Letters to Tangents
Vol. 1 No. 1
Originally published in the October 1965 issue of Tangents
Let me congratulate you on your July issue of ONE Confidential which is excellent.
Next, let me thank you for your mention of the Janus Society and Drum Magazine. It is well done and fully meets with our approval. The article on the episode of the men’s room is a topic which should come to the attention of as many people as possible.
—Clark Polak, Janus Society, Philadelphia
It was with great pleasure that I read the last issue of ONE Confidential. The Chicago area has long awaited the formation of an organization such as the one described. I personally have been looking forward to such a local group and intend to take an active part.
On the evening I received ONE Confi I drove from my home to the address designated for Mattachine Midwest which happens to be the Uptown Bank Building at Broadway and Lawrence in Chicago. This is a multi-story office building, but no identification is given on the roster in the lobby for either Mattachine Midwest or Terry Grand.
The problem therefore exists—is there really a Mattachine Midwest?
I want to tell you how cheap your outfit is. As I wrote before, $15.00 is entirely too much for the magazine and that mimeographed thing. As usual, I will be the loser, but please remove my name from the subscription list. I do not care not receive any further magazines.
Now that I have turned 21 I hope to be able to communicate with ONE and enjoy the magazine and your good work. I am confirmed as a homosexual, and to be able to know what other homosexuals think about the way they live and to be able to keep up with the outlook on things will be a pleasure for me. When you are under 21 and restricted, life can be pretty confusing.
Since I had no one to turn to earlier, I let both my parents and my doctor know about my homosexuality. I must say that the doctor did not condemn me—and this helped some. From my experience with the doctors and others, I have faith that homosexuals will be accepted by most everyone in a short time. I know that your efforts have helped us all.
I hope I do not sound unhappy. I am not. I understand that for me homosexuality is right—that it is right for me to be what I am. It would help a little, however, to have some understanding.
S.o.d.m.. sick old devil man is responsible for our social and economic chaos, because he has used our money for the propagation of evil all around the world. We are not only paying for his mistakes with monty, but also with our lives. We are not only taxed to monotony and misery, enslaved to poor jobs, but our kids have to give up their lives in a painful and horrible manner in their prime of life. These sick old men who advocate “Mom” worship are keeping the whole world miserable with population explosions and war. It’s these sick old men who should be shot if anyone is going to be—but like Nero who fiddled, they blame the innocent Christians for their own horrible chaos.
I am amused by the 1/2 number on your address. Here in England I have never known of any address which incorporated such a figure. Your recent move somewhat perplexes me, but you seem to be on the right track. I agree that the magazine needs a much wider distribution. I have often wondered how this might be achieved in the United Kingdom. Good wishes.
Although I have customarily sent 5 dollars a month to ONE, I had an uneasy feeling about your welfare the first of April and held off mailing the money that month. I am sure now that you have moved things will go much smoother for your. Your determination to fight any take over of ONE by its directors deserves support, so here is my check for April and May.
ONE is well put together, and has much of interest to most homosexuals, as I am sure it does for many other readers of various and different interests. l have never found the magazine offensive or vulgar, but there have been a few instances in which articles have appeared to be rather silly or juvenile. The covers are almost always attractive, and discriminatingly tasteful. All of the features in the magazine are appreciated by me. But more and varied book reviews would be appreciated.
I’ve had a desire to write to you for a year now. In fact, from the day I read about you in Life magazine, I realized that your work concerned everyone.
I am a married man and have grown teenage children. This, however, does not influence the persistent drive within me for other interests. Of course, I cannot afford the risk of open participation and association with these other things as often as I would like. It is a terrible handicap, and my number of actual contacts remains very small.
I would like to receive TANGENTS but I could not have it come to my house under the circumstances. I hope it is on the newsstands in my area.
I was sorry to learn that you do not have a chapter of your organization here. At least I have found it pleasant and satisfying being able to correspond with you.
An idea occurred to me not long ago. I had heard for years, as I am sure many others have, that in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon had written that homosexuality was one of the chief reasons for the decline. Two years ago as an assignment in a graduate English seminar I had to read the entire 2,400-page work, and I was amazed that nowhere in it does Gibbon make any such suggestion. In fact, he seems “ironically sympathetic” to such people as Hadrian and other boy lovers. The only place in which Gibbon refers to homosexuality as a detestable crime is in his discussion of the Justinian Code — echoing the strong language of Justinian’s ghostwriters.
I have not read much in your pages concerning prison life and homosexuality. I can tell you after spending 4 1/2 years in a maximum security institution in Minn. that 3/4 of all the male inmates in my unit practiced homosexuality. My experience was quite ordinary, and my relationships were everyday relationships in this regard. When I read the various homophile publications and other book on the subject, I cannot help but feel they are chiefly aimed at entertainment rather than enlightenment. My own experience, I believe, more nearly approximates the facts. Perhaps someday someone will do the necessary research for a valid and constructive discussion on the subject.
A SIR member called me up regarding my piece on the hustlers in July ONE magazine. He said he enjoyed it, but was very disappointed that I refrained from describing what these hustlers did in bed. I said I would as TANGENTS editors how they feel about the subject. I personally, while not wishing to cater to the prurient, can find some validity in giving a well-rounded picture of the hustlers, including sex practices.
—Gary Teller, San Francisco