September 27, 2010.
To the Editor of the Montrose Gem:
I glanced online at your current issue of The Montrose Gem and thought I’d say I found your donation of books to the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Houston a good idea even if you miss the books. Do I understand that there is also a Resource Center at Rice University too? That is good for students. I hope all new students learn of these and the LGBT groups there.
Is the Gem distributed on campuses?
I do wonder how many people read books today. Many say they don’t have time, with required reading etc. I think there should be a short list of important books, such as for History month. Of course some will read fiction for pleasure. I must admit I did not read books on the subject of homosexuality until I was already “out.”
I also found the article on meanings of Montrose (“History at a Glance,” by Craig Farrel) interesting. It is curious, sociologically, how some area of a city becomes more “gay-friendly” than others. My only contact with the area was years ago when a cousin, Lanny Brown, lived there — he died later — and worked for a florist there.
I think we need to make history sexy, apparently. With all the good current mention of homosexuality, it may not be interesting for young homosexual men and women to get past watching Ellen, Real World, and gay/lesbian characters on many TV shows to learn that life was not always so “gay.”
Just as someone had to work to make America as good as it is, someone had to actually work to make America more gay-friendly. And it started in 1950, in the worst of times, the McCarthy era, of making some scapegoats — Communists — and making homosexuals sound bad by accusing us of being Communists.
Actually, that was not so wild since the founders of this movement were Communists — but had been kicked out of the party because they were homosexual about the time they were kicked out of the homosexual groups for being Communists. And immediately the movement was taken over by conservatives.
Today we all all types, politically, religiously, socially, etc. (The current issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review is devoted to showing such diversity, with articles, ironically, on the Radical Faeries, also founded by the movement’s main-co-founder, Harry Hay, and then the male bears, and a certain type of lesbian, out of the mainstream.)
That is why another article is so important for young people to try to understand, and that is that, while it was Republicans that blocked the ending of DADT, there are two LGBT Republican groups working to change the views in the party. An even harder problem to deal with is the religious bigotry about sexuality, ironically in the black churches of using the same Bible that approved of slavery to say homosexuality is wrong. And proof that the ones preaching this nonsense the most are closet queen black preachers (see Bishop Long of Georgia). It takes a little perspective to learn who our enemies are and how to deal with them. But it is much easier today than in 1950 — long before Stonewall — when the founders started to educate themselves and others about the truth about sexuality, especially homosexuality. We are still making progress. And it is good to have The Montrose Gem keeping us informed and entertained.