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Connections, Vol. 2, No. 9, September 1980
File 011
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Connections, Vol. 2, No. 9, September 1980 - File 011. 1980-09. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 25, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1175/show/1168.

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.

(1980-09). Connections, Vol. 2, No. 9, September 1980 - File 011. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1175/show/1168

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.

Connections, Vol. 2, No. 9, September 1980 - File 011, 1980-09, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 25, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1175/show/1168.

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 Connections, Vol. 2, No. 9, September 1980
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date September 1980
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962584
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 10= CONNECTIONS WOODY EGGER LEAVES AUSTIN Woody Egger is a long-time Austin and Texas gay activist. He grew up in Mullin, Texas, which is near Brownwood. He was one of the organizers of Gay Community Services of Austin and was its General Coordinator at one time. The UT Law School graduate was one of the original incorporators of the Texas Gay Task Force. He served on the TGTF Board of Directors for three years, which helped tie Austin into the gay organizations and activities in the rest of the state. He eventually resigned from TGTF due to "strategy differences." Bgger is now moving to New York City. CONNECTIONS staffers Wayde Frey and Jim Olinger interviewed him the evening before his departure in late August, 1980. He expressed a need to leave Austin because he felt he was in a rut. "I also want to get away from people's expectations of me," he stated. "They can be impossible to live up to." CONNECTIONS: Now that you're leaving Texas behind, where do you see the Austin gay community heading? bgger: I see Austin as slowly growing, but apathetic. I find that frustrating. It's a catch-22. The more an activist screams and hollers, the more apathetic the gay community becomes. This results in a backlash of resentment among many closeted lesbians and gays. I think the prevalent attitude is "What do these gay activists want at the bar this time? Why doesn't everybody just dance, smoke a J and be happy?" Professional people who have made it on their own say "I don't need that gay civil rights organization. All I have to do is just keep my mouth shut. All anyone has to do is be discreet and they won't have any problems from being gay. CONNECTIONS: That attitude is known as "gay self- oppression . " egger: I've lived my life openly and actively. I think I have accomplished what I wanjfgd to do for myself as an openly gay person. The question I ask myself is "Why should I work hard for people who don't care?" Most gay activist organizations in Austin are not known that well in the gay community at large. You try so hard to do something as a group, such as XS, ALGPC, or TGTF, and 90% of the gay community doesn't know who you are, what you're doing, and doesn't really even care. CONNECTIONS: Lesbian and gay leaders are getting a loud and clear message from their constituents: "do nothing." egger: Unfortunately, yes. For people who are determined to "do something" anyway, gay activism has reached a fork in the road. .There are two different philosophies about how to proceed: the professional route or the grassroots route. Some people say we should conduct our gay activism on a professional basis or not at all. Others, and I'm one of them, maintain that grassroots activism is better than not doing anything. So which way do you go? Take every route possible. Success in the gay rights struggle will come neither through the legislature nor the courts, but through society. That's where my street activism comes in. I don't think most people have an accurate perception of me. My two sides have confused people. I can be radical or conciliatory. Bettie Naylor, Kathy Deitsch, and Rosella Kliewer of the Texas Gay Task Force and the Human Rights Advocates, didn't understand me. They couldn't go along with my "radical" approach to lobbying the Texas Legislature . I believed in pushing for a floor vote on the repeal of 21.06 (the "sodomy law.") Make the legislators bear the burden of being the bad guys, instead of putting the blame on gay groups. Make legislators take the heat for not voting for repeal. I caught a lot of flack from Bettie, Kathy, and Rosella for going into the visitors' gallery of the Legislature with a group of gay activists wearing black armbands. That only alienates those people who don't like you in the first place. When you don't have a chance anyway, go ahead and raise hell. I resigned from the TGTF Board because of differences with B, K, and R on strategy. Professional, closeted gays were advising not to push for repeal of 21.06. I believe each side needs the other. Some people have to raise hell. Others have to be more moderate, conciliatory, and work through the system. I can be radical or wear a suit and tie. I don't like confrontations, but they cause better results in the long run. CONNECTIONS: How do you feel about party politics right now? EGGER: I consider myself a moderate-liberal Democrat. I felt torn between Kennedy and Carter, but voted for Carter in the May 1980 primary. I'll probably vote for Carter in November, too, unless the Anderson com- paign appears to be really viable. If people feel both Carter and Reagan are so bad, they should vote for Anderson out of principle. v CONNECTIONS: Do you have any advice for Austin gay activists? egger: Wow! Well, keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight and keep all routes open. Sometimes an impromptu, emotional, impassioned speech works best. Other times, citing statistics and Kinsey studies influences people more. I believe in doing the unexpected - catch people off guard.
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