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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 6, June 1981
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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 6, June 1981 - File 010. 1981-06. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 1, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2513/show/2509.

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.

(1981-06). Connections, Vol. 3, No. 6, June 1981 - File 010. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2513/show/2509

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. 3, No. 6, June 1981 - File 010, 1981-06, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 1, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2513/show/2509.

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. 3, No. 6, June 1981
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Olinger, James K.
Date June 1981
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 010
Transcript 'CONNECTIONS Homosexuality and American Psychiatry The Politics of Diagnosis by Ronald Bayer Reviewed by Michael Menefee I expected Homosexuality and American Psychiatry to be a narrow, detailed review of the gay liberation movement's struggle to have the American Psychiatric Association rescind its diagnosis of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1960's and early 1970s. What I found was an analysis of great scope, which describes the nuts-and- bolts of political maneuvering only after presenting the historical and social context that illuminates the significance of that struggle. Bayer begins with the views of philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who asserts that Western society has. until recently, repressed pleasure-directed sexual expression in response to economic goals. Quoting Bayer: society "required that sexuality be limited to genital functions directed at the opposite sex Only heterosexuality could guarantee the reproduction of labor so necessary for the conquest of nature." Marcuse is even more succinct "Against a society which employs sexuality as a means for a useful end, the perversions uphold sexuality as an end in itself .... This framework suggests society has denigrated homosexuality because its only purpose is to fulfill individuals in their search for pleasure and affection. It offers the social order nothing to advance its own purposes, which are primarily the accumulation of wealth and power. This analysis places individual heterosexuals and homosexuals in a similar (although not identical) bed: both should feel guilty about wanting sex. enjoying sex, and having frequent sex. Homosexuals should feel the worst, for all they are doing is "having a good time." This threatens an order that emphasizes work, not play. As we all know, there has been a tremendous shift in Western economies in the past thirty years. Thrift toil, and delayed gratification are no longer the by-words. We are now encouraged to indulge ourselves: to emphasize the moment not the future: to buy now and pay later Western economies are no longer building industrial infrastructures. The people now want to use them. Bayer states: "Renunciation, restraint, and inhibition, so crucial to the periods of human history characterized by scarcity and to the era of early capitalist development, an now perceived as old-fashioned virtues." Mow that seeking pleasure is respectable, homosexuality has become, in a sense, the illegitimate heir of the new tolerance and acceptance bestowed upon heterosexuality So what does all this have to do with the American Psychiatric Association's decision to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder? For Bayer, these socioeconomic changes were the vital preconditions "for the transformation of social attitudes toward homosexuality." ^or that shift to actually occur, a "cohesion of interests" favoring homosexuality had to emerge. He feels this happened in the adolescence of the gay liberation movement in the 1960's. The focal point of that shift was the struggle over "homosexuality" as a diagnostic classification. Ronald Bayer In the 19th century, physicians had increasingly gained the power to legitimize the prevailing moral code, which had previously been monopolized by religious figures. Homosexuality became less of a sin and more of an illness. This was more humanistic but, as Bayer very carefully establishes, it reserved discussion of homosexuality to those qualified to discuss health matters, physicians. As a moral issue, anyone could volunteer an opinion or judgement As a "disease", only physicians could speak of homosexuality with authority. Bayer outlines this transformation and the counter-responses to it both within the medical community and by outside researchers, such as Kinsey. Beach, and Hooker. Bayer finally reaches the actual struggle with the APA. which is now revealed as an event of historic proportions. Homosexuals have finally been able to form the cohesion and organizational strength required to challenge the denigration of homosexuals and homosexuality by the dominant enforcers ofthe moral and behavioral norms. Bayer's book is very well v. polemic. It is not emotional, but I felt emotion, as well as insight ii which I was already becon to. I found it in short, to ben I expt'< ■ ■ Gay Press Organizes The Gay Press Assoc iation held its second national organizational convention in Dallas May 2 3. About sixty editors, publ lines attended. Jim Olinger and Wayde Frey of CON • S attended the convention. While in Dallas, they met with two other gay ms and formed the Texas Gay News Association. Roy Hall is : ■ zation. which is composed of THI ROSE VOICE (Houston). METRO TIMES I Frey < hose I ii ■■ I of smaller pu: ■ rn ■■ . II :■■■ ■ >NS. NGTF Directors' Resignations Demanded by Shawn P. Kelly San Francisco — The Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club overwhelmingly approved a resolution April 13, 1981. calling for the resignations of the co-directors of the National Gay Task Force (NGTF). Lucia Valeska and Charles Brydon. Toklas. the largest Democratic club in the country, joins a mounting wave of critics of the NGTF leadership. Valeska, contacted at her home in New York, said that she was "shocked" at the action. There were two primary complaints cited in the resolution. The first was Brydon's and Valeska's recent letter to Congressman Paul McCloskey (D-CA). asking him .to withdraw legislation banning discrimination against gays in the military, a position entirely contrary to the advice McCloskey received from the Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL). The letter, which Brydon and Valeska later asked McCloskey to "set aside." produced a storm of criticism throughout the country. Both the San Francisco Stonewall Gay Democratic Club and the Harvey Milk Gay Democratic Club had called for the co- directors to change their strategy on the issue or resign. The second complaint concerned a re quest sent out recently to editors of gay publications that they "exercise caution in printing or reprinting stories concerning NGTF written by Larry Bush." Bush is the Sentinel's Washington correspondent and has written several critical articles recently on NGTFs activities, including the revelation of the first McCloskey letter. TheNGIr- letter, which earned the caveat "NOT FOR PUBLICATION." said that "stories by Larry Bush concerning the National Gay Task Force have at times been inaccurate in their depiction and description of NGTF'sactivities,"and"sometimesappear to be published as hard news and not as commentary or opinions." Sentinel publisher Charles Lee Morris, who introduced the original Toklas resolution, said, "1 have never before been publicly critical of a national gay organization." but that now "action is required all across the country." The resolution said that NGTF's letter "smacks of censorship" and "blames the gay press for NGTF's own mistakes.' It continued that Toklas "strongly disapproves of any interference with the right of a free gay press to report the news." Valeska responded that the letter to editors "was not censorship. It was simply a request for a check. Editors have the responsibility to check all the facts." She echoed the language of the letter, which said that "NGTF is a fair subject for critical commentary." by saying that this late spate of criticism has been helpful." To the Toklas demand that she and resign. Valeska replied. I'm flabbergasted at this brushfire that has a tre- iative focus on the largest gay ihts organization in the country. I hat Alice B. Toklas as well as others I aware of some of the things that >een going on in the wake of the iffaii NGTF has taken strong •.teps to remedy the situation. ng has gotten out of hand." she ;ued. "I don't know what to do but le work ahead. I think were i into the enem\ fj our A pre io infallibility." the attacks against these co-directors continues, it will cripple our ability to fight for another few months' Another part of the Toklas resolution cailed for NGTF to merge with the Gay Rights National Lobby. Lambda Defense Fund, and Gay Rights Advocates to make one "viable national organization which is in touch with the grassroots elements ofthe larger gay community which they claim to serve." Thc S> Executive Health Club Closes The Executive Health Club, one of Austin's two gay baths, closed on May 23. The club has been forced to move out of the basement of the Stephen F Austin Hotel, because the building has been sold. At press time, no suitable new downtown location had been found. The management told us that memberships will still be honored at the San Antonio Executive Health Club. The club. one of CONNECTIONS' original advertisers, is still looking for a new Austin location. Good luck! Gay Tennis Tournament in Dallas The Oak Lawn Tennis Association of Dallas, the nation's oldest gay tennis club. will host the second Annual OLTA Invitational Tennis Tournament in conjunction with Gay Pride Week "81. The tournament will be held from Friday, June 19 through Sunday. June 21. There will be open singles and doubles play with fees being S7 per person per event Local housing and transportation will be provided for out-of-town players. Entries must be received no later than Saturday. June 13. For more information, write OLTA Tournament, 3703 Travis "204, Dallas TX 75204. d iscoveru, records VISIT US TO SATISFY YOUR MUSICAL NEEDS * HEADGEA ACCESSORIES RIVERTOWNE M AA -2232 10% OFF Purchase Non- Sale Items With ~ June 30, 1981
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