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December 4, 2005

Finally Published!

Over 30 years ago, in late 1973, I cut some stencils for the mimeographed magazine I edited at the time for the small college-based organization Homosexuals Intransigent! (HI!) Apart from a couple of department templates, the items I typed were mostly briefs, mainly humorous, that were intended to appear amid the longer articles to give the publication a lighter feel by breaking things up visually. In those days, organizations of modest means couldn't readily use photographs or other illustrations for that purpose because of the limitations of the mimeograph medium. So I typed some short items in advance and intended to type in the longer articles around them later.

Alas, we never did publish the issue for which those stencils were intended. The organization was disrupted by a con artist who fomented dissension to worm his way into a position of trust, then ran off with the (modest) treasury.

The stencils have lain in a legal-size file folder for all the intervening time — till now. I have now inputted onto computer the text from those crumbling stencils, and discarded the originals, which were not just yellowing but literally falling to pieces. The paper backing yellowed. It and the plastic film that covered the stencils became brittle and broke up into many pieces. The stencils themselves held together better, but even they frayed, stuck in places to the backing or covering film, and were in imminent danger of becoming unreadable. I transferred the information off, just in time.

[Crumbling mimeo stencils]

Items headed "Wallscrawl" are graffiti seen in men's rooms in gay bars. More than one line represents comments in different handwriting. The notation "[Next stencil]" does not mean that it is the next in some logical sequence, because the various stencils might have been shuffled into a drastically different order once the material to be typed around them was added. Fonts are only approximations. The stencils were originally cut by typewriter. The text in a proportional font was typed on an IBM Executive; the monospaced, on a Selectric .


[Cursive font in the original]


I wish it were possible to attack ideas viciously, but not the people who hold them. It is not, tho. Because people are responsible for their ideas. I believe that people can control both their external life and, ultimately, their mind. Oddly, the second is harder than the first, even though the first involves other people, and events beyond reach and control. But then, our minds are the product of external influences in large part too. It becomes necessary, in seizing control of one's own mind, to shut out the alien others for a while, as completely as possible: to stop reading, watching, listening to other people, to the news, to philosophies and ideas of alien origin, and to say "That is what they are about. What am I, what are we about?" We have much thinking to do. We have much respectful talking to do with each other, among homosexuals. And we have much shutting out of heterosexual views and judgments, to do. It is past time for us to stop living, in duplicity or vicariously, thru identification, the lives and feelings of heterosexuals. It is long past time for us to start living our own lives, and to seize control of our own minds.

[Next stencil]

You know what red, white, and blue are together?
          (A realization of Charles P. Thorp, of San Francisco in 1971)

[Next stencil. The following item is the longest of all those pretyped onto these stencils. Its text took up the entire width of the stencil, unlike many of the shorter items which, as fillers, occupied only part of the page width.]


Homosexuals have naïvely cooperated with research studies into homosexuality, not realizing that the ultimate use to which such studies will be put is the attempt to eradicate homosexuality. The time has come to stop providing information for our foes to use against us — or, perhaps better (and certainly more fun), to throw a monkey wrench into straights' schemes by playing games on study questionnaires. One feature of many studies is a Family History section to the questionnaire. Here is how I'd like to complete such a section.

Half the men in my family line have been exclusively homosexual for generations. The other half were, alas, sterile, except my grandmother, who is childless, and my mother, who had five miscarriages before I was born. Due to complications while carrying me, my mother died six months before I was born and unfortunately, I did not survive infancy. Immediately after my birth, my mother had a hysterectomy to protect her from hazards, so my little brother wasn't born until two years later. The extended labor following Caesarean section and his brain damage from the forceps used in his breach birth so injured my little brother, who was the last child, that he died within hours of conception.

As a child, I lived a quiet, normal life. My oldest brother, Male 4 Mos., who stays in a formaldehyde-filled jar on the mantel, was always very quiet, and stuck pretty much to himself. (I never could understand the fondness all my brothers and sisters have for formaldehyde. I can't stand even the taste of the stuff.) My next-oldest brother, Male 5 Mos., went off very early to boarding school, where he excelled in biology, serving as an anatomy sample. Male 3 Mos., the older brother closest my own age, was always very serious. I can't recall his ever having cracked a smile. We didn't really get along, and his success has proved a barrier between him and the rest of the family. He is Head Sample at the Princeton Medical School Institute on Prenatal Mortality, and that importance has gone to his head (the rest of him is used in the course on developmental biology). My older sister, Female 4 Mos., was a warm, reticent child who stayed home all the time, mostly on a shelf in the cellar. My younger sister, Female 16 Weeks, was always outgoing, but a bit of a scatterbrain. She resides in Cornell University Medical Center, UCLA Medical School, and Trenton State School of Nursing. The baby of the family, Male 2 Mos. ("X414" as he is affectionately known), is very much like me, but not so handsome. He and I have always been close. I don't know if he is homosexual — if he is, he is in the closet (in the hall, near my bedroom door). None of us has ever married. In fact, I've never heard any of them even mention the topic. And Dad has never pressured me.

The stereotypical Freudian pattern does not fit my background. My mother was not overly dynamic, and we were not even geographically close. As I said, she died four months before I was born and moved away to a cemetery in Communist China, so she could be close to her parents, who are still vigorous and active in community life in Keokuk, Iowa, where our family has always lived except for those who immigrated to the U.S. My father and I have always been very happy and very close. After Mom died, he was like a father and cousin to me.

Dad was an extraordinary man who maintained a full, healthy family life at the same time as he aggressively pursued his career. He won high acclaim for his pioneer work in isolating and refining chromatose neoglabulins into epoxy cigars noted mainly for their freedom from carcinogens and their extreme resistance to fire. Following that breakthru, Dad was able to make significant headway in the inquiry into the nature and possible uses of synthetic exclamatious protineinids. In my teens I spent many hours training the trypanosomes that were so important to Dad's experiments, and used to divert myself by causing them to perform extra little stunts, aside from those strictly necessary for the schismatic-fibrosis-wave alluvations (or "nestorian heresies" as we jokingly referred to them). Dad's including me in his work strengthened our relationship and helped me to appreciate him as a full man, not merely as my father (an extension of myself) or Dad Shapiro's manluvd. In our closeness and the mutual appreciation between my father and myself, we depart from and therefore disprove the Freudian explanations for homosexuality.

Religious influences may be important in the development of my own homosexuality. I was raised a strict Catholic in the Lutheran tradition. I attended Sunday school every week for fourteen years, first at St. Seymour's and then at the Church of the Holy Apocrypha. Naturally, then, I was subjected to a harsh sexual Puritanism except that our minister, Abram Shapiro, S.J., was flagrantly carrying on a discreet sexual affair with my father, in full view of me and my brother X414, except when we were awake. I think that might have had something to do with my positive attitude toward homosexuality. Father Shapiro and Dad were obviously very much in love, and the excitement they felt for each other sort of inspired me. When I met Father Shapiro's son, Carlos O'Reilly (by a former marriage; he and Dad didn't have any children), I fell madly and passionately in love with him, and he reciprocated my feelings. At age 6, he and I were inseparable, sleeping together every night and putting to use the techniques we could manage from those we'd seen our dads employing. We were a very happy, very horny, and very sexually active family. When Teddy and I entered our teens, however, we started to drift apart, he into the Catholic religious life, I into the homosexual movement. We would still get together and make out every now and then, until he left for Ceylon to pursue his studies and I moved here to New York. I still get occasional letters from Johnny neatly typed, but they're in English, and I have a hard time reading his handwriting, so our correspondence is erratic. I'm still close to Dad and the Reverend Father Shapiro — and they're still making it together.

So, as you can see, aside from the fact that I grew up to see the beauty of bulging biceps in the intertwined arms of men making out together, my family history is completely ordinary. One would have to look elsewhere for the "causes" of my homosexuality — if indeed there are causes for homosexuality.

[Just below that article on the second stencil appeared this, typed, as here, with forced linebreaks to create the form of a cornucopia with the mouth at the top.]

          Now, as tho any proof were needed that I've been strange
             for quite some time, I offer below an excerpt from a radio
               show I co-wrote, as a class exercise in a summer-session
                radio/TV-production course at San Francisco State in 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, ad-
                       vised that all the Evans she knew grew up to be
                      homosexual. So Mrs. Schmerk named the child
                     after her maternal great-grandfather, Shlomo
                    Shultz, 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 button-
               hook fortune built up by his father,
             Wesley Sanders the Forty-Ninth.
           Shlomo and Edward met while
          both were on the wrestling
         team at Haverford College,
        and it's been no-holds-
       barred ever since."
      (Reprinted from HI!
    No. 5.)

[Next stencil]


Under the harvest of nite
Whispers come to you
Which remember this summer roses
And touch you with a thousand memories
As a beautiful friend who remembers
The golden nite you shared in "love"
Under the leaves of the moon in the garden of love.
Do you remember the fragrant crimson larks of the god who questions
   the unanswerable questions of love?
I, the
Ghost of autumn lives in the garden
And sees all who come in, come to you in the night
Over the grave mockery of death
Thru the summer roses
Past crimson larks
Into the goodness of memories
And whisper to you answerable questions.
                                                                     -- C.M.
                   (Adapted from HI! mag, March 1971)

[Next stencil]


Metropolitan Calcutta, has a Dum Dum International Airport, near Dum Dum, North Dum Dum, and South Dum Dum, which is about 15 miles up from a place called Dumjor. Sounds pretty dum.

[Next stencil]

?                                      ?

?                                      ?

[An allusion to a then-current Ford Motor Co. advertising slogan, "Is there a Ford in your future?"]

[Next stencil]


[Next stencil]


None of us likes to be hurt, not really. Yet we are forever in danger of being hurt,
so we build defenses. Sometimes our walls get so hi and so thik that nothing,
not even luv, and no one, not even one we could luv, can get thru.
                                                                     -- From HI! Mag, April-May 1971

[Next stencil]

* * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*                                                                                                                                  *
*  Homosexual Intransigence     *
*  is caring and not-caring.
* * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Next stencil]

                                  Homosexual intransigence
is respect: self-respect,
respect for other homosex-
uals, respect for homo-
sexuality itself.

[Next stencil]


Q. Why didn't Mrs. Franklin have any kids?
A. Ben Gay.
              -- "Karnak" (Johnny Carson),
                 August 1973

[Next stencil]

                                                                                                * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*   Masochist: "Hit me.                  *
*      Sadist: "No."             *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Next stencil]


I should have lain in wait
And pounced upon you as you passed,
Crushed you to my chest,
Made my mouth and yours one field of touching, loving,
Oblivious of startled others,
But I could not know if you were a man who could love a man,
And I could not risk the pain.
So you are gone,
And I'm alone.
I should have lain in wait
And pounced upon you as you passed . . .
                                                                  -- LCS

[Next stencil]

                                                                                                * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*                  WALLSCRAWL *    
*     Cocksucking is a lost art. *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Next stencil]

& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &
&                               &
&  WALLSCRAWL                   &
&  Jocks suck cocks.            &
&          And not very well.   &
&       Amen.                   &
&                               &
& & & & & & & & & & & & & & & & &

[Next stencil]
                                        o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o                                
o  WALLSCRAWL                           o
o  You hold your future in your hands.  o
o            It's a big future.         o
o     Not if that's all you have.       o
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

[Last stencil]

                                                          ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?  ?
!                           FOWL COOKING      !
!    We don't usually publish cooking      !
!    tips, but we just have to pass on      !
!    a strange-sounding technique for      !
!    poultry that yields super-juicy      !
!    entrees: forget your Reynolds      !
!    Wrap and put your bird in a brown      !
!    paper bag -- a brown paper bag?!      !
!    Yes, a brown paper bag -- fold the      !
!    bag closed, set the oven at 200      !
!    degrees("accelerated rot", my      !
!    neighbor calls it), and forget it      !
!    for a few hours (six hours is not      !
!    too much for a medium-large      !
!    turkey). Dry-season only, and do      !
!    not baste. The bird will brown      !
!    even in the bag, and gush juices      !
!    when you carve it. Try it ...      !
!    you'll like it.      !
m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m m

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