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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 307962 times)

Offline fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2007, 09:39:16 AM »
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 had never heard of the incident in Boise, Michael, so I am looking forward to some info about it. I've got a cousin who lives there, though she moved there only about 15 or so years ago.

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Offline phrag3

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2007, 09:53:29 AM »
Well, I won't be much help here with respect to the Canadian perspective because I was still in highschool during these times and although I knew I liked boys, I really didn't know much more than that. I lived in an even smaller city than Winnipeg, then, and if there was any type of Gay life, I knew not about it.

Perhaps in the next "era" I will be able to say more, but still, except for those who lived in the larger Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, there likely will be little to relate to.

Dan


Offline desertrat

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2007, 10:21:25 AM »
not sure whether my contribution is of any value here - if it isn't, please just ignore me. when i was in school, in the 80ties and 90ties, we weren't taught about homosexuality at all. there was a lot of focus on AIDS since it was the "high time" of the epidemia, but homosexuality was not a topic of discussion. however, we were given a lot of freedom in choice of topics to discuss. a lesbian friend of mine (who went to the same school) started discussions about female homosexuality and women's liberation in her class and she had a female literature teacher who was very willing to read the right books and discuss. unfortunately we had another teacher, and she was more into german poets  :-\.
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Offline jack

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #63 on: March 10, 2007, 11:56:53 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.
i'll let you know when and where that occurs realistically, as soon as it happens jack.
"through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall..."

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #64 on: March 10, 2007, 01:23:29 PM »
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.

i'll let you know when and where that occurs realistically, as soon as it happens jack.

LOL!  What he said! ^^^

Actually this would be much later than the Stonewall era for me.  I had knives pulled on me in the 80s.  The last time I had things thrown at me out of moving cars was in the 90s.  So somewhere around then for me.

Of course, being somewhat nihilistic, I never really let it stop me anyway.  ;D
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 Sandy

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #65 on: March 10, 2007, 02:17:56 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
There was a book about it called, "The Boys of Boise," but I haven't seen it for years.

I had never heard of the incident in Boise, Michael, so I am looking forward to some info about it. I've got a cousin who lives there, though she moved there only about 15 or so years ago.



Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2007, 03:14:56 PM »
Time Magazine
Monday, Dec. 12, 1955
'Crime' section - pg. 25
Idaho Underworld

Boise, Idaho (pop. 50,000), the state capital, is usually thought of as a boisterous, rollicking he-man's town, and home of the rugged Westerner. In the downtown saloons of the city a faint echo of Boise's ripsnorting frontier days can still be heard, but its quiet residential areas and 70 churches give the city an appearance of immaculate respectability. Recently, Boiseans were shocked to learn that their city had sheltered a widespread homosexual underworld that involved some of Boise's most prominent men and had preyed on hundreds of teen-age boys for the past decade.

In a succession of arrests and hearings that rocked Boise, those formally charged included Joe Moore, 54, vice president of the Idaho First National Bank, Attorney Paris T. Martin, 44, John Calvin Bartlett, 28, a high-school teacher in a nearby town, as well as a clerk in a haberdashery, a hospital orderly, a liquor salesman, two interior decorators, a warehouseman, and a buyer for a women's store. Last week Ralph Cooper, 33, a shoeshine boy and ex-convict, was sentenced to life in prison. Interior Decorator Charles H. Gordon, 40, got 15 years. Two other defendants pleaded guilty to committing "infamous crimes against nature." Other arrests and hearings are expected this week.

The scandal was uncovered by Howard Dice, a private detective, after one boy's parents found out what had been going on. In the course of their investigation, police talked with 125 youths who had been involved. All were between the ages of 13 and 20. Usually, the motive—and the lure—was money. Many of the boys wanted money for maintenance of their automobiles (Idaho grants daylight driving permits to children of 14, regular licenses to 15-year-olds). The usual fees given to the boys were $5 to $10 per assignation.

This week the shocked community and the state began a rehabilitation program for the boys. Social workers began to investigate each case, to work out any family problems. A citizens' committee representing virtually every organization in Boise began a campaign to get after-school jobs for the boys, and a special team of psychiatrists will arrive this week from Denver, at the expense of the State Board of Health, to treat the young victims.

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 #67 on: March 10, 2007, 03:39:10 PM »
Time Magazine
Monday, Jan. 02, 1956
Adult Responsibility

In a Boise courtroom last week, five more men were sentenced to prison in the city's shocking homosexual scandal (TIME. Dec. 12) in which scores of boys were involved as victims. Joe Moore, vice president of the Idaho First National Bank and a leading citizen, got seven years, and four others drew terms ranging from six months to ten years.

Dr. John L. Butler, chief of Idaho's Department of Mental Health, had publicly opposed sentencing the homosexual adults to prison terms: "We have to build up community supports for them," he said. "One alternative might be to let them form their own society and be left alone." Judge Merlin S. Young disagreed. In sentencing one of the men, the judge said: "As an adult, you have an obligation to the youth of the community."

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 #68 on: March 10, 2007, 03:47:37 PM »
The following is from the website 'History of Sodomy Laws in the United States' [http://www.sodomylaws.org/sensibilities/idaho.htm]

There are three reported cases from the Idaho Supreme Court resulting from the infamous "Boys of Boise" affair.38 This now-legendary affair caused one of the most virulent anti-Gay witch hunts in history. The first two cases were decided a week apart in 1956. In State v. Moore,39 the conviction of banker Joe Moore unanimously was upheld as was the right of the trial court to refuse the testimony of a second psychiatrist on behalf of the defendant, after having allowed one to testify.40 The Court also noted that Moore had been involved in "homosexual activity" over a period of "twelve or thirteen years," thus justifying the penitentiary sentence.41 The Court apparently overlooked the fact that, over this 12-13 year period, Moore never had gotten into trouble, and his sexual relations all apparently were consensual.

38 John Gerassi, The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice and Folly in an American City, (New York:Collier, 1968). Gerassi gives excellent coverage to the news in Boise, as well as to the historical background into what makes Idaho and Boise what they are today, but does not discuss the link between the history and the scandal. The fascinating social history of Idaho is found in pages 129-162. This scandal only barely was discussed in the Mattachine Review and even then with more sympathy for the prosecutors. See the issues of February 1956, pages 2 and 20; and April 1956, page 2.

39 304 P.2d 1101, decided Dec. 4, 1956. Rehearing denied Jan. 9, 1957. The Moore and Wilson cases are not listed in the Idaho Digest. Gerassi’s book details the two appeals on pages 171-173. Any pretense about the charges the men in Boise faced was destroyed by the state’s Attorney General. In the Thirty-Third Biennial Report of the Attorney General of Idaho, page 19, the criminal charges faced by Moore and Wilson were listed as "homosexuality." This was repeated in the following biennial report, page 20.

40 Moore, at 1103.

41 Id. at 1104. Moore was paroled June 4, 1958 and released from parole supervision a little over a year later. (Correspondence from Mark Carnopis, Public Information Officer, Idaho Department of Corrections, Jan. 22, 1997).

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 fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2007, 03:50:53 PM »
This is an entirely new bit of history to me, Michael. Thanks!

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2007, 03:56:50 PM »
Also check out this article on a similar witch hunt that went on in Sioux City, Iowa in Sept. 1955
[full article at: http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/iowa/ianews03.htm]

Guilty Until Proven Straight
After Two Children Were Brutally Murdered, Police Incarcerated 22 Innocent Men in a Mental Hospital. Their Crime? They Were Gay.
Boston Phoenix, February 7-14, 2002
126 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215
Fax: 617-536-1463
Email: letters@phx.com
By Neil Miller
It was late in the afternoon on the last Thursday in September, 1955. The sedan in which they were passengers turned off a two-lane highway outside a small town in the hilly country of southeast Iowa, near Burlington. The automobile continued down a drive lined with shade trees. For a moment it had seemed as if it were the approach to an English country house, one like they had seen in the movies—the gracious avenue, the well-tended lawns, the benches dotting the grounds. But that was not the case. Instead the car halted in front of a stark, four-story concrete structure whose institutional wings twisted behind in either direction.

Doug Thorson and Duane Wheeler emerged from the rear of the automobile and were led through an inconspicuous side entrance into the main building of the Mount Pleasant State Mental Hospital.

The men had been traveling all day from Sioux City. They hadn’t eaten throughout the entire 10-hour journey, permitted to stop only to go to the bathroom. Doug and Duane carried no suitcases. They were dressed in the same clothes they had been wearing the day they had been arrested three weeks before, charged with conspiracy to commit a felony.

(article continues online)
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 #71 on: March 10, 2007, 04:45:52 PM »
Thanks for your comment Fritz - it's an interesting era (glad I didn't have to deal with this sort of thing).  Here's a website for a documentary associated with the events in Idaho:

http://www.fallof55.com/

And there is a podcast associated with the film here:

http://132.178.236.111/stations/npr/fridayfocus.asp?link=1

And here's a review of the film from the Boise Weekly:

http://www.boiseweekly.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A162552
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 04:58:20 PM by michaelflanagansf »
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 fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2007, 05:12:20 PM »
The Sioux City incident is a new one to me too. And I have read some histories and seen documentaries, so I'm kind of surprised. Of course, perhaps they were mentioned in passing, and I just didn't notice.

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #73 on: March 10, 2007, 05:35:12 PM »
Another interesting case is the case of Bayard Rustin.  Rustin was a pacifist and a war resister in WWII.  He was arrested for 'sex perversion' in 1953:

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

And singer Johnnie Ray was arrested in 1951 and 1959:

http://www.glbtq.com/arts/ray_j.html
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 #74 on: March 10, 2007, 07:59:54 PM »
Thanks Michael! I saved all the links!  :) :-*


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