E-mail from Billy - Article on Hanns Ebensten and his contribution to homosexual travel

From William A. Percy
Jump to: navigation, search

I got the urge to try to find the "documentation" of the travel organized by "Chuck Thompson" for ONE, Inc in the late 60s, so thought I'd send this along, and if you can shorten it and use it as a letter, that would be fine.

In the current (March, April-2008) issue of Gay & Lesbian Review there is an article and an ad that talk about Hanns Ebensten as the organizer of the first gay group travels. This should be clarified somewhat. While his group I assume was aimed at the general community, so that his 1972 trip may have been the first in that area, it is clear that "Chuck Thompson" /Chet, as a "Social Service" to the members of ONE, Inc, a different aspect I think, organized the first homosexual trips to my knowledge (or again, that "difference comes in, as I think we used the word homophile then) in 1964 and a second one in 1965, and planned another in 1966.

Historians seeking documentation of this can refer to Dorr's version of ONE Magazine in January of 1966 where Jim Kepner reports on the trip in April of 1965. I also think it may be different in that ONE always organized the trips to meet with gay organizations in each of the countries visited. For instance Jim talks about meeting with rudi Burkhardt of Der Kreis and of meeting with gay groups in many of the cities (Zurich, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam Munich, Paris).

I also have a copy of the instructions sent to members who joined the tour, regarding sending in reservations, when to pay the total cost, how to meet in New York, etc. I do find it hard to understand why we did almost no ads in the magazine-at least the copies I can find, and most of the information was in ONE Confi.

An interesting aspect of the 1965 trip is that for a time ONE moved from the Venice office to Cahuenga Blvd West, at least from the view of the majority of legally elected members, so that there was internal discussion in Los Angeles and among some of the members on the trip. Later, having settled the legal dispute mutually Dorr's faction took the name ONE and Don Slater's faction as The tangent Group took the legal name Homosexual Information Center, getting tax-exemption in 1968 (with the help of attorney Herbert Selwyn) as the first openly homosexual organization to get such an exemption. (ONE's tax-exempt organization, then and now, is ISHR -the Institute for the Study of Human resources)

Personal tools