June 18,1982 / Montrose Voice 3
NGTF official due
in Houston for
The National Gay Task Force and the
NGTF Fund for Human Dignity have
announced that members of their staffs
will be participating in several regional
Gay Pride Week celebrations in June.
Lucia Valeska, NGTF's executive director, will keynote the Gay Pride Rally in
Houston on June 27. She will also be keyn-
oting the Gay Pride Rally in Albuquerque,
New Mexico, June 19, and in Dallas, June
20, where she will be the female grand
marshall in the parade preceding the
Mel Boozer, NGTF's director of Civil
Right Advocacy, and Virginia Appuzo,
executive director of the Fund for Human
Dignity, will be the keynote speakers at
the Gay Pride Rally in New York City on
June 27. In addition. Boozer will be speaking at the Gay Pride celebration in Nashville, Tennessee, June 20.
The Gay Switchboard of Houston is there
to inform. And listen. And counsel.
Begun only last December, it's rapidly
becoming the source for the gay community to get facts, referrals and a friendly
ear. And, the switchboard takes pride in
being "in the know." People are calling
(713) 529-3211 to find out the symptoms of
herpes, the topic ofthe next Gay Political
Caucus (GPC) educational forum, what to
expect if arrested, or even which bars have
the cheapest happy hour drinks. The
range of questions is limitless.
Thirty-two trained volunteers staff the
switchboard seven days a week from 6:00
p.m. to midnight. Phones are answered,
sure. But there's a lot of legwork involved
in keeping up with Houston's gay community. Countless hours are spent contacting
organizations and gay establishments to
make sure information that's given out
over the phone is current.
"On any given night, there are at least
six to eight gay events going on in Houston," said Rich Neil, director ofthe switchboard. "These are events that people
might not find out about elsewhere."
Anyone can just answer a telephone.
But, it takes a trained switchboard volunteer to "be there'Tor a caller. Someone who
knows when to speak and when it's better
just to listen. It also takes someone who
understands what it's like to just come out,
lose a lover or get a sexually transmitted
People call the switchboard, Neil said,
because "we don't hassle the individual
like a parent or friend might. We try to be
To be a switchboard volunteer means
investing 30 hours of time in intensive
training. Volunteers learn accepted
hotline practices, counseling and listening skills, which they use during their
three hours each week staffing the switchboard phones.
Neil said volunteers are taught noncommittal responses, mirroring, paraphrasing and other counseling techniques.
Volunteers learn to avoid asking "why"
questions; rather, they learn to concentrate on the caller's feelings.
"We try to help the caller make his or her
own decisions. We're not therapists, but
we can let the callers solve their own problems by helping them to see things more
clearly," he said.
Most of the time, Neil said, callers
already have a problem solved, they may
need only a sounding board.
Founder of Houston's switchboard, Neil
also helped form the Gay Switchboard of
Philadelphia and worked with the organization for 10 years. Because of his background, he can help Houston's volunteers
deal with the legitimate, as well as the
manipulative, threatening and crank
calls that sometimes come in.
Even though volunteers are trained to
respond to a wide variety of calls, they also
are trained to be aware of their own
"We have to know when a counseling
call is beyond us, andthecallerneedstobe
referred to a professional," he said.
After informational and counseling telephone calls, referrals are the third most
frequent type of call handled by the
switchboard. A caller might request the
name of a doctor, lawyer, dentist, accountant, or other professional. For these calls,
the switchboard keeps an active list of professionals who either are gay themselves,
or understand the gay lifestyle.
"Often it is very important to have a
doctor or lawyer who understands your
lifestyle," he said.
While the switchboard is in close touch
with the gay community, it also keeps tabs
on other social services available in this
"We deal with gay people who have
problems—and these problems don't
necessarily have to be gay related,"he
William John Hall, 50, of 1504 California,
was shot and killed during a scuffle with a
neighbor, Tuesday, June 15, reports the
Investigators said they had no motive
for the killing. A neighbor was in custody.
Police said the neighbor told them he emptied a .22-caliber revolver into Hall after
knocking him down.
Homicide division Detective D.L. Moorman said investigators did not know why
Hall was in the man's apartment or why
the fight started.
Pacific News Service
Scientist say jogging may be an evolutionary trait that's protected humans from disease for tens of thousands of years.
University of Michigan researcher
Joseph Cannon says jogging raises the
body's temperature an average of four
degrees, producing a mild fever which
helps ward off infection.
Cannon says the same thing happened
when our prehistoric ancestors had to run
away from danger or chase game. Their
fever triggered an anti-infection response
which protected them from injury.
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APPrVREWiy, THE AMENCAN PRESIDENT THINKS}**)
AMERICANS WWTE TO WANN LANPERS," SEEU
AW SHE TEUSTHEM IN THE NEWSPAPER,
SEE, HON TO LWE THEIR. UVES-
for KS research
The American Leathermen, a social club, will
hold its third "Slave Auction" at the Different
Drum, Friday (tonight), June 18, at 10:00 p.m.
A Kaposi's sarcoma research committee has
been named to receive one half of the
proceeds raised at the event.
Bidding will be led by professional
auctioneer Frank Spencer and "currency" will
be raffle tickets purchased in advance or at the
auction Dr. Didier Piot. member of Karposi's
Sarcoma Committee, will start the event by
giving an informative speech on the cancer.
Allan Lipcan, the club's chairman of the
slave auction committee, said advance ticket
sales have been "nearly overwhelming." He
added, "Every club member on one level or
another is working toward an event that will
benefit something we all believe in."
Lewis Pace, co-chairman of the committee,
said that "the slave who brings the most
'points' (each raffle ticket is valued at 1000
points) during the bidding will receive an
expense paid trip to the Gay Rodeo in Reno.
Nevada, and from there be flown to San
Additional prizes have been offered by local
gay businesses for other participants.
"Mac" of the Different Drum, a victim of
Karposi's sarcoma, will be the dungeon master
at the event.
Gay Pride Week 1982 has started, and this is
the fifth year Houston has celebrated the event
in a major way.
Of course, the highlight of the "week" (11
days) is the June 27 parade and political rally.
That's all next week.
But this week there are several important
Interact and GPC have joined forces to
present this Monday night's educational forum
at 1st Unitarian Church, 5210 Fannin. Guest
speaker will be Houston political expert Dr.
Richard Murray of the U of H.
Also, two films. Pink Triangles and
Greetings from Washington. D.C. will be
shown. The first is a film on homophobia and
the second is a film about the 1979 National
March on Washington by gay people.
This Saturday, 4pm, the Montrose Sports
Association All-Stars take on a team from the
Houston Fire Dept. But before you go to that.
check out Cherryhust Park, noon-5pm, for the
Juneteenth Festival, being jointly staged by
the msa and bwmt.
In case you're wondering why there's no
Houston Police Dept. softball team playing the
MSA, they're weren't invited.
The "Gay Pride Day" fundraiser last Tuesday
night at Kindred Spirits raised a whopping
$2000 for the Gay Pride Week Committee.
Hundred attended for music, comedy and
The Montrose Sports Association held a nice
appreciation party last Friday, June 11, forthe
businesses (which includes the old VOICE)
which sponsor MSA teams.
The event was at the Travelodge on the
(Everything was just peachy, except the
food. Sorry, but those Travelodge
restaurant "horse dervies" stunk.
Next time, let's cater them in from one of
our fine gay establishment,)
Sponsors—without the Oam
members—of bowling teams, softball teams
and volleyball teams got together to
socialize—and brag about their teams.
For many, it was the first time they had
met each other.
Thanks to Jim Reagan (no relation to
Ronald) and other msa officials for thinking
A new cartoon strip starts this week in the
VOICE: "A Touch of Color" by Joy, featuring
the adventures of Red Necque
It will alternate with "Murphy's Manor" on
the classified page