do with homosexuality?, you may be wondering. I have two answers for that: first the purpose of this publication is to bring a homosexual viewpoint and perspective to bear on all [kinds] of matters; second, the death of President Kennedy has a direct bearing on the moral anarchy that has hit homosexuals harder than anybody else. [2001: A tear in the mimeograph stencil for this page obliterated a portion of this paragraph in my file copy. If anyone out there, perhaps at an archive where this issue is stored, can check this paragraph and let me know if I guessed right, please e-mail me at your earliest opportunity.]
[Political commentator] Stewart Alsop or is it Joseph? said on a recent radio broadcast, that the United States has been under siege from a serious craziness, from which we are just beginning to emerge. When it will end he couldn't say; but he did say that he thought he knew when it began: November 22, 1963. I was practically in tears when I finished the date with him "1963". "The system died. / The schoolbooks lied. / Nothing would be the same again." But the schoolbooks hadn't lied. No one ever said that the President of the United States couldn't be shot to death in his own country. They said only that political violence was against our tradition; that we believe as a nation in talking to each other respectfully and trying to resolve problems thru legal means. The system didn't kill Kennedy. He was the system. Just because the system was vulnerable didn't mean it was basically inadequate or unfair. It is life that is unfair. And death. [2001: We were reminded of that when John Kennedy's son John, his wife, and his sister-in-law died in a pointless accident, ending the hopes of tens of millions that ten years from now another John Kennedy would fill the White House with elegance and cultural brilliance, in Camelot II.] But somehow, the death of President Kennedy seemed to many young people to throw all established values into doubt. And we have gone thru a period of moral anarchy in this country since his death. And escapism into drugs and into the security of our own borders and the oblivion to the world which is the real thrust of the total concentration of attention on domestic problems. This moral anarchy is still with us, but it has basically resolved into two moral camps: The Establishment and the Counter-Culture.
Well, moral anarchy is fine for a while, but only if it denotes a time of searching for new values. We homosexuals have an opportunity in this era of widespread moral confusion, to break from all morality groups and establish a morality for ourselves. But too few of us have taken advantage of that opportunity. Too many of us have been content to throw our lot in with the Counter-Culture, without for an instant realizing that the Counter-Culture is still a heterosexual culture and fully as invalid for us as the American Dream.
I espouse not a Counter-Culture but a separate culture drawn to our specifications. A full culture, replete with morality, art, religion / ethical philosophy, literature, entertainment, mass communications media, clothing styles, specialized language, even etiquette. And I think we can build this separate culture within the physical and tradition-ideological confines of the United States and possibly nowhere else.
There are two major conceptions of what the United States is all about: one is The Melting Pot; the other is the Land of Freedom and Opportunity. I reject the first and endorse the second.
I am a patriot of the Kennedy brand: reformist, intent on justice in our country and wisdom in our foreign policy. But I am a homosexual patriot, and my first loyalty is to my sexual integrity and cosexualists, my first priority the establishment of a place where I and other homosexuals can be happy. I think the United States is a great Union of diverse and splendid peoples and homosexual men are one of those peoples, lesbians another. We can be most valuable to others when we are complete people ourselves, and homosexual separatism will make us better citizens of both the United States and the world.
As this country and civilization have all benefited hugely from the contributions of black U.S. citizens and stand to gain ever more as black people become ever more self-aware and self-assertive, so will all benefit from the emergence of a proud, self-asserting homosexual culture. And that is happening in the United States.
This country is the center of world revolution. While this statement may surprise some people, think about it: ours is a land in constant ferment. The heads of our people spew forth more ideas, songs, works of art, and scientific advances than do our factories spew forth smoke. Black Power, Gay Power, Women's Liberation arose here and are transforming the world's most powerful country. Inevitably we have started to effect the same kind of change that we want here, in other places as well. Gay Liberation / homosexual militancy have invaded Canada and the United Kingdom, and Christopher Street Liberation Day 1971 may well see homosexual demonstrations not only in major cities in the United States but also in Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Great numbers of people in the United States are involved in changing their own lives by their own efforts, and are changing the world in the process. We homosexuals do ourselves an injustice if we do not seize control of our own lives and build our own culture. And we do the world an injustice too. President Kennedy taught our generation one thing that stays with us: get involved and you can change things. But he couldn't stay around to direct the course of change. I think he would be pleased with homosexual separatism.
It's up to us to set our own course, tho, regardless of approval or disapproval from anybody. We are the stars in the flag, and the flag is waving for the country is moving. [Return to index]
An apparent misunderstanding led many people to believe, in mid-May  that the Mattachine Society Inc. of New York, one of the three oldest "homophile" organizations in the nation, was ceasing operations and merging into the Gay Activists Alliance. Bob Milne, MSNY President, told me over the phone and the Mattachine Times confirms that that is not what was intended at all. MSNY's Board did want to discuss closer cooperation between the two groups, possibly ending in time with a union of the two but then again, possibly not. But Arthur Warner of the Board apparently got carried away in making his presentation to G.A.A., and the rumors started. Since MSNY was in the midst of elections and the new Board had not taken office when we went to print, it was uncertain whether the new Board would pursue a merger. G.A.A., for its part, decided to drop the matter until MSNY made a concrete proposal thru the new Board.
But something is certainly happening within MSNY. Michael Kotis resigned the presidency before his term expired and Dick Leitsch, Executive Director, resigned (according to rumor) / took a leave of absence of one year (according to the Mattachine Times) and has gone to Europe.
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GAY PRIDE WEEK 1971
begins June 23 and ends with the mass march up Avenue of the Americas and gay-in in Central Park on Sunday, June 27th. The Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee hopes for 25,000-50,000 participants this year. Frankly, I do not see how they expect to get it; I've seen little publicity anywhere. I hope they do, but this is the last hetero-form (men-and-women-together-now!) demonstration I plan to take part in, and I expect HI! will not endorse next year's CSLD unless it takes a homosexual form as well as theme.
HI! will hold a meeting on Sunday, June 20th in my apartment to discuss effecting the kinds of programs listed at the end of this issue. I expect a small group ours is a small organization but if it is ever to become a larger group it must start work on membership activities now.
Below, a scan of the original paragraph that
occupied this place in sequence,
visual proof of Craig Schoonmaker's coining the term "Gay Pride" as it is now used.
(This newsletter was originally published in two columns. This was in the left column of page 7.)
Copies of the original publication are in gay archives in many places, and almost certainly in the Labadie
Collection of the library of the University of Michgan at Ann Arbor as well. Not every linguistic usage has a clear
origin. The term "Gay Pride" does. It was offered by L. Craig Schoonmaker, President of Homosexuals Intransigent!, in 1970.)
[2004: Gay historians, please note that here, in June 1971, in a historical document copies of which are held by various archives, is proof of my claim to having first offered the term "Gay Pride" for events surrounding the annual march commemorating Stonewall. No one at the time this publication was issued nor EVER, in the 33 years since has challenged that claim. Nor could anyone active in that era challenge this claim. Thus, if anyone asks where the term "gay pride" came from, tell them "L. Craig Schoonmaker, then President of Homosexuals Intransigent! of New York City, in 1970 offered the term 'Gay Pride Weekend' in place of the original suggestion, 'Gay Power Weekend', for events surrounding the first annual commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. The committee planning that commemoration accepted his suggestion instantly, without discussion. And that is why the word "pride" is now intimately associated with the word 'gay'."
This was not a big deal at the time, but it is now, inasmuch as occurrences of "Gay Pride", and "Pride" as shorthand for "Gay Pride", have hugely proliferated internationally. Frankly, I want credit given where credit is due. Some people do know of my role, but I find it odd that the only mention I have come across in various searches is in Italian!: http://digilander.libero.it/falcemar/varie/omo/pride.htm. Shouldn't there be some kind of central repository of gay-history information in which people can easily find the answer to the question, "Who came up with the term "Gay Pride", and when?"
Early on, I was given a lot of flak by various Movement types, and I want my place in gay history secured against hostile and envious naysayers. Whatever else others may have contributed, I contributed the phrase "Gay Pride" and the stark break with the shame-filled past that it represents. Jerry Hoose (who seconded the motion but whom, I am a bit embarrassed to admit, I do not now remember), helped; and his place in gay history should as well be secure. LCS]
now take place with regularity, sponsored by organizations such as G.A.A., GLF, and DOB. But there is no such thing as a men's dance, whereas there are dances for women only. For mixed dances, contact G.A.A. and GLF. For women's dances, contact DOB and GLF (since the Gay Community Center [of that era] has apparently closed, GLF will probably be less often able to hold any dances). [2001: There's a different gay (and lesbian) community center, in a former NYC public school in Greenwich Village; but there were years between the closing of the first center and establishment of the second.] For men's dances . . . [in the original, to indicate delay; not an ellipsis to indicate a modern redaction] well, you'll have to help us put them on, because no one else will. [2001: Sadly, and infuriatingly, men's dances that exclude women are virtually nonexistent everywhere in the United States to this day.]
NDA HOMOSEXUAL COMMITTEE
The New Democratic Assembly, a Reform Democratic group on the Upper West Side, is willing to have a Committee on Homosexual Rights, I discovered when I asked the club president if they had one. When he said no, I offered to form one, and the very next month's mailing included a notice to that effect. If you are a Democratic male who has abstained from active involvement in the Party because it seemed irrelevant to your needs, and you didn't want to work for a party if you had only hets to work with, you now have little excuse. Both the Village Independent Democrats and the NDA now have homosexual committees, and so does the statewide NDC. I suspect all Reform clubs would be willing to have such committees. If you live in the NDA's area, contact me. LCS
have a treat in store if they attend the American Library Association's 90th annual conference in Dallas, Texas: the Task Force on Gay Liberation of the ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table plans a full schedule of actions to wake librarians to the needs of homosexuals. A First Annual Gay Book Award presentation, an open house, a program on established religion and the homosexual, a "hug-a-homosexual" booth, a program on the "Ordeal at the University of Minnesota" of J. Michael McConnell (who was fired from a job as a librarian he had been offered, when he applied for a license to marry his lover), a talk on changing the classifications and subject headings under which materials on homosexuality are kept, and a GAY DANCE (at which, alas, "everyone is welcome") will delight and dazzle the (many, many) gay librarians expected to attend.
For further info on this specialized group, contact Israel Fishman, [address and phone number then, in East Orange, New Jersey]. [Return to index]
G.A.A. NEWSLETTER BOWS
The Gay Activists Alliance finally has a newsletter. Its primary stress is upon the activities of that particular organization, but it seems to be broadening its scope. For a subscription or info ($2.50 per sub) [then] write to Newsletter, G.A.A., [address then, in Greenwich Village, NYC].
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THE ORANGE SEPARATIST; a parable
Once upon a time there was an orange tree that found itself growing in a vast apple orchard. For years this single tree dropped its fruit upon the ground, where they quietly rotted to nothingness. Because there was but one orange tree, it escaped notice from its neighbors.
But one day one of the oranges that dropped to the ground gave rise to another little orange tree! Time passed. The little tree grew larger and larger, and the two orange trees swayed joyfully together in the breeze. Soon the simple fact that oranges had invaded the apple orchard could no longer be ignored, and the whole orchard was up in arms. The apples pooled their acetic acid and viciously attacked the orange trees, declaring them distorted apple mutations, congenital defectives whose very origin in white, waxy flowers instead of rosy apple blossoms demonstrated their unfitness from the start to live in an apple orchard, and there were ominous words about nipping the oranges in the bud.
The oranges looked around and saw nothing but apples. The world consisted of apples, and oranges were mutations, defectives. But the oranges looked to the Constitution and Declaration of the Orchard, and proclaimed that "all apples are created equal"; and they pleaded impassionedly for tolerance and acceptance. "We are of the same flesh; we arose from the same soil, were watered by the same rains and blessed by the same sun", they protested. To no avail.
Then one day one orange said, "I refuse to rot on the ground. I am going to grow into a strong, beautiful orange tree, unashamed." And he did. And as he grew, he came to a realization: oranges are not distorted apples, but perfect, pure oranges, beautiful in their orangeness. And he called for an orange orchard where oranges could live free and proud. He gathered all his citric acid together and launched caustic attacks upon the apples around and tried to bore thru his orange neighbors' thick rinds and make them realize that oranges are oranges, not apples, and make them realize the implications of that fact. He called for an end to trying to pass as apples; an end to attempts at cross-pollination. And he found an ally or two, far off in another apple orchard. These were the Orange Separatists.
But the orange population was not ready for separatism. Another movement fascinated them and drew their support: the Orple Liberation movement. Orple Lib taught that all apples including oranges were created equal and that while Golden Delicious, Mackintosh, and Oranges should all take pride in their own variations, they must never lose sight of their common appleness, which is their only glory. Every orange, they cried, has the right to grow not merely in an apple orchard but even on an apple tree! thru grafting, if need be. Orple Lib denounced the Orange Separatists as extremists and sickies.
Orange Separatists, who called themselves "oranges" and not "Orples", and who argued that all fruits are created equal but that each has the right to its own orchard, its own homeland, in turn denounced the orples as "appanges" that is, oranges who, deep in their fleshy parts (which they believed were cores), wished they were apples and tried to behave as tho they were.
There is no end to this story, because it remains to be seen which point of view will prevail. Orange Separatists are appalled at the prevalence of practices they regard as sick, such as transskinism (the wearing by oranges of apple skins), core transplants, sado-applism, etc., because they all reflect negative attitudes toward orangeness. Orple Liberation defends all these practices and rushes for full acceptance into apple society. Who will win? Oranges, Orples, or apples? The choice is up to you. [Return to index]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
IF EVER you despair that homosexuals are sick and sex-obsessed, walk to the nearest comprehensive, common-man's heterosexual newsstand and take a look at its headlines.
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THE SECOND CITY . . . . . . . . . . . city of the homosexual
GAY ACTIVISTS ALLIANCE CENTER
The G.A.A. Firehouse is open finally. It opened with a dance on Saturday, May 1st . (Dances are given every Saturday night.) I was unable to attend the first dance but did go to the second: it was a smashing success, as had been the first.
The Firehouse [which used to be an actual firehouse][2001: this note is in brackets in the 1971 original; the Firehouse was in what is now called "NoHo", a West Side neighborhood North of Houston Street but south of Greenwich Village; it burned down a couple of years after this newsletter mention!] is an imposing structure. There are three floors plus a basement. For dances, the first floor is used as the dancing area. There is a lounge with refreshments on the second floor, and the third floor is used as a checkroom. Refreshments are also available in the basement.
During the week the Firehouse is used for committee meetings as well as general meetings on Thursday nights. On Friday evenings there is a film series. A lot of work is still needed, but G.A.A. can be proud of its new home.
The G.A.A. Firehouse is [2001: was] located at 99 Wooster Street between Prince and Spring Streets. It is convenient to the Spring Street stations on both the IND and IRT, as well as the Prince Street station on the BMT [all of these being subway-line designations in NYC].
J. Leonard Friend
[2001: Jay Friend (1950-1999) died of a heart attack. He had been unhealthy all his life, and came from an unhealthy family background. Both his mother, who died when he was young, and his father, who died when Jay was in his thirties, died so young as to give him reason to think he would not live long. He therefore lived foolishly and unwell. He was obese, but put that off to heredity. He developed adult-onset diabetes, which is pretty much the inability of the pancreas, which secretes a certain maximum level of insulin, to deal with an excessive intake of food. Jay ate too much, and not wisely. He developed heart problems, but did nothing to prevent future such problems: "I'm going to be dead a lot longer than I am alive" was his excuse for irresponsible living. So now he's dead. And I'm alone, all three of my best friends for decades having died in the last few years: Stanley Hauser, who at least had the good grace to live into his sixties; Walter J. Phillips, who moved to the Seattle area for his health and died of an acute asthma attack (at age 54 or so) within months of arrival; and Jay L. Friend, dead of a heart attack at age 48 (not yet 49: he would have BEEN 49 on October 13th, 1999, but died in June). For months, not a single day passed since Jay's death that I didn't think of him. Not a single day. And his death reminded me of Walter's. And every now and then something reminded me of Stanley's, but Stanley's death was at least expected; he had been a heavy smoker and excessive drinker, and moved to San Diego for HIS health. East Coast or West, death will catch up with us all. "I'll be dead a lot longer than I will alive" is no excuse for irresponsible living that gives rise to early death. The pain of those left behind is something the self-destructive never do consider.]
* * *
THE ADONIS CINEMA CLUB, 719 Eighth Avenue
"Male Films for Males Only" that's what the invitation said, and it's the only condition under which I would have gone. But it was a lie. Some dishonorable faggots or straight friends of the management brought at least three women. When the first arrived, I made ready to leave, but sent one of the friends I had brought with me to make sure it wasn't a drag queen. He came back to say he though it was a drag. I didn't think so. Still, "Male Films for Males Only". And maybe "male films" did not mean pornography. It did (hey, why must it?). The ugliest, most artless, boring and stupid pornography I have ever seen. The two more unmistakable women walked in and I walked out and so did some four or five other men (tho I don't know their reasons).
"Male Films for Males Only". There is no honor among faggots, and certainly no honor on the part of straight people who set up facilities for our use but on their terms: like that other monstrosity of "male films", the Park-Miller, holding a festival of male-male pornography with a woman as one of the judges. Incredible atrocities are committed against homosexuality every day by faggots and straights, and no one does anything about it. Oh, for a homosexual terrorist organization!
I'm getting very tired of fighting alone. I'm beginning to think I'm the only homosexual, everyone else being hetero-minded faggots. My "friends" let me walk out by myself. Thanks, friends. (One of them, whom I had known for 5½ years, is no longer a friend ([Paul R.]; and now I am reminded of why I cut myself off from him 29 years ago.) Of course, these same "friends" also applaud the Continental Baths' inviting female (and straight) performers to the lounge to play before a roomful of almost-naked faggots ["faggot" has elsewhere on this site been defined as a man who is in everything but actual sex heterosexual in his head].
Faggots are very strange people. I will never understand how any faggot could be so sick, dishonorable, and inconsiderate of everyone as to invite a c*** to a showing of male-male pornography. Why do they do it? And what kind of sick woman would want to be there?
The films themselves, at least the half hour or so I saw, were plotless, artless, completely uninteresting, and sometimes disgusting series of explicit shots of two men having ceaseless sex in awkward, stupid positions. There was no sensibility, no humanity, no homosexuality even, in them. The performers had a tough time keeping a hardon, and none had an orgasm in all their interminable, loveless sex, all to rather ludicrous classical-type music. These films didn't turn on even the men in the audience, who knew the sensations. Of what possible value could they be to the women, who could not know the sensations and who were told by the very fact of the absence of women from the screen that they were unneeded, unwanted intruders?
Technically, the Club is well set up, the films being shown on color television sets suspended from the ceiling in some eight or more locations, the patrons viewing from chairs placed around tables. There was a bar and, at least at this opening, a buffet. But the ultimate justification for all this evades me.
Watching the films and then mulling over the experience afterward, I wondered "What validity, what relevance to my life does this have?" That's not my life. That's not what I want out of life, nor what I'm getting. I thought back on the times I had had sex that week. None of them was like that. Not even the park. None was that devoid of humanity, homosexuality, warmth. And none was so DULL. I am reaffirmed in believing that simple, hardcore pornography is for people who can't get the real thing. As such, it is not so much ugly tho this was or immoral or disgusting as it is, quintessentially, sad.
But The Adonis Cinema Club is not the place to see homosexual pornography. "Male Films for Males Only" is a lie, and the management should pay for its deceit. When will faggots and heterosexual exploiters of homosexuals take a lesson from the success of the all-male bars (the sex bars and such places as The Triangle, Tool Box, etc.) and realize that many homosexual men really do want to get away from women sometimes and be alone with men? The Adonis Cinema Club is a deceitful atrocity against homosexuality. Shut it down!
THE GAY MILITANTS by Donn Teal, Stein & Day, [then] $7.95
In The Gay Militants, Donn Teal has written the authoritative history of the "Movement" post-Stonewall.
The book deals with the period beginning with the Stonewall Riots in late June 1969. It takes us through Christopher Street Liberation Day (June 28, 1970) and into late 1970.
The emphasis is on organizations. The major portion of this work is devoted to the Gay Activists Alliance (G.A.A.) and the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). The other, smaller organizations are not forgotten, though. In fact, they are dealt with quite extensively. I was quite pleased with the attention given to Homosexuals Intransigent! and its founder, Craig Schoonmaker.* [footnote: *For a better understanding of this organization and its extremist President, see pages 44-45, 60, 67-68, 79-80, 307-308, and 312-314 [of the original printing; the book has since been reissued].]
Books of this type are too often tedious. But Donn Teal has come up with an extremely readable and quite interesting history.
The Gay Militants is, of course, of particular interest to the homosexual community. The publishers have decided, however, to aim it toward a general (straight) audience. They are, in my opinion, to be commended for this decision. Perhaps the straights will react better if they understand what we're fighting for.
J.L.F. [Jay Leonard Friend]
BOYCHICK by Leo Skir, Winter House, [then] $5.95
Boychick is a combination of Yiddish and English. It is the diminutive form of the word "boy". This makes an appropriate title for Leo Skir's first acknowledged novel, for what Mr. Skir has written is little and of no significance, i.e., diminutive.
I would go so far as to say that this is the worst novel (gay or straight) that I have ever read.
The book's main character is Leo, a graduate student at New York University. (Is the book an autobiography?) Leo meets and falls in love with Leroy, a teenager whom he affectionately calls "Boychick". The love is one-sided. It's an old story.
Leo Skir has been a news editor of Gay. Stick to news, Leo.
THE GAY INSIDERS by John Francis Hunter, Olympia Press, [then] $2.95
John Francis Hunter has described his new book The Gay Insiders as frivolous. Upon reading the book, I found this an accurate description.
The Gay Insiders is, however, the most comprehensive guide to New York's gay scene that has ever been written. It's all there the bars, the baths, the parks, the organizations, and even the tearooms.
Mr. Hunter's book is an excellent starting point for those just coming out. It tells where to meet the kind of people that you are looking for.
What makes the book frivolous, in my opinion, is the author's recounting of his sexual escapades. John Francis Hunter is one of the most charming and interesting people I know, but I do not give a damn about any sexual escapades other than my own. I am sure that some readers will find this one of the book's strong points. I found it tedious.
The Gay Insiders is excellent when it sticks to what it is supposed to be, i.e., a guide to gay life in Fun City. But when Mr. Hunter digresses, it's a bore.
P.S. Different people will get different things from this book, so read it for yourself, and form your own opinion. [Editor's Note: HI!'s separatist project is mentioned briefly, we are pleased to note. FYI, this is a book for men; it does not treat of women's places, nor is it appropriate reading for women.]
FIRE ISLAND TRIX
A new outfit, Trix Club, Inc., has set up shop to provide packaged tours of "fabulous Fire Island". Run by a member of G.A.A., the tour service offers transportation, reservations, American-plan lodging, entertainment program, and suchlike at what its brochure claims are the least-expensive charges. I know nothing about Fire Island's likely costs, so can't judge. If you're interested, contact the Trix Club, Inc., at [address then].
THE STRIPED SHIRT, "A Happy Restaurant and Groovy Bar", [address and phone number then]
Just found their business card in my pocket one night after visiting a couple of bars, so I assume the place is gay. Haven't been there yet. LCS
* * *
SEX BARS RAIDED
The Exile, one of New York's most popular all-men's dance-sex bars, and The Zodiac (Downtown), New York's longest-lived sex bar, were raided in early May; no customers were arrested. While The Zodiac reopened soon after, the other bar was not so lucky: vandals broke in after the police and bashed up some walls and fixtures, necessitating a two-week shutdown to fix the place up. The Exile is due to reopen soon. The Zodiac has raised its admission fee from $1.00 weekdays (1 drink) and $3.00 weekends (2 drinks) to $3.00 weekdays (2 drinks, I believe) and $4.00 weekends (2 drinks, I know). I hope the excessive weekday charge doesn't last, but who knows. The Zodiac is on rare occasions the site of sado-masochistic scenes. Be warned. LCS
* * * * * * *
A test: The correct statement is "If it feels good . . ."
(a) ". . . it is good."
(b) ". . . it is bad."
(c) ". . . it feels good."
Marking: If you answered (a), score yourself a 0 and count yourself among the troops of the "amorphously polysexual revolution".
It you answered (b), score yourself 0 and count yourself among the sin-minded intimidated of the antisexual tradition.
If you answered (c), score yourself 100 and count yourself among the rational.
Condemnation of the antisexual tradition is so universal that we need not rail against antisexualism here. But a "new" view of sensuality has come into vogue whereby sensuality and sexuality of any and all types is imbued with positive virtue, even magic. The base axiom of this cult of sensuality is "If it feels good, it is good", and the strident imperative is "If it feels good, do it!"
But is everything that feels good, actually good? And should we really do everything that feels good? One would hope that everyone would jump to say "of course not" to both questions, and in the extreme cases, most would. Still, the liberal-sensuality movement has distorted many people's values.
What things feel good that are not good? That depends on who you are. If you are a Nazi sadist, it feels good to you to bash babies against walls. If you are a paranoid psychopath, it feels good to avenge mortally anything you perceive as an offense. If you are a white racist, it feels good to beat blacks, shout racist slogans at passing black children, and vote against all forms of aid or even justice to blacks. If you are a black racist, it feels good to vent your hatred by robbing, mugging, and beating whites and it can be profitable too, which also feels good. If you are a heterosexual male chauvinist, it feels good to heap scorn upon faggots and "keep women in their place". If you are a radical militant homosexual, it feels good to impose your views on other homosexual organizations, to threaten violence or discord, to take over conferences called by other organizations and turn them to your own ends. All these things and others of a similar psychological-physical nature do happen, and they happen only because someone gets pleasure often an almost sexual pleasure from them.
That's not what the Sensualists mean.
O.K. Let's go into purely sensual-sexual things. It feels good to get one's own gratification. It often does not feel good to give another his satisfaction. And surely if the imperative is to do that which feels good, the corollary, not to do that which does not feel good, is meant too. Therefore one should take one's own pleasure always but give pleasure only when the act which gives pleasure is pleasurable to the giver also, right? And if one can get away with only taking pleasure, then he should do so, right?
Wrong. The Sensualist axiom and imperative as stated are rationalizations of an infantile orientation to sensation which, stripped of all the metaphysical bullshit, comes down to simple selfishness: me; I'm important; I should enjoy myself no matter what else happens and no matter who else suffers, for I am the center of my universe and all others exist only to gratify me. There is nothing new here, nothing revolutionary, nothing admirable. The Sensualist argument is sophistry of the worst kind, for it makes a virtue of exploitation.
That's not what is meant? Isn't it? Look around and you'll see conscious or unconscious followers of the Sensualist line everywhere. They're in the back rooms of sex bars taking their pleasure and then moving out. They are the devotees of the one-night stand, because you don't have to care about a one-night stand's needs or feelings. He is a disposable person use once, throw away. People become instruments of pleasure and in so doing lose their humanity and importance.
Let's be generous and say that what the Sensualists really mean is that we should all actively seek out Sensation, taking and giving freely to all things. Then we end up merely with an inane ideal rather than an immoral value system. For psychic energy is finite, as is time. To seek out sensation in all is to have no energy or time for any. To value all is to value none. To "love" everyone is to love no one. And to be part of everything is to be nothing. It's like throwing the whole world into a blender, liquefying every thing and mixing it with every other until it is part of Everything. Then there is no part of the mass which has any character of its own. One is all and all is nothing. The "melting pot" phrased differently. Denial of self thru assimilation.
And where is the Sensualist to find stability and meaning? How can he stay with any one person when each and every other beckons with promises of new sensations? Where do human beings fit in a Sensualist's scheme? Cats, dogs, sheep, goats, flowers, feces, melons, electric vibrators all are worthy objects of unrestrained sexo-sensuality. Why should we value a human being any more than an earthworm or an electric blanket? The Sensualists call us to an idiot's paradise in which the only measure, the only dimension of existence is pleasure.
The Sensualist argument is an absurd counterpoint to the equally absurd opposite extreme of Antisensuality. Surely it cannot be taken literally. If its purpose is to get us to enjoy our sense in a rational way, it defeats itself thru overkill. It is one thing to suggest that a person take a moment to contemplate a flower in all its sensual aspects. It is quite another to suggest that a man must screw with men and women, tree frogs and alligators to live a full life. The Antisensualists would have us feel guilty if we enjoy sex and seek it out. The Sensualists would have us feel guilty if we seek sex only with men and only within the context of something more than sensation.
Both the Antisensualist and Sensualist fires should be snuffed out before they devastate us all. Both assert the primacy of the flesh, and thus neither is suited to the reality of a mind-body duality. Deny the mind only at the cost of losing it. Deny the body too, only at the cost of losing your mind. And if you lose control of your mind. And if you lose control of your mind, of how much value is your body? Face it, folks: we are neither incorporeal angel-spirits nor simple animals. To try to be either is hopeless folly, and only full adjustment to the reality of the human condition will assure us peace and pleasure. The mind-body or spirit-flesh duality must not be denied, for it is our greatest cause for joy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A TWO-WAY LETTERS COLUMN
The purpose of this letter is to offer a commentary of sorts on some of the positions and sentiments expressed by L. Craig Schoonmaker in the last two issues of HI! Mr. Schoonmaker is, obviously, a political partisan. Being myself not only a homosexual but a student of history, a person, and an observer of people, I would like to point out that obvious political partisanship has never really worked, no matter what the cause. I get the feeling that Mr. Schoonmaker's more vituperative statements (e.g., in "Bisexual, Fuck Thyself" and his reply to Ralph Hall) do not so much underlie his political partisanship as spring from it after the fact, the fact of his conscious political decision.
I do not at all wish to condemn or in any way cut Craig down for either is vituperation or his partisanship. From what I know of him I would suspect he is a better man than most, if only by virtue of his ability for concern, his open acknowledgement of his need for companionship, and love and his guts. (Editor's note: I had wanted to delete all such personal references as this paragraph and stick to the ideas; but Mr. T.M. objected very strongly, asserting that they contribute to his tone, and that to delete them would distort his letter; thus I yielded, despite my view that my own virtues or faults are not an issue.)
He has assumed a self-appointed responsibility, and from what I've gathered, hasn't had too much help offered to him with it. Perhaps this lack of help encourages his vituperation, for I get the feeling that the root of his anger may be buried, quite understandably, among the phoniness, cruelty, and impersonality of much of the gay scene, rather than alongside women's high heels, which, I think, are not so much noisy as ridiculous, being detrimental to the health of the user, specifically to the spinal column. In fact, if one were to take Craig's statements about women completely seriously, one would think that women had actually gotten to him, for the sense of pushy presence that he attributes to the ninety-five-pound girl on the subway is a two-way commodity. All awareness of presence must have an active receiver as well as a sender. I suspect, however, as I already implied, that Craig not so much felt the presence as decided to write about it as a vehicle to give vent to his understandable anger an anger we all share in, in one way or another.
This brings me to the problem of obvious political partisanship as I see it. The world, which is generally quite stupid, has one intelligent quality it knows perfectly how to expose and mock the slightest weakness or failure. It knows that political partisans are people who have externalized a personal unfulfillment. It knows how to manipulate the superficial fact that anger actual anger, is directed against someone or something that has gotten to you, that you care about, if only negatively. Now, I don't think that the vituperation Craig expressed comes off as genuine heart-wrenching anger it notably lacks the depth and sincerity of his other writings but others may choose to overlook that point, take it seriously, and decide he's a frustrated heterosexual.
I am not saying one should not express his prejudice and tastes. I don't like high heels or perfume either. I am saying one should not carry prejudice around in a totebag, ready to spill them on a friend's bedsheets. Why need a homosexual stress he is misogynistic unless he fears a woman may come between him and his man? By stressing it, he makes the female presence tangible. Reading Craig's comments on the screams of his "sex-crazed" woman neighbor could lead one to conclude that Craig himself had never felt sex-crazed, or had never screamed. Improbable.
In this modern, technological world, a world of ever-increasing population, any kind of separatism will soon be impossible, and I wonder whether it mightn't also be quite boring to live in a community where everyone EVERYONE! had the same sexual orientation, everyone held so much in common with everyone else. Personally, I sometimes like looking at horses, cats, four-year-old children, and ninety-year-old people, though I wouldn't think of making it with any of them. Besides, we can never be truly separated from the heterosexual world anyway. Where do you think your lover, you know the one I mean, that special guy where do you think he came from? and I don't mean Brooklyn. That's right, friends you guessed it.
None of this was meant to say that I disagree with, or don't appreciate very much, Craig's sensitive and compassionate understanding of our and his problems, nor, to try to make things clearer, am I apolitical. Nor am I completely opposed to the idea of separatism. As a phase, not a final goal, it could be very useful in clarifying matters and increasing our collective consciousness. What I am trying to say is that neither vituperation nor hyperbole have a place in a conscientious, responsible political approach, if only for the reason that such expressions eventually take their toll upon the mind and soul of their expresser. Then there's nothing no politics, no truth, no love no people. Have you ever wondered how William Buckley does his thing on TV? He instigates vituperation and frustration with his coldness, and his opponent in debate in immediately lost. Please don't lose yourself that way, Craig. You're goo good to go like that.
Islip Terrace, New York
Let me preface my remarks with a few points of information: I have met Mr. T.M. We have both conversed and corresponded. I like him and, in a way, respect him. Nonetheless, I think he is an utterly heterosexualized shithead. There is no place in the world of ideas for going soft on a discussion and letting disagreements go for the sake of being friendly.
I wish it were possible to attack ideas viciously but not the people who hold them. It's not, tho. Because people are responsible for their ideas. I believe that people can control both their external life and, ultimately, their mind. Oddly, the second is harder than the first, even tho the first involves other people, and events beyond reach and control. But then, our minds are the product of external influences n large part, too. It becomes necessary, in seizing control of one's own mind, to shut out the others for a while, as completely as possible: to stop reading, watching, listening to other people, to the news, to philosophies and ideas of external origin, and to say "That is what they are about. What am I about?" But please finish this publication before you start shutting out others, O.K.?
Answering T.M. point for point, I should like to clarify my view of politics. My world is political. Perhaps I can best express what I mean by quoting that distinguished homosexual author, L. Craig Schoonmaker. In my freshman year of college I wrote a very long poem (or piece of lined prose) which says in part:
"There are tears for each of us and for all of us.
My tears and your tears drench the earth and evaporate instantly,
As existence mocks us
And bucks us up.
And all that's left is residue salt, some chemicals.
And all that remains from our lives and our troubles, our triumphs and our intentions,
Is a residue, great or small, where we set hand.
Literature, art life, of our children and their animal and plant companions
All reflect and affect the reality of our time.
But the greatest of arts, greatest of tests, is the form we shape our world into.
Our home, and the home of our children, dogs and cats, eagles, ivies, birches, irises, and reeds. . . .
Do violence to personality;
Expressed outwardly too openly
The viewer is a human being
A human intellect intelligence centered and personalized to regard human affairs
A body of emotion to give meaning and impetus.
The instructor is existence biology, awareness, society, the world.
The lesson is realization.
The requirement is time and exposure.
The result is attitude.
The passion is politics."
Now, disregarding the question of whether it is homosexual to talk about children and who says homosexuals in this day and age can't arrange to have children if they want some, thru artificial insemination or such? I'd say that the above pretty well states my view of what politics is: concern with the shape of the world. A political partisan is, then, someone concerned about the state of the world who holds definite views about what that world should be. I am indeed a political partisan, and proud to be one. It is lunacy to say that political partisanship has never worked. Everything that has ever been done in the entire realm of politics has been done by political partisans: the Roman Empire gave the world centuries of peace, relative prosperity and civilization, only because political partisans insisted it do so. Surely that is a success for political partisanship. The United States revolted from Britain and established a new, dynamic government and concept of democracy which despite its myriad faults (and who knows better its faults than we?) has worked so well that it has been emulated, with varying degrees of success, by many other countries. Israel was established and survives to this day because political people willed it so. Etc., etc. A more reasonable statement than T.M.'s is "Obvious political partisanship tends to give rise to countervailing political partisanship, and thus tends to limit its own effectiveness." But if one refuses to try to do something merely because opposition will cut down what one is actually able to do, one will end up doing not the something that he can effect but nothing at all.
It is true that I have assumed a self-appointed responsibility. We don't have a hereditary monarchy or aristocracy here, so all people who end up influencing government and other people do so at their own instigation. Very few people are really dragged into positions of responsibility, but assume positions where they will be seen if they want to be "drafted".
It is also true that I am getting very little help pitifully, infuriatingly little help, indeed. How long I shall continue to try to help people depends in large part upon how much help I get. Altruism takes one only so far; and then one wants to hear people say "Thanks, we appreciate it. Keep working; you're on the right track." But I'm in this organizational and writing business out of self-interest too; I have to live in the gay world, and I don't like the way it is today, so either I try to change it, and try to get other people to help, or I shall continue to be unhappy.
As for women, I keep trying to avoid them in the flesh and in the things I write and say, but people won't let me. So I'll take the cow by the horns: women are irrelevant to homosexual men, at the very best; but at worst, women are destructive to homosexuals. I'll explain.
T.M. prefaced his remarks in part by saying that he is "not only a homosexual but . . . a person". I've heard a lot of people say that, and related things like "It's not the sex but the person that's important" and "You should relate to people regardless of sex and sexuality". And it has finally occurred to me why one hears this all the time from gay people not homosexuals, but "gay people" and scarcely at all from hets: gay people really do not believe that they are people. Being human is so completely identified with being heterosexual that homosexuals have had to talk themselves into believing that they are people:
The argument they use goes like this "It's not the sex but the person that matters. If a person is beautiful and you really groove on each other, it shouldn't matter that that person is a man and not a woman." Now this argument works both for the "person" one desires and the "person" one is. One becomes a "person" rather than a "homosexual" by this sleight of tongue. If you investigate, however, you will find that the self-same "persons" who can justify their homosexuality only in terms of relating to "persons" in point of fact do not and often cannot relate to persons at all but only to bodies. No matter. If they can persuade themselves thru this mental trickery that they are human beings even tho they are homosexual, maybe they are ahead of the game.
But the argument works the other way around, too, and that is why it must be discarded: if it is the "person" and not the sex that is important, then one "should" "relate" to "persons" who are female, too. Uh oh . . . you don't want to relate to women fully, intimately, i.e., sexually? But you must, to be consistent. So one ends up in a bisexual bind, which is in essence a heterosexual bind, the exact same thing one started with.
The simple fact is that if one is to be homosexual, one must actively avoid women: it is so easy to be heterosexual and so hard to be homosexual, that if one does not yield to the ubiquitous pressures and settle for the easier way, one must be avoiding those pressures and avoiding those entanglements. Simple honesty is all that is needed to see that avoidance of women is essential to homosexuality in a heterosexual society. Most homosexuals who are "out" into gay society do not, in point of simple fact, tend to socialize with straight people or women of whatever orientation on a regular and voluntary basis. When they do so associate, it is usually for the sake of appearances. But instead of acknowledging freely and simply that they much prefer the company of men who like men, they go about making excuses for their not liking women.
Now, I have never for an instant doubted that I am a person. That is not important to me. Everybody is a person. It is important to me to be a man, which I have not always been, and to be a homosexual, which I am trying hard to be. I used to be a boy, not a man, and a person. Around age 20 I said to myself "I am a man" and didn't believe it. "I am a boy" I believed. Now I know that I am a man, and I'm very happy about it. But what is a man? What would a man naturally be if he weren't influenced to be something else by contact with women? There can be no doubt that the effect of women on men in substantial, even on men who don't like women. This is the problem, T.M. The main danger from women, the main trouble they cause is not that they can come between a man and his man but they they can come between a man and himself. Whether thru direct influence and subsequent emulation or thru antipathy and subsequent overreaction, women have an influence upon men. That's why we find so many homosexuals fucked-up about their sexual identity.
An odd think about women, "the submissive sex", is that they impose themselves upon people. A woman must announce her existence not merely by sight but also by sound, smell, and touch: thus noisy shoes, perfumes, and bumps. Perhaps because they cannot just force others (men) to give them sexual gratification, they must interest them, and in order to interest men, they must first be sure they grab attention. In the process of grabbing attention, they impose themselves upon others.
T.M. is, I have noticed, not strong on subtleties. In objecting to high heels, I did not object merely to the noise of those shoes, but rather to the wearer's "setting a cadence" with her shoes. That is very different. Everyone has his own very personal rhythm, the rate at which he breathes, walks, talks, thinks, reads, etc. Everyone is entitled to live by his own rhythm, the rate at which he breathes, walks, talks, thinks, reads, etc. Everyone is entitled to live by his own rhythm, yielding it only by conscious decision; thus you will notice that people walking together often walk in-time. But to have someone you neither know nor want to know setting a cadence for you is an intolerable imposition. Now, a woman marching in high heels is not exactly shouting "Hut-two-three-four", but she is making a definite impression of cadence upon everyone within hearing. It's as tho you are humming quietly to yourself and somebody nearby starts whistling another tune or the same tune in a different key or rhythm: it messes you up.
Men do not find it necessary to impose their rhythms, olfactory preferences, etc., upon others. Perhaps we would be better off if they did, for as it is, we end up with women imposing their tastes upon men and men not responding with assertion of their tastes. Ultimately, then, one must come to have a clearer idea of what is womanly than of what is manly. In our matriarchal society, where the man is basically absent during the child's waking hours, this becomes an especially vexing problem, and not just for homosexuals. Heterosexuals are lucky enough as to have traditional answers to the question "What is a man?", but those answers inevitably reflect and enforce heterosexuality. Homosexuals have nt yet invented their answers. And until we can isolate ourselves from female impositions and heterosexual traditions, we never shall.
How aggressive is a man? How passive? Is pink a feminine color or is it masculine too? Is fucking the only manly way to have sex? Is cocksucking feminine? Is it? Or is it masculine? Is rimming natural in homosexual men? Or is it an attempt to reproduce the act of cunnilingus and thereby reduce one's partner to a woman and make oneself therefore a man, heterosexual-style? Is a man gentle, or is he rough? Or is he both, at different times for different reasons? What is a man?
Even if you yourself have found satisfactory answers to these and other such questions, the likelihood is that other men you meet will not have found those same answers. Thus women can come between you and your man in more than the obvious sense. How many times have you met a man who wanted desperately either to emulate what he considered the proper female role or, conversely, avoided anything that even remotely equated in his mind with the woman's role? There are entire cultures which define certain homosexual behavior "feminine" while not placing that title upon other homosexual behavior and the designations differ from culture to culture. So many homosexuals are so uncertain that one can be a man and an enthusiastic, giving, homosexual at the same time, that it is very difficult to find a good homosexual for all the bad heterosexuals wandering around the bars and other "gay" places.
Every time we identify with a woman in a human sense, we throw our own gender identity into doubt. Every time we view a heterosexual situation, such as a play, we are moved, as human beings, to identify with the people in the play. With whom do we identify in a male-female situation? The man always? The woman? As long as we remain in the heterosexual sea, inundated by propaganda that we must respond to "people" not to a sex, we will never know who we are and will never be able to answer in full, validly to our homosexual selves, the most important question there may be: What is a man?
Why is it important? Well, if it is important to be oneself, it is important to be a man.
If one is not sure of his own identity as a person, he moves out of reach of the dominant personalities who have submerged his own personality, in order that he might find out who he is. But even having found out what person one is, one is still left without knowing what he is as a man. To answer that question he must move away from women. In tim,e time to ourselves, homosexuals will be able to sort themselves out and emerge with a confident, stable sense of self and of homosexual manhood.
As for a sense of pushy presence that T.M. talks about as being "a two-way commodity:" pish, tush, pooh, and piffle. By T.M.'s reasoning, rape is a two-way business. (There are people who believe that, too.)
T.M. says that "The world, which is generally quite stupid," I concur "has one intelligent quality it knows perfectly how to expose and mock the slightest weakness or failure." I don't regard that tendency as admirable. Chickens peck to death any defective chick that is born into the flock. It keeps the breed strong. But it's not human. People should be better than that.
None of us likes to be hurt not really, not even sado-masochists, really. (Note the joke: Masochist - "Hit me." Sadist "No.") Yet we are forever in danger of being hurt, so we build defenses. Sometimes our walls get so high and so thick that nothing, not even love, and no one, not even one we could love, can get thru.
I am a political partisan because I care about the things I see and want to do something about them. Some of those things hurt me directly, others only vicariously, as when I identify with the little kids who starved to death in Biafra and continue to starve elsewhere.
To say, as T.M. says, that "political partisans are people who have externalized a personal unfulfillment", is like saying the only reason a person becomes a philanthropist is out of guilt: it doesn't always work. It may in my particular case, but my personal unfulfillment is a function of a societal situation that makes it very difficult, if not impossible not merely for me to find anyone to fill my life, but also for millions of others so to do. If I were just to sit around and lament instead of trying to change that social situation, and for not trying, guarantee my unending unhappiness, I'd be a fool. I am not a fool. If it takes personal unfulfillment to make people care about people, we should be very glad that there are unfulfilled people.
T.M. suggests that in this mass society of ever-increasing population, separatism of any kind will soon be impossible. That asinine objection is not even worth discussing [2001: the breakup of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia in the years since 1971 have proved this point beyond contention].. He wonders if "it mightn't also be quite boring to live in a community where everyone EVERYONE! had the same sexual orientation, everyone held so much in common with everyone else." Well, T.M., you do live in such a community: it's called The World, and everybody who lives in it is straight, didn't you know? You're straight, all the neighbors are straight, all the busdrivers and shopkeepers EVERYBODY's straight. Or so the straight people think. We once wondered ourselves if it were not so. And the straight people, you will note, are very happy that it IS so. You see, common sexuality is a beginning, not an end. There is sufficient variety among homosexual men to make a fully satisfying community. To doubt that is to manifest the doubt most homosexuals feel that they are wort a damn. Homosexual separatism will give us a glittering, brilliant world where we can live full lives. If you doubt it, prove me wrong: move to Manhattan's West Side and help me build a homosexual-separatist community, then judge for yourself.
* * *
Unattached? Rather not be? Most homosexuals, including the very nicest, are unattached at any given time. Maybe someone you'd like is looking for someone like you but doesn't know where to find you. And maybe he's reading this.
We'll print personal notices of up to fifty (50) words for FREE. But don't send any notice for a one-night-stand type of "involvement". We won't print it.
CARL, 28, is blind but can travel about the city to visit. He'd like to meet people for long-term relationships. Tho he cannot receive visitors, he welcomes telephone calls. Chatty, he enjoys conversations, people of all ages, boating, and is willing to expand his interest. [Phone number then]
MALE, 23, 5' 4", 135 pounds, light brown hair, blue eyes, very sincere, fun to be with. Looking for a lover or friends who are sincere and honest. Caucasian, 23-30, from Pa., N.J., N.Y.C. Please write to Donald Tomko, [address and phone number then].
COMMITMENT, one man to another. Companionship, night after day, of body and mind. Male, 26, 5' 10", 150 pounds, brown hair/eyes, attractive, intelligent, misogynistic, aggressive, gentle, needs warm, intelligent man, 24-30, much the same, cheerful, stable. Appearance IS important. Blond preferred. Craig Schoonmaker
Ads for role-playing, S&M, tranvestism, drag, prostitution will not be accepted. * * *
From time to time, letters and statements are sent out over the signature of the organization Homosexuals Intransigent!/New York. When such might be of interest to our readers, they will be printed in this column.
March 30, 1971
To PLAYBOY Magazine
Only with difficulty could I wade thru your noxious and basically uncomprehending symposium on homosexuality.
First, the entire topic is none of your business. There is a pathological tendency in the straight culture (the busybody syndrome) whereby hets assume that everything that happens in the world is their business, even if it is the most-personal sex life of another human being. How desolate your lives must be that you need to invade ours tho retaining your foreignness, not really understanding, and imposing your own judgements. If you want to understand homosexuality, you must be homosexual. You must know what it is to be caressed by a man you care for who cares that you in particular are there in all your maleness, who rejoices in the physical and emotional relationship he has managed, by chance or design, to form with you for however long it lasts, ten minutes or ten decades. And you must know what it is to be an isolated and despised alien in your own country and every country.
Second, much of your symposium is but an exchange of ignorance. "Dr." Bieber and other psychologists declare themselves scientists and their discipline a science. In fact, they are no such ting. In science, one observes something systematically, gathering all available information and seeking out information not readily available. Only when all information is in and all of it points to a conclusion does one set forth a law. Hypotheses are checked against fact, and if even one hard fact does not fit the hypothesis, it is the hypothesis which is discarded, not the fact. Bieber and his ilk, however, start with an ideological stand homosexuality is sick and then seek out information that affirms that stand. Information that does not fit their assertion is explained away as being but a vagary of human behavior 'and we really don't know enough about human behavior to make all-inclusive laws.' To call Bieber's psychology a science is to call something a mathematical system in which two plus two sometimes makes four and sometimes does not. Indeed, all "psychology" is based on inadequate information. Leaping to conclusions without sufficient evidence is a natural tendency (for instance, we all "know" that no two people have the same fingerprints and that no two snowflakes are the same, just as we know that all homosexuals are sick), but surely we must deplore this tendency, not worship it. Assertions about homosexuals by heterosexuals are about as intelligent as would be an assertion by me that all men are homosexual because every man I have ever known intimately, i.e., had sex with, has been homosexual; my information base is skewed and so is the good doctors'.
The panelists were also basically oblivious to their heterosexual bias. Dr. Simon says "the homosexual community is in itself an impoverished cultural unit" without realizing for an instant that the only reason for our impoverishment is cultural rape: heterosexual society forces our writers to write hetero works, our artists to produce hetero art, our actors to play hetero roles. Homosexuals constitute a dispersed minority hidden as much from each other as from heterosexuals. We have been denied social unity and individual integrity, even identity. Heterosexuals cannot realize what this means. Try try hard to turn everything around; immerse yourselves in the horror of what your situation would be if things were reversed.
How would heterosexuals fare if all society were homosexual, and heterosexuals were the dispersed, oppressed, reviled minority? if every book, play, religious work, painting they were raised to idealize and revere were homosexual? if every television and radio program, every song on every record in every jukebox were homosexual? if all men lived in New York and all women lived in California? if every force of society were geared to turn every child (by artificial insemination, mind you, or advanced science) into a homosexual and to suppress heterosexuality and make heterosexuals feel sick, sinful, criminal? if heterosexuals were hindered in meeting one another; harassed in their gathering places; enticed into robberies, beatings, or arrests; denied the right to public affection or public identity; denied the right to marry? How rich would your culture be? How well would you relate to other heterosexuals? How much interest would you take in your work (contributing to the homosexual culture)? In su, how well-adjusted would you be? And "adjusted" to what? How could you be well-adjusted as a heterosexual in a society organized exclusively for homosexuals? The very idea is absurd.
Your symposium concludes, "the futures of homosexual and heterosexual are inextricably linked and we all stand to profit.' that's heterosexual propaganda, and simply not true. We are not linked to you. And only you stand to profit from a continuing interdependence. We can only lose by being integrated into a heterosexual society in which our private sex lives are permitted to deviate but our heads are saturated with your values, your esthetics, your religions and philosophies, your institutions.
Homosexual separatism is where we are headed, not merely as a defense (tho a powerful defense it will be) but because as we become more aware of what homosexuality is, we realize that it must pervade our values in all spheres of our existence, just as heterosexuality pervades all spheres of yours. It is very easy for hets to assert that homosexuals place too much stress upon their sexuality. But until you realize that your entire lives are organized on a sexual basis, that you could not function as people unless you had already established a satisfactory heterosexual culture and heterosexual relations of permanence, you cannot understand that we can never settle for being relegated to being homosexual in bed only.
So understand that when we mass together in New York and san Francisco and make these into homosexual cities, that we do so not because we hate you and everything you stand for altho we sometimes may but because we have finally begun to realize that you are irrelevant to our lives and that our homosexuality really is more important than anything else.
L. Craig Schoonmaker
To Cornell Gay Liberation Front
First, congratulations on having abandoned the name "Student Homophile League", but I fear you've abandoned one euphemism for another. Has it never struck you that "gay" is a great deal easier to say than "homosexual" and that the difference is greater than can be accounted for merely by the difference in phonemes and in number of syllables? Part of the reason for this avoidance of the brutal word "homosexual" must be discomfort. You will find that Homosexuals Intransigent! tends to avoid the word "gay" unless "homosexual" is just too ungainly in a given context.
It would seem that despite your name change, you are still very much an integrationist organization, welcoming straights to your dances and meetings. We do not, as you may know. Some straight people wandered into our second City College/CUNY dance by mistake and wanted their money back; we were delighted to give it and get rid of them. College regulations required us to permit entry to any student willing to pay the admission price. At off-campus activities we are, of course, free to throw them the hell out should they show up. But even some members of my group are content to accept the double standard: straights throw us out if we dance and behave according to our own pattern, but we homosexuals must never throw straight out when they dance and behave in their pattern. Shit. How can you ever expect to win points when the straights always have their own way, wherever? We have nothing to bargain with. And the offense is all one-sided: we are always wronged and pushed around; they, never. Of course, my own view is that they should have every right to be closed-minded in their insistence that everyone who lives in their communities abide by their rules we should have our own communities where we enforce our rules.
The final, glittering capstone ((of an SHL newsletter)) was, for me, the fa________ letter [our file copy is unclear here] from the blathering lunatic from the West Coast. This phenomenally clear statement of the absurdity of the advocates of "polymorphous sexuality" asserted that we must let our bodies dictate to us in all things; that we should "contact . . . all flesh, dogs, cats, flowers, all things, and any and all sexes." (All sexes? I thought there were just two!) Mr. Dorr might be interested to note that not even dogs and cats seek sexual union with all these varied things, and they are not 'cursed' with a highly developed, directional intellect as are humans. Those of us who have experienced Eros unleashed within a homosexual context know the emptiness of bodily contact and experience unless there is something going on in the heads of the people making contact. Perhaps the major point of confusion is the lumping together of love and sex and sensuality, all under the heading "Eros." They are not the same, dahling, and if you doubt this pronouncement, take your flowers to bed with you; feel them caress you; greet them in the morning; call them from the office; talk to them over dinner; see their concern when you're sick or depressed; listen to them make up after an argument; etc. Maybe ((Mr. Dorr)) hasn't experienced much in the way of sensation. Those of us who have can tell you it's a kick for a few years very few years and then you realize that there must be more; that if there isn't more, then life is a very grim joke, not worth living. That "what there is more" is a relationship: one to one, through all the joys and the troubles, the kicks and the hurts. The growing together of two separate people into two different people approaching one in their own different ways.
So let Mr. Dorr and all the people like him "Fuse Together" into one tangled and meaningless mass with the flowers, worms, feces, heterosexuals and all the others of God's creatures. I'll settle for one man.
(LCS, but not on behalf of HI!)
During the two years that the organization Homosexuals Intransigent! has existed, we have produced various signs, leaflets, and newsletters. Many of you have never seen these things, and they are well worth your attention. So, to celebrate our second anniversary, we now reprint a few of the more noteworthy items, starting with a piece from Homosexual Renaissance (predecessor to this publication) No. 2, due to appear in We're Freaking on In, a paperback anthology of gay writing compiled by Leo Skir.
HETEROSEXUALITY IN THE MALE: An analysis
[2001: This item appears elsewhere on this site. To read it, click here. But be sure to hit your browser's "back" button to return to this area]
Q: What do you call it when a dyke screws a faggot?
Nor rain nor sleet nor gloom of night shall stay these faggots in the completion of their disappointed rounds. LCS
NECESSITY IS THE FATHER OF MASTURBATION.
Every wrong permitted makes it easier to accept
Every wrong righted makes easier the next.
All from HR No. 2
just because you're drawn to people of your own sex. Because homosexuality is not queer, but common: Kinsey found that 1/6 of U.S. men are at least predominantly homosexual, and 1/4 of those (some 4 or 5 percent of all men) are exclusively homosexual. Translated to numbers, that means that 19 million U.S. men are predominantly homosexual; more than 4 million, exclusively homosexual. And that's just the men! [2001: the figures today would be over 23 million men predominantly homosexual and over 7 million exclusively so.] With 1/8 of women being mainly homosexual too, another 12 1/4 million people, we get a total of some 31 1/2 million predominantly or exclusively homosexual people in the United States alone! So if homosexuals are queer, then blacks are outlandish, and Jews unheard of. [2001 figures would be about 17.5 million lesbians, for a total of gay men and lesbians of about 41 million. This piece was written in late 1969 or early 1970, before we had broken free of the heterosexual definition of "homosexual", which includes lesbians, a definition we no longer accept. Lesbians have their own word and identity; they don't need ours. And trying to boost numbers by including people who don't belong weakens us rather than strengthens us.]
You don't believe that so many people one of every seven are homosexual or bisexual-leaning-toward-homosexual? Well, we didn't make up these ratios. Dr. Kinsey's investigations found that this is what people have admitted to doing he didn't even include what people have thought about but not dared do.
Sure it seems incredible until you look at yourself and realize how powerful an attraction homosexuality can exert. If our society didn't campaign so hard against homosexuality, there's no telling who would be in bed with whom!
So don't feel bad about your homosexual desires. You're not alone. You're not queer. You're not immoral. You're not inferior.
You are homosexual, at least in part, and you can be happy. Let us help you find yourself and your self-respect.
A leaflet intended for college and high-school students
HI! will take a positive attitude toward homosexuality as a valid and enjoyable way of life with no apologies whatever. HI! will fight bigotry and work for homosexual self-respect and reform of the gay world to make it warmer, more stable, and more fully satisfying. HI! will work for liberation liberation of gay people from guilt, liberatoin of society from prejudice. We advocate not a homosexual revolution but a homosexual renaissance in which gay people can live fully and contribute fully to society.
Notices about this group put up on open bulletin boards have been torn down repeatedly. Who has been tearing down these notices? The bitterest enemies of homosexuality are people fighting a battle against it in themselves. Homosexuals Intransigent! hopes to make the approaching transition of such people from straight to gay a little easier on us all.
An early sign before the group was chartered at The City College/CUNY
(We made a few graffiti-style signs for the group early in our history,
and posted them on buletin boards on campus. One of the college newspapers
called the number given on the sign and sounded very irritated, as tho this
was not something a serious group should do, and was it a gag? When they
found out we were serious but not somber they were cooperative
enough. Realize that these lines were written in all directions, sizes, etc.,
graffiti-style; but that's a little hard to do on a mimeo stencil [2001:
or in HTML], thus the typewriter.)
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE QUEEN
FOR A DAY?!
[a reference to a TV (television) show of the time]
GAY IS GOOD IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.
Take a faggot home.
"Wait till your son turns nelly . . ." Lavender Power!
GAY POWER! Liberte, Egalite, Sororite?
Homosexuality if a form of
Love is beautiful. Homosexuality is a form of fun!
Homosexuality is beautiful.
Let it happen.
To thine own self be true.
"Homosexuality" is not a four-letter word.
("Dyke" is. But so is "Love".)
SEND THIS BOY TO CAMP.
Out of the closets and into the streets burn your closets behind you!
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife." You may, however, covet your neighbor.
"Homosexualtiy is a disease." Irving Bieber, M.D.
"Irving Bieber is a disease." Craig Schoonmaker, Fa.G.
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We demand nothing but our rights: the right to be ourselves everywhere; the right to make a living; the right to love and carry on with one another. We feel that correction, we kow that homosexuality is fully as moral as heterosexuality. And society must respect our right to lvie as we choose. On these basic points there can be no compromise. We must be insistent intransigent. And we must organize ourselves to fight bigotry, here, now, before open-minded young people close their minds and lock in on the prejudices they will carry with them to the grave. That is what Homosexuals Intransigent! is all about.
From "A message for the 'Love Generation': HOMOSEXUALITY IS A FORM OF LOVE", the very first, organizing leaflet which led to the chartering of the City College Chapter
* * *
First psychiatrist: You know, I thnik Dr. Bieber is right about homosexuality being a sickness a lot of homosexuals come to see me, and they are all very disturbed.
Second: A lot of heterosexuals come to see me. HR No. 2
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Pseudonyms: self-respecting homosexuals are proud not only of their homosexuality but of themselves not some phony person with a phony name, but themselves! I am L. Craig Schoonmaker, not Craig Lee (the pseudonym I used very very early in the game, and my stage name for those rare occasions when I act. That's Schoonmaker, a Dutch name, the name of my father a good man, not a great father for a little kid, but a good father for an adult; a man I am no longer angry with or ashamed of, because I know him now a little better than when I was just a little boy; the name my mother chose to take, ungainly as it may seem, because she would rather be Mrs. Schoonmaker than Miss Wynne. Schoonmaker a name of a family which has been in this continent since long before the U.S. was a country the 1640s or earlier. I don't have to give up my family just because I'm a faggot. They haven't given up on me, and they know I am a homosexual. I just wish everybody would esteem himself as much as he should be esteemed. We'll get there. It will take work, but we'll get there. A homosexual who refuses to use his own name calls down shame upon himself, his family, homosexuality and homosexuals generally. Stop being such damned fucking cowards, and discover that you are a man or a woman not just of this moment but of a whole line of human beings from the infinite past up till today, a line of people who exist because they see something worthwhile in existing, in being what one is. Millions of years went into the creation of each of us. Why should we knock it? The name we bear is a trailmark, a sign of our past, our origin, the peoples and energies, the feelings, the love, that went into our creation. Why should we abandon all this? Let no one no one try to deprive me of my name, my family, my heritage! I am L. Craig Schoonmaker and you are you, and each of us has his reasons for joy. From HR No. 1, November 12, 1969
How can we who are homosexual convey what it means to us to be gay, how much we want respect not just for ourselves as individuals but also for the form of human relationship without which we would be wretched and useless to ourselves and others? A young man who finds sensual and emotional delight in burying his nose in the soft short hair of another man's temple, in feeling the grating of sandpapers as his jaw sweeps across a rough male cheek to firm, full lips seeking his own; who finds greatest comfort and security in tennis, swimming, tumbling with another solid male, in holding hands with, sleeping near someone who wants him near, to reach out fingertips to touch fingertips, lock hands, and sit watching television on a rainy evening such a man knows that there is a great deal more to homosexuality than restroom sex; that homosexuality need not mean a life of inescapable loneliness and shame . . . .
We want, not to suppress heterosexuality, but rather to bring homosexuality out of the shadows to share the sunlight. From a leaflet, May 1969
[2001: The photo above, found on the Internet, was not in the original 1971 publication but seems perfectly to embody the sentiment of this selection, so we have added it. If the photo is copyrighted and the copyright owner objects to this use, we will remove it on request.
* * *
It is 1980 and the new homosexual has emerged from the Seventies. No longer looked down upon as the screaming effeminate he was thought in 1970, the new homosexual is the stalwart of masculinity tough, respected, and looked up to as a model for men. The homosexual is free. Free from restraints, free from harassment, free from discrimination.
Thru the eight decade a new phenomenon arose from the bitter struggle against society: the homosexual neighborhood, for example New York's Upper West side. Police, shopkeepers, firemen are all homosexual, and homosexuals control the churches, hospitals, etc. The emergence of this free community has brought an influx of homosexuals to Manhattan, and now, according to the 1980 census, 80 percent of the 2 million people residing there are homosexual. And there are such communities in all the other boros and even in the suburbs. From "The New Gods", by Paul Guzzardo, in HR No. 2
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[2001: This important piece, the lead article of Homosexual Renaissance No. 1, the first issue of our newsletter (issued November 12, 1969), appears in full elsewhere on this site. In the 1990s it was excerpted by the late Randy Shilts in his bestseller, Conduct Unbecoming. Click here to go to that item, and to the three that follow it (WHY "HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE"?, WHY "HOMOSEXUALS INTRANSIGENT!"? and INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND CITY, which were also in the reprint section of this issue) then use your browser's "back" button to return to this issue.
* * *
THE SECOND CITY IS NOT CHICAGO. From an early sign
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GAY'S A GROOVE (not a rut, ditch, or sewer). From a leaflet, May 1969
* * *
We hope that all organizations will understand the positive thrust of HI!'s brand of homosexual separatism. Homosexual separatism is a move first to evacuate people from the loneliness of isolation in a hostile environment; second, to end the violence ot our individual and collective psyche done by heterosexual pressurs; and third, to reform the world we live in so that it is truly a gay world and not merely a distorted remnant and reflection of the straight world.
From a leaflet (interorganizational)
* * *
I hereby declare that I am at least in part homosexual, that I agree with the essential principles and purposes of Homosexuals Intransigent!, and that I wish to belong to the organization. I pledge that I shall answer frankly any questions about my sexuality and true identity directed to me by any individual, group, or collective entity at any time. I hereby grant/refuse (choose one) to Homosexuals Intransigent! the right to release my name (address, etc.) at the discretion of any of the officers of the organization. I reserve the right to rescind this permission by written instruction, and I promise to protect the identity of persons who do not want their membership or homosexuality known by nonhomosexuals.
The full-membership pledge of this organization, instituted April 1969 and still in effect. Let us hear no one say "more militant than thou" until they have people signing their names to pledges more strenuous than this in order to belong fully to the group.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT on this magazine: tho I have, with the permission of HI!, copyrighted the entire contents of this publication, parts of it may be used by others subject only to their submitting a written request for such use. My intent is not to steal other people's writing I shall permit use of others' writings freely, subject to their permission nor to restrict the circulation of tings I have written, for purely mercenary reasons. Of course, if a publication can afford to pay, it should. But my major intent is to secure credit for my writings and achieve an element of control over where my writings appear, and under what circumstances. I am a serious writer, and that this magazine may be mimeoed should not suggest that its writing is second-rate.
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ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Homosexuals Intransigent! is two years old. We hope that after reading this issue, you wil agree that we have reason to be proud of our organization, the oldest of the new, militant homosexual organizatoins. But you may still be unclear about what exactly we are into and what we want to do. Well, we're into CHANGE, internal and external, thru homosexual separatism
"I'm going to live the rest of my life in the gay world." If you feel that this statement is true for you and the thought leaves you less than ecstatic, maybe you should join HI!
Some people in the gay-rights movement imply that all gay people are perfect the only thing wrong with us is them (hets). If you agree with that view, you won't be interested in HI! Because we know that we have faults, and we are working to change both ourselves and homosexual society.
We're tired of first-names-only; the secret life; role playing; impersonal, exploitive promiscuity; bitchiness; misperception of self (nelliness, self-degradation); shame. And while we may defend the right of gay people to go in drag or beat one another in sex games, we don't pretened that drag and sado-masochism are healthy.
Granted, our troubles originate in the fact of our submersion in a heterosexual sea, we still bear responsibility for seizing control of our lives and salvaging our futures.
We have to get our heads together and create a homosexual society that will make us reasonably confident that we will find peace with ourselves and lovign and meaningful relationships with other homosexuals. Here are some things we'd like to do:
* Take over the City of New York, starting with the 19th and 20th Congressional Districts (the First Gay-Power District), which comprise most of the Village and West Side. By "take over" we do not mean carrying off a bloody coup. That's not possible in the U.S. But it is easily possible for homosexuals to move from the farms and villages, the suburbs and smaller cities (and that means every city) and make this greatest concentration of homosexuals in the world the base of a powerful and scintillating homosexual culture. A homosexual majority will enable us to elect our own outspoken representatives to public offices at all levels of government, and to create social and cultural institutions valid for homosexuals. And imagine the joy of living in an all-male, all-homosexual City of Smiles, ManHattan. [March 2001: Paris just elected a gay man Mayor ahead of New York.]
* Establish a Housing Referral Service, first components of the Housing, Employment, Legal, and Psychological Services program (HELPS), to facilitate creation of the First Gay-Power District.
* Hold frequent Coming-Out Workshops to help young homosexuals get the information and reassurance they need to come out without excessive anxiety.
* Institute a news and feature service for the newsletters of homosexual organizations across the country; this would be the first project of an intergroup community for gay-world reform that we hope will emerge, the Coalition of Homosexuals Acting for a New Gay Environment (CHANGE).
* Begin a semi-formal leadership-training program to draw qualified people into positions of responsibility.
* Organize social activity groups, to enable homosexuals to pursue their favorite recreational activities with other homosexuals and thus meet three-dimensional compatible people.
* Take celebrity ads, to get prominent homosexuals to declare themselves homosexual publicly and urge an end to legal and extralegal discrimination against us.
* Innovate self-recognition days, on which homosexuals will be encouraged to wear an innocus symbol that would let other homosexuals recognize them as such, in order to help us realize how numerous and potentially powerful we are.
* Put on a variety show for homosexual performers only, both professional and amateur, to encourage homosexual creativity to express itself openly, in homosexual terms.
* Extend media monitoring, to commend favorable comments on homosexuality and rebut slanderous or ignorant remarks in the media.
* Assist in organizing college and high-school homosexual organizations, as well as organizations for adults.
* Hold dances and parties both on and off college campuses; but these social affairs must do more than merely bring people into proximity they must help people meet.
* Establish, in cooperation with other organizations, a regional speakers' bureau to promote interest in speakers on homosexuality and provide good speakers.
* Seek a media voice for the homosexual, either as a regular feature in heterosexually-dominated media (as a column in The New York Times or a special-stress program on ABC radio and TV) or in the form of a hmosexually-owned and operated broadcast system.
* Rate gay bars, baths, etc., on multiple criteria, and publicize not merely the overall rating but also a detailed evaluation.
* Form a militant group to patrol and protect outdoor cruising areas from incursions of muggers and fabeaters and thus instill confidence and physicla pride in affected homosexuals (the Lavendar Guard, we could call it).
* Formulate and disseminate safety rules for outdoor cruising until such time as a Lavendar guar can be organized and as a compleent to it once it is established.
* Basically, to cause homosexuals to seize control of all areas of the gay world and free it from the exploiters and parasites.
* Ultimately, to organize a homosexual-muscle organization to force change if there is no other way than violence to effect needed changes (the Lavendar Hand).
* * * * HI! intends to concentrate much of its recruitment attention on the intelligent and intellectual omosexual. Because the basic tasks we set ourselves, working for a homosexual mentality and building a homosexual culture in the long term, are intellectuals' responsibilities; further, the homosexual intellectual has been largely ignored or at least neglected by other organizations. Homosexuals have had to go to the general (i.e., hetero) culture for meaningful intellectual stimulation and companionship or do without. Let's face it, you can't expect to find a mind-partner by sight in a bar, dance, or baths. Organizations involve but a tiny fraction of homosexuals generally, so how many of their members are likely to be intllectual peers or intellectually compatible? Besides, most organizations are compatmentalized in thir single-minded dedication to either political or social activities. But the homosexual intellectual has both political and social interests, not to mention cultural and sexual needs. HI! will work to provide for the total man, the multidimensional, homosexual intellectual.
If you think we are trying to run a recruitment campaign on "snob appeal", go right ahead. But we feel that the intelligent homosexual has a lot of work ahead of him in building a homosexual society and should be able to turn his attention to these important matters without having to sacrifice socially.
We are not an organization for phonies, and not all of us are intellectuals. But every organization should have a delineable orientation. Ours is to militant, separatist homosexual intellectualism.
Homosexuals Intransigent! is ot for everybody. Is it for you? If you tink it might be, contact us. We are not a mass organization, and our membership is very small. We know eath other by first names, and nobody is anonymous and ignored. Help us build our membership while retaining this quality.
MEETING: Come meet us and explore what we can accomplish together. Attend our Gay Pride Week meeting on Sunday, June 20th , at 7:30 p.m., in the Basement Front apartment of 127 Riverside Drive [then, in 1971], at the southeast corner of West 85th Street in Manhattan. HOMOSEXUAL MEN ONLY.
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to the constitution of Homosexuals Intransigent! are being submitted to the full members of the organization: the first will limit membership of any category to homosexual men only (the constitution provides for an equal but semi-separate women's division which has never been organized); the second provides that if the grup dissolves, its moneys shall go to CARE, Inc., for food (the present provision is for its assets to go to MSNY).
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MEMBERS OF HI! AND SUBSCRIBERS and close friends of the group are being asked, in the mailing that includes this magazine, to fill out a questionnaire on sports activities that a researcher at the Unviersity of Maryland is circulating thru various homosexual organizations. Anyone who does not receive one but would like to fill one out should contact us. Helping researchers is one of this group's more important functions.
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IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF HI! . . .
Don Jackson, Gay Separatist and Gay Supremacist a man after our own heart writes about what Dr. Franklin Kameny of the Mattachine Society of Washington (D.C.) hs called "a war of extermination against homosexuals" being waged by the psychiatric profession, in "KILL THE QUEERS" . . .
"A Child's Garden of Perversions: Part I Pedophilia" . . .
Homosexuality and Lesbianism: Parallel but Not the Same part of the continuing "Still That Little Het in Your Head" series . . .
Epistolary Intercourse Don Jackson and Craig Schoonmaker, separatists and supremacists both, discuss the words "homosexual", "gay", "stright", and "het" . . . plus any other letters of interest . . .
The Second City . . . The Media Monitor . . . CSLD march and gay-in impressions.
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YES OR NO: DO YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THIS MAGAZINE?
One way or another, we'd like to hear from you (in any correspondence, let us know if we may print your letter and if so, whether with your full name or just initials).
This special issue is going out to the people on our mailing list (about 150 in 19 states and 2 provinces); to some 300 other individuals thru the Oscar Wilde Memorial Book Shop and a couple of organizations; and perhaps to another 50 or so organizations or individuals thru bookshops in other parts of the country. We're trying to see if there is enoug interest in the kind of things we're writing and work we'd like to do to justify expending the great amounts of energy it takes to produce this magazine every month or so. Usually the magazine runs some 20 pages, ot 38 [the original printed size, on 8 1/2 by 11" paper, of this issue]. But it's still a big project. Frankly, we have other things to do with our time if nobody wants to rad us. And we have to support this publication financially ourselves too, unless we receive more money from subscriptions and we sure as hell have other things we can do with our money.
So please let us hear from you whether you are pro or con. If you have been receiving this publication for free and we don't hear from you, we shall remove your name from out mailing list forthwith, automatically. If you are not certain whether you have or have not subscribed, ask us. We won't remove anyone from the mailing list who actively wants to remain on it, on account of money at least notyet. But we must know, right away.
Only men may subscribe. We want to reach men, and we want to feel free to talk as we wish about any subject at any time.
The new postal rates have caused us to sit down and analyze costs. that analysis reveals the need for us to raise the subscription rate to $3.00 for twelve issues [1971 rates]. Present subscriptions will be filled for no additional charge (tho if you'd like to send us the difference, we'd appreciate it). If you are willing to receive HI! by second-lcass mail, let us kow. It would save us some money.
SO, WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE? [2001: The subscription form below is presented for historical purposes only. We no longer publish to paper but only to the Internet.]
_____ YES, I want to continue to receive HI! Magazine regularly, and I enclose $3.00 for a twleve-issue subscription.
_____ YES, I want to receive this magazine, but I can't afford to subscribe right now; as my financial circumstances improve, I'll send the $3.00
_____ I'D LIKE TO HELP, with money ($ ), writing_____, copy-editing_____, typing_____, mailing_____, getting advertising_____, or other way _____________________.
_____ NO hard feelings, but please remove my name from your mailing list. ((Sorry, but we cannot refund any money on cancelled subscriptions.))
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[Note: I have had to neglect the Mr. Gay Pride website for many months in order to tend to other websites (most particularly for the organizations Expansionist Party of the United States and United States International . Much remains of the original papers of Homosexuals Intransigent! to be uploaded to the Internet, as time permits. L. Craig Schoonmaker, Webmaster
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