came to us and we said we'd love to work
with you, providing that we don't have to
work with local TV cameras. You send us a
crew from New York City, and we'll give
you everything you asked for. And those
three men have been absolute gentlemen.
They have gone into gay bars, they have
respected you because they realize that if
they turn a camera on you that you can
lose a job, whether it be $5000, $10,000 or
$15,000 a year, it's still an income.
"And I explained that to the mayor of
the City of Houston and she said, 'Well, I'll
be willing to come if there are no TV cameras.'
"And I said to the mayor, the way I'm
supposed to do as president of an organization that delegates responsibility
among the board members who represent
every background, every group, everyone
in this community, I said to her, 'I'll call
you back in five minutes.'"
After another outburst of applause, Bagneris continued: "Then I took my board
outside, and I explained to my board the
request of the mayor of the City of Houston, and my board said to me if Kathy
Whitmire, who makes $80,000 a year, can't
face the NBC cameras the way we did
after taking our votes, well, then, we're
going to take it to you to let you decide
what you want to do with that-
"We've been tempted with a taste of freedom!"
Bagneris was interupted at this points
with shouts of 'recall' from the crowd.
"But let me guarantee you that it's an
artificial taste of freedom, and now we
want the real thing. We want the real
thing," he shouted. "We want to have the
same rights and privileges and protection
under the law." Then quieter, he said, "It's
simple. We want to keep our jobs, we want
to choose the places we live in, we want to
raise our kids if that's our blood. That's the
"But the real bottom line is that we want
for the people we've worked for, we've
sweat for, we've suffered for to stand with
us side by side until we've accomplished
the goal of total freedom for every gay
man, for every leabian in the City of Houston," he said to thunderous applause.
"I've got four more months as president
of this organization, and it would be easy
for me to continue to play the facade, but I
have had it up to here," he shouted to more
applause. "I have no desire whatsoever to
play anybody else's facade. If you can find
the time to ride in a black day parade, an
Irish day parade and a Mexican-
American day parade, well damn it, you
can find the time—when these people have
suffered through an election—to come out
and find the time to say thank you."
After the crowd quietened, Bagneris propositioned them: "Now what we're going
to do is let you decide if you're willing to
continue—because we boast all over the
country that ... we have a pro-gay
mayor—we areelected and dictated by you
what you want us to do. Well tonight, we're
not going to make the decision. You've
done the work. You've stood up and lost
your job, and you make the decision. We
want to know," he shouted, "we want to
see the show of hands of how many of
you—now that the TV cameras are gone—
would like to see the mayor of the City of
The crowd voted overwhelmingly to see
the mayor, and there were shouts of "We
want her here!"
Bagneris continued: "This is not a mob.
We're going to control ourselves like we
always have, like ladies and gentlemen.
Okay? And we're going to conduct ourselves as adults."
Then Bagneris tried his final attempt at
voicing his disapproval. "Now I want to
know how many of you would like to just
call it an evening and when they arrive
decide that we've had enough partying
and go home and let them come and visit
anybody that they want to visit because
we're not interested?" The crowd
"The problem right now is I want you to
realize that she's just been elected the
mayor of the City of Houston. I want you
to promise me, should she come in that
front door—because I'm not lying to you—
I've never lied to you—I want you to promise me that there'll be no hecklers from the
Nov. 11,1983 / Montrose Voice 7
crowd, no shouting, and we'll stand here
and listen to what she has to say, and we'll
applaud her on the way out. And let me tell
you why. Let me tell you why," he shouted.
"And the first person that is rude with the
mayor of the City of Houston will have to
deal with me. Why? Because these
members who stand with you tomorrow
afternoon at 5:30 ... have a meeting with
the mayor of the City of Houston. We have
a meeting that's guaranteed. Will you support the Gay Political Caucus by acting
like ladies and gentlemen? Will you support us when we go in tomorrow and give
her a list of the many things we want done
in this city—this her second time around?
Will you support us in what we want from
the mayor of the City of Houston?"
After the crowd promised to cooperate,
Bagneris continued: "I have your word,
and I've always trusted you."
Bagneris then told the crowd to keep
their clothes on and not embarrass Houston's gay community the way so many
had embarrassed theirB in San Francisco.
"I beg you, do not embarass us."
It was later reported to the VOICE that
Mayor Whitmire listened to Bagneris'
speech to the crowd at Numbers via a
walkie-talkie in her limousine.
Mayor Whitmire's only comment was
reported to have been, "I just wish they
wouldn't be taking this attitude."
Minutes after Bagneris' spoke, the
mayor walked onto Numbers' stage to
"Hello," she said in her strained voice.
"It's great to see all of you."
After more applause, she continued: "I
just want to say that tonight we had a
wonderful experience because they told us
that we couldn't do it. They said it was a
fluke last time. And I just want to congratulate all the people that worked with us. It
takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of dedication.
"We had strong opposition this time. We
had opposition that spent a million dollars
against us. But because you did the work,
because you worked with us, we were able
to win and were able to win big."
After the applause died, she said, "And I
think this says a lot about this campaign
and the people that worked in it."
The mayor then excused herself due to
her voice, and introduced George Greanias, "a good friend of mine and a good
friend of yours."
Then Greanias made a statement that
sat uncomfortably on the shoulders of
many in the crowd. "These few people up
here (the GPC board members) are perhaps the closest to you in terms of representing the community. We don't forget it
for a minute that we're in office. And don't
let anybody let you think that we ever
forget that we welcome, we acknowledge
and we respect your support and we ask
for it again, and again and again. We
thank you. We both thank you.
"You all have done wonderful things in
the last four years," he continued, 'from
'79 when the council changed. There is so
much left to do. Don't lose sight of what
the goal is. The goal is progress for this
community, for this city. Stick with us.
We're moving forward. We're gonna get at
it. You keep at it. You can't lose. And as
long as we stick together, there's no goal
we can't accomplish. We are united. We
Will the age of robots usher in life after
death? Neil Frude thinks so, says a recent
issue of Omni.
The Welsh psychologist says that after
you're gone, your friends may be able to
console themselves by having a cup of tea
with your mechanical double at the wake.
Frude says robot technology will someday
produce "look-alike vinyl shells" programmed to mimic speech, gestures and
attitudes. They may even be able to "physically interract" with loved ones.
Frude admits his notion is "profoundly
disturbing," but he says "it's something
akin to a bid for immortality."
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