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Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003
File 016
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Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 016. 2003-06-20. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 6, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2423.

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.

(2003-06-20). Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 016. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2423

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.

Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 016, 2003-06-20, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 6, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2423.

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 Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date June 20, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
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 016
Transcript I ■M DINING: Midtown pizza place serves up delicious Italian dishes. Page 17. PETS: Gay Houston couple's four-legged "children" are two German Shepherds. Page 18. on the Bayou HOUSTON VOICE JUNE 20, 2003 PAGE 15 The world according to Ray Arguably the father of the Houston gay rights movement Hill presses on in his own unique style By TINA KING RAY HILL WAS A GAY ACTIVIST IN Houston at a time before "gay activist" could have been a term said out loud. He remembers the day when a gay man got assaulted and a sheet was spread out on a pool table in a bar so that those present could treat the victim themselves. They had to, Hill relates, because to call in emergency medical technicians would mean that the victim would have to tell where, how and why he was beaten up. If he did that, the best case scenario would be that he would lose his job for being gay Hill has dipped his hands into the blood of a gay-bashing victim in the days when HIV/AIDS was new and fear of the disease was overwhelming. He has been a high school quarterback, an evangelist, served time in prison and conquered alcoholism. Those who first meet this fascinating man receive a warm greeting from a tall, personable gentleman with an outstretched hand. He is articulate — he uses words like "machinations" and "esoteric." Names of the mothers and fathers of the GLBT movement, court cases and dates, names of reporters, police officers, city officials and authors stream from his tongue as if he were the fountainhead. As Houstonians celebrate Pride 2003, Hill reflects on his own path of pride — a path that has run parallel with Houston's gay rights movement. Coming out It was 1958, Eisenhower was president, Hill went to Galena Park High School and a man could be thrown in jail just for being gay, because it was a crime in the United States. Hill had always known that he was gay and was so aware of his gayness that he decided to become an evangelist Having been raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church by his atheist mother, Hill became a 13-year-old evangelist because he believed that one day God would "cure" him of his homosexuality By the time he was 16 years old, he'd was a successful minister and had acquired a drinking problem. His homosexual desires were still present; he became sick of the hypocrisy and retired from the evangelist's circuit. Through all of these years, knowing that he was gay, Hill was never ashamed of whom he was, so at 17 he came out to his mother, he recalls. Her response? "Oh, you're gay Thaf s such a relief Raymond (Ray's father) and I h.ave been noticing that you've been dressing up (coats and ties) more than the other boys in the neighborhood and we thought that you were hying to appear wealthier than we are "We were afraid that you might grow up to be a Republican and embarrass the family," she told him. Road to activism In his early years, Hill formed the "Promethean Society" with Rita Wanstraum, Ray and Davie Patterson and John Hilliard. The society was named after the mythological god of fire and light. The group found it an apropos name, as they would be the fire and light for a society that had little light when it came to the issue of homosexuality, Hill explains. Hill and Wanstraum had different views on the way those in the movement should conduct themselves in order to best promote the cause, Hill recalls. According to Hill, Wanstraum said outsiders would judge the entire movement by the actions of the few. Therefore, she was in favor of projecting all that was respectable and "normal" to the watching world and felt that GLBT people should watch their behavior. Hill, on the other hand, believed that the actions of one do not reflect all, because people are individuals and should be viewed accordingly. He was more in your face: "We're here, we're queer, so get used to it." Together, the pair were early co-grand marshals of the Pride parade when it was in its infancy Hill believes in openness when it comes to his own imperfections as well. He openly volunteers that in the 1970s he was sentenced to the Texas penitentiary for commercial burglaries. This was the way he financed his social activist endeavors — stealing. He was released from prison in March 1975 after serving four years, four months and 17 days. Hill soon made this experience applicable in a positive way by starting his own radio show in April 1975. "The Prison Show" on KPFT 9 FM has become widely renowned, even g" On the front lines Think 1991, the Paul Broussard case and the "Woodland 10." Hill was personally involved in reacting to that infamous Houston gay beating. In the early morning hours of July 4,1991, Hill received a phone call that a young gay man, Broussard, had been the victim of a gay bashing, was lying in a parking lot and the emergency team refused to pick him up. Hill got on the phone and demanded that Broussard be picked up. When Hill arrived, Broussard's blood was still wet on the ground and many in the GBLT community just stood around in stunned silence, Hill recalls. Knowing that the stigma and mystery surrounding HIV and AIDS made even gays frightened of their own spilled blood, HUT walked up, put both of his hands in Broussard's blood, wiped them on his shirt, and then proceeded to talk to those on the scene, he relates. Hill spearheaded an effort to find the assailants. This ultimately resulted in the unearthing of 10 young men from the Woodlands who allegedly committed this crime Because of Hill's efforts, seven in all eventually received jail sentences, and now because of Hill's efforts, at least one has been paroled, and Hill is seeking to help the others. Hill explains that he began corresponding with and visiting with the young men in prison. Hill believed that the fastest way to further alienate them from and harden them against the gay community would be a prison system that often is brutal on gays. "It's like sending in mad dogs and getting out rattlesnakes," HUT says. As he has come to know the young men and their stories, he believes the most beneficial thing for the gay community, the city and the perpetrators themselves is for them to be paroled. Hill sees no dichotomy in both having helped to have them incarcerated and in now coming to their aid to have them freed. Seasoned activist Hill's activism as a gay man extends throughout his life. His younger sister died in a car accident in 1977 and left two young boys. Hill adopted and raised the chUdren as his own, and it was their choice that he do so. He over-prepared them for the reaction their peers might have to them being raised by a gay parent, he says. There weren't any negative reactions to speak of Having studied the art and science of bringing about social change, he says the oft- quoted phrase in the civil rights movement is "Quote Martin Luther King, but read Malcolm X." He remembers the day Anita Bryant came to Houston and gays ceased to be scared, frightened individuals fending for themselves and they solidified into a unified community, realizing that they were not alone. He still says that gays are individuals and need to be seen in all their messy, multi-faceted diverseness. Hill's desire is that those who have had such a pivotal impact in the GLBT movement, though perhaps having untidy lives like his own, not be written out of GLBT history. He doesn't always go with the flow. He doesn't fear struggling upstream to bring about change. He wants to make people think, and he certainly succeeds. 77ms week's activities as part of Houston Pride Month include: Pride Committee of Houston www.prklehouston.org Saturday, June 21 11 a.m.-lO p.m. Pride Day at Six Rags Astroworld Cost: $35 in advance, $39.95 at the door Six Flags Astroworld 610 South Loop between Kirby and Fannin 7:30 am Sixth annual Houston Pride 5k Fun Run & Walk Cost: $20 Sam Houston Park 9 p.m.-5 am "Official" After Astroworld Party "Rollercoaster" Rich's, 2401 San Jacinto Sunday, June 22 1-4 pm Family and Youth Day Cost: Free Memorial Parte 7-9:30 p.m. XALT: Xtreme Adoration of the Lord Together (Praise Day) Cost: Free Community Gospel Church 4305 Lillian Tuesday, June 24 *new date* 6-8 p.m. "Outbreak: A Community Forum on Gay Men's Sexual Health" 1415 Bar & Grille, 1415 California Wednesday, June 25 8:30-10 am Explaining HIV Drug Resistance: A Patient-friendly Approach Cost: Free, but RSVP required The Center for AIDS 1407 Hawthorne Thursday, June 26 7:30 pm "Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay" Cost: Free Theatre New West 1415 California 8:30 pm "Could Angels Be Blessed" Cost: $10, with proceeds benefiting GCAM Theatre Suburbia, 1410 West 43rd ■
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