BEGINS SIXTH YEAR—IN TROUBLE
by Wayde Frey
Austin's oldest lesbian/gay organization is five
Since opening its doors August 1, 1975, Gay Community Services has served hundreds of lesbians and gay men
in Austin and in Texas.
GCS is Texas' oldest and virtually only gay telephone
hotline. San Antonio's gay hotline comes and goes. Houston's Gay Political Caucus phone line makes referrals to
Houston professionals, but does not offer peer counseling.
Dallas' gay line is a taped message announcing activities
in Dallas gay circles.
Some of the names that are associated with GCS'
founding and early years are Woody Egger, Wayde Frey,
Tommy Ingram, Robert Crane, Roy Loessin, Scott Lind,
Casey Jones, Randy Conner, Ellen Rayfield, Mark Schmitz,
Dan (Puckett) Transmission, Arrme Hogan, Caryn McLane, Art
Morris, and Troy Stokes.
GCS grew out of Austin Gay Liberation, which occasionally met at the University Y from 1969 to 1972, and
Gay People of Austin which met at the University Y in
Some highlights of GCS' first five years were the
opening of the office and gay hotline in 1975; the adoption of the GCS constitution in 1976; the founding of the
newspaper GAY AUSTIN (CONNECTIONS' predecessor) in 1976;
the GCS leadership of Austin's Gay Pride Parade in.1976;
the hosting of Texas Gay Conference IV in Austin in 1977;
and the 13-week airing of Austin's first-and-still-only
weekly gay radio program, A Different Drummer, produced
by GCS and the Austin Gay Radio Collective on KUT-FM in
As GCS enters its sixth year of operations, membership and involvement are at an all-time low. Perhaps
people see no need for a strong lesbian/gay network in
Austin, since we have it so comfortable here. Police har
rassment is rare and good vibes and pleasant scenery are
abundant. Yet, a few of us continue the XS tradition of
service and friendship to the community. Not everyone has
a supportive group of friends who love them and understand
their gay lifestyle. For those who need to get to know
some other gay person like themselves - any gay person -
and for those who need the simple assistance of directions
to the nearest gay bar, bath, church, or bookstore, XS
is there. People who call or come by XS appreciate the
friendliness and peer counseling or referral services they
receive. No one else offers what XS offers. The need
is real. Even people in Houston and San Antonio call
Austin's XS for advice, information, or encouragement.
XS meets some of the socializing and counseling needs
of many lesbians and gays who are just coming out, including
teenagers. Many pre-teen girls and boys also call us.
The Coordinating Council is currently defining XS
membership in more detail and is discussing ways of attracting new members. Lots of people continue to call XS,
although we have only been able to keep the office open on
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer of 1980 due to a shortage of volunteers.
XS has had to get along without a general, coordinator
and secretary since the fall of 1979, almost a year now.
We need volunteers to fill many positions: a social
chairperson to organize parties for XS folks; a media
person to get PSA's for the organization on radio, on TV,
and in the straight media; a Y liaison to keep the University Y and XS in touch with each other; and a fundraising
person for our numerous expenses.
In addition, advertising representatives are needed
to sell ads on a 35% commission basis for CONNECTIONS,
the XS newspaper.
Help us keep a much-needed and appreciated community
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