Letters to Tangents
Vol. 1 No. 2
Originally published in the Nov. 1965 issue of Tangents
I have been an avid reader of ONE, and now Tangents, for a number of years. I always enjoy the stories and letters contained in each issue.
A few months ago, Hal Call of the Mattachine Society appeared on one of our local TV shows to explain something of the homosexual make-up to the general public. I believe it would he a good idea if someone from our own organization here were to make a similar appearance as a representative for the cause of homosexuality.
Needless to say, we need good representation if we are to gain our rightful place in society — and who is better qualified than the editors of Tangents? I have written to the station on which Mr. Call appeared suggesting a series of programs on this subject. If you will recall Paul Coates did one or two fairly good shows a few years back, but we have a great deal more freedom of expression now than we did then. I wonder how other readers feel about this?
I am very pleased to read that Gene Damon [Barbara Grier] will be writing a column for your Tangents magazine. I have read several of her book reviews, and I must say that she knows her way around on matters pertaining to the homosexual theme. A smart gal, Gene. I, for one, will he looking forward to her column with pleasure.
The editorial staff is right on the ball with the Newsbit section of Confi. And when I read of those fellows who allow themselves to get carried away in public places I am very sorry. They have to learn the hard way. Chapter two of “La Belle Epoque” is by far the best so far. I am looking forward to the others to come.
I believe that Tangents could very easily be made a better seller. I always buy the Reader’s Digest; I consider it good reading. It always contains many good departments, and lots of humor — the latter which I feel is lacking in our own magazine. I don’t think we always have to be serious. Why not laugh a little? It sure helps. Of course, having spent the life of a frustrated “straight” 90% of my life so far, I can see humor where you may not. But there are plenty of funny situations around us every day. This is what I would like to see you consider to improve the magazine. Why not suggest that readers send in their humorous experiences?
As a new member and subscriber, I hope I am not being a bore. I just thought I’d give the editors some food for thought.
Contrary to what some of your readers have said about keeping lesbian interests out of the magazine because they have The Ladder to read, I am all for including their stories and articles. I have noticed you have been printing more lately. Good. I believe Tangents should represent all homosexuals — both men and women. Who wants to read a strictly one-sided magazine?
I believe someone asked about having a question and answers column? It sounded to me like a good idea, and it should be a regular feature. It would be more helpful to readers than the “Tangents” column of news: in fact, the latter column should be considerably shortened.
You should also be more selective in your ads. But I realize you need the money.
Your attitude toward allowing readers to get in touch with each other rather amazes me, especially since if a “Friend” of the organization has the time and money you will put him in touch with a number of other “Friends.”
I refer to your infrequent sponsoring of a gay tour where kindred spirits have a chance to mingle and even meet their neighbors across the seas. Is there any more danger in knowing the name and address of someone who writes an inspiring letter to the organization which is published in the magazine, than there is in being constantly in the company with the same persons for two weeks or more, traveling and staying in hotels together?
In the case of the trip, you are just as responsible for putting the persons in touch.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say it — and you can quote me in your new magazine if you like — but the break away from your old sewing circle atmosphere is long overdue.
I hope your avowal of open mind and heart toward the contemporary viewpoint on sex and sexual freedoms is complete. From what I have observed in my cross-country jaunt, the attitude of most people in the large metropolitan areas has changed considerably in the last ten years. There is much more crossing the lines (the artificial barrier) between hetero and homosexual. This is not to say that American puritan hypocrisy is no longer with us in matters of sex. Apparently, the American is still a guilt-ridden, gawky adolescent, confused and irresponsible. But this applies to heterosexual relations as much as it does to homosexual.
The sad fact is that the latter (in the East more so than in California) have been unable to liberate themselves from their baneful inheritance. Maybe it’s impossible, given the massive combine of schools, church, police and organized psychiatry, all attuned to the gospel of repression.
But enough of these observations! Washington is very gay but very discreet — Big Brother is watching, you know. I sometimes think the whole “District of Columbia” should be sunk under water. The country would probably go on just as it now is. The bars here are sedate — no walking around, standing, or dancing. The patrons are restrained compared with Southern California ways. There is no night life, except that I have mentioned. The suburbs of Washington are the dreariest imaginable. The slums are preferable to other parts because there is a little activity there.
—WASHINGTON, D. C .
Hope all is well on Cahuenga Blvd. and to he soon getting even better.
Do you view Shindig on your California TV?
It’s one of the best produced shows — very effective camera work. It’s really mad. Don’t miss the movie Cat Ballou — one of the best Hollywood films in ages. Michael Callan and Dwayne Hickman are wildly charming — Lee Marvin delightful — and the Indian boy really beautiful in a strange way. I especially liked the scene in which Lee Marvin adorns himself (with the assistance of the Indian boy) in cowboy regalia. I also liked Mr. Marvin in his lavender long-handled underwear. The picture has been enormously successful here in the East and in Europe.
The letter from Mr. H, a few issues back is very, very right. Islands are an answer for the homosexual. I know of one nice Island in Northern Greece which could be bought rather reasonably, but it involves getting people of maturity together who have something definite to offer. Wiring, building, farming skills are required. The Isle I have in mind has one house, some water supply of its own — but a better supply on a main Island 8 miles away where there are also two huge white sandy beaches with not one soul to use them. The Isle has a small cove to moor a boat on: most of the Isle has sheer cliffs which fall into the beautiful water — a paradise for diving enthusiasts. It would probably not be necessary to ever wear clothes except in bad weather. But this is only one place: there are literally hundreds of Islands in the Adriatic. Agean. [sic]
Personally I can contribute 3,000 l.p. discs, 15,000 books covering all topics, a pipe organ, and a grand piano. The only way to do it is take ads in the foreign homophile publications and see what the response is.
Let’s work on some project before we die!