You should ask yourself why you have an agenda that distorts your version of history/mine is documented

From William A. Percy
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Original Message --------

Subject: Re: You should ask yourself why you have an agenda that distorts your version of history/mine is documented
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 10:10:37 -0600
From: David Thorstad <>
To: billy glover <>

Billy, your comments here on the early homosexual movement in Europe are quite surprising, and, especially in view of your devotion to spreading awareness of the California gay movement prior to Stonewall, most depressing, because they show you are quite uninformed about the contribution of the (mostly German) early movement, from the mid-nineteenth century to the Nazi period. Have you read Lauritsen's and my book on this period, or Steakley's on the German movement? Much more on this period is available now than when our books came out, and even if much of that history was forgotten or lost by the time Mattachine/ONE, etc. were formed, it is a rich source of not only history, but also issues and approaches and strategies that remain highly relevant for today. Nothing in the American movement from the 1950s to the 1970s even comes close to documenting homosexuality the way Hirschfeld's Yearbook did, and that isn't even to mention Adolf Brand's Der Eigene, the pederast/anarchist journal, which happens to be the first homosexual journal in the history of the world (so far as I know).

You seem to have tunnel vision here, and reflect the wrongheaded notion that nothing that doesn't happen in the USA is really all that important. You are quite wrong. David

On 11/13/2010 10:00 AM, billy glover wrote:

Nonsense. I have repeatedly pointed out that that part, minor in relationship to the movement in America, is covered in Homosexuals Today. There is no proof that what happened in a small group of intellectuals in Europe carried over even to the groups there today.

I never heard of any history yet I got involved in the movement when I got to L. A. and found ONE. Do you seriously think those closeted people meeting in secret, shades pulled down, in 1950, talked about what happened in Europe? Why did they never say that to me-Dale, Dorr, Don, et al? I doubt anyone in europe knew of the work even at the time. That is not true of the work of Mattachine/ONE/DOB/SIR/HIC.

In a serious book, one short chapter should mention that part-that how to view homosexuality was discussed in Europe, and then move on to America and a chapter on these foudning groups, then start with SIR and go forward to Advocate, Drum, Morris/GCSC, then HRC The Task Force, and Stonewall, GLF, GAA, and in between the Mattachine chapters and above all Frank Kameny/Jack Nichols/Barbara Gittings/Barbara Gittings, etc., then this decade, GLSEN, COLAGE, Lambda Legal, LOGO (which is not very good for the movement but may get to a few young people) and the major media coverage, movies Like Brokeback Mountain, the marriage and military issue-which we did in 1966 as a start and Don Slater went into court several times, with Hooker, et al and kept young men OUT.

You have your interests, but to denigrate Don's articles in the L. A. Times, Herald Examiner etc, is to make me ask what Dorr, et al, were doing all that time-and he had funding. How many people were affected by Don's ideas compared to how many have used the bibliographies you all are so eager to work on? Some would say, and have said ,that Dorr and his sycophants were in their ivory tower on Country Club, doing exactly what Don and Dale, et al, said was wrong with early Mattachine and why they moved part of it to become ONE.

And finally, the silliest thing you ever said is that Don had a few devoted fans around him when you of all people know that that describes Dorr. Those around Don, the editors etc, were intelligent people who acted on their own, often without Don, etc. And where is the credit for Joe Hansen whose books were the earliest in the field? And we did a directory of national homosexual groups (as opposed to just bars as Gay Girls Riding Club did) before anyone else. And ONE did tours before anyone else. We did everything before anyone else-including that church. Mattachine had secret meetings, which, to sound like Obama, happened when the world was ready, and it is amazing how fast the meetings grew all over the area, with large attendance, etc. And it was necessary to start the movement. ONE held public meetings. Published the first magazine-and no other was in the public realm despite you and Jim Kepner desperately seeking others to make ONE a mere addition when it was the most important movement publication in America in the 50s and 60s. Any hsitory that ignores ONE is worthless and is incompetent and unethical, much less unprofessional.

Subject: Re: Morris Kight and links to work of other glbt groups/RE: Working with German groups after Stonewall, and with Jim Kepner/RE: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 09:20:06 -0500

Billy, you say that your are interested in promoting knowledge and understanding of the gay movement. In fact, you are not. If you were, you would not speak so slightingly of the European movement. THAT is where we all came from.

In reality you are only interested in promoting ONE, and that as a vehicle for your boundless adulation of Don Slater. That is not history, but a personality cult.


Original Message-----

From: billy glover <>
Sent: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 11:33 am
Subject: Morris Kight and links to work of other glbt groups/RE: Working with German groups after Stonewall, and with Jim Kepner/RE: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans

Yes, ONEArchives is at USC: 909 W. Adams. Jim Kepner also had an apartment supplied by USC down the street-in fact there was an earlier place USC offered, but this one is better I think. This is Dorr's part of ONE material and Jim Kepner's ILGA part. Don Slater's part is at Cal State Northridge, as is Vern Bullough's (and Bonnie's) collection on human sexuality.

About Morris-as far as i know none of the pioneers was ever really accused of misusing funds-which is strange and a very good comment on them. In the disputes in ONE, none was about money except how to spend it and where it came from-but ironically it was when we finally got ISHR (the tax-exempt part) and thus were funded (mainly by Reed Erickson) Dorr got excited and went overboard and this led to the separation of the two men remaining-Jim Kepner had left-i replaced him when he left the second time- but later worked with ONE and HIC.

I did not know of the online links you mention, so hope to find them. The only way historians and even future young homosexual/glbt people can learn of our history, and in a balanced way, is by having a list of links such as the ones you mention and the history you are posting. While it is great to have so much coverage of Stonewall, and the out celebrities today, it distorts how we got here.

As to Morris again, my thoughts were of him being slightly leftist-opposing the war if I am right, etc. By the way, Morris gave the HIC parrt of ONE its first 'benefit" at his home on 3d I think at Vermont. And as GLF type.

Subject: RE: Working with German groups after Stonewall, and with Jim Kepner/RE: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 20:50:40 -0800

History-wise, Billy, I save what I can. I’ve put our history in MPG & JPG files and get them online anyway I can. I think that’s the best way to “push the more important basic information.” Coming generations, using the wireless medium du jour, will access what they want. Physical locations are for the scholars. I have some news interviews spanning 20 years on You Tube (search: billyrusso1948). Recently, I uploaded a pdf of our first newsletter here in Douglas County. That was 30 years ago. It’s on icon on the homepage.

We’re having an event tomorrow night. Joe Wilson’s Out In the Silence, followed by a dance. We’re trying to bring the generations together. We did almost no traditional advertising (flyers on alternative businesses and a minute spot on the local country radio station this morning). Us old folk have been networking for three decades. We put our energy into reaching the next generations through social networking sites and text messaging.

I knew Morris pretty well, spent some time with him and Lillene Fifield in West Hollywood just before he died. I came along in 1971. GCSC was well established on Wilshire near downtown. Morris was a leading figure. I recall that many people didn’t like him. He was always accused of petty wrongdoings, like using center funds to buy a pack of cigarettes. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a key player.

I visited Jim’s “shop” (as I used to call it) a few times with Morris or Don. The importance of his work wasn’t lost on me, but I was young...more interested in making history than preserving it. I honestly don’t have an opinion on the archives. Is ONE at one of the universities in L.A.? If so, I visited it shortly after Morris died. I enjoyed the tour...was disappointed that they didn’t have anything on Gary Rees, the father of the modern gay professional.

The issue that HAW faced in the early Seventies was that they couldn’t figure out what to do once the law was repealed (around ’68). The proletariat was thought to be fragmented. They lost their focus: “we’re equal now, what more can we ask?” was the attitude. I think Klaus eventually fled to India and became a guru..

It was Heard. I may be mixing things up, but I remember going to a lecture, one of a series he offered. The response was disappointing. I think it pissed him off. I thought he was very cool. ...only saw him that one time.

I enjoy reading your Posts, Billy. Thank you for sharing them.

Billy Russo

From: billy glover [1]
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 8:30 AM
Subject: Working with German groups after Stonewall, and with Jim Kepner/RE: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans

That is very interesting, and that you connected with the German groups and ONE/Jim Kepner. I seem to be a moderate about saving our history. We did not think about it as we were making it-did you think about it before Jim got it recognized as important? Now I think there needs to be some consideration of saving it all, but knowing that lots of it will only be important to a few scholars. Thousands of books or articles will scare college students off, it seems to me, so we need to push the more important basic information.

Am I wrong in thinking that many people do not think of Morris Kight as a main co-founder of GCSC, the first g/l center? And Jim Kepner does not get the credit he deserves, and his archives (IGLA) are "lost" in the now ONE Archives?

As we've always said, the basic guide to how the subject grew each decade is shown in such places as the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, etc.. ONE covered, the only source, news in the 60s and early 70s. But from then to now it just grew so fast and wide it became hard. And today, do you see each day how many items are on Daily Queer News, etc? No one could read them all.

I don't know how the European groups did -Homosexuals Today covered the early part. But how much COC, Der Kreis, etc did or how affective I don't now. I think one was mainly a club. Those who went on ONE's travel tours visited with some of them in the early 1960s.

I don't think I know who you mean, Huxley's sidekick. Gerald Heard wrote but I don't think he spoke, and I'm not sure if Isherwood did, but he did work with ONE. I don't think Gore Vidal ever has, but could be wrong.

Subject: RE: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 20:04:23 -0800

Hi Billy,

HAW (West Berlin’s gay group) and GAA worked together for a few years after Stonewall. I spent a winter with HAW (71-72). They were trying to repeal a law passed in the 1860s. We were trying to involve civil rights. Klaus Peo (or Pio) was HAWs president. In the spring of 1972, Rosa brought his the-first-film-about-homosexuals-by-homosexuals—it translated “one in six”—to NY. I remember that there was an addendum made at the Firehouse during that visit.

Gay Community Services Center (GCSC) in LA was loosely modeled on the Hirschfield Institute. I worked at GCSC from 1972-76(survived the move from Wilshire and the strike). I remember mention of the Institute in relationship to the Center’s social service programs and the four-nights-a-week discussion groups.

I remember visiting Jim’s office with Morris once. The archival project was not highly valued that time among the gay advocates. While ONE was known to the gay activists, there was little mention of Mattachine. I remember a guy who was Huxley’s sidekick lecturing.... Was he with One?

Billy Russo

From: billy glover [2]
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 8:49 AM
Subject: ONE person's version of the history of the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans

Each of us can only make decisions based on our own experience plus what we have learned from others and history. But there are a few basic facts that have to be acknowledged in making our decisions, and that applies to what we believe about how the homosexual community/movement came to be what it is today.

Many "history's" of the homosexual movement, like those of the women's movement and the black civil rights movement seem to want to make a narrative that is interesting, flows easily, even if facts don't support that version.

For instance, it is doubtful that the efforts at dealing with homosexuality in Europe, mainly before Hitler, flow directly into the start of the continuing movement in America, although many want it to to make it some kind of spiritual effort. It makes a good story. Someone here had sex with someone of that time and place and thus there is one continuing line of history. But most stories seem to say that the person who started the continuing effort, Harry Hay, had more of an American Indian connection, and that would make us all shamans. It is also doubtful that all the drag balls in early America had any contribution to actually trying to change laws and educate people on the subject.

The facts give us clear evidence that no effort before Harry and co-founders of early Mattachine had any real impact on us today. A few people knew Henry Gerber, or saw Vice Versa. But what continuing effective effort existed before the start of secret meetings in Los Angeles in 1950 to actually get us to change the world? It is clear that the founders background, spiritual or political, was from the "brotherhood" offered by the Communist Party. And that was in the worst of times-the McCarthy era. That is the background of the secret meetings and attempt at an "organization" with secret vows, etc.

And the clear difference in that early Mattachine, that was killed in 1953 because of the secrecy and political background, would not have been successful and that is why Hal Call, et al, kicked the founders out. Then he restarted the "new' Mattachine in San Francisco. But before this, part of Mattachine came out, in 1952, became public and rejected the ideas of Harry and said it was tired of the talking and commiserating and that it was time to learn the facts and reach out to homosexuals who would not be reached by local private discussion groups and also speak to the non-homosexuals, the 90% of the population that we had to deal with. The Kinsey book had already gotten the public thinking about sexuality and possible numbers of homosexual Americans. Later Dr Hooker did a little research to try to learn if you could tell/prove who was homosexual, and found no method, and none has been found since.

So from 1953, when ONE Magazine appeared as the first publication of the movement, until 1955 when Hal decided to copy it and publish Mattachine Review, ONE was the only voice of the community. Soon after Del Martin/Phyllis Lyon, et al, founded the Daughters of Bilitis and The Ladder to work for the women's interests.

But when the co-founders of ONE, including Mattachine co-founder Dale Jennings (a "celebrity" since he later wrote The Cowboys, the John Wayne movie), Dorr Legg (Bill Lambert), Don Slater, Martin Bloch, et al, started the first thing they, like Hal Call, did was to eliminate the leftish politics of the movement, since they were all conservative (except Dale, who only became a conservative later), and try to actually learn about the subject. And from the start the magazine covered every aspect of homosexuality-fiction was later added. The only valid source of the news of the subject from the 50s to the 60s was ONE, since the Review and Ladder did not do much news, they had views, and often only of "experts," not homosexuals.

Then ONE held the first public discussions, and fought the first legal battle-after Dale Jenning's "victory' in the sodomy case in L. A.- which went to the U. S. Supreme Court to get the right to publish a magazine dealing with homosexuality-1958. And ONE started its library/archive to preserve this history.

Mattachine always seemed a more "interesting" word to the media and thus it got more publicity and thus it got chapters in major cities, such as New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Denver. But ONE Magazine was on the newsstands in all major cities. It got letters from all over the world.

A documentary of Stonewall implies that the movement started there in 1969, yet another documentary shows the efforts at Fire Island earlier, and of course Frank Kameny's Mattachine had already been picketing and he had been suing the federal government for his employment rights, and with Jack Nichols (and Lige) , Barbara Gittings, et al, had been getting attention from Congress. And Barbara Grier, of Gene Damon literary work in The ladder and ONE, co-founded the lesbian publishing effort, NAIAD. And ONE started travel tours to Europe. And then came Drum Magazine, Clark Polak, with a little more sexuality in publishing. and each decade there started more publications, organizations, and they started specializing. For legal work there is the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, GLAD. Now for religion there are the MCC churches, and groups like Kinship, Dignity, Affirmation. For social service there are gay/lesbian centers in every major city-starting with the one co-founded by Morris Kight in L. A., and then those in New York, Chicago, Dallas, etc. Groups aimed at helping young homosexual men and women started, GLSEN, and for children whose parents are homosexual, COLAGE. for parents of homosexual children, PFLAG. And funding resources such as The Gill Foundation, The Point Foundation.

ONE had the first classes in homosexuality, and spoke to college classes and today most major universities have not only got a class on the subject, but have resource centers for glbt students.

Many civil rights people got interested in the issue, including the ACLU, which didn't get involved until about the middle 1960s, with push from Vern Bullough and others. And in San Francisco ministers (The Council on religion and the homosexual) and attorneys started working with local organizations, SIR and the Tavern Guild, to help the community and got an "education" when the police raided a dance they co-sponsored, after their attempt to work with the cops. San Francisco had already heard lots about homosexuals since the 1959 Mattachine Convention in Denver had been "used" by a plant for a mayoral candidate (Wolper) to try to embarrass the mayor, Christopher, by saying he was gay-friendly. The effort backfired, but also the publicity hurt local Denver members, even though it had been very favorable in the Denver and San Francisco papers.

All of this work took place without any scholarly discussion of terminology or academic rant about if the movement got started because of some sociological reason.

The fact is that each year since 1950, no matter who was governor or president, the cause of equality has grown, and the fact that in recent years celebrities have come out of their closet is interesting but not very important as an explanation of why we have gotten to where we are. It seems accepted that as more people identify as homosexual, it means more of the public "knows" someone who is homosexual, but there is actually no proof of that, but what is provable is that more and more of us have stopped accepting the lies of society and religion that we are criminals, sick or sinful. THAT is the true explanation. And even the media has finally, since it found Stonewall so "sexy," been talking about our community/movement. Businesses have learned that we have money and politicians have learned that we vote. But it is a disservice to imply that America loves queers now because of Ellen or Elton or some tv show. and it makes us sound exotic to think we are all drag queens-as does LOGO, or bears or opera lovers. We are Americans.

Harry was right that we have had to view the world as outsiders. But it is not because of some spiritual thing, it is because until recently society and the churches made us "special," and had laws against our sexual behavior and used medicine to put us into mental institutions, to 'cure" us, and let institutions make money off of us. We no longer will be outsiders. A few of us can be happy and gay in ghettos like Fire Island, Cherry Grove, etc. But not many.

I have not mentioned AIDS because the fact, sadly, is that it did not affect our movement, unless you think it got the women and men together, as women helped men grieve, and it got celebrities to actually support gay issues.

And so today we also have our libraries and archives, to preserve our history, well-documented, and it is time true scholars use them.

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