February 1966 • Vol. 1 No. 5
Originally published in the February 1966 issue of Tangents
Your readers may be interested in knowing, in connection with Bob Waltrip’s perceptive review of the 1963 English movie, The Leather Boys (currently showing around the U.S. due to Rita Tushingham’s growing fame as an actress), that this movie is based on the novel of the same name by Eliot George (real name Gillian Freeman) published in London in 1961. The book is very well done. It really should be reprinted in the United States some day.
Tangents’ January ‘phoenix’ cover symbolizes what has been much in evidence in recent issues—the rise of a fresh, youthful, well-edited homophile magazine. The editorial reflects a forward-looking point of view. Marcel Martin continues his calm reasoning. James Colton leaves us on another exciting fictional thread. And newsy ‘Tangents’ I always read first. Gene Damon’s book reviews are worth the price. Even the poems are good (I am not ordinarily a bard-lover)—I read them twice.
You are quite right that there is much work to be done in changing the legal aspects of the homosexual “problem,” but the situation does not look hopeless; it is actually encouraging in contrast to 10 or 15 years ago. And the younger generation, with its lower tolerance of hypocrisy than customary among previous generations of Americans gives us cause to look toward an even brighter future.
It looks to me like the deadly American female is losing out in her attempt to dominate and emasculate the American male. The women are finding it just doesn’t work any more. Maybe I am identifying too much with the youth revolution—it is a real revolution in attitudes, one of the best kinds of revolutions, but which like all revolutions involves only a small percentage of the population. However, this small percentage represents the true leaders—despite all the government and the mass media are trying to do to misrepresent and minimize its importance.
Let’s keep preaching our gospel to the young—as always.
I believe the ideal solution for the homosexual looking for sexual satisfaction is the same as for anyone else. That is, in the the affection and loyalty of a companion of the same age—one who is discreet and willing to enter into such a relationship with the firm belief that it is perfectly normal and decent. Sexual experts still insist that the heterosexual relationship is the perfect one for normal living, but we have every day evidence of its imperfections. What about the thousands of divorces every year? What about the rapings, the unwed mothers who become charity wards?
I do not believe the homosexual would make a public display of himself, but I deplore the police practices that take advantage of the need for homosexuals to meet one another. Get a loyal, affectionate companion is my advice. I had one from age 16 to 23; it was a very happy period for me.
How goes it in Hollywood? I thought I would drop you a line to report the goings-on in Long Beach. We have a new topless bar called the Sarong. The waiters are dressed in Sarongs only, of course. A bar in nearby Garden Grove is now permitting dancing between two men. The bars in Long Beach discourage drag queens, to the other night when I took a couple of the “girls” out the cops kept breathing down our necks all the time.
What is the world coming to?
We in Scandinavia are quite delighted with your new Tangents Magazine. But it is a bit dismaying, and difficult to figure out your strange maneuvers these past months. As I see it, ONE, Inc. Now publishes Tangents, and this seems to be ideal. The name ONE was never to my mind particularly suited to a publication. Far too much confusion resulted in its use. Are you going to make a “tangents-Confi” now? I hope so, and I also hope to see it regularly. During the latter years we have only received the old Confi now and then—never on a regular basis.
Your situation reminds me of that in Germany and Holland years ago, and even recently: groups and movements shifting and coming and going. There was the C.O.C. vs DOK, and now the old man, Bob Angelo, who originally built up the C.O.C, is pushed aside by persons who no longer handle the matters correctly. Vriendschap, that beautiful publication, is gone, and in its place Dialoog appears only every other month. And Mr. Angelo isn’t even in charge of that publication—but is now only one editor among others. What is right? What is wrong?
I think I have learned something about myself through reading your magazine, and I hope that others have done the same. I wish that in 1966 you can come to an agreement with the “bearphiles” [sic] across town from you. Now that I have moved from Los Angeles, I am sorry I did not visit your wonderful library more often.
I am sending you a large shipment of books to add to your collection. In all the reading I have done on the subject I find that most of the authors believe that before the “straight” world can accept us, we must accept ourselves—especially in our sexual desires. However, during my years in Los Angeles I learned this first-hand better than any book could have taught me.
I count myself lucky in not having been hurt in my travels through the various levels of homosexual society in your city, and I would not give up the experience or anything in the world. Now that I look back on it, I think I have seen some of the worst and best parts of homosexuality. I believe we learn something from every experience that we have, and I certainly learned plenty. I will never be the same after living in L.A. Perhaps now I will be able to help others.
©1966, 2016 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.