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Houston Voice, June 25, 2004
File 036
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Houston Voice, June 25, 2004 - File 036. 2004-06-25. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7265.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2004-06-25). Houston Voice, June 25, 2004 - File 036. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7265

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, June 25, 2004 - File 036, 2004-06-25, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7279/show/7265.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, June 25, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date June 25, 2004
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 036
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houslonvoice.com JUNE 25, 2004 3 HsoBnea Houston's Stonewall took place June 16,1977 Anita Bryant came to town and galvanized and empowered the gay community in Houston By BINNIE FISHER If God in his infinite wisdom had not created Anita Bryant, then gay activist Ray Hill said, "We would have had to invent her." Hill contends that it was the former runner-up Miss America who galvanized and empowered a gay and lesbian eommu- nity that did not exist before she traveled to Houston on June 16,1977 to sing to a bunch of lawyers. Bryant had evoked the ire of gay men and lesbians nationwide when she fought against a proposal in Miami, Florida to add sexual orientation to the city's list of protected minorities in hiring and housing. Bryant organized a group called, "Save Our Children" to fight the proposal. At the time, she was quoted as saying. "What these people (gays) really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that there is an acceptable alternate way of life." Fighting the gay rights movement became her mission. "I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before." She was right about that. In Houston in June of 1977, word got out that Bryant would be the featured entertainment at a convention of the Texas State Bar Association. A handful of activists (Houston only had a handful then) decided there should be a response. Nationwide, protests were being staged wherever Bryant went. More than that, since she was the spokesperson tor Florida i -range juice, boycotts of orange juice from Florida were being started everywhere. "A day without orange .juice is like a day without sunshine." Bryant would say with a smile in commercials to promote the product. Activists in Houston were what they could to fan the flames of :e boycott, and when Bryant was to appear in. Houston in person, Ray Hill said it was decided there would be an organized pro:. and the word ing spread, tin p ment enta- inted lu know how ma Since nothing on this 1 been 'di before, Hill said, he thought he should estimate conservatively The number he came up with was 500. Conservative may have been an Cay activists across the country wore buttons that proclaimed, 'No more orange juice from the un-shine state. understatement. When it was all said and done, Hill said, "The figure that was published at the time was 12,000, so I'll go with that." The plan was to march from a bar at McGowan and Brazos past the Hyatt Regency, where Bryant was performing, to I] for a rally. As the crowd swelled, it became obvious that the number 500 indeed conservative. Police ordered marchers to stick to the sidewalks on either side of the stn "the gay florists had brought flov anil they v. ut field flowers along the way" Hill said. At the Hyatt, one column went down Smith and another down Louisia that protestors would file on both sides of ihe hotel, 'At the Hyatt, some began marching around the building." Hill said. "Anita Although no one in Houston threw a pie at Anita Bryant like the one she cleaned off her face in Des Moines, Iowa, gay men and lesbians staged a protest against her. AS BIGASTEXAS was performing in the Atrium. They couldn' chanting so loudly." At one point, Hill said, a group of ACLU lawyers walked out of the convention in support of the protest When the group had made their . known at the Hyatt, the marchers continued toward downtown for the rally. One of the speakers was Ray Hill. "I had never seen that many queers in one place before." he said. Hill remembers that he told the protestors, "Look around because none of you have seen this many of us in one place before. Look around and see how beautiful we are." He felt it appropriate to give thanks where thanks were due saying, "1 want to thank Anita Bryant for bringing us together." On the way back from City Hall, Hill said, the mood was exuberant. "The trip down had been angry" he recalled. "All that anger had dissipated. Coming back, everyone was in an entirely different mindset." Glancing at the side of the street, Hill said he saw a pair of blue legs and blue arms wrapped around an enormous bouquet of flowers.. The legs and arms belonged to a female police officer who had been handed flowers by the hundreds of protestors walking away from the rally. Hill said he asked her if she was having a good time. She replied, "Yes sir. I'm having the best time of my life." June 16, 1977 was a turning point. Hill said. "That was the night we became a community. The night Anita came to Houston, unless you were there, it's hard to get a grip on what that meant to us. The day before Anita Bryant came to Houston. Hill said, there was a handful of organizing gay activists. A day later, he said, "There were hundreds." Bryant emerged from the 1970s in financial trouble and in ruin as an entertainer. In recent years. Hill said. his thoughts toward her have softened. "We really ought to raise funds and take care of her." he said. "She brought us together." Gay activist Ray Hill was an organizers of the Anita Bryant protest in Houston.
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