Gay political activity in the 1970s was better organized and effective on a national level than anything since then...
Art Deco said,
WOW! I had no idea. I was in the Army at that time, convinced I was straight and barely interested in what was happening in the "civilian" world, whether gay or straight. And also stationed in Germany during some of this, not getting a lot of US domestic news. I used to joke that I viewed my military life as a lot like being a cloistered monk. So this is all unknown to me.
My husband does tell me some of his own experiences in the "Orange Juice War" right here in Florida where he's lived since 1969. And how Anita Bryant was sabotaged and ruined. But I never heard anything like your own exploits. I hope you've recorded all this for historians, it's the kind of living history we shouldn't lose.
The Log Cabin Republicans did do a good job in helping to end DADT
Ok, now you understand a little better what I've been talking about, that a big bunch of shit went down in that decade? And this is long before the days of Act Up and Queer Nation, which many folks see as the start of the movement.
At the beginning of the decade of the 70s I can't say that I had much in the way of influence given that I was only 16, but I was involved as much as I could be.
I think I still have my little 'black book' full of phone numbers ... not so much written IN the book. but stuffed in there on bar napkins.
@ Art Deco.
The crazy part for all of us on the front, lines of the Orange Juice War was that at the time all we were concerned about was "the fight" and had no friggin idea what we were doing was going to be history.
Hell yeah Anita Bryant was sabotaged and ruined in 1977. 1968. 1969. 1970, 71, 72, 73, 74, ... in fact there hasn't been much that's gone right for her in 38 years and she ought to be used to it by now. She was caught cheating on her husband the same time he was caught cheating on her. Her amusement park in Tennessee went belly up the 2nd year. Bankrupt twice, IRS chewed her up. She couldn't draw a crowd in Branson Missouri She still can't get anyone to produce her autobiographical movie.
Her husband Bob Green was the biggest name in top 40s radio in South Florida, a concert promoter and her manager. In 1980 the only job he could get was midnight to five on a C&W station that morphed into talk radio a decade later. He died blaming gays for everything that went wrong with his life, bankruptcies, evictions, auto repos, you name it.
That might seem awful but take into consideration no fewer than 2 dozen prominent gay men who were first outed and then lost jobs and careers due to Anita Bryant's warriors committed suicide. Easily over 200 lost their jobs and survived. They remorselessly fucked with the lives of gay people and got fucked back. Oh well.
As far as recording it and keeping records, YES. I've kept newspapers and magazines from then and much more. There's a moral dilemma in moving forward with releasing the material. Some of the strongest supporters we had during the orange juice war were well known men who are as deep into their closets today as they were in 1977. There's four left and the youngest one is 71. No one is going to make him or the other three face the humiliation of feeling their public images are ruined by being outed.
About DADT. You do realize that after LCR had fought through the courts to get DADT repealed AND WON all but the final last ditch appeal, Obama jumped in and made it an exec order to steal the thunder. Mitch McConnell threw that bone to Obama in some of their negotiations.
Oh yeah I understand real well about the shit back in that era! Act Up and Queer Nation have never been anything but circle jerks of politically correct talking point choirs. Protests? Petitions? Boycotts? LOL. That's so "pussy." The best way to describe our strategy came out of the mouth of an older guy named Lester at a meeting where a flowers and peace sign dike asked him what we were trying to win by fighting back.
Lester said, "There's nothing we can win, dear. We're only going to make sure they lose everything."
and we did a good job of it if I can say so.
I have at least 10 "little black books" of my own and a whole box of them that belonged to friends who died of AIDS and other causes. When they died we called numbers in them to let people know. Most of the people in all our phone numbers died between 1984 to 1994.
Whatever you do, don't throw you old little black book away. One day there may be a museum display for them and you can donate it. Just the idea of knowing there's someone alive out there besides me with one from the old days gives me chills. Thanks.