Ten years of working on behalf of the homosexual has been stimulating, frequently inspiring, often vexatious, sometimes rewarding, constantly frustrating in one way or another, and forever on the brink of privation for the officers. The available funds were so meagre that no salaries at all were allocated for the first four years. Then as circulation increased & donations dribbled in, we ventured to declare salaries
But not yet for the Chiefsoh no! We could not afford it! But we desperately needed at least one full time employeea gentleman took a sabbatical leave from his place of employment (but was not paid by his employer) and came to work at ONE. An extraordinary meeting was immediately called to deliberate the matter of salary, and the munificent sum of $25.00 was considered feasible.
Gradually the editorial help became manifest and finances improved. Now, we though, surely now we can pay the Secreatry/Treasurer and the Executive Editor each a salaryand we did! We were inexpressibly jubilant! Now and long last they could gloat over their paychecks each Fridayno longer depend on long suffering benefactors for roof and board. The fact that income did not keep up with the inexorable demands of three paychecks each relentless week of the year did not dampen our joywe simply skipped a paycheck or two every third or fifth week. They had their cake last week we, said, now let them exist on the memory of it! Maybe next week we can pay them. Besides, it will teach them thrift, and heaven knows we need to be thrifty!
But when I saw holes in the shoe leather I skipped payment on a bill of my own, put some cash on the desk and said, “For Christ's sake, buy a pair of shoes!”
“Good!” said the recipient. “I’ll have half soles put on and put the rest towards the printing bill.”
Now there you are! With this kind of disregard for mere creature comforts that most of us take for granted as our just dueWith this kind of abstemious, devoted, dedicated will to serveand go on serving come what mayso is it any wonder that ONE rocked along for ten years?
The wonder of it all is that, in a measure, we did prosper. We made tremendous gains in serving a segment of humanityand by this token, all humanity.
We are a child of our timeswe are a voice no longer in the wilderness but are heard in the citiesever militant are we and this is our strength. The milestones of achievement are passed by and remain as markers.
Before 1952, an organization like ONE, working forthright and publicly in behalf of the homosexual, now in half measures nor in undertones but boldly proclaiming its avowed intentionsemblazoned in its very masthead “The Homosexual Magazine”“The Homosexual Viewpoint” would have seemed impossible.
But there we were with our masthead in broad daylightpublicly displayed.
It so happened that a certain man whose spirit was heavily burdened with troubles stemming from his homosexual orientation thought he saw the “word” in print as he glanced over the wares of a newsstand. He took a double takeanother lookWell I’ll be damned! Actually a homosexual magazine, and no mistake!
Well this is my point any statement more decorously, discretely disguised would have misfired! Most of you know how this man reactedyou've heard the story before, how he reached for the magazine with its message ringing in his earshow he devoured it in one compelling sittinghow he subsequently came to the office to see with his own eyes who these undaunted, articulate, brash idiots might be who would have proclaimed such lofty idealsIncorporated yet and wonder of wonder avowed homosexuals!
Its an old story how he became our first Social Services case. How he redeemed his self respecthow he achieved a successful equilibirumhow he jumped on his sputtering scooter and stormed the newsstands and successfully disseminated our subsequent issues.
And then in 1954 we conducted our first public program in New York city.
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