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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 294745 times)

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1545 on: March 03, 2017, 12:51:20 PM »

You're not kidding, Fritz!

When I was working at Virgin Megastore in 2007 Kent McCord came in and I waited on him.
I wanted to tell him I had a crush on him when Adam-12 came out in 1968, but I didn't. I
had just seen an episode of Laugh-In where he and Martin Milner appeared as their Adam-12
characters, so I mentioned that instead. He fondly recalled doing that, and I said, "You don't
look any older than when you did that." (He chuckled.) I said, "How did I grow up to be older
than you?"

Really, he could have done Adam-12 in 2007 and looked the same as he did nearly 40 years
earlier!

When I was looking for a photo to post above, I noticed something I never knew.  In 1990 there
were two seasons (52 episodes total) of both The New Adam-12 and The New Dragnet that aired
in syndication, with different actors, of course. That never crossed my path in any way!

Offline killersmom

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1546 on: March 31, 2017, 09:11:54 PM »
Gilbert Baker, Creator of the Rainbow Flag, International Symbol of LGBTQ Pride, Has Died at 65

Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag, has died at 65.

Baker created the flag for the 1978 Pride march in San Francisco, known then as the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.

Activist Cleve Jones posted the sad news to Facebook, writing: “I am heartbroken. My dearest friend in the world is gone. Gilbert gave the world the Rainbow Flag; he gave me forty years of love and friendship. I can’t stop crying. I love you forever Gilbert Baker.”


http://www.towleroad.com/2017/03/gilbert-baker/
As the years pass you forget about your age, because inside, you always stay the same.
Sally Field

Offline Paul029

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1547 on: July 27, 2017, 12:17:14 PM »
50th Anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act
The Sexual Offences Act 1967 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It received royal assent on 27 July 1967 after an intense late night debate in the House of Commons.

The Act partially decriminalized homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to have attained the age of 21. The Act applied only to England and Wales and did not cover the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces. Homosexual acts were decriminalised in Scotland by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 and in Northern Ireland by the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982.

Male homosexuality had been illegal in England since the Buggery Act of 1533 (Female homosexuality was never specified). The law became a lot stricter in 1885 with the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which made indecency between males illegal, even those carried out in private. While “indecency” was not defined, in effect any sexual activity between men became a crime. In practice, the law was used broadly to prosecute male homosexuals where actual sodomy could not be proven. This was dubbed by lawyers the “blackmailer’s charter.” (This was the Act under which Oscar Wilde in 1895, and Alan Turing in 1952, were charged and convicted of gross indecency.)

After WWII, arrests and prosecutions for homosexuals increased and, by the end of 1954, there were 1069 men in prison in England and Wales for homosexual acts.

Following a number of high-profile trials in which a succession of well-known men, including cryptographer Alan Turing and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, were convicted of homosexual offences (the subject of sensationalist reporting in the popular press), the Conservative government set up a Departmental Committee in 1954 under Sir John Wolfenden to consider both homosexual offences and prostitution.

The 1957 Wolfenden Report made a crucial distinction between private actions and public order. Wolfenden proposed that it should not be the function of the law to regulate private behaviour that did not harm anyone else, however distasteful others might find it. The position was summarised by the Wolfenden committee as follows: “Unless a deliberate attempt be made by society through the agency of the law to equate the sphere of crime with that of sin, there must remain a realm of private that is in brief, not the law's business” (Wolfenden Report, 1957).

In practice that meant the decriminalisation of consensual male homosexuality and, by extension, of other forms of activity that could be regarded as essentially private, individual choices. In other words, that “homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should be no longer a criminal offence.”

The Montagu Trial

Of all the many cases which came before the courts, none caused as much stir as that involving Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

On two occasions Montagu was charged and committed for trial at Winchester Assizes, Hampshire, firstly in 1953 for having assaulted a 14-year-old boy scout at his beach hut on the Solent (the strait separating the Isle of Wight and mainland England) at his country estate, a charge he denied. Montagu was acquitted on the serious charge of committing an unnatural offence, but on the lesser charge of indecent assault the jury disagreed and the Director of Public Prosecutions decided that he should be tried again. Montagu described this as a witch hunt to secure a high-profile conviction.

He was arrested again on 9 January 1954, together with his friend Michael Wildeblood, at that time diplomatic correspondent with the Daily Mail, and Michael Pitt-Rivers, a Dorset landowner and Montagu’s cousin. Montagu had offered them the use of his beach hut for a holiday, and Wildeblood had brought with him two young RAF servicemen, his lover Corporal Edward McNally and John Reynolds, and on their first night in the hut, Montagu gave a weekend party to welcome them.

At the subsequent trial the two airmen (the “social inferiors” of the others) and under pressure from the authorities, received immunity in return for their incriminating testimony and named more than 20 other sexual partners, against whom no action was taken. They claimed there had been dancing and "abandoned behaviour" at the gathering. While Montagu argued they had only been drinking, dancing and kissing, he, Wildeblood and Pitt-Rivers were charged with “gross offences” with McNally and Reynolds both at the beach-hut near Beaulieu and at the Pitt-Rivers estate in Dorset.  The three men were also charged “conspiring to incite certain male persons to commit serious offences with male persons” (i.e. buggery).

During the trial, Wildeblood admitted his homosexuality to the court and both he and Pitt-Rivers were ultimately sentenced to 18 months in HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs for homosexual offences, Lord Montagu received a 12 months sentence and McNally and Reynolds were set free.

Unlike the public’s reaction to the outcome of the Wilde trial, the Montagu trial provoked a public outcry. Shifts of attitude were taking place, and the existence of public support for homosexuals was a new element of the Wildeblood case of the sort conventionally associated with the 1960s.  It was McNally and Reynolds who were jeered at by a crowd of perhaps two hundred, as they left the court. The small group of people, mainly women, who surrounded the car taking the new convicts away were conveying messages of support not condemnation, giving their thumbs-up and applauding.

The injustice of the law was condemned and the protests intensified with the publication of Wildeblood’s book on the case, Against The Law, an honest account which detailed his treatment at the hands of the law and the British establishment, brought to light the appalling conditions in Wormwood Scrubs, and encouraged campaigns for prison reform and for reform of law regarding homosexuality.
 
Probably the first book on homosexuality to reach a mass audience in Britain, Against the Law had a direct influence on the Wolfenden Committee, whose Report in 1957 recommended that homosexual acts between consenting adults in private be decriminalised in the UK.

Wildeblood's testimony to the Wolfenden committee was influential on its recommendations.

••••••••••••••••••••

In July 2007, Channel Four television in the UK broadcast a dramatisation of the events associated with the Montagu trial and its aftermath
in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967.

A Very British Sex Scandal is on YouTube here.

A Very British Sex Scandal tells the story of Peter Wildeblood, a royal correspondent for the Daily Mail newspaper in 1952. He was a closet homosexual and like many gay men at that time, lived in secret as homosexuality was against the law. One evening he met Eddie McNally, on leave from the air force, and the pair embarks on an affair. However, it is their weekend at the estate of Lord Edward Montagu which eventually leads to a scandal which rocked modern Britain and to a reconsideration of homosexuality and its eventual decriminalisation.

••••••••••••••••••••

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, and BBC Two is broadcasting Against the Law, another dramatisation of the events surrounding the trial as part of its Gay Britannia season.

The trailer is available on YouTube here.

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Offline Sara B

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1548 on: July 28, 2017, 09:55:54 AM »

Paul, this important anniversary has had a huge response from museums, galleries, theatres etc, and in the last couple of weeks on television and radio - I've set so many programs to record :). Tonight I'll start watching Against the Law, which I first read in my teens; I wish I hadn't lost my old Penguin copy.
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Offline Paul029

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1549 on: August 08, 2017, 07:29:21 AM »
The following article was published ten years ago in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act in the UK.

I’ve posted some extracts, but the complete article is available here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/jun/24/communities.gayrights

Coming out of the dark ages

For most people the Sixties was a time of sexual awakening and experimentation. But it wasn't until 1967 that gay and bisexual men could share that freedom. On the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we revisit the appallingly repressive atmosphere of the Fifties and Sixties that ruined lives, destroyed reputations and finally sparked a campaign for change.

Forty years ago in Britain, loving the wrong person could make you a criminal. Smiling in the park could lead to arrest and being in the wrong address book could cost you a prison sentence. Homosexuality was illegal and hundreds of thousands of men feared being picked up by zealous police wanting easy convictions, often for doing nothing more than looking a bit gay.

At 5.50am on 5 July 1967, a bill to legalise homosexuality limped through its final stages in the House of Commons. It was a battered old thing and, in many respects, shabby. It didn't come close to equalising the legal status of heterosexuals and homosexuals (that would take another 38 years). It didn't stop the arrests: between 1967 and 2003, 30,000 gay and bisexual men were convicted for behaviour that would not have been a crime had their partner been a woman. But it did transform the lives of men like Antony Grey, who had fought so hard for it, meaning that he and his lifelong partner no longer felt that every moment of every day they were at risk.

It is hard for us to imagine now how repressive was the atmosphere surrounding homosexuality in the 1950s. 'It was so little spoken about, you could be well into late adolescence before you even realised it was a crime,' says Allan Horsfall, who campaigned for legal change in the north west, where he lived with his partner, a headmaster. 'Some newspapers reported court cases but they talked of "gross indecency" because they couldn't bring themselves to mention it, so young people were lucky if they could work out what was going on.'

••••

For all that the law was draconian, it was also unenforceable. As a result, arrests often seemed to have an arbitrary, random quality. When Allan Horsfall became a Bolton councillor in 1958, he discovered that a public lavatory used for cottaging was well known to police and magistrates, yet there hadn't been a conviction in 30 years. On the other hand, there would be intermittent trawls through address books of suspected homosexuals, with the result that up to 20 men at a time would appear in the dock, accused of being a 'homosexual ring', even though many of them might never have met many of the others.

••••

... the maximum penalty for any man over 21 committing acts of 'gross indecency' (which included masturbation and oral sex) with a 16- to 21-year-old was increased from two years to five years. Same-sex relations were also legal only in private, which was interpreted, as Tatchell says, as being 'behind locked doors and windows and with no other person present on the premises'.

While sex may have been legal, most of the things that might lead to it were still classified as 'procuring' and 'soliciting'. 'It remained unlawful for two consenting adult men to chat up each other in any non-private location,' Tatchell says. 'It was illegal for two men even to exchange phone numbers in a public place or to attempt to contact each other with a view to having sex.' Thus the 1967 law established the risible anomaly that to arrange to do something legal was itself illegal.

We shouldn't think this provision was quietly ignored either. In 1989, during the Conservative campaign for family values, more than 2,000 men were prosecuted for gross indecency, as many as during the 1950s and nearly three times the numbers in the mid-Sixties.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 07:58:13 AM by Paul029 »
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Offline Paul029

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1550 on: August 10, 2017, 07:57:15 AM »
From The Guardian last month:

‘At last I felt I fitted in’: writers on the books that helped them come out.
50 years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality, 18 writers recall the books that first spoke to them of their lives and longings.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/01/book-helped-come-out-gay-edmund-white-sarah-waters-jeanette-winterson
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Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1551 on: August 10, 2017, 09:44:24 AM »
Hello Paul!   Thanks for the link, it was a very interesting read, and list of books!

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1552 on: August 10, 2017, 10:32:30 AM »

Do you guys have a choice for a book like that for yourselves?


Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1553 on: August 10, 2017, 10:57:07 AM »
Do you guys have a choice for a book like that for yourselves?


Ohhhhh, good question!


I actually do, however, it's not as "mature" or as "serious" as the books listed at the link.

The first time I allowed myself to wander into the gay/lesbian section of a bookstore, I walked out with this:





Stand-up comic Judy Carter speaks out--way out--in this entertaining and helpful guide to "being a homo". For gays and lesbians thinking about coming out, she provides a dose of courage; for those just out of the closet, she offers reaffirmation; and for the entire gay and lesbian population, she celebrates the joys and freedoms of just being yourself. 50 line drawings. Charts and worksheets throughout.


Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1554 on: August 11, 2017, 01:20:10 PM »

I'd never heard of that before, Chuck, sounds great!

For me, it was the novel The Front Runner, by Patricia Nell Warren.

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1555 on: August 11, 2017, 01:24:49 PM »
I'd never heard of that before, Chuck, sounds great!

For me, it was the novel The Front Runner, by Patricia Nell Warren.


Oh yes, I have that as well!

As for The  Homo Handbook, some  of the reviews says it doesn't hold up over time, or that it seems to be skewed for closeted lesbians, but I don't feel that way at all.   There are texts and comics in there that will make you laugh, and others that will make you think. 

Some of the "stretches" in it will also make you work.  :)

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1556 on: August 11, 2017, 02:30:51 PM »
 
:D