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HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE
Publication of Homosexuals Intransigent! of the City University of New York
Number 1 November 12, 1969
Homosexuals can effectively demand respect from others only if we first respect ourself as homosexuals. That requires that we admit to ourselves that we are homosexual; that we affirm it, understand it, realize it in all its implications: I am homosexual. Say it! aloud: "I am homosexual." Shout it, whisper it. Laugh it, cry it. State it, proclaim it, confess it in sobs, but say it: "I am homosexual." Say it today, say it tomorrow, say it the day after that. Say it when you wake up, when you go to bed, when you find yourself thinking of someone of your own sex. Say it as often as you need to until you realize that it is true and that the fact that it is true forces you to adjust your attitudes and actions to make the very best of your life as a homosexual. "I am a homosexual."
Not "Leonardo da Vinci was homosexual", but "I am homosexual." Not "Gore Vidal is homosexual", but "I am homosexual." Not "One man of every six, one woman of every eight is homosexual", but "I am homosexual." Not even, "Some of the finest, most beautiful, and most talented people in the world are homosexual", but "I am homosexual."
Your homosexuality affects you, not Leonardo da Vinci. You are the one who must come to terms with your homosexuality, not Gore Vidal. You need not justify yourself or console yourself in the homosexuality of others. Others don't have to respect and live with you you do, and unless you adjust to your homosexuality, it doesn't matter if all the rest of the world is homosexual: you will still be uncomfortable.
So say it: "I am homosexual." Do you deny it, or revise the statement to "I am bisexual"? If you deny or revise the statement, do you do so because you know it is not true, or because you wish it were not true? Bisexuals, you may feel, are only "partly queer" they are also "partly normal". And it is so very important not to be queer. So if you must be "partly queer", maybe you can compensate by being "partly normal". But must you compensate? Is there something wrong with homosexuality that you can accept your homosexual desires only if you can convince yourself that you also have strong, "healthy" heterosexual desires too? Of course it is possible that you simply groove on both guys and girls. "The best of both worlds." Or is it rather belonging to neither?
"Bisexuals" must sort themselves out by confronting themselves honestly and objectively: "Am I really bisexual, or am I actually homosexual wishing to be heterosexual? How often do I desire my own sex? the opposite sex? How much satisfaction do I find in my own sex? in the opposite sex? And is my happiness with either limited by guilt or anxiety?" Bisexuals should say to themselves, first, "I am homosexual" and then, "I am heterosexual" and note how they react to each statement. Only they can decide which they really mean or want, or if they can say only "I am bisexual" and hear no echo: "Not true." Homosexuals may have isolated heterosexual impulses even experiences but they can still say "I am homosexual" without having to add more than "with some heterosexual tendencies."
So revise it as you must to feel that what you say is the absolute truth. But if what you arrive at is essentially "I am homosexual", then say it: "I am homosexual. And I will live my life as I choose as a homosexual."
When you can say that and mean it, you can confront the changes you must make in your life and in society and create or help to create your future. Your life as a homosexual may not be easy. But it is the only life one can have at all if one is really homosexual. And if you work with other homosexuals to change the things that make a homosexual life hard, you may find that it needn't be so harsh after all.
Well, I don't know about you, but I am homosexual. And I really am going to live my life as I choose as a homosexual. A homosexual who is no longer ashamed but respectful of myself, of homosexuality, and of other homosexuals. And it doesn't matter what anybody else says, because I know very well that I am not a monster, and I am not going to be pushed around by anybody. [A portion of this piece was quoted by Randy Shilts in his bestseller about homosexuals in the military, Conduct Unbecoming.]
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WHY "HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE"?
Homosexuality has not always been looked down upon. The ancient Greeks thought homosexuality a purer and higher form of love than the love impelled by the animal need to reproduce. And the Romans allowed homosexuality some considerable dignity. But after Rome collapsed, the Western world fell into a Dark Age from which homosexuals have not yet been allowed to emerge. We feel it's about time for homosexuals to take their rightful place in society, and our move to do so is not truly a "revolution" the word usually associated with the drive for homosexual-heterosexual equality but a renaissance.
And like the Renaissance following the (heterosexuals') Dark Ages, a Homosexual Renaissance is likely to bring forth a great flowering of culture homosexual culture, unfettered, undisguised. And this is the other aspect of the new renaissance: a truly great civilization is one which calls forth the creative energies of all its people, and so in striving for a homosexual renaissance, we are trying to make our less-than-civilized society into a great civilization. Surely all members of our society should welcome such an advance.
We hope that this little publication will help draw into the homosexual resurgence a large number of college-level homosexuals, who will breathe into a cool and militant political movement (the "homophile" movement) new warmth and gentleness, fullness and brilliance. An ambitious intent? Perhaps so, but then we are homosexuals.
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WHY "HOMOSEXUALS INTRANSIGENT!"?
"Homosexuals" most groups in the homosexual-rights movement call themselves "homophile" organizations. We think the word "homophile" is a stupid, cowardly euphemism and one uses euphemisms only when there is something wrong with the ordinary word. We see nothing at all wrong with the word "homosexual". Besides, "homophile" is intended to give leeway for heterosexuals to participate in the movement. But we think the drive for homosexual self-respect is primarily a homosexual responsibility; indeed, it can only be accomplished by homosexuals. And we doubt seriously that any broad-horizoned heterosexual would find the homosexual-rights movement extraordinarily worthy of his dedication. After all, there are much more dramatic causes in a world where 10,000 people, mostly children, starve to death every day. Only homosexuals, who must live with the consequences of their homosexuality, can truly appreciate the urgency for change. We certainly welcome heterosexual cooperation, but ours is basically a job that only we can fully accomplish. Furthermore, many of our members feel they must protect their identity from nonhomosexuals; homosexuals have been forced to make secrecy an automatic reflex, both for themselves and others, but heterosexuals may unintentionally let a name slip and endanger a person's actual or perceived well-being.
"Intransigent" on certain basic points there can be no compromise. Homosexuals must demand their rights undiluted. We must be militant: intransigent.
"!" we are homosexuals, and we assert that proudly. We are intransigent, and we assert that proudly. The exclamation point tells everybody how we feel about ourselves and about the movement.
Underscoring Homosexuals Intransigent! is an organization apart composed of people apart. We want to be set apart, noted as distinct, standing out in any printed matter. So our name is to be underscored or italicized at all times. [In that this publication was originally typed onto mimeograph stencil on an IBM Executive typewriter, which had no italics, we are keeping to the underscore convention in the original text rather than converting all scores to italics.]
And our abbreviation: HI! welcome to the Homosexual Renaissance, brother!
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INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND CITY
Within every major city and many smaller towns is a Second City, the city of the homosexual. This Second City may be as small as a single magazine rack or as large and diverse as New York's second metropolis. It is a forbidden city, largely unknown and closed to outsiders but open and friendly to gay people of whatever origin and whatever race.
Gay New York is a city of perhaps 1 1/4 million predominantly or exclusively homosexual men, women, and children. It's The Snakepit, an after-hours dancing bar in the Village where a fellow at the door looks thru a peephole to decide who to let in or keep out. And Gay Gotham is Mister D's, an open bar on East 70th Street, where young men and a scattering of women (mostly Lesbians) dance, talk, and play pool. Man-man couples form as the opening notes of a slow song rise from the jukebox. Each man wraps his arms around the other, gently, firmly embracing the hard contours of a male back. Quiet words pass. Relaxed smiles spread across paired faces. Eyes close and soft music fills the ears and carries the listeners off, humming, into a world far more pleasant than that in which they grew up. Forgotten are the nightmare anxieties of adolescence or of small-town pressures to conformity. Adults who know what they want, know they have found it.
The second metropolis is freedom, fun, sex and love. It's the Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis, the Gay Liberation Front, and other groups working to make gay people freer and happier. It's Julius', a landmark Village bar turned gay which fought the State Liquor Authority in court and won for gay bars the right to exist. It's Homosexuals Intransigent! campaigning as homosexuals for Mayor Lindsay, appealing openly to homosexuals in homosexual terms, without disguise. It's mixed gayboy-Lesbian softball games at Riis Park, group attendance at a gay play like And Puppy Dog Tails, serious talk at the West Side Discussion Group, and the campy madness of Fire Island's Cherry Grove in August. It's the Ramble in Central Park, the Rock in Riverside Park, the trucks at the end of Christopher Street, or the Continental Baths for instant sex with no involvement but also a good chance of instant VD. And it's being introduced at a West Side party, to the most beautiful person you've ever met in your whole life and discovering after a few nights together that he thinks you're pretty fine too.
The Second City is a great complex of myriad varied people struggling, searching, finding, losing, searching again. Once a City of Night, it's now a city of sunlight too, a city just beginning to understand itself and take pride. And it's my home, from which I'll never roam. [This item was originally an essay I (LCS) wrote for a magazine-article-writing course at Long Beach State College in California, where I attended a summer session in 1969 while visiting my sisters, both of whom had moved from our native New Jersey to L.A. County (Bellflower, more particularly). The instructor, a man named, by chance, "Gayer", said that if he were a magazine editor, he would not publish the item, even tho it was well written. One male student spoke up to differ. I also attended a short summer session that year at San Francisco State, and so was out of New York when the Stonewall Riots occurred. I was busy trying to start chapters of HI! at those two campuses, but wasn't there long enough to do so. It was at San Fran State that someone who answered a flyer told me about the Riots.]
"The Second City" will be a regular feature of HOMOSEXUAL RENAISSANCE a tourguide and review of the places and activities of special interest to homosexuals. It you know of places or events of possible interest to this column, drop us a note telling us where and when, what is happening. Write to either Homosexuals Intransigent!, mailbox in Room 152 Finley; or to L. Craig Schoonmaker, 127 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10024 [note: these addresses were for 1969, not 1998]. If you would like to submit other items for consideration for this publication, or wish to receive it regularly, send such submissions or requests to either of those addresses.
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UPCOMING SCHEDULED EVENTS
|November 15 ||Craig Schoonmaker is having a private party open to male homosexuals only, to which he invites all members and others interested in HI!, as well as his friends outside the group. For further information, call him at 799-5692 [not our current phone number].|
|December 4 ||Tentative date; awaiting confirmation from Mattachine. Speaker from Mattachine Society of New York in Buttenweiser Lounge of the City College Finley Student Center, 12:30-2:00 p.m. (the club break). Tentative topic: "Homosexuality Why? Why Not?"|
HOMOSEXUALS PROVIDE DECISIVE VOTE TO RE-ELECT LINDSAY
Of New York's vast number of homosexuals, surely 400,000 voted in this most important of recent mayoral elections. And the vast majority of those voting voted for Mayor Lindsay. How do we derive the figure given above? Well, take Kinsey's figures: 1/6 of all men would be 1/6 of about 4 million, or about 650,000; 1/8 of 4 million women or about 500,000; added together gives a total of about 1,150,000 predominantly homosexual males and females in a city of 8 million. That is, if the city had only as many homosexuals as the country as a whole. But New York is a major focus of homosexual in-migration, so we can easily and confidently add as a conservative figure another 100,000, yielding the 1,250,000 total referred to in "Introduction to the Second City" above. However, not all those homosexuals are "out" or adults. So chop that figure in half: 625,000. Not all of these homosexuals voted, tho undoubtedly a very substantial percentage of them did, insofar as this was one election in which homosexual interests were clearly at stake. So perhaps 65 percent voted; about 400,000. Of those, not all voted for Lindsay, although there is every reason to believe that by far the majority did, because Lindsay's administration has been generally very considerate of homosexuals. But even if only 60-some percent voted for Lindsay, a very conservative figure, that would still mean that some 250,000 homosexuals voted for Mayor Lindsay. Since his margin of victory was much smaller than that, the conclusion is inescapable: homosexuals swung this election for Mayor Lindsay.
Of course we didn't do it alone. It was a coalition of blacks, Spanish-speakers, Jews, and assorted other types of liberals which re-elected Mr. Lindsay. But homosexuals were an important part of that coalition. And when it comes time for the Mayor to reward his supporters more importantly, his constituents we must expect him to include homosexuals prominently in his calculations.
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HI! AND ONLY HI! APPEALED TO HOMOSEXUALS AS HOMOSEXUALS IN THE MAYORAL ELECTION
Only one homosexual organization in New York openly endorsed Lindsay: Homosexuals Intransigent! Only one homosexual organization in New York campaigned openly as homosexuals appealing for homosexual votes for Lindsay: Homosexuals Intransigent! Every other New York homosexual organization kept a "diplomatic silence" about the election, hinting that it favored Lindsay, evidencing its bias thru selective actions or comments (for instance, the GLF "zapped" the other two candidates both in acts and in the publication Come Out, but did not "zap" Lindsay; and Mattachine, at its open forum at which only the Lindsay-Garelik people spoke out for their candidate, even tho all the candidates were invited, called the attention of those present to the cavalier treatment accorded homosexuals by the other candidates, but stopped short of formally endorsing Lindsay. Why? Because they didn't want to risk hurting Lindsay by prompting a heterosexual backlash. Shit! It's time for homosexuals to stop apologizing for existing, for being citizens, for being able to vote, for having interests which must be considered by candidates for public office. We had the same discussion in HI!, but we didn't abdicate our responsibilities: we did formally endorse, and we did actively campaign, thru leafletting directed at homosexuals explicitly, but we did not send word of our endorsement to the newspapers, altho somebody did put one of our leaflets thru the mail slot at The Village Voice (they didn't pay any attention to our activities). Simple? Very.
Our campaign started with a gay registration drive. Attached to this newsletter is a copy of the registration leaflet [not attached to this 1998 electronic version; have to locate one, if any still exist]. Then, after registration closed, we put out an endorsement of Lindsay, and revised that to a second, more complete version. All told, we gave out about 2,700 registration leaflets; almost 2,000 of the first endorsement; and very nearly 2,500 of the second endorsement all told, about 7,200 sheets of political literature specifically for homosexuals. Not much, perhaps, but more than anybody else. About eleven members and friends gave up some time to stand, sometimes in the cold, on streetcorners in the Village to try to let homosexuals know that somebody regarded them highly enough to consider them worthy of a direct appeal. The reactions of those receiving our leaflets were heartening: surprise, pleasure, joy. "What is it? Oh! It's for me!" one fellow said. "It's for me" precisely. Gay power will happen only when the gay organizations realize that we are ready to be more aggressive and more open, and that gay people want to be acknowledged as mattering, as being worth consulting, worth appealing to. I'd like to thank Anthony, Chris, Jimmy, Donald Johnson, John Singer, Robben Borrero, Jacob, Lance, Greg, and David G. for their efforts in this campaign; and also the several anonymous helpers who took some for their friends or for their bars; and also the hefty gay girl who took half the leaflets I brought with me one evening and spent maybe an hour helping gay people and Mr. Lindsay, in that order.
L. Craig Schoonmaker
SHALL WE DANCE?
For the second semester in a row, HI! has offered to co-sponsor a college mixer with the Student Homophile League chapters at Columbia and N.Y.U. Twice the SHL has rebuffed us, first because they hoped that we would shrivel up and go away since we weren't part of the SHL, and then because Superdike (Don't worry, dahlings, this is to be a signed editorial-type section, so the name-calling is all mine; I may well make some more rather hasty comments, but I do so as an individual, not as President of Homosexuals Intransigent! I am entitled to do so because I as an individual have been slandered and mistreated not merely by Superdike but by others as well. Read on and you shall see.
When I first oh, incidentally (or maybe more than incidentally) as you may have guessed I am drinking (beer) while writing this section; recalling the grave unpleasantness of my dealings with Superdike and her like both at ERCHO and at N.Y.U, as well as last semester, I just couldn't rally the fortitude to write without reality distortion in the form of drink when I first decided, upon my transfer to City College from the Freshman Program at the Graduate Center (which was too small 189 people altogether for a gay group), to organize a homosexual organization, I looked into the Student Homophile League to see what it was like and how it got started and what I would have to do to get such a group going at City. So I went to speak with the then-Stephen Donaldson (which should be in quotes), whose real name is Bob Martin, the name he is finally using (after nearly two years of a pseudonym) at his dorm room at Columbia, where the idea of the Student Homophile League came to fruition (you should pardon the expression). I turned out that he and I had very different ideas about what a "homophile" (his word)/homosexual (my word) organization should be all about. I had already decided to call the group Homosexuals Intransigent! (for the reasons given in an earlier item of this publication), but was not certain what relationship we should strive for with other college-based gay groups. "Donaldson" helped me clarify this: none but cooperation, if accepted by the other groups.
You see, the Student Homophile League has a unitary membership, open meetings publicized to everyone, and pseudonyms. Males and females are thrown together whether they like it or not and let's face it, a lot of homosexuals of both sexes don't really much like the opposite sex. The secret members have as much say as the open members which means that the organization is likely to be timid homosexually (if not as regards the fad extraneous issues of college youth in general). And just anybody can show up at their meetings, which means that any gay person who is really worried about being found out by the straights is highly unlikely to involve himself in a meaningful, committal way. These shortcomings are the very same faults I had criticized earlier in other organizations, when I first got involved with the homophile movement and came to understand the structure and activities of the various organizations. One of the other faults I found seems relevant here too: manifest unconcern not merely with the bulk of members but with the bulk of homosexuals as well. HI! did not just happen haphazardly, but was deliberately designed, fashioned to fill the needs as I perceived them.
A homosexual organization should be big enough and varied enough for every type of homosexual: woman-hater, man-hater, bisexual; loud, flamboyant queen, militant butch, closet case. It should strive to make people comfortable first with themselves, then with other homosexuals of the same sex, then with homosexuals of the opposite sex and with people in general. You can't do that if you tell the person uptight about the opposite sex that he is some kind of shitface or psycho. And an organization which forces people to confront their homosexuality, which they may perceive as a reaction against the opposite sex, is bound to fail these people because they just won't have anything to do with it. And so such an organization fails not only potential members but itself too, because it loses potentially helpful members. You can't be too violently scornful of people's "hangups" the origin of which you may know nothing about without putting down the people whose hangups you scorn. And I don't think it is the function of homosexual organizations to put homosexuals down and make them feel like crud. Further a homosexual organization should encourage homosexuals to acknowledge their homosexuality not only to themselves but also to anyone else who may inquire. It's a matter of self-adjustment and self-respect. How can I say that I am not ashamed of being homosexual if I dare not admit to anyone that I am? The very idea is nonsense. And how can we homosexuals dispel the absurd stereotypes of us if only the stereotypes are willing to be visible? The prejudices will end only when people realize that homosexuals are not a tiny little bitty minority of weirdos [and such perceptions will not end] unless a great many homosexuals are willing to let the world know that they are homosexual. So the gay groups should be encouraging homosexuals to be open about themselves. Yet why should one be open when such openness may endanger one in the straight world and yet does not entail special privileges in the gay world? The homosexual organizations must provide an incentive to openness: Homosexuals Intransigent! tries to do this by allowing to vote only homosexuals willing to answer frankly any question about their sexuality and true identity directed to them by anyone at any time. Thus the organization will remain militant, because only the relatively militant or at least open will have any constitutional say about the policies of the group.
HI! therefore responds to the first major need cited by dividing itself into two functional units, a male branch and a female branch. The two branches can meet together IF THE MEMBERS SO CHOOSE and if there is some good reason for them to do so. No action or policy statement of the overall organization is valid without the approval of both groups voting separately. The overall President will always be a male (call that male chauvinism if you wish, but probably 90 percent of the organizations are probably 90 percent male in their membership, and I see no particular reason why a woman should speak for such a dominantly male group when she cannot possibly fully understand the mentality of the men who constitute the vast majority of the membership of virtually all U.S. and Canadian homosexual organizations. Further, lament it if you will but please don't deny that matriarchy has made more unhappy people in our culture than happy. If woman were meant to be dominant, she would be the one capable of initiating sexual relations (heterosexually) without requiring the active participation of the male; and she would be physically more powerful, which she is not. The women's-chauvinist organizations have had an impossibly difficult time not because the women have been brainwashed but because women because of their biological nature tend to prefer to be the wards of a powerful male protector (note the tendency in Lesbian relationships to much greater concern with butch-fem role playing than in male homosexuality; note also that fights occur extraordinarily more often in girls' bars than in boys' bars there is a reason) than to rule the roost themselves. HI! takes account of these two factors male prevalence in the organizations and the unhappiness of matriarchy by providing that the President of the organization as a whole be male. But the Vice President is always female. The President is the President of the male branch; the V.P. is the President of the female branch. At that, it would appear on the surface that the women have a disproportionately high influence in the organization, for of some forty-six people who have attended meetings so far, forty-five were men and only one was a woman. Only four women have called in (seriously). But the V.P. has no real power except in conjunction with the President. No function of the organization is official unless endorsed by both branches, but either branch may act on its own as long as it states that it is acting as a branch rather than as the organization as a whole. And if the two branches drift too far apart on policy, as may happen (for instance, gay girls, as women, tend to disapprove of promiscuity without commitment, whereas gay guys, as men, tend to look for kicks wherever and for as briefly or extendedly as they can be found), the two groups may split into separate organizations; in such a case, however, only the male branch may retain the name Homosexuals Intransigent! Complex? Not really. But deliberate and preconsidered. [In point of actual fact, no women's branch was ever organized, even tho HI! did put in touch with each other as many women as contacted the organization thru its various forms of publicity, including a column in the newspaper Gay Power and literature tables set up at gay street fairs.]
My second objection to SHL is open meetings publicized to the general student body. It is an unfortunate fact that many straight people are anti-homosexual, and many gay people are ashamed of their homosexuality and can just barely acknowledge it to other gay people but could not possibly acknowledge it to straight people, in part because they fear disapproval, in part because they fear reprisals. Homosexuals must be protected at all times by a homosexual organization. Their sense of well-being, as well as their actual well-being, must be considered. And if you are trying to reach homosexuals who are worried, you must make it possible for them to come forward. They must make a commitment, to themselves as homosexuals ,and there are many gay people who will not make any such commitment if they feel it endangers them in any way whatever. An open meeting can be a threatening situation. To acknowledge being homosexual is to acknowledge homosexual desires and homosexual activities, perhaps, and to engender thoughts about sexual acts [in] a person [who] might be very very uptight about his sexual desires. In such a declaration, "I am homosexual", is involved an opening of one's sexual life to public scrutiny. Now let's face it: what uptight adolescent is going to make such a declaration in front of people who he thinks are smirking to themselves, "You nelly faggot! I am heterosexual!" The answer: zero uptight adolescents. Which means that an organization such as SHL is unlikely to draw in the uptight. So what the hell good are they? Young people go thru years of sheer horror in coming out: "God, I'm queer! No, I can't be queer my parents, my friends, the kids at school what would they say if they knew no I can't face it! No, I mustn't be queer! God, please, please make me like the opposite sex. Please!!" We have an obligation to end that suffering as soon as is humanly possible, and any organization which says callously to people: "That's your hangup" does not deserve any support from people who care about people.
Pseudonyms: self-respecting homosexuals are proud not only of their homosexuality but of themselves not some phony person with a phony name, but themselves! I am L. Craig Schoonmaker, not Craig Lee (the pseudonym I used very very early in the game, and my stage name for those rare occasions when I act. That's Schoonmaker, a Dutch name, the name of my father a good man, not a great father for a little kid, but a good father for an adult; a man I am no longer angry with or ashamed of, because I know him now a little better than when I was just a little boy; the name my mother chose to take, ungainly as it may seem, because she would rather be Mrs. Schoonmaker than Miss Wynne. Schoonmaker a name of a family which has been in this continent since long before the U.S. was a country the 1640s or earlier. I don't have to give up my family just because I'm a faggot. They haven't given up on me, and they know I am a homosexual. I just wish everybody would esteem himself as much as he should be esteemed. We'll get there. It will take work, but we'll get there. A homosexual who refuses to use his own name calls down shame upon himself, his family, homosexuality and homosexuals generally. Stop being such damned fucking cowards, and discover that you are a man or a woman not just of this moment but of a whole line of human beings from the infinite past up till today, a line of people who exist because they see something worthwhile in existing, in being what one is. Millions of years went into the creation of each of us. Why should we knock it? The name we bear is a trailmark, a sign of our past, our origin, the peoples and energies, the feelings, the love, that went into our creation. Why should we abandon all this? Let no one no one try to deprive me of my name, my family, my heritage! I am L. Craig Schoonmaker and you are you, and each of us has his reasons for joy.
My final objection to SHL is that altho HI! is constitutionally more hierarchical, I, as chief executive, seem to be much more concerned with the will of the other members than does SHL's supposedly broad-based executive structure. Robben Borrero and I journeyed to N.Y.U.'s Washington Square campus to see the N.Y.U. SHL in action, and we can both tell you individually or collectively that Superdike absolutely dominates, not to say tyrannizes the rest of the group. Eleven men and one woman, yet her female-chauvinist view prevailed. Matriarchist faggots of the worst order! Only one, maybe two of the men dared to say anything, while Superdike directed a constant barrage of objection as us (mainly at me; Robben thank god spoke up from time to time, not always in perfect agreement, be sure of that, but close enough to show that the group supports the general line of the organization as originally conceived). N.Y.U.'s SHL, to no one's surprise, decided to go it alone (with Columbia) on a dance. Superdike's group's decision was O.K. with Columbia, so we are out of the upcoming SHL dance. So be it. I wonder if the decision of SHL-N.Y.U. was unanimous. I sincerely hope not. There was one perfectly lovely young fellow who smiled at us as we left, plus one other person who said he would like to see them cooperate. Everyone else was absolutely silent. To show that I am not the only one who resents the behavior of Superdike, let me quote Robben Borrero, who as soon as we closed the door behind us to allow them privacy to consider their decision: "That bitch!" I am beyond swearing at Superdike. She is an intolerable female-chauvinist, much more than she is a Lesbian. Lesbians are homosexuals. Female-chauvinists are just female-chauvinist. If you suspect that my personal antagonism to Superdike affected my behavior and thus the decision of SHL-N.Y.U., feel free to ask Robben Borrero of Queens College about my behavior; he will tell you that I was much more proper than I had any reason to be.
For your information, SHL-N.Y.U. has existed for 1 1/2 years and has a core membership of a few more than the twelve we saw when we went to the Loeb Student Center, which would give them perhaps 17 regular core members at most. HI! after perhaps one full semester (for we lost the entire last half of last semester, and we were only chartered on April 1st) (remember the disruptions-seizure of South Campus?) has 9 members signed up, four full members and five associates. SHL is not "psychologically oriented". Could that account for the manifest failure of that group to involve more than a tiny fraction of the homosexuals at N.Y.U.? I suggest that is so. Indeed, SHL-N.Y.U. is not even concerned about the Bronx campus of that very university! Which brings up my fourth, and final objection: SHL is not really concerned about most homosexuals, but only about those who happen to fit within the SHL "bag". HI! tries to reach all homosexuals in ways that will be easiest for them to come out with. Only full members can vote, but I listen carefully to what everybody has to say. Ellen Broidy imposes her will. I sincerely hope that the SHL at N.Y.U. does not accurately reflect the tendency of other SHL chapters, for if it does, I pity the homosexuals at the various SHL campuses (Columbia, N.Y.U., Cornell).
I have pretty much decided, with the agreement of a couple of other members of HI!, that as a warning to SHL as much as a manifestation of a sincere concern with the homosexuals of that neglected campus, HI! will make an effort to organize the Bronx campus of N.Y.U., which the SHL has utterly disregarded. Let the SHL know that the courtesy and patience we have shown heretofore is not inexhaustible, and that if they show us much more antagonism they already tried to organize a boycott against us last semester, and this semester they refused to cooperate in sponsoring a gay mixer then we may find it desirable to organize Homosexuals Intransigent! chapters on their own campuses. Let them not doubt for one fraction of a second that we could do so, too. L. Craig Schoonmaker
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The Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations met in Philadelphia on the weekend of November 1st and 2nd. You will doubtless be delighted to know that I haven't the heart (and you probably do not have the patience) to recount here all the gory details. Suffice it to say for now that the next newsletter will summarize the conference resolutions and participants. Superdike became particularly annoyed with Our Glorious Leader in a part of this conference, so if you are wondering about the motivations behind her antagonism to HI!, tune in next time. (SHL's basic objection is that they think all student homosexuals should belong to the SHL; my own view is that they should belong to SHL only if they can be comfortable there, but should otherwise look into other organizations, such as HI!
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COLUMBIA SHL INDEPENDENT, YES; COOPERATIVE, ???
The N.Y.U. group has indicated an unwillingness to be friendly. Perhaps the Columbia group will be more friendly, especially given the physical proximity of the Columbia and City College campuses. [They are about one mile apart.] (I hope that similar cooperation can develop among organizations (ours or SHL's) to be started at Lehman, Fordham, and N.Y.U. Bronx campuses). The Columbia group has two regular activities you might be interested in: dinners on Tuesday nights and luncheons on Fridays at noon, both of which require a contribution but may be worth the time and money. Further information is available for those who desire it. We shall propose a joint meeting of our group with the Columbia group and see how they respond.
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HI! needs good designs for its letterhead, newsletter/magazine (this thing, as we hope it will develop), and a button (to say simply HI!). It would be nice if we could offer a prize for the best design, but at this time we are not yet able to do so (that's redundant, I know). If somebody would like to put up a prize, we welcome the contribution. If we have enough money, we shall make it a full-fledged design contest, open to homosexuals the world over, to be judged by distinguished homosexual men of the arts (and women, maybe). But short of that, we really would appreciate a contribution of ideas from those of you who are graphically oriented.
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TO MEET OR NOT TO MEET
Thru the early part of the semester, HI! met twice a week, once on campus and once off campus, for the two overlapping but different groups, the City College and the City University (plus some others, as from Pratt). Now the question arises: How many meetings should we have, and where? Perhaps we should concentrate on the City University, all myriad branch groups going on Queens, Queensborough, Brooklyn, and other campuses by bringing together all the people who answer all the various appeals we launch, all calling for people to contact a single central point, namely City College HI! or Pres. Schoonmaker.
O.K. If we don't meet at City, but retain only off-campus meetings, or if we have meetings only half as often, once every two weeks (alternating between City College and off-campus meetings), what do we do during the Thursday club break? Perhaps we could set up a table to give out information about homosexuality and collect contributions in Finley and in Knittle Lounge. John Singer has already volunteered to help Schoonmaker in such a project. Or we could have working meetings, preparing leaflets or exhibits or details for dances, etc., at City and reserve the off-campus meetings for policy decisions and socializing. Or we could have little socials, with dancing and conversation, getting a record player from Room 152 Finley. There are other possibilities. What do you suggest? There will be no Sunday meeting November 16, but there will be one the following Sunday. Anyone who has suggestions about Thursday or Sunday meetings, or about where and when we could hold our own City University mixer (gay, of course) should let us hear his thoughts.
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HI! is an aggressive organization. We feel that all homosexuals should support the work of at least one homosexual organization; and we think that every college should have a homosexual organization, and maybe every high school. The next newsletter will tell of Schoonmaker's efforts to start something at California State College at Long Beach and San Francisco State College, where he attended summer sessions in 1969. And we hope that between now and the appearance of the next newsletter (next week?), that people will come forward and offer to contact people at other campuses not only thru the entre metropolitan area, but thru the entire country as well. At this point, we have contacts at City, Queens, Queensborough, Borough of Manhattan, Pratt, maybe Juilliard, maybe Lehman, maybe N.Y.U., and maybe Columbia. But we need more.
We also need contributions to this newsletter. And contributions, in money, time, and bodies, to the organization. Help us help you and (other) homosexuals. Give what you can in good conscience give. Thanks.
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