Published by Gay Community Services, a program of the
University YWCA/YMCA, 2330 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas
78705. Telephone : (512) V7I4-I66O.
Publisher Jim Olinger
Editor . Scott Lind
Distribution Wayde Frey
Advertising Larry Palmer, Wayde Frey,
Jim Olinger, Ron Moss
Andre, Kathy Deitsch, Dianne Draper, Wayde Frey,
Ray Kernistovsky, Scott Lind, Judy Maclean, Ron
Moss, Jim Olinger, Larry Palmer, G.P. Stojcevic
Kelly Finke, Wayde Frey, Jim Olinger, Robert
CONNECTIONS is dedicated to providing a forum for the
lesbian/gay community of Austin and Texas.
CONNECTIONS welcomes unsolicited news and/or feature
articles, photographs, drawings, and poetry. If return
or acknowledgement is requested, please enclose a
stamped, self-addressed envelope. CONNECTIONS will
not assume responsibility for unsolicited material.
CONNECTIONS is a member of the International Gay News
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GAY COMMUNITY SERVICES ?
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GAY MED I A
On October lU, 1979> a minimum of 125,000 lesbians and
gay men marched on Washington. The WASHINGTON POST estimated 25,000 marchers. The AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
"covered" the March with a single inside photo and a
two-line caption. CBS News had stories they considered
more important that night. They devoted 3 minutes to a
Berkeley frisbee class and never mentioned the March. This
is typical of the treatment homosexuals have always received from the straight media.
The practice of describing, media as "a mirror held up
to society" is falling by the wayside.' We now recognize
the media as a searchlight, which illuminates only the
place where its operators point it. On the occasions when
that searchlight has been trained on homosexuals, it has
almost always been focussed on mass murders, lurid
political sex scandals or child sexual abuse.
During the Elmer Wayne Henley trial, an Austin news
director gave this response to a complaint about a news
broadcast: "I feel arguments can be made for and against
using the phrase, 'homosexual torture death plot'. It is
a tool to sum up some of the pertinent facts in the case.
I agree there is nothing homosexual or heterosexual about
murder, but was not the torture in the Houston murders
homosexual in nature? Possibly the phrase is an oversimplification that could offend a segment of the community.
However, I do believe to tell the story of one of the
largest mass murders on record, one should mention the
homosexual aspects of the case. ... As for the news
media never using the phrase, 'heterosexual murders,' I
would say we abbreviate it as 'sex murders'."
This attitude is typical of a straight media person.
I am sure that the majority of news people sincerely want
to report the news fairly and accurately. But many of them
have no perception of the bias inherent in the type of
reporting they are doing on gay issues. In this case, the
division of sexuality into "heterosexual" and "perverted"
and the myth of the "homosexual child killer" are not
The way news is reported does mirror society's attitudes. News people are just as much a product of our homophobic society as anyone else. Reporters have their own
personal prejudices, and constantly face social pressures, as well. When KTBC ran a 5-part series on the
Austin gay community recently, the president of Capital
City Savings withdrew all his bank's advertising on the
station because "I didn't want to support anything pro-
The only way there will be gay news which is not sensationalized, distorted, suppressed, or ignored is for
us to publish it ourselves. This is happening. Gay. newspapers have appeared in many cities , usually supported by
volunteer labor and personal funding. There are now a
handful of national and international gay magazines. The
National Gay Broadcasting Service in Houston is now distributing gay programs nationally. A wire service, the
International Gay News Agency, has started operations.
But these are small beginnings and most of the work is
CONNECTIONS is proud to be a part of this effort,
but we need your help. In order to provide a forum for
lesbians and gay men in Austin, we must have input, and
we must encompass more of the community we in our diversity
are. Our editorial policy is open to all. We welcome news,
fiction, essays, letters, black-and-white photos, poetry,
drawings, and organizational events. We need reporters,
artists, advertising representatives, columnists, layout
people, and distributors. We need advertisers, because
putting out a "free" paper is still expensive. We need you.
Please help. For all of us. __ Jim olinger
CONNECTIONS December 1979/January 1980