Friday, March 31st, 2023

Rachel Rosenthal and ONE Midwinter Institutes

Billy Glover

May 27, 2015.

The news of the death of Rachel Rosenthal is a reminder of just how many people did get involved in the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans.

Since she appeared at ONE’s MidWinter in 1958, she deserves to be honored for her involvement in the cause.

The only mention of her I have found in material I have with me here in LA is Dorr Legg’s book: Homophile Studies in Theory and Practice (Page 356–57), published by ONE in 1994 — about the time of his death.  The ONE and HIC archives at the libraries at USC and Cal State Northridge may have more information.

Dorr devoted his time in the cause in trying to educate everyone on aspects of homosexuality, and the book covers studies he planned — with a USC education professor, Jim Kepner, et al.  What history may find more important is his including in the book’s index lists of events, and those speaking, etc. The 1959 MidWinter had Eric Julber talking about the ONE magazine legal fight with the Post Office.

While some of the names listed may not be important to us today, they were respected people, such as Mario Palmieri, Samson De Brier, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, members of other homosexual organizations, such as Curtis DeWees of Mattachine New York, Mattachine San Francisco people and the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, et al.

Probably the most (in)famous Midwinter Institute was the 1961 Daughters of Bilitis objection/the controversy to the idea of a homosexual Bill of Rights.  I think the best is the 10th Anniversary one, in 1962, where my name first appeared.

But I do think we should be sure the “history” of homosexual/same sex marriage (Equality) should not just mention the first public discussions in ONE magazine (1953 and 1963), which was Don Slater’s educational area, but also by a discussion group  in the same 1958 Midwinter Institute/Annual Business Meeting. Listed among the discussions on different topics is Group D: Should homosexuals get married (led by Don Plagman, one of the heavenly twins if my memory is right, a devoted, overweight couple who owned a fabulous house).

About The Author