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[Historical document, c. 30,000 words]
A MAGAZINE OF IDEAS FROM
Homosexuals Intransigent!/New York
AN ORGANIZATION FOR THE
THINKING HOMOSEXUAL MAN
[address and phone number then]
Number 5, February 1972
Copyright L. Craig Schoonmaker 1972
WE REQUEST THAT THIS PUBLICATION BE DISTRIBUTED TO AND READ BY HOMOSEXUAL MEN ONLY!
JUST BETWEEN US ...
This is the first issue of this Magazine on which we are trying to restrict circulation to homosexual men only. We are doing so in order that we might discuss frankly brutally so issues that we must face but have generally refused to face in "Gay" publications, in large part because They, the hetero Enemy, have also been reading at our invitation. Well, that is now part of HI!'s past, as it must become part of the past of other organizations. We no longer give a damn about presenting a good public image for the homosexual. We are concerned about things that are ugly and dangerous to the homosexual and affect his life: self-contempt, self-destruction, exploitation, impersonality, naivete, etc. We'll also talk about happy things. But whatever we discuss, we'll do so honestly, with no public-relations bullshit, because this is just between us.
BULLETIN HUMPHREY SPEAKS OUT
After we closed our "cc: HI!'s Readers" department (see it for explanation), we received word from Hubert H. Humphrey, candidate for President: "As I have mentioned to you in previous correspondence, I oppose legislation which arbitrarily discriminates against homosexuals. The items you delineate ... are valid ones. Your points will be given detailed review." In light of our letter, this is a strong endorsement, worthy of note. We're pleased.
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INSIDE: "Deviate and Be Free" [(p. 6)] ... Second City [(10)] ... News [(18)] ... [A Child's Garden of Perverts, Part 1:] "The Faghag-Fag" [(9)] ... Epistolary Intercourse [(24)] ... Personal [(35)] ... cc [(37)]. [Bracketed numbers were the page numbers in the 46-page mimeographed original publication. The typewritten logo that spells out HI! on a yellowed background atop this page is a scanned section of page 1 of the yellowing original. We present, to the left of the transcription of the first major article just below, a miniature, scanned reproduction of the entire original first page.
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Hate is the most maligned and misunderstood of our emotions. It is also, thru anger, its outlet, the most powerful. Men build from love and destroy from hate. But too often one cannot build unless one first destroys. So the inability to hate is the inability, sometimes, to love. For the habit of crippling oneself by repressing emotions cannot easily be confined to one emotion only. Repression is a self-generalizing habit of mind, and it is destructive to the personality.
One of the most important things the homosexual must learn to do is to hate: to hate passionately everyone and everything that causes him to hate himself, other homosexuals, and homosexuality itself; to hate every impulse to hide his homosexuality, every impulse to cover up, avert one's eye, change the conversation; to hate every single aspect of his denial of existence every imposition of heterosexuality upon him: every television program that suggests that "all" people are heterosexual; every evening of TV or radio programming in which he is invisible and unheard; every ad and advertiser which thrusts vulgar, coarse hetero images and demands upon everyone to sell products; every school where hetero patterns are foisted upon every child; to hate every antihomosexual feeling he has in himself, every temptation to role playing, every word of the "gay" vocabulary derived from the heterosexual and hetero-prostitute vocabulary of ugliness, impersonality, and contempt for sex ("number", "trick", "fuck", "screw", "suck", "do", "god down on", etc., etc., ad nauseam), every sexual fantasy in which the body without a man inside is preferred to a full man, every sadistic/masochistic image and thrill, every unnatural swish, every affected effeminate mannerism, every rattail comb and eyebrow pencil, every falsie and hormone shot, every drag ball, every trucks or baths or tearoom or park scene that deprives the homosexual of dignity and personhood.
The homosexual must learn to feel fury absolute white rage at what has been done to him, at what he has permitted to be done to him and continues to permit. Because the homosexual is a prisoner within very strong walls, and all the maudlin sentiment in the world, all the wishes for "understanding" and "peace" and "brotherhood" and "people accepting people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation" and "love" whatever the hell all that is supposed to mean is not going to break down those walls. Only anger will smash them; only rage will raze them.
The homosexual is his own worst enemy. I deplore having to say that. But not to say it would be to lie. And we have lied to ourselves and to others too often. The major trouble with a lie is not that it is immoral and deceives people, nor that it diminishes the self-respect of the liar, but that it doesn't change the truth and may even prevent people from accepting the truth they must understand if every they are to change it. Certain homosexual organizations have fomented a public image of the homosexual which bears no relationship to fact. According to their version, very few of us are in the slightest disturbed emotionally; all we ever do is "love" each other; and everything will be all right if only straight people will "accept" us as the warm, wonderful human beings we are. But the simple fact is that the entire "gay" world belies that image: where is "love"? Where? One thousand one-nite stands does not show a huge capacity for love, but just the opposite. And how many "love" relationships in the gay world are mutual, true, deep? How many are one-sided, exploitative, role-structured 'marriages of convenience' between people who are so tired of the routine of one-nite stands that they'll settle for a bad relationship that doesn't really satisfy them but at least doesn't make them too unhappy? "Even a bad love is better than no love at all," they sing. But is it? Is a sterile relationship which goes no place and is violated at will in outside cruising, better than admitting that there is no love at all in most of the "gay world"? Does the public image certain gay organizations grind out do us more service or disservice? And does their appeal for "understanding" and "acceptance" really come to grips with the problems of the homosexual? I think not damn, no!: I know it does not!
The Truncated Man
The homosexual has castrated himself by denying to himself the right to hate. Having been and still being the object of other people's hate, and allowing it to hurt him because he cares (wrongly), the homosexual has abjured hate. Without hate, then where is anger to come from? Without anger, where is change to come from?
These questions are paradoxical, because it is not possible to will away hate. It is there and will be there whether or not we acknowledge it. All we can do is deprive it of its rightful targets. Deprived of its rightful targets, it will attack the self with devastating effect. The homosexual hates himself. No serious observer can deny that that is true. For no truly self-accepting and self-respectful person would put up for an instant with the shit that the homosexual takes day after day, year after year! And the "gay" organizations are in part responsible for this condition, for they have almost without exception denied to the homosexual the right to hate his oppressors and his oppression. the "gay" integrationist organizations are themselves an extension and manifestation of this oppression, because all that the homosexual can get from integrating himself into a society in which he has absolutely no place necessarily, by the very nature of things is destruction. To be integrated into an overwhelmingly hetero society is to be assimilated culturally and psychologically into heterosexuality. But the homosexual can never be so assimilated. He is just different and can never be the same as every(heterosexual)body else. To want him to be the same is to want him to be straight is to want him to cease to exist: that is the clearest statement of self-destruction there can be.
The mind of the man who will not allow himself to hate needs be tumultuous and turbulent. There are only a handful of emotions that truly control man: love, hate, fear, anger, the will to live/will to self-preservation, sex, and pleasure. These are the primeval emotions, deep inside the being, sprung from the basic primeval animal. Other emotions have been added to our repertoire as the mind grew over the millennia of evolution and self-preservation became more assured: sympathy, empathy, dispassion; humor; appreciation, etc. These are the sophisticated emotions, more superficially rooted in the being, functions of the intellect. To make a comparison, they are the cerebrum while the primeval emotions are the cerebellum; they function fine as long as the being is well, relaxed, and conscious, but in crisis, danger, or sleep they largely disappear. There may be laughter in crisis, but no humor. There may be compassion after the war, but there is only self-preservation in battle. And while many have nitemares and sexual-pleasure dreams, who wakes up in the middle of the nite laughing?
The homosexual exists in a perpetual state of tension or crisis. To what degree depends upon his surroundings. But virtually all homosexuals everywhere exist in an environment they know is sufficiently hostile as to cause them to feel at the very least a pervasive low-grade fear. Under tension or strain, the primeval emotions take over. And os our primeval emotions are more important than are those of people who do not share our stress. yet we deny the most powerful of all these primeval emotions: hate.
How It Works
Ask yourself, Why does hate exist? The answer comes back that it is tied closely to self-preservation, as are fear and sex, tho the latter is also tied to pleasure. Fear induces caution and starts the motor of self-defense. Anger revs the motor and puts the machine of self-preserving destruction into savage and violent operation. Fear is defensive, negative; anger/hate is offensive, positive.
This model could go some distance in explaining why for some people, danger
is a sexual stimulant: tied to self-preservation, sex may be stimulated by
fear; yielding pleasure, it may serve to reduce fear. Thus an accumulated
low-grade fear may be relieved thru a sexual experience in a high-grade fear
situation. That may seem an odd sort of thing, but then the pattern of getting
sexual kicks out of danger is odd. The general model may also help to explain
the life pattern of many homosexuals: living in fear creates self-preservation
pressures which are not permitted to express themselves thru anger (after
all, if you hit some bigot in the face instead of remaining silent or laughing
at his antihomosexual joke, you will have revealed your scene, and God knows,
no true faggot would want to do that!). Thus they seek outlet in sex which
produces pleasure which reduces fear a very strongly animal pattern,
but very real. The sophisticated human being disappears with the end of the
workday, and the sexual animal takes over, planning his evening for sexual
search and indulgence. Many people (well-informed homosexuals, that is, not
just straight pigs) assert that the homosexual spends an inordinate amount
of time and energy on sex. If what I suggest here is valid, it would help
to explain why.
It's easier to be brave with others than alone. If you'd like to become freer and prouder, join an organization (preferably ours, of course).
If you are already liberated yourself, you can help others find freedom and courage.
Shouldn't we make things easer for others than they were for us?
Unfortunately for the primeval animal, the world indeed, the creature he exists within are much more complicated than he. And so a man is not content with simple sexual release but must elaborate upon it, add to it things like warmth and affection and tenderness and care. All this springs from yet another primeval emotion, love, but what love is has been added to by the addition of the sophisticated emotions, and the arrival of a highly sophisticated world. So love is not now, if ever it was, merely catching somebody in your arms and caressing him for a few minutes, but is a complex set of acts and feelings directed toward a particular person over time. It involves things like responsibility, concern, sensitivity, faithfulness, truthfulness, identification, intellectual interchange, and companionship. And that's a hell of a lot more than the primeval man ever asked for, needed, wanted, or could have understood. Oddly, many New Homosexuals seem to use the word "love" in a prehistoric sense: thus each sexual experience is an instance of "loving" someone. But since man has changed over time, what might have been enuf for our primeval ancestor just isn't enuf for us. So it is no surprise that a thousand cave-man-like "loves" leave us feeling alone and empty still.
Original Functions, Present Influences of Primeval Emotions
Taking as my start the supposition that the purpose of a living being is to live and that all the senses and emotions circle around self-preservation first and foremost, then I must conclude that love is the weakest link in the chain of defenses and that it is the weakest primeval emotion because it served the least important function. All it does is make possible a social pattern which enables group defense and the long-term protection of the helpless young until they are old enuf to defend themselves. Let's take these two points separately.
(1) Man is a social animal, we all know. There is good reason for this phenomenon. Man, being very weak as compared to other predators, was no match, alone, for his hostile environment. Only cooperation with other (weak) men brought strength. There is good reason to believe that women were always pretty much useless in tasks requiring physical strength and power (the ability to deliver strength quickly and decisively), judging from the fact that in virtually all primitive societies the men are the hunters and warriors, and the women tend to the home, fields, and children. Thus the love of man for man was the most important protection in the short term of the individual. For without love there was only one individual alone against a dangerous environment, and each other man became part of that hostile environment, man warring against man at all times. All successful groups are based on love among the members of the group or love of the members for the leader. Almost all great generals and politicians and religious leaders were those who were able to draw love from their followers, for men fight from love of a man, not an idea. Since the race was able to survive to survive only if men could love each other love became a naturally-selected emotion, those lacking it being unable to form successful groups and thus perishing, either of starvation thru inability to trap or kill sufficient prey or of violence from more successful predators or groups of men. Since cohesiveness among men, the hunters and warriors, was the crucial question, love among men was the crucial short-term requirement, and somehow men gradually came to have a greater ability to relate to other men than women have to relate to women. To this day we find that men are more capable of forming groups and organizing themselves into purposeful bodies than are women, who did not have as much need to rally to one another since they were always protected by men. (This helps to explain the trouble Women's Liberation is having, first in getting women together and second in breaking into the well-organized men's worlds. It also explains why men tend to control everything that involves social order.) We must conclude that homosexuality, far from being deviant and unnatural, is a first condition, an absolute requirement for self-preservation and civilization, neither self-preservation nor civilization being possible without strong male groups.
(2) The love of a man for a woman and for children is a secondary, long-term self-preservation phenomenon, and a such both less powerful and less important to the emotional life of the individual man. Women and children are for the species; men are for the man. And a man isolated in "a woman's world" always feels hopelessly out of place and unhappy (for a man needs men), whereas many women assure themselves that they fit right into a man's world. Since women in the beginning had very little to offer other women in the way of the primeval needs since hunting and gathering, not growing food, was the model of all primitive societies, and since a woman had to bear her babies by herself and because it was necessary to both her short-term survival and the long-term survival of the race that she attach herself to a male protector, lesbianism is likely a more sophisticated than primeval phenomenon, which would help to account for its lesser frequency and power.
The combination of smaller numbers and lesser strength of attraction with a physiologically slighter sexual drive helps to explain the relative infrequency of lesbianism. The fact that men are more sexual in that their sex drive demands, ultimately, expression with and search for a partner, combined with the primeval power of homosexual attraction, explains in part the apparently greater number of homosexuals than lesbians; and men's (homo-) sex-based greater ability to form groups helps to explain why there are both a fairly-well-organized "gay world" for men and an overwhelmingly male "gay" movement.
My purpose in gathering together these seemingly weakly-linked strands is to set forth the overall pattern of primeval response that is so important to our lives as people. The primeval has daily, almost omnipotent influence upon our lives. We can see it if we look thoughtfully. And as we cannot deny sex and be happy, nor can we deny ourselves either hate or love homosexual love and be happy. The homosexual has denied and continues to deny himself both hate and love.
All this must change. We must realize that we cannot deny nor store up hate. Hate is powerful more powerful than our ability to diver it or our power to deny it. Hate is dynamic, not static. It will not sit still but will work. Hate moves it moves the body to aggression; it moves the mind to aggression too. If that aggression is not let out it will nonetheless work its will, but in that case it will have nowhere to work but on the self. And then, instead of serving the end of self-preservation, it goes instead to push self-destruction.
At one time I found myself starting to wish myself dead with ever-increasing frequency. But now, every time I start to say "I wish I were dead" because straight-imposed limitations and conditions rampant in the bars or elsewhere make my life and other homosexuals' lives miserable, I've changed that sentence to "I wish they were dead I wish all of them were dead, all of those rotten infuriating straight people." I had started to think "Damn them (homosexuals)!" Now I think "Damn them (heterosexuals)!" It's a huge difference.
Because if I had persisted long enuf in thinking the first, I would be dead or miserable, destroying myself with my own hatred which is supposed to protect me, my own fury which is supposed to make me powerful against my enemies. I was becoming my own most powerful enemy, for my own stupidity and the injunction "wish no evil, hate no one" was turning my formidable abilities to persuade, convince, or destroy those who would harm me, against myself. And the same thing I had been permitting to happen to me, millions of other homosexuals are permitting to happen to themselves right now. And they will continue to permit this destructive process to go on day after day until finally they have succeeded in destroying themselves. Self-destruction is the most deadly and telling [? master is almost illegible] enemy the homosexual has. By refusing to wage aggression against our true enemies who are all, universally, outside ourselves we have become our own worst enemy. And it almost seems just, because we come to despise ourselves for not fighting. But the proper thing to do when you start to condemn yourself for not fighting is to start to fight, not punish yourself for past refusals to fight.
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D. H. Lawrence (about whose sexuality I have heard talk) wrote once, "The essential function of art is moral." Walt Whitman (of whose homosexuality there can be little doubt, despite his explicit, contemptible-faggot denials) agreed: "says the librarian of Congress ... 'The true question to ask respecting a book, is, has it help'd any human soul?' This is a hint, statement, not only of the great literatus, his book, but of every great artist."
You might keep this criterion in mind when you either create something or view another's creations.
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" " " " " "
To coin a phrase, "Don't curse the darkness light a fuse!" There is much that is ugly in the "gay world" and in the minds of homosexuals. But NONE of it is homosexual. Blast the heterosexual notions out of your head. Blast the heterosexual parasites out of the gay world. Smash the heterosexual patterns that invade our lives. Stomp heterosexual ideas of beauty and right, into the dust. Wrench yourselves out of heterosexual strongholds. Seize control, with us, of New York for homosexual men. Let yourself drift into a violent mood and know what has brought you to it, then join with other angry men not to force your way into the straight world, where you will be destroyed, as you have already been almost destroyed, but to smash the straight world aside and underfoot and build a homosexual world in a homosexual place, New York city. Hate the right people and the right things and use the dynamism of constructive hate to rebuild your world.
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I am a deviate. As such, I am angry, distressed, oppressed but also happy and free. Free? Yes.
We homosexuals tend to stress the negative consequences of our deviation. But as homosexual deviates, we are free from the stereotype of "masculinity". We can cry in a movie theater if we are touched by a film, and not flick the tears from our cheeks when the lights go up. We can touch another man on the street, hug him, walk hand-in-hand with him. We can be creative without being ashamed and defensive. We can overdress. We can be graceful, gentle, tender, loving, kind. Or we can gossip, bitch, be tacky. We can also do anything straight men do that we may care to do: wrestle, play football, lift weights, get roaring drunk and stagger thru the streets. And we can do some things straight men cannot: we can go into a sexual relationship free of preformed roles; We can both give and receive attention; we can both initiate and reciprocate, be both aggressive and receptive, and live a two-sided relationship of true equals.
But the freedom of a deviate goes much further than just those freedoms we have as homosexuals. A deviate is free to . . . deviate. That is, as deviates we can never really conform. So there is no reason for us ever to try. The (straight) world has proclaimed certain values sacred. We cannot accept all those values, and if we can question one, we can question all. Indeed, having questioned any we are impelled to question all. Some will stand the test of inquiry; others will fail. What fails, we must replace. And here again we are free. If the (straight) world's conclusions are wrong, we must question whether the means by which they reached those conclusions are also wrong. So we are free to work toward our own conclusions by our own means! If that is not freedom, what is?
Having broken from the standards of massive, powerful "society", we can break free of any and all restraints on our freedom of thought. Friends cannot restrict us, nor parents, nor the gay subculture. Having lost the whole society we can lose any of its parts with no greater loss. As I apply this maxim, then, friends wander from my standards I make new friends. Family grows apart from me I grow apart from them. My peers in the homosexual-rights movement disapprove of me I ignore them and seek new allies. Fashion can't enslave me, because I do not care for the acceptance that being fashionable brings. I don't have to say the "right" things, nor think the "right" things, nor do the thing "everybody" is doing. I don't have to play butch or fem; I don't have to see the "in" films; I don't have to use drugs; nor wear my hair curly nor have big cuffs on my trousers nor carry a big leather shoulder bag. And I need not grow a mustache or speak in jargon or develop a fashionable slouch. I don't have to read fiction and investigate astrology and spew forth fashionable phrases of existentialist fatalism or pacifist cant. Having abandoned the standards of one world, I do not have to accept blindly the absurd standards of another any other but am free to try as best I can to fashion a world valid for me. I am citizen in many worlds slave in none.
How about a simple, nonsexual riddle for a change of pace?
Man walked down street. Man did not have eyes but man saw pear tree. Pears were on pear tree. Man didn't take pears, didn't leave pears. How come? (Answer)
| hmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmm |
But to be free of values is to be prisoner to uncertainty. Everyone needs limits infinity is infinitely uncomfortable. One need only be sure that the limits he must live within do not prove claustrophobic. So we must assemble values.
Deviation brings a perverse kind of freedom freedom from and, as with other freedoms, implies the freedom to. If we do nothing with the freedom we have gained by breaking from society, we are cheating ourselves. And others as well. For a free mind is a powerful weapon against a world gone insane.
It's easier, sure, to immerse yourself immediately in another group value system than to have to construct your own. But if you forsake this opportunity to discover yourself and build for yourself, you abdicate to others once again the right to decide for you what kind of life you will lead. I for one don't like to be told what to do.
One cannot live without values for too long, however, for that is another form of abdication, one even more sterile and destructive in the long run. Not everything is the same. Not everything is back and white, it is true, but surely there are black and white, wrong and right somewhere in all the gray. No, not everything is permissible, nor should we really want it to be. And man is not a creature of infinite possibilities, for he is limited by lifespan, physical abilities, and mental capacity. One by one, rapidfire, the limits of our bodies overtake us: man is a lumbering beast, weak and not always beautiful; but swiftest, strongest, and most beautiful of all for what he can do by intellect. Bit by bit, a real world, within which we are constrained to live if indeed we choose to live at all, knowing what awaits us begins to take shape, born anew, from our own consciousness; valid thru ourselves and not thru the words and mandates of others. Each of us can recreate the world thru thought.
Man the thinker. But of what consequence is what we think?
The root consequence is that we are what we think. We live as we think. If we think too little of ourselves, we will be too little. If we think too much of ourselves, however, we will also be too little. Odd, but perhaps fair.
| hmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmmhmm |
ANSWER TO RIDDLE: Only the stilted style makes possible confusion by omitting restrictive adjectives like "any". The man did not have "eyes" but one eye. The pear tree had two pears; the man took one.
Where has all this led us?: to the realization that each mind is free, free of restraint in its thoughts. Free to say NO, the strongest word in all the world's myriad languages. But NO has the force of a vacuum none, save when filled by outside forces. The freedom from is an emergency freedom, to be exercised only when forces seek to invade one's own domain. But invoking that freedom may create another emergency, for we are left with a vacuum. And unless we ourselves consciously fill that vacuum, we will find it filled, again, by others. The freedom to is what we must use in filling that vacuum. We must realize that we are free to do much more than we have tried. We can gain for ourselves the freedom to straighten ourselves out, set our own thinking right, and build a life that will satisfy ourselves and, hopefully, contribute to others.
The most important freedom the homosexual has is the freedom to feel. We can care. We can love. We can try to help people. So we teach, and enter social work and medicine. We can express our emotions. So we act and dance and sing and write poetry and paint. We can be "softly sentimental". We can stand before something beautiful and appreciate it. We can express all our emotions, not just hate and anger, and so can be total human beings, while the heterosexual man is allowed to be only a fraction of a person and not the best fraction at that.
Because we can feel and because we can break free of standardized thinking, we can bring a new passion and perspective to politics, the arts, even the sciences. We can foment a vast program of social change without having to worry about what every straight male pressed into the tough competition-proves-your-manhood mold, worries about: being thought a softie, a "sob sister". We can sympathize, empathize we do not have to pity in order to [relate to] the oppressed. For we have been oppressed and continue to be oppressed. We have some taste of the fury that warps people into things; of the rage that comes of being wronged and powerless to right those wrongs. But because most of us have also known acceptance and "the good life", we have a broader view than have those people in the visible-minorities' ghettoes. Ours have been ghettoes of the mind, and we do, after all, exercise considerable control over our own minds. Breaking down the walls we have placed on our own minds is not so formidable a task as smashing the walls in others' minds, or rebuilding a slum. We know both sides of the ghetto wall. Few others can.
And we know both sides of the wall that restricts most people's thinking. Many people contemplate this troubled earth and search for answers. Most are constrained to search in barren territory, the territory they can see within the sterile confines of their accustomed areas of thought. The answers do not lie there, however, but outside. We know some of that relatively unexplored territory; perhaps we can act as guides. We know better than to reject things out of hand merely because they have never been tried or because they may sound strange. For we once, perforce, lived in an Old World of psychosexuality; but then our minds' and bodies' uncomprehended drives guided us to a door into a new existence, a whole New World of people, places, acts, and ideas we might never have known existed had it not been for our deviant nature. Perhaps the entire earth is but a step distant from a dramatic answer, unseen, unappreciated, as we may so long have stood, unaware, outside a gay bar or beside another homosexual, before we managed to come out. Perhaps the earth will find its own New World, undreamed of or if dreamed, then repressed upon waking. Perhaps we can help discover or rediscover it.
As a deviate, I am a political radical of an unusual sort: radical in that I think we must make a dramatic change in the base upon which the world rests; unusual in that I have used my freedom from to shop among ideas without worrying about being branded with labels or being harassed into accepting an extraneous doctrine along with a particular idea I like. The labels fly, but let them fly. I know what I believe, and nobody else does. Now I am starting to put all the seemingly contradictory pieces in place so that others can understand the unified whole it creates, a jigsaw new world formed from pieces taken from many puzzles, but fitting and holding together. What my particular puzzle looks like is less important than the fact that you too can and must piece together your own world. You can because you are free, for you are a deviate. You must, because otherwise you are lost.
* * *
[A Child's Garden of Perverts, Part 1]
The faghag or fruit fly (a woman of indeterminate sexuality who hangs around homosexual men) is a common parasitic invader of certain segments of the "gay world". Many people have explored the mentality if one could dignify the confused state of mind of faghags with the word "mentality" of the faghag, but almost nothing has been said about those people who created her, the faghag-fag (or the fruit-fly fruit). A faghag-fag is a homosexual who insists on bringing women with him wherever he goes if he can get away with it. If he could, he would take them into the baths, parks, trucks, and meatracks. In fact, he sometimes does, tho such an outrageous invasion is sometimes but, sadly, not always repulsed with violent words or deeds by other tenants of such premises. What is it about the faghag-fag that compels him to interject women into his life and impose them upon others?
Several answers come immediately to mind. But perhaps the most important is so odd and hidden that I for one (maybe I'm slow) just realized it.
The typical faghag-fag is very maladjusted, both to his gender and to his homosexuality. He doesn't know who or what he is. He mistakenly identifies with women, not well with men, and thus his going out with a woman or several women seems perfectly natural to him they are, all of them, "the girls" out on the town.
In his teens his relations with other boys were fraught with anxiety and tension first out of feelings of inadequacy; second out of fear of doing something that would get him into trouble. Or his male peers may have seemed childish, boorish, and immature, so only girls (who in the teens mature more rapidly than boys a passing thing) seemed worthwhile companions. Or all of the above. He felt uncomfortable about approaching boys, because boys held so much potential emotional turbulence for him. Girls meant nothing to him, so he could approach them without anxiety. And while he was always afraid that boys might somehow construe his friendly approaches as something more (even if they weren't), he didn't have to worry about girls misconstruing his approaches because such misconstrual was socially O.K. He couldn't get in trouble if a girl thought he was after her. At worst, all he had to do was escape her traps that is, when he was sure enuf that he wanted to. He might succumb to being seduced into a hetero pattern for a while, but more likely he would ultimately let his female friends in on his secret, and the closet fairy became a faghag-fag.
In some respects, the faghag-fag's teen history may have been much like that of many non-faghag-fag homosexuals. Many of us just couldn't bring ourselves to talk to other boys. The tension in our throat just wouldn't let us speak. There was no such tension in approaching girls. To this day, many homosexuals who have to ask directions on the street or get the time or change for a quarter more readily approach a woman than a man because there's no tension or hassle that way. What distinguishes the faghag-fag, then, is not so much a basic difference but a difference of degree as regards teenage feelings, tho not in other regards.
The faghag-fag has an unnatural, excessive, unwholesome, and unhomosexual dependence upon women. He does not identify as a "man", and probably avoids the word when talking or thinking about himself. The word he standardly uses for himself is "person". This is sufficiently inclusive as to allow the possibility of his being a man but not require such an identification of himself. And it allows him to make a facile, if invalid, identification of himself with his female friends. Further, it provides the justification for his spending so much time with women and for bringing them into homosexual places with him: "persons" are all just people; it's people who are important not gender; if he as a "person" can go into a bar, then it's all right for other "persons to do so too. Never mind that other people at the bar are made uncomfortable by the presence of a woman. Never mind that he himself is very unlikely to meet another man for sex when he is with a woman no, hold on a minute. Let's go back there: it does matter that he is unlikely to meet another man, because basically he brings a woman along to protect him from other men. He has an excuse for not making out 'Well, I couldn't very well leave Linda standing there while I walked off with some number. Well, could I?!' The faghag doesn't want to be homosexual. He wants to be straight. but he wants to be a straight woman. Unfortunately, he knows that's not possible. But he can be asexual. And that is what he all too often is: a faghag and a faghag-fag are an asexual couple. If he can't be happily sexual himself, he can at least cut in on other people's sexual comfort too. So if his faghag is loud and demands a lot of attention merely by her presence, so much the better.
But even faghag-fag know where they don't belong, and in general they avoid the all-men's stand-around bars, leather lounges, etc. These places are too heavy with sex anyway for them to be comfortable. The faghag-fag is most at home in dance bars with all the other asexual and gender-confused young men and women who pack such places. The reputation of dance bars for attracting nelly swishes and faghags is well deserved, and that is why some bars which could easily get cabaret licenses to permit dancing assiduously avoid doing so. Almost no place in New York has kept a masculine demeanor and clientele with dancing. The Stonewall started out as the place for wholesome, masculine college types, but gradually deteriorated into a screaming, swishing hangout for confused young men. Business too fell off, in large part because most nellies are very young that's why they're confused: they haven't had the time to sort themselves out and consequently tend to be poor. The older, more stable and affluent types are put off by rampant effeminacy, and start to go elsewhere. (After several years of dance bars and meeting swish fellows many of whom were very nice people I've lost my patience for dance bars, despite my love for dancing. And, strange too say, I see a very substantial proportion of the people I used to see in the dance bars years ago in the stand-around bars now: quieter, older, more stable.) Only The Barn (ah! dear, departed, much-beloved Barn [a sex bar]) managed to maintain some balance in the clientele because women were strictly excluded. Even so, as time went on, the place was getting perceptibly nellier. Not even the heavy, heavy sex scene there sufficed to dissuade all the queens. Mostly they tended to stick to the dance floor, in clusters queens and faghag-fags tend to travel in packs for their mutual diversion (who else talks to them?) and safety (from sex, among other things) screaming from time to time and shaking it up on the floor in their elegant and flamboyant outfits. The Barn closed too soon to tell whether it too would be inundated and destroyed by fairies. I know only that since it closed the people who used to dance there spend their time in stand-around bars, bouncing to the jukebox but avoiding the dance bars. Since the sex bars were all closed, the amount of dancing in this city has dropped off drastically, and whereas for a while practically every bar that opened allowed dancing, dance bars seem on a (temporary?) decline.
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HOMOSEXUALITY IS BEAUTIFUL!
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Anyway, the preference of faghag-fags for dance bars is well-based. A dance bar is a place to have a good time, not to make out sexually. Very few dance bars are able to create an ambience conducive to sexual advances, and altho many people do take advantage of the freedom to touch that comes in slow dancing, most people just go out to have a good time and work their tensions out on the dance floor. So again the faghag-fag has a good excuse for not making it.
There are other motivations behind the practice of taking women to men's bars, tho. Every now and then almost every homosexual is tempted to take his sister or his mother or his straight friends to see what a gay bar is like. Some of us do once. Others of us feel that they would be out of place, and might cause some people discomfort, so we don't. Or we choose a dance bar or a mixed bar. But taking a straight person to a bar once to show him/her what it's like is a great deal different from habitually traveling with a faghag.
Now, while faghag-fags may applaud themselves for being so well-adjusted that they can be themselves in front of women, in point of fact, they are jus the opposite: they are not themselves: first, because they don't know who they are; and second, because escorting a woman imposes restrictions on their behavior.
But the most startling thing about faghag-fags' motivations for taking women to gay places didn't hit me until one nite recently.
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The open homosexual uses his life in his school writings. This bit of pleasant nonsense is from a radio show I co-wrote for a class assignment at San Francisco State College in summer 1969:
"Shlomo (Shy) Schmerk, the firstborn, was to have been named Evan after Herbert's great-uncle, Evan Spruce, inventor of the spruce tree. But Mrs. Schmerk's best friend, Angina Pectoris of the Boston Pectorises, advised that all the Evans she knew grew up to be homosexual. So Mrs. Schmerk named the child after her maternal great-grandfather, Shlomo Schultz, of surfboard fame. Shlomo Schmerk, a truck driver, now lives with his lover of five years, Edward Sanders, scion of the Anaheim Sanders and heir to the buttonhook fortune built up by his father, Wesley Sanders the Forth-Ninth. Shlomo and Edward met while both were on the wrestling team at Haverford College, and it's been no-holds-barred ever since.
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I was at The International ("The Stud") see the item on that bar in The Second City department on a Sunday, late, and the place was fairly well occupied. In walks a fellow I had been to bed with (once), and he's holding hands with a woman! Now he had told me that he sometimes makes it with women, tho he hadn't for a few months before I took him home (from The Barn the back room of The Barn, I might add). We had talked about this and other things at a restaurant on the way home. His hair had been brown, his beard slightly stubby, and the hair on his arms also stubbly! I asked him about it: he had shaved to go in rag! Well. Hm. When we got to bed I found out that his technique was lousy, and it became clear that he doesn't take enuf interest in his prevailing homosexuality to learn to do right by his partner. In brief, he was a bad lay, and slightly strange as a person. Well, I saw him in the Village a couple of weeks later at The Comeback (one of the after-hours places closed in mid-1971 by raids). His hair was then reddish blond, his brown bear again stubbly, and his face still pale as it had been before. Now he looked grotesque. On this most recent occasion, in The International, his hair was blond and even tho he was clean-shaven, he still looked ridiculous.
Anyway, he walked in with this female and I immediately thought to myself, "Who(m) does he think he's kidding!?" Well, I finished by beer and left for The Roadhouse, figuring they'd be gone in about a half hour faghags tend not to stay long in such bars. They also tend not to buy much. But closing time caught up with me before I could get back to The International, and I was pissed off. But then, as I walked out onto Hudson Street, I saw the woman who had been with my acquaintance, walking disconsolately down the street alone her head hanging, her pace slow and solemn. She was miserable, just miserable.
And then, then it hit me, the last motivation of faghagfaggots: they hate women and they know that by confronting them time and time again with the fact that so many men don't want them, that so many men find women unnecessary and undesirable, they will hurt them. It's a slow, insidious hurt, and destructive to all parties, but at last all the pieces had fallen into place. Until then I had never understood why faggots would bring a woman to a place where she clearly did not belong: But that was exactly why they brought her there to show her that she didn't belong, to make her know that she doesn't belong, to strike out at her and insult her. At last it makes sense.
It's an ugly sense, a vile sense, an inhuman sense. but sense. The faghag-fag, deprived, uptight, asexual, afraid, gains from his relationship with a faghag not camaraderie; not a shared sense of belonging; not reassurance, confidence, or a good time, but rather the satisfaction of sharing his misery, even enlarging and protracting his misery and with the people, women, who he feels are responsible for his maladjustments. Of course. The faghag-faghagfag relationship is just the opposite of the symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship it is commonly misunderstood to be. It is the height of mutual destructiveness (unfortunately, it is also destructive of innocent homosexual bystanders in the places infested by faghag-fags and their parasites). Understanding that fact is the first step in destroying such harmful relationships.
[Addendum, August 1998: Yet another bizarre motivation for the behavior of faghag-fags came to my attention only about 10 days ago. I was at a men's bar that has a dress code to keep out 'the wrong people'. That dress code specifically requires pants, not skirts. A faghag-fag arrived with a woman in a skirt, and was told that she couldn't stay; the dress code was posted plainly at the door, and she didn't meet its requirements. Instead of admitting that he had brought her to the wrong place and quietly leaving, this guy gets obstreperous. He makes a huge scene, confronting the bartenders and floor man and threatening even to come back "with an Uzi" (machinegun)! This goes on for perhaps 20 minutes, while voices of reason among customers and staff try to get this guy to leave. Finally, a customer snaps, picks up a bar stool and makes plain that if the guy doesn't leave, he will beat him with it. Tho the staff take the stool away, the customer, still livid, forces the guy out the door physically, shoving and threatening to beat him with anything available.
I was playing pool elsewhere in the bar and was aware only that some customer was being loud and threatening to staff. I didn't see the faghag (or I would have left for a bar down the block). After the gay customer had forced the faghag-fag out, one of the bartenders passed nearby and I asked, "what was THAT all about?" He explained the circumstances and then added something I had never heard but which makes perfect sense. He said that this guy is apparently one of a class of masochists he heard about recently who bring women into men's leather bars and such for the express purpose of ticking off the staff and patrons so they attack him! Weird, huh? But that too fits the phenomenon and adds one more piece to the puzzle of why some ostensibly gay men take women to gay men's places.]
John Schlesinger's film Sunday Bloody Sunday is the best film I saw in all 1971. It is the first film to show homosexuality on the same terms as heterosexuality.
The story is about a triangular romance. This subject has been overworked in American cinema, but this triangle is different. There are two men and a woman. How is it different, then? One of the men is the central figure.
The characters are Daniel Hirsch, a middle-aged physician; Bob Elkins; and Alix Grenville, an employment-agency interviewer. Bob is at the apex of the triangle. He is bisexual. His love for Daniel is as natural to him as his love for Alix, and is presented as such on screen.
What really made me feel good was to listen to the continued silence of the audience in the theater (not a single gasp) when Bob and Daniel kissed passionately and later when they were shown together in bed.
Penelope Gilliat wrote the screenplay and is certain to get an Oscar nomination, as is director John Schlesinger.
Peter Finch turns in what may be the best performance in his distinguished career as Daniel. Glenda Jackson as Alix and Murray Head as Bob, are quite excellent.
Jay Leonard Friend
I regret to report that Gerald Walker's novel Cruising is being made into a movie. A paperback edition has already been published.
This book is the product of a warped mind. ((Editor's Note: See the January and March 1971 issues of this publication for excerpts from the exclusive interview which led both JLF and LCS to this conclusion.)) The wider exposure it will get from a paperback edition and a film version is dangerous.
The gay community should boycott both the book and movie.
If you haven't yet seen it but get the chance, do check out Luchino Visconti's Death in Venice. Visconti insists it is not a homosexual film. I disagree.
The story concerns a man obsessed with the search for ideal beauty. He finds it in Tadzio, a fourteen-year-old Polish boy whom he sees at a resort in Venice.
At the beginning of the film, the man, Aschenbach, is obsessed only with the boy's beauty and not the boy himself; but this changes as the film progresses. Aschenbach falls in love with Tadzio, but he believes such love impossible.
Dirk Bogarde turns in a tremendous performance as Aschenbach. Bjorn Andreson is introduced at Tadzio. Incidentally, he really is beautiful.
Death in Venice IS homosexual in theme. See it for its moving story, excellent acting, and beautiful photography.
Three very personal books by homosexuals have been published recently.
Merle Miller has followed up his two New York Times Magazine articles with a book titled On Being Different. ((Editor's Note: JLF tells me that Mr. Miller's book does not include the reference to HI! in his second NYT item.)) The subtitle is the same as that of his first Times article: What It Means to Be a Homosexual. To call this volume a book is an exaggeration. Unfortunately Random House has chosen to exploit the timeliness of Mr. Miller's essay. (It appeared just two weeks after the second Times article.) Mr. Miller's sixty-five page work (large type, at that), has been bound in hard cover and priced at $4.50.
Having read both articles in The New York Times Magazine, I found nothing new here. The purpose of the volume, I think, is to give wider exposure to Mr. Miller's writings.
It took a lot of courage for Merle Miller to come out in so public a manner. I admire him for this and for his talent as a writer. But I think he could have done a far greater public service by having his book published in paperback.
Dancing the Gay Lib Blues, One Year in the Homosexual Liberation Movement is the story of author Arthur Bell's involvement in the gay-liberation movement. Mr. Bell, who is well known for his frequent contributions to The Village Voice (of New York), has written an extremely readable and very enjoyable book. He presents two sides of his story: his contributions to the cause of homosexual equality and the effect of his involvement on this own life and the lives of those close to him.
Arthur Bell was one of the founders of Gay Activists Alliance, and we in the movement owe him a debt of gratitude. One way to repay this debt would be to make his marvelous book a bestseller.
Homosexual Liberation is to GLF [Gay Liberation Front] what Dancing the Gay Lib Blues is to GAA. This book by John Murphy is possibly the most personal of the three.
Mr. Murphy addresses much of his book to his fellow homosexuals. As to the purpose of the book, let me quote Mr. Murphy: "I wanted to show what I had discovered about myself as a homosexual and try to communicate something of that sense of freedom to other homosexuals." A large portion of Mr. Murphy's book deals with his involvement in Gay Liberation Front. He gives his reasons for becoming involved in GLF as opposed to other organizations. Unfortunately I cannot say anything kind about the quality of John Murphy's writing. I found his book almost unreadable and quite boring.
(Copyright Jay Leonard Friend 1972)
(Used with permission) (of course)
In an unpublished review of Gordon Merrick's The Lord Won't Mind I recommended that book to my readers despite the fact that I found it to be a cheap, sensational novel. I made this recommendation because unlike other gay "literature", The Lord Won't Mind was not an insult to its readers' intelligence.
Mr. Merrick has now written a sequel titled One for the Gods. Gordon Merrick has written a first-rate novel. It is beyond me why he chose not to use his great writing talent in the creation of The Lord Won't Mind.
One for the Gods picks up Charlie and Peter ten years after The Lord Won't Mind. Their love for each other has intensified during this time, and they are more in love than ever. The new book does not really have much of a story. Instead, it contains the character development that should have been included in the first book. I have always found the development of characters to be the hardest part of writing fiction. Mr. Merrick is a master of this art.
One for the Gods is not a gay novel. It is a novel about the maturation of two people who happen to be homosexual and very much in love with each other. This will not stop gay people from buying or reading this book. I say this because I have found that most gay people appreciate a great book, and this is just that.
Read Gordon Merrick's One for the Gods. Enjoy it.
THE OLYMPIA PRESS sent us five paperback books for review, and is always the case, I gave or tried to give all of them to JLF to review. He refused even to read one Diary of a Transsexual. (See the next issue for a clarification of our profound antagonism to transsexuality, which we regard as the most vile and tragic antihomosexual stance.) He tried to read the other four but did not succeed. Of six books sent to us for review by the Olympia Press, a heterosexual-dominated publishing house that specializes in (high-class?) pornography, Jay has seen fit to review only one: John Francis Hunter (John Paul Hudson)'s Gay Insider. That same author, Mr. Hunter/Hudson (the latter is his real name), wrote a favorable review of one of the books Jay refused to comment on, All Is Well; Jay was perplexed and reread that volume but decided upon second reading that it still wasn't worth reviewing. (For Jay's opinion of Mr. Hudson's own book, see the April-May 1971 issue of this publication.)
I recently met Mr. Hudson (tho I was introduced to him by Craig Rodwell of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Book Shop ((good man, that other Craig agrees that Intro 475 [a "gay-rights" bit of antidiscrimination legislation then being considered by the New York City council] is a bit of cheap rhetoric)) by his pseudonym Hunter). Fortunately for me, he had a form of laryngitis at the time. Otherwise I too might have been affected by the man's professional charm. He knows exactly what will best flatter a person, and uses his silver tongue (I am talking only of speech pick your mind up out of the gutter) to disarm and utterly charm people. We met in The Roadhouse bar (West 11th Street and Hudson Street in Greenwich Village) on a nite when the place was crawling with hordes of organization people (I chastised Jack Waluska of, or formerly of, the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee for bringing Susan Day, a woman ((lesbian, but still woman)) into that men's bar). Craig R. introduced us and shortly thereafter had to leave. Later, I went up to JFH/JPH and thanked him for having mentioned this publication in his book. And then he started in. First, he said that he had thought I was very fat, somehow. I replied, quickly without thinking, "No Jay Friend is fat!" Sorry about that, Jaysiekins, but you know you're too damned fat I'm really concerned about your health. Anyway, it seems JFH/JPH thought (as Jay Leonard Friend was going to say JLF but thought that might be confusing had previously reported to me he thought that Jay and I were two names for the same person. No, Mr. Hudson; some of us use our own real names for everything.) that I was using two names, and he had met Jay Leonard Friend thru GAA. Anyway, I was spared his very potent charm, and those few words-that-I-have-oh-so-wanted-to-hear (about my effect upon the movement), even given my weakened condition (one drinks in bars, you know) that he managed to get off had no lasting effect. However, those people who are to meet Mr. Hudson would be well advised to be completely sober and quite critical at the time. He has learned the almost-invaluable skill of charming the pants off (so to speak) any faggot within boomingly-male-voice range. That skill consists of being able to say flattery as tho it were sincere in a manner (that is a fortuitous line break CHECK THAT!!) that bespeaks SEX-SEX-SEX-SEX-SEX. Fortunately for homosexual militants, JFH is getting on in years. He'd be a terror for the FBI. He should open his own male-homosexuals charm school.
[Addendum, August 1998: After this appeared, I ran into John Paul Hudson and he said that the remarks above were the best personal 'review' he'd ever had.]
Cruising by closed-circuit TV; pickups by telephone. As crazy as they sound, both are part of the gay scene in Washington, D.C.
The capital's gay community is not very organization-minded. The lifestyle is oriented toward the bars.
The bar scene revolves around three "superbars". They are the Plus One, the Pier 9, and (I've always relieved in saving the best for last.) the Lost and Found.
The Plus One (529 8th Street, S.E.) is a very comfortable bar. The walls are panelled in dark wood for a masculine (butch, if you must) setting. I must digress here to say a few words about a major difference between New York and Washington bars. Washington is socially, if not geographically, a Southern city, where many Southern customs are observed. The emphasis here is on tables rather than on the actual bar. In this sense the bars are like cocktail lounges.
The Plus One has a large dance floor, and is, as are the other two superbars, a good restaurant.
The Pier 9 (1824 Half Street, S.W.), as one might guess, has a nautical motif. It is multileveled. The area surrounding the dance floor has tables equipped with telephones. Each table is numbered so that you can call someone at another table if he strikes your fancy. (This is not a new concept. New York's Hot Line has had it for many months.)
While the Plus One and Pier 9 are better than anything we have in New York, they cannot come close to the Lost and Found (56 L Street, S.E.), Washington's newest and biggest gay bar. Located in a building that once housed a commercial laundry, Lost and Found has become, since its opening on October 12, the capital's most popular bar.
Owners Bill Parry, Don Culver and Bill Bickford spent more than a quarter of a million dollars to build Lost and Found. (I have been sworn to secrecy on the exact amount.)
Lost and Found is being in fact, it's the second-largest gay bar in the U.S. It is big enuf to be a stand-around bar, a dance bar, a cocktail lounge, and a very fine restaurant. The two actual bars are in opposite corners of the room. They are connected by a closed-circuit TV system so that you can cruise both bars at the same time. There is a very large dance floor. Dancing is accompanied by an original light show.
Lost and Found has two dining rooms, The Water Room and The Greenhouse. The menu, while limited, is excellent. I might add that the prices are quite reasonable. I dined at Lost and Found with Frank Kameny one evening. We both had a delicious meal and the check was under ten dollars. I might add that there is a wine list equal to that of many fine New York restaurants.
On Sundays Lost and Found opens early to serve brunch, which is followed by live entertainment.
((Note: Dinner reservations are imperative on weekends (call by Wednesday) and strongly advisable on weeknites.))
There is no cover charge of minimum at Lost and Found. Plus One and Pier 9 both have weekend minimums.
All three superbars are gay-owned and -operated. D.C. does not have New York's Mafia problem.
One bad point is that all three of the bars are located in one of Washington's worst sections, SO TAKE A TAXI (which is dirt cheap by New York standards) rather than public buses.
While Washington is way ahead of New York as far as bars go, there is some catching up to do in the area of baths. There are two baths in the capital, the Regency and the Club East II.
I did not visit the Regency, but I did go to the Club East II on a Saturday nite.
My chief complaint is that the management requires that you be a member in order to be admitted. I have since learned that with the singular exception of New York, all the baths in the Club chain require membership.
Two types of membership are available. Yearly, at five dollars, and monthly, at two dollars.
Once you pay your membership fee, rates are cheaper than in New York. A private room is five dollars and a locker, three. In addition, a one-dollar key deposit is required. This is returned when you check out.
The Club East II doesn't offer much in the way of facilities, so the emphasis is on sex, pure and simple. There is a sauna, but no steam room. Of course there is an orgy room.
In the private rooms a jar of Vaseline is provided (that seems the standard lubricant in Washington; if you dislike it, you'll have to provide your own). The crowd is a typical baths crowd.
Bartender Matt Ward at the Lost and Found, who recently moved back to Washington after more than two years in Brooklyn Heights told me, "washington's worst bar is better than the best bar in New York." I can't say if this is true, but there are many aspects of gay life in Washington that I enjoy. I particularly enjoy walking into a bar and knowing it is not Mafia controlled. We in New York's gay community can take a few lessons from our brothers in Washington.
Copyright Jay Leonard Friend 1972
Lest anyone be confused by the varying usages and implicit viewpoints expressed in the columns of this magazine, let me clarify something. I violently disapprove of baths, regarding them as the worst form of impersonal sex because they pretend to be human but haven't any of the personal character of a person's home. A man in a private room of a baths is a cipher, a "number" in the truest sense, for nothing that suggests anything about him and his tastes and lifestyles and views, is present. He is just a mass of meat and bone and hair. He hasn't even a first name, often. Yet the accommodations and physical comfort allow an illusory humanness to this quintessentially inhuman scene. Demonstrativeness is practiced but such kisses and caresses are demonstrations of ... nothing, nothing but needs that the "pure and simple" physical contact do not go even one giant step toward meting. The proliferation of baths is one of the most ominous signs of the failure of change in the homosexual community to be change for the better.***
The International (The Stud"), one of New York's longest-lived gay bars, lost its liquor license suddenly in the middle of January! The reason we in the organization community hear was noise outside the bar by bar patrons. That seems an arbitrary, specious, and absurd ruling (if true), but the State Liquor Authority of New York State is well known for just such unjust rulings. What strikes me as most unfair about such a ruling is that the (straight) people complaining about noise probably have lived in the vicinity a much shorter time than the bar has been there. Those people knew there was a bar there before they moved in. They have no right to complain about the natural noisiness surrounding an extremely active bar. It's as tho a private developer built a huge housing complex around John F. Kennedy International Airport and then persuaded the FAA to shut down the airport on account of noise!
This incident demonstrates once against the extreme vulnerability of homosexuals in a heterosexual-dominated community. Time and again, homosexuals have been persecuted by the application of retrograde hetero standards. The Barn, a magical place for all its tawdriness, and many other sex bars were shut down last year around this time; now The International; what next? This city has fallen apart in the past year. Dance bars, which had started to proliferate, are now in short supply. All the sex bars were dance bars. But once the men-only places were shut down, the market for dancing was cut drastically, because thousands of homosexuals who patronized the sex-dance bars will not patronize standard faghag-ridden, hypernelly dance bars. Gay theater is practically nonexistent. Militant actions are now rare. Consciousness raising is virtually dead. Community centers are nonexistent. What the hell is going on? Answers(?) next issue. LCS ... [Dots here and, generally, elsewhere are the original punctuation, not an ellipsis to indicate that something has been deleted from this presentation, for nothing has except the fill-in subscription form at the end of this issue.]
My personal feelings about the probable closing of The Stud (the management is taking the matter to court, and the bar was open as a soft-drink bar open after-hours tho not very successfully its first weekend) are mixed. I had stopped patronizing the place a couple of weeks beforehand, myself. You see, I had been a regular customer (three, sometimes more, time a week) for many months, but felt compelled to flee to The Cellblock or The Roadhouse on those all-too-frequent occasions when The International was invaded by faghags. (For an analysis of the faghag-fag who brings women to men's places, see article elsewhere in this issue.) After all, I do not go to men's gay bars to be bumped or irritated by the ugly bodies and voices of women (have you ever noticed the way a woman's voice stands out above the murmur of men's beautiful deep voices in a bar?). Well, one nite I decided that I wasn't going to run off somewhere else, for there really is no homosexual place any more. One can be raped by hetero standards invading a regular men's bar in the form of a faghag; or you can go elsewhere and be raped by hetero standards invading the bars in the form of leather worship and the cult of violent domination; or of drag; or of bisexuality. so I figured that if I were going to have to be raped, I might as well be as comfortable as possible meanwhile, and The International was a very comfortable bar. But ... the cunt (you heard rite)_ exceeded my tolerance.
There are five lavatories in The Stud. (Boy, is The Stud ever a mis nomer.. oops!) The last, up against the wall (so to speak) is labelled "Ladies". This is required by hetero law, an ever-present reminder of the heterocracy (rule or is it tyranny? by heterosexuals) which we have until now been absolutely constrained to live or die within). But Cunt decided to use a men's room. Well you know I was not about to let this cuntamination go unprotested. So as she emerged from the men's room I commented acidly "That's a men's room, stupid cunt." I walked on a step or so, but she started in with some spiel about what made me better than she, just because I have a cock and she has a cunt ... Since I wasn't about to get into a dialectic with a dumb cunt who was twice out of place (in a men's room in a men's bar), I answered simply, "Everything" and started to walk away. It was then that I felt something strike me. I turned and saw that she had thrown her drink on me! I moved threateningly toward her tho of course I wouldn't have touched her ... I avoid cuntamination and her faghag-fag companion intervened, smilingly downgrading the whole incident. Of course he would not reproach her for her utterly uncalled-for behavior. Men have disagreements all the time, but homosexual are civilized, and rarely do fites occur. In many years of bargoing I have seen fites on only about five occasions, and they were all brief affairs. And never have I seen one man throw a drink on another. Anyway, I went to the bartender and told him that Cunt had thrown a drink on me. I told him that either she goes or I go; that I was a regular customer and she, like most faghags, buys hardly anything. The other bartender came over, and Paul, the floor man, went over to speak to the other people briefly. But they refused to require her to leave, the first bartender making some cutesy remark like "Oh, it's a real woman sorry, I'm afraid of them." So I left, and did not return, despite the urging of one of my friends who used to go there every weekend and talk with me.
I told him that I expected The International's business to fall off radically within six months. I am sort of a bad-luck charm for bars I hate. I was once thrown out of The Triangle when I made it clear that I didn't appreciate the way they hassled customers at closing. You remember The Triangle, don't you? Even after The Barn (two floors above it) closed, it enjoyed massive popularity. But then some sort of SLA ruling closed off the dining room from use, and its popularity dwindled to the point where it is dead every nite. And then there's the Tamburlaine. I went twice, found women in the men's room on the second occasion, got bumped around on the dance floor by women and (seemingly) straight couples, and took an intense dislike to the place. So I wished it would burn down and that everyone in it would perish with it (for they who encourage thru patronizing, places that abuse the homosexual are responsible for the massive abuse of homosexuals in the bars). I'm sweet, yes, I know. Well ... you know what? The tamburlaine DID burn! How about that? If I hadn't been in New Jersey that weekend nite, I might have wondered whether I set the blaze myself, in my sleep. No one, that I know of, was injured, however. There had been a rumor that a woman had been killed in the place a few weeks earlier. Doesn't surprise me. Does please me, tho, to think that maybe somebody finally said NO, DAMMIT to the imposition of women on men who want no part of them.
And then there was The Zoo, a sex bar that let women into the back room as well as the bar area. I helped shut that down thru a complaint to the police (with copies to the mayor and various newspapers).
But my friend ridiculed the idea that The Stud, which had lasted so long and was so popular, would suffer any adverse effects. But ... what do you know? The place lost its liquor license. Interesting coincidence. Of course, various bars I did like have also closed down. But within a week or two of the time I condemned The Calabash in my column in the now-defunct GAY POWER (see, even things I worked with ... wait no, my column was dropped a couple of issues before GAY POWER folded! hm ...), that place was closed. So it does not surprise me and does delite me that within a month of my starting my personal boycott of The Stud it should have been deprived of its liquor license.
I'm not going to inquire into the workings of this thing, if it is a thing. I suppose I could test my premise by condemning Harry's Back East (another very-long-lived gay bar ... that has a barmaid on occasion and is controlled by straights) and the Continental Baths, but I took a very big swing at the Adonis Cinema Club several months ago and it is still open. Oh well. I'll just be grateful for the disaster that has befallen ... The Stud.
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THE CELLBLOCK, West 11th Street off West Street in Greenwich Village.
This is a very small, very quiet, leather-motif bar that doesn't take the leather thing very seriously. It's a men's bar open all day as well as at nite until legal closing. All four bartenders who staff the place for these many hours are gay, and the evening bartenders (Moos pronounced as tho there were an "e" on the end and Steve, weekdays and weekends, respectively) are really pleasant people. If you're out to make the bartenders and at this point the bar seems never too crowded (don't look for a crowd in this bar; look for conversation and personalized treatment a rarity in cold New York), so you might think the bartenders the best things around forget it. They are both very happily attached. Steve's lover works in The Cellar Bar, nearby, and Moos's is a good-looking and personable blond.
Like Harry's Back East, The Cellblock is adorned with all sorts of strange objects hanging from the ceiling and walls. Unfortunately, too much of the decoration is of hetero origin and theme.
The Cellblock serves food every nite and weekend, the prices for which are reasonable for bars. Saturday is "Belt Nite", when each drink (beer Schaefer, Rheingold, Budweiser ... is 50¢, drinks accordingly) purchased gives the buyer a ticket which gives one chance to win a belt to be made to your measurements. All in all, The Cellblock is one of New York's more agreeable bars.
Our great thanks (if belated) to Mr. J. Aspera for his generous contributions to our library. That library is very modest, but we do have a fair collection of gay publications. We welcome contributions from those who wish to make use of books, magazines, or newspapers on a homosexual theme that they have finished with. Borrowing from our small library is limited to members. That is one of the privileges of membership you should keep in mind if you would like to do more than read this MAGAZINE.
The next issue of this MAGAZINE will list gay publications and organizations in "The Second City". The list of publications is that which we mentioned many moons ago but then lost for a while, augmented by subsequent info. We have a list of organizations that we are going to check against another list of organizations and against the mailings we receive, plus the listings in various publications. Naturally we shall also note books, bars, and other things/places. Don't miss it.
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MENSA BIAS BARED
Craig Schoonmaker, President of this organization, joined Mensa recently in order to meet other homosexual intellectuals ... and discovered antihomosexual bias. Mensa is an organization for people who score in the upper two percent of the general population on intelligence tests. A College Board SAT score (verbal and math combined) of 1300 is enuf to win someone a membership in Mensa (other kinds of scores, including that on a test administered by Mensa itself, are also used to determine eligibility). But an unmentioned test, of sexual orientation, seems part of the regimen.
"My only interest in joining Mensa (as regards socializing) is to meet other intelligent homosexual men. So as soon as my membership was confirmed, I sent a letter to the New York Chapter's newsletter, Mphasis ('Mensan' is usually abbreviated 'M')." The Committee's secretary informed him that all notices for Special Interest Groups had to be cleared by the Committee, and that the Committee had decided, in a 5-4 vote, not to permit my notice for a homosexual-men's SIG. The reason given was that the Committee took no position on personal morals but thought that Mensa might face public-relations difficulties if it permitted the imprimatur of the organization to be placed upon a homosexual group.
Since Los Angeles Mensa had been thru a similar period of bias, LCS had known there was a possibility of prejudice in NYM. Thinking that intelligent people should be able to discuss differences of view intelligently, LCS wrote a follow-up letter tot he Committee asking 1) to be permitted to speak with the Committee, in order to try to reverse its decision without any adverse publicity and 2) to address a monthly members meeting on the topic of homosexual separatism/supremacy; in the latter request, LCS pointed out that he had been heavily quoted in The Gay Militants and noted in other sources, and that he was a substantially more important figure in the world of homosexual-rights than was Costikyan (spelling?) in the world of politics.
These two requests were met with ... ignorement.
So LCS wrote a second follow-up letter.
The first had said that if the New York Committee could indulge in thinly-veiled bigotry, surely LCS could indulge in a thinly-veiled threat, that he would take this entire matter to the other N.Y. homosexual organizations. In the second letter, LCS advised that if he did not hear from the NYCommittee by January 1, 1972, he would indeed take his case to the other organizations. In this second follow-up, LCS enclosed an article from the December 8, 1971, ADVOCATE that reported the successful resolution of the L.A. Mensa controversy, wherein the people responsible for the stir admitted that nothing they had done was worth anything like the fuss it caused, and that if they had it to do over, they would simply have let notices be run. NYMensa's grateful reply for this consideration was a curt note to the effect: 'You got your answer. Don't bother us.'
Meanwhile, LCS had written, at the suggestion of the NYCommittee's Secretary's suggestion, to the International SIG coordinator to request listing as an International Special Interest Group. In time, the reply came that such a group required the names of at least five Mensans from two different countries. Since he couldn't get publicity in even one, the U.S., LCS put the idea of an international group aside.
Strangely enuf, other homosexuals had raised the matter of homosexuality and Mensa in the meantime, in the national and international organs of the organization (Mensa is an organization of 18,000 people in several countries; more than half, however some 10,000 are in the U.S.) Carl Hudgens, a homosexual in L.A. Mensa who had encountered discrimination, wrote an article for the international Journal. His article was accompanied at its outset by the italicized disclaimer: "This article is a brave statement by a member of an often-persecuted minority, and as such we recommend it to our readers. Mensa is supposed to be an unbiased forum where people of high intelligence can put forward and discuss any view whatsoever, and because members are intelligent, debates on such views should be conducted with real clarity of thought. We will accept no correspondence on this subject which fails to meet these same criteria. We must, however, stress that homosexual activities are illegal in many areas in which 'Mensa Journal' circulates; but this article asks only for greater understanding, not necessarily for changes in the law. It does not in any way encourage or invite 'converts' to homosexuality and homosexual practices."
"Shit, man. That's just not nearly good enuf" LCS thought, so sent off an article tot he international Journal, titled "Heterosexuality Wave of the Past", which put forth strongly an adamant homosexual-separatist/supremacist line. Then he wrote a letter to the national U.S. Bulletin telling the readers of the trouble encountered with New York Mensa and asking members of the N.Y. chapter to pressure the Committee to permit listings of the homosexual group.
Alas, the national people wrote that homosexuals could advertise for people to form a group, in the national Bulletin. They seemed unwilling to print a free letter. So Craig Schoonmaker wrote back and said, Come on now why should straights be able to have notices published for free but homosexuals have to pay? So he said that no, we could not accept such discrimination.
LCS informed everyone appropriate that he would have to take this matter to the other homosexual organizations in the New York Mensa area. And so he has, first by noting this incident to us, then by involving this organization, and then notifying others in the region. We trust that New York Mensa will make the adjustment necessary. actually, the matter of a group is no longer so important as the principe involved, for a man who took an ad without fuss in the national Bulletin is organizing a group most of them (all but one, as a matter of fact) men and a goodly number in New York or the N.Y. area (that figures after all, what have we been telling you if not that the N.Y. area is the gayest in the world?).
Hopefully, the next issue of this MAGAZINE will record the results of this multi-pronged attack on Mensa bigotry. Stay tuned (there is a subscription blank on the last pages).
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HI! OPPOSES INTRO 475 AT HEARING
Armed with a resolution of the organization, LCS ventured down to City Hall for the second committee hearing on Intro 475, the bill which would outlaw discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations "on the basis of sexual orientation". His testimony came late nit he day, and consisted basically of a reading of the text of the resolution, followed by some comments, including a note of discrimination he had himself encountered on the part of an employment agency.
But first he had to chastise 'gay activists' in the audience who, forewarned as a courtesy that HI! would oppose this ill-advised legislation, began to hiss and boo him and this organization even before he said a single word. "I didn't want to shock anybody in the movement. For this consideration, I let myself in for insults and catcalls. After I spoke, Marc Rubin of GAA referred to me as an 'Uncle Tom'. Marc Rubin, who had been married to a woman! Marc Rubin, who was lapping cunt while I was handing out leaflets! These damned parvenus who have spent most of their lives evading their responsibilities and denying their homosexuality have the nerve to call me names. Shit." So commented LCS.
Jim Owles, then president of GAA, was present and did nothing to quiet the crowd, so LCS later wrote to GAA asking for an apology for the disrespect directed at him and this organization. He pointed out the more-stringent and more-militant nature of HI! proposal and suggested that it ill behooves a group which demands respect to be so disrespectful of people whose views diverge from its own that if we homosexuals cannot respect each other, we can't very well expect respect from others. GAA did not apologize in any way. So it is little wonder that LCS was highly pleased that Jim Owles was thrown out of office in GAA's December elections.
We tried to obtain a copy of the transcript of the comments surrounding the resolution that LCS made. But due to a lack of funds, the City Council had not had the minutes transcribed. This fact alarms us, for the Council cannot very well gain much from hearings if there is no record of the views expressed, for council members who were not present to read. It makes it necessary for us to send each and every member of the council and the Mayor a copy of our resolution and an explanation of our position. (Not that Intro 475 is likely to pass ...)
Here, then, is the text of our resolution. The specifics of our approach at the federal level can be found in the text of the letter to Hubert Humphrey printed this issue in the "cc: HI!'s Readers" department. We are confident that a careful reading of both will demonstrate the superiority of our approach to the cheap rhetoric of Intro 475.
"BECAUSE rhetoric is no substitute for action;
"BECAUSE a false sense of security may cause people to endanger themselves needlessly;
"BECAUSE overt hostility, bigotry, and discrimination are easier to deal with than covert;
"BECAUSE homosexuals (or lesbians) must have the right to discriminate in favor of homosexuals (or lesbians), especially in the staffing of services for other homosexuals (or lesbians);
"BECAUSE homogenization, assimilation, and heterosexualization are closely allied concepts which threaten, in the short term, the happiness and stability of homosexuals (and lesbians);
"BECAUSE similar legislation for other oppressed groups has proved useless;
"BECAUSE such legislation is unenforceable; and
"BECAUSE law which is unenforceable, widely violated, and widely contemned is worse than no law at all;
"THEREFORE, Homosexuals Intransigent!/New York declares its total opposition to enactment of that piece of legislation known as Intro 475 now pending before the Council of the City of New York, and proposes to that Council instead this alternate course of legislation:
"1) Legislation to forbid discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians in all City hiring, firing, and promotions.
`"2) Legislation to preclude from performing any contract or service for profitable compensation, any firm or organization found by the New York City Commission on Human Rights to discriminate against homosexuals and/or lesbians';
"3) A resolution advocating legal equality for homosexuals and lesbians: specifically, urging the State of New York to repeal sodomy and solicitation laws altogether, retaining only importuning as a punishable offense; to end restrictions on wearing clothing generally deemed as being of the opposite sex; and to permit legal marriage between two persons of the same sex;
"4) A resolution directed to the Congress of the United States urging revision of immigration and naturalization laws ...". The essence of the remainder of HI!'s federal-level program recommendations can be found in the letter to Senator Humphrey.
The behavior of the gay activists in the hearing chamber was outrageous on the first two occasions that we saw. The third session was reportedly even worse. Loud disruptions, prolonged demonstrations, chanting, cries of "pig", etc. highly antidemocratic behavior that was reminiscent of GLF at its worst so disturbed and offended council members that even the sponsors of the legislation were in some cases put off. While GAA has disclaimed the actions of the demonstrators as GAA actions, the fact is that this entire bill and the entire lobbying/harassing strategy are GAA actions. The harsh, almost unbelievably uncivilized intolerance for other views demonstrated by GAA members at these hearings does not bode well for the future of that organization.
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New York is Fun City. Go to City Hall and see the clowns.
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As for the councilmen, they were almost all, always gentlemen (or ladies, in the case of the councilwomen). The contrast in their behavior was striking. If some of them disapprove of homosexuality and lesbianism, that is unfortunate. But surely they are entitled to their opinions. If we happen to disagree with their opinions and feel that other views must prevail, then it sup to us to replace them. But they have both power and legitimacy. They do speak for their constituents. Can GAA claim the same legitimacy in speaking for 'all' homosexuals and lesbians?
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THE CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY COMMITTEE is about to meet for the first time this year to plan the Gay Pride Week festivities. Craig Rodwell, who had hosted many of the past two years' meetings, does not plan to take so active a part this year. So the Committee will meet in the facilities of the Liberation House Gay Collective.
HI!/N.Y., which grudgingly endorsed last year's march and had actively participated the year before, will not take part this year. that is, we will not participate if it takes the same hetero form (men-and-women-together-now!) and ends up in the same nothingness as last year's. We'll see.
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BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine (January 1972) reports that "There are 863 television outlets in the country, none of them owned by blacks.' Frankly, that surprises us. They go on to say that "the Masons International, owners of WPGR, one of the three black-owned radio stations in Detroit, expect to purchase an existing Detroit-area UHF facility" for about $2 million.
This report reminded us that there are absolutely no television OR radio stations owned by homosexuals broadcasting for a homosexual audience. That is one of the things I (LCS) would like to do someday: buy and operate a broadcast complex (WFAG? AM, FM and TV) programming exclusively for the interests of homosexuals. This counterweight to the insidious and all-pervasive media presence of entrenched heterosexuality seems the kind of project wealthy homosexuals should take interest in. While most organizations must have a hard time believing it, considering how damned cheap most homosexuals are when it comes to supporting organizations for their benefit, there are a lot of wealthy homosexuals.
So how about it, moneyfags? If you're hesitant to give money while you're alive, why not leave a homosexual organization (guess which) your money when you're gone? surely fellow homosexuals are worthier of consideration than the bigoted relatives you've been afraid of all these years.
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GAA ELECTS ENTIRELY NEW SLATE of officers. The December 2nd elections saw Jim Owles, who had guided the organization from its inception two years earlier, not even make the run-off. The new President is Richard C. Wandel, former East Coast correspondents and photographer for GAY. Ms. Nathalie Rockhill, token lesbian, is Vice president. Philip Eberle and Douglas Edward are this year's Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Harold Offen took up his six-month term as Delegate-at-Large immediately on election.
We trust that the new officers will bring a new direction to GAA, to make it deal with the interpersonal problems of homosexuals more and with the political flights of fancy GAA has tended to, less.
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ORAL SUGGESTION INSUFFICIENT
Eh? The New York Law Journal ("Official Daily Law Newspaper Designated Pursuant to the Judiciary Law") reported last year that "An oral suggestion to engage in sexual relations is insufficient to sustain a charge of 'attempt' but depending on the nature of the offer might constitute criminal solicitation, a misdemeanor, according to a ruling in Criminal Court. In an opinion (People v. Spencer) ... Judge M. Marvin Berger found no New York case in point but cited out-of-state cases holding that invitations to commit adultery or fornication fall short of 'attempts.' As a result, Judge Berger dismissed a charge of attempted deviate sexual conduct but ruled that an unsuccessful offer to an eight-year-old complainant constituted endangering the child's welfare as well as criminal solicitation" The moral of this news story is, Watch your mouth.
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[The graphic above is a reproduction of the typed logo that headed the original mimeo text.]
Thank you for sending us your ideas from Homosexuals Intransigent!
Since you ask for comment I will make a couple. The idea of devoting a little space to the discussion of thought is valuable. Much of the gay press of late sticks to reporting only. I find very little discussion or opinion. We used to provide it in Tangents.
Shortly after the Stonewall Uprising you commented in the Tangents Newsletter: "Your account of the Stonewall Riots is somewhat exaggerated a la Don Jackson"s report." You were, of course, right; and that is why we printed your observation. Don Jackson is a bullshit artist, a fomenter, a professional gadfly. Delightful! But I don't take a thing he says seriously. Don Jackson doesn't take himself seriously. When we were first talking about Alpine County in these offices he said: "Wouldn't it be a scam? Wouldn't it blow minds?" Don Jackson is no more a gay separatist than I. But he likes to bait people and stir up a fuss. He is not a gay supremacist either.
If your discussions if any discussions are to be meaningful it is essential that the parties to the discussion be sincere. Many naive people were hurt by the alpine County incident. They believed what they heard and read. They turned away from the movement when they learned the project was all a big joke, and that it was planned as a joke.
James P. Lawbaugh is a fuzzy-minded shithead. You can quote me. He and I have been fighting for years. But at least the man is sincere in his mistaken beliefs.
Regarding your exchange with Don J. over gay terminology see the enclosed editorial of two years ago. [That editorial says, in part: "Used as an adjective the word 'gay' does describe certain kinds of homosexuals" (those who were gay little boys who "played with dolls rather than lead soldiers, and cried when he was promoted to knickerbockers" then as they grew "developed a sentimental rapture with stained-glass windows and ecclesiastical rites and church music"). "It has a perfectly valid meaning when used in this sense. And we often use it in this sense. But the word unfortunately has the same suggestiveness as have words like swish, nellie, straight jam, butch or kai-kai. All expressions of this sort ... describe a 'plastic' role assigned to homosexuals by a disapproving society. Each is a loaded term. Fortunately, the ghetto language of the homosexual disappeared as the need for it disappeared, as the myth that there was something different that had to be described disappeared ... Gay-ese glossaries died when most homosexuals gave up role playing around the year 1948 ... What (who) are Gays? Gays??? Sorry, there 'ain't' no such animal. There never was. Not even in the giddiest imagination. Gay is not a generic term so why the capital "G"? Homosexual is not capitalized; nor is heterosexual. The current misuse of the word 'Gays' as a synonym for homosexuals is born of ignorance. It is a return to the somewhat mystical belief in a 'homophile life style.'
"Ever since Benkert first used the word 'homosexual' in 1869, the directness of the word has not been improved upon." - "You've come a long way from being gay, baby.", Tangents magazine, Jan.-March 1970]
Best wishes, and keep up the good work.
The Tangent Group
Los Angeles, California
"Keep up the good work" is exactly the phrase I'd like to hear more often. I sometimes feel that no one reads what I'm writing or cares. Very little feedback comes in, and it is encouraging when someone shows appreciation for the kinds of things I'm trying to do.
Homosexuals need to think about homosexuality and their future. Alas, the "gay" press is going in precisely the wrong direction but, then, most homosexuals and "gay" organizations are also going in precisely the wrong direction: integration into the heterosexual culture; an impossibility, but that doesn't keep them from trying.
GAY's editor tells me that GAY is "trying to move away from articles dealing specifically with homosexuality into lifestyle (without heavy homosexual self-consciousness). We're getting vibes from readers that they're interested only incidentally in homosexuality, and more particularly in art, books, cultural activities, etc. which may or may not have homosexual themes. But the homosexuality is an integral part of what they're after, not THE question of interest." What this really means is that GAY's readers want to be integrated into heterosexual society's art, books, and culture. They want to know what's going on in straight heads. They want to know which hetero plays they should go to to see hetero situations that will touch them and embrace them (in a suffocating death grip). This is a fraud, this suggestion that "lifestyle" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean) is the important question. It is self-delusion to suggest that heterosexuality does not permeate and shape hetero art. Every damned last piece of hetero starts from hetero assumptions, treats of hetero characters and hetero situations in "BECAUSE ways. And every last one is an invitation to homosexuals to lose themselves in heterosexuality and I mean that in every sense. For the homosexual who pretends that homosexuality is really not important is ignoring the proof of the importance of sexual orientation that any perceptive viewing of hetero art will provide: sexual orientation is all-important.
In back of the facile and supercilious suggestion that homosexuality itself is not important is the double assertion first that they already know everything they need to know about homosexuality and second that homosexuality isn't worth exploring.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
NEW BOWL GAME
Now there's the "Gay Lib Bowl" they get out on the field and huddle for three hours. Johnny Carson
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
In fact, however, no one knows what homosexuality is and is not, because we have not explored the subject even slightly. Hets have been writing about heterosexuality for thousands of years and still consider that there is a lot left to be said. Homosexuals, by contrast, have no literature whatever, much less art, television, magazines, etc. So the firs assumption, we already know everything there is to know about homosexuality, is shown patently false.
So what this attitude really comes down to is "we already know more than we care to know" about homosexuality because they don't like being homosexual and would much rather forget about it except when their bodies clamor for release or comfort. Well, baby, homosexuality is not something you can turn on and off. It has you by the balls, so to say, and you are its absolute captive. Some people view that fact as a tragedy. I rejoice in it. But only if I can live fully as a homosexual, in a culture and in personal relationships that are rich and full.
Nobody knows enuf about homosexuality. I myself, after years of more-or-less serious introspective and intellectual inquiry, am just beginning to be homosexual. And once one does start to be homosexual, he loses patience with all things heterosexual. That revulsion and impatience having started to work, one must become alarmed, because there is as yet no alternative place, no alternative culture, no alternative lifestyle.
It's frightening to be faced all of a sudden with a whole new world no, universe that seems uninhabited except for yourself. But we've been thru something like this before, so we are not so frightened this time. And that universe is so beautiful, sparkling, glistening with promise. So you try to bring other people to the window, to the door, thru the door into that new universe where they too might feel the beauty of it all. Revelation. Then you turn away from that new universe and agh! what should confront you but the ugliest conceivable place: where you have been, where you rest now, in squalor, degradation, shame, fear, and lust without love. It's quite a shock.
Well, it's shocked me out of complacency, and damn it I'm going to try to shake other people out of their apathy. But it's sometimes hard to keep going when you seem to be having little effect. So it is encouraging to receive signs of appreciation every now and then.
Regarding Don Jackson, you will note that when we printed his article "Kill the Queers' we printed also this note: "HI! has no way of checking his claims in this article. But the subject is so alarming that we felt obliged to let you see his assertions." I take much of what Don (J.) says, with a grain (a large grain) of salt. I've spoken with him by phone on a number of occasions; we correspond; and I like him personally. But I think he does have a tendency to overstatement. I don't know whether he is or is not sincerely a homosexual separatist and supremacist. I know that I am, and I trust that no one will doubt my sincerity.
But in the larger sense, while sincerity is much to be appreciated, it is an overstatement to say that discussions cannot be meaningful unless all parties are sincere. Discussions in print have as their intent reaching third parties and stimulating thought. The "devil's advocate" is a technique of presenting something one does not himself believe in, so that an important consideration might be heeded. The Alpine County project (which HI! endorsed, tho with grave reservations I conveyed to both Don J. and Morris Kight) was not a total disaster, for it did make homosexuals consider many, for the firs time that there might be an alternative to perpetual and destructive immersion in a heterosexual sea. If some people turned away from the movement because that project in particular was not successful or fully serious, it is because they are weak people who would crumble at the first touch of adversity anyway.
Many of us become disenchanted with the movement from time to time. One well-known gay militant told me, "lately I have become disillusioned with Gay Lib and with the gay movement in general. Gay people are bitchy, nasty faggots for the most part. I have doubts that these envious, sarcastic queens deserve freedom. Obviously they can't get along with each other, let alone anyone else." that is an exact quote. But we all bounce back, all those of us who are true militant homosexuals-to-be (for homosexuality is an ideal, not a reality). Why? Because there is no place to go. So we set aside our cares and woes with other homosexuals in the movement and then what have we to do? We go out to try to forget about organizational things and run smack into heterosexual society and the sick, sick gay society and just can't take it. We cannot accept the way things are so must bounce back from the seemingly unbreakable brick wall of heterosexual society and hetero-minded faggots. We're trapped; but I'm glad we're trapped. Because if we could escape from our responsibilities to try to change things, we would. And if we stop trying to change things as they should be changed, we are all lost.
Jim Lawbaugh, do you care to reply to Don Slater's charge?
Now to disagree with you not so much on what is said as regards a basic stand, but rather, again, on the issue of sincerity.
In the editorial on the word "gay", I detect a grave lack of candor. This same lack of candor is to be found many other places in the gay world, and it all comes of two things: (1) having to keep in mind a hostile (hetero) audience, and (2) wishful thinking. A third factor, heterosexualization, is basic not to this particular point but rather to our overall disagreement.
(1) The editorial says "Gay-ese glossaries died when most homosexuals gave up role playing around the year 1948" and other things that are all less than candid. It is the fashion in gay publications which may be seen by outsiders, to try to present the best possible "image" of the homosexual, even if that image is false. this publication is one place where we are not going to lie to ourselves, each other, or anyone else. Because this is distributed only among us. So let's cut the shit and talk frankly. The gay world is by no means as healthy as that editorial suggests, and while perhaps in fact most homosexuals do not think of themselves as being in fixed roles at all times, keep in mind that "most" means 50 ... n% (anything over fifty percent). that can leave an awful lot of folks. Role playing is one of the most serious scourges of the gay world, and it cannot be dismissed for public-relations purposes. It's time for homosexuals to stop talking for other people's ears, for public consumption, but to talk to ourselves and each other with absolute candor. Otherwise, we retard our progress.
(2) There is a primitive feeling in all of us that if we say something is thus-and-so way, it will turn out to be that way. And so the editorial says "the ghetto language of the homosexual disappeared as the need for it disappeared, as the myth that there was something different that had to be described disappeared." That is a baldface lie. We do have our own jargon, and tho it may no be highly developed or very closety (case in point), it is still very much around. The editorial was really saying 'Homosexual jargon should disappear.' Further, there are many things in homosexuality which are different and do require a distinctive linguistic treatment, for instance, "closet queen". It takes a full sentence to say the same thing in general (hetero) terms. What the editorial was saying here was really 'Homosexuals, you shouldn't think of yourself as different or freaky, and should stop using terms that set you apart' and 'You hets reading this mustn't think that homosexuals are different even tho they are'. In short, the editorial takes a point of view and wishes that what it says will make its view reality. Things don't work that way.
But most alarming about the stand is that while the editorial presents one stand which many will agree with, that homosexuals should not use the word "gay" to refer to themselves because that word carries harmful connotations and implicitly mandates frivolousness and effeminacy, the overriding stand is that homosexuals are really no different from anybody else (and you know who that leaves hets). We are different tho, and the difference is important.
So while I am glad that Tangents also opposed the term "gay", I'm afraid I cannot accept all their reasons. It is not, after all, true that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". That kind of thinking caused the U.S. to give over half of europe to Communist despots. And so I must always be very careful and evaluate each idea and argument on its own merits, and not on whether it bolsters a particular stand I may take.
Even when we disagree, in discussing our ideas we homosexuals stimulate thought and progress toward homosexuality. It's important that we think, because nonthink has given us the "gay world" that pitiful, miserable, disgusting mess. So it is also important that we discuss our ideas thoughtfully and respectfully.
I should like to see this Magazine develop in time into a national forum (hopefully with a far more sumptuous format) of thought from the best minds in the homosexual movement indeed, the best minds among all homosexuals. It will be much too serious and "heavy" for the frivolous to appreciate, but there must be a magazine of homosexual thought. I encourage homosexual intellectuals to show this modest publication around among their intelligent homosexual friends and to write in their thoughts, that we might all grow more rapidly. (I could also use some help with production, distribution, and finances.) Our progress as individuals and as a people will require effort. Put yourself out a lot, for only a little is not good enuf.
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It was such a nice surprise to see your letter [printed in The Advocate December 8, 1971, issue]. The fact that the Indians have lost their lives, land and culture must have passed over me since I live in a town where most of the land is owned by Indians who are very much alive and who have preserved their culture. Although I take exception to your example, I agree 100% with the points you were trying to get across. Keep up the good work.
[Notes, August 1998: (1) This was our first contact with Walter Phillips, a native of Oklahoma City who had lived for a while in San Francisco and New York but returned to Oklahoma to attend Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. After graduation he moved East, first to Philadelphia, from which he traveled to New York on weekends to help with the production of this Magazine, and with HI!'s other projects, then to New York City itself. He eventually became Vice President of the group. (2) Tahlequah, which served briefly as David Letterman's "home office" for viewer-mailbag purposes, is the capital of the "Cherokee Nation", as I discovered when I myself stopped there briefly and saw a bilingual sign to that effect by the town hall, English (written in the Roman alphabet) / Cherokee (in its own syllabary).]
The successful accommodation that Oklahoma Indians made to the fact of their defeat by white invaders came very late in the game, after most of the tribes that settled in Oklahoma had already los their ancestral lands. Oklahoma Indians have "preserved" their culture only in the way that people "preserve" peaches or aborted fetuses: by putting them in jars and sticking the jars on shelves somewhere, to look at them from time to time as a curiosity until one has need of the contents for some specific purpose. That is hardly what a culture is all about. A culture is something you live by and with. It is not something you take out for tourists.
But the brutal destruction of the Amerindian way of life was perhaps inevitable, as the "noble red man" decided it was more pleasant to adopt 'civilization' as the white man defined it and live comfortably than to try to stick to the old ways and live in poverty, a breathing fossil from the Iron Age. Still, many people, red and white alike, feel that perhaps the Amerindian gave up too much of his culture, too soon, for now our entire society has started to realize that we could all use some of the reverence for the earth that characterized Indians.
Still, the Indians had little choice but to yield to "progress", just as the peaceful people of Micronesia and the South Pacific are beginning to abandon the old ways, the gentle, 'idyllic' past for the excitement and challenge of Western-style 'civilization'. Again, I do not think they need to give up everything so fast. The trouble with the melting pot of Western 'progress' is that the process of assimilation is unguided, promiscuous, and brutally irreversible. We do not choose among elements of an assimilated culture for its best points and then incorporate them into the new whole but rather obliterate all those things which permit of obliteration, and substitute instead a monstrously alien and alienated technological society of the mass. Still, Indians and Micronesians who are heterosexual can be assimilated into a 'modern' society and adjust happily enuf to their new selves. The homosexual cannot be assimilated into heterosexual society and be happy. The constants that reassure the Micronesian or the Amerindian or the black or nay other assimilable people, that nothing so terrible is happening do not hold for us: man-and-woman as a theme of all art and entertainment does not rest happily in our minds; the family unit as the basis of societal organization does not apply to us; mother-and-child is an alien image; and role sets based on the differences between man and woman have no validity nor application to us. Everything that fits and comforts the heterosexual isolated anywhere outside his culture of birth, unsettles us. A straight can go anywhere on earth and fit in; we can go everywhere on earth and fail to fit in. For there is no place built by homosexuals for homosexuals. I daresay there isn't a single television or radio station on earth broadcasting homosexual programming, nor a single square mile in any city in the world occupied by a homosexual majority.
Homosexual separatism is the unremarkable philosophy that states that homosexuals are entitled to a full life as homosexuals in a culture arisen from homosexuality and reflective of our lives, and that in order to attain such a society we must assume political and economic control over a specific real piece of the earth. HI! thinks the City of New York, where we already have a large heard start and which is the greatest and most powerful concentration of homosexuals in the history of the world, should be that piece of earth.
Response to our offer to provide information on N.Y. to anyone thinking of moving here to build with us a homosexual majority, has been light. But even the greatest flood begins with but a single drop; of rain. Come on back to New York, Walter.
I am in receipt of the April-May issue of the magazine put out by your group, and thank you for sending it along. While there are some very good points, your main theme of separatism is revolting to me and to most effective Gay Lib groups around today.
We are all homosexuals striving for the same goals and as long as there are groups that believe in separatism, we will never achieve the equality that we desire. In order to be effective, gay liberation has to include homosexuals of both sexes. After all, homosexual means the same sex not male sex. Females have contributed and will continue to contribute to the cause as long as there are open minded males who realize that this fight cannot be won on a male or female basis. If we cannot present a united front to the society that we are trying to win acceptance from, how do you expect to become equal?
Here in Connecticut at the present, there are four Kalos groups Bridgeport, Hartford, New London and Waterbury. These four groups in their brief existence have managed to make history in Conn. and have become very well known nationally. And a good part of the credit goes to our female members, who work just as hard as we do.
The groups around today that believe in separatism have accomplished little or nothing int he way of gay liberation. The Mattachine Society has been around for many years and has done nothing. Neither has DOB [Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian group] in all the years that they have been around.
I regret to ask you to remove my name from your mailing list, as I cannot subscribe to any organization that believes in separatism.
DANIEL MARTIN LEVITCH
As an intellectual elitist, I have a very low tolerance for stupidity, and the letter above surpassed my tolerance in the first paragraph. If Mr. Levitch is older than 24, he's in very serious trouble, for his utter naivete and shortsighted ingratitude do not bode well for his future.
Can anyone tell me what an "effective Gay Lib group" is? Judging from Mr. Levitch's letter, such a group would be one which has achieved for homosexuals significant advances toward "equality" and "acceptance" into straight society. On that criterion, there are absolutely no effective Gay Lib groups, nor even homosexual or lesbian organizations. Not one. Connecticut's laws on sexual behavior were indeed changed to do away with criminal penalties (as we reported last issue) but the Kalos Society had nothing whatever to do with that change. As with the other states which have done away with criminal penalties for homosexual and lesbianism, no strong homosexual voice had anything to do with the change. There were no homosexual organizations of significance in Illinois when the laws there were changed, nor in Connecticut at the time, nor in Colorado, Idaho and whatever-the-hell-other state that recently changed its laws, even to this day. If anything, it is the old-style organizations (Mattachine, etc.), at which Mr. Levitch looks so haughtily, which created the climate for these legal changes, thru years of patient, quiet work. In the states with the strongest and loudest gay groups, New York and California, legislation to repeal the sodomy laws has failed time and time again. Explain that to me, Mr. Levitch.
Let's hear more about the effectiveness of Kalos. That group and others sponsored a celebration of the change of Connecticut's laws, and by all reasonable standards, that celebration was a flop. Only the dance could be counted a success. What about the violence against homosexuals in Bridgeport that GAY reported several months ago? If Kalos has done so well in persuading straights to accept homosexuals and lesbians, why did this violence occur?
Let's confront this whole issue of effectiveness right now. LIFE Magazine has called New York's Gay Activist Alliance "homosexual liberation's most effective organization", and many people across the country have marvelled at GAA's nerve and style. But let us just look rationally at what GAA has and has not accomplished.
GAA zapped Harper's Magazine thru a sit-in, to protest a violently antihomosexual article that had appeared, and the group demanded that an article by a homosexual appear. GAA got lots and lots of good publicity (for itself, mostly) from this bold act. But you know what? NO ARTICLE BY A HOMOSEXUAL APPEARED. Indeed, not even a retraction was offered, nor even an apology made by Harper's. That is not my idea of effectiveness.
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"We're here to tell the world, 'We're not sick. We feel fine.'" lesbian Magora Kennedy, speaking of both lesbians and homosexuals, on the David Susskind Show, October 10, 1971
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Sometime later, GAA mounted a demonstration against an outfit called Fidelifacts because of its alleged practice of collecting information on people's sexual orientation for nosy employers, government agencies, etc. Again after gathering lots of publicity, GAA disappeared. And you know what? FIDELIFACTS STILL GATHERS INFORMATION ON PEOPLE'S SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
GAA practically endorsed Bella Abzug (its constitution doesn't allow formal endorsements, but GAA made very clear its preference), its darling substitute mother, for Congress on the assertion that she would be a champion of our rights. But you know what? SHE HASN'T INTRODUCED ONE DAMNED BIT OF LEGISLATION ON THE STATUS OF HOMOSEXUALS OR LESBIANS. Indeed, she didn't even keep her campaign promise to march with us on Christopher Street Liberation Day.
GAA zapped the Board of Education for allegedly discriminating against homosexuals. They demanded some sort of statement that the Board would change its policy. No such statement was issued, and one still doesn't really know where the Board stands.
One could go on and on if one were that familiar with the day-to-day activities of GAA or many other publicity-seeking organizations. Sure GAA is effective at grabbing headlines and little else. Its tactic is to move in quickly, zap for the best possible media coverage, then move out and leave the problem unsolved as before. The assumption behind this 'philosophy' to be kind and not ascribe the organization's behavior solely or mainly to what is familiarly known as "ego tripping" is that merely getting homosexuality into the news is enuf to build up hesitancy on the part of hets to discriminate and courage and pride on the part of closeted fairies. Undoubtedly they are partly right. But sooner or later people are going to realize that all the rhetoric hasn't changed the fact of our severe, multidimensional oppression. The GLFs across the country are dying off one by one, not merely from internal tumult but also from disillusionment that anything is really happening as a consequence of their actions.
Now GAA faces the same harsh test: produce or disappear. GAA is going all out now to push for passage of a useless bit of cheap rhetoric, Intro 475, which will grant to homosexuals the same legal rights as, for instance, blacks have, to a job, to housing, and to respect. And you know what, even if we get the legislation, it will mean about as much as it has to the blacks: NOTHING! DAMMIT! NOTHING! But worse still, GAA in all likelihood is going to fail at this too but that won't keep them from claiming a "moral victory".
Meanwhile, what about the things in our day-to-day existence that really matter: the quality of our life as homosexuals and the nature of our gay environment and homosexual interpersonal relationships with other homosexuals? Shit, man, GAA doesn't have time for the chicken shit; it's got big work to be done. So it provides a dance once a week, a (straight) film showing once a week, maybe a concert (usually of straight music) every now and then, and a few truly homosexual (or lesbian, or confused) original art programs. Which leaves most of this city's homosexuals with no place to go but the bars and baths and parks and trucks as they'd have if GAA never existed on most nites of the week. Well, GAA does provide a lounge, doesn't it, for use during the week. Oh sure with fourth-hand furniture that the Salvation Army would not touch, and lighting so glaring in places and inadequate in others that it's garish. Looking at the GAA Firehouse is enuf to make you give up forever the notion that homosexuals are creative, for it's one of the ugliest, most poorly and tastelessly outfitted environments I have ever seen. It makes the worst bar look heavenly by contrast.
So where is the 'effectiveness' Mr. Levitch is talking about? I don't see it. But even the effectiveness he seeks is effectiveness for the wrong things. For he would give in to heterosexual terms and forms of organization even before fighting, and he would fight his way into a society in which there will never be a place for him.
As for women, they have contributed very, very little to the movement and mostly in their own women's-only groups. In that regard, they're no fools. they know they're different from men even faggots and they know that that difference is all-important. But what about the groups that women have destroyed? Queens College had a gay group until the women demanded drastic change to accommodate them. The group split, the women to set up their own group, the men just to give up for at least the time being. The same thing has happened elsewhere. I commend to Mr. Levitch now the last issue of this publication, which I did not send him earlier because of his request to be removed from the mailing list.
It is very weird to see Mattachine referred to as tho it were a separatist organization. It certainly is not, but is as fully integrationist (and therefore wrongheaded) as Kalos. So too with DOB, the only difference there being their admirable self-awareness as women who do not want anything to do with men. Before you look down your nose at the old-line organizations, you might ask to see their history of accomplishments. It's really quite impressive. You know, the militants of today were not always homosexual activists. I came into the organizational scene thru Mattachine New York and so did Craig Rodwell of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Book Shop and of former connection with the christopher Street Liberation Day Committee; so too did an awful lot of people. The same can be said of DOB in its capacity of recruiter into the movement. Without the Mattachines and DOBs and ONE, In.s and the other old-line organizations, there wouldn't be a Gay Liberation movement today. Mattachine even gave rise to GLF New York, in a real way, and helped with paper and mimeographing facilities in its organization. Did you know that, Mr. Levitch? Grow up. Ingratitude is ugly. Why don't you get the facts before you speak ugliness of someone or some group. The people who have been helped to find lawyers and doctors when they needed them don't regard Mattachine as having done nothing. Nor do those of us who remember working with Mattachine in the campaign for the Civilian Review Board in 1966. The oldline organizations are still doing their work. That is may be work that you do not value doesn't make it worthless.
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My mother made me a homosexual ... If I supply the wool, will she make me one too?
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Don't think I'm endorsing Mattachine. I think it is doing things that are good in themselves but part of a mentality which is wrong and in the long run will be harmful just like every other integrationist organization. But I appreciate the sincerity and generosity of all homosexuals working for homosexuals, even when I disagree with their goals or their tactics. I even appreciate GAA.
Lastly, the only reason we have sent this Magazine to you is that yours is the only address we have for Bridgeport Kalos. It was on the envelope of mailings we received. And we have returned the courtesy of being sent mailings. And you know what, Mr. Levitch? We shall continue to send you this Magazine for you to turn over to your organization, until and unless you provide us another address. Because we think it's important for organizations working for homosexuals to communicate, even when they disagree greatly and seemingly irreconcilably. Adults all across the movement feel the same way, and we have exchange arrangements with THE ADVOCATE, GAY, and various other publications, and we send mailings to organizations across the country if we have the money.
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SCENTS BE PRAISED!
Perhaps you would not be so annoyed by perfume if you knew that women wear it to mask vaginal odor. Imagine what it would smell like in an elevator filled with women without perfume on a hot day! [Can't don't know what a vagina smells like thanks!] A California doctor claims he can detect homosexuals by having the patient smell vaginal odor. If he gets sick, he's homosexual.
Los Angeles, California
John Singer Writes
((John F. Singer was the first Vice president of Homosexuals Intransigent!, serving in the first half of 1970, first at City College and then for the overall group (he graduated) until he moved to California. then he left San Francisco for Seattle, and we lost track of him until we saw a picture and story of him and his lover, who have applied for a marriage license, printed in the Los Angeles ADVOCATE. Our letter to THE ADVOCATE (mentioned earlier in this department) prompted John to write the following letter.))
Just a quick note to inform you that I'm applying for grad school at the U. of Washington School of Social Work, and doing so as openly gay. One close associate, Patrick Haggerty, is presently a student, and his thesis has to do with homosexuality so you see it's no cop out; in fact, it's one of the best places to do some good. As part of the application I have listed as experience my term as Vice President of HI!, stating that I was responsible for the discussion group and for counseling of newly emergent Gays (and I did a fair amount of that the Larry, Lewis Miller, etc., group). You and HI! are listed on the form, so that they might contact you for a reference.
Patrick and I, as well as a group of others, many of us living together in a collective so that we might have time and money to do this, have been running the Gay Community Center of Seattle, [address then:] 102 Cherry Street, Seattle, Washington 98104; [phone number then:] (206) 623-3862 and 622-9621 is a 6,000-square-foot facility in downtown Seattle, in the Gay ghetto, unfortunately, but quite successful we run dances with live bands every weekend (which hasn't been done here for the Gay community we have been banned, specifically, from at least one straight tavern with similar entertainment, which we then picketed, but still aren't allowed). We have meetings for Seattle Gay Alliance (formerly Dorian Society, and the group that puts up most of the rent money), GLF, other interest groups, and are open approximately 14 hours per day, 7 days a week for people to just drop in and rap we are establishing a library, have recreational equipment (chess, cards, ping pong, pool, TV, piano, etc.). All in all, going quite well in part because groups have worked together. Anyway, still keeping active.
JOHN F. SINGER
Seattle, Washington 98102
"Still keeping active"is a phrase that could be applied to a surprising number of people who were at one point or other regularly associated with HI! and a large part of the credit for that must go to John Singer's warmth and personal interest in the progress of the people who came to us for help or friendship. Shortly after John left for California, HI! encountered grave strains and problems. Frankly, most of them were due to the personality and ideological intransigence of its President (your guess it my own not-so-humble self). When John was here, the group functioned well. John's openness and friendship was the carrot; my insistence upon disclosure of full name, upon candor, and against any residual heterosexual notions, was the stick. Together, these two incentives proved a powerful combination in breaking thru years-long habits of repression, shame, and fearfulness. But once John left, there was only the stick, for no single other member was strong enuf a personality to offset the very negative aspects of mine. And the organization fell apart, helped along by a psychopath (who turned a nice profit by gaining trust and then wrecking the group and stealing the treasury). Now the group has adjusted to the realities of my utter domination and changed in nature to an ultra-militant and purist male organization. For there is no one in the group whose personality is powerful enuf to offset my presence unfortunately.
I say "unfortunately" because homosexuals in New York rally have almost no place to go to get the kind of real interpersonal interaction that HI! gave. A year and a half after most members left HI! in the debacle flowing from Joshua Harris's instalment as Vice president which was almost directly a consequence of John Singer's having left for California a substantial number of people who met each other thru HI! still see each other regularly. Jay Leonard Friend said recently that he realized that almost all his best friends are people he met either directly or indirectly thru HI! yet Jay has been a member of GAA for quite some time now.
GAA itself recognizes that it is not functioning successfully as a social organization. Its December 1971-January 1972 newsletter states "we are growing so fast that nobody including the officers and committee chairmen, most of whom were around when GAA was a handful of people knows how to get to know the new member, make him feel at home, and help him channel his talents into useful work. ... The way it stands now, a newcomer has to have the personality of an extrovert, a burning zeal for gay liberation, and enough maturity to see the overall organization for what it is, before he will take the trouble to fight his way through the confusion that confronts him. In 1971 we recognized the existence of the problem but we found no solution." This points out yet another aspect of GAA's massive failure during its first year. Hopefully the new executive group will find ways to strengthen that organization which is so large (and inadequate) a part of the movement in New York. But at this point, the individual is nothing a nobody, having neither name nor character nor needs nor feelings except those assumed to be had by the standardized "activist" of chants and zaps. And let's face it the number of people whose entire lives revolve around political action of GAA's sort is ridiculously small. Where does that leave the rest.
Nowhere, that's where. sure, there are some other groups, but GAA's publicity-gathering example has set off too many on the path to political self-aggrandizement, at the cost of realistic people-oriented programs designed to look into homosexuality and he individual and help him make a full and happy adjustment to both and then change the basic nature of his society. And by "his society" I mean homosexual society for straight society is "theirs", not ours. Where does activism for Intro 475 leave us? In the bars, tearooms, and parks where we have always been, that's where!
& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &
Crystal is a faggot!
He is not.
I am so!
& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &
I am so damned angry when I see how much is being done with so relatively little, in places like Seattle. The Gay community Center that John describes is so vastly superior to everything that GAA has done or anybody else in New York has done as to make one want to scream or cry. As another John, John Sullivan, in his letter in this department last issue, pointed out, the Homosexual Revolution has meant greater profits for our exploiters, the bar owners and bath proprietors, etc., not greater freedom or harmony for the homosexual. New York has no 'alternatives' that are even remotely competitive with the bars and baths. But the commercial establishments are sterile, empty places which by their very nature thrive on homosexuals' discontent and unattachment. After all, if we were almost all happily settled down, we wouldn't be out in bars and baths several times a week. So bars have a vested interest in unhappiness, as have baths and even clothing stores (one doesn't have to dazzle people with elegant and fashionable clothing if one isn't out to impress and attract them).
But GAA and its satellite organizations are to busy working for passage of meaningless and useless legislation, or zapping once, and once only various public figures in order to gain empty publicity. I beg of anyone who thinks I am too enviously harsh on GAA (oh, I'll admit right away that I wish I were able to get for my views even a substantial fraction of the exposure GAA gets for its (ill-considered)) postures), to read in the Dec.-Jan Gay Activist newsletter the list of zaps on page 9 and think, critically (that is, objectively), how many of those zaps resulted in significant change?
Anyway, because I am so very concerned that the movement in New York and elsewhere is really not dealing with the important questions that will make a significant impact upon our lives, I am also very concerned that HI! revive membership meetings. Since I realize that I am the main obstacle to HI! functioning as a membership and not merely publishing group, I am prepared to step aside not down, for the title president of an organization is useful at the bottom of a letter, and I would anticipate that most of the political/ideological matters will continue to be dominated by me for the foreseeable future, given the lack of interest on the part of most members during membership meetings and let other members determine the form and content of such meetings (within the broad outlines of the organization as constitutionally set up). That is, I shall be glad to let members use my apartment for meetings, if they cannot find another place, but my own participation in such membership meetings will be limited to a brief summary of the Executive Board's political and publishing work and perhaps isolated comments WHEN SOMEONE SPECIFICALLY ASKS FOR MY OPINION, AND NOT OTHERWISE. I should like to see activity groups spring up, and both the Magazine and The President's Letter will print notices for such activity groups. (The President's Letter is distributed to members only. Activity-group notices will be printed in the Personal section of the Magazine.) Already it seems there may soon be an ice-skating activity group. And Jay Leonard Friend, who had been a staff member of the Magazine but not a member of the organization for several months, has recently rejoined HI! I truly hope that his rejoining signals the end of the decline in membership (which I have tended to regard as unimportant but have become interested in again because of the failure of other organizations to provide the kinds of opportunities for personal interaction I know are important) and the beginning of a new and different membership organization. Anyone interested in joining HI! should contact Jay Leonard Friend, [address, in Elmhurst, Queens, then]. Anyone who would like to start an activity group should send a notice for such for publication here.
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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-nite sand "involvement" or sado-masochism or drag or enemas or anything else of that sort. We won't print it. You can find that kind of shit in GAY, THE ADVOCATE, etc.
MALE, 23, 5'4", 135 pounds, lite 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 Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City. Write Donald Tomko, [address then, in Swoyersville, PA]
AUSTRALIAN: I found HI!'s address in the magazine EARTH and would very much appreciate it if you could forward me some names and addresses of young men I could writ to. P. Gray, [address then, in Petersham, NSW].
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 conversation, people of all ages, boating; and is willing to expand his interests. [Phone number then]
MALE, 45, 5'11", 140 pounds, thin brown hair, brown eyes, very sincere, looking for lover or friends, sincere, honest, ages 21-30; blond preferred. I have apartment of 5 rooms, also want roommates. Am very congenial and can get along with everybody. Long-term relationship wanted. Sidney Jacobson, [address then, in The Bronx]
NEBRASKAN, 54, heavyset, active intellectually and physically, enjoys life in small town in eastern Nebraska. Seeks male companions, preferably close to own age, for long-term relationship. Also seeks partners to build small gay residential community on private tract in area A-frame structures, common pool, fence, etc. Jim Lawbaugh [address then, in Malmo, NE]
COMMITMENT, one man to another. Companionship, nite after day, of body and mind. Militant, 27, 5'10", 155 pounds, brown hair/eyes, attractive, intelligent, misogynistic, aggressive, gentle, needs warm, intelligent man, 24-32, much the same, cheerful, stable. Appearance IS important. Blond preferred. Craig Schoonmaker
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GAA FAILS YET AGAIN!
The Committee before which Intro 475 was heard, has voted against passing that bit of legislation to the general Council for a vote. So, unless GAA's pressure can persuade councilmen to take some extraordinary parliamentary steps, Intro 475 is dead for this session. That means that GAA's baby, which would have done us almost zero good, will not affect (nor afflict) the homosexual and lesbian communities for at least one more year. Hurray!
Homosexual and lesbian organizations can ill afford to spend so much of their energy, time, and money not to mention support and good will on measures as stupid-ass foolish and hopeless as Intro 475. The first fight we have to wage is to change our own minds about our own sexuality. Only after that fight is won and we all feel good about being ourselves, can we wage successful war against hetero attitudes.
If HI!'s expressed hostility to Intro 475 had even the smallest part in defeating this legislation (assuming that not even presumed-omnipotent GAA can resurrect this corpse), we are very proud and pleased.
INTERNATIONAL TURNS SEX BAR???
Jay Leonard Friend, Critic-at-Large of this publication, reports that The International ("The Stud"), shortly after having lost its liquor license (see "The Second City") became a back-room sex bar. LCS has not checked this out, for he no longer goes to such places (finding them a) quite disgusting and b) quite pointless). Since that bar is located in a very busy part of town, it seems to us that a sex bar there is highly perilous, and we would recommend avoiding it.
For Your Information the text of some letters sent by this organization ...
Mr. Dick Cavett
The Dick Cavett Show
American Broadcasting Companies
[then at] 1330 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10019
I should like to answer the question you asked of Jill Johnston on January 3rd's show: Why should people be either proud or ashamed of being homosexual, lesbian, or heterosexual?
First, you must realize that the very question is biassed in that it suggests that sexuality should not be thought important this ignoring the fact that heterosexual society is based four-square on heterosexuality. You speak not only as a heterosexual but also as a Yank, and facilely assume an illusory universality and sameness. 'Everyone is basically the same, and it is our common humanity which is our only true basis for pride', would seem a fair statement of your implied assertion. You are far from alone in feeling or wanting to feel that way. But that feeling (one could not rightly term it a "thought") springs from an emotional wish that everyone be the same, not from rational evaluation of reality. The United States is an entire society built upon the premise that everyone is the same and that if they appear not to be so, then they must be acculturated into believing themselves the same so that in time they will be the same. That is what the "melting pot" is all about.
Unfortunately, people are not all the same, and so a hollow falseness strikes one in viewing our country, as one sees that the U.S. has yet to prove the assertion implicit in its assimilationist doctrine.
Minor differences have been erased over time, yielding a culture powerful in its appeal across many countries, but also weak on several counts. Still, we have yet to span the significant gaps of race, religion, and sexuality. There is reason to think the United States may eventually obliterate racial differences thru genetic assimilation of its racial minorities. But that will still lave religion which no culture, not the Romans nor the Persians nor the Moslems at their respective height, has been able to bridge and sexuality, which no (heterosexual) culture has really given much thought or attention to. Even religion may eventually fall into uniformity (that is dubious, but possible). Sexuality, however, will remain an important difference among people, until such time as homosexuality and lesbianism or heterosexual disappears.
Assimilationists try to uniformize people by taking away the signs of difference. But merely taking away a sign does not end a difference. For instance, certain people have tried to do away with gender differences by fiat and dogma and by dressing men and women the same. But "unisex" dressing does not make of two sexes just one. Men and women remain different, and all that attempts to assimilate the two sexes into one can do is throw people into debilitating confusion until they break free of the inane imposition of "unisexuality" and acknowledge that this is one difference that just cannot be willed away. In the same way, homosexuals, lesbians, and heterosexuals will always be different (assuming all three orientations survive indefinitely).
Past and present hetero-assimilationist tactics are all part of the same strategy: to do away with homosexuals and lesbians. In the past, heterosexual society has been vicious and violent in the extreme all to no avail, but to our mutual great loss. Now, taking a different tack, heterosexual assimilatinonists are giving us the soft sell: it doesn't matter what you are as long as you are a person as hets define "person". The rub here is that a "person" in the heterosexual culture is heterosexual. So we can be ourselves only as long as we are not ourselves as long as we do not insist on a separate homosexual or lesbian culture; on all-male or all-female municipalities; on our own TV and radio programs, our own musicals and songs, our own psychology and philosophy and religion and sports and mores; as long as we accept your culture as the base reality and the ultimate desirability. No thank you.
Most homosexuals and lesbians have been so brainwashed that, given the choice of immediate acceptance into your culture, they would jump at it. But sooner or later they would realize they had made a mistake, as years passed and they found that acceptance into your culture still left a massive emptiness and discontent. So those of us who have spent some time thinking about what homosexuality is and what lesbianism and heterosexual are have concluded that just as every last base of your society is heterosexual, so must every last base of our culture be homosexual, and every base of lesbian culture, lesbian.
The heterosexual has lived forever under the delusion that heterosexuality is all there is. He has not for an instant thought that there might be another way of living and thinking and feeling, and he cannot understand why we can't accept his presumed-universal culture. The heterosexual arrogates to his culture the all-encompassing title "human". But it is not "human"ly universal, but merely heterosexual. Just as the people of the Roman Empire at its end did not understand that "Romania" and the world were not coterminous and that a major, irreversible change was occurring all around them, so heterosexuals do not yet realize that "human" and "heterosexual" are not the same thing, that their old universal world is ending, and that a new, tripartite division based on sexuality will replace the forced universality of the past and present. Homosexuals, lesbians, and heterosexuals will each, in time, have a world to themselves, and each will become not less human by acknowledging their differences, but more human by being true to themselves.
For hets to try to hold back the tide of change would likely assure to them the same sort of stagnation and unrealism that beset the peoples of the Holy Roman Empire whose leaders tried desperately, for hundreds of years, to cling to and recapture a universality of political and religious thought and organization which was gone forever (and perhaps also for good). These pretensions to universality impeded the emergence of Germany and Italy into national states more advantageous to their peoples, until the late nineteenth century. Meanwhile, those states which gave up early on the project of rebuilding that Empire which had been the world for so many centuries, became powerful national states with flourishing, vibrant cultures that drew heavily upon the Roman past but built cultural superstructures admirable in themselves. I suggest that in keeping homosexuals and lesbians down within constrained universality, in keeping us from developing our own particular cultures, heterosexuals have not gained but lost; that the longer heterosexuals oppress us with a false universality we shall all continue to lose; and that difference need not mean hostility, but repressed difference must.
Separate cultures will free each group to pursue its own interests more effectively, with more brilliant results, benefitting all hugely. Rampaging assimilation has destroyed and debased many cultures how much richer Latin America would be today had the Spaniards not destroyed the Aztecs and Incas! and it must not be permitted to work its evil on sexuality.
Everyone needs a group to identify with, and mankind is too large and meaningless a group for any adult to identify with satisfactorily. The group is the emotional extension of the self. He who is without a group often cannot know who and what he is. Mankind would be a small-enuf group to identify with only if man had to share dominion over this planet with another intelligent race. Since that is not the case, our "humanity" is an irrelevant question, for we all have that.
Individuality is dynamic; commonality is static. To rest on our "humanity", on our commonness, would deprive us of all motivation to assert ourselves and make our own contributions. Art, no less than politics, is willful arrogance, the self-indulgent and self-lauding striving to impress one's individuality on his environment. And there have never been more sterile eras or cultures than those in which the achievements of others (usually in the past) were accepted gratefully and proudly as one's own. For man does not progress by others' efforts but by his own, are the moment one is everyone and can claim shared glory in his commonness with them, he ceases to progress.
Further, if we are all the same, what have we to say to each other? On the other hand, if we are all very different, we cannot communicate with each other, for we mean different things even by the same words, and speak past each other (as do homosexuals with lesbians and either with heterosexuals). Only they who are roughly alike can contribute to each other most meaningfully. The world naturally resolves itself to groups based on rough similarity, and interaction within such groups is the base not only of daily personal satisfaction but also of cultural progress. The most frequent, intensive, and constructive interaction takes place within these cultural entities, and much less among different entities.
Homosexuals and lesbians have been denied cultural entities of their own but will have them soon. Only when we do might you be able to understand what there is to be proud of in being homosexual or lesbian. But for the time being, just realize that, as heterosexuals have been writing, talking, painting and drawing about heterosexuality for thousands of years in utter oblivion of homosexuality and lesbianism; continue to work feverishly within heterosexual themes without seeming to wear out all the possibilities; and do not feel any emptiness in their lives on that account, so homosexuals and so lesbians will in time come naturally to be fully wrapped up in living and expressing their lives and feelings, oblivious of heterosexuals and heterosexuality, and not feel any loss thereby.
That kind of awareness and absorption, which will bring fullness and brilliance to our lives, will not happen, however, until homosexuals and lesbians can realize that they should break from the heterosexual culture and establish their own cultures. And they will not feel that they should until they can stop feeling they should not. Shame, an inducted condition, causes them to feel they should not. Only pride can overcome that shame. That is why there must be pride in one's homosexuality or lesbianism. Once we become involved in our lives instead of yours, "pride" will become an irrelevant concept because it will be a simple fact and not a 'cause'.
Naturally, there are other aspects to the question of pride in heterosexuality and lesbianism than those discussed above. One is pride in heterosexuality or lesbianism in active preference to heterosexuality. My own view is that heterosexuality is on the way out, a dinosaur from man's primitive past that holds on only because man's present is also primitive; and that heterosexuality and lesbianism are prerequisites of civilization (which man has never yet attained). but that is a very big topic, and I don'/t want to impose further upon you. I do, however, offer you a little heavy reading in enclosing two issues of a modest, mimeographed magazine my organization puts out for homosexual intellectuals....
Cordially, [LCS; Pres.; HI!/N.Y.]
P.S. If some of the above presentation seems unclear or inarticulate, it is because parts are relatively new even to me we have no traditional thinking to refer to, but must sort things out for ourselves, all in one generation....
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The Playboy Forum
919 North Michigan Avenue
About that teenager on death row ("Forum Newsfront", December 1971), if you want sympathy from us, forget it. He tried to excuse his crime by asserting that his murder victim had made homosexual advances at him. Isn't that a pity. Had he never heard of the words "No, thank you"?
The murder of our people must end. If it takes the electrocution of a fifteen-year-old (which is dubious unfortunately because of the national de facto moratorium on executions), that is a small-enuf price to pay. Thousands of our people have been murdered and continue to be murdered by over-reacting hetero bigots. We save our tears for them.
That the State of Arkansas may have invalidated the queer-killing license is very welcome news we applaud. As for the murderers fry, you bastards. [PLAYBOY printed this letter, tho perhaps in edited form. I don't have that clipping readily at hand to consult.]
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President Columbia Broadcasting System
Re: Doctor in the House, WCBS-TV, November 17, 1971
Be advised that the gross antihomosexual provocation committed by CBS in airing a tasteless episode of a British series, has been noted. While homosexuals in the United Kingdom have not yet become militant, there are a great many here who would knock to the floor psychologically, physically, or both anyone who showed as much asinine disrespect as the pal of the show's main character demonstrated toward Upton's brother and the handsome blond "king". The (inaccurately) stereotypical presentation of heterosexuals made in this episode is itself reason enuf to object.
I strongly suggest that CBS refuse to air anything which uses such terms as "queen", "nelly", and "pansy" for homosexuals, or which presents so vile, stupid, and absurdly inaccurate a stereotype of homosexuality as this offensive episode did.
CBS is too dependent upon homosexuals for you to get away with this kind of shit for much longer.
Kindly forward our protest to the producers of this ordinarily amusing and well-done show. Thank you.
Dear Mr. Schoonmaker:
I regret that you found the episode in question offensive. I'm sure I needn't belabor the point that giving offense was the last thing we wished to do. As you point out, much of the difficulty with this episode stems from the cultural differences between the United Kingdom and the United States, in particular different standards as to what constitutes appropriate material for humor.
We carefully examined this program prior to its broadcast and did delete all derogatory terms which we could technically succeed in doing. However, in our judgement, there were several factors which led us to believe that the attitudes of other characters, the reaction of the audience present at the taping, and the derogatory terms which we were unable to delete, would be effectively offset. The skillful performance of Barry Justice, and especially the fact that the character he portrayed was obviously brilliant, witty and far more capable than his detractors we believed would make a positive point well worth making and more than compensatory for the negative aspects of the production. Please be assured that our decision to carry this episode was neither frivolously nor callously arrived at.
Robert H. Hosking
V.P., Genl. Mgr., WCBS-TV
We had assumed that WCBS-TV had merely failed to preview the particular episode of Doctor in the House that we objected to. Now that we realize that you made a conscious decision in favor of airing that episode, we are the more perturbed.
WCBS-TV's responsibility was not to delete individual words but to reject the entire biassed production. You overlook the fact that the program in question was not an isolated show but part of a series and that regular viewers learned to sympathize with the usually-amiable character who showed himself to be an antihomosexual bigot. And unlike the case with All in the Family, no one on-stage, not even Michael Upton, whose brother Terry was so maliciously attached, chided the bigot. These two factors combine to make us doubt that the negative, antihomosexual viewpoint of the episode was even in the slightest offset by the factors you mention.
As for the "skillful performance" of a character who was "obviously brilliant, witty, and far more capable than his detractors" ha! As portrayed, Terry Upton was "obviously" an utter lunatic. I know personally more than 1,000 homosexuals, including several drag queens, and NOT ONE even remotely resembles Terry Upton. To have allowed that madman to appear as a presumably typical homosexual and remember that a remarkably high percentage of people "do not know" any homosexuals against whom to compare that portrayal is little short of class slander or group defamation. And the fact that the wonderful straight people saved the ward show from the disaster which the men of questioned sexual orientation would have produced, cinches the hetero-sexist bias of the entire production.
If you think we are over-reacting, answer honestly the question whether you would have approved an episode of any series that used a comparably exaggerated stereotype of blacks and forthrightly and viciously attacked blacks and showed the bigots implicitly lauded and forgiven in the end?
We trust that the eminent insensitivity and irresponsibility of WCBS-TV (and other CBS stations?) demonstrated in this instance will never recur.
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The Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
In a letter to me (as an individual) dated November 2, 1971, you state that you believe that "Government policy should not discriminate arbitrarily against homosexuals or others who may have entirely private beliefs or practices not accepted by the majority."
[The comments that elicited this statement were "The only way I can keep my sanity in a world of irration as exists ... is to separate myself from it mentally. As a homosexual I have an out. I can say, To hell with your world and your culture of violence, opportunism, and irresponsibility. Let the heterosexuals kill themselves off in wars over territories which seem necessary only because of irresponsible multiplication. Let them starve to death because they insist on clinging to a form of sexual orientation which causes them to multiply when they know they mustn't. Just leave me out. Leave me out of your armies fighting for your interests. Don't ask me to pay higher taxes than you to support your damned children. Etcetera.
"That may not seem a satisfactory adjustment to you, but you people really are responsible for all the world's troubles, and there comes a time when we can no longer make our lives miserable worrying about you. But you are likely to cause us to suffer in your wars and such. And we really would like to help. Because we know what it is to be powerless and oppressed. ... You who have never experienced oppression cannot really understand.
"Heterosexuals have made society into a mass, and it seems difficult if not impossible for the individual to count for much. Especially when people put their trust as a mass in the hands of an individual like yourself whom they expect to act as the strong individual they thought you were, only to find that you let yourself be dictated to by an uninformed and unwise mass. It is peculiar to see the sheep leading the shepherd.
"Don't quote polls to me, Mr. Humphrey, ... for I know thru polls that most people in this country are nasty, unthinkingly vicious fools. Louis Harris found that 63 percent of the people of the United States think that homosexuals are somehow "harmful to American life". But I know that it is the heterosexuals who are responsible for our troubles. We of a profoundly oppressed minority are not impressed by the views of the majority. We reserve our respect for the man who can tell the majority that they are wrong and that he will not obey their wrong-headed advice.
"Incidentally, what have you done for homosexuals lately, Mr. Humphrey? Did you know that homosexuals are not allowed to immigrate to this splendid, human land of tolerance because of Congressional bigotry? And what about job discrimination against us by the arch-champ of all the oppressed minorities, the Federal Government?"]
If a man who has the power to influence government says something but then does nothing to effect the changes he says he believes in, one must conclude that he is insincere. Simple unawareness of the ways in which the government of the United States does actively discriminate against homosexuals and lesbians could explain your not having acted on our behalf up to now. But the matter of governmental discrimination is so serious that you must now realize how extensive and harmful governmental actions have been. Thus we hereby present a partial catalog of discriminatory acts of the federal government against homosexuals and lesbians.
1) Homosexuals and lesbians are not eligible to immigrate to the U.s. or to become citizens of the U.S. if they should have been permitted to enter the country. Tho certain inferior courts have permitted naturalization of homosexuals, The Supreme Court itself affirmed an order of deportation against a french Canadian whose only defect as regards the law was homosexuality. The Court ruled that it was clearly the intent of Congress to exclude homosexuals (and lesbians) from immigration and naturalization, and that this intent was enacted under the provision that excludes "psychopathic personalities". But, Mr. Humphrey, there are many, many qualified psychologists who will assure the congress that neither homosexuality nor lesbianism in and of itself constitutes psychopathology.
From our point of view, homosexuals (and lesbians) might more reasonably be considered preferable to heterosexuals as immigrants insofar as their immigration results in a one-time population increase but brings the U.S. skills and knowledge gained at great expense from other countries.
Immigration laws also do not permit homosexual citizens the right to "pursue happiness" with a loved partner of another nationality by bringing that loved partner into the U.S., even tho a heterosexual can bring his loved partner into the country. Surely this is unjust to homosexual and lesbian citizens, who must have the right to love.
Homosexuals and lesbians who have formed permanent love relationships do not have the right to file a joint tax return but must pay a discriminatorily high tax rate that heterosexual married couples even those who do not have any children are not required to pay.
3) The armed forces and the draft laws discriminate against homosexuals and lesbians, but particularly against homosexuals. Until recently, homosexuals going for pre-induction or classification examinations were required to fill out a form which asked in part if they have homosexual tendencies. If they answered truthfully they were subject to questioning of a very personal and sometimes grossly improper kind which invaded their sexual privacy (this questioning became especially rigorous and offensive as heterosexuals trying to escape military service started claiming homosexuality as a ground for exemption). If the questioning personnel believed the claimant, they sometimes granted rejection from the service but at the price of having homosexuality as the ground noted on his record. Rejected homosexuals were given either I-Y or IV-F classifications. Many potential employers, encountering those classifications, have (with the permission of the law) required job applicants to waive the secrecy of their draft records as a precondition to employment; and when such secrecy was violated and the applicant's homosexuality was discovered, many if not most or even all such applicants were denied jobs.
As the war in Vietnam came to demand more and more manpower, some draft boards took to accepting admitted but not "obvious' homosexuals into the service anyway. Those homosexuals who were admitted by whatever means were faced with an altogether unfair combination of grave temptation and the risk of severe legal and extralegal punishment for behaving in a manner natural to them. Dishonorable, less-than-honorable, or general discharges that employers, relatives, and friends are naturally inquisitive about, have been meted out freely.
Since a revision of draft procedures that removed the open question about sexual tendencies went into effect, more and more homosexuals have been faced with this further turn to the quandary: enter the service and face sexual deprivation, sexual intimidation, and the risk of permanently damaging military action against them, or have to go out of their way to make their homosexuality known to the draft authorities, and then face the serious problems of coping with a suspicious draft classification for much of the rest of their lives.
Perhaps the government has the right to exclude homosexuals from military service. Perhaps a case can be made for the view that homosexuals' presence and homosexual sex activity on or near a military installation could have an adverse effect on military discipline and morale. Perhaps not. But surely the government has no right to force homosexuals into so serious and damaging a situation.
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DOWN YOUR LEG, HETERO PIG!
It's interesting to note that sometimes antihomosexual repression hurts hets too. Case in point: public restrooms in many places are closed at nite expressly to keep out fairies. Maybe someday straights given tickets for peeing in subway stations at nite will realize that they wouldn't have to burst their bladders or risk a ticket if hets would stop trying to keep fairies from cruising tearooms.
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4) The federal government itself actively discriminates against homosexuals and lesbians in employment in hiring, firing,promotions, and even in the granting of security clearances that affect homosexuals working in private industry under government contracts (this last area is under court challenge, and a final decision is yet to come down). This blatant but not always strictly enforced discrimination is intolerable policy that has no basis in efficiency, morale, or any other valid consideration, but only in unthinking prejudice. And
5) Government personnel have run checks into the sexual orientation and sexual practices of government employees and private citizens, and incorporated such information whether correct or incorrect into dossiers whose very existence is unknown to the persons investigated.
This, Senator, should give you some idea of the extent and seriousness of federal discrimination against homosexuals and lesbians. But beyond the dimensions of governmental discrimination itself there is the more serious matter of the example the federal government sets by its antihomosexual and antilesbian acts: the obvious champion of all the nation's other minorities has taken a position that homosexuals and lesbians are the two minorities that everyone may discriminate against with government blessing!
No longer can the argument be advanced that homosexuals and lesbians are criminals, because in five states homosexuality and lesbianism have been legalized. Yet even in those states, federal antihomosexual and antilesbian discrimination goes one. The time has long since come when the federal government must end its antihomosexual and antilesbian policies. You, sir, can be influential in hastening the day of justice.
We ask you to raise this entire matter before the Congress and with the President; to sponsor legislative reform and to urge issuance of a presidential Executive Order to rectify the injustices noted above, as follows:
(a) To state explicitly that sexual orientation may not be used as a ground for denial of the right to immigrate to the U.S. or to become a citizen;
(b) To permit homosexuals and lesbians to sponsor the immigration of a loved partner on the provision that the sponsor shall be responsible for preventing the sponsored immigrant from becoming a public charge (such a change would explicitly authorize the deportation of any such sponsored immigrant who does become a public charge);
(c) To permit homosexual or lesbian couples who have lived together for at least one year without the benefit of lawful marriage or who have been married lawfully in any civil jurisdiction, to file a joint income-tax return;
(d) To deny all parties whatsoever except a court of record dealing with a relevant criminal matter or an agency working to establish eligibility for a security clearance, the right to ask for draft-classification or military-discharge records (this would work in favor of a great many people, heterosexual as well as homosexual, who have records in military service that might be regarded by employers, etc., in a negative way despite the obvious fact that the circumstances surrounding military service are so very different from private employment and from life as a private citizen as to make comparison invalid); this would have to be coupled with a provision that any person deliberately falsifying his draft or military record in voluntary statements would be subject to prosecution;
(e) Failing enactment of (d) above, to grant honorable discharges to all persons given other discharges on account of homosexuality or lesbianism or threatened with being given such, to have retroactive effect upon application for such relief by the affected person;
(f) To extent equal-employment legislation to forbid firms holding government contracts from discriminating against homosexuals and lesbians;
(g) To forbid checks or inquiries by government personnel into the sexual orientation of any person other than those holding or applying for security clearance;
2) Executive Order to end all administrative or employment discrimination by the federal government against homosexuals and lesbians, and to end all checks into sexual orientation as in 1)(h) above (this Order would serve to reaffirm or hasten the implementation of the reforms we urge).
If you fear that such advocacy could be costly to you politically, consider a few things:
First, tho homosexuality and lesbianism are still unlawful in most states, four states have ended criminal penalties in the past two years, and similar legislation has been raised in other states.
Second, the homosexual-rights and lesbian-rights movement(s) will probably be strong enough ... to force the major parties' presidential conventions to take a stand for or against homosexual and lesbian rights.
Third, tho public sentiment may presently be largely negative toward the kinds of reforms we urge, Congressional hearings into the status of homosexuals and lesbians can be expected to go a long way toward changing that remember the sentiments arising from the Walter Jenkins affair.
And fourth, if your concern is to serve as an effective and admirable senator more than it is to run for the presidency, you have several more years in office to weather whatever minor flurry of criticism your advocacy of homosexual and lesbian rights might raise, and history has a way of recognizing right over expediency, courage over cowardice, and leadership over followership almost every time. There are 19 million men and 12 million women in this country who are predominantly or exclusively homosexual or lesbian, and a lot of us are waiting to see what politicians will finally say something and do something for us. That's a lot of folks. Think about it.
May we have a thoughtful reply at your earliest convenience.
[The above letter was sent November 20, 1997. We still have not received a reply [see update, page 1], but it was more than two months before he replied to my first letter. Meanwhile, Senator Humphrey has declared his candidacy for President, as have numerous others. Should we take his statement of November 2 as a declaration in favor of homosexuals' and lesbians' rights? or should we rather determine our attitude on the basis of his reply to the above letter? The same question might well be asked of those other candidates who have made nice liberal statements about homosexual and lesbian rights but have not done much about it: (Ted Kennedy, a declared noncandidate,) George McGovern, and, of course, Fun City's own ringmaster, John Vliet Lindsay. Those of us in New York know that Mr. Lindsay is the most manifestly sincere, since his Administration has indeed done significant things for homosexuals. As for other incumbents who have had the change to sponsor legislation before now well ...]
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HI! is not a mass magazine, but is designed solely for the homosexual intellectual. One reader, Walter J. Phillips in Oklahoma, says "The ideas in HI! have made a strong impression on me. They are very close to what my ideas have been for many years but they have never been articulated so clearly anywhere else."
Participate in the discussions that will rock and reshape the homosexual world. Pass your copy on after you've read it. Leave it in a bar, baths, or gay center. Support the work we're doing.
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"A Child's Garden of Perverts, Part 2: The 'Transsexual'" (See p. 9 of this issue for Part 1) ... Closing the Homosexuality Gap ... Sexploitation as Enemy ... Violence ... Proscription List ... Second City ... Epistolary Intercourse ... more
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[The fill-in form itself is not produced here.]
[The graphic to the right is a reduced-size reproduction of the original back cover of HI! Magazine No. 5. The color of the background is vaguely right, a lavender paper. The typography was done with three Letraset press-on fonts on white paper; the master was then fed thru an electronic mimeo stencil-cutter at a service bureau. The color of the type should be black, but was altered by my graphics program and I'm not sure I can fix it. Close enuf. The text, in case it is not clear on your monitor, follows: "STEREO-TYPE ... I don't get fucked, man. How ab... I don't suck, either. We could... I don't kiss men. Well, you could... If you want a hand job, you can do it yourself. What do you do? Nothing. It's other guys do me. Wow. You're too good to pass up. Let's GO!!"]
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