HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 29, 2000
National News 4
Polite News 5
World News 10
Health news 11
Han-Net establishes list of goals for 2001
VOICES 8, ECHOES
(rain: lime for gays lo break the faith? 8
Murphy/Minicucci: Celebrate your neurosis . .9
'Dykes to Watch Out For' 9
OUT ON THE BAYOU
The good, bad and ugly of theater in 2000 ..15
Oul in Music: Queer tunes of the year 18
On Screen. Quantity, nol quality in gay film ..19
Ealing Oul at Marrakech 20
Bayou Calendar 17
Community Calendar 22-23
My Stars! 27
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500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200
Houston, TX 77006
Finding homes for GLBT organizations,
generating political activism top the list
by ELLA TYLER
Han-Net, the e-group for Houston's GLBT activists, recently asked
its members to vote on Community Challenges for 2001. The poll closed
"Focus on local and state political issues" was the top vote-getter,
with 16 votes. The Texas legislature will be meeting from January to
May of 2001, and city elections will be held in November of 2001.
Finding new homes for the Houston Lesbian & Gay Community
Center and the Gulf Coast Archives & Museum were the next highest
priority, with 12 votes and 10 votes respectively.
"Exploring options for a new home is one of our primary objectives
for the year ahead and we will soon have a second meeting open to anyone who wishes to participate in the process," Tim Brookover, HLGCC
The Community Center is outgrowing it's current space, and
GCAM is temporarily housed in a portion of a warehouse east of downtown that is used as a residence.
> Continued on Page 12
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Han-Net, an e-group for political activists in Houston's queer community, was established two years ago by Brandon Wolf. Found at
www.egroups.com/group/han-net, the list is not moderated and has
nearly 250 members.
Snapshots from a gay millennium
As 2001 marks the real
start of the new millennium,
the first 1,000 years show
by LAURA BROWN
To say that life on Earth has changed in the
last 1,000 years would be a massive understatement—although to say that there are
some for whom things haven't changed so
much is also certainly true.
Gay history, too, shows a pattern of escalating change with a stubborn undercurrent of
hostility toward gays, although gay history is
much more difficult to track. Most scholars, in
fact, will argue that there really is no such
thing as "gay history" before the last century
The idea of a separate gay identity, they
point out, is a very recent social phenomenon:
While individuals engaged in sexual relations
with members of their own sex in centuries
past, and even in some cases were assigned
social roles because of it, they were unlikely to
have constructed their identity around their
sexuality in the same way that many gay men
and lesbians do today.
So looking back to the beginning of the millennium, the story of "gay history" is more
often a story of same-sex attraction, sodomy or
gender transgression, and how the people
involved in these activities were treated by the
individuals and institutions around them.
It is also, very often, a tale of persecution—
although there have always been cultures,
many non-Westem, that have accepted and
even celebrated such differences—and a tale of
institutions of social power and how they
affect whose story gets told, then and now.
Much more is known about male-male
relationships, especially up until the last two
centuries, as sexism and patriarchy in many
societies kept women from recording their
own stories and made them invisible or uninteresting to the men who created much of the
bodies of law and literature that have survived
Most gay historical scholarship has also
focused on Western cultures, to the exclusion
of those in Africa, Asia and other parts of the
• In his 1051 treatise "Book of Gomorrah,"
Saint Peter Damian wrote at length about the
evil of male homosexuality, especially in the
clergy, including long and very detailed
accounts of what he implied were very common homosexual acts.
• Though not officially condoned, homosexual activity often was tolerated in the
Catholic clergy. Pope Urban II, who launched
the first Crusade, declined to act on information from church leaders who complained
about the male lover of Ralph, Archbishop of
Tours, rjecoming Archbishop of Orleans. John,
Ralph's lover, was elected in 1098.
And while Ralph's homosexuality was so
well known that it was described in popular
songs, in later years, crackdowns on known
adulterers among the clergy—who were
required to be celibate—left John and Ralph
• In 1102, the ecclesiastical Council of
London sought to inform the general citizenry
that "sodomy" was a sin that needed to be
included in confessions, although the edict
may never have been published. "This sin has
hitherto been so public that hardly anyone is
embarrassed by it," wrote Saint Anselm,
Archbishop of Canterbury.
• In 1179, the Catholic Lateren HI council
imposed sanctions against a variety of sinners,
including those involved with homosexuality
Relative tolerance of same-sex relations in the
early part of the millennium may be represented
in art from the period: This sculpture from the
12th century came from an area known for
homosexuality; it could depict merely wrestlers,
scholar John Boswell notes, or much more.
in a list that also included Jews, Muslims,
heretics and moneylenders.
• Although the past century in Europe was
considered fairly open to same-sex relationships, the next two showed increasing persecution, as religion and law became increasingly absolute. As the Crusades continued,
Christian leaders tried to rally hatred against
Muslims by alleging effeminacy and sodomy
as characteristics of the entire ethnic group.
• The earliest and most stringent legislation passed against gays came from Europeans
> Continued on Page 12