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Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996
File 016
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Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 016. 1996-06-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6895.

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.

(1996-06-21). Houston Voice, No. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 016. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6895

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. 817, June 21, 1996 - File 016, 1996-06-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6917/show/6895.

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. 817, June 21, 1996
Contributor
  • Bell, Deborah Moncrief
Publisher Window Media
Date June 21, 1996
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 HOUSTON VOICE/JUNE 21. 1996 15 PLAIN SPEAKING by Larry Lingle Sex sells. In this age of Calvin Klein ads, perfumes and colognes which apparently cannot be sold without a prerequisite nude body or two. movies which require buffing up or silicone injecting, the gay male market has long led the way. Only a little more than a generation ago total nudity was taboo in magazines. During the increased freedom which coincided with the anti-war years, the posing strap fell away to reveal that which men had been imagining for decades. Wuh the advent of video tapes, again coinciding with a national tragedy—the AIDS epidemic—the restraints came down, and in some cases went on. Now, as the gay market increasingly receives mainstream attention, Ihe marketing mimics society in general. There is a flood of music CDs aimed at the gay male audience, ranging from disco to classical, capturing hunky half-nude models on their covers, just in case someone would fail to understand the direction of the marketing. In the evolution of our times, it is understandable that such marketing should invade the very halls which were once closed to the gay market—the major publishing houses. Once il was considered daring for such a publisher to come out with a title like "The Joy of Gay Sex" with 'gay' right there on the cover. On a trip last week to attend ihe American Booksellers' Association Convention. I took as plane reading a new book by Douglas Sad- ownik. "Sex Between Men." a title which pretty much captures the essence of the book. But in case there remained any doubt, the cover carries a photo by Joe Ziolkowski titled "Censored" of two nude males strategically holding one hand over the privates of ihe other. I would have to give Harper San Francisco, the publisher, an A+ in marketing. Perhaps the Lammys—the Lambda Literary Awards which are given in conjunction with the ABA convention— should add a category for marketing. After all. the blatant selling means more to the gathered Gay and Lesbian book- dealers than some of the tomes foisted on the reading public as Gay and Lesbian studies. Actually, Sadownick's book is an intriguing mix of gay history, memoirs and reminiscences, and plain sex talk—all this and footnotes too. And, while he covers much familiar ground, Sadownick brings together a larger picture of the evolving gay male sex life. Seeing the Second World War as the first great gay liberation, he follows through the later Stonewall revolution into the epic of AIDS. Within his limitation of gay male sexual history, Sadownick does an admirable job of mining the memoirs and histories as well as the recollections of the survivors. Gay history has the disadvantage that much of its primary sources are destroyed or unrecorded, as well as the single advantage of being recent history and thus easier to reconstruct. As a consequence, his sources are familiar names to those interested in this subject: Alan Berube (who just received a MacArthur Grant), Daniel Webster Cory, Jim Kepner, Harry Hay, Donald Vining, and a few others whose activities or memoirs remain with us. In dealing with the upheaval of the Second World War, Sadownick has the advantage of the writings of several gay activists who served in that conflict. What does come out of these sources is the dominant theme throughout the book, that gay male history seems restricted to the East and West coasts with a vast unknown between. Now, granted, Sadownick cannot be entirely faulted for this emphasis. One of the effects of the Second World War was that most of the young men headed for war travelled through one coastal port or another. And, after the war, those who would return and assume a role in leading the new gay movement concentrated in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Thus much of the primary material on which our history is built comes from such limited locales. The challenge for all of those not living or coming out in one of these major cities is to gather and make available source material on gay life elsewhere. Unfortunately, the few repositories for Gay and Lesbian history are also in these same few cities. Gay studies in colleges and universities are also concentrated in or near the same Big Three. While there are scattering attempts to foster gay and lesbian libraries in a number of cities, these repositories usually consist of published material, much of which comes from the Big Three. Such libraries seem, in most cases, to rely for their existence on the interest of a single individual. In the case of Dallas, Phil Johnson, ilmoti singlehandedly, haa held together that city's gay history in what has become one of the largest gay and lesbian community centers in the country. Houston, by contrast, has no community center and the only gay and lesbian library is in the local gay church and was basically created by one person, now deceased. I mentioned in this column recently about evidence of a thriving gay and lesbian intellectual community in Houston immediately after the Second World War. One of the centers of that community was a well known lesbian doctor whose friendships ranged from Tennessee Williams to Carson McCullars. Yet, I dare say her name would be less recognizable than the towel boy at the baths. Maybe our gay past means nothing to our community today. And maybe we aren't really a community. In a society within the greater society in which youth is prized above all else, we think we have nothing to learn from our seniors, and, in the process, we lose the very identity which makes us other than simply sexual beings. I fear we're playing the game just as our enemies would wish—we are becoming that which the Christian Coalition says we always were: Deviants set on sexual conquest. A minority which encompasses some of the best and brightest, some of the most talented. Are we allowing ourselves to sink to the lowest common denominator? CM? PGEOTff (§587 BaSCODCO® DC3 (ME G^raOTMJ17S Q Patrol needs volunteers. Anyone can join - there are no physical fitness requirements. Spend one night a month with us and see what you're missing! Call 528-SAFE. 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