Letters to Tangents
Vol. 1 No. 3
Originally published in the Dec. 1965 issue of Tangents
Your reviewer R. H. Stuart describes the short novel Die Welt, Die Ich War by Enzio Hauser in your June 1965 issue as being “certainly one of the most wonderful and healthy homosexual love stories ever written.”
Well, if you call the story of a rich old man buying himself a straight hustler the healthiest hs [homosexual] love story ever written, I am afraid that our opinions will differ. To enjoy sexually the handsome body of a straight hustler is one thing, having enough money to keep this hustler for a couple of years is another—but whatever it is, it isn’t homosexual love as your reviewer wants the American public to learn about in an English edition of this book.
May heaven prevent such translation.
I have just received Tangents in the morning mail.
I must say that the overall aspect of the magazine shows more improvement than anything you have done in the past. In both content and physical appearance as it is crisp, clean and new. Everyone is to be congratulated on a job well done.
I think we must all agree that the time has passed when we can sit back and editorially bore each other with tiresome, phlegmatic accounts of each other’s uninteresting and trivial views. We must put out a magazine that can tastefully compete with paperbacks and other gay monthlies that will be Tangents’ neighbors on the newsstands.
The October number is a good step toward doing just that. Louis Sacriste’s poem [“Lines for Harmodius and Aristogeiton, at Muscle Beach”] is the highlight of the issue. I am anxious to see more of his work in print. “Let’s Have Some Fun” was a good step above the average fiction. Mr. Sandiford writes with insight, and has a firm knowledge of his craft.
In spite of all the obstacles we have hurdled in the past (and in spite of those that may occur in the future) we are going to endure and prevail. The tired old ONE has dyed its hair, lifted its face, and suddenly become a high-stepping teenager. It’s a delight to behold.
I think you are doing a very excellent job of showing the psychological makeup of the homosexual. It is my opinion that every male of every race is in fact homosexual—that is to some extent. Mankind is basically bisexual in every case, but few admit it. I am of a religious belief that is different from most; it is the Atonist religion. Our major objective is to show man what he is. We are basically philosophers, and we believe the homosexual to be a very normal person. God is just, and God is loving; God created all things, and therefore he created the homosexual. We call for the uniting of all God’s creations.
The letter from Mr. B. Of West Virginia a few issues back leads me to comment on the letter form Mr. L. In the same issues.
Mr. B. Says he is entering a prison farm and hopes to keep a diary of life there. Mr. L. Says he is a teacher at a school for juvenile delinquents. A. complete article on life at the juvenile school should make interesting reading in Tangents. We all, at some time or another, have read of the homosexual society of adult prison, but it would be interesting to see how minors who have not been exposed to practicing heterosexuality in their youth take to the introduction to homosexuality that is certain to come about in such a setting.
We all know the severe penalties there are for contributing to the delinquency of minors, but how about minors contributing to the delinquency of minors in these institutions? When a novice is introduced the “life” does he graduate from the novice to the “pressure boys” and does this exposure to homosexuality in the impressionable years lead to full-blown homosexuality in adult years? Many boys enter such an institution green in the ways of life but come out most knowledgeable. What comes of these boys?
I am an old man of 80 and suffering quite a lot from the loneliness our affliction brings.
I am grateful to you and your friends for the help you are giving. I am in complete agreement with what you are trying to do. In my time I have seen a lot of suffering among homosexuals, and I have lived to learn that age does not bring peace. In my own case, I still have a position to maintain which requires that I watch my step so as not to give myself away. It’s not sex one wants at my age, it’s love and a real friend. Loneliness is a real killer. They’re still working hard for permission for two men to love each other in England, but they cannot get it into law. There is no such effort being made here in New Zealand. It is efforts like your own that may eventually improve conditions for the homosexual. You still have my support.
I’ve read with great interest your accounts of the “crisis” at ONE. As a new subscriber, I offer my support. I feel that your magazine is so great that no matter what happens you’ve got to continue. Tangents is a small but powerful and impressive voice in the dark. If it fails (which I know cannot be allowed to happen) it will confirm the outsiders view once again—besides setting our cause back 10 years. The magazine belongs to everyone, not just a greedy board of directors.
For a long time we have feared that the rupture in ONE was the beginning of the end, and those of us who had been with you almost from the start were extremely concerned over the fact that “divided we fall.” Now, however, your letter of clarification sounds as if things were beginning to look a bit better. I must say that when I read a coy of the old ONE, which inadvertently fell into my hands from our mutual friends at Der Kreis, I was more than perturbed by some of their statements. They sounded extremely paranoid to me.
I am sending you a check for a partly exhausted subscription renewal to Tangents. Exhausted, I say, because you very kindly “carried” me for a while during my period of being strapped because of my move to Californ-i-ay.
Good wishes for the success of the new venture.
I was talking to a friend last night and we came up with the idea of organizing what we call the “milieu.” We believe that homosexuals should not live their “difference” in ignorance but should live, rather, in complete consciousness of the existential difficulties involved. Whether or not homosexuality is a deficiency is not the question. The question is what to do and how to live once the so-called “deficiency” is accepted as a way of life.
We also believe it to be the responsibility of educated homosexuals to inform other homosexuals we meet about our common situation. We understand your organization does this. I am very interested in learning more about your organization, what you believe in, what your goals and objectives are, and what you publish.
I don’t often disagree with my favorite magazine. But I do think your fiction piece for November [“Black Beauty”] was too much. After all, is the homosexual world made up of the three types illustrated (I admit quite ably) by Mr. MacAlbert in that issue? It is the same thing I complain about in most of the other magazines devoted to the subject of homosexuality such as Young Physique and Muscle Boy. Are they applicable? And if so, why?
Years ago, while I was teaching at Harvard, I had a young man write his Masters thesis on “Christ, the Homosexual.” Although it was under question for some time, it was finally passed by the board. It was a masterpiece of research and well written, so it deserved recognition. But over and above this, he brought out many worthwhile things: among them was the idea that any man with homosexual tendencies is bound to have more compassion and more understanding the a so-called completely heterosexual person. I have not seen this much discussed elsewhere, although I am sure you concur.