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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 310936 times)

Offline Brokeback_1

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2007, 05:22:19 PM »
I missed something by concentrating my answers in the before as opposed to after sense; The Formative Years

Yes, I had older gay friends who spoke about Stonewall and what it was like before that time.  I remember thinking it sounded like stories from pre war  nazi germany
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 michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #46 on: March 09, 2007, 07:24:52 PM »
3.)  Do you remember any religious instruction addressing homosexuality?

Okay...time for me to talk to myself here.

By the time I was 9 (1963) I knew that I liked boys.  I struggled with it for 5 years until my mother found out something was up.  There was an awfully lot of guilt associated with this as I was Catholic.

When my mother found out I was gay it was 1968 (the year before Stonewall).  She first took me to a priest in another parish for confession.  He was an older Polish priest.  He took my confession and gave me some small penance and when my mother went into confession he said 'go home and love your son.'

We were fine then, but then I needed to go see my parish priest and let him know what was up.  I was an altar boy and was heavily involved in the church.  This particular priest was an Irish-American - he always had a chip on his shoulder too (honestly, I think he was p.o.ed that he had chosen to be celibate).  He had another brother who was a priest and he was always in competition with him (everybody liked his brother more).  All of this to say that when it came to 'sins' related to sexuality he was a hard ass.  He told me I'd have to start seeing a councilor at Catholic Social Services.  The councilor had a M.S.W. (masters of social work) and I was pretty clearly the first person he had ever talked to who was openly gay.  He didn't know what to do - but after reading up on what current beliefs were he told me that I needed to start dating girls and that if I couldn't change my sexuality that I'd have to live my life as a celibate to be a good Catholic.

This was all within the beliefs of the church.  If you are not having sex in marriage you are committing sin.  If you don't try to avoid it, you haven't made a good confession.  Good luck being a horny teenager.

And that's what life was like in rural Michigan as a gay Catholic before Stonewall - for me at least.

p.s. - it wasn't my sexuality I changed.
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.

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Offline maidenofthesea

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #47 on: March 09, 2007, 08:48:27 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

Thank you for these links Michael! I've been looking for things similiar for a while now.
Thanks again!  :)


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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2007, 08:52:04 PM »
Thank you for these links Michael! I've been looking for things similiar for a while now.
Thanks again!  :)

You bet!  The reason I put up sites from all over is so you could go visit one close to you if you wanted to.
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 maidenofthesea

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2007, 08:52:52 PM »
Does anyone know right off any books (non-fiction) about being homosexual in the 1950's?
I've scoured the shelves and came up with little to nothing pre-Stonewall.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  :)


He made his way closer to Jack, when he passed a mirror and had to stop and comb his greasy dirty-blonde locks.

Thatís one down for the good guys, Jack thought gleefully. Bye-bye evil warthog!

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2007, 10:11:48 PM »
Does anyone know right off any books (non-fiction) about being homosexual in the 1950's?
I've scoured the shelves and came up with little to nothing pre-Stonewall.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  :)

Well, Edmund White's 'A Boy's Own Story' comes to mind immediately, as we did that in the book club.  It's 'fictionalized' but it's based on his life.

Does it have to be in the United States?  Quentin Crisp's 'Naked Civil Servant' covers that period too.

http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Civil-Servant-Penguin-Classics/dp/0141180536/ref=sr_1_1/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173502427&sr=1-1

'Coming Out Under Fire' by Allan Berube is about gays and lesbians in the armed services of the U.S. during W.W. II:

http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Under-Fire-Allan-Berube/dp/0743210719/ref=sr_1_1/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173502522&sr=1-1

'Gay New York, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890 - 1940' by George Chauncey is good too:

http://www.amazon.com/Gay-New-York-Culture-1890-1940/dp/0465026214/ref=pd_sim_b_2/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&qid=1173502522&sr=1-1

'Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities' by John D'Emilio covers gay culture and the homophile movement from 1940 - 1970:

http://www.amazon.com/Sexual-Politics-Communities-John-DEmilio/dp/0226142671/ref=pd_sim_b_1/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&qid=1173502522&sr=1-1

'Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965" by Nan Boyd:

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Open-Town-History-Queer-Francisco/dp/0520244745/ref=sr_1_1/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173503260&sr=1-1

And this one looks interesting, although I haven't seen it myself: 'Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics and Lipstick Lesbians':

http://www.amazon.com/Gay-L-Politics-Lipstick-Lesbians/dp/046502288X/ref=sr_1_2/103-7071639-7111031?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173503260&sr=1-2
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 killersmom

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2007, 11:35:42 PM »
Thank you Michael, one for starting this thread and two, for always being such a font of information.
It will take me a long time to get to all the reading and I plan on doing a lot of what you have linked, but i would also like to thank everyone who has posted here so far. All the answers vary as much as the individuals who answered the questions. I feel that will be the case with all who answer here.

I am admittedly woefully ignorant about any of the history except for the headline items and even then just the highlights. I hope that many more people read and post and answer and comment here. This is truly a wonderful repository of Gay History and I hope that folks from all over the world will do so as well.

Thanks again Michael and I am so glad we had that conversation that day I was visiting. I will be an avid reader and I hope that it will be OK to ask questions as the thread progresses. Thanks again to you and to all who have shared so much. As a straight woman who is involved in this forum, I think this is a very important place for me to gain the knowledge and understanding and history of so many of the people I have gotten to know here.

Thanks again to all and in advance to those yet to share.
Linda
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 11:46:03 PM by killersmom »
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2007, 11:41:49 PM »
Thanks Linda ^^^

Actually, one thing I was considering doing was looking through the library for articles from magazines on homosexuality from the 50s and 60s and reproducing them here.  I know there's one from 1955 about the Boise 'scandal' - how does that sound?

I'll be answering some of my other questions - and I've posted over in the 'over 40' and 'over 50' threads for input.  If you know people I should be asking, please let them know.

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 killersmom

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2007, 11:45:30 PM »
I would love to see the magazine articles you are talking about, Michael.
And if I run across anyone you might have missed (although I doubt it) I will spread the word.
Thanks again!
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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #54 on: March 09, 2007, 11:52:55 PM »
I would love to see the magazine articles you are talking about, Michael.
And if I run across anyone you might have missed (although I doubt it) I will spread the word.
Thanks again!

Actually I'd really like to get Jari, Catia, Phrag3, Brianr, tifferg and Conny in here so that we can have an international perspective.  U.S. history is really pretty different different from the rest of the world.

And any other people you (all) can think of - the more the merrier, imho.
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 killersmom

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2007, 12:23:02 AM »
I will  contact them and see if they are interested.
I'll send them the link to the thread.
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Offline conny

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2007, 01:14:51 AM »
yes got the pm from linda,without the link  ;),but found the thread myself  :)
i`m gonna answer the questions later today,when i have some spare time,and read some of the articles.always interesting to know more about how it all went in other countries.
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Offline Brokeback_1

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2007, 01:52:57 AM »
Michael, another poster PM'd me and said that while it was yours to suggest, HE suggested I date my answers to put them in some sort of context compared to others. This is a very good idea, mine were about 10-15 years later. And for a guy who was trained as an historian even if he never did history, that was a sad omission!!!!

At puberty-12- it was the year 1967. In one answer about a house party, age 18 would make it March, 1973. Highschool was between 1969 [fall] and 1973 [spring]. The age at which I started to trust older gay men as human beings was 22 [1977], the age at which that trust cemented with a great deal of love was 23 [1978]. If it wasn't for my old gay farts i would never have lived to see 30.[ 1985]
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 jack

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #58 on: March 10, 2007, 02:20:33 AM »
This is truly a wonderful repository of Gay History and I hope that folks from all over the world will do so as well.

it is indeed linda, and it is a tragic fact that much of our "tribal", in the sense of queer tribe, history and experience is about to be lost or is already all but lost, due to oppression, edited history, or most sadly, plague.

 I hope that it will be OK to ask questions as the thread progresses.
,
from my perspective linda, the questions move the dialogue.  aside from the fact that my memory is a jumbled thing at best   i don't think one ever really knows which bits and pieces of their life might be useful to record and share without being prodded a bit.  much of what has directed the course of my life i take for granted, while another far removed gay person or a heterosexual person might not have the slightest clue about.

the courting ritual in front of aguirre's trailer comes to mind as an example.  whether or not that is a courting ritual seems to be up for debate, but for gay men, particularly those of us of those times, the allusion (at the very least) is crystal clear.

keep those questions coming... and the same goes for you younger folks

jack
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Offline Brokeback_1

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2007, 03:18:20 AM »
I would like to know around what year 'out' gay men in the most sophisticated  cities felt safe from the tire iron; when men living in places like NY or Boston just knew that if they used the streetsmarts  any other person living there had, they'd be just fine.
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