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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1973
File 003
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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1973 - File 003. 1973-09. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3693/show/3670.

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.

(1973-09). The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1973 - File 003. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3693/show/3670

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.

The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1973 - File 003, 1973-09, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3693/show/3670.

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 The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1973
Contributor
  • Frank, Phil
Date September 1973
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 28912012
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 003
Transcript creased since the opening of NASA, the priest maintained. "Not that NASA has a lot of them, but it has brought tremendous growth to the city he explained. The homosexuals who meet at the church do not have religious services there -- and are ministered to only by the presence of the priest who attends their meetings. "They must concentrate upon themselves -- and develop their own personalities," the priest said. "Gays shouldn't undersell themselves, as they so often do. There is a lot of talk about Gay Lib, but it has to be the person himself who liberates himself. It is this that I find greatly lacking among gays: A sense of personal responsibility." GAY PRIDE? For several weeks now, since shortly after fire swept through the Upstairs bar in New Orleans killing 29 men, gay groups, their publications and their leaders have been exploiting the catastrophe for all it is worth. That men should die without purpose under such painful circumstances is tragic enough, but that their fate should be used to the advantage of certain gay leaders and made into a consciousness - and fund-raising gay event is even more tragic. The Upstairs bar, at 604 Iberville St., was a fire-trap. While not found by investigators to be in actual violation of New Orleans' fire regulations the bar was located in an old part of the city where fire codes were not adequate nor strictly enforced. According to Fire Dept. Supt. William McCros- sen, many of the buildings and establishments in the French Quarter of New Orleans are similar fire hazards. Conditions of the sort exist in every major city in the country. But specifically, the Upstairs bar was decorated with highly flammable materials. The windows were closed over by paneling, and they were barred. There was a blocked-off fire escape with no stairs leading to the ground. There was one exit through a passageway, but apparently only about 20 patrons in the bar at the time of the fire were aware of it. The fire was first discovered in the main stairwell. It was almost immediately drawn up into the bar by a draft of scorching air. Everyone panicked and in the instinct for self-preservation ran for the windows where they either fell or were pushed to the floor and trampled by their brothers. A few of the more agile and slender patrons managed to slip through the bars, but were either killed or injured when they tried to jump to safety. Coroner, Carl H. Rabin, described the scene after the fire: One pile of bodies was found in the corner by the fire escape where in "mass hysteria one man fell, then another, and another . . . . " The fire broke out at 7:56 p.m., and was under control 16 minutes later at 8:15. The firemen did all they could. Fire department investigators sifted the ashes for clues to the origin of the blaze. Some witnesses claimed it was the work of a disgruntled customer who had been ejected from the premises earlier. But there was no real evidence to indicate arson. The injured needed and received blood. Charity Hospital blood bank director, David de Jongh, said "he was pleased with community response to the call for doners." Families of four victims were reported to be too poor to make funeral arrangements . Residents of New Orleans were generally unmindful that the Upstairs was a "gay bar." It was not a matter for consideration. The bar and its patrons for the r WANT TO DO SOMETHING TO BETTER YOUR LIFE AND HELP YOUR GAY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AT THE SAME TIME? DO SOMETHING! DON'T JUST COMPLAIN ABOUT DISCRIMINATION. JOIN THE Circle of Friends TEXAS' OLDEST HOMOPHILE ORGANIZATION AND SPONSORS OF DALLAS' ANNUAL GAY PRIDE PARADE ALL MEN & WOMEN (OVER 18) WELCOME. TO MEET NEW FRIENDS AND ENJOY GAY ACTIVITY, MAIL THIS COUPON TODAY: I am interested in learning more about the CIRCLE OF FRIENDS and how I can expand my social life while helping others. Please send me a brochure. Enclosed is $1.00 to help pay for postage, printing, and a small contribution to social justice. Name Age Addre s s City _State Phone 1000 EMBOSSED BUSINESS CARDS 4615 Alf. Vernon .9* 524-5612 QUALITY PRINTING most part had no commitment to gay rights. Homosexuals in New Orleans are not organized. The local papers with one or two early exceptions reported the fire without emphazising the homosexual aspect -- contrary to accusations made against the press in its coverage of the Houston murders. Indeed, the fact that the Upstairs bar catered to a homosexual clientele was irrelevant to events. The individual sexual proclivities of the patrons was not an issue in their fiery end. Nor was it considered to be by the families and friends and local community that quickly responded with sympathy and help. It remained for thoughtless interests within the homosexual movement itself to direct attention from the tragedy and make a sexual issue of it. With a lack of sensitivity equal to that of a funeral parlour using a similar moment of personal loss to benefit its business, representatives of the gay interests moved in on the scene and took over from grief- stricken and bewildered friends and families. They organized and directed as specific homosexual movement functions a gay memorial service for the dead, they proclaimed a national day of mourning for their "gay brothers," they called for gay blood donations, they created a national memorial relief fund from gay resources, and, they seized every ianppropriate opportunity to be interviewed by the news media on the plight and oppression of "Gays" in general. Quite rightly, the reaction of those in New Orleans who had to endure this was one of horror that their local ordeal was being man ipulated by unsolicited and un welcome intruders for the purpose of promoting gay liberation and of displaying a phony gay solidarity. Most of them were unable to resist. Some, not knowing what else to do, cooperated -- as did the rest of the homosexual movement. Although what happened in the aftermath of the Upstairs bar fire is an isolated incident, there is a distressing trend among some segments of the homosexual movement -- particularly among those who mindlessly refer to themselves as "Gays" -- to divert the movement from its primary goals to their own selfish ends by using every tragedy no matter what its origin or association as a cause to rally around. In their haste to use these situations these groups and persons do not stop to think whether their actions are beneficial -- or possibly harmful 1 and embarrassing to the movement and to innocent persons. The behavior may be symptomatic of a lack of concrete and worthwhile programs within these groups. (Homosexual Information Center) FOLLIES coming to Houston! The Thespian Players of the Dallas Metropolitan Community Church will present THE TEDDY BEAR FOLLIES in one ofHouston's most popular bars on October 6th. The purpose of the performance is to raise money for the newly organized Houston MCC. This show is unique for gay entertainment in the Southwest in that few numbers are "record- mimed." Those performing use their own talents. This cast of 17 lively singers and dancers, plus five technical staff members have just returned from a smash engagement in Oklahoma City where they played to a turnaway house. Anyone wishing to audition for the company (which is semi-professional) is welcomed. Page 2
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