Monday, May 29th, 2023

On the Senate caving in to Bush’s war funding plan

Billy Glover

December 20, 2007.

I realize most of you have not lived as long as I have, and been around to see politicians from Roosevelt on.

I can remember when it was the (Southern) Democrats who were racists and stopped any civil rights legislation, etc., so it is shortsighted to blame Democrats for our present reality.

As I say in my year-end email, my cause has made progress under every politician and “government” since the movement started in 1950, so it may be something to try to understand why — and I think this is also true of the women’s and black’s civil rights movements as well.

But I, and those I have worked with, would still feel the same way even if we had not made progress yet. It can be done, under our system. The question is, how will the 10% of the population that is homosexual, plus our allies, friends, and families, vote in the coming elections?

We have as much voting power — assuming the voting machines are honest/accurate — as the “evangelicals.”  We have not made the progress we could have because rich queers have not supported our efforts all these years. They of course think their money makes them safe and hidden — as if they are not called queer behind their backs, as are blacks, etc.

It is one thing to have been in the closet in the ’50s and ’60s, but money can be given to a cause anonymously, and the voting booth is secret. It is unforgivable for so many “gays” to keep waiting for a few cute celebrities to make “safe” for them to be open — they benefit already for the sacrifices others have made since 1950.

Our enemies support their cause; too many of us do not support ours. That is what makes the difference, and politicians have to be realistic. It is the obviousness that we are making progress, and that our numbers are growing, that has made the politicians work for us now, as much as they are. If they are to lose the religious bigots’ votes, they might have to be able to replace them with gay votes.


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  1. Phil

    You’re absolutely right about gays not being willing to give up their closets. The more willing gay people become to reveal their sexual orientation, the less necessary the “affectations” associated with being gay will become. I’ve heard that in the past, gays purposely acted feminine in order to alert other men that they were available (kind of like a bird mating call). I came out in the early 1970s, and it is was the people I met at the workplace who were as non-stereotypical as I perceived myself to be who made me want to be a part of the gay scene. It was the ones who could get by, as they say, that made me feel comfortable because I was not attracted to the nelly types and the whole image I had in my mind of what gays were like. The sex partners I had prior to coming out were straight (wink, wink) and we were “experimenting.” Looking back, they, like me, were probably gay also. So, not to keep rambling, I believe it will be the mainstream (hate that word), non-stereotypical gays who will encourage other gay people to come out. We cannot leave it to the celebrity or the “other guy.” All of my friends, work and personal know I am gay. I do not make an issue of it, nor do they, and do not pontificate. All is well. If they talk behind my back, it’s OK. I don’t know about it, so it doesn’t hurt.

  2. Billy Glover

    I think most people think like you. In one way my experience was different—most of the boys I had sex with in high school (actually earlier in the neighborhood, playing hide and seek) college and army were not gay.

    Also, I was able to work, with no income, for the “cause” and so have talked about sex most of my life. And, perhaps like even working in general nowadays as people spend more time with co-workers than their families sometimes, the blessing is that I had wonderful people I met in the work and had as friends. I lived in a sense only in the homosexual community. But we at ONE/Tangents/HIC have never believed in living in a ghetto. And what those of us still living want to do now is preserve the work we did from the ’50s till the ’70s, by which times thousands had joined the cause or at least started being openly gay and supported by their families and now in this century when I think it is millions who are openly living as they are.

    ]But I think, thinking people want to know how the world got as it is, and it seems hard for young people of minorities to understand that in the 50s women were still almost 2d class citizens, as of course were black citizens and homosexual citizens. We didn’t have separate water fountains, but we sure heard every day that we were sick, criminal, sinful. But then left-handed people were also called sinful by some religious nuts.

    Another irony, considering the fear that the Mexicans will take us over and we will all be speaking Spanish-I couldn’t even learn French, which is Louisiana’s heritage, along with spanish, etc, was that we tried to force young Cajuns to stop speaking French-or their brand of French- and now in the last decade we have brought teachers over to teach them French, as we learned we need to preserve our history. (I am in the northwest part, but we after a century of making fun of New Orleans and the French area have started being as French as they are-we have Mardi Gras and gambling-I mean gaming-more than they do or did. We love Gumbo too, etc.

    Anyway, good talking with you.

  3. Phil

    You sound like a person who worked hard to make it easier for someone of my age group—late ’50s. Boy, how time flies. I remember ONE as the first gay organization I was exposed to. But I was scared and didn’t want to be there as I was not ready to face my homosexuality. I still thought I was a straight young man who was going through a phase of being attracted to other boys. Of course I could never imagine that desire going away. But I was brought up Catholic in Sherman Oaks, CA. I attended Notre Dame High School which was very clickish and ant-gay. Actually, they were anti anyone who was not a jock. It wasn’t until I got to Chouinard Art Institute that I was exposed to more liberal minded people.

    We’ll have to talk more.

  4. Billy Glover

    Yes, I think we all can learn from how we each dealt with life, generally or as homosexual. I still don’t know that much about Aristide and people I have known for years. We just talk about current issues so have neglected taling about our past and how we got “here.”

    That is why we also need to get ourselves on videos and on paper so future researchers will be able to understand how we lived and dealt with issues and how things will hopefully have changed in the next 50 years.

  5. Phil

    Too bad there isn’t a discreet website for teens who are struggling so they can have an exchange with others – not a dating service, more like a hot-line. I don’t know how that could be done. I am not that computer literate. They could be anonymous, and it would be a lot easier to open up. For teens who felt like I did, it would be great.

  6. Billy Glover

    At least most colleges have g/l groups so if they can make it that far, they should be able to find information. BUT, I/we made it without any such support, in much worse times for all minorities. AND they have lots of tv shows, includding some not so great but better than nothing-such as Real World (MTV) and good discussions on Brothers and Sisters, even Desperate Housewives. And here toward the end of the movie, from “nowhere” we have two men falling in love in a movie shown for Christmas on I think ABC Family or Life, and the movie is called Christmas in Handcuffs. (A woman kidnaps a cute young man desperate to have some man when going home for Christmas, and then it turns out her brother is gay. Handled very matter of factly.)

    Does anyone know how much the magazine aimed at gay males is doing? (XY)

  7. Phil

    Your right about more matter-of-fact gay people on TV; ie: Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, etc. And the guys are portrayed in a “boy next door” kind of way. I guess my overlooking that shows that there is less of a stigma, at least among people with a degree of sophistication. I am not familiar with XY.

  8. Billy Glover

    I wonder how many know of XY—I am assuming it is still going, as there was also a magazine, slick, aimed at young g/l people that lasted only a few issues, printed in Canada, but by Americans, and called young Gay Americans as I recall.

    XY now comes from San Diego I think, and is off and on on the newsstand at the local (Shreveport) Barnes and Noble. It is slick, has lots of letters from teenage boys—I assume they are real—and lots of pictures of young men (not kids) and a few articles. They can not get advertisers—have fuss at Abercrombie & Fitch (I’m not sure of the name)for being unfriendly since lots of their customers are gay.

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