Thursday, March 30th, 2023

RE: NYT Review of “Stonewall Uprising”

Billy Glover

June 18, 2010.

Regarding the review I just read of Stonewall Uprising, by Stephen Holden of The New York Times:

After the separation of ONE, Inc., we still all went to the NACHO meeting and all got along. I think Bill Kelley would agree, and Frank Kameny. There was general agreement, and we got along amicably.

But — there was no way for any of us to exploit the movement back then.

Obviously none of the people working in the movement today were there, and there are attempts to unify in this way again — meetings among people and groups working on common issues. (I point out a meeting of LGBT college heads will be in Chicago next month.) And there is a group for LGBT centers, and for elected officials, etc.


 

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9 Comments

  1. Paul Cain

    It’s probably important to recall that coast-to-coast travel was relatively rare in those days, certainly as compared to today. People wrote letters, or made phone calls (in rare cases). I naively made this mistake as well when I spoke with several of the pioneers — except for the few big events, people didn’t know one another in the same ways as they do now. Certainly there was little media (except for ONE, Mattachine Review, DOB, and maybe Drum) to get to know one another, and even those would only be as a result of self-written articles, for the most part. Unless you lived in the same city (or maybe the same state), the gay/lesbian pioneers didn’t know one another all that well — at least not in the personal way that we know one another today.

  2. Billy Glover

    True. I/we tend to forget such aspects of life then. We “hear’ about some people and events, but not about the lack of communication and travel. But I don’t recall any disagreements, and certainly Frank’s work was great on an aspect we had not dealt with at that time, even though there had been the magazine legal case and Dale Jennings’s court victory, etc. But I guess the tv shows we were on on our coast did not show on the other cost., just as what kelley et al in chicago didn’t on ours, As far As I know.

    But again I say look at the magazine, as the Tangents (news) section covered lots of what the movement was doing, and from the first issue tried to explain the movement and such things as the connection between Mattachine and ONE, etc. And I wish I could know or remember, for instance, if the other coast was represented at that Denver conference/convention. It sure got a lot of covefrage in the Denver papers and then of course later in the San Francisco media. I hope Sears covered iin his book, but don’t remember. But had he interviewed me, I still would not have been able to help him oln such things. Kepner was there but I don’t know if he wrote about it, but maybe he did in the magazine, we should check.

  3. Ron Tate

    Billy, since you were at the east coast – west coast meetings and most everyone who attended with you are now deceased, it is very important
    you try to reconstruct what happened at those meetings and fill in important detail like where all of you met, dates, agenda covered, who was
    present, etc. If you don’t, these important early gay rights movement historical meetings will be lost to recorded history forever!

    (on 6/19/2010)

  4. Billy Glover

    Here is the perfect example for both Ron and all of us. I had forgotten most of this, which is accurate as far as I can recall. You were there, do you have any other thoughts to add? I think you reminded me of the bar we held it in, but I’ve forgotten again. And again what happended to Foster’s matgerial, it seems we fussed that we never got any thing from him later.Does Frank have it on record anywhere?

    I went there with Eaddie Caseus, who owned a statinery store (that made things my mind can’t say right now, but that you stamp things with) on Western Ave I think it was. We drove and I don’t remember where we stayed or what. After the conference, we drove to St Louis and went in that oval thing, then he went on. I honestly can’t remember if he brought me on to LA or not, but I came somehow down here. I think I then did a report for Don et al and it may be in the magazine or newsletter or just in the files.

    I do remember the problems n San Francisco-Melvin and others were there, darn him for not trying to get his thoughts down as he knows how lousy I am. I do know that, as in many other issues, even if I am putting people and things wrong, in my mind dear Morris there or talkikng about the issue or someone like him then or later did think we should allow everyhone to vote, and have equal power-sort of like what Harry Hay always wanted, what’s the term -general agreement? But as Dale Jennings pointed out, Harry seemed to find a way to get consensus when there really wasn’t.

    The problem is, as Morris soon learned and suffered from when they were not only founding GLF in L. A. at Tangents’ office, but what became the L A Center, is that you can’t allow someone to walk in off the street, appear for the first time, and vote on issues when they never had interest before and probably would disappear and never work for whatever project they spoke for.

    Was that one of the times Bob Martin/Steve Donaldson was one of those pushing for power? He was right that young people needed to be involved, but not on the spur of the moment.

    Who wrote the Wiki thing? But thanks as I hd never seen this before.

  5. Thaddeus

    Billy… I doubt if this will reach the others who are named in initially creating this whole e-mail concerning what comes before this, my reply. But I do know from personal experience that in those days everything was done by phone for the Mattachine Society (Hal Call) and he knew rather well that his phone was tapped even though he couldn’t prove it. I lived with him for a while as did Steve Gungl and another guy Bob Dirksen… But we all were warned about being careful what we said on the telephone. He would often do most of his writing there in the Pine Street Apartment, but would take it down to the office. He knew he was being watched and there were the break-ins as well at the Mattachine Offices. Poor Hal… You could see the worry on his face when he’d come back at night!

    If you wish to share this, please feel free to do so… there are other tid-bits of info I have lodged some place in my brain cells… but it often needs a jogging…

    Hal was helpful in aiding in the bringing about of the Society of Individual Rights (SIR) and Guy (Can’t remember his name) who started the short lived S.F. organization as well… All had issues in those days with telephones being tapped… of that I know for sure! But communications was so necessary in order to try (and I say TRY with tongue in cheek) to keep things in perspective.

    +Thaddeus the most unworthy repentant one and fool for Jesus Christ in the vineyard of this life!
    Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate

  6. Billy Glover

    Thanks for this added bit of history on Hal Call and Mattachine. The strange part is that ONE never worried about tapped phones, but then we would not care, just as clearly I hope my emails are being looked at by law enforceement or whoever as it might educate them. The irony of course is that Hal (ex-military, midwestener) was, like ONE’s leaders, conservative, and never would have worked against America. That was his worry about Harry et al, since they were communists, but then they would not have either, but in that era they were vulnerable or whatever the term, so they dropped out and Hal took it and moved it, but then the ONE part had already separated to publish the magazine.

    The few days I stayed with Hal (after the Denver conference and one more time) I dont remember his drinking, but have fond memories of walking with him down the street to a small grocery store, which was stange to me havng been in L. A. with the large ones. But to add humor, I thought people would not know if Hal was tired or just had been drinking.

    But do sit doswn (I don’t of course take my own advice) and write down your memories so we will have them on record-as you should in your files. I never have gotten clear what Don LujcAs did except for beding in PanGraphic/Mattachine, but thought he should get credit, even though he was not seen as much as Hal. Again, did you see Jim Sears’ book Behind the Mask of the Mattachines?

    I ssume you know that Hal gave money to ISHR which was ONE after we separated in 1965. I think he made the money in CineMattachine or books or something.

    (6/20/10)

  7. Thaddeus

    I wished I had the book to read through it… I don’t have enough money to purchase…

    There was a book that came out in the late 70’s or 80’s in which I was mildly listed and referenced… but decades ago… Self-image… WOW! Says a lot about a monk who is supposed to give up on selfish pride…

    Keep me up to date and I will take your advice and begin a memoir of sorts of the bits and pieces I recall sometimes… it’s age more than dementia… then, of course, what is dementia? Ha! Ha! Ha!

    There are times I would love to go back to those days, but I was just a young pup with too much “lost”ness in me and couldn’t find my own self as I had too much to do and life was not as pleasant as I would have wished because I was totally on my own since the family had kicked me out (so-to-speak) in those days… frightened would be more accurate because I was so young. I lied my age and forged my mom’s signature just to get in the Air Force. When she found out, she went along with it. But when I was finally discharged and she found out I was definitely “Gay” – I had to leave altogether and for more than 20 years we had little to no contact… I was forbidden… Then in 1981 I finally saw her, but not where I thought I would, but in Florida… and another 20 plus went by before I saw her again before her final repose. She was a lovely woman and actually a wonderful mother… but I was the by-product of her rape which no one talked about back in the 30’s and 40’s… Oh well…

    I thank Paul and Ronald as well as you too Billy for writing what you have… Keep me posted on new thoughts, etc. Hopefully my “blurry” mental where-with-all will slip into gear (with a jog) and I’ll recall some other hoped for, useful tid-bits….

    Blessing you with good thoughts and many prayers, I am;

    Thaddeus (June 20, 2010)

  8. Billy Glover

    I think the best part of these exchanges is getting us to look at our lives and the history we lived through and the little bit we helped make.

    I must admit now, although I guess I knew it all along, is how easy my life was compared to a lot of us. I had a good early life-was having sex but never thought about it as an “issue.” And none of the boys were homosexual. Most are dead now. The only part abut sex I remember-other than when parents caught 4 or 5 of us under a small wooden bridge in the alley behind our house-when I was about 4, checking ourselves out-is that i was reading in a magazine a story of Flicka, the horse, and apparently it mentioned birth of a colt, and I asked my mother what that was about and she told me how babies were born. it was totally unimportant to me-I’m guessing I was about 11.

    I first thought about the subject in a psychology class at LSU in 1954. I went into the Army in Feb 55, never thought about sex the first 8 weeks, and only later had sex. And then got kicked out late 56, went to L.A., got regular job-had not told anyone where I was going, went with about $200 (on tran). Found a place/bed in a rooming house on Mariposa at 3d, near Normandie, immediately, got a job, and for about 2 years only got in movement as far as reading ONE Magazine. Finally got in contact in late 59, then went to Mattachine’s convention/conference in Denver, and I think I’ve said the rest.

    My parents knew (about me being homosexual), after the Army. But I was alone and on my own for only less than a year-all other times I had their financial support and their support otherwise even though they never really understood the homosexual part. We got back together when I joined the Methodist Church in L.A. which told the Bossier church where I was. They gave money to Tangents/HIC when I asked for it. I had lots of sex with marines and sailors, one of each on a long term basis. When in LA I picked up airmen from Barksdale AFB. I settled down for the about 13 years Melvin and I were together, starting in 1963 the day JFK was killed, having met walking down 6th Street. And don’t worry about sex now.

    I’m retelling this to point out that I never had any problems with being homosexual. I never had a job to lose, or lost a family, etc. I did work temp jobs mainly to be able to get Social Security and thus Medicare. Otherwise I gave all money I had to Tangents/HIC. Never planned ahead. So I also lucked out that from the family I have the house and car, which makes me able to live on a small SS income.

    So that affects in a sense how I look at the issues. It sure makes a difference from what you and others had to face. And I had to learn this. But it is sure what was in the mind, and was the intention, of the founders; to make life better for young people so that they would not only not have to face what you did, but if they did, to have resources to help them.

    Billy Glover (June 20, 2010)

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