Questions for all the older guys.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2009 8:00 AM GMT
    Im watching the movie "Milk" and I would seriously like to know what you guys remember about those times. Why would the police just bust up on people? What laws were supposedly that were being broken? I mean... okay I'll admit it... I'm baby gay... bearly out almost 6yrs. I got a lot going on in my life. BF issues, trying to get back in to school, trying to find some direction for my life. I don't know or understand all this stuff and I mean while all most of us young puppies are thinking about is DADT and DOMA but some many just don't give a shit cause they don't understand. They don't know what's all had to happen and how some of these battles were won. Sure I could read a history book, wiki, google, whatever the fuck... but I would like to hear from you guys. I find the best way to lean about things is to hear from the people that were affected by the events of history or even those that were even alive during those times. So thanks for anything you can contribute to this quest of mine and I really do appreciate it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2009 3:16 PM GMT

    It was always open season on gays. Society's pariahs. Lowest rung on the sexual caste ladder.

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    Nov 18, 2009 3:27 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    It was always open season on gays. Society's pariahs. Lowest rung on the sexual caste ladder.



    Not true.... I mean paedophiles, people into beasitiality and axseuallly reporducing fungi and plants fall below us icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 18, 2009 3:30 PM GMT
    MsclDrew said
    meninlove said It was always open season on gays. Society's pariahs. Lowest rung on the sexual caste ladder.

    Not true.... I mean paedophiles, people into beasitiality and axseuallly reporducing fungi and plants fall below us icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think that at that time, we were all lumped into one category, right?
    I know there is still a long way to go, but I am so grateful to people like Milk who blew down the doors for us.
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    Nov 18, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    Ryan,
    I am glad you have taken interest in this cause most newly out guys do not. And it seems like most people have even forgotten the lessons of Anita Bryant's "save our children" campaign:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Save_Our_Children
    You get a play by play of the current anti-gay movement from them.

    As far as laws that people broke, there were lots of laws that were used in states to persecute gays. Mostly they were laws such as "public decency" but also the obvious things like sex or sodomy laws. But some of these laws denied gays the simple constitutional right to gather through other means:
    http://gaytoday.com/wordpress/index.php/2009/10/01/gay-bar-raids-a-double-standard-at-work/As long as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people gathered together in urban areas, there have been gay bars. And as long as there have been gay bars, there have been bar raids. Since the beginning, governments have used their power to regulate businesses that sell liquor to go after sexual or gender minorities who they considered to be sick, immoral and/or illegal
    In the case of Milk and Anita Bryant, she was going around knocking down and outlawing any anti-discrimination laws and even further want to make it illegal for gays to work in schools or EVEN non-gay people who supported gay rights.

    The ultimate goal of people like Anita Bryant and the current anti-marriage NOM people is to remove any sense of "Normalcy" for gays and undo any pro-gay laws. In other words they want gays to suffer enough to be forced "not to be gay" In the extreme, other people in the religious arena have gone as far as wanting to make homosexuality illegal again. This is historically how gays are "officially" persecuted. Pass laws against them so that they can be randomly picked up, or even rounded up en mass.

    To go along with the milk movie, watch this really good documentary about the whole Harvey Milk incident ... http://www.hulu.com/watch/49577/the-times-of-harvey-milk It is about 2 hrs long but worth it.

    Here is some other other links about anti-gay laws and gay rights by territory:

    http://law.jrank.org/pages/18653/Homosexuality-Law.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country_or_territory

    To see how simple anti-gay laws become much bigger issues .. see the documentary "paragraph 175"
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    Nov 18, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    Personally, I was not out as a teenager, but I do remember the one gay bar in town was frequently burned down, gay people would be arrested for various things including "loitering".

    And I remember older guys talking about how they went to places where gays would hang out and bash gays. I remember one guy gleefully talking about how as the "queers" were scattered and running from his "posse" how he hit one in the back of the head with a brick.
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    Nov 18, 2009 4:29 PM GMT

    "Not true.... I mean paedophiles, people into beasitiality and axseuallly reporducing fungi and plants fall below us "

    LOL MsclDrew, you just explained exactly what was going on at the time....we never said we were the only group hanging on that lowest rung. icon_wink.gif

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    Nov 18, 2009 4:41 PM GMT
    Nice response ActiveandFit. I had just moved to the SF area the year before Milk was killed. I wasn't out and certainly was not aware of the prejudice against gays. I can say that the one thing Milk's death did do was to open the eyes of EVERYONE in this area. Of course including the mayor of SF put it in the news but along with the death was the reminder that Milk was gay. Anyone who had not thought of gays or had only a passing thought was now hearing about it every hour on the hour. I think it did more to open the eyes of the blind than people realize, both the homosexuals and the homophobic. One organized and showed strength, the others heard and many became educated. Some unfortunately never will. I think it marked the end of arbitrary and discriminative, in the mass form, attacks based solely on sexual orientation.
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    Nov 18, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    In Connecticut, I remember that in the 80's a hate crimes bill passed, because, up until then, if you murdered someone in cold blood, who was known to be gay, then your sentenced could be reduced to practically a misdemeanor because the victim was 'only a fag.'

    I remember this vividly. I remember the case that caused this as the murderer was essentially let off by the Judge as if the gay man killed wasn't worthy of the justice of a 'human.'

    We are still second class citizens in the US and in some places in the US, even less than that. You can't be fired anywhere in the US because of your race, but there are 19 states where you can be fired just for being gay. Not specifically doing anything 'gay' but for being known as gay.

    A lot of gay men (mostly younger) feel safe without realizing that they don't actually have the rights that they falsely assume they have.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:21 PM GMT
    Wow, thats just crazy. thanks for all the info. Looks like I have reading to do. I was kind of skimming through wikipedia on my iTouch while watching the movie. I had seen it like twice in the last few days but always from about the middle after he had been elected and won. So after watching the beginning finally last night and when I got to the middle I took some time to look up info on Mayor Mascone and Harvey Milk and Diane Finestine (i think thats how you spell it).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:39 PM GMT
    Why ask about what's happened in the past? All you need to do is listen to the rants of a member of the Conservative Party. You will be enlightened in no time.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    What saddens me about the LGBT movement for civil rights is that often at the forefront of the protests, marches and demonstrations were the Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexuals and Trangender men and women, *together* and it seems that the subcultures in their drive to assert and find their identities have become so fragmented and exclusive.
    It saddens me to think in the years leading up to and after Stonewall the drag queens, lesbians and gay men were being beaten, arrested and fighting the oppression side by side.
    That pursuit of LGBT civil liberties was based on inclusion and an assertion that all citizens should have equal rights. It makes me sad to see so little respect given to the older drag queens, lesbians and gay men who *lived* through the hardest times of that oppression.
    That's our history, those are our heroes... we have miles to go, but much to be thankful for and they are who we owe that to.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:43 PM GMT
    Tapper saidWhy ask about what's happened in the past? All you need to do is listen to the rants of a member of the Conservative Party. You will be enlightened in no time.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.


    >APPLAUSE< >APPLAUSE<

    My hero!

  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Nov 18, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    Back in my day we didn't even have the word gay. If we wanted a nice piece of ass it didn't bother us none if it was a man, or a man dressed as Ethel Merman. We would call it "peelin' the onion". Of course, in those days, onions were hard to find. We would say "Give me two onions for a bumble". Nickels had a picture of a bumble bee at the time. Now, where was I? Dang nabit!
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
    While you're reading, Ryan, don't forget to pick up a copy of Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On. It's important to remember that the past is only as important as the lessons we take from it for the future.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:52 PM GMT
    Celticmusl saidBack in my day we didn't even have the word gay. If we wanted a nice piece of ass it didn't bother us none if it was a man, or a man dressed as Ethel Merman. We would call it "peelin' the onion". Of course, in those days, onions were hard to find. We would say "Give me two onions for a bumble". Nickels had a picture of a bumble bee at the time. Now, were was I? Dang nabit!


    Yo Ethel, stop droolin'!
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 18, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    I was a kid living in the Bay Area when Milk was killed, just starting to awaken to my sexuality, so I was profoundly affected at the time. His death sent the signal to me that gays could be killed for being who they are, but it also showed me that people could march in your memory in great numbers, too.

    But, you have to remember, even pre-AIDS, that gays were looked upon as freaks and deviants -- not they aren't now, by many people -- but gay people weren't out in massive numbers, so a majority of straight people didn't know gay people. We weren't on TV or in the movies, unless again it was as deviants or fey comedic relief. Gay issues were seldom covered in the news. We were for all intents and purposes invisible. So it was easy to demonize and persecute us.
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    Nov 18, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidA lot of gay men (mostly younger) feel safe without realizing that they don't actually have the rights that they falsely assume they have.


    Which is why Americans should be fiercely political and absolutely obnoxious until you get treated the same way as other citizens. Or move to Canada or Europe.
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    Nov 18, 2009 6:00 PM GMT
    Pick up a copy of :The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life In America" by Charles Kaiser, Grove Press. It covers gay history from the 40's through the present. You'll quickly see how few rights we had in the recent past.

    well worth $12.75
    http://www.amazon.com/Gay-Metropolis-Landmark-History-America/dp/0802143172/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Nov 18, 2009 6:19 PM GMT
    I came out in 1981, and in Houston you still had to try to slip into back alley doors unobserved because trolling straight boys would throw bottles at you. Sometimes they would wait until the bars closed and chase us down to beat us. The police were still doing random ID checks, then publishing the names. God help you if you had to call the police to report a crime in the gayborhood. And who could forget the immortal words of Houston mayoral candidate Louie Welch (recently deceased, God rest his evil soul), when asked what he would do about the nascent AIDS epidemic: "Well, the first thing would be to shoot the queers."

    I still have my t-shirt with the bullseye on it saying, "Louie, don't shoot!"
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    Nov 18, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    bgcat57 saidA lot of gay men (mostly younger) feel safe without realizing that they don't actually have the rights that they falsely assume they have.


    Which is why Americans should be fiercely political and absolutely obnoxious until you get treated the same way as other citizens. Or move to Canada or Europe.


    It's probably a pipe dream, but my husband and I are working on the move to Canada. It does have its shortcomings, but Canada is leap years ahead of America in every sense of the word. At least we're treated like human beings when we're there, and I've never felt the need to put on my "straight" face anywhere in Canada.

    America: Land of the Free .... Liberty and Justice for All ... MY ASS.
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    Nov 18, 2009 6:47 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gif Don't leave tapper, we need you here!
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Nov 18, 2009 6:54 PM GMT
    Tapper said
    Lostboy said
    bgcat57 saidA lot of gay men (mostly younger) feel safe without realizing that they don't actually have the rights that they falsely assume they have.


    Which is why Americans should be fiercely political and absolutely obnoxious until you get treated the same way as other citizens. Or move to Canada or Europe.


    It's probably a pipe dream, but my husband and I are working on the move to Canada. It does have its shortcomings, but Canada is leap years ahead of America in every sense of the word. At least we're treated like human beings when we're there, and I've never felt the need to put on my "straight" face anywhere in Canada.

    America: Land of the Free .... Liberty and Justice for All ... MY ASS.



    Move to California, Palm Springs area, I feel free and out here. Great weather also.

    The movie Celluloid Closet is also a great historical picture of what gay life was like in the movies.
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    Nov 18, 2009 6:56 PM GMT
    What blew me away about MILK (the movie) was that it showed that Harvey and his group of friends started the gay movement by literally taking over that one street in the Castro. Harvey Milk literally had to take control of that one street. I had no idea! I thought the Castro was always gay!!

    Sean Pean so great in that role. Thank you Harvey! You're the reason I live a "gayborhood" in Nashville, TN! icon_cool.gif

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    Nov 18, 2009 6:58 PM GMT

    Harvey was murdered in relatively recent history: November 1978.

    What a different perspective I had at the time. I was actually able to be more open in regards to my sexuality back then.