Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Letters to Tangents • August 1966

Letters to Tangents


August 1966 • Vol. 1 No. 11

Originally published in the August 1966 issue of Tangents


What’s with Tangents? My last copy received is dated July. I became so perturbed that I subscribed to your competitor Drum. Dig those nudes—but then after receiving one of their issues, they didn’t publish for several months either.

Is the problem financial? Let us know; maybe we can help. I haven’t even received a newsletter that might give an inkling of what is going on. Check on my subscription. Tangents is such pleasant, enjoyable reading.



I must give you thanks for the Gene Damon column. She does a damn good job of analyzing the homosexual literary scene. Her Reader at Large column has given me hours and hours of interesting reading. I anxiously wait for each issue. I only wish you could pick up on the publishing schedule.

North Vancouver


Your July Tangents was the greatest. The cover was most delightful; reminds me of happy days at the “old swimming hole,” only we kids went swimming au naturel, for a variety of reasons. It was always a race to see who could hit the water first—last one in was a horse’s neck.

Glad to see you covered the CLEAN campaign. It will be another Salem witch hunt in California if the CLEAN bigots have their way. I liked the conclusion of “Bath Night.” Considering that all of the elements for action were present, step-father John showed remarkable restraint what with Ken standing in the nude right in front of him. Lastly I must commend you for printing Dane Mohler’s article. He shed some light on the thinking of our Supreme Court Justices. Best wishes to Tangents.



Please don’t be mad at me, but I wonder if you could find room somewhere in the next issue to print a little correction concerning my last Reader at Large column. As it stands, I sound like some kind of idiot.

On page 6 of the June Tangents, in the second column, I discuss the novel Chris by Randy Salem. My point was that Salem makes the error of having Chris appear as a person of some substance in the world—someone accountable for her actions—and, though Chris is a romantic figure, she is not nearly so romantically appealing as the footloose and fancy free character, Beebo Brinker.

You have edited one of my sentences to read: “She failed as a heroine to attract as large an audience because she did not possess place, position and brains.” This sentence should read: “She failed as a heroine to attract as large an audience because of the disability of possessing place, position and brains.”

—Gene Damon

Editor’s note: Sorry, we don’t know what possessed us.


I could not agree more with your comments in a recent issue about those leaders of the homophile movement who refuse to give up their sovereignty. Unfortunately, the movement has too many queens in it who think they are regal, and who do not seem to realize that they are being just plain bitches.



I think we need a law to forbid baby pictures. I recently looked at one of my baby pictures. I was two years old at the time of the picture taking. I know because I counted the candles on the cake. My mother, young and kind, was with me. The photo was taken by some long-forgotten family friend. I was cute then. And I was innocent. The world was beautiful and good and full of nice people.

But now 1 am a man—a very sad and lonely man. I hear people say many things about men like me: “Kill them.” “Put them in prison.” “Fire them.” “Run them out of town.” I guess, however, that I will linger on a few more years. Then I’ll die. And my epitaphs If I am lucky it will be the same as for countless millions: He died with his secret. This was his biggest accomplishment.



Tangents, like its predecessor ONE, is a most readable and harmlessly pleasant and inoffensive magazine; but aside from publishing a magazine what is your organization doing to change laws, prevent police harassment, and enlighten the average-man-on-the-street heterosexual to the primitive injustices perpetrated against the homosexual minority?

—Culver City


The organized demonstrations and marches May 21, on behalf of homosexual citizens is something we should all be proud of. When the general public sees that homosexuals are no longer ashamed to publicly claim their rights as human beings, their attention will be drawn to the injustices inflicted on homosexuals—none of which they would like to suffer themselves.

A society that oppresses certain of its members prefers silence on the matter. The truth in such cases is always a little embarrassing. But I am afraid that the homosexual will not shut up and die, or disappear conveniently. There are those among us who are not content to be gay “Uncle Toms”—or, should I say, “Aunt Marys.”

In many countries today things have gotten the way they are because social protest stopped; India is one such country. People should not be permitted to smugly enjoy their prejudices, and if they hear no complaints, they wilI.

I find it admirable the organized homophile movement protested publicly Armed Forces Day. It is time for more gay people who have respect for themselves to stand up and be counted.

Los Angeles
(PS: I have a couch and four footmen.)


I recently received literature from your publication offices on the topic of homosexuality. Although to me this is a very interesting subject, since I am homosexual myself, I must ask that you not send any more material to my address.

Is isn’t that I do not want the material—because I do very much. But my parents are very nosy and I am scared to death of being discovered. Also l am a member of the U.S. Air Force, and, you know, if the Air Force ever discovered my secret interests, the minimum I would get by with would be a medical discharge specifically stating my mental condition.

When I get out of the Air Force, and begin to live in a place of my own, I will definitely welcome your literature. But until then it is impossible for me to take advantage of the wonderful things you offer.



l am pleased with your recent articles on such subjects as postal regulations, court cases and decisions, etc. Authoritative information of this sort can ease a lot of fears.



Congratulations on the NPCHO held in San Francisco. The prestige of the homophile movement has never been higher in America. And I, as many others do, read with growing question the Confidentials being presently distributed. Do the leaders of the movement see them? They appear to contain more attacks, and much confusing double-talk. When it is possible to report on the Planning Conference in 21 pages of print and never once mention a single issue or proposition considered by the delegates, what have you accomplished? It looks suspicious from here.

We pray for the success of Tangents and the homophile movement.



©1966, 2018 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.

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