The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Poll

What period of gay history would you like to discuss first?

The fifties and sixties - before Stonewall
9 (50%)
Early Gay Liberation 1969 - 1975
2 (11.1%)
Political awakening 1975 - 1981
0 (0%)
The onset of AIDS 1981 - 1996
6 (33.3%)
Post Protease Inhibitors 1996 - Present
1 (5.6%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Voting closed: February 24, 2007, 01:59:08 AM

Author Topic: Gay History -- How We Got Here  (Read 307944 times)

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2007, 07:25:27 PM »
Well...I was a tad advanced (since I've known what was happening since I was 9 years old).  So I went to a bookstore in the north Detroit suburbs and got a book entitled 'The Problem of Homosexuality in Modern Society' in my early teen years.  It was just as cheery as you can imagine.

Here's a website from the Truly CA program 'Screaming Queens: Riot at the Compton's Cafe'.  This took place in 1966 so it qualifies as pre-Stonewall:

http://www.kqed.org/arts/truly/episode.jsp?eid=130979

And here's the website for the film itself:

http://www.screamingqueensmovie.com/

I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2007, 07:48:08 PM »
Here is the website for the GBLT History Society in San Francisco:

http://www.glbthistory.org/

And here is the San Diego Society:

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~clgoyne/lghssd/archival.html

And here is a page from the Minnesota historical society dedicated to gay history:

http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/110glbt.html

And Boston's History Project:

http://www.historyproject.org/

And the National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History (in New York)

http://www.gaycenter.org/resources/archive/

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives:

http://www.clga.ca/

The Gender Equity Archives (New Britain, CT):

http://library.ccsu.edu/lib/archives/equity/

The Gerber/Hart Archives (Chicago):

http://www.gerberhart.org/

The Gay and Lesbian Collections at the University of Missouri:

http://www.umsl.edu/~whmc/guides/gaycoll.html

The Kinsey Institute Library in Bloomington Indiana:

http://kinseyinstitute.org/library/

The Hall-Carpenter Archives of the British Museum:

http://hallcarpenter.tripod.com/

The Homodok Library in the Netherlands:

http://www.homodok.nl/

And here is a good all purpose list from the Lesbian Herstory Archives:

http://www.lesbianherstoryarchives.org/direct.htm
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline BBM-Intern

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here -- A small Australian snippet
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2007, 12:44:55 AM »
Hi there all you lovely brokies,

I thought I'd just jump right in with a small snippet to add - more later about Australian perspectives of GLBTI history.  Other than the obvious starting point of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, there's quite a bit of history from Oz left to discuss too.

But firstly, just a plug for the recent "Out and Loud" Concert in Melbourne Town Hall on 18-Feb.  Yes, there was the Brokeback connection as we did "A Love That Will Never Grow Old".  Our conncection from the antipodes is via the Boston Mens Gay Chorus who initially arranged this piece, which we subsequently adapted, but we will always be grateful for its heritage.  More importantly, the message of the film, which we said was a "love story" of two gay men.

But more importantly, what for me was a "goose-bumps" story for me was related by the festival director, who led the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Choir for the Chicago "Gay Games" (15-22 Jul) and Montreal "Out Games" (29-Jul to 5-Aug).  I believe the story was that on the tour some (hysterical) person had got up before the choir performed yelling something like, "You don't have to be gay or lesbian, it's just a lifestyle choice!!".  Oh dear, that was a moment that could have really soured the performance, but the choir director (I believe it was Dr James Knapp) said quietly, "This is WHY we sing", just before they sang, "Why We Sing".  Yes, our battle is far from over, we have come a long, long way in GLBTI history, but we all have to work together to fight for our rights.  Wow, that story really brought a lump to my throat.  If someone was there and knows this story first-hand, I'd like to hear your perspective on it.

Why I mentioned this piece was because there are contemporary links from our "Out and Loud" Concert here in Melbourne, Australia to US GLBTI history - we performed "Why We Sing", arranged by Dr Kathleen McGuire of the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus, who hails from Melbourne.  We are all bound and connected through our common causes - SFGMC which as you all know started informally commemorating the deaths of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978.  It isn't even six degrees of separation, we all all in this together and we will see it through.  We may live on separate continents and face our own challenges, but where we have a united cause to see the world changed for equality for all.

I believe Brokeback has changed lives and will continue to do so.  Often time, we hear folks who proudly (and quite rightly so) tell us they were in the first Stonewall riots, or clashes with police in Sydney leading which gave birth to Mardi Gras etc. etc.  Well, we can look back and say, "I was a TRUE BELIEVER in the message of Brokeback and its tranforming message, and I SPREAD ITS MESSAGE!".  Aren't you excited to be part of history in the making?

More later, love to all here.
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here -- A small Australian snippet
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2007, 01:43:13 AM »
Aren't you excited to be part of history in the making?

Dear BBM-Intern,

Yes, indeed I am.  [Of course, I must admit I've felt that way for a while - when I was working for an AIDS information organization in the 80s, and when I went to the first march on D.C. - kinda gives ya chills though, doesn't it?]

I have to tell you how touched I was by your message, sitting here in S.F. and reading your mentions of Harvey and George in the context of Gay Australian history.  I know they would both be happy too.

Thanks so much for joining us here and I look forward to more posts from you.

Michael
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2007, 02:36:05 PM »
Okay...just a quick note to everyone to acknowledge that the first period we will cover here will be the period before 1968 (pre-Stonewall in the U.S.).  I will be working on this shortly and apologize for the lull - I was on vacation.

mf
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2007, 05:20:57 PM »
It's all good, Michael!

Offline Chriscd45

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2007, 11:15:30 PM »
"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity" -

Cicero Pro Publio Sestio

Thank you for this thread. History is important. Can't wait to get more involved.
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Offline jack

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2007, 04:19:27 AM »
and i need to start remembering my earliest memories of confusion.  why was i feeling like this, and how could i find out more than i could learn from vague whisperings and rumor.  i am not good with dates or sequential reckoning, but i am going to do my best.

stirrings::

although there had been some fumbling games in my early years at summer camps ( i went away every summer as my mother worked) i had zero information of sex, so boy crushes and what i now realize were eroticised contact and games, as well as other good feelings remained unexplained or rationalized away.  those years would encompass 1950 to 1957, approximately.  i clearly recall that SOMEHOW, i had already eroticised leather scent and tie em up games, and saw all tarzan and jungle jim and flash gordon serials that showed, on most saturday matinees.  from 7th grade on i had girlfriends, but they were to dance with and be seen with.  i recall no erotic tinglings, and nothing like the admiration i had for my close guy friends.

back in those days, at least as i in my innocence experience, it was not perceived as abnormal to not be in pursuit of m/f sex, or any sex, for that matter.  i made it through high school, ending in 1961 in that condition, but i had begun looking for answers to some troubling half-formed questions.  i can't remember how, but somewhere in there i managed to find some of those now collectable pulp paperbacks that hinted at same sex attraction, never of course addressing sexual interaction, and often indicating horrible ends for perversion.  i only read them for their literary merit, of course.

by '61, or shortly thereafter, i had started hunting for something more scientific, and even hoping to connect, more urgently since that summer, at 17, i had my first sexual experience with a man, and indeed my first of any kind.  i wish i could remember where or how i researched.  it almost had to be libraries, but damned if i can remember such. 

my first information, perhaps gleaned from a magazine article, was about the mattachine society, and their newsletter, "one".  i also heard about an organization called "the daughters of bilitis" but other than know of it, it had nothing to offer.  the first relatively scholarly book i read will be familiar to many old timers.  it was called "one in ten".  for a time at least, drunken college carousing and opportunistic sex, IE drunk frat boys and jocks was the extent of my education and liberation, but i began a mad pursuit and obsession with any written word, fiction and non-fiction, and drama as well, that featured or hinted at, same sex attraction, chiefly male.  many of you know the fare, and to the best of my knowledge, none of them came close to a happy ending.

that's enough for my first contribution, but if someone wants to start a list of that early literature, which was ALL many of us had to begin sorting things out, i will be glad to confirm or add to.

jack  :-*
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2007, 02:07:22 PM »
Jack - thank so much for getting us started here!

Here are some questions I would like readers to consider for the period before June 28, 1969.  I have tried to gear the questions so that they can be answered by people from both inside and outside the U.S. and by people of all genders and orientations - but if you feel you need to change the question in some way to answer them, please feel free:

1.)  When did you first become aware of homosexuality as an external phenomenon - something that was talked about either as gossip, in the press, on television or in books?

2.)  Do you remember any discussions concerning homosexuality in your family?  What was the attitude of people in your family?

3.)  Do you remember any religious instruction addressing homosexuality?

4.)  If you are gay or lesbian were aware of your sexuality how did you handle that knowledge in relation to other people (were you out to some?  did you act on your knowledge and how?)  If you are not gay or lesbian did you have friends come out to you before this period and how did you handle that knowledge?

5.)  Did you know older gay and/or lesbian people?  What did they tell you about the world when they were growing up?  Did they tell you how they formed friendships and communicated with one another?

6.)  For those in the U.S. - did you know about the McCarthy hearings and the firing of government employees on the basis of homosexuality?  Did this have any affect on your life or your behavior?  If you are outside of the U.S. do you know of similar 'witch hunts' from this period?

7.)  If you were in the armed forces (or knew people who were in the armed forces) were there stories related to homosexuality?  Did you know of people who were discharged or questioned because of homosexuality?  If you are from outside of the U.S. what was the attitude toward homosexuality in the armed forces of the country you were in?

8.)  If you were in the U.S. did you go to bars before Stonewall?  How were they different from bars after Stonewall?  If you are outside of the U.S. were gay bars 'above ground' where you were?  Did Stonewall have an effect on the openness of gay life in your country?

9.)  In some countries (like the Netherlands) homosexuality was decriminalized long ago (1811 in Holland, 1830 in Brazil, 1852 Portugal, 1880 Japan, 1889 Italy).  If you were in these countries did you know about the disparity between your country and others?  Were you aware of gay organizations of openly gay/lesbian people?   Were you aware of gay organizations?  If you were not from these countries did you visit them and what was your perception of gay/lesbian life there? 

10.)  Prior to Stonewall there were instances of local panics in the U.S. related to homosexuality (like the Nov. 1955 panic in Boise, Idaho and a similar panic in Sioux City, Iowa the same year).  Were you aware of anything like this when you were growing up?  If you are from outside of the U.S. did similar panics occur?

11.)  Were you aware (or did anyone tell you later) of any local get-togethers in gay people's homes prior to Stonewall?

12.)  Did your family have any gay/lesbian friends or family members when you were growing up?  What was the attitude toward them?  Were you aware of people in your area that were rumored to be gay - and what was the attitude toward them?

13.)  If you were aware of your own homosexuality prior to Stonewall how did you attempt to find out information about it?  Were you successful in finding information?  Did you look in the library?  If so, did you find anything?

14.)  In the 40s, 50s and early 60s there were rumors about the sexuality of popular stars (like Rock Hudson, Fabian, Johnnie Ray, etc.).  Do you remember any of these rumors?  If so what was said?  Do you remember being forbidden to listen to particular stars because of their 'moral influence', for example?

15.)  There were films that dealt with homosexuality both openly and covertly prior to Stonewall ('Advise and Consent', 'Suddenly Last Summer', 'Strangers on a Train', 'Rope', 'Victim', 'The Children's Hour', 'Killing of Sister George', 'Fearless Vampire Killers', 'A Taste of Honey', 'Flaming Creatures', 'Scorpio Rising', 'The Producers', 'The Sergeant', etc.).  Do you remember seeing any of these movies (or other movies that addressed homosexuality) in the 60s (or before)?  What was your reaction?  Do you remember the reactions of other people?

This should give us a good start.  If there are other questions you wish to add, please feel free. 

Also, if you are too young to remember this time and have heard stories from others about it (or wish to ask other people you know off the forum) please feel free to add your comments.

Thanks a lot - I look forward to an interesting conversation!
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2007, 02:10:10 PM »
Here is an interesting 'Timeline of LGBT History' from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_LGBT_history

And here are a few books on the 'sex panics' I referred to in my questions:

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Crime-Panic-Journey-Paranoid-Heart/dp/1555836593/ref=pd_sim_b_1/103-7071639-7111031

http://www.amazon.com/Boys-Boise-American-Columbia-Northwest/dp/0295981679

And here is a listing of films from imdb with the keyword 'homosexual' ranked by date:

http://www.imdb.com/keyword/homosexual/?start=1201&sort=date
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline jack

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2007, 02:38:53 PM »
questions 1-5... see above

6.  the m carthy hearings were televised, but became an indistinct part of the country's patriotic mosaic of the times, in my experience of them.

7.  i was in the navy just long enough to audition successfully for the bluejacket choir, but to get released due to "QUESTIONABLE SEXUALITY".  í believe this was in '63.

8.  bars remained the same in upstate ny.  furtive and regularly rousted by the local police, patrons threatened, bribes taken.  it was illegal for men to wear women's clothes, or to dance together, and people were hauled away in paddy wagons.

much later in 68, i think, i went to miami beach, and discovered bar where people could dance.  there was stil a furtive quality, as there was usually a back room in which to dance, and a front bar, often nominally straight.

so much for the good old days.
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Offline jack

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2007, 02:45:24 PM »
9-12... see above, total blank.

13  see above.
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Offline fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2007, 04:06:59 PM »
I'll take a stab at this, sorry to repeat the questions but I couldn't possibly keep them in my head to answer more than one at a time.

1.)  When did you first become aware of homosexuality as an external phenomenon - something that was talked about either as gossip, in the press, on television or in books?

The first time I recall hearing the word homosexual was during a high school retreat (but I was in 7th grade at the time), where during a conference one of the boys asked what one should do if someone bullied you by threatening to say that you were homosexual. Don't remember the answer the priest gave, but it was something to the effect of, how would (this other person) know if he were not one himself?

2.)  Do you remember any discussions concerning homosexuality in your family?  What was the attitude of people in your family?

The question never came up much in the family. But I can remember my father showing a friend of a friend (who I found out later was gay) a night-blooming cereus, and because of the way the friend commented about the flower my father said later, in an incensed and negative manner, that that guy was queer. I don't think I reacted to his reaction either way. At the time I didn't know about myself, didn't find out until many, many years later, after leaving home. But my father and uncles defintely had negative attitudes, my mother and sisters never expressed themselves about the subject. And also, the one place my father forbade me to go was the Club My-O-My at Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, but I had no idea why. Never did go there. Found out later it was a club for female impersonators. I was a far too obedient child.

3.)  Do you remember any religious instruction addressing homosexuality?

Except for that retreat mentioned above, I don't recall any discussion about homosexuality at all in a religious context. And I just remember one of the (religious) brothers in high school alluding to masturbation just one time, negatively of course.

4.)  If you are gay or lesbian were aware of your sexuality how did you handle that knowledge in relation to other people (were you out to some?  did you act on your knowledge and how?)  If you are not gay or lesbian did you have friends come out to you before this period and how did you handle that knowledge?

I did not realize about it myself until well into my 20's, though in retrospect I should have realized. I came out to one sister and a few friends, but the experience was neutral to negative, no really positive reaction by straight people, so I tended to clam up a bit after that.

5.)  Did you know older gay and/or lesbian people?  What did they tell you about the world when they were growing up?  Did they tell you how they formed friendships and communicated with one another?

Never knew any openly gay people when I was growing up.

6.)  For those in the U.S. - did you know about the McCarthy hearings and the firing of government employees on the basis of homosexuality?  Did this have any affect on your life or your behavior?  If you are outside of the U.S. do you know of similar 'witch hunts' from this period?

A bit too young to remember the hearings directly.

7.)  If you were in the armed forces (or knew people who were in the armed forces) were there stories related to homosexuality?  Did you know of people who were discharged or questioned because of homosexuality?  If you are from outside of the U.S. what was the attitude toward homosexuality in the armed forces of the country you were in?

I was in the Army, but did not realize my homosexuality at the time. I can remember being strongly attracted to many of the guys in the barracks, but did not act on the feelings. Never knew or heard directly about anyone being discharged for homosexuality.

8.)  If you were in the U.S. did you go to bars before Stonewall?  How were they different from bars after Stonewall?  If you are outside of the U.S. were gay bars 'above ground' where you were?  Did Stonewall have an effect on the openness of gay life in your country?

No, the first time I went to a bar was in 1974 or 1975. The first time was a bit frightening or at least disconcerting, because it was a leather bar. But the guys were very friendly.

9.)  In some countries (like the Netherlands) homosexuality was decriminalized long ago (1811 in Holland, 1830 in Brazil, 1852 Portugal, 1880 Japan, 1889 Italy).  If you were in these countries did you know about the disparity between your country and others?  Were you aware of gay organizations of openly gay/lesbian people?   Were you aware of gay organizations?  If you were not from these countries did you visit them and what was your perception of gay/lesbian life there? 

Not applicable. I travelled in the Netherlands in the late 60's, but unaware that there was anything like a gay subculture at the time. My fellow travellers were more interested in the straight red-light district, and I went along with them, without much interest. No one in my group did anything but look, just from the streets. We were all good boys from Notre Dame, after all.  :D

10.)  Prior to Stonewall there were instances of local panics in the U.S. related to homosexuality (like the Nov. 1955 panic in Boise, Idaho and a similar panic in Sioux City, Iowa the same year).  Were you aware of anything like this when you were growing up?  If you are from outside of the U.S. did similar panics occur?

I was unaware of such goings on. I guess I led a rather sheltered life.

11.)  Were you aware (or did anyone tell you later) of any local get-togethers in gay people's homes prior to Stonewall?

No. Not even aware of Stonewall until many years after it happened.

12.)  Did your family have any gay/lesbian friends or family members when you were growing up?  What was the attitude toward them?  Were you aware of people in your area that were rumored to be gay - and what was the attitude toward them?

None at all, unfortunately, as far as friends of the family. The one friend of a friend, as I said before, was flamboyant in his mannerisms. As it turned out, both he and my friend were gay, but didn't realize it until quite a bit later. Except for my father's negative reaction, the rest of my family were rather tolerant. And my father did not try to discourage me from associating with any of my friends, including the ones who turned out to be gay. Even though I was not quite as manly as I'm sure my father would have preferred, he never made any comments about me being queer. Then, again, I didn't realize it myself.

13.)  If you were aware of your own homosexuality prior to Stonewall how did you attempt to find out information about it?  Were you successful in finding information?  Did you look in the library?  If so, did you find anything?

Not before Stonewall, but I would look up information in the library, furtively. As I said, in retrospect I should have realized the truth about myself years earlier.

14.)  In the 40s, 50s and early 60s there were rumors about the sexuality of popular stars (like Rock Hudson, Fabian, Johnnie Ray, etc.).  Do you remember any of these rumors?  If so what was said?  Do you remember being forbidden to listen to particular stars because of their 'moral influence', for example?

Never happened to me. Except for my father and that one incident of the female impersonator club, most of my family were tolerant, I suppose, in the sense that I was not forbidden to associate with any people or go to any places, except that one club.

15.)  There were films that dealt with homosexuality both openly and covertly prior to Stonewall ('Advise and Consent', 'Suddenly Last Summer', 'Strangers on a Train', 'Rope', 'Victim', 'The Children's Hour', 'Killing of Sister George', 'Fearless Vampire Killers', 'A Taste of Honey', 'Flaming Creatures', 'Scorpio Rising', 'The Producers', 'The Sergeant', etc.).  Do you remember seeing any of these movies (or other movies that addressed homosexuality) in the 60s (or before)?  What was your reaction?  Do you remember the reactions of other people?

Never did see any of these movies way back then. The first movie I recall seeing which had homosexuality as a theme was Boys in the Band. Saw that during the Army. Because I went to Georgetown just before getting drafted, I got some ribbing from my fellow soldiers about supposed rampant homosexuality there, but I was never accused of being one myself. I don't know how I would have reacted had they made such an accusation, even in jest.

Sorry my answers aren't more interesting. I did some editing, so some of the answers may be a bit repititious. But I came out rather late, and if you were there at the BBQ, you would have heard that my first sexual experience (in the early 70's, with a friend's father) was not pleasant. Really didn't have an enjoyable sexual encounter until 1976. February 26.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 04:35:27 PM by fritzkep »
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Offline Brokeback_1

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2007, 04:30:27 PM »
I'm going to answer these even though it is probably  not valid. I just feel a need to, and am thankful, haven't had the opportunity.....

1--I wasn't interested until puberty; if there was any interest before that i simply don't recall. I knew something was up, I looked at both sexes while my friends looked at girls and compared penises. If things were said i didn't much care. After puberty I was fascinated, after being molested i was completely baffled and ddn't know who or what to ask so i asked nobody.
2--No. But there were some comments as written  below.
3--YES. It was an evil thing and not to be discussed. masturbation was a venial sin, homo stuff sent you to hell. Of course nobody had much of an idea what homo stuff WAS at 12.
4--It was nobody's business but mine, any discussion caused Problems. I was eager and avid for info as to what was up and so ignorant it caused life altering problems. i didn't trust anyone; the one time I had, it caused misery during HS. So i STFU. Kids who were obviously into boys, to me anyway, tended to be even dumber then I was so i ran.
5--Not until my 20's. I avoided old farts, didn't trust them. Too many had tried to stuff cash into my pocket.
6--No, not a clue.
7--NA
8--No way i would be caught in any sort of non-standard teenaged hangout type of bar. None. Not until much later and even then I basically shit myself.
9--aware of gay orgs and ran away as fast and far as possible.
10--don't have a clue what a Panic IS
11--yes. I was much too untrusting and unwilling to go. I went to one[1] and flipped; i'd met a guy in a bar when I was celebrating 18 and got invited, knew whet i was being invited to and was scared to death. Everybody elsewas in their late 20's or 30's, I became the sole focus of sexual attention and lasted there for maybe 15 minutes before saying see ya, I'm out a here. And the bitchy remarks I got enraged me so much I still remember them.
12--yes, a lesbian cousin of my mothers. Lots of veiled remarks. And a very queeny cousin of mine whom I did not like and haven't spoken to in maybe 25 years. He was a smirky pain.
13--Stonewall had nothing to do with me, I noted it and was confused by it. Couldn't figure out why  homosexuals didn't date men AND women, it seemed really odd. What I learned was through books. And the only books that said things I related to as regards my sexual orientation were 2000 years old. I mean there was NOTHING and NOBODY.I didn't have a clue  or anything else aside from those books and yes, 1 or 2 boys in the same boat until I was in my 20's when I learned to trust older gay men. I think it's worse for bisexual teenagers, or was. We fit nowhere at all and had to make the rules up as we went.
14--No, not really. I was never forbidden to see anything because such things didn't happen. The closest to a meltdown happened on Broadway at my first play which was--I'm serious--Mame, where Angela Landsbury forgot to put on underwear and her skirt twirled up lolol during a dance number and I thought was that what I think it was lolol. I was very young. No--wait---I remember my father getting annoyed when i saw a film called The Boys In the Band.
15--I was afraid to watch them. They were about people who had the same issue but didn't have the same issue; I was very conflicted and confused;  not gay yet having gay sex; completely untrusting of older men who WERE gay.I was  having str8 sex, there was no way i would give that up. I couldn't even imagine how it felt to stick to one sex.
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe but nothing could be done about it, & if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it

Offline fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2007, 05:00:24 PM »
One other comment, as far as tolerance/intolerance of homosexuality is concerned. I had a conversation about this with Lance many months ago, and I have come to realize things in these terms.

I was raised in New Orleans rather than in some rural or other urban place. (Now, when you're from a place as strange as New Orleans, I must say, Iowa seems exotic. :D )  While growing up there, in retrospect, I have come to realize that although some  individual people were highly intolerant, and institutions such as the Church were theoretically intolerant, homosexuality was simply not of a very high priority. Race, for example, was much higher on the list of concerns. I do believe that this attitude has a great deal to do with the fact that the predominant religion in the area is French Catholicism, rather than Irish or German or any other ethnic group. When I was growing up, people did indeed have a live and let live attitude. Sins of the flesh, straight or gay, were simply part of human nature and generally not discussed, positively or negatively for the most part. As I mentioned before, the subject just never came up in terms of religious stricture, so I did not grow up with a positive or negative attitude toward gayness. In retrospect, such a lack of negativity turned out to be as good a thing as I think could have happened, given the time.

Werd ich zum Augenblicke sagen, "Verweile doch! Du bist so schön..."