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tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  June 25, 2022 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT

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announcer: funding for this program provided by aids healthcare foundation, california institute of contemporary arts, dwight stuart youth fund, the city of west hollywood, los angeles lgbt center, california community foundation, and by these additional funders. craig loftin: "one" magazine was the first openly gay magazine and just being on display at a newsstand was a very important signifier of gay culture's greater emergence into the public space. craig: now before "one" magazine came along, there were these magazines that did catero a gay readship, physique magazines.
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these were magazines that were mostly pictures of men wearing almost nothing except little pouches under the pretense that these are exercise magazines. dennis bell: in 1951 bob started up "physique pictorial" magazine, and the people who knew what it was, you know, realexei romanoff:t people traded them.for. they just gave them to each other. you know, somebody bought 'em at one point and they passed tm around. jim james tyler: "physique pictorial" and "one," i sort of would pick--get both of them. dennis: that magazine continued up until the early '90s. jim: the color came in and was--that was a big deal. craig: and as long as it pretended that it was just an exercise magazine, it could get away with it.
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but what made "one" different was just the fact that they admitted they were a gay magazine right at the time that it's being persecuted the most. it was very, very important for the people who read it. a lot of the people who read it were in small towns or subur where they dn't have access any kind of gay culture. and it's important to know that gay people had a lot of trouble just finding information about themselves. what does it mean to be gay? how do i deal with this? how do i categorize it? how do i think about my sexuality? and so, it was a lifeline for so many people. people wrote letters to the magazine, expressing themselves, talking about their problems, asking for help. "one" published some of those letters. they responded to all of those letters. they really created this intimate sense of conversation but at a very large national level.
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speaker: 23 august, 1960. speaker: november 16, 1964. speaker: march 19, 1953. speaker: january 24, 1956, a suburb of los angeles. speaker: 1963, columbus, ohio. speaker: may 1958. speaker: 26 june, 1960, sacramento. speaker: small town in central pennsylvania. speaker: dear sir. speaker: dear "one." speaker: dear "one." speaker: dear "one." speaker: dear "one." i learned of your magazine from "corey's homosexuality." lori: it's gonna be hard for me to put my problem into writing, but i'll try to get all the facts across. you see, outwardly, i'm a woman, but inside i have male emotions. in fact, at times, i become two different people. for a while i'm a woman and even act like one, then all of a sudden i'm a man. sometimes, i get so lonely and depressed, i can't bear to go on any longer. i guess this is a lonely hearts letter to you, buyou're my last hop
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apprecte you reading this and, because i'm hoping so stngly that you can help me, i'm thanking you in advance. sincerely yours, lori. craig: obviously, "one's" very visible presence on newsstands was noticed by a lot ofhe same pressive forces that were ordering gay bar raids and, at one point, j. edgar hoover, the legendary fbi lead who was almost certainly gay himself, was brought a copy of "one" magazine and he ordered an investigation into it, and the l.a. postmaster i1954 took the october issue of "one" and seized it, didn't allow it to be mailed out to all of the subscribers. lillian faderman: this particular copy which would be extremely tame by probably anyone's standards, but
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nevertheless, the post office said it was obscene. craig: now, there was nothing really remotely obscene in the magazine. they were just trying to, i think, stop it because it was an openly gay magazine itself. this was a big blow to "one," but at the same time, "one's" attitude is, "okay, why are we making this magazine? we're making this magazine to improve things. we're making this magazine to change the world, and we're making this magazine to try to fight this exact sort of repression and denial of our own sense of voice. and so, we're gonna fight this." lillian: "one" hired a lawyer by the name of eric julber, and eric julber took it all the way to the supreme court. now, the case was not heard orally before the supreme court but the justices read eric julber's petition and,
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incredibly, the supreme court agreed that "one" was not obscene, that homosexuals had the right to read, that the post office had to permit the mailing of "one" magazine. that was the very first time that the supreme court took a case that dealt with homosexuality and came down on our side. craig: this was a huge victory for gay rights because it permitted discussion, you know, just discussion. chris freeman: occasionally, the law was our friend in the history of the mement and, in particular, in the history of the movement in los angeles. craig: the supreme court had basically said that it is legal to have a gay magazine. it is legal for gay people to talk about themselves in print. and so lots of other gay publications started following in the wake of that. the entire gay press, basically, is premised upon that case to an extent. ♪♪♪
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♪♪ harry hay: the mattachine society republicans whhave inundated us, threw all of us radicals out because of the fact that we were calling ourselves a cultural minority and they wouldn't go along with that. they simply said we're exactly the same as everybody else and homosexuals have nothing in common but their sexuality. have nothing else that they share together. so, consequently, people like me were considered anathema. we were thrown out. craig: so in a notorious and rather tragic moment in the early gay rights movement, harry hay got kickedut of the organization that he had founded. and earlier, he'd been kicked out of the communist party for being gay, so harry hay couldn't really get a break.
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dale jennings: it's interesting that unless he had been so obnoxiously persistent, there wouldn't have been a mattachine, probably tre wouldn't have been a meeting--a movement for ages to come because the substance of what harry hay had to say was, "let's do it here and now." and for that, i adore his memory. if i were asked who was the most intellectual person in the homosexual movement, i'd say harry. craig: i think he was advocating a vision of gay culture that was a bit too much ahead of its time. ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ speaker: let's face it, homosexuality is a problem and these people are really advocating that we don't solve the problem.
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they're advocating that we tolerate the problem, and i think these peop are a fit subject for a mental health program. these people need help. chris: you can see the kind of cultural anxiety around sexuality and around obscenity, and so all of this atmospheric sexual liberation was really beginning to be set up at this time. john rechy published his "city of night" in 1963, his really radical, highly queer novel, most of which is set in los angeles. so, you know, you had this kind of burgeoning liberationist anarchic kind of movement happening, and it's happening in literature, journalism, it's happening in film and theater. the 1950s had become this very interesting transitional time where, on the one hand, you have something like allen ginsberg and "howl," d you know, you have "the beats" and "on the road," and this kind of thing. on the other hand, you have "leave it to beaver" and "i love lucy." so you have two americas competing for what's gonna happen. and that fight happens in the 1960s.
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♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ lillian: when harry hay started the mattachine society, he said, "our theory is that we are an oppressed cultural minority and, as such, we have to fight for our rights just as other oppressed cultural minorities have been doing." and he was thinking particularly of the vernascent at that time, very new, negro, as it was called, civil rights movement. this was even before martin luther king. craig: it's a very interesting parallel between the
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bof the gay rights movement ain the sense thatning world war ii really emboldened both groups. you know, black people came back from the war and segregation justeemed lot less tolerable. and i think a lot of gay people had that same sense that, "hey, i risked my life for what? for this? that's not america. that's not the america i was fighting for." and that fueled a sense of outrage that i think was kind of really the beginning. mia yamamoto: gay and lesbian people, we learned about marching and demonstrating in the streets from black people. the civil rights movement had opened up the minds of the entire nation that there were possibities in all these minority communities where they had traditionally been excluded. they were on the front lines, they were the ones that did the major sacrifices. they got beaten, hosed, bitten, demonstrating for the rights of other americans, and i felt that we've never done enough to help them.
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we've never done enough to reciprocate for all the liberation that they brought upon other communities. those other communities have really not stepped up and got down in the streets with them, like we should, i felt. and that's when things like pride became real. people wanted to get up and start walking. we're not gonna sit back and take it. we're gonna fight back. and that, i think, was the message that the black community gave to the rest of us. troy perry: i see these signs standing around that says we're not afraid anymore. and i want to tell you we're not afraid anymore. i'm not. troy: i was so out and open. all my members couldn't be and i knew that early on. but if i'm going out to demonstrate, you're going out with me, and they did. and i will be eternally grateful because i had no idea how quickly we would have to demonstrate.
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andrea segal: reverend perry was just a magnificent person, and taught us that the lord loves us anyway, no matter who we are. lorri jean: but he decided that he was going to creata chch that was especially for people like us, and be a place where people could still have a relationship with god and still feel worthy and whole. troy: i had found myself all at once, knowing that god loved me. just before that, i'd had a suicide attempt where cut both my wrists and ended up in the hospital and i tell people to this day god spoke to me in that still small voice in the mind's ear and said to me, "troy, i love you. you're my son. i don't have stepsons and daughters." and with that, i knew i was a christian, i knew my salvation was real, and i knew i didn't have to offer apologies tonybody again. once you come out, you don't know how good it feels.
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troy: we announced that we were going to have a peaceful assembly and rally to protest laws prohibiting homosexual acts by consenting adults in private and to request the california supreme court to grant a hearing on the constitutionality of the california laws which make it a felony to engage in sex acts in private. i'm going to see some laws passed in this state. i have prayed to my god, asked my god, and i have the assurance some things are going to happen. i'm afraid my private parts are my own and what i wanna do with 'em's my business and not the law's. troy: three of those people that showed up that day: jim kepner--and jim became really the historian of l.a. and jim kepner brought two people with him, two people i had no idea: harry hay, who is the father of the modern gay
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rights movement, and his partner, john burnside. and they came and they picketed with me that day. and i had no idea the important role they had already played in the history of our movement. we picketed for three days there, and tt was my first, and once i did that i knew i could do it after that. pat rocco: hi, this is pat rocco, and we're here for bizarre productions news service in front of one of the oldest establishments here in hollywood. it's a restaurant and it's called, "barney's beanery." troy: i read an article in "life" magazine. anthony barney who is the original owner of barney's beanery, he had his bar and chili shop in west hollywood. he wanted to make sure that none of the faggots in that neighborhood came to his bar. so he put up a sign, you know, "fagots, keep out."
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misspelt "faggot," of urse, but there it was. and i immediately started calling people. there is no way in the world in west hoywood, california, we're gonna have a "fagots, keep out" sign. not in this neighborhood. [chanting] hey, hey, hey, hey. we are pro and we are gay. hey, hey. troy: we went down and we started our demonstrations. [chanting] hey, hey, hey, hey. we are proud and we are gay. hey, hey, hey, hey. we are proud and we are gay. hey, hey, hey. troy: and of course, this bar is where everybody who is anybody, janis joplin, the rolling stones, hung out. they went in there for beers, everything. he even threw them out one night. this was how crazy this man was. pat: reverend troy perry who's the pastor that we talked about earlier. reverend perry, could i stop you for just a moment to talk about what's going on this evening? i see you're carrying a magazine. troy: i took the magazine with me. i held it up.
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i made sure that people saw what this man said. he wanted us dead. troy: june 26, 1964, there's an article about a restaurant in los angeles where the signage says, "fagots, keep out." the gentleman who put this sign up in this restaurant said he thinks homosexuals should be shot. these are his own words in "life" magazine. we're told, of course, the sign today is a joke. we don't consider it a joke. pat: when did the sign go up? speaker: 1959. pat: and whawas the purpose of putting the sign up? speaker: to discourage the faggots from coming in. morris kight: you know the issue here is that this restaurant here, barney's beanery, has been here a long time. pat: yes, it has. morris: and they have a sign saying, "fagots, stay out." now it doesn't offend me awfully but it offends everybody else. i think it's sort of funny in a way and i don't need to come here, but a great many people would like to, and they think that this sign comes out of an antique american idea which should have gone out of style along with "[audio gap] stay
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out," "no mexicans or dogs allowed." and these kinds of things have to go. now what we really would like, mr. rocco, is to have the sign retained, but changed. pat: how would you change it? morris: x out the "stay out" and say "faggots welcome." that, we would consider a victory. pat: you can see an awful lot of people protesting something. what do you think about it? speaker: man, i think it's disgraceful with the sign being up there, such as it is. speaker: i think that damn sign should be taken down. speaker: i think anyone has the right to do whatever they want providing it's not on the hollywood freeway at rush hour. troy: many people when they think of the beginning of the modern gay movement, immediately think of the stonewall rebellion at the end of june of 1969 in greenwich village. stonewall, there's no question, was an incredibly important kind of watershed moment in that history. but it was two years earlier than that that the black cat riot happened in los angeles at sunset junction on new year's from 1966 to '67. lillian: there was a group that had been established the year before the raid at the black cat.
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the group called itself "personal rights in defense and education." it was the first use of the term "pride" related to lgbt people that i'm familiar with. and they decided that they would not put up with this sort of thing anymore, this raid on the black cat and this abuse of the gay customers. and so they decided to stage a protest. lillian: look at all of those faces, not one smile. because they were scared. thpolice were there and were afra. if leaflet that wereaws, passing t was toed on th ound, wean over d pied it upight awaso if lat they uldn't geaws, passius f litteri. on th craig: the black cat was covered in the "the advocate,"
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it ess picked up they prestory of stonewall.ea lillian: the reason it didn't get the kind of notice that the stonewall riots got is that it was los angeles and nobody walks in los angeles. and so because there were people who would stay to protest which would then become a riot as the stonewall became a riot, the story of this wonderful protest in 1967 in los angeles was virtually lost to history. speaker: i think it's real interesting that stonewall gets all of the credit for being the spark that led t gay rigs the, really, theirst milantwas restance tgay opprsion.some of lillian: in 1959, the police came into a donut shop in downtown los angeles. it was a favorite hangout of queens and gay hustlers,
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and the police were doing their usual thing. they just thought they would harass a few people, and the queens weren't going put up with it, so they started throwing sticks and hot coffee and it was a full-fledged mini riot. this was a militant protest against police harassment. anhappened anywhere in a mithe united states. yet speaker: every time you think you've found an origin, there's something right before it that enabled it. william mann: i remember harry hay once saying to me when i interviewed him, he said, "stonewall was fine, but to me, it wasn't groundbreaking. it was just the east coast finally catching up with the west coast." rris: there is a little bar in the greenwich village called stonewall, just a dive. mafia-owned, unlicensed, you know, nothing. but it was frequented by our brothers and sisters. it was a busy, busy place. the police came in to harass the bar and they
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started the sort of thing that they do. "you, you, you, you, and you and you." plus some minor brutality, psychological brutality and some physical brutality, and at some moment, every became--one became so angry they simply fought back. they locked the police up in the bar from which they were just driven, and they knocked out the windows and threw in molotov cocktails and then commenced three days of vigorous rioting and it took the police that long to control these homosexuals. jeanne cordova: rris kight kind of ran the political gay movement. and i remember going to his house on mcadam place was kind of the home of the gay movement. alexei: someone wrote him a letter from new york city to see what wcould do the next year to celebrate the stonewall riot. troy: when he got this letter, they came over there and they said, "th want us to do something here. we can have a demonstration." and i said, "no, no, no, no, no, no. i want us to have a parade.
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this is hollywood." well, then we've got to do down and we've got to go to city hall, but once we arrived there, ha, ha, here again, chief edward m. davis, i, you know, this is a hateful man at that time. well, morris and bob had said, "don't mention the gay thing unless you have to." as we started talkinto themthey got very nasty. "who do you represent?" and i said, "i represent the gay and lesbian community of los angeles." well, with that, you'd have thought i'shot the whole police commission in front of the chief of police. he went off. then they started laughing. finally, they voted on it and said we had to put up two bonds: one in the amount of a million dollars to pay for the parade and for cops. then we had to pay half a million dollars in cash, a cash
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bond, to pay for all the windows that were gonna be broke on hollywood boulevard when people started throwing rocks at us. so we came back the next week, and when we came back the next week we had--the aclu, thank god, had given us an attorney, herb selwin. and went to the city on monday morning, filed into court, and said we want an injunction against the city by this weekend. we're gonna have a parade in hollywood. well, we went into court and we were very nervous, and the judge listened to the city attorney, listened to our attorney. he had read the papers from the police commission. banged his gavel and said, "i don't care if you have to call out the national guard. these people are taxpaye like everybody else and they have a right to hd this parade here today." oh my god, we got on the phone and start calling people. oh my god, we've won. we didn't think we would win. oh my god. start building floats, tell people they can come. we'll have a pet section. do anything. let people know.
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we need people to march. and, god, that day, all of us went down very nervous and wewe didn't know whatch. was gonna happen. and people were frightened, even on the sides. it was hysterical, i'd never seen more hats and dark shades in my life. when i pulled out in my little sports car with the mcc float and the choir marching and singing, and--but it was incredible. ♪♪♪ andrea: we were yelling and hollering how proud we were to be gay and we were singing the song, "small world," "it's a small world after all." and we were singing, "it's a gay world after all." speaker: "two, four, six, eight,
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gay is just as good as straight." andrea: and everybody on the sidewalks were, like, throwing fruit at us and whatever they had. anyway, we just kept on going. nancy valverde: i went and i participated in the dyke march. anywi thought, "at last,going. justice has arrived." troy: it was amazing for us. in that parade, we had the pet section. we had a guy walking his big alaskan husky with a sign on each side, said, "we don't all walk poodles." we had only three guys in leather that year. they, all three, were dripping in leather on their motorcycles but in pink high heels. everybody just screamed. speaker: estimated number of spectators between 25,000 and 30,000. speaker: i don't go for it at all. speaker: why? speaker: i think it's sickening. speaker: i think it's fine. i think that society has to recognize them and they wanna do their thing and they're doing it,
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and i'm very proud of them for doing it. speaker: it's sort of enjoyable to watch, but i'm glad they don't do it too often. speaker: i think it's just a bunch of bull. speaker: i'm here as a spectator. alexei: the word "pride" actually came from l.a., you know? it was our creation. troy: this is christopher street west celebration day. last year, a group of homosexuals rioted in the city of new york against the oppression that they felt there. we decided to make it an annual day for homosexuals all across the nation in cities other than los angeles and new york where it actually happened at, san diego, san francisco, chago. with celebrations, homosexuals hope to impress upon society that we have our problems too. speaker: for me, it was probably the most important day of my life, to step off the curb into the street and march.
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♪♪♪ speaker: i never went back in the closet after that. ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ troy: we had proved our point and there was no stopping us again as far as a polical force once we had organized that parade here in the ste of calornia.
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♪♪ ♪♪♪ speaker: organizing around oppression, the plight of the gay is passé because the plight is lifting and it's just a fact. there are 650,000 gays in the neighborhood and they've all been moved by liberation. ♪♪♪ speaker: i think it's good because i almost am getting a high off of the people, the vibes, here, so we're good. ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪
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speaker: all of this pride, all of this self-realization, this kind of self-pride then has led to the establishment of the gay community services center in los angeles: a combine of directors and staff and a supportive staff all bring a total range of services to the gay community. lorri: from the very beginning, they were providing counseling, a gay man's vd clinic, a lesbian gynecological clinic, help for transgender people, help for people who were in the military so they could get dishonorable discharges, help for people who were parents. jon platania: first organization of its kind in the world. that was a political statement. lorrie: the los angeles center was the very first homosexual organization that had the courage to work with youth.


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