Gay Aust1r. is tn) .nor.tnly pubr1t:'l:if1on of Gay Community Sarv1cas. Th~ advcrt1s.
am.:ints you sac d1splay~o h3ram signify thas~ business' c..irr . .:mt s ... pport of
tn3v.on< oftha orqa.~izat1on. Gladly patron1"?:e thesd dStablishmcnts, butabove
all let tn~ pdOt>le knov. that you appr2c1at..! th ..d. r ~qual, op~n-n2artcd support.
Her~m is the dir~ctory of thcs~ supportivJ busmesses:
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Legal Clinic of Russell and Mahlab
50 l W. 12tn
Austin, Texas 78705
Dtctmber 28, 1977
Brothers and Sisters! As most of us have sometimt in our
lives, I had becomt disenchanted with Austin last summer. It
seemed to me that I knew tveryont in town and that everyone was
playing games or giving off unapproachable vibes. I had several
friends agreeing with me and some who wert planning to move away.
I thought that maybe that was my only alternative, so I traveled
to the West Coast to change my lift. Well, it certainly did, if
I thought Austin gays were involved in games and bad vibes, then
lord knows what level they were on in California. For some reason
I thought gayness was a common denominator that held us together
and I was surprised, but I was sJrprised on many counts. There
is a movement that is slowly changing the way things are but so
many gays don't want to be involved and that is a waste. There
are mapy levels of involvement, some arc in your head and others
are around you. Happiness is never in a place, California taught
me, it travels with you and if you Just open your eyes and quit
analysing, it settles around you like a second skin. I am sorry
that it took several traumas, heartbreaks and the like for me to
finally realize it. We are all in this together and I think it
is time we worked together. All of JS, regardless of our trips
can contribute to the betterment of the gay community. So next
time you are dished, or looked at strangely, or any of the other
cruelties we ·inflict on one another, forgive them and wrap yourself
up in your cloak of happiness, they know not what they
do. Thank the stars that you do! In love, peace and strength.
MANGROVE : the Trust of Touch
contact improvisation by men
by Kelly Kay
!mag ine two male dancers on the dance floor, posing
almost like statues, nonhuman. Gradually they come
together, intertwine, and move as one amorphous body
through the dancespace. Conscious only of his partner,
each yields to and then supports the partner's mass and
movement. Together they writhe like a conveyor belt
fallen from its track.
Imagine three male dancers lying face down on the
dancefloor, arching their backs and rocking in rhythm.
Their breathing is loud and sputtering. Wonderfully free
creatures, they are like great fishes or whales, each
paying homage to the others on the open sea.
!mag ine two male dancers standing on the dancefloor,
side by side, their shoulders quietly touching. Slowly,
one dancer turns to face the other, letting his droopy
head nudge the chest of his partner-the way a small
child might approach a parant for protective acceptance .
Imagine these moments, and you will imagine something
ofthe best of Mangrove, the San Fransisco-based
men's performance collective, 3 of whose 8 members
conducted workshops and performed at Studio D during
the first week of January.
The work of .v1angrove is contact improvisation. The
dancers do not perform planned choreography. Instead
they parform extamporan~ously, communicating with
each other onstage through physical contact.
The focal point of their work is the physical contact,
the touch. Men spontaneously touching men. Men interacting
with men through touch. And more importantly,
men trusting men enough to touch.
TalKing befort.l the performance, 1v1angrove member
John LeFan (a native Texan) explained that before working
with Mangrove he possessed a deep-seated fear of
men. He believes that our culture nurtures this fear in
all males .
During the dance, LeFan taK.es a sudden running leap
towards Byron Brown. From nowhere Brown's arms rise
to catch LeFan. Here there is no lack of trust, no fear.
The success of Mangrove rests largely upon each dancer's
becoming likewise vulnerable, always with the
knowledge that he may depend upon the others for support
and freedom from exploitation.
Significantly, these man-to-man physical dependencies
never become erotic. Sensual, yes; erotic, no.
Mangrove's message is not only that men need not fear
each other, but also that physical trust and touch need
not imply eroticism. This is the message that all too
many Austinites missed through their absence from the
An innocence of touch and a pure sensuality were
especially apparent in the duet work of dancers LeFan
and Rob Faust. Their work together was all the more
striking for the physical contrast between the two: Faust,
a tall, athletically handsome and gentle Aryan; LeFan,
a much smaller, fiery dark-haired dancer, whose solo
work resembled Bacchanalian revelry. LeFan, of the
three, always seemed the most comfortable, the most
The third dancer, Byron Brown, seemed too intellectual,
too eager to play for la ughs, too ready to break a
tender moment of movement, and really lacking in spontaneity
at times. All too often he would open his mouth
to speak, encouraging the others to do the same. Then
the movement would become subordinate to the dialogue,
which was usually mindless anyway, and the beauty of
the dance would wither for too long a tune.
Green deep, forest in the day
where the light runs sapling
bright in leprechaun cheerfulness
thoughts racmg like the autumn leaves
in a sunny wind
like squirrels chasing through spring
Forest thought in your eyes
1n your eyes in your hair
light vibrant you smile
weightless fire dancing in the wind
~ Family ,v1atter: ~ Par...!nts' Guide to Homos2xualitv,
by Dr. Charles Silverstein .• .itcGraw-Hil~, 1977. $8.9;:i.
Every gay person is confronted at one t1111e or other
with the prospect of t2llmg his/her parents he or she is
gay. To most people, the idea ls not a pleasant on.;.
On th.:! o . ...! hand is the fear that Mom and Dad won't und2rsta.
1d, that they will be hostile or confused or hurt
so badly that it would seem better not to ha vc told them
at all; on the other hand is the fearthat they won'tcare,
that th~y suspectea all along orar.; 1ndiffer...!nt anyway,
with th.:! result bemg a faeling of anticlimax and the
sinking realization that all those years of fear and intrigue
were endured for nothing.
For many parents, L•lc sudden knowledge that their
child is gay can be quite distressing. Often with little
warning, they ar.; forced to acknowledge that their child,
v.hom they feel they Know better than anyone else m the
world, has a whole other side, unKnownandundiscussad
and uncharted, whichtlicymust recognize as a very large
and real aspect of nis/har character.
Coming out is difficult for all concerned, and adding
to the strain is the fact that tradit10Pally not much has
been said about the ritual of coming out except in gossip
Finally someone has had the good sense to write a
book, a "parents' guide to homosexuality" which- ostensibly-
will help to ease the burden of coming out for
both parents and children . Dr. Charles Silverstein's A
Family J'-1atter is the first really systematic and profes:
s10nal aLtempt to discuss this aspect of homosexuality
from the family's point of view, and as such it is long
Unfortunately,~ Family 1v1atter is not nearlyas successful
as the urgency of the subJect demands. It falls
far, far short of its intentions, and the reason , oddly
enough, concerns Silverstein's misuse of the vast amount
of information he has at his disposal.
Silverstein seems more interested in rattling on about
his owP (usually irrelevant) experiences and observations
than in providing a clear and concise guide for
For example, he wastes the better part of two chapters
showing us how closely twentieth - century attitudes towards
homosexuality parallel antiquated, nineteenth century
notions about "sinful" masturbati:m . The ana logy
surely is a good one, but to spend two chapters on
it when there is such a vast amount of more crucial information
indicates a severe lapse of judgment on Silverstein's
part. Most parents reading this book will be
going through an extremely unsettling period, and they
will not be very receptive to the notionof takinga leisurly
stroll through the annals of psychoanalytic history
at such a time.
The major part of the book consists of case histories
of children comi.1g out to their parents, ta1<en from Silverstein's
own files. In theory, this is a very good idea.
Parents need to realize that they are not alone in their
situauon, and they could learn much by observing how
other parents react when they discover their child is gay.
Unfortunately, Silverstein does not select the most
appropriate studies, nor does he present them in a very
effective context. He sketches his subjects in vaguely
and so poorly that even the mostempathetic readerwould
be hard put to feel much for any of the people in the
author's deadpan accounts. Silverstein takes great
pa ms to annotate each case with insightful and compassionate
comments, but they are wasted, because he is
1ust not literary enough to present real, sympathetic
And in at least two of the cases, Silverstein seems
to present the studies because they are the bizarrest in
his files, despite the fact that more typical cases would
be so much more useful. One study tells of a man in his
SO's, who has been taking testosterone injections for
two years. He tells Silverstein that he has been in the
closet for decades, and would not even come out when
his son made the confession that he was gay. The whole
case study comes off like a very bad Neil Simon comedy,
and it certainly presents very little that is relevant to
the typical family grappling with the typical coming out .
Another case, dealing with a family of Orthodox Jews,
is a grim little story that does nothing so much as churn 4
the stomach . Middle America, it seems, does not exist
in Silverstein's experience .
There is no telling why Silverstein pass~s up so great
an opportunity for enlightenment and again opts for leftfield
examples and useless information; perhaps these
people are his favorite clients, perhaps (and this is more
plausible than it should be!) they are his only clients .
Whoever they are, they definitely are not included with
the best interests of the largest number of families in
mina. Nothing but confusion can result fr':>m their inclusion.
Ironically, Silverstein holds back his most sensible,
general family-oriented advice until the last few pages,
and then he addresses the whole chapter to the 92.Y child
instead of to the parents , for whom the book ostensibly
is written! Another dubious use of potentially helpful
In the last chapter, Silverstein includes a little disclaimer
concerning the spottiness of h is book. "You
may already have noticed the omission of topics that you
feel are important," he says. "These omissions aredeliberate
.. . Why haven't I written more ... ? Because
it's your JOb . " This is the famous cop-out my fourthgrade
classmates used to use when they gave a book report
on a book they never read. "If you want to know
how it comes out, read it yourself!"
Th.:l topic of homosexuality is truly "a family matter"
and 1t 1s too deeply entrenched in each family's unique
and complex history to be untangled by even the best
lay psychology book; on this point, at least, Silverstein
is correct. Still, people look to books in difficult times
for solld, supportive information, and if a book is used
to facilltate the discussion between parent and child, it
must cover the topic thoroughly and not leave gaping
omissions stand with the cutesy excuse that they occur
only in order to tantalize the family into filling the gaps
themselves . This is very thinly disguised irresponsibility.
In the event that a good book is really necessary, I
would recommend C. A. Tripp's rich and compelling The
Homosexual Matrix, which is aboutasdefinitive a study
of homosexuality as we are likely to see. It is arguably
too intricate and complex to give anyone encountering
homosexuality for the first time, but to date it is the only
really thorough, fair, compassionate, and joyfullyreadable
discussion of gay life to come along for lay people
in quite some time. Even the most enlightened reader
would have to work through it several times to absorb
all that it has to say, but it is clear after one or two
mesmerizing pages that the effort is worth it. I think
moi:;t concerned parents will realize this right away and
forge bravely through the book.
If only Silverstein had approached the subject with
Tripp's wisdom, insight, and a sense of selectivity, he
might have written a useful book. But as it stands, A
Family Matter is worse than no book at all, since it
could only serve to add confusion to a family that ls already
going through one of the most crucial and unsettling
stages of its existence.
Push and shove me
deceive and abuse me
tell me you care
Distrust and hate me
shout and curse me
unbutton your jeans
Throw glass and burn me
drench me and pick me
I'll lick off your sweat
Tie your boots
round my balls
pinch my nipples
pierce me- rehearse me
Spit on me- ream me
leave me for dead
Yet risen again
and again • ••
- Jhett Roehl
----------- ~ ----------
&&A II --·· ·-·- 2 532 Guadalupe
''l#'oi l/,,e adive man''
the best selectlon In adult
Boy leaning against lamp post
torn denim hugging young flesh
well-worn black leather boots and jacket
valiantly thrown over one muscular shoulder
pouting lips pulling on unfiltered cigarette
eyes wanting ••• always calculating
staring holes through all.
Sauntering as if a snake
he changes skins for difference,
able to be all that is needed
in order that he might continue.
He is chameleon
coming and going with the season
don't push him for a reason
this lost and lonely boy.
Many men happen by him
others hoping to possess
linger on past fleeting momentsnever
to hold him back.
Instances of passion in dark- secluded rooms
remind him of something
he 's not quite sure of.
Women caress his smooth- silken skin
but none go further,
for he has to honor celibacy .
Angels may only love other angels
they're not sanctioned for creation
only sanctioned to help others like themselves!
- Jhett Roehl
THE GAY PAST: Magnus
Hirshfeld and the Scientific
by David Morris
There was a sense of exhilaration in the Gay Liberation
movement of about 1970 because it seemed daring and
utterly new . Surely no one in history had even suggested
that we homosexuals were something other than the exemplars
of madness and evil that all the experts in the
world haddeclared us to be . Now not onlywas it being
suggested but we ourselves were making our own emphaucdeclarations
and somehow were be mg listened to.
In calmerdays since, scholars have revealed the shortsightedness
of our early enthusiasm. We have a history.
Not only have gay people existed all along, but gay organizations
in the past have fought for gay rights with
as much determination as their modern counterparts.
Of the recent books dealing with gay history, the first
to have a significant impact was The Early Homosexua:
Rights Movement by John Lauritsen and David Thorstad
(New York: Times Change Press, 1974) . It was mainly
through this book that it became generally known that
gay people shared the fate or countless others in Hitler's
concentration camps, and through 1t that the pink triangle
came to be used as a symbol for modern gay activism.
Although the book itself is no literary gem, the
events it tells of are important and relevant to our own
times. They are worth retelling.
In 1897 a physician in Berlin named Magnus Hirsh- ·
feld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee to
advocate the abolition of Paragraph 175 of the German
Penal Code, the law prohibiting sexbetweenmales; other
goals of the Committee which were to prove more important
in the long run were the enlightenment of the general
public about homosexuality and the promotion of interest
among homosexuals themselves in the struggle for their
rights. A petition was circulated throughout the 36 years
of the Committee's existence calling for the repeal of
Paragraph 175. Hirshfeld and other members of the group
made international lecture tours for the purpose of educating
the public and arousing gay people. From 1899
to 1923 the Committee published a yearly journal, the
Jahrbuch ftir sexuelle Zwischenstufen (Yearbook for Intermediate
Sexual ~) which contained a wide range of
articles onhomosexualtty and homosexuals from cultural,
scientific, and political viewpoints .
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The Committee grew rapidly during the first few years
of its existence; by 1908 some 5, 000 gay people were
either members or had been m contact with the organization
. Many prominent figures, gay and straight, supported
them . The issue of gay rights was brought so
effectively into the open that few German newspape rs
could ignore it. In the 1912 Reich stag election campaign
the Scientific Humanitarian Committee received 97 responses
to the questionaire it had sent to the candidates,
only six of them expressing opposition . There were at
times rumors that close electoral races had been decided
by the gay vote . Among German political parties, it was
consistently the left wing, particularly the Social Democrats,
who showed the strongest support.
Although World War I produced a lull in its activities,
the German revolution which followed provided new impetus.
Like most of the rest of the Committee, Hirshfeld
was a socialist and a strong supporter of the new
German republic . Immediately after the revolution,
Hirshfeld broadened his efforts by founding the Institute
for Sexual Science in Berlin, which he referred to as a
"child of the revolution . " A forerunner of the Kinsey
Institute for Sexual Research, the Institute became a
repository for vast collections of written works on sex.
It was also a kind of university where public classes on
sex were held. It included what may have been the first
marriage counseling bureau in history . •
In the meantime the Russian revolution had triumphed
and in its initial liberating spirit had eliminated all laws
concerning sex between consenting adults. By 19 2 3, a
delegation of Russian doctors, headed by the people's
commissar of health, visited Hirshfeld's Institute, expressing
their approval and reporting that "no unhappy
consequences of any kind whatsoever" had resulted from
the elimination of the Tsarist anti-homosexual laws .
Other attempts at internationalizing the gay movement
were made in the 20s, particularly with respect to England,
where the most prominant figure was Edward Carpenter,
the remarkable writer, poet, labor organizer,
and proponent of gay rights . An article in a magazine
published at the time by a second German gay group was
entitled "Uranians of the World, Unite!"
The greatest support from the United States came from
the outspoken feminist and anarchist Emma Goldman,
whose spee ches and articles in the magazine Mother
Earth had for some time supported women's rights and
gay rights. An article by her on Louise Michel appeared
in the 192 3 edition of the Jahrbuch.
Magnus Hirshfeld had an important part in forming
the World League for Sexual Reform in 19 21. At its peak,
over 130, 000 people belonged to organizations affiliated
with the League.
In the meantime, ominous trends were beginning in
Germany. Magnus Hirshfeld, Jew, homosexual, and socialist,
was the obvious target for budding Nazi groups.
A meetinghe was addressing in Munich in 1920 was physically
attacked; in 1921 he was attacked by anti-Semites
and left for dead in the street with a fractured skull; in
19 2 3 Nazi youths disrupted a lecture by Hirshfeld, opened
fire and wounded many of the people in the audience.
Equally ominous trends "began about the same time in
the USSR, trends which were reflected in changes of attitude
shown tiy the Soviet delegation to the Congress
of the World League for Sexual Reform. While they had
previously sup ported gay rights and held up the Bolshevik
repeal of anti-homosexual laws as a model for other nations,
the Soviets were now speaking of homosexuality
as a "social peril." As Stalinism developed, discrimination,
spying, denunciations, and Party purges of gay
people began. The Stalinists began describing homosexuality
as "the product of decadence in the bourgeois
sector of society." In 19 34, mass arrests were carried
out; there were many suicides. In March of that year a
law was introduced, reportedly at the instigation of Joseph
Stalin himself, making homosexual acts a crime
punishable by up to eight years in prison; sex between
consenting adult males was punishable by up to 5 years
What the Soviets were branding as "the fascist perversion"
was in the meantime being described by the
Nazis as "sexual Bolshevism." In May, 1933, it was
announced that Germany was to be cleansed of books of
"un-German" spirit. The first target was Hirshfeld's
Institute for Sexual Science, which was raided by several
hundred students who, to the strains of the Horst-
GAY JEWS OF TEXAS
Wessel song, removed more than 10, 000 volumes from
the Institute's library, together with masses of unpublished
manuscripts and other documents and a bust of
Magnus Hirshfeld, which were later destroyed by storm
troopers at a public burning.
Within a few years, tens of thousands of homosexuals,
pink triangles affixed, were to die in the Nazi concentration
There are, of course, lessons to be learned from the
early history of gay activism. At the height of the German
movement's struggle, it must have seemed to those
concerned that nothing could stop the advance toward
gay freedom and equality. Yet the most optomistic times
for gay people were followed abruptly by the most ghastly.
Surely no complacency can survive the realization that
not only Jews, Gypsies, anddissidents died in Hitler's
concentration camps, but thousands of homosexuals as
,\az/s ca"v bust of Maqnus Hirschfeld fn torchlight procession.
We've all heard about gay discos, gay artists, and
gay Christians. But Gay Jews? In Texas? Yes, such
a species does exist here, and a group of us in Austin
hav~ recently surfaced to form Gay Jews of Texas. The
initials-of our name are G J T, which we pronounce "Gidget"-
like the famous lady Gidget of the movies. What
is Gidget up to?
We 're basically an informal rap group, meeting weekly
or semi-weekly to discuss issues of concern to gay Jews.
This isn't a religious meeting really, but rather a chance
for Jewish lesbians and gay men to talk about their pasts,
their politics, current problems, or whatever feels most
lffiportant to the group meeting that week. It is also an
opportunity for gay and lesbian Jews to get to know each
other a little, something that doesn't usually happen
very often. For many of us, in fact, Gidget is the first
time in years we've sat down with a bunch of Jews,
talking about how being Jewish affects our lives.
In our meetings so far, we've talked about the traumas
of high school, the peculiarities (both good and bad!)
of our families, the right-wing reaction to the International
Women's Year meeting m Houston, anti-Semitism
and heterosexism, the politics of Israel, and each other.
The group has been meeting for about two months now,
but is still open to anyone who is interested. From tune
to time, we'll also be having parties and meetings open
to anyone, not just Gay Jews of Texas. So, if you're a
Jewish lesbian or gay man, and interested in exploring
your roots a couple of evenings per month, give us a
call. You can get telephone numbers of the members
through Gay Community Services, or check the notice on
the GCS bulletin board.
GAY) AND THE: OR:
how to nurse those gay blues away
It is amazinghow oneword can describe such a sensitive
topic of human interest as does "homosexuality."
Just the mention of it conjures up diverse, individualized
feelings in every person alive . The very nature of this
diversity is the reason for this paper, for many of these
varied feelings stem from an enonnous lack of infonnation,
as well as from an abundance of myths , stereotyped
falsehoods and out- right lies. In this paper I will
provide valid infonnation about homosexuality with the
intent that society in general and health professionals
in particular will be able to reexamine their attitudes
and beliefs on the matter and, as a hopeful result, will
better be able to understand c.nd relate to gay people.
Many of the false concepts about gay people, which in
themselves lead to the fonnation of negative attitudes,
prejudices and even hatred, will be probed . Because
of the fact that the negativisms toward a segment of our
human population do exist, the significance of such a
paper as this is readily apparent. This is especially
true when one discusses those in the helping professions,
as it does not seem feasible that negative feelings will
be able to evoke the needed potential to deal in a positive,
constructive manner with people to whom the negative
feelings are directed .
The paper falls into two main parts. A discussion of
the development of the self- concept in the gay individual
will be undertaken after an initial discourse on the meaning
of the concept of homosexuality and of the evolvement
of the attitude of United States society toward homosexuality.
The relationship of this self-concept to health
and health-seeking will thenbe discussed. with emphasis
on the importance of the professional 's relationship
with the client. The second, shorter section will deal
with the importance of objectivity on the part of the practitioner.
WHAT IS HOMOSEXUALITY?
The definition of homosexuality appears to be very
individualized . In the past , ithas always beendefined
in behavioral tenns: a homosexual was one who took
part in sexual acts with another of the same gender.
One shortcoming of such a definition is that gay people
many times d iscover their homosexual feelings before
any actual sexual experience has occurred . This does
not make them a ny less gay. At the same time , there
are people who engage in homosexual sex without having
a true gay identity. Some people in prison, and some
prostitutes could be examples of this .
Wha t , one could ask , is a gay identity? With this
question we get a little deeper into the issue , as being
gay is a whole lot more than sexual intercourse with a
member of the same sex. In the words of clinical psychologist
Don Clark, in Loving Someone Gay,
I am Gay a nd that means that I know that I am
able to involve myself emotionally, sensuously,
erotically and intellectually with someone of the
same gender . He and I can interrelate in a whole
and satisfying way without having to create dis honesty
and diversion from fear of possible sexuality
. Being Gay means that I know lam capable
of this range of relating to another male and that
I am willing to act on the capability and translate
the potential into behavior.
by David R. Drake
but rather a capability. It might imply a frequent or
nearly constant preference of attraction for same- sex
people, but it does not in itself mean that one is in- •
capable of satisfying heterosexual relationships. It is
a very individualized thing.
Mitch Walker, in Men Loving M..fill, considers gayness
to be a self-made choice in the respect that it is
a decision todo what is good for you, emotionally, sensually,
sexually, lovingly and so on. He views it as a
fonn of self-respect. Something else Walker does is to
make a distinction between "gay" and "homosexual."
The word "homosexual" usually refers to a sexual preference
and nothing else. Gayness is infinitely much
more-it is a perspective. It is from these definitions
of same-sex attraction that the viewpoint of this paper
is derived. The words "gay" and "homosexual" will be
used more-or-less interchangeably because they are innately
interconnected, but it is important to realize that
"gay" denotes much more than a sexual orientation; it
is a whole identity and point of view that stems from that
Sexuality may be conceived of as a continuum . At
one extreme is a very small percentage of people who
are exclusivelyheterosexual in theirmakeup, and atthe
other end, an equally small percentage of people who
are totally homosexual in their makeup. Everyone else,
the large majority of people, falls somewhere in between.
One's proximity to one side or the other, if this
can be honestly detennined, indicates in which of these
two areas of human expression one will find the greatest
degree of self-fulfillment and happiness. Once again,
the idea that homosexuality and heterosexuality are mutually
exclusive is rejected. This idea that almost everyone
has some capacity for homosexual expression is
very strongly opposed by the American public in which
homophobia is so deeply entrenched. There is a considerable
emphasis amoung citizens of this country on
the need to identify oneself as either gay or straight.
If one uses Clark's definition of being gay, this seems
even more ludicrous. .
According to Man.in Weinburg and Colin Williams in
Male Homosexuals: Their Problems and Adaptations,
people are born with an undifferentiated sexual potential
that develops through a learning process that is quite
complex . Why do some people refuse to follow the course
dictated by society and tune out their feelings of attraction
to people of the same sex? A more appropriate
question might be: does it really matter? Only if one
accepts the destructive assumption that gay people are
really bad and innately unhappy, or unless we wish to
rear children to retain gay awareness. According to
Clark, gay people are gay and non-gays are non-gay as
a result of millions of factors that include components
presentat birth, usuallydescribedas temperament (how
active or passive one is, and whether visual, auditory
or tactile stimuli are more likely to cause a reaction),
and early and late learning experiences and child-rearing
practices that together build the core ofthe person,
sometimes called the character . The millions of experiences
that are a part of living in an unpredictable world
build on temperament and character and create the unique
personality. The reason that causative factors are not
important is that gay people can be every bit as happy,
satisfied and productive as non-gay people, and perhaps
even live in a wider and richer world . Their problems
S come from a castigating society and not from their own
To Dr. Clark, being gay does not denote a restriction, identity.
The reasons some people grow up gay and others do
not are, as we see, individualized, varied and numerous.
In the past, social scientists have assumed such
interests were abnormal and have spent much time and
effort looking for specific causes. Those studies conducted
before Kinsey were small scale and generally
much restricted to the realm of psychiatry and psychology
. Homosexuality was seen as a psychopathological
condition (due to the notion that heterosexuality is a
normal, natural outcome of sexual development against
which all other forms of sexual expression are to be
measured and compared) . The idea of a "cure" thus came
about . Discovering a cause consequently came to be of
major comcern . Because so much emphasis has been
placed on this, the progress toward an understanding of
homosexuality has been impeded .
promised to send over patients that they claimed to have
cured. None have ever shown up. The fact is that there
are no validated changes in homosexuality to be found.
Some gay people do seek out these so called "change
therapists, " having been led to believe that the source
of their unhappiness is inherently their homosexuality
and not the social stigma attached to it. According to
C .A. Tripp, in The Homosexual Matrix, the reason that
such changes are not brought about is that
..• the adult human being's sexual response rests
at bottom on amass ive, cortically organized, sexual
value system which is impervious to the trivial
intrusions launched against it by whatamounts to
concerns, concerns which can muster theirs up port
from no more than a fragment of frontal lobe auMuch
of the research that was done was done without thority.
proper methodology . The Institute for Sex Research has
spelled out many examples of work that was not performed The effort to wage this war has been described as "an
up to minimum canons of scientific research, including attempt to sink a battleship with a popgun."
the use of extremely small samples, samples made up There are gay people in all segments of our society:
of clinical patients as well as the non-use of control in communities of every size, at all social levels, in
groups. The first large scale study of sex was the so- every profession . They are people in all walks of life.
ciolog ical study done under the cprection of Alfred Kinsey. Gay people differ at least as much from each other as
This was done under a conceptualization of homosexu- they do from straights . The socially integrated gay perality
which was in conflict with traditional psychological son defines him/herself as a regular member of society.
and psychiatric views. Sociology has seen homosexu- Further, various surveys over the years have shown that
ality as a varient of sexual expression and not as path- 90- 96% of gay people would not change their sexual
ological in itself. Thus, there is no need to search for identity even if they could do so by pushing a button.
a "cure." Nevertheless, the Kinsey Institute Research There seems to be a belief in our society that gay
has made a concerted effort over a number of years to couples do not work out over long periods of time. One
locate and evaluate the histories of people whose sex- reason for this assumption is very likely due to the fact
ual orientation has changed as a result of therapy. Not that such couples are less consp1cuous than the unat.
Q.!!Q. has ever been found. Several psychoanalysts hil.ve 9 ached, !Jrc.;nisci.;ous "'ay r:>Pople who terd to become the
stereotyped image of homosexuality. According to Tripp
there is virtually only one basic difference between gay
and straight couples, and this stems from the similarity
of the same-sex p-:irtners, In the great majority of gay
relationships, neither partner plays a stereotyped gender
role. Divisions of leadership are usually divided into
neatly complementary spheres of action and decision
making. These relationships often equal the very best
meshings of heterosexuality.
EVOLVEMENT OF !tl£. UNITED STATES CONCEPT
Although the "sexual revolution" ofrecent years has
somewhat removed the cloud of mystery from homosexuality
and thus improved its image, homosexuality has
by no stretch of the imagination become totally understood.
The fact is that the closer something moves toward
acceptance, the more it causes alann in the forces
against it. A new tolerance usually means a surface acceptance
and a decreased tendency to delve in the basic
Alfred Kinsey pointed out that in our American culture,
no type of sexual activity is more frequently condemned
than homosexuality. There are practically no European
societies, with the possible exception of England, and
few, if any, cultures in the world that-.pave become as
disturbed over homosexuality (especially amoung men)
as we have in the United States.
The customs, laws and morals of a society come about
usually for the purpose of establishing a uniformity in
social behavior with the intended result of minimizing
friction amoung members . A few of the laws concerning
sexual behavior are necessary for practical reasons,
but most of the sexual laws in our society came about
without rega:d to practical necessity.,,. but from a religious
philosophy and values that evolved in opposition
to "sins of the flesh." The sexual mores of United States
society comes from men who believed that celibacy and
abstinance were morally superior to any sexual express
ion, although it was "better to marry than to burn. "
Sex even then became fully acceptable only when practiced
at certain times, in certain ways and with certain
motivations present. Sexual excitement in itself was
associated with sin. Anti-homosexual laws have never
claimed that such activity threatens person or property,
but are listed as crimes against nature, as if there were
some other source than nature from which they could
An interesting by-product of the societal taboo against
homosexuality is that gay people hide their gayness in
order to survive in a hostile straight society. Therefore
business." Tim said nothing and walked away. His
mother approached and put an ann around him, saying,
"Tim, I've only made one mistake in my life." Tim asked
her what she meant. "Twenty years ago I should have
hadan abortion." She has since taken to telling friends
and neighbors that Tim is dead.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-CONCEPT IN THE GAY
I have been homosexual nearly all of my conscious
life. I have had overt homosexual experiences
for about five years, I have been openly
homosexual for perhaps a year and a half. And I
am still discovering the multitude of ways by which
the straight world makes the lives of all homosexuals
painful, while most of the time, remaining
completely unconscious of the pain inflicted.
These words of John Murphey very aptly describe the
predominate problem associated with homosexuality-a
general lack of acceptance in our society. This cannot
help but affect the gay person in the development of
his/her self-concept. Self-concept can perhaps be best
described as the conscious awareness an individual has
of his/her attributes that make him/he r different from all
other individuals. It is how we think about ourse lves.
According to Clark, gay people grow up suspe cting
that there must be many basic things wrong with them,
or why else would loved ones say such things about
people who have feelings like theirs? The seeds of selfdoubt
and self-hate grow and are with the gay person
The homosexual is a member of the least visible minority
in the country, having only certain feelings in common
with the other members. The most pervasive and
acute until now have been guilt and shame at being something
that is feared and despised by straight society.
Some people can handle this, but it has crippled, in one
fonn or another, millions of others. To live as an invisible
man or woman is very painful. In the words of
Donald Webster Cory,
A person cannot live in an atmosphere of universal
rejection, of widespread pretense, of a society
that outlaws and banishes his activities and desires,
of a social world that jokes and sneers at
every turn without a fundamental influence on his
INTERNAL STRUGGLE OF THE GAY
there is little about gayness in the public consciousness The awakening of gay feelings comes at various ages ,
and it thus continues to appear abnonnal. Therefore gays but for most it comes quite early. Whenever it occurs,
hide their gayness. It is an endless cycle that could however, there follows a long period of quiet, internal,
only be broken if everyone who is gay woke up tomorrow emotional struggle. It is a lonely struggle. Consciously
colored green. This is the "Closet Syndrome." or not, one becomes an alert gathe rer of infonnation,
Homophobia, the fear and rage one feels toward homo- listening for news of others with the same feelings. Most
sexuality, is rampant in this environment which has of the news available is bad, as the re are few, if any,
changed hum an sexuality into a paranoid, feared pheno- apparent respectable models. One feels pulled in the
menon. We are taught that fe elings of emotion toward dire ction of one's impulses , ye t held back by the re -
a member of our same sex should be considered with pugnance of becoming an outcast.
d isgust. 10
Howard Brown, in Famil ia r Faces, Hidden Lives, tells fJllll~
the story of Tim, who grew up in Brooklyn . At his par ent's
twe nty -sixth wedding a nniversary, his father proposed
a toas t to Tim's older bro ther , who was s erving
m Viet Nam: "Thank God nobody in our family' s been
rejected by the army. We don't have any fags in this
family. " As he was in no way e ffemina te , Tim's parents
had a s sume d he was straight. Whe n Tim movea to Greenwich
Village, his fathe r que s tioned him, ''Why do you
wa nt to live there? That's whe re all the fags live. "
Tim was fired from two Jobs because he was gay.
Once when his supervisor saw him holding hands with
a friend In a movie th eater line . The next year he was
' ired from another Job for appearing on a special te le vised
report as anadvoca teof gaycivilnghts . His par -
nts s dw the report a nd by his next vis it home had concluded
tha t they had "a faq in the family" a fter all . (Befort.:
th specia l re port had come on , Tim's fa ther had
muttered, 'The fags should b put on a bodt and bombed
, ') Whik Tun wa horn , his fdth .. r saL'.:l 'Son, if
y u wa'1t to be q 1 er 1s 3 thr dol.ar bill that 's your
(·· .. :• 1 !!\jl"T''
· .... ... . .... ,.-·; . I \
THE BAR WITH A HEART
705 RED RIVER 472-0418
Upon firstdiscovering gay feelings, most people give
in to the massive societal pressures and try to conform
to the popular idea of what is normal. The first effort
to do so usually lasts for years and is characterized by
a reluctance to admit to a "deviant" identity . 'A commonmethod
ofdoing so is toannounceone's own intense
anti-gay feelings . At any rate, after this first effort
ends in failure, it is followed by a second struggle that
is motivated by the hope that the "deviant" identity can
be changed. After this has drained emotional and possibly
financial reserves, most are left with a seriously
lessened self- esteem and confronted with despair . The
surviving, wounded gay person must make some choices .
Some try to kill the pain with alcohol or pills . Some
give in and becbme the devalued, laughed at eccentric
by adopting stereotypical behavior. They are surviving
and refuse to go on unnoticed.
Miraculously, a growing percentage of gay people are
able to choose a pathway of integrity and truth. They
have managed to grow stronger in the struggle and have
decided once and for all to come out of the closet and
to be self-respected.
RELATIONSHIP or SELF-CONCEPT TO HEALTH
We are now beginning to realize that social
forces have an influence on all kinds of phenomena
which we have hitherto analyzed in individual
terms. We are beginning to understand, for example,
that even physical illnesses such as heart
disease and cancer may be influenced by sociological
factors . . . If this be the case, as is plainly
indicated by recent studies, then it ought to be
clear that the relationship of the homosex11al to a
larger hostile society must have profound.effects
on his life .
Here Martin Hoffman, in his book The Gay World, sums
up nicely the underlying physical ramifications of the
internal struggle of the gay person. The fact that social
pressures can have major influence on the physiological
processes of the body has been proven in various studies
and is thus quite applicable to the gay situation dis cussed
up to this point.
An additional health problem of gay people is actually
an offshoot of the health problems of society in general .
Diseases spread by sexual contact are a problem for both
gay and s tra igh t people, but the area of the body in which
one manifests symptoms of the disease can bea clue as
to the sexual act from which it was obtained. This could
conc.:livably cause anxiety in the person who is afraid
of being stigmatized to the point where the person would
not seek medical assistance .
How all this ties in with health seeking, however,
has much larger ramifications . The response of health
professionals in the past has been d istinctly negative .
As a result, many gay people have avoided seeking health
care at all. The very fact that gay health agencies exist
points up a very tragic flaw in our health care system,
in that everyone should be entitled to equal health care
from any agency .
Hospitalization is a specific situation in which many
gay people have undergone much personal trauma . Such
an experience can be unpleasant, embarrassing and even
terrifying . The gay patient may even find himself denied
the strongest support possible in this time of stress,
that of his/her closest loved one . He/she and his/her
lover cannot express affection, or even show much concern,
for each other without incurring the wrath of the
floor staff. Much psychological pain is thus imposed
on to;:> of the physical pain . Hopelessness and helplessness
are common feelings among hospitalized gays .
Many hospital personnel believe that gay people are immoral
or abnormal and thus erect barriers between themselves
and the patient. This denial of the professional
relationship to the client to the gay person is in no way
conducive to good health care . One is denying them a
very lffiportant factor in the return to a high level of
THE PROFESSIONAL AND OBJECTIVITY
The need for objectivity on the part of the professional
should be an apparent necessity. A part of the motivation
for going into the helping professions should be a
real desire to help people . Gays are people and are as
deserving of good health care as anyone else. The techniques
used in caring for gay people are no different,
but prejudicial attitudes can affect in a negative manner
the way in which the care is given . Professionals must
seek accurate, current information about gay people .
They need to reassess their basic attitudes and examine
how they respond to gay patients and their relationships.
Clark points out the importance of never assuming that
a client is heterosexual . When taking a history, examining,
orwhatever, keep inmind the possibility thatthe
person, regardless of appearance, may be gay.
Gay nurses and physicians, if they dare to risk alienation
and job loss, can be helpful m educating those
with whom they work. He/she can serve as a role model
of the healthy homosexual, and m do mg so facilitate a
flow of educat10nal information. 0 This can help sensitize
others to the needs of gay patients and he1p them
to meet those needs without prejudice and hatred standing
m the way. As health professionals strive to respect
and relate man honest manner with gay people, better
care will be the inevitable outcome.
Appearing in Austin next month on February 21 is the
highly acclaimed men's dance troupe Les Ballets Trocadero
de 1v1onte Carlo. Led by the charming and graceful
defector from the Bolshoi, Olga TchikaboumsKaya
(pictured above in a scene from Swan Lake), the troupe
has a flair for the unexpected . Refused in Fort Worth,
the show is sure to sell out in Austin .
- I.i.. - - / -- , .t /~~
AUSTIN BOTANICAL NOTES: JANUARY
Gin lovers, hay fever sufferers and people who swim
in Lake Travis take note-a species of plant highly relevant
to your lifestyle is quite abundant here m Austin.
Junipcrus ashe1i, sometimes called red cedar, is a small
fragrant evergreen tree which is native to this area and
virtually covers the lakes area of the Edwards Plateau.
(This is not the cedar from which cedar chests are usually
made . )
Juniperus asheii is dioecious-that means there are
separate male and female plants . The male plants produce
pollen in small brown structures about the size of
a small wart at the tips of the branches . It is the pollen
from these pollen cones which frequently causes the
so- called cedar fever in Austinites and can turn the
ground yellow around the male trees.
Mature female plants are easily recognized at this
time of year by their blue- gray fruit-about the size of
the head ofa large kitchen match- which looks as though
it has been dusted with confectioner's sugar . It is these
so-called juniper berries (they are not berries in a strict
botanical sense) which provide the flavor for gin.
Unlike its more widespread cousin Juniperus virginiana,
Juniperus a she ii is endemic to central Texas . A
beautiful little bird , the golden cheeked warbler, is also
endemic to the same area because the bird requires the
bark of th is particular tree (no other will do) to build its
Juvenile junipers have a different kind of leaves from
their sexually mature brothers and sisters. The leaves
of old plants are small scale-like things whtle the immature
foliage is li1<e green needles about two or three
centimeters long .
RITA MAE BROWN
Television (and the other media as well) has a tendency
to identify characters as being gay by using stereotypical
portrayals . While we shout about how unfair it
is to portray gay people as fitting only the stereotype,
we might extract some minimal solace by noting that the
treatment of our minority group is being approached the
same way other minority groups have been treated. In
an examination of this treatment of minorities, let's look
at the way black people have been presented to the public.
The first television show featuring blacks was Amos
'n Andy. This successful carry-over from radio presented
the "step-'n-fetch-it" stereotype. That kind of stereotypical
presentation on television with its vastand heterogeneous
audience became something more than the
"good-natured" kidding of an ethnic type. Instead, it
tended to validate the stereotype as a true representative
of a whole people, and in that way contributed to further
prejudice . It was finally driven off the air because its
portrayal of black life fed , rather than dispelled, racial
bigotry. It was the only series on black life in all broadcasting,
and it portrayed the characters in precisely the
way bigots imagine black people to be .
Most people watch a lot of TV, and people who watch
a lot of television carry in their heads a television version
of reality ratherthan a true one. Most white children
in a recent poll felt that comedy shows like The Jeffersons
and Sanford & Son accurately portray black family
life . Even white city children with black friends considered
the shows realistic . The apparent contradiction
presented by their own black friends they explained as
exceptions to the rule . As Dr. Bradly S . Greenberg of
Michigan State University concluded , some people are
more likely to believe television than their own experiences.
Should they have no real - life experiences with
the subject being handled, the material is accepted at
face value as being both factual and valid .
All of the aforementioned, which operated in the example
of black minority stereotyping, holds true in the
case of the media ' s treatment of gay people . People
"buy" what they're shown- and gay people have been
shown "as queer as a three dollar bill . "
Gay men and women are being shown on television
only after some of the taboos about "perversion" have
fallen to the wayside in the higher interest of advertising
revenue . For years, scripts containing gay characters
I. FOR A FRIEND: by way of reminder
Summer's gone home for vacation.
You thought she left you in charge,
but no sane element could possibly
trust the chaos in yr I.
The black of his feathers
prisms into a thousand lights
colors on fire on his back
The black of his feathers
prisms into a thousand lights
colors on fire on his back
a~ he struts' across the lawn
night flung the clouds high
shook itself clear in the starlight
and somewhere from the north
the constellations murmured,
- Amme Hogan
were rewritten to exclude any mention or hint of homosexuality;
the heterosexual bias must always prevail .
Everyone you saw on TV was portrayed as a straight character
regardless of the author's intentions. With the
exception of an occasional gag routine, such as Milton
Berle dressing in drag, gay people were non-existent.
This way of handling homosexuality as a stereotype or
not handling it at all ia an adaptation from the film industry.
There, homosexuality was either totally avoided,
or sight gags were employed to bolster a sagging scene .
These stereotypes were variations of "real" men and women
seen by the public as slightly odd but amusing. We
were always good for comic relief. As far as television
is concerned, the age- old use of the stereotype still has
plenty of comic mileage left in it.
While I am willing to grant that a few episodes on a
few programs have presented some portrayals that I could
say something positive about, we are still struggling at
the stage analogous to the black "step- 'n- fetch - it" from
Gay men and women are still being portrayed in a
manner which fits the expectation of anti- gay bigots .
As with other minority group stereotyping, this can only
lead to the reinforcement of the prejudices which breed
discrimination . The average viewer unacquainted with
a variety of gay people looks at the character of Jodie
on ABC's Soap, for example, and sees a swishy, mincing
fruitcake with limp wrists who wants a sex-change operation,
attempts to commit suicide because he's unhappy
with his life, and has a date with a female nurse
who wants toshowhirn whathe's missing . People watch
that kind of image and believe that it's representative
of gay men . It's easy to accept because it fits in with
everything they've ever been told . If that kind of stereotypical
portrayal was attempted with a black, rather than
a gay, character, the show would never have been produced,
let alone aired .
Unfortunately , we are the new minority . As such we
have only now reached the point that blacks reached with
the first broadcast of Amos '.!!.Andy . Fortunately, this
is only a starting point. Some good things have actually
come with the bad . We'll take a look at this in future
- Bruce D. Aleksander
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Thoughts About It All
Somewnere, sometime in ail the recent anti-gay activity,
we've all asked oursc1ves "Why?" And no matter
how the question gets answered, or p.;;rhaps pusned
aside, it keeps cropping up: "why? are these people
after us," or in extreme frustration: "WHY?"
Well, I've figured it out, and it's as stupid and simple
as it is frightening . The great majority of people
don't want freedom, either for themselves or for others.
Freedom means equality for all; freedom means an end
to cut- and- dried, time-worn methods of doing; freedom
means one must think and create instead of ruminating.
People tend to be lazy: they don't want to think, they
don't want to change.
It is this desire for stability (and damn the cost!)
that allows dictators to get into power. This desire is
what makes Amenca 's sidle to the right so dangerous.
It places those of us who want an end to the injustice
in the role of activist, agitator or (subversive). And
that, boys and girls, means we are un- American: because
we refuse to sit on ourhaunches andbe shat upon .
Of course we're getting double messages here. One
is that we should be proud, we should exercise our free dom
of speech . Two is that we should be so pleased
with things a s they are that we will not feel any need
to exercise this right. We don'thave freedom of speech
unless we ~wha t everyone else says .
Nor should we try to exercise the minds of those ruminants
around us . If you are different than they, you
have lost your right to speak, and should forthwith shut
up and quit worrying their little heads with fresh ideas
and thoughts . If you will shut up, they , in their great
benign state, will let you live in peace .
At the cost of your freedom . But before we get too
upset over this, we must remind ourselves that the people
who don't want you to have your freedom don't want
theirs, either .
I am waiting for the day when the
illustrious chairman of the
excellent department at the
outstanding university announces to his
distinguished colleagues that
since they have fulfilled the requirements of HEW
by hiring a woman and a
member of a minority,
it will be necessary to recruit a homosexual
in order to comply with HEW's most recent guidelines.
So you want change, eh? Well, what about my right
to remain the same? We've all had that thrown at us,
either in the form of Anita and the churchers, Birchers,
etc . , to the do- nothing-positive leg is la tors (esp. the
one who Keeps trying to choke goats with his civil rights)
to our parents stuck in the "you're-sick-but-we'll-tryto-
love-you-anyway" syndrome. And we'1e all tired of
But what do you do when you live under a system
based on discrimination: against the poor, against foreigners
(unless wealthy), against differences in pigmentation
of the skin, against those with different affectional
preference • .. what do you do in a system that is
based to favor white, heterosexual, misogynist males?
Well, boys and girls, you can throw bombs. Butdon't
get caught, and don'tdo it if you've mentioned such action
in an article with your name on it. You can sink
into murky despair, back in your closet; the w-h-m-m
society would like nothing better. You can adopt various
attitudes, however inappropriate, and become a
woman-hating, passing-for-straight gay man. Or, harder
still, you can be a woman-hating lesbian. You can
orient yourself to change; you can try to be reasonable
with the unreasoning ruminants; and you can begin seeing
yourself as a changer working in a society that needs
In a society based on discrimination against some,
there must necessarily be discrimination in favor of
others. Equality of rights will of course remove from
the privileged some of their privileges. But a privilege
is nota right, and the loss feltis onlythe loss of something
to which the holder was not entitled. The gain of
rights by those who previously had none can only be
counted as an improvement of society.
Let's go improve .
And I am waiting for lo, of those distinguished colleagues
to smile knowing smiles
as they raise their hands
(and not-so-limp wrists)
to assure their illustrious chamnan that
it wtl! not be necessary to recruit new faculty members
m order to comply with those guidelines.
-j. e .
CZECHOSLOV~K"- - - 1938
706 I.6th Street
OPI• TIL 3••
by Dennis Milam
Dark candles of light
Vv<d ht1vc c;omc such il good way
our b 'clcons stand like twisted battleworks
prot ting th,; cardboard m,rn bt.)yond
y,;t t11<~S<! men wnthe rn a circular dance
to fr.Ju themselves
to fr.::"' the integral universe
with their tears of a day
when the spirit and the love came their way
I am alive
I can love
I am beautiful
I am gay
People made of cardboard breathe as alive
swearing the sun shall be theirs
beautiful people came again upon the battleworks
and bid calm the rising streets
to run those very same streets
crying aloud with vengeance
that armed love we knoV¥
speak from beautiful passion's bps
not heeding creakings of cardboard
We are alive
We can love
We are beautiful
We are gay
Run streaming laughter
mto the arms of straight America
saying sisters and brothers
we love you as we love ourselves
1et us be as one
wu t<now our power
love moves the sun
the sun can be ours
ride the rays to paradise
LI (Su KE μ£11 d ac.>.ciwa
Ka~ n.>.T/taSec;, μ(aat S€
IJUKTE<;, rrcpa 8' cpxer' Wpa,
iyw 8€ μova KaTEvSw.
A SEX POEM
Cr .. 1srnq for dougnnuts
m down own
when Lh turn llgnt allows
Crossing in the crosswalk
b tween white lme&
saying [to himself]
an existential crises
we drive on
Cruising for doughnuts,
- Steven Thomas