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Montrose Voice, No. 164, December 16, 1983
File 009
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Montrose Voice, No. 164, December 16, 1983 - File 009. 1983-12-16. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/143/show/126.

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.

(1983-12-16). Montrose Voice, No. 164, December 16, 1983 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/143/show/126

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.

Montrose Voice, No. 164, December 16, 1983 - File 009, 1983-12-16, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/143/show/126.

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 Montrose Voice, No. 164, December 16, 1983
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Hyde, Robert
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date December 16, 1983
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript 8 Montrose Voice / Dec. 16,1983 Better Business in Baghdad by the Bay On the Job By Arthur S. Lazere, C.P.A. The assassinations of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in 1978 changed the course of gay activism in San Francisco. Milk, on his third try, had been elected to the Board of Supervisors the year before, becoming the first upfront gay elected official of a major city. Euphoria prevailed in the gay community. Established activists experienced a surge of optimism and renewed energy in their quest for social change and legal protection. Many who were previously inactive were insEi£gd_J^fcfcig success to get After lMDH ^^Kooting spree, the mood changee^a^^Teuphoria to bitterness, from hope to gloom, from a sense of genuine possibilities for positive change to a despairing of such an eventual outcome. The example of violence against a gay man, spread as it was across the front pages and the television screens, quickly elicited imitators. Violence against gay men and women, always a problem, grew markedly in frequency, a trend further stimulated by the implicit message contained in the leniency of the Dan White verdict. Many observed a new and pervading sense of anxiety in the community. In that crucible of thwarted expectations and dashed hopes, a new strength was emerging from a previously unexpected place—San Francisco's gay business community and its fledgling chamber of commerce, the Golden Gate Business Association. Founded in 1974, GGBA had kept a low and closeted profile. (The Tavern Guild, which dates back to the early 1960s, was for many years the more visible and politically-oriented organization of bars, bar employees and related businesses.) San Francisco politicians saw the potential clout of GGBA, even before it was perceived by the membership of the organization itself. GGBA's annual dinner, at which the board of directors for the new year is installed in office, was the first GGBA event I attended, back in 1977. Prominent on the dais and at the speaker's rostrom were Harvey Milk (the proprietor of a camera shop) and George Moscone. Vocal in their support for this emerging gay constituency, the politicians received enthusiatic ovations from an audience grateful for their friendship and awed by such fervent wooing. For many, it was the first awareness of an enfranchisement for gay identity. It certainly felt good to a then recently-arrived immigrant from New York and its City Council's monotonous and disheartening annual rejection of gay rights. Late in 1977, I attended a monthly GGBA membership meeting and unexpectedly found myself elected to the board of directors for 1978. In the class of 1978 were a number of new faces, young and energetic professionals, some emerging from the closet for the first time. (Local gay business groups have found that many of their newer members do not belong to other gay organizations; the business group provides a relatively comfortable, nonpolitical environment for participation by some who feel threatened by the contentiousness, both internal and external, which seems inherent in political clubs.) It was this new energy which brought GGBA firmly out of the closet at the 1979 installation dinner. The dinner program described the organization as "business people who happen to be gay, working together to build a better community." It was the first time the word "gay" had appeared in writing in a GGBA document. The description was sincere in intent and not unsophisticated in its public relations message. "Working together to build a better community" is about as unassailable as motherhood and apple pie. The board was sworn in by supervisor Harry Britt, appointed by Mayor Feinstein just a few weeks before to the vacant Milk seat My speech that evening—as newly elected president—was an articulation of the concerns I had heard expressed by GGBA's board and membership. The tumultuous and disturbing events through which we had lived in recent months called for a more outspoken stance on issues that could only be effectively pursued by an upfront organization. During 1979, two situations arose in which the newly-energized GGBA was able to flex its political muscle. An anonymous, aggrieved gay employee of Oakland-based World Airways sent me a copy of a memorandum, addressed by president Ed Daly to all employees. It included the line: "This company doesn't need hoodlums, racketeers (or) queers " GGBA wrote to Daly, but its protests were ignored. A Coors-type boycott was considered. A key problem was that World Airways was outside of San Francisco and subject to no law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. When World later opened a sales office in San Francisco, we immediately registered a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. With the cooperation—and legal force—of the Commission, we were able to obtain a pledge of nondiscrimination from the recalcitrant Mr. Daly. The second confrontation of 1979 was of more lasting significance. After the White Night riots, the then-president of the powerful San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Bill Dauer, wrote a scathingly critical piece about the riot in the Chamber's widely-circulated magazine. In a television interview with gay journalist Randy Shilts, Mr. Dauer was asked about the importance of gay tourist dol lars. "There are more legitimate ways to get money," he replied. He was quoted in the San Jose Mercury: "The positive effects of the gay community? There are no positive effects." It seemed to me that, as our community's chamber of commerce, it was the responsibility of GGBA to confront our downtown peers. A delegation of GGBA board members met with Dauer and explained its concerns. To Dau- er's credit, we never heard an anti-gay remark from him again, and not long after, he hired two well-known gay activists to work for the chamber. The San Francisco Chamber, observing ' the rapid growth of GGBA membership, sent its well-commissioned salespeople into the gay community seeking new members. There was always some overlap between the memberships of the two groups. But the GGBA board and membership have long understood that the differences between GGBA and the chamber are not only those of sexual orientation. The chamber is controlled by, and works in the interests of, the major downtown corporations. GGBA, on the other hand, is a group of small merchants and professionals. On issue after issue, we would not be able to work with the chamber. Nevertheless, the chamber was certainly viewing GGBA in a new light. Under Dauer's successor, executive director John Jacobs, the relationship between the organizations improved to the point where, in 1983, when a new delegation from the GGBA board called upon Mr. Jacobs, we were able to secure an endorsement by the chamber of the gay employment rights bill, AB-1, currently pending in the state legislature. Of continuing interest to GGBA has been the thorny problem of police/gay relations. In my installation speech in 1979,1 promised: "If there are incidents of police harassment of gay businesses, as has been suggested in the press recently, GGBA will speak out and make it clear that anywhere, but least of all in San Francisco, such activity is not acceptable and will not be tolerated by this community." Police Chief Charles Gain, an ly comtnun- iridship alone was nofsufficWnTto combat homophobia in the police force. A March 1979 GGBA program on the subject drew an unusually large crowd, some of whom were angry over problems with permits and threatened closings of baths and other sexually oriented establishments. A Chronicle front page headline the next day trumpeted: "Gay Businessmen Boo Police Chief." Since 1979, GGBA has played an active and continuing role in programs to educate police recruits and familiarize them with our community. In addition, we have supported efforts to recruit lesbian and gay officers into the San Francisco police force. Lazere is on the board of the San Francisco Industrial Development Authority. His column originates at the "Bay Area Reporter," a San Francisco gay newspaper. Where Should You Put Your Advertising? Us or Them? The Newspaper or the Magazine? Here's why in 1983 more Houston clubs and shops bought more advertising space in the Montrose Voice newspaper than they did in the competing magazine—and they spent a lot less money doing it. 1. The Voice has the highest Houston circulation — II,000 copies every week. That's thousands more, we have estimated, than the magazine's, which limits its circulation in order to give an "illusion of popularity'.' 2. The Voice distributes through over 125 major distribution points—dozens more than the magazine. We're not JUST in the gay bars. We're in the shops and stores and guest houses and restaurants. This is especially important for your special event advertising for people who do not normally come out to the clubs. The Voice reaches these people in addition to the normal "bar crowd." 3. The Voice is read—not thumbed through. Our readers READ every spread. Watch the people in the clubs on Friday reading the Voice newspaper. And watch those reading the magazine. Our readers flip slowly through the newspaper, scanning every spread—and catching the ads. Many of the magazine readers flip rapidly—stopping here and there—but missing the majority of the advertising. 4. Yes, the Voice has the higher Houstpn circulation and a format that makes more people notice your ad. But our advertising rates are lower, much lower, than the magazine. For example, the equilivant of a $300 ad in the magazine costs only about $100 in the Voice. Our advertising representatives don't sell advertising based on emotion. They sell it based on fads. Facts that prove Voice Advertising works better—far better. We want you to advertise with us for one reason—and one reason only. That advertising will bring you customers—far in excess of the cost of that advertising. Voice Advertising really works—as hundreds of Houston businesses found out in 1983. And hundreds more will find out in 1984. Call us at 529-8490 and we can go to work for you—bringing you more customers too in 1984.
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