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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980
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Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 11. January 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 13, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2127.

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.

(January 1980). Houston Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 11. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2127

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 Breakthrough, January 1980 - Page 11, January 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 13, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2148/show/2127.

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 Breakthrough, January 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date January 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 11
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_556ak.jpg
Transcript Miriam Edelman Psychotherapist and Human Relations Consultant in Private Practice Dear Friend: Let's see. If this were an epic the story would start in the middle, right? Instead, I think today is a good opener. Having breakfast and lunch with you was a treat and walking with you after lunch to photograph the fall colors and smell the crisp air made me very happy. I hope that little round tallow with the green, gold, red and wine leaves comes out well. As for ten years ago . . . 1970: I remember joking my way through grad school about trading in my Mrs for an MSW. I get the degree and begin part-time in a counseling agency. In August comes the first vacation in 17 years of marriage and the discovery of why they were avoided all these years. Returning to Houston I find myself needing a real "thinking" vacation. By myself for two days, I become aware of the quality I want in a relationship. It has to do with appreciation, caring, fun. This is distinctly different from the past, when I kept trying to become an elusive something someone else wants. One week later comes the separation and mention of the unmentionable—divorce—about which I am unable to think sanely or talk coherently. January, 1971: I take my kids to New York (my first and only visit since coming to Texas in 1954) to attend my aunt and uncle's Golden Wedding anniversary. I feel the need to be close to family and let my children have this chance, too. Besides, this way I can personally tell the relatives about the coming divorce. It helps. It makes it easier for me to believe. Staying at my cousin's in the hilly countryside helps, too. The sight and silence of the snow form a natural meditation space. My soul heals somewhat in that clear, clean cold. Then, comes February and I try my hand at a sculpture class offered by Mary Narum at the Unitarian Fellowship. I see you there for the first time. You walk in. I like the way you move; you clearly know what you're about in the way you set your easel in place. You begin sketching. I'm fascinated, watching you make art. / still am. Can someone who looks so good also be a person I'd want to know? Months later, one of my daughters puts it well. "Mom, do you think you'd like Don as much if he weren't such a gorgeous hunk?'. I answer that the way we treat each other —with respect—matters most in how I feel —and add that I certainly don't hold it against you that you're so good-looking. In late 1973 I decide to run my own therapy shop and go into private practice the following January. Many colleagues express apprehension, but you cheer me on, knowing it's what I need to do. Meanwhile, the two of us are evolving, entering into a growing synergy. For a long time we like what we are together so much that we're afraid marrying might make us lose something. We wait until we both know and can feel joyful. That takes six years. Then, on Ground Hog Day (that's another story) of 1977 we marry, having reached the point where (thank you Frank, for the expression) we've managed to get 10 out of 12 squirrels up the same tree. I guess the biggest changes, Don, have been my becoming more my own person with a strong sense of your being for me, as I am for you. That, and the l.r., the laugh ratio. Surely, there've been more laughs in this time than in all my life before. I look forward to many more. I trust there'll always be one more squirrel to work on. Mickey Leland U. S. Representative The sixties and early seventies was the most highly energized period for young blacks who were involved in the struggle. There was a mixed bag of militant activists and civil rights activists, but the consciousness of Houston and America was heightened at that time in terms of its sensitivity for the plight of blacks, particularly, but also the anti-Vietnam struggle. This period saw the beginning of all the liberation movements. It was an exciting but very difficult and frustrating-and many times depressing-era but the movement still offered a lot of people, a lot of hope. Ten years ago, I was active in the antiwar movement and helped organize the big spring demonstration held at the University of Texas where students went on strike, protesting a year of killings at Kent State and Jackson State and the invasion of Cambodia. Thirty thousand students on strike. Thousands more in the streets of Austin. It was the largest demonstration ever to take place in the state of Texas. Ten years ago, I was graduating from Texas Southern University and was hired to teach there as an instructor in clinical pharmacy. But at the same time I had some outside activities going. I was still working very hard to establish free health clinics in the indigent communities and helped establish the Medical Committee for Human Rights for that purpose. I was also speaking at a lot of high schools about drug abuse and racism. In 1970, I was beaten by the Houston police, the night they shot and killed Carl Hampton. Carl was a young, feisty black leader in the militant movement trying to establish a Black Panther party here. He did organize the People's Party 2 in the meantime, and they tried to establish a free health clinic. They were poor, young people who probably would not have been involved otherwise. They were devoted to doing things in the struggle and I appreciated that. The night of July 26, some 300 police, were moving in on the headquarters of PP2 on Dowling Street. I was trying to get folks off the street since the police had taken over that part of the commun- munity and were beating people indiscriminately. I was with Kelton Sams, a friend who yelled to me to jump in his car because the police were after me. They pulled his car over, pulled me out, beat the hell out of me with a riot gun and arrested me for vagrancy. (I was on the TSU faculty, then. They held me for over 12 hours and withdrew the charges the next day.) In jail, that night, the guards were on the PA system and we heard things like "Those monkeys were beaten down," and finally "Thank God, that nigger was killed." That's how I found out about Carl Hampton. Ten years ago (1969), I entered politics for the first time. I quit school for a semester to work as campaign manager for the Rev. C. Leon Everett, and his election to the school board. That was the first time Curtis Graves, a black, ran for mayor and Leonel Castillo, a Mexican- American, ran for City Controller. I worked in all of their campaigns. I was still basically radically-oriented. My rhetoric was radical. When single-member districts were drawn up for legislature seats in Harris County I organized a campaign, ran and won a seat in the Texas House in 1972. I used my early political career as a forum to heighten the contradictions of the system—to show the hypocricies. how poor people were suffering at the hands of the wealthy who profited from the labors of the poor. In the beginning I was tremendously adamant about my philosophies and did not communicate very well with people opposed to my philosophic views. Today, I'm still to the left of the political spectrum but I'm a little more tolerant. I recognize that means of communicating must be open to all philosophies. I have to work with a lot of people to get my ideas across, because we don't gain very much out of the system, otherwise... Well, we don't gain very much even with that, but at least our ideas are documented and considered. Ten years ago, people were participating at much higher levels and, now, many of those activists are quieted— either absorbed in their work and personal lives or totally disenchanted with the struggle. They didn't see any results. Things got worse. They saw no strong leadership stepping out front, challenging the right wing analysis of this country. Some of us, in Congress and in other appointed and elected positions are trying to revitalize this struggle. <mm* ZS&ftimmmm* n&f*ifW+9&.-Z*+j.m+< ■vtt*tiHtmi XlVSiXnttfm, I can't for the life of me understand why I thought the Vietnam war should have been fought, nor why I donated money to Nixon's re-election campaign. — Gary Van Ooteghem Gary J. Van Ooteghem Gay Rights Activist Ten years ago. Doesn't sound like much time, does it? Yet, for me, it seems like a lifetime past. The man I am today doesn't resemble the man I was nearly a quarter of my life earlier, except in body. Certainly not in mind and spirit! The hair I started losing a decade ago is now mostly gone. My hard stomach has softened. Corrective lenses now rest under my eyelids rather than over them. I can't for the life of me understand why I thought the Vietnam war should have been fought, nor why I donated money to Nixon's re-election campaign. Today I have more friends, smile more, and work harder. I no longer dream of success, but rather work towards it. The new decade of the 1970's saw me leaving a good job as a senior auditor with the Chicago-based CPA firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. to become controller of several Chicago-based hedge funds. More material gain flowed into my pockets during these early years of the 1970's than during any other time before or since. The single most important lesson I learned during the entire decade also happened then: the value of organization. (Arthur Andersen & Co., I can't thank you enough.) •rrwii»regaflri*a^^ ^*y^&r&j£****>*^ :"^^-a^W/W&?;**^^ mniml^^^imrSSfm I fell in love with Houston on New1 Year's Day, 1974. Three more return trips during the year would only confirm- this. I began the second half of the decade by moving to Houston on January 4, 1975. From this point on, my life began': a rapid transformation as I personally! learned about the high cost of civil rights. In mid-1975, then-Treasurer Hartsell Gray fired his Comptroller of the Harris County Treasury, me, over my right to speak before Commissioners Court on the matter of the civil rights of gays. While not angry immediately following my firing, that was not the case later as economic contraction after economic contraction set in. I channeled that anger into creating an organization that would eventually become powerful enough to stop this type of injustice from happening again. Today that organization, Gay Political Caucus, stands strong, proud, and has power sufficient to influence elections. And GPC stands squarely behind all people's rights, too, not just those who are gay. GPC was not the only organization that I was involved with, just the first. My joy of the decade has been watching GPC and several other organizations special to me grow in stature, pride, and professionalism. Doing so, I might add, in the face of near-impossible odds. Since that firing occurred, I have become poorer and richer than ever before. In wealth that is measured in dollars and cents, I can be measured only on the cents scale. A poor man by some people's standards. But in wealth that is measured in happiness, few can claim to be richer. As for the new decade we enter, I enter it with a positive attitude: things will j get better. The challenging and exciting ; 80's will be just that. Wait and see. ,i HOUSTON BR EAKTH R 0 U G H 11 ./DECEMBER/JANUARY 1980