What you get at the motel on the highway & what you get at
the Montrose Inn
Motel: Heterosexuals with kids fighting next door.
Montrose Inn: Gay men next door. Only gay men. Nothing but gay men.
Motel: Several miles to the gay bars.
Montrose Inn: 5 tiny blocks to the gay bars.
Motel: Drive to the gay bars & pay $5 to park. Or take a $15 cab.
Montrose Inn: Walk to the gay bars. Or take a S3 cab.
Motel: Drive back from the gay bars and risk the cops making you walk the
straight line. Or take a $15 cab.
Montrose Inn: Walk back from the gay bars. Or take a $3 cab.
Motel: Pay $39 to $95 a night for a room.
Montrose Inn: Pay $41 to $79 a night for a room.
Motel: Eat in their restaurant. Food for the masses. Pay plenty. $1 soft drink
Montrose Inn: Complimentary late night sandwiches & full breakfast the
next day. Free soft drinks, juices, coffee 24 hours.
Motel: Cruise the parking lot and get threatened.
Montrose Inn: Cruise the hallways. Please!
Motel: The receptionist sneers at you.
Montrose Inn: The receptionist winks at you.
Motel: Washing machine? Ironing board? Hair dryer? Refrigerator? Stove?
Microwave? VCR & gay movies? Are you kidding?
Montrose Inn: All of the above. Free to use.
Motel: Full size bed, everything else is plastic.
Montrose Inn: Queen size bed, hardwood floors, hardly any plastic.
Motel: Maid knocking 8 a.m., you moan but she's coming in anyway. Checkout
Montrose Inn: Handsome man next door knocking 11 a.m. to join him for
breakfast. Checkout 1 p.m.
Reservations requested. 1-800-357-1228. The house at 408
The Montrose Inn is NOT a motet. We're NOT a hotel. We're a Bed & Breakfast.
(And we're Basic & Butch. We're the B&B that's B&B.) We're completely
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By DAVID BIANCO
Who Was Terry Dolan?
Ten years ago this week, Terry Dolan, a
key conservative activist of the 1980s,
died of AIDS. Even as a child, Dolan was
active in Republican politics, volunteering for Richard Nixon's 1960 presidential campaign. When he was 25, he
helped organize the National Conservative Political Action Committee
(NCPAC), and he soon became that organization's director. Dolan was an
extremely talented fund raiser, and many
credit him and his organization with the
stunning triumph of the New Right in
1980. Dolan worked hard for the nomination and election of Ronald Reagan as
President, although his influence was
equally significant in the defeat of liberal Senators such as George Mc-
Govern, Frank Church and Birch Bayh.
The conservatives who replaced them
(including Dan Quayle) gave the Republicans a majority in the Senate for the
first time in a generation.
Dolan was also gay. He was a regular in
the gay cocktail-party circuit of Washington, DC, and often vacationed at gay
resorts such as Northern California's
Russian River. But Dolan's relationship to the gay-rights movement was
complex. Philosophically, Dolan
was opposed to gay-rights laws, insisting that the government shouldn't interfere in people's hiring practices. He
balanced that view with a strong defense
of privacy—which makes sense, because
a decade before "outing." he relied on
the gay community's discretion to
keep him from being discredited among
his conservative peers.
In 1982, he granted an interview to The
Advocate in which he repeated his sup
port for privacy and criticized "some
of the rhetoric that some of my friends in
the right have used on gay activism." But
Dolan (who later denied those comments)
was nol above using anti-gay rhetoric
himself. NCPAC sent out a fund-raising
letter that declared "the nation's moral
fiber is being weakened by ihe growing
homosexual movement and the fanatical ERA pushers (many of whom publicly
brag that they are lesbians)." Some say
Dolan approved the letter, although he
apologized for it to the New York Times,
calling it "totally inappropriate."
In the early 1980s. Dolan joined with former Republican Congressman Robert
Bauman, famed discharged gay Vietnam
veteran Leonard Matlovich and several other gay conservatives to found
the Concerned Americans for Individual Rights (CAIR). Unlike the gay Republican group the Log Cabin Club, CAIR
found little success. Few members were
willing to take leadership roles if it
meant publicity, and while many gay
conservatives offered words of
encouragement and even cash donations, few would write checks or even
allow their names to be associated with
the group. At one point, the group proposed to send out a fund-raising letter to
find conservatives who would support
gay rights, and several of the organizers are said to have requested the names
and addresses of any anti-gay responses
so they could target those individuals
with homophobic fund-raising appeals.
By the time of Dolan's death, CAIR had
largely faded away.
When Dolan began to get sick with AIDS,
he insisted publicly that he suffered
from anemia and diabetes. When he
died, his family held a memorial service
that excluded Dolan's gay friends.
Instead, conservative mourners such
as Pat Buchanan and Utah Senator Orrin
Hatch came to pay their respects to a key
architect of ihe conservative revolution in American government. A
separate service was held by Bauman
and others who wanted to remember
Dolan for all that he was. The Washington Post accurately reported the cause of
death, and later ran a long article about
Dolan's homosexuality. The conservative activist's family and straight
friends were furious. His brother Tony
Dolan (a noted Reagan speechwriter)
even took out a two-page ad in the Washington Times insisting that Terry Dolan
was not gay.
What can we make of a person whose personal and political lives seem so contradictory? Many would settle for a
simple answer—Dolan was a self-hating
homosexual who never became comfortable with his sexual orientation
and expressed his discomfort by trying
to hurt all gays and lesbians. But the truth
is probably more complicated than
that, There is no inherent "gay posi-
tic-n" on issues such as military spending or taxes—and an individual, regardless of his or her sexual orientation,
who feels that conservatives are right
on such issues may find themselves having to face the same challenges Dolan did.
Bui then, they find themselves in bed
(politically, at least) with a Ronald
Reaganor a Jesse Helms, and the conflicts between advancing causes they
believe in and maintaining dignity as a
gay person become almost insoluble.
Given the slow response to the epidemic
from the administration he helped put in
place, Terry Dolan's death from AIDS
made for a final irony in a life full of paradox.
David Bianco, M.A., teaches gay and
lesbian history at the Institute of Gay
and Lesbian Education in West Hollywood. The author of Modern Jewish
History for Everyone, he can' be
reached care of this publication or
through his E-maii address: ArtBianco-
No Access Restrictions
Q1995, American Heart Association
22 HOUSTON VOICE/DECEMBER 27, 1996