Letters to Tangents
April 1966 • Vol. 1 No. 7
Originally published in the April 1966 issue of Tangents
Concerning Mr. Waltrip’s writeup in your March issue of Genet’s Deathwatch as a motion picture, let me be brief.
Mr. W. admits he has not seen the play, and I must admit that I have not seen the movie!
But, for your orientation, Deathwatch as a play, is one of the very best that Genet ever wrote. It is strong emotionally, and equally so in its homosexual theme. Nothing in the play could be described as “dull and sick masturbation,” to repeat Mr. W.’s words! Homosexual and heterosexual people who have seen the film version are raving at how excellent it is, and how faithful to the original play.
The “Tangents” section of the March issue is particularly interesting.
But who in God’s name accepted—or wrote—the “Jeremiah Daisy Chain Letters”? Of all the ham-handed, clumsy attempts at humor you have published from time to time, this one is the winner—or loser. Even a casual acquaintance with 18th century usage is enough—or should have been enough—to enable you to spot words and expressions that didn’t exit then. This sort of thing is good only if it is well done. Please, you’re not really going to bring more of these, are you?
If the author of this thing persists, he ought to acquire The Dictionary of American English on Philosophical Principles as well as the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
In my opinion the late Dr. Edmund Bergler’s incitement of hatred toward homosexuality, and that of Time magazine, are prime examples of the mechanics of a society that cannot maintain an economic sufficiency for its citizens.
Often the basis for the persecution of racial or psychological minorities is economic. The emotional feelings of repugnance toward homosexuality is the result of the fact that those who “have” do not want to share. Three-fourths of all the stock in our country is owned by the nation’s 10 wealthiest families. With the rest of the citizens left out in the economic cold, it is no wonder there ares surplus, expendable human beings against whom we must evoke superstition and other forms of disfranchisement—the best of which is the “criminal record.” It is not surprising that Time magazine threw mud at us; an inequitable economic system cannot bear good fruit. We need economic as well as political democracy. What economic system can afford to be just? Not Communism; not our present Democracy. The only solution is for the homosexual to learn to use political power wisely.
Sirs: As for the Mossler case in Florida, there was serious consideration by the jury of the continual pointing-out by the defense of the “habits” of the deceased; I am sure I am right because the defense attorney was offensive on the matter—in more ways than one. Mossier, he thundered from the first, was a homosexual and worse, who practiced every sexual deviation “but the shoe fetish.” Remember, the jury was all male. And we all realize that the trial of Candy and Powers was held in Florida where they carry-on like a bunch of nellie screemies about faggotry in their sacrosanct midst.
Just my observation—if no longer timely.
A few days ago I received an announcement about the Committee to Fight Exclusion of homosexuals from the Armed Forces. I am afraid the goals of the Committee are unrealistic and not to the advantage of either the Armed Forces or the U. S. Government.
To realize the unhealthiness of the situation you propose, we have only to understand that every homosexual with a male body is nevertheless, in mind, essentially a woman—with the sexual desires of a woman; every homosexual with a female body is, in mind, essentially a man with corresponding male desires. Until the time that it can be proven that men and men and women and women can sleep side by side and fight side by side without adversely affecting the work and program of the Armed Forces, sexual integration in this regard would seem ill advised. Homosexuals can have affairs with servicemen without joining the Services.
The jungle fighting of Vietnam is not for gay minds; it is for the cold, serious, hating minds of men.
Your article on the National Planning Conference of Homosexual Organizations in the March issue of Tangents was most interesting, particularly that which concerned the planned meetings on Armed Forces Day.
A number of us here in Detroit have long been attempting to organize a Mattachine Society in this area. However, we have not, as yet, been very successful, because of a general disinterest and the belief that we would not serve a useful purpose.
We are interested in distributing the brochures mentioned in the article. We would hope to win additional support for the program in this manner. Our congratulations, and thanks for the good work Tangents is doing.