The Ladder, January 1957, Vol. 1, No. 4

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1. Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behaviour and dress acceptable to society.

2. Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous conceptions, taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3. Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychology, sociology and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4. Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly in San
Francisco, California by
The Daughters of Bilitis
P. O. Box 2183


President--D. Griffin

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Jean Peterson

Treasurer--Pat Hamilton

Publication Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Art Editor--BOB

Production--Helen Sanders


By Alice LaVere, Consulting Psychologist, Personal Adjustment Bureau, 323 Geary St., San Francisco

You have seen many times the changes that sudden fear will make instantaneously in a person's face. It is not a pretty sight. You know how you feel when you are frightened. The changes that this upset condition bring about are both physiological and psychological.

Persons who live under these emotions continually actually effect changes in their chemistry that are among the causes of functional illnesses. Fear, worry and doubt are among the most destructive emotions that we experience. These emotions are at the root of such chronic conditions as unhappiness, nervousness, temper tantrums, and lack of energy. These same emotions influence the flow of the endocrine gland system and change the delicate balance that means good health and clear thinking.

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When one permits such destructive emotions to rule or influence most of his living, the chances for health and happiness are reduced to practically nothing. Space will not permit the complete discussion of the multitudinous negative effects of fear upon the human personality. However, you may be sure that when you observe the following reactions and characteristics, the person exhibiting them is living under a repressed fear thought. The most common of the repressed fear thought reactions are: revenge, jealousy, resentment, doubt, hate, stubbornness, mental cowardice, procrastination and alibi.

No one likes to admit to these negative and destructive activities, and it is usual for each of us to "cover-up" and camouflage our motives. The extra effort to effect this camouflage is one of the causes of tension. Tension, fear, doubt and worry are present in most cases of heart failure, stroke, peptic ulcers and other functional illnesses.

Because of the fear thoughts we harbor and the tension that is the natural result of fear, many of our plans and ambitions go wrong and we are forced to admit failure. At this stage the human personality has to add another destructive force to the list, FRUSTRATION.

Here you have the unholy trio, FEAR, TENSION and FRUSTRATION.

Each one is enough to cause a person to miss the mark he has set for himself. With all three at work it is little wonder that we live in a world full of the "almost-well" and the "half-way-successful."

Fortunately there is a way to rid oneself of the emotional reaction to such impressions. And at the same time to build into the automatic reaction pattern of the individual the desired mental habit patterns. Let us say that you are the victim of a failure complex. So far in your life everything that has been important to you has not turned out well. You are being conditioned to expect that it will always be so. When something new turns up you say to yourself: "Well, it almost worked for me last time, maybe it will work this time," and you start the same old routine that has almost worked for you for years. Naturally you are going to have the same result this time because you started out with the failure complex.

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Small group discussions for women interested in the problems encountered in raising children in a deviant relationship will be sponsored by the Daughters of Bilitis in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several professional leaders in the nursery school and parent-education field have offered to participate as discussion moderators and lend assistance based on their knowledge and experience.

Certainly all mothers and any other women interested in this subject should contact the Daughters of Bilitis, P. O. Box 2183, San Francisco 26, California. Discussions will be set up in the very near future.

For those out of town who have expressed interest, THE LADDER will print a series of articles based on these discussions.

Suggestions for other topics of discussion will be welcome.

On pages 3 and 4 of the December issue of THE LADDER, a serious mis-print occurred. Item 13 of the list of rules to follow in case of arrest should read as follows:

"If you are questioned by any law enforcement officer, including the FBI, remember that you are NOT required to answer any questions concerning yourself or others. (5th Amendment, U. S. Constitution.)


"Women have more "fear" problems than men, in general, due to the heritage from the Victorian era which is still with us," declared Basil Vaerlen, San Francisco psychotherapist at the December discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis.

He pointed out that anxiety, not fear, is the major problem and that we must solve the semantic aspect of fear before the subject can be discussed intelligently, since the word is so bogged down with bad connotations and mis-connotations.

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Anxiety, he said, is fright of the unknown as opposed to fear which comes in anticipation of a known danger.

Unfortunately, our culture is built around a sub-stratum of guilt which runs through all the Christian-Judaic religions and holds that all people are born with original sin and that all mistakes must be followed by punishment.

Mr. Vaerlen pointed out that most anxieties or fears are tied in with guilt. "An error is a mistake corrected by appraising it intelligently and deciding not to make the same mistake; but in our culture we are chastised for our first mistakes and this conditioning carries through our entire lives."

"Most people do not re-evaluate their training when they reach the age of reason," he declared. "At 14 or 15, people should sit down and decide what they think, not what they have been told to think"

"We cannot blame mother and father for our aberrations," he continued. "They are doing the best they know how." Mr. Vaerlen added that most parents of this generation are still hampered by Victorian era beliefs and restrictions.

Most of the difficulty encountered by homophiles and heterophiles alike is later years stems from actions in the first three or four years of life....actions long since forgotten. A lot of this boils down to a sense of rejection fostered by such statements as "If you do that sort of thing, Mother won't love you."

Essentially, he pointed out, we are all looking for a mother or father who will forgive all....in other words, approval.

In what proved the most provocative comment of the evening Mr. Vaerlen stated his belief that the true biological function of the female is to have children, and that by denying themselves this function the Lesbian is unfulfilled, and is hampering her health and happiness.

"The basic problem in evaluating your personal problems," he said, "is to find out why you are shying away from sexual relations with men. In other words, the problem is not why you like women, but why you don't like men."

He pointed out that among women there is a greater tendency to have heterosexual relations before homosexual, thereby giving them a better basis on which to predicate their choice of love object. This also places them in a better position to evaluate where their feelings came from.

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"The hardest job for the aberrated person is to go into her personal feelings," he said, "because then the hidden fears crop up. The first step in personal evaluation is to find out if you have fears or anxieties. Look at your problems objectively, without bringing in emotional reactions, and trace back to the origins of your fears to see what they are and if you have to have them.

"It should be nobody's business but yours if you are auto-phile, homophile, heterophile or nophile," he declared. "The difference is to you and you are here only for growth and experience. Get rid of your fears and you won't care who thinks what, but you won't flaunt your way of life in the face of society."

Grist for future meetings was brought up at the panel discussion held in November. Types of fears brought up were related to neighbors, losing job, parents, the law, group activity, personal relationships and blackmail. It was pointed out by one member that it all boils down to FEAR OF DISCOVERY.

THE LADDER received nationwide publicity last month when THE INDEPENDENT, monthly newspaper published in New York, printed an article telling of our magazine. The story explained the purpose of the Daughters of Bilitis, briefly and ended with the following thought:

"With many subjects being more and more confined in discussion, the case for and against the sex variant was contradicting the trend: was being more frequently and more

frankly written about."

THE INDEPENDENT contains facts and significant opinion about many controversial subjects in modern America. It is available on many newsstands or by subscription at the rate of $3 for 12 issues. Single copies are 25c by mail. Address is 225 Lafayette St., New York 12, N. Y.

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I confess. I killed Ann Ferguson. Premeditatedly and with malice aforethought. We ran an article in the November issue of THE LADDER entitled "Your Name is Safe." Ann Ferguson wrote that article. Her words were true, her conclusions logical and documented--yet she was not practising what she preached.

Somehow it didn't seem right.

She spent some time considering the situation. Then came to a conclusion. At the December public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis we got up--Ann Ferguson and I--and did away with Ann. Now there is only Phyllis Lyon.

Seriously, my pseudonym was taken in the first place without much thought. Somehow, it seemed the thing to do. But all it did was create problems. If you're going to write under a pseudonym then you should go by that name in personal contacts. But everybody connected with the Daughters of Bilitis already knew me as Phyllis and the attempts to call me Ann confused everyone, including me.

I'm sure that I am not placing myself in any jeopardy by using my own name--and I'm only simplifying matters and practising what I preach.

THE LADDER staff is preparing a quarterly publication which includes the first three issues of THE LADDER. This will be ready in the very near future. All persons who have subscribed recently and who stated that they wanted the subscription to start with Volume I, Number I, will receive this quarterly.

Others who would like to have a copy may address their requests to Daughters of Bilitis, P. O. Box 2183, San Francisco, Calif., enclosing 50¢ for each copy desired.

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Tuesday, Jan.22 --Fourth in a series of public discussions on fear as related to the Lesbian. Alice LaVere, consulting psychologist, will speak on "Fear and Human Emotions." Meeting place is 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (fifth floor) at 8:15 P.M. (see page 3)
Saturday and Sunday, Jan 25-27 --ONE Midwinter Institute at Los Angeles, Calif. (see page 12)
Tuesday, Feb. 12 --Monthly business meeting at 1030-D Steiner St., 8 p.m. The group welcomes prospective members who wish to attend.
Saturday, Feb. 16 --Valentine's party at 651 Duncan St., 8:30 p.m. $1.50 donation per person. Please phone for reservations by Friday, Feb. 15. (VA 4-2790)
Tuesday, Feb. 26 --Fifth in series on Fear, relating to employment and the Lesbian. 465 Geary St., Studio 51, 8:15 p.m.


We received some letters wherein the writers wonder about the type of people we have in this organization. We reprint here a part of such a letter:

"...I am glad the response to your first issue turned out so well. I can imagine how it was received, by judging from the pieces I've heard about from those who received it here. Unfortunately, all feeling it is a good cause, but each individual feels she has too much at stake to risk identity with such a movement....... But though objections were voiced, nevertheless, the mag was well received....the point was brought up --who would participate in a movement of this type, rather, what type of kids.....anyone who had anything to risk would shy away--only the notorious would concern themselves as a means of exhibition--the "better" kids one rarely sees as they keep to themselves and don't frequent the drinking places, etc.......

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"This much I know, there is a need, a very strong need. But, (there's that word again) what can one do about it in the face of prejudice, narrow-mindedness, head in the sand attitude and just plain chicken heartedness?"

T.F., Seattle, Wa.

OUR ANSWER is that we have college students, saleswomen, dental technicians, photographers, stenographers, teachers, traffic management people, etc. Some are home owners, some are saving for their future home, some are just living.

We aren't "bar-hoppers," but people with steady jobs, most of them good positions and we all have faith that one day we will not be looked down upon if discovered, but that people will think that we are the same as they with only the personal difference of our sexual preference.

We have said before, someone had to start this ball rolling and so here we are. At the moment we are all what might be termed "white-collar" workers, but we want all kinds--those who want help and those who wish to help.

We are just honest, sincere people maintaining our own place in society and we want to help others do the same. Will you help, too?



TIME Magazine in its December 10 issue reviewed a book called HOMOSEXUALITY: A DISEASE OR WAY OF LIFE? by Edmund Bergler, a Manhattan Psychoanalyst.

This has caused an enormous amount of comment from its readers and reviews have subsequently appeared in ONE and MATTACHINE NEWS LETTER.

The gist of Mr. Bergler's writings seems to be that homosexuality is neither "a biologically determined destiny nor incomprehensible ill luck." He feels that the pattern

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"THE LADDER is very good, the second issue was better than the first....progress is on the way. Unfortunately all of us far away readers can't be there to participate in your activities.

"I'd especially like to be present when the discussions on the problems of the Homosexual are presented. This has always been of interest to me because it is difficult for me to believe that it is as great as is the general conception.... no greater than the problems of the heterosexuals.... very different, perhaps, but none the greater.

"Frankly I don't relish the idea that I'm a poor, sick soul floundering around in confusion. Rather I prefer to think that I'm a healthy citizen who contributes to the welfare of the community. Naturally we can't expect the whole world to love and understand, they don't love and understand all of anything....But we dare it to.

"If the homosexual who earnestly tries puts forth an effort to live in a society as a decent citizen, living up to the standards that she or he expects from others, then it seems as if their acceptance comes about naturally.

"So, it appears more like a personal problem. We have to face the fact that some of our homosexual kin do get out of line, not to mention the lack of morals and ideals, taking the line of least resistance, etc. These actions of one individual cast a shadow on the lot of any minority group... whether it be homosexuals, Jews, Negroes, or other minority groups.

"Maybe teaching a little sociology would go a long way with this 'problem'."

A.T., Seattle, Wash.

"....If you can think of more persons who would benefit by receiving THE LADDER I would appreciate learning of them. If not, then I will suggest that the money I send be used for subscriptions for the sociology departments of the University of Washington and the University of Utah. Perhaps, if enough

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members donated, we could send out subscriptions to all the leading university sociology and/or psychology departments. The more people who can be reached, the sooner a reorientation and reconditioning will begin.

J.G., Salt Lake City, Utah

I read in Danton Walker's column that J. Arthur Rank had writers doing the screen play for the film, "The Well of Loneliness" by Radclyffe Hall. D. W. is a Broadway columnist for the Daily News.

"Raising children in a deviant relationship is an untouched subject....never heard of it and would like to know more about it...."

H. G., New York, N. Y.

ONE, Incorporated

January 25-27 at Los Angeles, Calif.

THEME: The Homosexual Answers his Critics.

Registration Fees: $3.50 per person or 2 for $5.00 Sunday afternoon Tea, $1.00 per person. Banquet. $2.50 per person. For all three, $5.00 per person.

A delegation from the Daughters of Bilitis will attend this Institute and meet with members in the Los Angeles area.

Others interested in attending may write to

ONE, Incorporated 232 So. Hill Street Los Angeles 12, Calif.

State what reservations will be required, enclose check and state over signature that you are 21 or older.

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MEMBERSHIP in THE DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting, or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP: $5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: $2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents of the area in which meetings and activities are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by The Daughters of Bilitis, mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $1.00 per year.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit organization working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of The Daughters Of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contribution to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to The Daughters of Bilitis, P.O.Box 2183, San Francisco, Calif. requesting an application.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $1 for one year enclosing the coupon below or facsimile.


I enclose

I am 21 years of age or older.


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The Ladder, February 1957, Vol. 1, No. 5

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1. Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a made of behaviour and dress acceptable to society.

2. Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous conceptions, taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meanings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3. Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychology, sociology and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the
Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.,
a non--profit corporation,
693 Mission Street, Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, California


President--Helen Sanders
Vice President--Del Martin
Secretary--Jean Peterson
Treasurer--Pat Hamilton
Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon
Assistant--Del Martin
Circulation--Bobbi Deming
Production--Helen Sanders


Daughters of Bilitis is now a full-fledged non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of California.

This incorporation is something for which we have been striving since the inception of the group 16 months ago. It was delayed only by a certain lack of funds in the early stages of our growth. As soon as that lack was remedied we took steps to incorporate.

For those who doubted our legality or our permanency we can only say "See, we're incorporated and we're here to stay." Those of us who have been with the Daughters since its first floundering beginnings fee1 a pardonable pride in this step up.

Hard on the heels of news of our incorporation came the word that we now have an office. No longer will our editorial and business projects be spread from one end of the City to the other. For those of us who wasted much time and energy hunting for the letter we wanted to answer, only to find it was

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at someone else's house, this centralization of our work will be a boon indeed. It isn't a large office. But it is a beginning.

From now on you can find us at 693 Mission Street, Room 308, most nights and weekends. We'd love to have you drop by and visit. Perhaps personally we can give you more insight into what we are trying to do than you can find in THE LADDER.

For the present you can reach us via Exbrook 7-0773. This is the phone number of the Mattachine Society who has offices next door and across the hall. Our own private phone is still a future project. Phones cost money, you know.

We're proud of the progress we've made in 16 months. Our membership has risen and the number of subscribers to THE LADDER grows every day. But it still isn't enough.

We won't be satisfied until we reach as many women (and men, too) interested, or who should be interested, in our work as is humanly possible. It may be slow, but it will be sure.

- Phyllis Lyon


This weighty problem will be thoroughly hashed out at the discussion meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, when a panel of experts in the field, takes over to answer the question.

Dick MacKenzie has many years of experience in personnel and employment agency work; Marjorie Arnold is a social worker who has also worked with personnel and employment over a career of many years; D. Stewart Lucas, president of Mattachine Society, and Helen Sanders, president of the Daughters of Bilitis, have both had much experience both as employees and in counseling homosexuals and others on job problems. Moderator of this discussion, which promises to be one of the most stimulating and helpful of any we have held, will be Dr. Vera Plunkett, who always sheds a great deal of light on any subject.

Plan to attend. You may be worrying needlessly. See page 11 for details of time and place.

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ONE'S Annual Midwinter

Institute Impressive

The tremendous amount of work which is being done by the homophile group in Los Angeles was amply evidenced at the annual Midwinter Institute held by ONE, Inc., January 26-27 in Los Angeles.

More than 100 persons attended the various sessions of the Institute, many of them from out of the Lot Angeles area--and some from out of the state.

These of this year's setting was "The Homosexual Answers His Critics"--and he did a good job of it.


There are at least a dozen arrests per year of Lesbians in the L.A. area, but no record of any appeals to higher courts as a results of these arrests, J.B. Tietz, treasurer of the Southern California division of the American Civil Liberties Union, pointed out. The fact that no appeals have been recorded, Mr. Tietz stated, indicates that Lesbians usually plead guilty, or do not appeal to higher courts when found guilty.

In a brief survey of the law covering homosexuality, the speaker stated that the word homosexual is not mentioned in any legal code. Statutes instead are directed against specific acts, most of which deal with males but which are generally felt to apply equally to females. These so-called illegal acts are equally as illegal when committed by heterosexuals as by homosexuals.


A blueprint of two Methods for combating the anti-homosexual culture which he believes to be prevalent in the Waited "States was offered in a paper prepared for ONE Institute by Dr. Albert Ellis, New York psychologist.

Dr. Ellis listed the two ways as the Palliative Method and the Curative, Method. He believes the first to be the most practical; the second the most sure in results. The following is an outline of these two Methods:

A. The Palliative Method

1. Social-sexual conditions will continue as they are today.

2. Homosexuals will continue to exist.

3. Heterosexuals will continue to penalize homosexuals.

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B. To combat this situation by the Palliative Method the homosexual should:

1. Remain a law-abiding, responsible citizen.

2. Abhor all feelings and actions showing superiority.

3. Refrain from flaunting their sex preference in public.

4. Avoid over-clannishness and single with heterosexuals in as honest and above-board Banner as possible.

5. Resist in-group favoritism and avoid sticking up for people merely because they are homosexual.

6. Accept the realities of life and avoid self-pity.

7. Help police his own group.

8. Try, in a dignified way, to effect changes in the laws.

9. Try to express protests to the public on discrimination against the homosexual and to correct misinformation in the public's mind.

10. Try to remain undogmatic about homosexuality. Keep an open mind and keep up with recent findings in the field. Be able to accept facts which may be contrary to his own beliefs or pro-homosexual bias.

Dr. Ellis feels that the best this method could hope to accomplish would be a lessening of antagonism. It would not bring about maximum results. This next method, he believes, would bring about maximum results but in order to do this would entail a complete revision of the sexual thoughts of all Americans. He calls it a futuristic and Utopian method. However, he states his belief that the day will come--in several centuries perhaps--when people will not scorn, persecute or jail the homosexual. The Curative Method looks to that day.

A. The Curative Method and what can be done about it now

1. Combat puritanism and anti-sexual attitudes of all.

2. Promulgate scientific facts.

3. Sponsor scientific research.

4. The homosexual can combat unfair sanctions by attacking their own exclusive sanctions toward the heterosexual; by ruthlessly attacking unscientific attitudes and admitting that they are not born homosexual but are in some way emotionally disturbed and could be cured to some degree.

5. Stop being pro-homosexual and just be pro-sexual.


In an extremely well-written, scholarly paper, Henry Hay, Los Angeles folklore specialist, sketched the history of homophile life from the dawn of history to the present time.

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Mr. Hay deplored the "conspiracy of silence" which has prompted most scholars in the archaeological, anthropological and historical fields to omit or negate the part played in various cultures by the homophile.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hay's paper was too long and contained far too much information to be covered in a brief article. It is hoped that a copy of this paper can be obtained for the Daughters of Bilitis library and that perhaps permission will be granted to abstract parts for publication in a future issue.


The great mass of misinformation propagated by both the medical and the lay writer, and the general lack of knowledge of the homosexual and his problems, has led ONE, Inc., to form an Institute for undergraduate and graduate study of the subject.

Curriculum of the Institute will include the following courses as tentatively set up:

An Introduction to Homophile Studies, Homosexuals in History, Survey of Psychological Attitudes of Homosexuality, Homosexual Literature and Writers, Sociology of Homosexuality, The Homosexual and the Arts, Religion and Philosophy of the Homosexual.

ONE believes there is a definite need for a specialized Institute which will be able to train experts in the various fields relating to the problem and set up standards to govern research, etc.

Correspondence courses are planned, but these will not be available for some time.

The first semester was scheduled to begin February 4 with one session a week. Further information may be obtained from ONE Institute, 232 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, Calif.


That the heterosexual is having as much trouble freeing himself from the repressions of society's imprint of the Male and Female concept was pointed out by San Francisco's Blanche M. Baker, psychiatrist, in a presentation of "The Circle of Sex" in

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collaboration with Gavin Arthur, San Francisco lecturer, at the Midwinter Institute banquet.

There is a growing awareness of the mixture of the male and female components in each of us, Dr. Baker said, since it is being found that failure to accept the emotional roles as society-conceived Male and Female is a basic disturbance in modern marriage. Many women are becoming more assertive, while the male may be more passive.

The key to the situation for both the homosexual and the heterosexual is self-acceptance, recognition of the male and female balance in the individual and making the most of the tools at hand to bring fulfillment of the potential inherent in each of us, Dr. Baker asserted.

"Nature does not work in straight rigid lines, but rather in cycles or circles," Mr. Arthur stated.

On a chart similar to the familiar color chart, he pointed out the various gradations from the extremes of the sale and the female and from the heterosexual to the homosexual.

Of particular interest to readers of THE LADDER may be Dr. Baker's explanation of the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist (this is a question which is constantly being asked). According to Dr. Baker, "The psychiatrist goes deeper, stays longer and comes up dirtier".


The initiation of the first homosexual news service to promote healthy aims, in the press instead of the usual derogatory (...) was announced by Ann Carll Reid, chairman of ONE, Inc.

Press releases were sent to newspapers all over the country to announce the 1957 Midwinter Institute. One paper responded with a request for ail future releases, she said.

A nationwide telecast of a panel show centered around the work of ONE is being planned. When the program is definitely scheduled, Miss Reid promised that all friends of ONE would be notified.

Another highlight of the year was a visit to ONE by two prison chaplains--one Catholic, one Protestant. According to Miss Reid they were seeking help in coping with the homosexual problem in prison. In their words, she said, "the only person qualified to help the homosexual is the homosexual."

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One of our readers expressed the idea that THE LADDER is a constructive effort towards understanding of the homosexual problem, but questioned the validity of chapters of the Daughters of Bilitis in other cities.

"What would be the purpose!" she asks. "I wonder about your meetings."

A local chapter is to the Daughters of Bilitis as a municipal government is to the United States government. Only so much can be accomplished by the printed word; there must also be the spoken word, the personal contact.

In the field of education there is much room for improving the knowledge of the Lesbian about herself, the problems of adjustment to self and society. The therapy of group discussion of mutual problems, of talking it over with those in similar circumstances, cannot be denied. Letters received by the Daughters from points far and wide certainly indicate a basic need for "someone to talk to". Public discussion meetings with outside speakers from the varied fields of psychology, law, employment and personnel, etc., can be of utmost benefit not only in disseminating another picture of the Lesbian to the public but also in giving the individual another slant toward solving her problem. Very often interested but uninvolved parties can point up a solution that those too close to a problem may tend to overlook.

Perhaps some individuals are able to cope with the problem alone. We doubt that this holds true for very many. There is merit in group activity and group discussion. Recently a well known San Francisco psychologist said, "We wish to command your group on the work they are doing. We are impressed with the high calibre of the people in the group. Keep up the good work. It is only through group activity and working together that the problems of the homosexual minority and society will ever be resolved."

"But try and make them see it!" I replied.

"You must," he insisted. "Just keep trying. Eventually they'll come around.

- Del Martin

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"The Lesbian differs from the so-called normal heterosexual woman only in the choice of her love object. The general public opinion is that homosexuals are mentally ill. This is far from the truth."

So stated Alice LaVere, San Francisco personal adjustment counsellor, speaking before the January public discussion meeting held by the Daughters of Bilitis.

Miss LaVere pointed out that some Lesbians are neurotic, some have schizophrenic tendencies, many are paranoid. But many are stable, well-adjusted and useful citizens. And, she added, the same statement could apply equally well to the heterosexual.

With her husband, George Spillman, Miss LaVere runs the Personal Adjustment Bureau in San Francisco. She has received international acclaim for her work with the emotionally disturbed during her 22 years in the field.

"The public tends to condemn anything unusual. It is popular in America to consider all homosexuals mentally ill, yet there is no evidence to support this theory," she declared.

"It has been my experience in counseling people over the past 22 years that the prevalence of mental illness is found equally between homosexuals and heterosexuals. Falling in love certainly is no illness, yet because the homosexual persists in falling in love with the same sex it is taken for granted that he or she is mentally ill."

Many treatments are now used to cure this "illness", Miss LaVere pointed out. Among them are electric shock, use of herbs and drugs, testosterone (the male hormone), and even lobotomy.

"These treatments have left many emotionally crippled for the rest of their lives," she declared,) adding that they are all practically useless since treatment hinges only on the subject, and the therapist.

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"The Lesbian suffers more from the feeling of being unwanted and shunned than from any illness. Heterosexuals suffer just as much from these feelings. As a group, homophiles and heterophiles face the same social and mental problems, have the same feelings and the same fears."

In addition, the speaker said, Lesbians fear ridicule, rejection and loss of employment if their secret is found out.

All minorities suffer because of the few undesirables in their midst. Thus the "obvious" Lesbians create in the public mind a stereotyped picture of all Lesbians. "But if you act with grace and good sense you have nothing to fear from this picture.

"Negative habits are found in all persons. The Personal Adjustment Bureau's job is to balance all negative habits with positive habits and place the person in a position to enjoy life socially, professionally and personally with a better understanding of life in general.

"Just because you are different in your love object does not mean that you have to. suffer throughout your life because of it," Miss LaVere emphasized.

"The largest problem of the homosexual individual is not his homosexuality as such.

"The big Issue Is his rejection by society, his feelings of guilt, his overcompensation for attention and position in his job, his social position and his society.

"The main object of all people, regardless of their sexual preference, is to be able to live and get along with others. When all who deal with emotional problems accept the premise that homosexuality is not a mental illness but rather a deviation from accepted social behavior great headway will be made in helping the homosexual reach a satisfactory adjustment to himself, his society and his worth to his community."

Through a series of colored slides Miss Latere showed her conceptions of the various negative attitudes plaguing most people. These included fantasy, sensitivity, jealousy, procrastination, mental cowardice, stubbornness, anger and envy. By understanding why these attitudes are with us most people, with proper guidance, can replace them with positive attitudes bringing happiness, self-confidence, patience, tolerance and understanding.

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Sixteen people attended a get-acquainted brunch of the Daughters of Bilitis in The English Room of the New Clark Hotel in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 27. After a rundown of the organization's activities to date and plans for the future, enough interest was expressed that immediate steps will be taken to start a provisional chapter in the Los Angeles area. Anyone else who would be interested in joining a local group in Los Angeles should contact us immediately Daughters of Bilitis, 693 Mission St., Room 308, San Francisco 5, Calif.

A chapter in Los Angeles will be the first of many we hop to charter throughout the country,. It is hoped that the next area to be organized will be Mew York. We have had many queries and requests from that vicinity. One of our members has recently moved to New York and it is hoped that as soon as she gets settled she will be able to supervise formation of such a group.

To date we have had a good response from Seattle. Certainly the interest, is there but indications prove that there is still much "fear". It will probably be some time yet before Seattle people are ready to join the movement.


THE LADDER staff is preparing a quarterly publication which includes the first three issues of THE LADDER. This will be ready in the very near future. All persons who have subscribed recently and who stated that they wanted the subscription to start with Volume l, Number l, will receive this quarterly.

Others who would like to have a copy may address their requests to Daughters of Bilitis, Room 308, 693 Mission St., San Francisco 5, Calif., enclosing 50 cents for each copy desired.

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Saturday, Feb. 16 Valentine's Party at 651 Duncan St., 8.30 p.m. $1.20 donation par person. Please phone for reservations by Friday, Feb. 15. (Valencia 4-2790).
Tuesday, Feb. 26 "Employment and the Homosexual" will be the topic of the fifth in a series of discussion meeting on fears plaguing the Lesbian. At 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (fifth floor), 8:l5 p.m. See page 2 for additional information.
Wednesday, March 13 Monthly business meeting at 1030-D Steiner St., 8 p.m. The group welcomes prospective members who wish to attend.
Sunday, March 17 Come on out and celebrate St. Patrick's Day at a get-acquainted brunch 11.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 651 Duncan St., San Francisco A fine opportunity to meet the members informally and find out more about the Daughters of Bilitis. Phone Valencia 4-2790 by Friday, March 15, for reservations $l.00 per person.
Tuesday, March 26 Monthly discussion meeting at 465 Geary St. Kenneth C. Zwerin, attorney, will discuss the legal status of the Daughters of Bilitis and answer questions those and the law.

Why not circle the above dates on your calendar? It is easy to forget from issue to issue of THE LADDER just when a certain event is scheduled. By marking your calendar you'll be sure not to miss a single activity of the Daughters of Bilitis. We'd be very happy to see you at any of the gatherings. How about it?

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Where did we get your name?

A certain amount of anxiety has been created apparently, by the widespread mailing 11 st of THE LADDER.

We wish to emphatically deny the use of ONE'S mailing list, or that of anyone else, for that matter. We hate literally badgered and bullied everyone we know for names of friends who might be interested in THE LADDER. These friends have sent in names of their friend, and so it grows.

To those of you who thought ONE had broken its pledge to keep its Bailing list inviolate, the answer is that it did not.

If your name, is on our list then a friend of yours sent it along. How about sending us the names of your friends? Each new name is sent three issues of THE LADDER (unless they write us requesting their name be dropped). If after receiving three Issues they do not subscribe their name is dropped.

We welcome any suggestions for additions to this list--your minister, doctor, parents, homosexual or heterosexual friends. The only way we can continue to grow is to spread the word of our activities as widely as possible.


and as it is for a Californian to admit it, our president, Griffin, and our treasurer, Pat Hamilton, are leaving the sunny state for the highly-touted joys of Florida.

Because of her imminent departure Miss Griffin has resigned her office and the Board of Directors has appointed Helen Sanders to fill the vacancy until election time next October. A new treasurer is yet to be chosen.

The organization wishes Miss Griffin and Miss Hamilton well, and thanks them warmly for the fine work they have done for" the Daughters of Bilitis over the past year.

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Rain is my climate,
Sharp and biting as tears
Or softly misting,
Anonymous and strangely warm.
Rain wraps me in a fog blanket
Hiding my face as I search
For another face that is hidden.
Shall we pass each other
Nameless in the night?
Perhaps within a sheltering door
Rain will lend us conversation
And we will find a new world
Together in the rain.


I have heard what I have heard,
Seen what I have seen,
1 have wakened from my dream
Been what I have been.

I have known what I have known.
Lain where I have- lain,
Never will I dreaming sigh,
But know it all again.


A group of limited number is being formed in the San Francisco bay area for a series of discussions on the problem of raising children in a deviant relationship. Anyone interested in joining this group should contact us immediately, as there is room for just six more. Informal discussions will be led by social workers in nursery schools and parent-education. Phone Del Martin--Valencia 4-2790--for your reservation.

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"It appears that your organization's major aims are to bring to heterosexuals a proper understanding of the homosexual and overcome the misconceptions that have caused much grief to member of the sexual minority. And that you seek to help the Lesbian to understand herself and accept herself, without shame, and to realize her worth and her great potentiality. as a person and a force for good in the world... These are also my own aims.

"I seek to help bring these things about by honest presentation I am giving in my new non-fiction book--a book fop the layman, for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. You are seeking to accomplish these same results, it seems by your activities.

"I was willing to go on in my crusade alone. But,--to know that others, such as yourselves, are stirred fey the same hopes and are in their own way taking" action has given me much joy. I am so glad i found out about you..."

Carol Hales, Hollywood, Calif.

Miss Hales is the author of "Wind Woman" a novel on the Lesbian theme, an autographed copy of which she has graciously donated to the club library. A review of this book will: appear in the next issue of THE LADDER, at which time the promised bibliography of Lesbiana will become a regular feature. Those interested in obtaining copies of "Wind Woman" may order through THE LADDER. Send $3.31 to 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco 5, Calif. Ed,

"I disagree with someone's comment in the 'Letters from Readers' section that perhaps the time isn't quite ripe for such an undertaking. I think the time is ripe, and overripe! There is far too much drivel and misinformation and sensationalism being published now, and entirely too little on the subject that is fair and impartial. If we don't get up and speak our piece and stand up for ourselves, it's our own fault.

"It should be recognized by the public as well as by our own group, that homosexuals come from every strata of society. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors, with all manner of psychological patterns, all types of minds. There are too

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many kinds of homosexuals for them to be classed as a 'type'. Yet that Is exactly what some writers and psychologists seem to be trying to do, and they should know better. The very fact that they attempt to lump all homosexuals together betrays their poverty of experience. Yet they manage to sell articles on the subject because the public is so completely ignorant of it and the editors either don't know or don't care, they are simply looking for something sensational that will sell magazines.

"You have tapped a big field here and I have no doubts at all that your magazine will grow bigger and bettor every year, especially as long as you keep it on the high ethical plans with which it started..."

J.M., Port Orchard, Wash.

"Enclosed please find check for two dollars to cover cost of a two-year subscription to your magazine, THE LADDER.

"Good luck to you in this venture. I am looking forward with considerable interest to the forthcoming issues and the expressed ideas and attitudes of the members of your staff and the contributors."

A.B. Gottlobar, -Ph.D.
Los Angeles, Calif.

"Do you still have a vacant rung left for me to place my own two feet upon? I hope so--and am enclosing a dollar for a year's 'rent' on same!

"Your active work interests me vastly. I greatly admire each of you--not only for the stand you take, but for the fact that you have the courage to make that fact known publicly. Bravo, indeed!"

F.L. Peace Dale, R.I.

You haven't been forgotten--honestly. Your questions were rather overwhelming, and we have been swamped. Have you triad Pageant or Coronet? Letter will follow--eventually. Please have patience. -Ed.

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"While I feel that ONE will be helpful to me in feeling less alone, it seems that a magazine basically by and for others in the same group as I am would be even more helpful in overcoming the lost and lonesome feelings I seem prey to at times."

B.M., Battle Creek, Mich.

"Enclosed is $1.00 for which please enter my subscription to THE LADDER.

"I am a reader of Lyle Stuart's. THE INDEPENDENT and am in whole-hearted support of broad-minded approaches to any subject. At least, I have a craving for information that will help to solve some of the problems of human nature."

M.M., Moses Lake, Wash.


THE LADDER is growing. In fact, it is expanding far more rapidly than we ever dreamed possible when the first mimeographed copy was sailed out just five months ago.

We want to keep the quality high and the content varied. We want to publish more fiction, more poems more articles and more pages.

To do this we need more material. Your contributions will be gratefully considered. We can't promise to publish everything we receive, but all manuscripts will be carefully read and considered for publication.

The main thing is to keep such manuscripts within the length limits dictated by our format.

Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so that we may return your manuscript if it is not used.


It is far easier to be kind than to be wise, For the heart compared to brain, exceeds in size.

- Margaret O. Richardson

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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

TOTING MEMBERSHIPS: $.5.00 initiation on fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: $2.50 Initiation fee and .50 monthly dues, THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents of the area in which meetings are help, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.
THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis. Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope, for $1.00 per year.
CONTRIBUTIONS: are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We area non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become member of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.
TO BECOME A MEMBER: write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application. TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Sand $1.00 for one year enclosing coupon below or facsimile.


I enclose _____I am 21 years of age or older.


[p. [18]] | [Page Image]

The Ladder, March 1957, Vol. 1, No. 6

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1. Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and Maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading Members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behaviour and dress acceptable to society.

2. Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous conceptions, taboo's and prejudices; through public discussion Meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3. Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychology, sociology and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4. Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

[p. 3] | [Page Image]

Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non--profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Rm. 308 San Francisco 5, California Telephone: Exbrook 7-0773


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Jean Peterson

Treasurer--Toni Navarro

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Bobbi Dewing

Production--Helen Sanders


MEN talk about Lesbians

It was a pleasant surprise to find in the February issue of MEN an intelligent appraisal of Lesbianism in an article entitled "The Twilight Women Among Us" by Edward Dengrove, M.D., with Doris Kulman.

Dr. Dengrove, a Fellow and Diplomats of the American Board of Psychiatry, feels that the first step in overcoming the "great pressures on the personality" imposed by society is to get to "know each other better" and so has collaborated with Miss Kulman in an explanation of the Lesbian problem for the male reader.

"According to some estimates between three and five million American women depend exclusively upon other women for sexual

[p. [4]] | [Page Image]

gratification, while about a fifth of our female population have homosexual experience sometime during their lives. Paced by so many women not likely to respond to his amatory advances, it's not difficult to see that a man's lack of Knowledge may have disastrous, even tragic, consequences for him."

The article points out the difficulty in recognition of a Lesbian on sight. "Popular opinions to the contrary, few sale homosexuals marcel their hair, tint their nails and posture like chorus girls; fewer Lesbians still affect trousers, ties and gruffness of a drill sergeant, Most Lesbians in fact, are more apt to resemble Marilyn Monroe than Tugboat Annie."

Several case histories from actual psychiatric records are presented. They do not represent the usual warped and demented personalities offered in most studies of this nature. The appraisal and analysis is here handled with a great deal more intelligence and understanding.

BUT there is one point on which we wish to register an exception. "Those who are practicing homosexuals are likely to have not so much the instincts of a man as those of a vampire."

This statement is followed by a quotation from Dr. Benjamin Karpman's book, "The Sexual Offender and His Offences": "I am impressed with what seems to be a fact that women homosexuals are much more unscrupulous than their parallel brother's. Once they get hold of a victim they do not let go until she is emotionally bled white."

These are broad statements which cannot be substantiated, though we admit application can be made to a very few.

However, we do wish to congratulate the Zenith Publishing Corp. for a novel presentation of the Lesbian problem in its magazine, MEN.

Chansons de Bilitis

"Chansons de Bilitis" was one of the featured numbers sung by Mildred Miller in her recital debut at Town Hall last December. Miss Miller is a mezzo-soprano of the Metropolitan Opera Company.

"Chansons de Bilitis" is based on the "Songs of Bilitis" by Pierre Louys and was composed by Debussy. The name Daughters of Bilitis was taken from Louys narrative poem.

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Job-Hunting Doesn't Need To Be A Problem

The only thing a homosexual has to fear when looking for a job is whether his or her ability matches the job applied for--the problem of homosexuality per se does not enter the employment picture.

This was the consensus of the panel discussion held by the Daughters February 26 on "Employment and the Homosexual." Panel members were Helen Sanders, president of the Daughters of Bilitis; Dick McKenzie, manager of an employment agency; D. Stewart Lucas, president of the Mattachine Society, Inc., with Dr. Vera Plunkett as moderator.

In starting the discussion Miss Sanders outlined 12 principles which form a basic guide both to the employer and the employee. They are:

1. Clearly defined ideal

2. Common Sense

3. Competent counsel

4. Discipline

5. Justice

6. Records

7. Dispatching

8. Standards

9. Schedules

10. Standardized conditions and operations

11. Written instructions

12. Efficiency reward

"The worker sells two possessions (both his own) time and skill--he should be robbed of neither, nor should he rob himself," Miss Sanders pointed out. "All that the doctrine of equal rights can hope to accomplish is that the man who is most deserving shall be placed where he should be. Until the last page of the last volume is written in The Book of Years, merit alone will rule the earth."

If you bring to a job the willingness to work, even if skill is little, you will progress. The attitude of the prospective. employee counts most when interviewing for a job, Mr. McKenzie stated, adding that the three most important factors in job-hunting were ability to do the job, knowledge of the job and, most important of all, a friendly disposition toward the job.

Mr. Lucas reiterated this stand, emphasizing that "If you go into a job wholeheartedly, everything will work out. You are homosexual,

[p. 6] | [Page Image]

so what?" If you are basically honest with yourself, your employer and co-workers, they will accept you for what you are and the subject of homosexuality need never come up.

If it does come up, Mr. Lucas advocates swinging the subject to an educational level, "Talk about the problem with authority and the other person will become interested," he said. The basic thing, he added, is to be honest. "Harbor no discrimination and no prejudices yourself."

"In an employment agency all manner of people come to see me" Mr. MacKenzie declared. "The homosexual factor involved is only minor but many people blame it as major. Clothes and dress are very important in looking for a job," he added, "and if you won't conform to society's ways then you must pay the price for your eccentricity by taking a job which is a far cry from that for which you are basically suited."

A Case In Point

Dr. Plunkett brought up the tale of a man she knows who has In his employ four homo sexual women. He was most satisfied with their work, although one did a lot of talking during working hours.

At the company's Christmas party, however, all four sat together and refused to mix with the other employees despite many efforts to get them to do so. As a result of this antisocial behavior the employer has resolved that just one misstep by one of the women and he will fire all four.

In discussing acquiring competent counsel when seeking a job. it was brought out that many job-hunters feel handicapped because they have less than an honorable discharge from the service. In cases such as this competent counsel is a must since such discharges are not the handicap the majority seem to feel they are.

The panel seemed to agree that when a homosexual employee runs up against an employer who is a latent or repressed homosexual a, vicious situation can ensue about which nothing much can be done.

Mr. MacKenzie stressed his belief that no one should admit that they were homosexual to anyone unless it was on a personal basis--that it is nobody's business but your own.

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Audience Participation Lively

The audience participation in the discussion was quite lively, with many pertinent points brought out.

"If anyone asks you why you aren't married--pass the question back to them."

"When asked if you're homosexual say yes--they'll never believe it."

"Don't worry about being accepted on the job, but accept others--make an effort to seek them out on a friendly basis,".

Final consensus of the panel was that homosexuals have nothing to fear in job hunting from the fact that they are homosexual. You should seek competent counsel, make a good appearance and maintain a pleasing disposition in approaching the interviewer.

DOB Library Is Growing

A New addition to the Daughters' library is a booklet published by the patients of Atascadero State Hospital. Entitled "The New Approach ... Sex Offender to Good Citizen" it outlines the aims and purposes of the state's hospital for sexual psychopaths.

In the introduction the booklet states: "The medical treatment and rehabilitation program now in operation for the sex offender at Atascadero State Hospital ...is probably the most advanced and modern program of its kind in the world. It is believed that the medical--Instead of punitive--approach will continue to prove successful both from a social and an economic point of view, in that the offender will be less likely to ever repeat his offense than if he were simply released after serving a term in prison. It is also believed that both society and the offender will benefit as a result of the earlier return of the offender to society and his community as a good citizen."

Daughters of Bilitis is slowly but surely collecting a very respectable library on Lesbiana and related subjects. Books will be available at the office very so on--and all donations of books or money for books are extremely welcome.

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The ACLU Takes a Stand On Homosexuality

The following stand on homosexuality was adopted by the American Civil Liberties Union National Board of Directors on Jan. 17, 1957.

The Daughters of Bilitis wishes to take this opportunity to commend the ACLU for its fine work in the defense of civil rights for all citizens and to urge readers of THE LADDER to support this work whenever and wherever possible.

The American Civil Liberties Union Is occasionally a called upon to defend the civil liberties of homosexuals. If is not within the province of the Union to evaluate the social validity of laws aimed at the suppression or elimination of homosexuals. We recognize that overt acts of homosexuality constitute a common law felony and that there is no constitutional prohibition against such state and local laws on this subject as are deemed by such states or communities to be socially necessary or beneficial. Any challenge of laws that prohibit and punish public acts of homosexuality or overt acts of solicitation for the purpose of committing a homosexual act is beyond the province of the Union.

In examining some of the cases that have come to our attention, however, we are aware that homosexuals, like members of other socially heretical or deviant groups, are (more vulnerable than others to official persecution, denial of due process in prosecution, and entrapment. As in the whole field of due process, these are matters of proper concern for the Union and we will support the defense of such cases that come to our attentions.

Some local laws require registration when they enter the community of persons who have been convicted of a homosexual act. Such registration laws, like others requiring registration of persons convicted of other offenses are, in our opinion unconstitutional. We will support efforts for their repeal or proper legal challenge of them.

The ACLU has previously decided that homosexuality is a valid consideration in evaluating the security risk

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factor in sensitive positions. We affirm, as does Executive Order 10450 and all security regulations made thereunder, that homosexuality is a factor properly to be considered only when there is evidence of other acts which come within valid security criteria.

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, March 26 --Monthly discussion meeting at 465 Geary St. Kenneth C. Zwerin, attorney, will discuss the legal status of the Daughters of Bilitis and answer questions those attending may have relating to the Lesbian and the law.
Wednesday, April 10 --Monthly business meeting, 1030-D Steiner St., 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23 --Dr. Blanche M. Baker, San Francisco psychiatrist, will speak at the monthly discussion meeting at 465 Geary St., on "Self Acceptance". All are invited to attend this meeting, which starts at 8:15 P.m.
Saturday, April 27 --Bowling at the Sports Center, 3333 reservations by Thursday night, April 25, to Fill more 6-0404 so alleys may be reserved. You don't have to be a professional the low 70s to the almost 300s. Come on out and join the fun.

Circle the above dates on your calendar. That way you won't get caught short the night of one of the events with something quite dull scheduled when you'd much rather attend a Daughters function.

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TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE... Book Reviews, That Is

We had a brainstorm! We thought it might be fun, and a hit novel, to have two reviews on the same book from two very different, points of view--the homosexual and the heterosexual.

And so we have given Carol Hales' novel, "Wind Woman", the treatment:

- 1 -

"The Lesbian 's problem Is not why she likes women, but why she doesn't like men."

This statement, made at the December public discussion meeting of the' Daughters of Bilitis by Basil Vaerlen, San Francisco psychotherapist, is born out in Carol Hales' novel, "Wind Woman".

Laurel Dean's story unfolds in a series of flashbacks as told to her psychoanalyst. It is the story of an unhappy home life and of insecurity replaced by the fantasy of a tender and gentle beloved "wind woman".

Carol Hales knows whereof she writes. She depicts several types of women who experience a Lesbian relationship--Zalda who wants the intense friendship without any physical manifestation, 17-year-old and "knowing" Janice of a Bohemian background, the bisexual Vivian, Regan of "the light touch" and no roots, the exhibitionist of the "gay bar". All of these women play a part in Laurel 's search for her ideal. All of these women most of us have known in our own experience.

And Laurel, through analysis, finally comes to accept herself. The book ends on the hope that Laurel will find fulfillment in a homosexual relationship.

Miss Hales has a simple and easy style of writing. She has done a good job of characterization. The layman will find a truer picture of Lesbianism, while the Lesbian herself can find "greater insight" into her own make-up.

- Del Martin

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I thought it would be a simple matter to briefly review "Wind Woman" but the author left so many "loose ends" that I find it difficult not to add my own thinking to the author's work.

Aside from the molasses-sweet type of story telling the author has done a magnificent job of presenting with understanding the theme of inversion. I do not know how true a. portrayal of Lesbian love she has made or how it will be accepted by the general reading public or the homosexual Carol Hales has done an excellent job of interpreting the impact of the emotional trauma of childhood, or has she lifted the therapy sessions from a case history?

Perhaps to the homosexual the complete acceptance of herself by the heroine after therapy will be acceptable, but I doubt if it will be to the heterosexual. Here is where it is difficult for the heterosexual to have a complete understanding of the homosexual. Miss Hales further confuses the heterosexual reader by the sexually satisfactory heterosexual affair with the doctor ... and all the time we thought it" was because heterosexual affairs were not satisfying!

- Vera H. Plunkett

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Lesbiana ...

As promised, THE LADDER begins with this Issue its running bibliography of Lesbian literature (fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry).

1. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF PIERRE LOUYS. Paperback edition published by Avon Publications, Inc., 575 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y., 1955.

Bilitis is said to have been a contemporary of Sappho on the isle of Lesbos. Her poems, purported to be translations from the Greek, depict a searching and sensitive story of Lesbian love. To lend authenticity to the translations, Louys wrote a brief biography of the poetess and recorded in his index certain "songs" marked "not translated".. Many scholars were tricked into believing a lost author had been recovered from the ages.

2. THE WELL OF LONELINESS by Radclyffe Halt. Sun Dial Press, Garden City, New York, 1928.

The most well known of all Lesbian novels. certainly needs little comment. The fact that every book on the subject since is rated on its jacket as "the best since" or "comparable to" in order to increase sales is indicative enough of the general reception and appeal of "The Well".

3. WIND WOMAN by Carol Hales. Woodford Press, 1553.

For review of this book see pages 10 and 11.

4. CLAUDINE AT SCHOOL by Colette. Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, Inc.

This long-out-of-print masterpiece is back again in an attractive new edition. Whatever you may, you might laugh at Claudine.(or Colette) or you may cry with her, out you will never forget (the intriguing little girl as she falls from one scrape into another in a French boarding school. Must we tell more? Here is Colette at her best: piquant, colorful and charming. And this is possibly the only humorous Lesbian novel in existence.

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"The Homosexual Neurosis"

A panel discussion on "The Homosexual Neurosis" was held Feb. 4 at the Clarion Club in Los Angele s by a non-profit corporation known as The Searchers. This group was founded March 1, 1956, by Dr. Robert Lord and is dedicated to the search of knowledge and understanding of science, philosophy, psychology, literature and the arts.

The panel was composed of Dr. Lord, director of the Searchers and moderator of the panel; Dr. R. W. Deobler, consultant psychologist; Dr. N. D. Tabachnick, psychiatrist; Rev. Herbert Snyder, head of the Liberal Church; Dr. Arthur E. Briggs, Dean of Law and ethical culture leader; Herbert Selwyn, attorney; Haskell Shapiro, attorney, and William Lambert of ONE, Inc. The panel members defined their position:

Dr. Deobler: Homosexuality a symptom of emotional illness.

Dr. Tabachnick: A symptom of arrested development.

Rev. Snyder: Did not claim to understand the origin of homosexuality, but felt it primarily an individual choice. At one point expostulated, "Well, who isn't neurotic?"

Dr. Briggs: Enthusiastic support of a person's right to be homosexual without harassment--perception of the spiritual aspect as well as the physical.

Herb Selwyn: Didn't pretend to know why or how one might be homosexual, but felt that the laws were wrong which made any non-physic ally harmful sexual acts between two consenting adults illegal. He also offered that he would no more fear that a homosexual teacher would seduce his young son than a heterosexual teacher his daughter.

Dean Briggs: Allowed that it was less likely that the former would happen than the latter.

Haskell Shapiros Remarked that the laws pertaining to "un-natural sex acts" applied equally to heterosexuals as to homosexuals and equally to married heterosexuals as to unmarried ones ... The laws seemingly having been designed to help procreation along."

Bill Lambert: Stated ONE'S position--apparently that they didn't go along with anyone's position. He didn't

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make it clear as to what ONE did think as to the theories of genesis, but he did make it clear that (human resources were being wasted and that ONE was out to save them--male and female.

Dr. Briggs: Mentioned that a number of great men had been homosexuals. Notably Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tchaikovsky, Etc.

Dr. Deobler countered that homosexuality had nothing to do necessarily with a man being a genius ... that that was like saying because milk came in bottles, the bottles had made the milk.

Bill Lambert said that since a good many geniuses had seemingly insisted on coming in homosexual bottles, it might be wise not the break their containers, no matter what the source of their genius.

The crossfire period was delightful. A highlight for the homosexuals present occurred when someone asked Dr. Doebler why he felt that all homosexuals were neurotic. He answered that he 'd never known any "happy" homosexuals. The audience rocked with laughter and Dr. Lord, moderator, had to calm them down for the next questioner who asked Dr. Deobler if he 'd ever had any "happy" heterosexual patients. Dr. Deobler squirmed but answered forthrightly that he never had.

The panel and crossfire periods were so successful that repeat performance was held February 27 under the heading "Are Homosexuals Neurotic?" or "Should Homosexuals be Coerced Into Heterosexual Practices?" The panel members were the same but for the addition of Lyn Pederson of ONE, Inc.; Ron Argall of the Mattachine Society, and Dr. T. E. Bessent, chief psychologist at Metropolitan State Hospital at Norwalk, Calif. Dr. Tabachnick and Rev. Snyder were absent.

As to the first question, everyone kept their original positions. Dr. Bessent gave a refreshing) opinion that he didn't think homosexual behavior was a measure of emotional illness. He felt that one had to examine the particular individual in question and find out why he was homosexual. His homosexuality might have a neurotic basis or it might not.

Lyn Pedersen felt that most homosexuals were neurotic because of their position in society, outside of any individual reasons they might have. He felt It primarily a minority problem.

Ron Argall didn't see where psychological reasons had anything

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to do with homosexuality. He cited Japan as a case where the economic and social structure forced homosexuality on the individual as a matter of course.

As to the second question, nobody, but nobody, felt that homosexuals could or should be coerced into heterosexual practices. Haskell Shapiro felt that if the human race were in danger of becoming extinct, which it isn't, that homosexuals should be "persuaded" to reproduce--but never coerced.

- Sten Russell

Winston Reactivates Cory Book Service.

Those of you who have found it hard to fill the gap left by the demise of the Cory Book Service will be happy to know that it has been reactivated under the name of Winston Book Service, 250 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, Long Island, New York. Originally started by Donald Webster Cory, author of "The Homosexual in America", the Cory Book Service made available books that dealt with homosexuality and other problems of sexual variance. The service was stopped by the sudden death of its owner over a year ago.

Quarterly. Publication Time Drawing Near

Of you readers who have sent in your 50 cents for the quarterly publication which will embody the first three Issues of THE LADDER, we ask your indulgence and patience.

We hope within the next several months to be able to print and mail this publication. Our energies recently have been used up in moving to our new offices and in publishing THE LADDER. Now that we are achieving a semblance of order we hope to have the quarterly out very soon.

If you want a copy of the quarterly please let us know. Single copies are 50 cents. If you are already a subscriber but didn't receive the first three issues let us know and we will start your subscription with the quarterly.

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"In the Feb., 1957 Issue of THE LADDER there Is a quotation attributed to a Dr. Blanche M. Baker, on page 6, that the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that the "psychiatrist goes deeper, stays longer and comes up dirtier." (my underlining)

I hope this Is a misquote and that Dr. Baker, whoever she may be, did not author such a rotten remark. If any psychiatrist or psychologist feels that become dirtied by contact with their clients, no natter how deep they go, they don't belong in the field of attempting to be therapeutic to other human beings, I cannot conceive of a filthier insult to patients and humanity in general than the statement quoted."

Martin Katzman, M. D.
San Francisco, Calif.

"P.S. I will not attempt to give you a better distinction between psychiatrists and psychologists. It is a terribly complicated situation and cannot be explained in one paragraph, much less trite witticisms."

Dr. Baker, San Francisco psychiatrist, holds five degrees -a B.A. and B.S.C. in education, M.A. in physiology, M. D., and Ph D. in abnormal psychology. She will be the speaker at the public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis April 23 when she will discuss "Self Acceptance."--Ed.

"Thank you for the January copy of THE LADDER. Please send me an application for associate membership.

I was very mush interested in the lead article of LaVere's on emotions, etc., and the one on fear. I suppose most of us who do have a rather high moral code are even more subject to fear of one sort or another than even we realize.

I'm working now and hope, one day, to have a doctor's degree in psychology but I wonder how much my fears are slowing things up for me and what would really happen if my present supervisor knew of my deviant life?"

B. M., Battle Creek,. Mich.

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"Congratulations!! However silent or distant we may be there are many many friends of yours back here in the East. Although I wish my spine, backbone and courage could be as great as yours--it isn't.

"I'm proud of you for having started the ball rolling.... could I help in some small way to push it anonymously for now? There are dozens who feel as I do--we need enlightenment I guess, Hope you understand... "

Anonymous, Brunswick, Ohio

At the risk of sounding mercenary, those of you who don't want to reveal your names could throw a few anonymous dollar bills in an envelope to help the cause.--ed.--


In these first six issues of THE LADDER there has been mention of the Mattachine Society, but note that we have failed to include the society's very fine publication --"The Mattachine Review."

This monthly magazine, devoted to the airing of the homosexual problem, contains contains articles, book reviews, letters

If you hurry, you can still get an annual subscriptions the present rate of $2.50. Effective April 1st (and this is no APRIL FOOL'S joke) the subscription rate ill go up to $4.00 per year.

Send your check or money order NOW to
Mattachine Review
693 Mission St., Rm. 307
San Francisco 5, Calif.

(mailed in lain sealed envelope)

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We were in a


like Margaret O. Richardson

"According to psychiatry,
I am maladjusted,
For now and then I find myself
Utterly disgusted.
And while I know the simple reasons
For this melancholy,
The cost of living keeps me broke,
Heck, how can I be jolly?"

BUT we've found the answer now

For when you grow in size and cost yon simply have to grow too in

-PRICE--from $1.00 to $2.50 per yr.

AND you have one last
chance at the LOW PRICE
OF $1.00

The new rate of $2.50 be comes effective June 1, 19.57. Subscriptions no THE LADDER up to two years received prior to this date will be honored at the present dollar rate.

ORDER NOW AND SAVE! Send your check or money order to

693 Mission St., Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, Calif.

[p. [19]] | [Page Image]

MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP: $5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly due s. THE LADDER is sent FREE.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: $2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents of the area in which meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.
THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $1.00 per year.
CONTRIBUTIONS: are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.
TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308,693 Mission Streets, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application.
TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send. $1.00 for one year enclosing coupon below or facsimile.


I enclose_____

I am 21 years of age or older_____


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The Ladder, April 1957, Vol. 1, No. 7

[p. [1]] | [Page Image]

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1. Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behaviour and dress acceptable to society.

2. Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous conceptions, taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings afore mentioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3. Participation in research projects by duly author and responsible psychology, sociology and other such experts directed towards further know ledge of the homosexual.

4. Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual proposal of Changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

[p. 3] | [Page Image]

Published monthly by the
Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.
a non--profit corporation,
693 Mission Street, Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, California
Telephone: EXbrook 7-0773


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Jean Peterson

Treasurer--Toni Navarro

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Bobbi Deming

Production--Helen Sanders


Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell


Dr. Baker Pleads Guilty

Martin Katzman, M.D.
693 Mission St., Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, Calif.

Dear Dr. Katzman:

Yes, Dr. Katzman, I did say that the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that the "psychiatrist goes deeper, stays longer and comes up dirtier". (Your underlining). It was not a misquote. If this "rotten remark" (my quotes) to which you called attention in a letter published in THE LADDER

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for March 1957, on page 16, offended you, I am truly sorry. Certainly no insult to the profession of psychiatry was intended. I was being funny.

As a matter of fact, I was so shocked by your interpretation of what I had considered an innocuous but humorously challenging metaphor chosen to break the ice with a group as capable of appreciating the subtleties of clever wit and repartee, that I began to wonder if my unconscious had played a trick on me. Taken out of context, did that remark indicate that I felt that I had "become dirtied by contact with (my) clients"? Was it true, as you state, that such a person doesn't "belong in the field of attempting to be therapeutic to other human beings" since you "cannot conceive of a filthier insult to patients and humanity in general than the statement quoted"? (my quotes) So I immediately took steps which I consider essential for any psychiatrist to take when confronted by such a problem. I did some deep dredging into my unconscious on the couch. I had some long discussions on the subject with my professional friends whom I trust and admire. I had a thorough airing of the dirt with my private patients in group therapy. From all of these sources I gained a lot of understanding and I now wish to make my confession;

(1) Dr. Baker is guilty of using "trite witticisms" such as an old saw that has been going the rounds for years. It is so old it surely has whiskers by now. (No, Dr. Katzman, I did not author such a "rotten remark")

(2) Dr. B. is guilty of having a sense of humor. In fact, she can get "drunk" on laughter quicker than any other way. She might have been temporarily "intoxicated" by the gay atmosphere at the annual Midwinter Banquet of ONE, Inc., in L.A. where the "unseemly" remark was made. Knowing that most people are a bit fearful of psychiatrists and that homophiles seem to have just cause for being suspicious, Dr. B. as the banquet speaker, opened her remarks by stating that she was NOT a Dr. Bergler (Edmund Bergler, M.D. psychiatrist and author of Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life, Hill and Wang, Inc. N.Y., 1956) for she believes that homosexuals are human beings who are basically no different from heterosexuals except in their choice of a love object Then, she made the "dirty" remark in order to put her audience at ease by releasing tense feelings through laughter (And, honestly, Dr. K. they just loved it.)

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(3) Dr. B. Is guilty of being a dual personality for she is both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Perhaps it was her psychologist side that took the opportunity to smear her psychiatrist side. Perhaps she has some hidden hostility deep inside her. Maybe she should see a psychiatrist if she can find one who does not feel that he would become dirtied by contact with such a client. What a catharsis that would be! (Dr. K. should hear her expound on the value of four letter words as emotional releases!)

(4) Dr. B. is guilty of having touched one of Dr. Katzman's sensitive spots. The least she can do to make amends is to suggest that he might find it helpful to develop greater immunity to any such "filthy" remarks which may come this way in the future. It might even be beneficial to Dr. Katzman to read The Fantasy of Dirt by Dr. Lawrence S. Kubie, psychoanalyst, in the October 1937 issue, Vol. VI, No., 4, pp. 388-425, of THE PSYCHOANALYTIC QUARTERLY.

(5) Dr. B. is guilty of being a human being who knows pain. Thus she sincerely hopes that no permanent injury to Dr. Katzman has" resulted from her "Inept" remark and that Dr. K. will find It in his heart to forgive a fellow worker in the field of human suffering who learned in the grind of medical school the healing value of laughter when dealing with painful subjects. She even considers it essential for good mental health to keep a sense of humor enthusiastically awake, especially toward one's self, in order to maintain balance--but she may be mistaken.

(6) Dr. B. is guilty of making other "earthy" remarks such as "Never a rose bloomed without some manure at its roots." (Please forgive her, Dr. K. She has been a very frustrated female. "Did you see that pile of five degrees listed in the description of her printed below your letter in THE LADDER? Or do you know that other ancient story about the B.S. the M.S. and the Ph.D which winds up piled higher and deeper"? (N.B. THIS IS A JOKE!)

(7) And, finally, Dr. B. is guilty of Identifying with her patient s. She believes that democratic procedures are desirable in human relations. Thus she dares to violate, the code of the Mystery-Man Cult of Medicine and to practice the art of healing by being a kindly, friendly, motherly sort of doctor (or teacher) who practices brotherhood, preaches self- acceptance and even enjoys the companionship of "dirty" homosexuals.

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(And, by the way, Dr. K., what were you doing reading THE LADDER?)

Now, by way of self-defense, may I add that my therapeutic ideals are based on the concept that a psychiatrist is truly a "soul doctor" since psyche means "soul" in Greek. Furthermore, one should not omit the psyche when one works with psychology (soul science). Thus I work with a person as a whole, including his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. Since most people who seek my help, including homophiles, are basically hurt children who are still controlled by their emotional natures, no matter what their chronological age, their physical size, their I.Q. or their state of spiritual awareness, I have developed the art of communicating with each Individual at the various levels at which he functions. This calls for rapid, intuitive, spontaneous, versatile adjustment to each situation that arises. I find that much non-verbal communication is required, including the warmth and affection a wise mother will give her hurt babe. A good sense of humor is valuable in bringing the shattered personality together to produce a more integrated, happy, creative and efficient human being. I find that both the therapist and the patient grow in the therapeutic relationship. Like Dr. Carl Rogers, psychologist, author of Client-Centered Therapy (Houghton Mifflin Co. 1951) I find that both the therapist and the client plunge into the stream of life together and both come up wiser for the therapeutic experience. The longer I work in this fascinating and rewarding field of psychiatry, the more aware I; become that this is I a God created orderly universe, governed by exact laws with which man can learn to cooperate, and so become master of himself and his environment, including other human beings, and so eliminate the hostile methods he has used all too long. In this divinely orderly scheme of things everything has its place including so good and evil. And even "dirt" may be useful as part of the Mighty Whole. Perhaps like truth, "dirt" is in the eye of the beholder!

Blanche M. Baker, M.D. Ph.D.
San Francisco, Calif.

P.S. I agree with you, Dr. Katzman, this "is a terribly complicated situation." If you have any further suggestions to clean up the mess won't you please send them along in care of THE LADDER?


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Schedule of Events

Tuesday, April 23 --Dr. Blanche M. Baker, San Francisco psychiatrist will speak at the monthly discussion meeting at 465 Geary St. on "Self Acceptance", For additional information see Dr. Baker's "Open Letter" on page 3 of this issue. All are invited to attend this meeting, starting at 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 --Bowling at the Sports Center, 3333 Mission St. from 7 P.m. on. Please make reservations by Thursday night, April 25, to Fillmore 6-0404 so alleys may be reserved. You don't have to be a professional to bowl with this group. We get them from the low 70s to the almost 300s. Come on out and join the fun.
Thursday, May 2 --Monthly Mattachine Society discussion meeting, Friend's Center, 1830 Sutter, 8 p.m. Speaker: Dr. Carlos Lastrucci, cultural anthropologist, on "The Sexual Drive".
Saturday, May 4 --The Mattaohini Players will present "The Reluctant Dragon", a puppet play based upon the Kenneth Grahame fairy tale, at 8 p.m. at the Friends Society auditorium, 1830 Sutter St. Tickets are $1.00 and pay be obtained at the Mattachine Society office, 693 Mission St. Audience is limited to 100.
Wednesday, May 8 --Monthly business meeting, 1030-D Steiner St., San Francisco, 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 --Daughters party celebrating the month of Taurus the bulls. At the Matador Room, 655 Duncan St. 8:30 p.m. Reservations, should be made to Fillmore 6-0404 by Friday, May 17. Donation is $1.50 per person.
Tuesday--May 28 --Public discussion meeting at 465 Geary St. will feature a debate on the controversial book "We Walk Alone" by Ann Aldrich.

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Relationship Not So 'Deviant'

If Child Has Love and Security

The first in a series of group discussions on "Raising Children in a Deviant Relationship" was held March 29 with Eleanor van Leeuwen, specialist in parent education and nursery school children, as guest discussion leader.

The evening was primarily one wherein all present joined in the talk, asking questions and, putting forth their solutions to problems which had arisen with their children.

The following; article by Jean Peterson, secretary of the Daughters of Bilitis, is a resume of what was said by all present at the meeting.--Ed.

Parent education is becoming an ever-widening field and of growing importance in our society. It is especially important. to the younger parental age group.

Things dominating a child at the age of two years, when ready for nursery school, include:

1. Hereditary factors such as physical and some mental properties. A strong tendency toward average intelligence rather than an inclination toward above normal or sub-normal Intelligence. Some children are very outgoing whereas others hold back and are ingoings.

2. In terms of responsiveness towards the teacher many accept her readily as a mother substitute, others are not so outgoing.

3. A 2 1/2 or 3-year-old should accept the teacher as a mother substitute readily, release himself from his own mother and accept authority and the rules of the school.

Parents definitely reflect their attitudes on their children. The child, therefore, naturally will be stuck with all his parents Ideas and problems. Each child will react in a certain way because of definite hunger drives--for love, security, attention, etc. Each child may need a different type of giving to be fulfilled.

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Studies show a definite backward progression as a child grows. Many times a baby will crawl backward before learning to go ahead.

In learning to share, for instance, a child must learn that possessions are really his before he can learn to give of them readily.


In language growth speech defects can be caused by not allowing the child enough language freedom. It is the child's right to make speech sounds and if held in by parents he will suffer. Taboo values placed on words can be astounding and confusing to the young child and may cause stuttering, stammering, mispronunciation. A tendency to place too much value on words causes later failure to interpret correctly. The child often says just what you want him to only to please you, without knowing the meaning or emphasis.

In referring to children raised in a deviant relationship it was pointed out that anything which strays from the sincere feeling or true values can be said to be deviant, and there can very definitely be deviant heterosexuals as well as deviant homophiles. The emotional stability of parents will determine the background of the child. Love and security overshadow almost all other factors. If a child knows love, gives love and receives love, and knows he is wanted, chances are he will be normal and well-adjusted.

Problems and ideas will be absorbed by the child in, any relationship, heterophiles or homophile, and these can be good or bad for the child. It takes only common sense to determine the differences. However, both male and female children need strong contact with both male and female figures to balance out their life.

The basic thing is to accept and understand yourself and then accept the rest of the world as it is. In any third person relationship the child will turn to one or the other; he will try to pit one person against the other. He does this because he cannot focus on the situation as a whole. All this is part of growing up.

It is very important that you teach a child a sense of values at a young age. Emotional development is as important as physical development, but it is also important that a child

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understand physical development He must be taught to understand the great wonder of his own body and how to take care of himself.

Masturbation is all a part of growing up and all children try it at some time or other, to greater or lesser degree and for varying lengths of time. The medical end psychological professions, for the most part, feel it is completely normal in children of both sexes and is certainly not to be treated as a distasteful subject.

There are many good books on the subject of the child's body and now it prows that answer the sometimes puzzling questions children may pose to their parents. These include "How To Tell Your Child About Sex" by James Hymes and "The Wonderful Story of How You there Porn" by Sydney Gurenberg.

One of the best ways to get at a child's lack of knowledge is to dear them out by questions when they question you. This way you can find out just what they mean by a certain remark and can correct any false Impressions or vague ideas the child may have conceived. Find out where they may have gotten these ideas and impressions so this, too, can be corrected. The idea of education of a child is like packing a suitcase to go on a trip--first you discard any old items which you may have packed and repack your suitcase for the journey you are about to take. The some holds true with child education; you not only want to give the child new information but also rid him of all misconceptions which he may have. However, you must have a good conception to convey to the child. If you do not feel completely educated it will then be quite hard for you to put over your ideas to the child (in the right way)

The opinion was raised that it would be better if the subject of sex education was taken out of the hands of the parents, many of idiom do not feel equipped for the task, and given over, to competent teachers in the school system. There it could be presented in a scientific manner to meet the needs of all school gos. Parents seem to agree with this theory but apparently the churches and other civic organizations object so greatly that many cities have never tried this method.


Share your joys and fears. Children have a high set of ideals especially where their parents are concerned. But let your child know that you have fears, lot him know when you rejoice, let him know whit you think about different things and ideas.

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In this way you will bring your child out of himself and he will realize that he is the same as you and that you are no great god or ideal on a pedestal who fears nothing, that can do no wrong. Let your child know you are human, let him know that to err is human and there are no perfect examples of humanity... all people at sometime or another may do wrong.

It is almost impossible for a child to know that his parents were once children and it seems almost impossible to a child to live up to the high ideals of his parents, they must come down to the level of the child so that the child can realize they are really just human beings and, like all human brings, have feelings and ideals, joys and fears. A child can sense fears, joys, heartbreaks, etc. Sensing this and not knowing the truth of the matter can cause emotional disturbances in the child.

Do not question the child continually about little everyday things for he will seem to draw away from you. Remember that while you may be interested in all the little things he does to him they are everyday occurrences and nothing to get too upset about. Let him volunteer the information, let him know you are there to listen when he has something to offer. Let him know, you are interested in his life but do not goad the child. Being questioned continually will put him on guard and he will immediately build a negative attitude and feel that he is being put on the spot.

Respect is very important attitude to be cultivated by both parents and children. It is just as important for the parent to respect the wishes, desires and ideas, within limits, of the child as it is for the child to respect the attitudes of adults. The child can only learn respect from his teachers, parents, friends, etc, Even though small the child is an individual and as such is entitled to respect.

The Family Education Service at 1010 Gough St., San Francisco, has a good library on these subjects and for a nominal fee you can purchase numerous pamphlets, articles and books on this subject Educate yourself first and then begin the education of your child.

--Jean Peterson

The second in this series on Raising Children In A Deviant Relationship Will be hold in the near future. If you are interested please contact the Daughters of Bilitis at the office, Exbrook 7-0773, or drop a card to us at 693 Mission St., San Francisco 5. There is room for three or four more, although we want to keep the group small.--Ed.

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Dr. Edmund Bergler, a Manhattan psychoanalyst, in his recent book "Homosexuality; A Disease or Way of Life", appears to me to, be actually anti-homosexual. Rather than presenting the two classes of homosexuals--the well behaved and stable, and the exhibitionist and unstable, he seems determined to class all homosexuals as one group. He stresses the least desirable factors (which in so me oases are! present in the homosexual makeup) but he does not mention the many homosexuals who do not have these character flaws.

If Dr. Bergler actually believes the statements he makes against homosexuals per se, he must have studied only emotionally immature and mentally disturbed homosexuals. Perhaps he should meet some emotionally mature, cheerful constructive and stable members of the sexual minority. One thing is certain, he has not yet met such persons, or if he has he did, not admit it.

Instead of offering comfort to the homosexual, as is the noble purpose of many of our high ranking psychiatrists, Dr. Bergles seems to specialize in flaying them.

However, the intelligent homosexual will riot really be disturbed by this man's attitude because--when the shoe doesn't fit why attempt to wear it?

It is regrettable, however, that at this time when the homosexuals attempt to secure understanding and acceptance for their way of life, is on the forward march that a book such as Dr. Bergler's should be delivered into the hands of the opposing bigots and the prejudiced.

However--this book cannot delay the march to progress.

Other books will present the good traits and constructive aspects of the I homosexual personality And if such an attempt as Dr.Bergler's to block the onward march may in some instances present a temporary hurdle--the other type of of books will aid in surmounting it. Truth has an agility that will finally leap the highest wall that prejudice can build.

Real homosexuals already know that in accord with Nature's own pattern, homosexuality IS RIGHT for homosexuals! In

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time even the heterosexuals who now doubt this fact will finally realize that it is true.

Courageous, constructive-thinking and acting homosexuals should not be discouraged by such unfavorable views as Dr. Bergler presents, but they should accept these views as a CHALLENGE! They should renew and redouble their efforts in such a way as to completely disprove the things that Dr. Bergler has said about them. I feel certain that this they will do.

The non-fiction book which I am now completing will present my own effort in this direction.

Aside from the written efforts homosexuals may make to spread the light of truth concerning their minority, there is something every homosexual can do to aid their cause. That is to so conduct themselves in daily life as to merit respect of both the homosexual and the heterosexual segments of our society.

I salute and congratulate the Daughters of Bilitis for the well--organized and worthwhile contribution they are making toward bringing about right understanding and acceptance of the homosexual in today's world.

--Carol Hales

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5. DIANA by Diana Fredericks. Berkeley Publishing Corp., New York City, 1955. Copyright 1939 by The Dial Press, Inc.

An autobiography almost as well known and accepted in Lesbian circles as the Well of Loneliness". While all of Diana's experiences and interpretation of those experiences may not ring true for the average Lesbian, we believe that the common denominator very well might be this paragraph found in the forward:

"The history of my emotional development had only those two marks of distinction: first, my Lesbianism is, I believe, the result of long environment peculiarly fitted to foster whatever inclination to homosexuality I had as a child; second, my obstinate refusal to admit the truth of my own nature to myself."

6. WE TOO ARE DRIFTING by Gale Wilhelm. Copyright 1935 by The Morden Library, Inc. Reprinted by Grason Publishing Corp., 1947.

The setting is San Francisco. The style of writing is different and refreshing direct yet subtle, to the point and yet leaving much to the imagination. There is no plea for understanding. Jan's story, her way of life, her friends are presented as they are without device of flashback and apology. It is for the reader to accept or reject. We choose to accept!

7. ODD GIRL CUT by A. Bannon. Gold Medal Books, 1957.

Another story of life in a sorority house with the inevitable schoolgirl "crush" on her room mate. However, the treatment here is not so sensational as in most pocket books on this theme. The problems of heterosexual love as well as homosexual love are equally well presented--with understanding and sympathy.

This is the second in a continuous series of brief comments on books (fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry) on the Lesbian theme. Contributions for this department from readers will be most welcome.

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Attorney Stresses Nothing To Fear
In Joining Daughters of Bilitis

"A person Is as secure in the Daughters of Bilitis, or the Mattachine Society, as he would be in any other fraternal or social organization which makes certain demands of its members and requires that they accept certain beliefs in order to become members."

Thus stated Kenneth C Zwerin, San Francisco attorney, at the March public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis.

Commenting on the fact that the Daughters is now a legally chartered non-profit corporation in the State of California, Mr. Zwerin told the group to "forget about the mailing lists or membership lists being turned over to the police or postal authorities--it won't happen"

In fact, the attorney pointed out, if you mind your own business and use "good manners" you will not get into any trouble at all.

"Any minority is in danger of having things said about it, but they aren't, worth worrying about," he declared. "As far as the security of your job is concerned any. employer can fire without reason. If you do your job well you have little to fear--but if you're worried about your private life all the time you probably won't do good work and will get fired."

The female deviate is much more secure than the male for three basic reasons, Mr. Zwerin said. These are: 1) by her very biological nature she is not promiscuous; 2) she prefers a quiet domestic type of life, and 3) she does not solicit in public places.

The law prohibiting oral-genital contact has never been applied to two women in the State of California, he said, only to two men, There have been no cases reported in California involving homosexual charges against two consenting adult women.

In many cases of arrest, Mr. Zwerin said, the person arrested, whether guilty or not, feels guilty because he or she knows they are homosexual. Therefore they tend to plead guilty and fail to obtain their legal rights.

In discussing a person's legal rights in case of arrest, Mr. Zwerin emphasized that you should never plead guilty. If

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you don't have an attorney ask for a continuance in order to get one. The judge must give you a continuance.

Normally bail on misdemeanor charges fits a predetermined pattern set up by the judges. Bail for a felony must be set personally by a judge.

Checks are not acceptable for bail. A bondsman or lawyer may be called, or a friend may bring cash--or you might have that much with you.

"Organizations such as the Daughters of Bilitis and the Mattachine Society must work within the framework of the law. They cannot circumvent the law but can work to bring about changes by legal means" the attorney pointed out.

In conclusion Mr. Zwerin declared "you are only as secure in your contacts with the public as you are within your own person. If you are well-adjusted mentally, are at peace with, and like, yourself, then there is little chance you will encounter any difficulty due to sexual deviation."


I have thought the matter over and, consequently am herein enclosing $8.50 for an associate membership.

"I noted with Interest the discussions on raising children In a deviant relationship--is it possible to find out more regarding this problem? Also I noted with interest your plans to organize the New York area, While I would be most anxious to remain discreet and discriminating in social contacts I would, enjoy meeting with, or hearing from, others in the general New York area who are genuinely sincere about the organization."

S.B., New York, N.Y.

Just, a word of praise--I received my first copy of THE LADDER a few weeks ago and think you are doing a very worth while service for the multitudes that need a 'breather' every now and then from the common, ordinary pattern of this old world.

"I was interested in your Calendar of Events. Too bad I am so far away--I would love to drop in on one or two of those!

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'doos'. I don't suppose you have heard of anything akin to your organization here in Canada? If we could have such meetings it would be quite somethings."

G.H. Toronto, Canada

Sorry, we haven't heard of any such group in Canada.--Ed.

"I received my issue of THE LADDER and have read it through and wish to congratulate you on a wonderful issue. I do not need to tell you that what you are doing is helping us to better understand ourselves.

"I don't know how many male subscribers you have but I think that more fellows should subscribe to your magazine. There is too much dissension between the boys and girls. Even though we are not able to join your club we should have an interest in what you are doing just as you should have an interest in what we are doing, after all we are both working for one goal and we should not be pulling against each other."

G. P., San Francisco, Calif.

THE LADDER has many male subscribers and agrees wholeheartedly that the boys and girls should work together. We are working with the Mattachine Society, which is predominantly male, toward the end of better mutual understanding.--Ed.

"I would like all information as to how I could subscribe to your magazine and where to send donations. By the way, could you tell me where you got the name of Daughters of Bilitis? We have discussed the matter to great length."

J.R., Amarillo, Tex.

The name is taken from "Songs of Bilitis", a narrative poem by Pierre Louys, available in paperback book form.--Ed.

"The publication is excellent. I enjoy reading it and wish to subscribe. The extra money is for the issues you so kindly have already sent me..."

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We were in a


like Margaret O. Richardson

"According to psychiatry, I am maladjusted,
For now and then I find myself
Utterly disgusted.
And while I know the simple reasons
For this melancholy,
The cost of living keeps me broke,
Heck how can I be jolly?"

BUT we've found the
answer now

For when you grow in size and cost you simply have to grow too in

PRICE--from $1.00 to $2.50 per yr.

AND you have one last
chance at the LOW PRICE
OF $1.00

The new rate of $2.50 becomes effective June 1, 1957. Subscriptions to THE LADDER up to two years received prior to this date will be honored at the present dollar rate.

ORDER NOW AND SAVE! Send your check or money order to

693 Mission St., Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, Calif.

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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP $5.00 Initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: $2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents of the area in which meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members
THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mall in a plain sealed envelope for, $.100 per year
CONTRIBUTIONS are grate fully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not. become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication, and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.
TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $1.00 for one year enclosing
coupon below or facsimile.


I enclose_____ I am 21 years of age or older._____


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The Ladder, May 1957, Vol. 1, No. 8

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1. Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable help to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant the me; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behaviour and dress acceptable to society.

2. Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous conceptions, taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3. Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychology, sociology and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4. Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the
Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.,
a non-profit corporation,
693 Mission Street, Rm. 308
San Francisco 5, California
Telephone: EXbrook 7-0773


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Jean Peterson

Treasurer--Toni Navarro

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Bobbi Deming

Production--Helen Sanders


Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell

Are Homosexuals A Menace?

A panel discussion on the topic, "Are Homosexuals a Social Menace?" was held April 15 at Plummer Park in Los Angeles by the Searchers. This made the third in a series held on the subject of homosexuality.

The panel was composed of Dr. R.H. Lord, director of The Searchers and moderator of the panel; Dr. R.W. Deobler, consultant psychologist; Dr. E. R. Robbins, psychiatrist Lyn Pedersen and Robert Gregory of One, Inc.; Ron Argal of the Mattachine Society, and Sgt. Gene. Rock, Night Supervisor of the Vice Squad, Hollywood Division, of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Dr. Deobler reiterated his position given in past panels, that the homosexual is an emotionally ill person who fears having sex in the "normal" heterosexual manner.

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He felt that the question could be re-phrased to say "Homosexuals are socially menaced," and added that the homosexual was more likely to be a menace to himself than to society. In his opinion, "paranoids--latent homosexuals" and "psychopaths--some of which are homoerotic" were the ones who were really dangerous to society. He felt that most overt homosexuals were not psychopathic. He thought that perhaps some of the harsh laws regarding homosexuals should be changed while still protecting Children from either heterosexual or homosexual attack.

Dr. Robbins, a new comer to the panel, took a rather broad view of the subject and thought that It was a vast problem not be comprehended within the confines of any pat phrases. It was a problem which was "as broad as it is long" and "it doesn't begin someplace or and someplace" considering that 100% of the population has a certain amount of latent homosexuality in them. He took issue with Dr. Deobler that homosexuality was a sickness and stated that it was not a sickness or disease as doctors commonly understand the term. It was, he said, for the most part an adjustment to life. It might be a good or a bad adjustment for the particular individual involved, but it was still an adjustment. He cited the example of a healthy tree which grew in an arc shape instead of straight up. It was a beautiful tree and shaded children at play. It was a useful tree. Was it slick because it didn't grow straight up as the ideal concept of trees had decreed? He mentioned the group ideal that all men should be six feet tall and the women have beautiful bosom's but that no-one was considered "sick" if he or she didn't have the se happy attributes. To know whether a homosexual is "sick" or a "menace to society" one must study the particular person involved and know his personal problems and how he feels about his homosexuality. He also disagreed with Dr. Deobler on the point of "paranoids" He said that he wished life were so simple that all one had to do to "cure" a "paranoid" was to help him release his latent homosexuality. Unfortunately, he said, it was perfectly possible to be an overt homosexual and also a paranoid.

Sgt. Rock stated that insofar as the Police Department had contact with homosexuals there was little doubt that they were a social menace. He cited the fact that there were certain hotels, parks, movie houses and bars where

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Homosexuals constantly went to solicit other men or boys. Sgt. Rock was quite concerned that juveniles should be protected from the sexual advances of older men, He was questioned in the crossfire as to whether he was as concerned about his young daughter being approved by a "normal" soldier on the street. He said that he was and that he was also quite concerned that she should not be approached by a Lesbian either. He rescinded in this in the next breath to say that he really wasn't as worried as he sounded.... that he had taught his daughter right from wrong.

Lyn Pedersen talked of the abuses by policemen of homosexuals in other states---of the shake-down, of black-mail, and the fine art of entrapment. He pointed out that according to Dr. Kinsey's statistics anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of the population could be jailed for homosexual acts--if only caught at the right time. Lyn considered that if homosexuals were a menace to anything, they could only be considered so by a "strait-jacket society" and by "frustrated heterosexuals".

Robert Gregory spoke of One, Inc.'s attempt to enlighten the public on the problems of the homosexual from the homosexual point of view.

In the crossfire Ron Argall asked Sgt. Rock if he considered an "adjusted homosexual" as one who was not "looking" since the Sgt. had expressed sympathy for the non-conformist individual who needed "adjusting". Sgt. Rock was on the receiving end of most of the crossfire and bore up very nobly and calmly considering the intensity of some of the questions directed more at him than to him.

Dr. Robbins seemed troubled that the Sergeant feared a boy might get "to like homosexuality" by simply having one or two experiences. Dr. Robbins said that this possibility would depend entirely on the boy and his background. He expressed concern that there was so much misinformation, ignorance and fear on the subject.

Sten Russell

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Dr. Baker Challenges--

The homosexual can fill a unique place in society combining as they do both male and female attributes. It Is up to the homophile to stop being afraid, to discover his or her creative potential and step forth into society and Till the Waiting place. This is a part of the advice given at the April discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis by Dr. Blanche M. Baker, San Francisco psychiatrist.

She presented a challenge to homosexuals in general to find and fill new paths in this ever-growing world. She challenged the Daughters of Bilitis in particular as an organization to work for the healing of lost souls, "A lost or lonely soul is usually one which is ready to grow, ready to discover."

In Dr. Baker's opinion, the homosexual will sometime be recognized. "Many creative fields lie ahead of you IF you will but stop despising your selves, stop being ashamed and start creating a place for yourselves on this earth. It is not inconceivable. There were societies in the past which allowed homosexuals their place."

"Don't be content to remain as you are," Dr. Baker warned. A personal inventory is an excellent beginning towards finding which of your many "selves" make up the real self. As a start in this personal inventory she suggested making up a sheet headed "assets" and "liabilities", then, using the following categories, list your assets and liabilities for each: physical, emotional, mental spiritual, social and financial. Other categories may be added, though these are the basic facets of the whole person. This inventory can be equally as helpful to a group as to an individual.

Dr. Baker pointed out that to think only of your physical person is to think of only one part of the picture. The question is, "What makes the meat move?" There are, besides the emotional self (motivating), the mind (mental) and the real driver, the part that says "I", the higher self (soul).

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"We are most of us floundering through life, still growing, and the hardest thing to hold is what your idea of your real self is. Always present are the thoughts, 'Who am I?' 'What do I stand for?' 'What is ray way?' It is fun to dig into yourself, but it can also be a serious and often-times discouraging process. For if you study your self, you will find out many things that seem mysterious, silly or stupid to you."

"There is a lot of material stored away in the unconscious. You can't understand yourself unless you understand your irrational doings. Many things we do are done through compulsion. For Instance, one of my patients spent most of his time folding his shirts and seeing that they were neatly in line in his drawers. This was a compulsion with him. We all have these deep drives and often are completely unaware of them.

"The unconscious is loaded with memories and you are constantly keying in. It is like a bank vault and the key is any phrase, word, or situation which unlocks the long-for-gotten memory. The trick is to remember these things that you key in on and try to discover which of your habits this memory was the originator of, and go on from there."

Dr. Baker also pointed out that you should learn to take out your resentments on those responsible for them. Otherwise you will eventually take them out on yourself.

"Most of the things you feel guilty about are the things you've been told were wrong. It is fantastic the things we carry around within ourselves, forever chastising ourselves for real or fancied guilts. We wouldn't treat a little yellow dog the way we treat ourselves.

"Within each of us, is the eternal child, and that is the part that needs help. We must get down to the child level within ourselves in order to cope with ourselves. We all have many sides, like a diamond, and many times the child self makes a monkey out of us. The job of all of us is to get all our selves together into a reasonably going concern."

With reference to a question asked from the audience as to why homosexual marriages seem to last a much shorter time than do heterosexual marriages, Dr. Baker stated that most marriages are not marriages at all--they are just not divorces. She added that in the case of homosexuals the fact that their relationship is not recognized by society creates a more fearful attitude, that most people are not prepared for partnership and this climate of fear makes it even harder for such a union to last.

"I don't believe we've ever learned to love and accept others with respect and admiration. Any union must be based on a growing relationship together. Sex alone is like a one-string fiddle."

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Variant Women in Literature

A Historical and Quantitative Survey
by Jeannette H. Foster, Ph.D.
Vantage Press, New York
412 pp: Bibliography: Index ($5.00)

It Is not a pleasant commentary on the state of American critical writings when a book of the scope of Jeannette Foster's SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE must be published by a vanity-publishing outfit. This is no wholesale indictment of the vanity press in itself, or of those writers who plan find no other audience for their writings, but rather a criticism of the trade publishers who can find no room on their lists for a book of intrinsic worth and limited interest. It is this reviewer's personal opinion, however, that Miss Foster would have done better to keep her manuscript unpublished until it could find a commercial publisher. Books issued by the vanity publishers are seldom given serious attention by reviewers and critics...for the very excellent reason that so much of the vanity -published material is rubbish. In this day and age, when any inept scribbler, talentless and aspiring, can have his or her vapid babblings committed to print simply by paying the printer, those who seriously publish their own serious works must of necessity be tarred with the same brush as the wealthy old maid who pays to have her sentimental meanderings given the quasi-respectability of printer's ink.

But with this handicap, Jeannette Foster's SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE is a very worthwhile book. Its scope is that of a careful and complete examination of all the literature of the Lesbian, from antiquity to the present, under the thesis that the literature of any specific day reflects the thinking of that day. Therefore this study, of fictional Lesbians reflects quite "accurately the attitudes of society toward the Lesbian herself.

Miss Poster makes little effort at psychological analysis of the material she has included. She does, however, give the titles, de script Ions and fairly complete summaries,

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of every piece of literary Lesbiana published in the last forty centuries, from the Odes of Sappho to Fletcher Flora's STRANGE SISTERS. To the collector of Lesbian literature the work is invaluable, listing as it does every major work and many minor ones. She has given summaries of the less well-known novels--this in itself would make the book useful to a bibliophile--and in almost every case has made an effort to evaluate the book in three points; the validity of the "Lesbian" material included (i.e., does the writer treat the subject from knowledge or from mere sensational surmise), the attitude of society reflected in the book under discussion, and the intrinsic literary merit of the work itself.

In such an enormous field of survey, some omissions are inevitable. At a guess, Miss Foster discusses some 300 works as containing some Lesbian portraiture, but even this reader's fairly desultory inquiries turned up one or two glaring omissions--Dmitri Merezowskli's BIRTH OF THE GODS, for example, was not even indexed. These omissions are not culpable, however, considering the literary climate of our day, where such volumes usually hide behind the RESTRICTED shelves and in private collections.

A more serious defect of the book is this; Miss Foster often stretches a point to include debatable material, and turns aside to pure personal conjecture. I confess myself somewhat exasperated by the chapter devoted to biographical conjecture about Emily Bronte. Granting that Miss Bronte may well have been a Lesbian--the lady has been dead for enough years that this posthumous identification is apt to soothe the vanity of many Lesbians and cast no aspersions on her family--her work certainly contains no reflection of this aspect of her character, and Miss Foster's "proofs", frankly, do not convince me at all. Even more eyebrow-lifting is the chapter which includes the Biblical BOOK OF RUTH in Lesbiana... she musters a few unconvincing indications, but they seem to me shaky; I am fairly sure that a scholar of Biblical history, or one of Jewish mores, however open-minded, would reject the theory, not as offensive but as absurd. Although she nowhere states this fact, I would bet a Dior hat that her single proof rests on the fact that some of the more self-dramatizing Lesbians use Ruth I; 16-17 (the well-known "Whither thou

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goest") in their private ceremonials. She also seems to stretch conjecture somewhat by stating that the obscure events narrated in Henry James' TURN OF THE SCREW actually denote the corruption of an eight-year-old girl by a depraved Lesbian governess. Since no one has ever figured out precisely what TURN OF THE SCREW is really about, this may be a valid literary game...like trying to interpret Picasso's cubist studies, the interpretation is really in the eye and the mentality of the beholder.... but I doubt if she would find many professors of literature who would agree with her.

All the se minor faults aside, however, this book stands as a major milestone in the literature of homosexuality in general and female variance in particular. As far as I know, except for a few privately circulated leaflets in mimeograph, it is the first work of its kind, and an absolute necessity for those who are interested in the social aspects of Lesbianism.

Its worth goes far beyond this. The novelist, by definition, is one who observes humanity. As such, he also becomes an excellent, if pragmatic psychiatrist. The writer of any work of serious fiction tends to portray the Lesbian as she appears in society, not in the limited portraiture of the psychologist's casebook. This is just as true of those novels which attack the Lesbian as it is of the Lesbian apologist, both viewpoints, limited as they are, say point-blank that the writer had seen the homosexual woman, and has this to say about her place in society. (And, although many Lesbians will rebel against this unassailable fact, even those novels which attack the Lesbian the most bitterly are of some worth, as reflecting a weak point, an exposed flank from which attack is possible).

Basically, I would say that the worth of Miss Foster's SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE goes, far beyond the mere bibliography. It surveys and studies an entire area of human thinking, which does not limit itself to the pathology of the too-well-known "psychological" book about homosexuals; it surveys how men and women have seen the Lesbian, how they have thought about her, how they have written about help. For anyone with even the most cursory interest in Lesbians or Lesbianism, the book should be the cornerstone of the library.


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10. SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE by Jeanette H. Foster. Vantage Press, New York.

See Page 8.

11. THE PRICE OP SALT by Claire Morgan. Coward-McCann.

This is a novel that probes deeply into special problems of a Lesbian. Being remarkably free of the old "candlelight and death" symbolism, and having a "different" kind of an ending, this may well exemplify a new outlook long awaited by the homosexual world.

12. THE SCORPION by Anna Elisabet Weirauch. Willey Book Company.

A portrayal of homosexual life in pre-Hitlerian Germany in it's bittersweet (mostly bitter) aspects. Unfortunately, the quality of the work is marred by the author's characterization of homosexuals by their lowest common denominator.

13. EITHER IS LOVE by Elizabeth Craigin. Lion Books, New York City, January 1952. Copyright 1937 by Harcourt, Brace & Co., Inc.

A candid story, told in the first person, of two loves. One was for the man to whom she was happily married. The other, earlier, but no less intense and absorbing, and on the other hand no less outgoing and generous, for another woman. "Either Is Love" points out the author in her plea for an attitude of tolerance and understanding toward "interfeminine" romance.

14. THE INDULGENT HUSBAND by Colette (Short Novels) Dial Press

A very gay triangle and an amusing twist of plot are Most fascinating is Colette's ability to evoke light and laughter on a subject often found elsewhere to be tragic.

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The Clasping Hand

A Story by Frances LaSalle

It happened so quickly. But then, don't all miracles happen within the twinkling of an eye? At least, Marcia thought so. An she was certainly right about the twinkling. It was that sudden dance of stars in those deep, rich-brown eyes which caught at her heart. And which in some strange way danced right into that heart, only to spill over and flood all through Marcia,s body in a miracle of delight.

After a quarter century of existing in a drab cocoon, Marcia had suddenly metamorphosed. Her eyes became bluer; her hair more golden; her lips redder. Though to be frank, we must admit this last change had been wrought through selecting a brighter lipstick I Looking into the small mirror over the kitchen sink, Marcia wondered why she had not thought of this before.

But the truth is, she had been in a rut. Like the town where she had always lived. Marksville had grown from 247 to 253 during the last twenty-five years. A few uninteresting people had died; a few more, born; some had moved away while a number had moved in. Nice people; but to Marcia, uninteresting. Especially, it seemed to her, were the "young eligible men" uninteresting. She would marvel as she watched the several girls her age in town roll desiring eyes after the boys. And she would marvel again as those eyes would widen with a glow when the boys responded. Now, those girls had either married or had moved on to the city. Marcia would have loved to move on to the city, but her father was old, and had only Marcia to care for him.

Oh well ... She could always read. An aunt in Boston who understood loneliness subscribed to magazines for her, and sent her books. Too, she had Julie. Julie was her eleven-year-old half-cocker, half-collie. But she would lose Julie some day. And then

It wasn't that Marcia had never glimpsed happiness; for she had. Twice, But they were glimpses from the outside looking in.

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Once when she was twelve, her piano teacher had invited a young niece to spend August in Marksville. The little girls had "clicked" at first sight. There was something there far more than friendship. Neither could understand what it was; but then, it seemed so natural that neither tried to understand.

Then it happened again at sixteen.

When the high school bus reached half way to Waterton, it stopped for a girl of seventeen. A girl who went in for athletics, who wore her hair shorter than the other girls, who spoke in a voice an octave lower than Marcia's. And who sat, whenever possible, beside Marcia as they rode to and from school. They didn't have classes together, but whenever they passed in the hall, the older girl would pat the younger on the shoulder. Sometimes, she would hold Marcia's hand in the bus. But it was her eyes which held Marcia's heart. Great gray eyes which looked upon Marcia as if she were some treasure, always to be wondered at, but never to be relinquished.

Then one morning when the green-gold of spring promised a new world, when the gray eyes grew unusually soft and, the clasping hand unusually tender, the older girl spoke "Marcia, next week is Easter Vacation. My parents and I would love to have you spend it on our farm. We could ride the horses; and if It's warm enough, we could have picnics at the falls. Can your father get along without ... you?

"Oh--" A wave of awe very nearly stilled the eager reply. "I'm almost sure he could." Her breath caught in her throat. A rosy pink flushed her face with unbelievable joy. As far as school work was concerned, that day was lost to Marcia.

But the following Friday, Marcia's friend boarded the bus with stricken countenance. "My grandfather," she said, "has just died. He left a 400-acre farm in Wisconsin, and we have to leave here immediately. "We'll probably stay on there, and sell this place. Oh--I--" She couldn't say any more, and neither could Marcia find words for answer.

Then followed nine years--all without color, all. without

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pattern. Though for a year and a half now, the minister's son Don had been dating Marcia, and that had helped ease the loneliness a trifle. The loneliness, I say; not the emptiness.

He was three years younger than Marcia, but neither seemed to mind that. Sometimes he would drive her over to Waterton where he worked on a master's degree at State College. While he was in classes, she would sit in the library and watch the girl students, trying not to envy those who were making something of their lives.

Then one evening while out riding, Marcia's boy friend said, "Do me a big favor, huh? My cousin Enid is coming to spend the summer. Only Heaven knows why she'd want to spend it in Marksville--though she is pretty fond of Mother and Dad. But what I'm getting at, you're the only girl around here anywhere near her age. So kind of take her under your wing, will you?" He stopped talking while they caught up with another car and passed it. "She's a nice enough person; unusually smart, too. But I imagine most people find her kind of boring--that's my own idea, though. What I mean is, she doesn't care for the usual kind of good times. Stays by herself a lot and reads. Maybe you can sort of help 'bring her out', as the old saying goes. Mind giving it a try?"

"No, of course hot." Though Marcia didn't find It hard to believe that Enid might be boring; for didn't she find the nice dependable Don boring fairly often?

A week later, when Marcia answered the old-fashioned wall telephone, she heard Don's mother saying, "Hello,dear? My niece has just now arrived from back east. I think Don has told you about her. Pine girl. But what I'm calling about, all her luggage somehow miscarried--you know, one of those mistakes they make on trains sometimes. And the poor girl hasn't a thing to change into, and her traveling suit is so hot." Then the voice broke into a laugh. "One of my dresses would wrap around her three time. So I suggested that just maybe you'd have a thin cotton you might possibly--"

"Of course I have," Marcia answered. "Send her right

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over. She may have her pick."

"Oh, that's so nice of you, dear, And I know she'll make it up to you in some way."

"Of course she won't--I wouldn't let her," Marcia assured. the concerned aunt.

Half an hour later, Marcia heard Julie's heavy tail thump-thumping on the veranda floor. It was a glad sound. Julie didn't often use her tail so vigorously any more. Marcia hurried to the door.

Over the sprawling dog, bent a young woman, her fingers caressing the soft fur between Julie's wide-apart eyes. "Hi, there," the girl was saying. "You're quite a pup, aren't you? Though not so much a pup any more, are you, Hmmmm?" She lifted the floppy ears in her two hands, strong yet sensitive hands, while Julie's tail went on thumping.

Marcia started to say something, then stopped so she might look longer. Her caller wore a dark brown woolen Suit, tailored and perfectly fitting. But warm for this muggy morning. Her voice came soft, but a little low. Her hair grew dark and straight, and shorter than most girls wore their hair. Marcia wondered what her eyes would be like. She cleared her throat and said "Hello?"

The other girl straightened abruptly. The eyes were the color of the suit. They looked into Marcia's clear blue eyes. They looked long and levelly. Then she put out her hand and said, "I'm Enid, Don's cousin. You're his friend Marcia, of course?"

Just as Marcia felt the warm, sure clasp of the offered hand, she saw the twinkle in the eyes. As suddenly as that, she knew. And even more than that, she knew. For intuition, which sometimes draws breath from the occult, assured her that here was a happiness which would last...

Marcia smiled, and still holding the hand, led her new friend into the house.

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Saturday, May 25 --Bowling at the Sports Center, 3353 Mission St., from 7 p.m. on. The last session was so successful that the group wanted to make this a regular event. Please make reservations by Thursday night, May 23, to Fillmore 6-0404 so alleys may be reserved. You don't have to be an expert to join the fun.
Tuesday, May 28 --Public discussion meeting at 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (5th floor) will feature a debate on the controversial book, "We Walk Alone" by Ann Aldrich. 8:15 p.m.
Friday, June 7 --Gab 'N Java Session at 1030-D Steiner St. 8 p.m. This will be the introduction of an informal bull session. Come and air your views, your problems if you wish. For the present these sessions will be limited to women only.
Wednesday, June 12 --Monthly business meeting, 1030-D Steiner St., 8 p.m. Members only.
Saturday, June 15 --Bowling same place, same time as above. Reservations by Thursday, June 13--Fillmore 6-0404.
Tuesday, June 25 --Basil Vaerlen, psychotherapist, will lead a public discussion on "Is A Homophile Marriage Possible?" at 465 Geary St. Those of you who didn't get a chance to take Mr. Vaerlen to task after his lecture in December will have a second whack at him. Get your ammunition ready--he has!
Sunday, June 30 --Annual picnic of the Daughters of Bilitis. Further particulars will be announced in the next LADDER. Be sure and keep the date open!

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A Plea for Integration

There has often been reported an evil of conformity-worship among the masses or the majority. Yet little has been said of the tyranny of the minorities. So let us view the position of our less secure ingroups in their proper social context.

There are many such groups that feel, and sometimes rightly so, the stigmata of difference and an alienation from society at large. Among these are not only certain ethnic groups but also the teenager, the "Bohemian" and the homosexual. Lacking the feeling of identification with greater society, they necessarily turn inward to their own kind for a means of psychological anchorage. No man can exist alone and no man's moods or thoughts have any meaning except in the response of his fellow creatures. Once united, kind with kind, the sense of loneliness is vanquished and the ego reinforced by the multiple-patterned stereotypes around him.

The paradox arises however when a group designed to ease these senses of insecurity actually rises to aggravate them. Stereotypization of the manners, ways and principles of the group arises because stereotyping is a way of simplifying, of categorizing thoughts. The more insecure the group feels, the more bizarre is its symbolism. The zoot suit of the teen-ager, or the male garb of the Lesbian are but a pseudo-armor to protect the vulnerable feelings inside. So as a timid boy might feel an outburst of power when behind the wheels of a bulldozer, so too a frightened girl finds the rough blue jeans and jacket reassuring. They are a bulwark against the abhorred role of submission, and a means of identification with that sex of prestige and power. Yet how do these symbols affect the outgroup? Perhaps like the yellow caps of the Middle Ages, or the red flag in front of a bull!

Yet the worst damage lies, not in the group's exhibition of its difference in public but rather in the warping of the personality in the process. We humans all are born with a wide range of potentialities, a fine spectrum of human talents and diversities. They are found in all races, all classes, in the strange and normal alike. There are no "types" in nature, save by man's classifications and molds. So why must there be that segmentation of the personality, to create a "character" instead of an individual being. Truly, society at large suffers in part an intolerance of difference that needs to be remedied. Yet this

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is nothing in size to compare with the fanaticism of the cult!

Further isolation ensues from the stereotypes developed of the outgroup. To quote David Reisman (The Lonely Crowd): "Individuals there are not necessarily free... but often are zealously tuned in to the signals of a group that finds the meaning of life quite unproblematically in an illusion of attacking an allegedly dominant and punishing majority" of "straights", "squares", "Babbitts", whatever the case may be. And we ask, how can society accept them, if they refuse to accept them?

So all in all, let us remember, insiders and outsiders alike, that we are not foreigners or natives, strange ones or normal, but rather humans.

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; ... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind."

--Barbara Stephens


From the Washington Newsletter of the Mattachine Society we learn that the 34th annual meeting of the American Law Institute will take place in Washington, D.C., May 22-25. It is expected that Tentative Draft No. 6 of the Institute's MODEL PENAL C0DE, which offers drastic revisions of our archaic sex laws, will be submitted at the meet for consideration. The Code, not yet in final form, will, upon its completion, be submitted to Congress and the State legislatures for adoption or rejection, in whole or in part, by the lawmakers. It is generally believed that the fact that during the 20th century only three states-- Louisiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin--have revised their penal or criminal codes will cause many legislators to seriously consider the Institute's recommendations.

In a future issue of THE LADDER we hope to present in more detail the proposals of this MODEL PENAL CODE.

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The cave sound of the living dead
Shattered by a woman's laughter,
A black box nine by twelve
Candled by the mirror in her eyes.
Puppet feet learn to waltz
With a shadow in a blue velvet robe.

But the chameleon changes its color,
Withheld arms embrace a bowling ball,
The skies rain stars and alcohol,
The chess men reach a stalemate.
And a pale yellow begonia
Lies marooned in a jungle of blue daisies.

For blue daisies are not real,
The moon is wrapped in a telegram,
Gold embedded in Idaho potatoes.
Hers were the halibut's eyes
And the flight of the peacock...
Mine the voice of the giraffe.

Del Martin


There has been enough of sighs
Wistful wishes slain,
I will not repress them more
But stay with you within your door
Through parting pain.

Would you call me back from Heaven,
Hell deny me, too?
Let me die my little death
Live each love, and love each breath
Until I'm through!

Jo Allyn

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"This is to draw your attention to a book which has recently appeared and which should be of especial interest to you. I know the author to be a careful and scholarly person well qualified to undertake the study she has made. The volume is: SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE by Jeannette H. Foster, published in 1956 by Vantage Press,"

Paul H. Gebhard, Executive
Director, Institute for Sex
Research, Bloomington, Ind.

"Recently while visiting the Indiana University Institute for Sex Research, of which I was librarian from 1948 to 1952, I saw a copy of THE LADDER and would like to subscribe.

"I wonder whether you would be interested in a review copy of a volume I have just had published, SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE. I enclose the Press's broadside and the Kansas City Star's review. As the book came out February 25 it has possibly come to your attention already. Otherwise I will send a copy if you wish."

Jeannette H. Foster
Kansas City, Kan.

"The enclosed check will subscribe to THE LADDER for the next year.

"I have been deeply interested in the copies I have seen; it seems to me that there is a need for a magazine in this specific field, not for Lesbians alone but for all women. The Lesbian question per se is only a particular portion of a larger question of fundamental human rights.

"It occurs to me that the basic solution of the entire sexual question lies in a very simple addition to the codes relating sexual conduct, somewhat as follows, to be added to those laws which prohibit assault and the corruption of minors; 'Nothing in these laws shall be

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interpreted as prohibiting or regulating any practice privately indulged in by consenting adults and not involving the use of force or coercion, which does not involve a minor child and which does not violate any ordinance of public conduct!

"I think Lesbians themselves could lessen the public attitudes by confining their differences to their friends and not force themselves deliberately upon public notice by deliberate idiosyncrasies of dress and speech; the 'normal' (note that I use the word in quotes)--or perhaps I should say, the so-called normal, does not consider that his private life is of concern to the general public; whatever he does in private, in public he makes an attempt to be courteously inconspicuous, and I believe that homosexuals and Lesbians might well do the same....to realize that their private life is of little interest to the public and to keep it to themselves. This is not fear or an imposed conformity, but a sensible courtesy.

"I think this might form a suitable subject for debate in your pages....since many Lesbians feel that it is their 'right' to dress and act in a masculine manner, while many others honestly feel that they are wiser and more courteous to keep their differences to themselves.

"Frankly I believe this is a matter of time. Women are constantly outnumbering men; unless we wish to re-sanction polygamy, it is a crude biological fact that one out of four women must remain unmarried even if every eligible male takes unto himself a wife; and the emotional problem" thus raised can be solved only in two ways; by permitting our society to maintain a backlog of emotionally unfulfilled 'old maids' who will be a drag on ail forms of social freedom and progress, or by developing a more permissive attitude toward Lesbianism. (After all, what is the good of readjusting the 'attitude' of the Lesbian toward men, when the chances are she may not get married anyway? A few women removed from the fierce competition for the marriage market should take some of the terrific pressure off American society...which already labors under too many fierce pressures and tensions!)

"Would you be interested by a critical review of Jeannette Howard Foster's new book SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE

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which gives a complete bibliography of the literary Lesbian?

"If you wish to print this letter, or any part of it, you may use my name."

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Rochester, Tex.

We were interested, she wrote it, see Page 8.--Ed.

"I appreciate THE LADDER and hope to be able to help in your work in the future. I receive ONE magazine and also appreciate but think the Daughters is a good thing."

D.S., Swan Creek, Ill.

"The great optimism exuded in the March 1957 issue of THE LADDER with respect to 'Employment and the Homosexual' deserves comment.

"The consensus of your panel discussion is very interesting and perhaps substantially correct, arid it may hold true for most parts of the country. However, I know the situation has been rather different in a number of oases here in Washington, where so much adverse publicity has been given homosexuals by the newspapers and Congressmen.

"To illustrate, I know of a homosexual who lost his Government position a year ago and who since then has been unable to obtain employment. He seems to have developed a 'mental block,' and so great is the fear which grips him because of this misfortune that he cannot bring himself to make the final step in approaching a prospective employer for an interview.

"Another case I have in mind is that of one who was forced out of the Government a few weeks ago. Fortunately, he

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is not in financial straits and does not desire employment for a while, but he believes he will have difficulty when he does again seek it. His difficulties developed largely out of a very vicious blackmail and extortion situation. He had become very friendly with someone who was always in debt and in danger of losing his job as a result of garnishment of his wages. So under threats of exposure to my friend's employer (the Government), this fellow wrings about a thousand dollars from my friend to pay creditors, and has repaid none of it to my friend. The last time he asked for more money, it was refused, whereupon he exposed my friend so that he lost his job. All of which goes to show the possibilities inherent in blackmail--it can happen in jealousy cases where there have been strong ties and mutual understandings.

"I know of another person who was thrown out of the Government following an arrest for soliciting a plainclothesman. Since then he has been out of work most of the time for three or four years, despite a Masters degree. He dug ditches along with other manual laborers for a while.

"I think the average employer, whether government or private "business, prefers not to hire or retain homosexuals on account of the prevailing mores and the stigma which attaches to the employer because of the presence of homosexuals, who usually become known as such whether

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their garb and manners are conventional or not. I believe you could verify this by conducting a poll of employers, asking them what their attitude is toward employing known and suspected homosexuals and toward retaining discovered homosexuals. "

B.D.H., Washington, D. C.

"Please send me a year subscription to your magazine as I hear nice things about it from a friend of yours down in this districts.

"I hope I can come to one of your meetings when I am in San Francisco..."

L.S., Mt. Herman, Calif.

"Please send me information regarding the Daughters of Bilitis and THE LADDER ... their aims arid purposes come evidently from adjusted Lesbians. Is there a group of women in the Los Angeles area who are 'adjusted Lesbians'?"

W.O., Glendale, Calif.

"Fortunately, Colette's 'Claudine at School' is not the only humorous Lesbian novel in existence. 'Extraordinary Women' by Compton Mackenzie is one of the airiest and wittiest satires on anything that I've ever read. It was (published in England in 1928, the same year as 'The Well of Loneliness' but it didn't attract any of the attention and furor the latter did, probably because of its light treatment of the subject. A friend tells me it has recently been reprinted in London, but I haven't checked this.

"There is also Colette's 'The Indulgent Husband' (the third of four Claudine books, all first translated in the 1930s) in which Claudine's husband cheerfully aids and abets her in her passionate desire for another woman.

"And|how about the secondary Lesbian theme in Pierre Louys'

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wry 'Adventures of King Pausole'? Granted that these added to all the light moments of all the serious treatments are not much.

"If I had pots of money I would certainly commission a promising writer to do a story on Lesbianism which is troth humorous and unexaggerated--truthful nonsense, in effect! Why should every book and play and movie have a social or other meaning?"

B.G., Philadelphia, Pa.

"Browsing through 'The Conquest of Happiness' by Bertrand Russell, I've come across some phrases that, while being important for everyone, have some pertinent meaning for our group in particular. These are taken from Chapter IX, 'Fear of Public Opinion':

"Public opinion is always more tyrannical towards those who obviously fear it than towards those who feel indifferent to it;--A dog will bark more loudly and bite more readily when people are afraid of him--and the human herd has something of this same characteristic.

"Conventional people are roused to fury by departures.

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from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves.

"They will pardon much unconventionality in a man who has enough jollity and friendliness to make it clear... that he is not engaged in criticizing him.

"But, there is no point in deliberately flouting public opinion.

"Fear of public opinion, like every other form of fear, Is oppressive and stunts growth... The only ultimate cure for this evil is however an increase of toleration on the part of the public. The best way to increase toleration is to multiply the number of individuals who enjoy happiness and do not therefore find their chief pleasure in the infliction of pain upon their fellow men."

B.S., San Leandro, Calif.

"Please find enclosed a money order for $2.00. I should like to receive as many of your back issues as that amount will cover. In the event $2.00 is in excess of the cost of six issues--well, fine. Those few cents may stand as a mere down payment toward sizable (for me, that is) donations I know already that I shall be sending to you.

"I hope you are somewhat interested in off-the-top-of-the-head reactions from across the country because I would like to offer a! few by way of the following:

"(1) I'm glad as heck that you exist. You are obviously serious people and I feel that women, without wishing to foster any strict separatist notions, homo or hetero, indeed have a need for their own publications and organizations. Our problems, our experiences as women are profoundly unique as compared to the other half of the human race. Women, like other oppressed groups of one kind ! or another, have particularly had to pay a price for the intellectual impoverishment that the second class status imposed on us for centuries created and sustained. Thus, I feel that THE LADDER Is a fine, elementary step in a rewarding direction.

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"(2) Rightly or wrongly (in view of some of the thought provoking discussions I have seen elsewhere in a homosexual publication) I could not help but be encouraged and relieved by one of the almost subsidiary points under Point 1 of your declaration of purpose, '(to advocate) a mode of behaviour and dress acceptable to society'. As one raised in a cultural experience (I am a Negro) where those within were and are forever lecturing to their fellows about how to appear acceptable to the dominant social group, I know something about the shallowness of such a view as an end in itself.

"The most splendid argument is simple and to the point, Ralph Bunche, with all his clean fingernails, degree's, and, of course, undeniable service to the human race, could still be insulted, denied a hotel room or meal in many parts of our country. (Not to mention the possibility of being lynched on a lonely Georgia road for perhaps having demanded a glass of water in the wrong place.)

"What ought to be clear is that one is oppressed or discriminated against because one is different, not 'wrong' or 'bad' somehow. This is perhaps the bitterest of the entire pill. HOWEVER, as a matter of facility, of expediency, one has to take a critical view of revolutionary attitudes which in spite of the BASIC truth I have mentioned above, may tend to aggravate the problems of a group.

"I have long since passed that period when I felt personal discomfort at the sight of an ill-dressed or illiterate Negro. Social awareness has taught me where to lay the blame. Someday, I expect, the 'discreet' Lesbian will not turn her head on the streets at the sight of the 'butch' strolling hand in hand with her friend in their trousers and definitive haircuts. But for the moment, it still disturbs. It creates an impossible area for discussion with one's most enlightened (to use a hopeful term) heterosexual friends. Thus, I agree with the inclusion of that point in your declaration to the degree of wanting to comment on it.

"(3) I am impressed by the general tone of your articles. The most serious, fault being at this juncture that there simply is too little.

"(4) Would it be presumptuous or far-fetched to suggest

[p. 28] | [Page Image]

that you try for some overseas communications? One hears so much of publications and organizations devoted to homosexuality and homosexuals in Europe; but as far as I can gather these seem to lean heavily toward male questions and interests."

"Just a little afterthought: considering Mattachine; Bilitis, ONE; all seem to be cropping up on the West Coast rather than here where a vigorous and active gay set almost bump one another off the streets--what is it in the air out there? Pioneers still? Or a tougher circumstance which inspires battle? Would like to hear speculation, light-hearted or otherwise."

L.H.N., New York, N.Y.

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"I wish you to know that It is with no disapproval of your publication, your organization or its sincere work that I make this request that you discontinue sending me THE LADDER.

"... I live in a house in which we do not have Individual mailboxes. Some of the residents are curious and unsympathetic and not in the least averse to prying into others mail.

"I think your publication Is handled with dignity and integrity but not material for vulgarians. I sincerely wish you well."

J.H., Chicago, Ill.

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[p. [31]] | [Page Image]

MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OP BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP $5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: $2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents of the area in which meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.
THE LADDER: A Monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $1.00 per year.
CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not. become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed Interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 year of age may subscribe to THE, LADDER.
TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $1.00 for one year enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

SEND THE LADDER TO:_____ I enclose_____ I am 21 years of age or older._____ SIGNED:_____

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The Ladder, June 1957, Vol. 1, No. 9

[p. [1]] | [Page Image]

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Purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation on in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the, penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco, California. Telephone EXbrook 7-0773.


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Marty Elliott

Treasurer--Toni Navarro

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon


Circulation--Bobbi Deming

Production--Helen Sanders


Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell


ONE Takes The Stand

A fight of the utmost importance not only to homophiles but to all who believe in freedom of the press is being waged by ONE, Inc., and you can help!

In October, 1954, the postal authorities in Los Angeles declared that month's issue of ONE to be non-mailable because it was "obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy". Specifically cited were a story entitled "Sappho Remembered" and a satiric poem, "Lord Samuel and Lord Montagu".

ONE immediately began action against the local postmaster

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seeking a judgment in the United States District Court declaring the magazine lawful and mailable. This court proceeding dragged along from October, 1954, to March, 1956, at which time, in spite of powerful and compelling arguments presented by ONE'S lawyer, the court upheld Postmaster Otto K. Oleson of Los Angeles.

ONE immediately filed an appeal against the court ruling with, the Court of Appeals which met in Los Angeles November 2, 1956. Decision of this court was not reached until March 1, 1957, at which time the courts again decided against ONE.

For those who wish the complete story, including the full text of the Court of Appeals' decision, we suggest you read the March, 1957, issue of ONE Magazine.

ONE now plans to take its case to the United States Supreme Court--a course which will cost a great deal of money but which is a vital necessity.

The First Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ..."

The arguments against ONE Magazine as set forth by the courts clearly make much of the subject matter. The fact that heterophiles magazines every day print material similar to that which appeared in the banned issue of ONE seems to be an entirely different situation.

Neither THE LADDER nor the Daughters of Bilitis hold any brief for obscenity, sensationalism or just plain pornography. But we do hold a brief for the right to print stories, articles, poems and what-have-you which will be judged in the same light as those Printed in magazines of more general circulation.

The homophile press in America (if ONE Magazine, the Mattachine Review and THE LADDER can constitute a "press") is attempting to bring to its readers, homophile

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and heterophile alike, a true picture of homosexuality and sexual deviancy in all of the many existent ramifications. To do this we must have freedom, not license, of the press.

A number of historic battles have been won in the courts during the past years defending the rights of authors to realistically depict the eras, mores and sexual, habits of those about whom they write--both in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Unfortunately it would seem that homosexual themes, as opposed to heterosexual, are not to be accorded the same. standard of treatment.

We cannot condone such a double standard. We could not condone it were the magazine concerned devoted to raising pigeons. Historically freedom of the press has been one of our greatest glories, one for which we have had to fight for time and time again.

The basic problem herein presented is not whether the homophile press shall continue to exist but rather whether a free press can continue to exist. If we, as Americans, relax our vigilance we may be sure that the petty, the narrow-minded, the book burners, the Klansmen and all their ilk will not relax theirs. The smallest opening is a victory for all who disbelieve in man's ability to think for himself.

We said YOU could help in this fight. Here's how. Send your contributions to the Legal Fund, ONE, Inc., 232 South Hill St., Los Angeles 12, California. Money thus designated will be used only to enable ONE to take its case to the Supreme Court.

It is estimated that not less than $2000.00 will be needed. ONE'S attorney is donating his services free, but the costs of a: legal fight in travel, secretarial and brief costs are enormous.

The Daughters of Bilitis and THE LADDER heartily support

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the brave stand taken by ONE Magazine.

We urge you all to contribute as much as possible to ensure a victory which will more firmly entrench a vital freedom in our land and only incidentally assure the right of the homophile to answer his critics in a straightforward manner.

Phyllis Lyon

One Facet of Fear

The Lesbian is by her very nature insecure. She has always been aware of thoughts, Impulses and inclinations which have set her apart from the crowd. She has learned, sometimes through grievous suffering, that she must conform to the normal pattern of heterosexual life if she is to be accepted by society as a person.

Sometimes she marries before she has reached complete understanding of herself, and perhaps a child complicates the situation. If she has a child to raise and educate she will undoubtedly be forced by circumstances to build a life contrary to her own desires in order to provide security for the innocent being she has brought into the world.

Many heterosexual marriages are based on factors other than sexual attraction. A harmonious family life may stem from mutual interest in the home. Furnishing a new home, planning the decorations, planting lawns and flower areas, sharing the household tasks as well as planning for the future can form a full, rich association which, is completely satisfying for some couples, particularly if they do not have and do not plan to have children. Often a heterosexual couple of this type will share in the raising and breeding of special show animals.

If one of the partners in the marriage has outside interests

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unknown to the other which do not subtract in any way from these harmonious, shared associations, what then might the outcome be?

Perhaps the deviate partner has broached the subject time and again in order to test the reactions of her husband, only to find a completely rejecting, narrow attitude and no spark of interest. If there is no crack or chink in her husband's armor she is doomed to keep her secret rather than risk shocking and upsetting his faith in her and the harmony of her home.

Still, the longer such a situation goes on the greater danger the deviate wife risks. An accepting attitude and a willingness to be enlightened on the part of her husband Is her only way to find complete peace of mind.

There are then two courses open to such a wife, She can keep her secret, treading a tightrope which leaves her vulnerable to blackmail and the danger of losing her home should her husband's revulsion upon "finding out" be too great. Or she can "confess" to him, thereby risking dissolvement of her marriage at once.

Surely there must be an intelligent way to handle such a situation. But rather than destroy everything she has built up through the years, most Lesbians with successful heterosexual marriages will keep their fears within themselves, trusting to luck that the tightrope of their lives will remain intact and unthreatened.

Nancy Osbourne


We know there are writers among our readers--you've told us so! How about sending in some of your manuscripts to THE LADDER? Preferred length is about 1000 words, though we will consider longer stories. We can't offer remuneration, but donations of copy are as readily received as funds for our work. Send material to THE LADDER, 693 Mission St., Rm. 308, San Francisco 5, Calif.

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The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis had the distinct opportunity and pleasure of meeting and entertaining a group of professional people at the headquarters of both organizations in San Francisco June 9.

Officers of the two societies presented a resume of the aims and programs of their groups and then opened the meeting to a question and answer session.

One of the questions, which has often been asked of us, is why the necessity for two organizations. Helen Sanders, president of the Daughters, explained that the DOB was formed before the group knew anything at all about either ONE, Inc., or the Mattachine Society and that both of these organizations had much difficulty, in attracting women as members and workers. To date it has proved far more satisfactory to have a separate women's organization.

Another point which was brought up by several of the visitors was the marked approval of the use of the word "homophile" as opposed to "homosexual" in both our publications and discussions. It was felt that the use of the word "homophile" would produce a more favorable and constructive reaction from the general public; that as soon as "homosexual" is used there is a marked reaction of a negative tone.

The group was definitely a cross-section) of professional people including teachers, social workers, librarian, chiropractors, psychiatrist, nurses, engraver, buyer for a department store, etc. It was noted that these people were quite receptive to the program presented although many had no previous, or little, knowledge of the subject.

Dr. Blanche Baker, San Francisco psychiatrist, arranged the meeting of the three groups. Both Mattachine and the Daughters are indeed grateful to her.

[p. 9] | [Page Image]


Tuesday, June 25 --Basil Vaerlen, psychotherapist, Will lead a public discussion on "Is A Homophile Marriage Possible?" at 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (5th floor). Those of you who didn't get a chance to take Mr. Vaerlen to task after his lecture in December will have a second whack at him. Get your ammunition ready and come and heap this stimulating and controversial speaker.
Sunday, June 30 --Annual picnic at Tilden Park, Oakland, for members and guests only. Bring your swim suits, your own cold drinks and $1.50 per person and the Daughters will furnish the food and coffee. All proceeds over our costs will be sent to the Legal Fund of ONE, Inc., (see page 3). East Bay residents make reservations by June 28 to Thornwall 3-5505; San Franciscans to Valencia 4-2790, or EXbrook 7-0773.
Tuesday, July 9 --Monthly business meeting, 2174 California St., (basement apartment) 8 p.m. sharp. Members only.
Friday, July 12 --Gab 'n Java Session, 651 Duncan St., 8 p.m. An Informal bull session for the present limited to women only.
Tuesday, July 23 --Dr. Carlo Lastrucci, social psychologist from San Francisco State College, will speak on "The Sexual Impulse" at the July discussion meeting. Same time and place as above.

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A Cross-Cultural Survey

Entire books could be written about the psychology of clothes. Dress not only affects one's own personality but also the way that others react to you. There is not a single society existing that doesn't use dress as an identifying symbol; either for sex, or for wealth, class and occupation. In fact, the ancient Incas regarded impersonation of the opposite sex as a capital crime equally as serious as impersonation of royalty.

Now It is known that transvestism may or may not occur with homosexuality. It does occur concurrently with inversion when and if a culture defines a homosexual as" one who manifests the traits of the opposite sex. In some cultures such abnormality is institutionalized, as exemplified by the Berdache among the Plains Indians, or the temple attendant's among the ancient Babylonians. Yet in the vast majority of those cultures having the institution, the transvestites are men. Knowing that female transvestism is becoming more prevalent in the Western civilization, we must inquire as to what unique cultural conditions are contributory to this.

Almost universally men have held the occupations of greater status in a society, but not everywhere have women desired to be men. Havelock Ellis found the "masculine protest quite lacking in parts of Germany where motherhood was in its own way a position of great honor." On the other hand, American women have freely accepted the masculine definition of "female inferiority" by their envy of male occupations and privileges. The fact that in some states there are laws against men dressing like women but not against the other seems to imply that male transvestism is a degradation into the "lowly role of a woman".

Secondly, we must take into account the greater freedom of women in contemporary Western society. When

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women are allowed to "raise their status" by entering male occupations, such behavior can easily be rationalized on motivations for "success". And interestingly enough, our prized male occupations such as law and medicine are precisely those that rest on the highest cerebral skills, in contrast to the mechanical biological functions traditionally assigned women in the past.

In relation to modern feminine freedom, there is no freedom as obvious and diversified as that of dress. In fact, as styles go, women are the initiators and rebels, who pride themselves on uniqueness, in contrast to our drab male conformity. With such diversity as now known, there can be a complete spectrum in mannerisms from the "frilly" right down to the obviously tailored.

A third factor to be accounted for is the so-called "recent-sex reversal". One needs only to remember the costume of George Washington's time to gain a perspective on this. Perhaps, in view of the modern plainess in garb for both sexes, this could be more rightly termed a "revolt from discomfort". Paralleling the male revolt from skin-tight breeches and strangling collars, women have cast aside the equally restraining corset, the impeding hoop-skirts and, in part, the tottering high-heeled shoes. In this age of professional leisure, ease and casuality have become the keynote. And the automobile is rapidly replacing woman's costume as a means of pecuniary emulation.


There have been many accounts concerning the origins of transvestism in women, but few that explain its continuation, A typical genetic explanation cites such reasons as "father-identification", "sibling rivalry", or "she was raised like a boy". A sociologist frequently terms transvestism as the "special symbol of an isolated and highly underprivileged cult".

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Now these may in some way explain how a person might have become started in this pattern, but they in no way account for that pattern's persistence. For we know that people certainly are not the slaves to habit and imitation in the degree that cynics would have us believe. If a habit has a prolonged existence there must be a functional reason; a psychological need for Its continuance. It is not enough to tell the transvestite that she "must conform". Rather, we should seek out the psychological functions, and find the adjustments. In light of the newer understanding.

This writer has come across many cases that can be termed "protective" or "defensive" transvestism. This is not so gross an anomaly as may be first supposed. We could call. It an exaggeration of a major trend that's widespread among modern women at large. For fewer women nowadays like to be too frail or helpless. And more and more women aspire to the spontaneity of expression formerly allotted only to men. Witness how quickly the corsets have been cast away along with the fashion of fainting. And women now can be athletic as well as attractive.

How does mannish garb enter in here? We know how clothes affect the behavior of others towards us, and many a woman has confided to me: "Padded shoulders, make me appear Stronger, tougher, more self-sufficient. People aren't so apt to push me around." Or, "a tailored suit makes me appear professional; people respect me as a 'brain' instead of looking down on me as an ordinary 'silly female'." Are these merely rationalizations? Hardly so. In part they define the psychological-needs of these individuals. Also they reflect the prevalent acceptance of "masculine superiority" and the prestige of male occupations. the woman who states "I am only a housewife" shows much the same attitude.

Furthermore, transvestism may be a barrier against possible sexual assault. How often have girls said: "I feel secure when I'm walking alone at night when

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I have my trousers on. Fellows think I'm a man and they won't bother me." Or, "When I dress this way around the shop, the fellows accept me as a buddy, not as a female. Sure I like men, as long "as they treat me as an equal. But it burns me up when..." In spite of the tendency to classify these remarks as mere sexual fears and neuroses, the fact remains that some males make brashness a tradition.

Quite in relation to this hiding from sex is the rejection by some of the "Super-Sex Cult". In this day of the glorified pin-up girl there are some people yet who would rather be rated on their character and intellect than on hypertrophied anatomy. David Reisman cites numerous cases of women who "try to be less beautiful than they are by wearing glasses or ill-fitting clothes, as also big and handsome men are prone to do." With the culture geared as ours is to the exploits of the grey matter it is understandable why many would rather be persons than bodies.

Nevertheless, transvestism is the tag that labels the Lesbian. Conformity has been recommended as a solution, but too often forced conformity is the mother of further neuroses. So we must try to reach a compromise which can satisfy the deviant as well as protect her.

One long-term proposal would include a revision of the traditional dominance-submission pattern among the sexes (and classes as well). That aim is out of reach for our particular group, but seems to be one that's already transforming American society. If women emerge more as the helpmates of men and less as their prey or competitors there might be less need for the transvestite's shield of rugged clothing.

Another more immediate attempt would be the building-up of. self-confidence in the individual herself. Truly self-confident people have no need to express themselves or barricade themselves by costume or possessions. And this measure would be of greatest value to those girls who are really so insecure and so frightened behind

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their masks of masculine bravado.

And finally, the very diversity of women's styles is a saving factor. For those who must be mannish can do so, if they care, with "style, class and sophistication."

This surely does not exhaust the field of transvestism, nor explain more than a few of its causes. The writer would welcome, however, letters from readers telling their own theories or experiences with transvestism. Especially desired is word from those who have effected adjustments.

Barbara Stephens


The 4th annual convention of the Mattachine Society will be held in San Francisco August 30-September 2, 1957, at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel, it has been announced by the Board of Directors.

The convention activities will begin with a reception Friday evening, August 30, in the library lounge of the San Francisco Area Council in Room 309 at 693 Mission St. The Saturday session will feature a symposium with seven participating speakers discussing the convention theme, "Must the Individual Homophile Be Rejected in Our Time?" This event, open to the public, and including luncheon and evening awards banquet, will tentatively cost a total of $13.00.

Featured on Sunday, September 1, will be a continental breakfast followed by a panel discussion including the following organizations: Mattachine Society; Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.; ONE, Inc., and Pan-Graphic Press.

Convention activities will wind up Monday, September 2, with the Society's annual business meeting and election of officers.

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8. WE WALK ALONE by Ann Aldrloh. Gold Medal Books. Pawoett Publications Inc., New York, 1955.

For review see page l6.

9. THE OUTCAST by Anna Elisabet Weirauch. Greenberg Publishers, New York, 1933.

A continuation of THE SCORPION (see Item 12 in the May, 1957, issue of THE LADDER). Title to the contrary, this is not a portrayal of conflict with the outer world. Rather, it faces the problem of temperamental conflicts within a pair with an extraordinary degree of understanding.

15. DUSTY ANSWER by Rosamond Lehmann. Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1927.

A delicate portrayal of affection, perched on the razor-edge of homo--and heterosexual boundaries. The scene is Cambridge University, the atmosphere haunting and dreamlike, and the reminiscences of Judith are unforgettable.

16. THING AS THEY ARE by Gertrude Stein. Banyan Press, 1903.

An early work of Miss Stein's depicting an entirely feminine triangle with profound insight. Issued as a limited edition of 500 copies on the death of Miss Stein, it is regrettable that few or no copies of this book are available.

This is a continuing column in which we hope to list (and briefly describe) as many fiction and non-fiction works dealing with the Lesbian as is possible. Your comments, suggestions and contributions will be more than welcome.

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Aldrich "Walks Alone"

The debate on Ann Aldrich's controversial book, "We Walk Alone" (Fawcett Publications, 1955) during the May public discussion turned into a one-sided affair, the contention being that for all Miss Aldrich's good intentions she did not achieve her purpose and failed to balance her more bizarre examples of Lesbianism with those who have attained adjustment and are useful, productive citizens in today's society.

In upholding the book, Del Martin pointed Put that all too many homophile readers were looking for "affirmation" rather than information or a well-rounded picture of Lesbianism, that a true picture must include the negative aspects. She also cited the difficulties encountered in commercial publishing and that most firms demand a pattern that does not condone. The proverbial "unhappy ending", as has been pointed out by many authors who have worked with the homosexual theme, is not necessarily in the original copy.

Helen Sanders criticized the author for having lived, as she admits, in "gay life" for 15 years and failing to seek the "cure" she believes possible since she so obviously hates and resents her lot. Miss Sanders also took exception to the title of the book, stating that the isolation and loneliness of the homosexual has been highly exaggerated.

"It is ridiculous to imply that because one is a Lesbian one feels lonely or rejected or lost." She added, "Very many Lesbians live full and rich lives ... "

Miss Martin quoted from "We Walk Alone" where the author says, "There is no stereotype in the over-all picture of the Lesbian. This is the first discovery I ever made about the group of which I am a member".

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Miss Sanders was quick to point out that Ann Aldrich then proceeds to contradict herself further in the book by placing undue stress on the obvious and bizarre "types" of Lesbians, citing few, if any, of the adjusted ones.

While Miss Sanders felt that Ann Aldrich quoted heavily from medical and psychological authorities who are, very biased, Miss Martin suggested that the many quotations from Caprio and others of such mind were somewhat offset by the inclusion of a few good quotes from Dr. Benjamin Karpman.

Miss Sanders felt that the author placed too much emphasis on the lack of finances or low income of the Lesbian (Ann Aldrich cites this factor as being the main reason the Lesbian as a rule does not seek therapy). The speaker felt that many Lesbians had very good positions--of responsibility and remuneration. Miss Martin concurred with Miss Aldrich, however, in that the male is better paid--homophile or heterophile. Many women receive their reward in title rather than in money, Miss Martin pointed out.

The chapter on the various state laws in the United States pertaining to homosexuality was conceded by both speakers to be of considerable value. However, both took exception to Miss Aldrich's conclusion that since most Lesbians are never affected by encounters with law enforcement agencies they need not be concerned too much. It has always been the contention of the Daughters of Bilitis that all those of the homosexual minority (LADDER, Volume 1, Number 3, December 1956) should be, apprised, of a citizen's rights in case of arrest and as a group should be concerned where there are instances of infringement on civil rights. The DOB is also watching with interest the progress of the Model Penal Code now being drafted by the American Law Institute.

It was generally agreed that Miss Aldrich "tried", that hers is a valid contribution to Lesbian literature (of which there is so little) if not taken too seriously or considered "gospel" by those of limited experience.

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Drew Pearson, one of the more controversial writers about contemporary American political life, devoted his column on April 30, 1957, to Scott McLeod, up for Senate confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

McLeod rose to prominence during his conduct of a purge within the State Department. Mr. Pearson states:

"As part of his purge, McLeod appointed Dimitri Dikanikus, former writer for Time magazine, to prepare a special report on homosexuality and what it had done to bring about the collapse of other civilizations. Dikanikus found there were fewer perverts in the State Department than in the Army, Navy and Air Force; that homosexuality had had no effect on the fall of Greece or Rome.

"McLeod was annoyed by the report, buried it."


Public hearings were held in mid-May by a House Armed Services Subcommittee on a bill designed to provide for a more equitable review of other than honorable discharges from the armed forces.

H.R. 1108 was introduced by Congressman Clyde Doyle of California early in the present session of Congress and states in part: "Boards for the correction of military or naval records shall give consideration to satisfactory evidence relating to good character and conduct in civilian life after discharge or dismissal in determining whether or not to correct certain discharges and dismissals."

In 1955, in the Army alone, 14,566 "undesirable" discharges were issued. This is the type of discharge homosexuals receive, although it may be given for other reasons.

About 40 other Congressmen have introduced identical bills.

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ACLU clashes With San Francisco
Police On Vagrancy Arrests

A row between the American Civil Liberties Union and the San Francisco police over Chief Frank Ahern's intensified city-wide vagrancy arrest policy flared into the open during May.

Ernest Besig, executive director of the Northern California branch of the Union, said the ACLU has protested to Harold McKinnon, police commission president, about the "rousting of citizens" by the police, on the basis of an "increasing number of complaints we have received."

Among the complaints cited by Besig as "clear abuses of the vagrancy law" was that of three San Francisco State College coeds, all over 21, who ware arrested in a bar and charged with wearing men's clothes--slacks. The case was later dismissed.

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Dr. Dana Farnsworth of Harvard University and 36 other experts in the mental health field recently undertook to define what mental health is and dispels the "many misconceptions" surrounding It. The definition turned out to be a 9-way test for "what mental health is not", according to Edwin Diamond, International News Service science writer.

Here is the definition.

1. It is not adjustment under all circumstances. There are many circumstances to which a person should not adjust; otherwise there would be no progress.

2. It is not freedom from anxiety and tension, Anxiety and tension are often prerequisites and accompaniments of creativity and self-preservation.

3. It is not freedom from dissatisfaction. From dissatisfaction progress ensues.

4. It is not conformity. The mature person has the ability to stand apart from the crowd when conditions indicate. Mental health is characterized by relative freedom from cultural and personal biases.

5. It is not constant happiness. In this imperfect world a sensitive, mature person often experiences unhappiness.

6. It is not lessening of accomplishment and creativity. Mental health is characterized by the ability of the individual to use his powers even more fully.

7. It is not the absence of personal idiosyncrasies. Many such idiosyncrasies which do not interfere with function enrich the life of the individual and those who come

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In contact with him.

8. It is not the undermining of authority. Mental health is characterized by increased ability to use and respect realistic authority. At the same time, the mature individual opposes oppressive and selfish authority.

9. It is not opposition to religious values, Mental health facilitates and complements the aims of religion since it fosters the highest spiritual and social values.

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We make unfair, called up adjustments,
toddled by such consolations
As a day can discard upon request
In hidden, puckered places.

But we can still love the world, and find
A famished friend, hungry for understanding,
And know a refuge for her from the fury of herself
And give it time and trust to place it well.

The game we play demands its lies,
But we have seen the lonely alleys in the day
And fled the shameful shadows in the night.
We've known a wilderness of fear and truth.

We will sidestep and to the very end
Bring that which we have brought about
Into an innocence, inevitable, demanding,
And these consequences will not be lies.

There is no sun today; no stars tonight
But those of remembrance.
A multitude of memory stays
In this grail of forgetfulness.

Helen Sanders


There was a time when this would be enough,
Your laugh, a glance ... these would be food for hours
Of dreaming. Might-have-been stuff
I lived on, pale sustenance, like paper flowers

Compared to true ones. But since last night
Dreams cannot satisfy. I have a deeper need
And I must know your wish and hold you tight
Against my pounding heart and from your lips to feed.

Jo Allyn

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Have you learned lessons only of those
who admired you.
and who were tender with you,
and stood aside for you?

Have you not learned great lessons
from those who reject you, and
brace themselves against you, or
who treat you with contempt or
dispute the passage with you?

Walt Whitman

MEMORY OF San Francisco

City of darkness, city of light,
Memory of silver fog-bourne night;
Long and deep the sea-mist falls,
The wind blows, the bittern calls.

For whither the wind blows, there go I,
Haunted forever by sea-green eyes.

Sea-green eyes in a tall dim room,
Candlelight misting into the womb
Of night where ecstasy lights a flame
Of silver too quick to hold or tame.

For where and when can mortal hold
Shadows, dreams, or moonlight gold;
So whither the wind blows, there go I,
Haunted forever by sea-green eyes.

Sea-green eyes, driftwood soul;
Far off, a foghorn's toll.
Long and deep the sea-mist falls,
The wind blows, the bittern calls,

Barbara Stephens

[p. 24] | [Page Image]


"We are planning shortly to run another Feminine Viewpoint issue of ONE Magazine. It will not be. as broad in scope as our former one since we have cut to 24 pages, but even in that length we feel it only right to invite the DOB to share in the issue. I wish we could allot unlimited space to your organization where in you may say what you wish of your activities, THE LADDER, or any information you wish to convey but I fear we can offer just two pages in this issue,"

Ann Carll Reid, Editor
ONE Magazine
232 S. Hill st.
Los Angeles l2, Calif.

"Members of the Mattachine in New York recommended you highly and although we have very little time, we would like to help your New York chapter if you ever plan one. We are both execs in public relations and can perhaps be of help to you in this capacity."

A.C., New York, N. Y.

We do not have a chapter in New York at the present time, but it is hoped that we can get one started this fall. Our New York member who will supervise the formation of the chapter is in California at the present time and will return to New York in September. She will be working with us here in

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San Francisco during the month of August, and it is requested that those interested write direct to us--693 Mission St., Rm. 308, San Francisco 5--ED.

"I should like an application blank for associate membership in the society, and I hope when sending my dues for that, that I will be able to add a small contribution for your book fund. I think you are engaged in a commendable effort toward social acceptance of the homophile, and though a half century of experience leaves me a bit pessimistic about seeing its success within my lifetime, I am glad to add my own bit on the right side of the scales.

"As you know, my book, SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE, includes a bibliography of over 300 items of creative literature, and the text makes clear which are more than superficial treatments and which are sympathetic. I hope you will feel free to use my compilation in your running bibliography of Lesbiana. As. my study stopped with June, 1954, I now know of a good many subsequent titles which I will be glad to list if others of your membership have not already done so. (I spent two years trying for commercial or university press publication, and ended by. resorting to a subsidy publisher, who took another year to get the book out--a measure of the difficulties we all encounter in making ourselves heard.)

Jeannette H. Foster
Kansas City, Kan.

By all means send us any subsequent titles you may be aware of for Lesbiana! We welcome any additions to this column. ... New readers will want to know that Miss Foster's book was reviewed in the May, 1957, issue of THE LADDER by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Copies of this issue are still available. Single

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copies are 25¢, or you can start your subscription with this issue.--ED

I am so pleased to receive your very interesting publication regularly. It is indeed gratifying to know that our sisters, the Daughters of Bilitis, have at last organized behind a righteous cause, and with zeal and enthusiasm are permitting their voice to be heard in sincerity and candor.

"Please accept the inclosed to cover a two year subscription to your delightful little periodical."

F.T., West Concord,Mass.

"Please renew my subscription for (two more years. At one time you mentioned a re-issue of the first three issues for the benefit of some of us who did not receive them. Are you still considering this plan?

"I especially like your monthly page devoted to Lesbiana. At a future date I will) send you a list of titles of books to be added to this growing list.

"Best of luck to your magazine."

T.H., Los Angeles, Calif.

The Quarterly composite of the first three issues has grown to five--thus the delay in publication! Because of limitations in staff and time, we are working on this re-issue catch-as-catch-can between current issues of THE LADDER. However, it is hoped that this booklet will be available within the next two or three months. Please bear with us?--ED.

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"Enclosed please find check for a year's subscription to THE LADDER. I enjoyed the publication to which I was introduced (Vol. 1, No. 8) and in it found sound, usable material. Your psychiatric support is encouraging and the purposes of the organization most plausible."

J. H., Los Angeles, Cal.

"Would you, please, continue my subscription for

[p. 28] | [Page Image]

the coming year? The address Is a new one as I graduate from college this June. I Once I secure a job I will try to send you somewhat more substantial amounts!

"I would like to congratulate all of you on the amazing advancement and growth of your magazine during the past few months."

V.A., Yonkers, N.Y.

"This publication is certainly a step in the right direction. For c summing up of the Sapphic situation, I give you the words of Augustine de Villeblanche:

"Of all the quirks of nature, that which has caused the most discussion, which has seemed the most strange to those demi--philosophers who wish to analyze everything without ever understanding anything, It is that bizarre taste that women of a certain physique or of a certain temperament have conceived for persons of their own sex. Although long before the Immortal Sappho and ever since, there has not been a single country in the world, not one solitary town which has hot offered us women of this caprice, although after proofs of such strength it would seem more reasonable to accuse nature of a vagary than such women of a crime against nature, nevertheless we have never ceased to blame them.... What is there to fear from such depravity? ...In the eyes of every truly wise being, it would appear that it might prevent greater ones, but no one will ever prove to me that It might give rise to dangerous ones... Ah, merciful heavens, are they afraid that the whims of these individuals of whatever sex will bring the world to an end, that they will make a bid for our precious human species, and that their alleged crime will destroy" It for failing to attend to its -multiplications? Let anyone

[p. 29] | [Page Image]

consider this carefully and he will see that all these imaginary losses are utterly without consequence to nature, and that not only does she not. condemn them, but she proves to us by innumerable examples that she wants and desires them. Why, if these losses disturbed her and if progeniture was so essential to her, would a woman be able to spend only one third of her life in its service, and would half the beings that she produces leave her hands with a distaste for this progeniture that is nevertheless demanded by her? It would be better to say that she permits the species to multiply, but she does not demand it, and in the certain knowledge that there will always be more individuals than she has a need for, she is far from thwarting the partialities of those who are not in the habit of procreating, and find conformity with such a custom repugnant to them."

"The father of four children, no one can say that I haven't done my share--but still... there is something left over. While I'm considered unpredictable by many, I'm considered to be well adjusted and only the objects of my desires know of my penchant.

"Being a vice-president of a local firm, I can't have my name used, so must remain anonymous."

J.L., Washington, D.C.

"My compliments for the intelligent and dignified manner in which you are apparently attempting to aid yourselves and others in the solution of your mutual and individual problems."

"Enclosed are fees for subscription, as indicated, and my best wishes.

"Thank you for sharing your information with us, at Sunday's

[p. 30] | [Page Image]

meeting, and for the refreshments."

M.P., San Francisco, Calif.

See page 8 for meeting referred to,--ED,

"The world is full of people who sit back and say 'why don't they this and that'. Then there are people such as your selves--say nothing but do things,

"I was once a part of the mixed-up kids who look like men and aren't--who look for trouble and get it. The closest I came to opening a book was a cigar box.

"Do you know what Chicago does to people who are mixed up like that? Every door they walk through is in danger of being locked forever.

"One day I met someone who stripped me of my precious clothing and replaced It with eight years of schooling. My first lesson was--I am a woman and that's something, to be proud of.

"Later came books, music and all the arts.

"Today I can't go back, but I'm not accepted alone, on my own. If a chapter is started here It will have to be by persons who have no shameful past to hide.

"People don't see the good when they know the bad."

Cr.K., Chicago, Ill.

"About time I praised your outstanding contribution. Am enjoying every inch of THE LADDER ... it's better and better. Especially liked Moon-Blink."

J.C., Hollywood, Calif.

[p. [31]] | [Page Image]

MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP--$5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP--$2.50 .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents in the area where meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $2.50 per year,.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and- have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application form.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $2.50 for one year or $5.00 for two years, enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

693 Mission Street--Room 308
San Francisco 5, California

Please send THE LADDER for__year(s) by first class mail scaled to the address below. I enclose $ __ at the rate of $2.50 for each year ordered.



CITY_____ ZONE___ STATE _____

I am over 21 years of age (Signed) _______

[p. [32]] | [Page Image]

The Ladder, July 1957, Vol. 1, No. 10

[p. [1]] | [Page Image]

[p. [2]] | [Page Image]

Purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the Variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to under stand her sell and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance, first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; thorough dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertain to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published, monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco, California. Telephone EXbrook 7-0773.


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Marty Elliott

Treasurer--Toni Navarro

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Jaye Bell

Production--Helen Sanders

Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell

American Sexual Tragedy

by Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
Twayne Publishers, New York, 1954
288 pp: Bibliography: Index ($4.50)

As a study of present day American attitudes towards sex, love, marriage and family relations, THE AMERICAN SEXUAL TRAGEDY by Albert Ellis, Ph.D., cannot help but be of interest to both heterophiles and homophiles wishing to keep an open mind on all subjects pertaining to human behavior patterns and their causes, particularly that of Americans. It should be most illuminating to us as homophiles, especially in the light of our own defiant social and sexual attitudes. It will become increasingly clear as the reader absorbs Dr. Ellis' erudite treatise that we conform to present social attitudes and mores much more than we perhaps realize. Our inbred beliefs and customs have sources which are buried so far back in the

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beginnings of our racial cultures that we cannot help but conform, to them in spite of ourselves.

However, valuable as Dr. Ellis' commentary on American behavior patterns is, it is to be felt that he is at least partly in error in his assumption that the mass media comprising certain popular newspapers, magazines, books, motion pictures, radio and TV performances, must of necessity be faithful registers of the general American attitudes of sex, love and marriage.

As anyone knows who has ever submitted material to the popular publications covered in Dr. Ellis' survey, any inclusion of subject matter treated with anything approaching an enlightened concept is frowned upon by editor, publisher and advertiser, who are really the purveyors of American attitudes and mores as reflected in the popular press. It is, in this reviewer's opinion at least, the advertiser in particular who is determined that the great American dream continue to be one of socio-economic innocence and propriety.

If, for instance, the American Bride and Groom (or heaven forbid, an unmarried couple, because where, then, would the immense wedding revenues come from?) embark upon life together embracing the ideal that class, money and family position are secondary to intellectual and cultural values, it would follow that the manufacturers of pink refrigerators, maple dining room sets and wall-to-wall carpeting would lose money. This, in a predominately material culture like America, is unthinkable.

The best way to circumvent this loss of revenue, then, is to keep American women busy with kitchen, children and church; and the best way to do this is to see to it that she receives no enlightenment of a truly in nature through popular communications levels. Therefore editors publish the same impossible pap year after year because the American woman is too spineless to insist on material less insulting to her intelligence.

The American writer, poor soul, if he is forced to sell articles or stories to the popular media because he likes

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to eat three meals a day, will tell you himself or herself that if he is to be at all successful he must learn, painfully at times, that editors and publishers will buy nothing that smacks of individual intellectual stimulation. The writer-must copy verbatim the old worn formulas which editors have learned are safe and which advertisers can understand.

This reviewer does not believe that Dr. Ellis is so naive as to think that American writers either as a class or singly are stupid enough to endorse the drivel that they are unfortunately forced by financial exigency to turn out for the popular press.

Aside from the author's rather limited view of the reasons behind-the-scenes for the low quality of American publications, Dr. Ellis gives us much room for thought by his unbiased review of the development of American mores. After reading his appraisal of the basic need of American women for conforming to our present society's ideals of beauty and dress, we can easily see why so many of us have entirely unnecessary complexes about our appearance. Tool, his dissertation on the grim courtship conflicts in our society and the accompanying sex blockings acquired from them is an indictment of our accepted social rituals and our courtship-marital philosophies, showing them to be the proven reasons for many of our emotional ills today.

The chapter on "The Folklore of Marital Relations--The Great Coital Myth" should be required reading for everyone, male or female, over the age of 15, and particularly for couples contemplating marriage. This chapter, besides being a veritable eye-opener as far as heterosexual relations are concerned, also has special reference to homosexual behavior.

A particularly important passage states: "Although as great a psychologist as Sigmund Freud made a serious mistake by trying to distinguish between 'neurotic' behavior and sexually deviated or 'perverted' behavior, it has become clear in recent years that the two are actually the same, and that sexual deviants are actually emotionally disturbed, or 'neurotic', individuals who are fetishistically attached to some particular type of sex activity--and who usually, though not always, became fetishistically attached to this form of behavior because of peculiarities or fixations which arose during their childhood. Sexual neuroses are essentially the same as other forms of neurosis--except that, in our anti-sexual society, we emotionalize them and tend to view them in a special light.

"The psychological criterion of sexual 'abnormality', therefore, becomes that of fetishism or exclusivity. A brief consideration of homosexual behavior may illustrate most clearly. As I have elsewhere pointed out, there is nothing 'abnormal' or 'deviant' about homosexual activity in itself--since the human animal is biologically pluri-sexed, and will (if not arbitrarily hemmed in by his culture) engage spontaneously in monosexual (masturbatory), heterosexual and homosexual acts at different times during his life. Normally, in a sexually restrictive culture like our own, he learns to give up most monosexual and homo sexual activity, and to confine himself, especially after marriage, to heterosexual behavior. But the point is that he does so because he learns to be heterosexual, not because he is created so by nature. Even in our own culture, which is violently opposed to homosexuality, Kinsey and his associates have reported that some 37% of all males exhibit homosexual behavior at some time during their lives; and the probability is that the vast majority of all males at some time desire to participate in homosexual activity, but many refrain from doing so out of guilt and fear

"If, then, a male (or female) in our culture engages in some homosexual behavior, alongside of his more socially acceptable heterosexual activities, we are hardly justified in calling, him abnormal from almost any standpoint --since biologically, statistically and psychologically he is behaving in a normal fashion. But suppose this male (or female) becomes mainly or exclusively homosexual. Then, from a psychological standpoint, there is little doubt that he is fixated, neurotic or abnormal. For unless we believe that homosexuality is innate or inborn in some individuals--which virtually no psychologist who has kept up with the recent literature now believes--it is clear that an exclusive homosexual is neurotically afraid of heterosexuality, or is fearfully fixated on a homosexual level of behavior, or is obsessed with the idea of homosexuality, or is compulsively attached to homosexual activity, or is otherwise neurotically (or perhaps psychotically) attached to his exclusive homosexual activity. If he merely prefers homosexual to heterosexual relations (as a man may prefer blondes to brunettes), that is one thing; but if he simply cannot, under any circumstances, engage in any kind of heterosexual behavior, then he is unquestionably emotionally disturbed, and hence 'abnormal' or 'deviant'.

"Most educated individuals have little difficulty in seeing that exclusive homosexuals in our culture are psychologically disturbed or deviant, but they are loath to admit that heterosexuality, too, can also be neurotic. The fact is, however, that what is scientific sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander, and that exclusive heterosexuality can be just as fetishistic as exclusive homosexuality..."

Further chapters on Romantic Love, Weddings, Jealousy and Divorce, to name only a few, in the same manner strip off the layers of false and misleading assumptions created by forces not even suspected by most of us, but affecting all of us. The book ends, after examination of all of the hindrances, sexually and socially, that Americans are up against by stating that "...American males and females can rarely surmount the sex differences, antagonisms, and repressions which are so well illustrated in the Kinsey findings. At bottom, the sabotaging of human sex-love relations is a problem which is socially, rather than individually created, and which therefore cannot be solved on abroad scale without widespread societal changes in sex attitudes. The American sexual tragedy can be expected to continue its three century long run, and in some respects even to become more tragic, until a pronounced social effort (along with sporadic individual rebellions) is made to end it. The Kinsey findings unmistakeably point the direction in which we should change our sex attitudes. Dare we take the clearly indicated road to sexual sanity?"

Most certainly the Daughters of Bilitis is a straw in the wind in this direction. And, although some of us will not completely agree with everything the author of THE AMERICAN SEXUAL TRAGEDY has to say, the book is well worth reading if only for the fair and unbiased appraisal he gives all sexual problems. This is a book you should try to convince a person to read whose mind appears to be completely closed to the subject of homosexuality. It may make him or her a little more accepting and open-minded about this problem.

--Jo Allyn

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A Story by Stephenie Barton

Candlelight and Stravinsky! Jane remembered it too well. Were the candles to express Myrt's psyche, or to hide the middle-aged folds on her neck? And the thump of "Le Sacre du Printemps" seemed a paradox to her smooth sophistication of manner. Nevertheless, she was elegant that night-- slim, dark and tailored. She was speaking:

"Yes, I find him very poetic, but not at all realistic. Listen to this:

'When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep... And when he speaks to you believe in him.'

"A long time ago I believed in the 'Prophet' too, until I discovered one day that the wicked are rewarded and the good are punished, and the world goes around just the same. No, life isn't like a Dickens' novel--there's really no plan, no destiny--just me, and you and chance!"

"You mean," Joy said, "it' s a cool world, and you've just got to play it cool to live in it?"

"Well, that's a blunt statement, but you're right. There's no logical reason to believe or disbelieve in anything; even the most basic premises are unprovable. So what is there left?"

"What?" blurted Jane.


They finished their coffee, and the hour was late. Jane and Joy left the apartment and hurried home.


Home ! There were no candles, only baseball mitts and bats strewn hodge-podge over the divan. Jane picked up the bat

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and caressed it tenderly.

"This, I believe in! I'll believe in anything I darn please--proof or no proof !"

"Even me?" ventured Joy.

"I would, if you'd let me. Oh, hon--"

"Brother! You're too sentimental. Now take Myrt, you know--

"Yes, I know. Very precise, analytical. She reminds me of a chemist who'd dissolve masterworks in vitriol to see what they're composed of. I don't know that she's even capable of loving herself."

"Yes, but she's fascinating--."

Joy floated out of the room, and came back with more coffee.

"Jane, you've got to see things her way. If you don't, you'll sure get hurt in this life."

"But why should I? Must I probe with a cynic's scalpel to find if a picture's pretty? All I know is, that I love, and hope to be loved, and find it very beautiful. And that's all I want to know."

"Jane, honey, you're such a child. I feel sorry."


Home, and an empty home at that. Jane walked in, swinging the bat listlessly. Even practice was poor surcease for a deserted household. She remembered the last discussion fat Myrt's the night she returned alone to the house.

"'Life is a dome of many colored glass--a quest for the exotic, the strange, and variety! Must we thrive on rhinestones when there are emeralds, rubies, and diamonds? The home grows dull when there are so many other ports of call. Ah, you must seek life and embrace it, for its many-faceted views'. If you have faith, then be faithful to love, not the lover--"

"Oh rot!" mumbled Jane, "what book's she been reading now?"

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Jane spoke loudly, "Excuse me, I'm sick. You know, too much tripe's bad for the digestion. Coming Joy?"

"No, Jade, I'm staying a while. Goodnight, honey."


Weeks and weeks in an empty house, and Jane waited for the sound of footfalls on the driveway, the creak of an opening door. The summer passed into autumn and the rains. At night the rain spoke to her on the rooftops and peered thin-fingered on the panes. Perhaps Myrt was right, that one shouldn't be confined to one love, or one world, Perhaps, however, Joy was on an adventure with nothingness-- as a tree bereft of leaves. For what is the dry husk of baize once the green leaves are gone and the sweet grain dried away? And what are sentiment and beauty without their own excuse for being?

In the dark rain she doubted; by morning she wondered. She knew in her heart that sometime, before the spring, there would be a light tapping on the door, and a call. But also there might be a sadder Joy, and a very cynical Jane.


Volume I, Number 1 of the Denver Area Mattachine Newsletter was issued this month. Though the group is admittedly small in number, its program and first efforts at publication are impressive. Scheduled for August is a discussion meeting on "The Need for a Permanent Relationship", and a Mountain Steak Fry.

Anyone interested in the activities of this group should contact the Mattachine Society, P.O. Box 7035, Capitol Hill Station, Denver 6, Colorado.

Subscription to the Denver Newsletter is $1.00 per year.

[p. 9] | [Page Image]

One Institute--

For the past 18 weeks I have been attending ONE's new survey course which goes by the jaw-breaking title of "An Introduction to Homophile Studies." It is indeed, just that. In 36 hours we took a whirlwind, but profitable, view of: (hold your breath)--anthropology, sociology, history, biology, psychology, literature, religion, law and philosophy as they pertain to the homophile. (Homophile--that's a fancy term for a homosexual who is concerned with more in this life than just sex, Besides, it's easier to say.)

The survey course is prerequisite to all courses to follow. Starting this fall, Sept. 10, the course will be repeated, but will be lengthened to 36 weeks to provide time for class discussion and quizzes. For those who have taken the survey, or who wish to take it concurrently, there will be given: "The Homophile in History," which starts Sept. 5, and the following semester, Spring '58, "Psychological Theories of Homosexuality. I intend to take both. The fee is nominal; the intellectual rewards are great. Nowhere else in the country can the homophile find this particular integrated approach to his problem. The program welcomes not only interested homophiles, but all those who seek understanding and knowledge on the subject.

The instructors (four of them) are eager people. Some of them have imposing degrees from the schools of higher learning; all have imposing degrees from the school of life; all are dedicated to this endeavor.

However, the best introduction to ONE's educational program in general and the survey course in particular is to be found in the "Preface" to the survey course put out by the Education Division for the purpose of orienting the new student. It follows;

"The study of socio-sexual questions, and in particular

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homosexuality, has for long been confronted with formidable difficulties. The academic world either has not been aware that serious omissions exist throughout almost the entire range of its own subject matter, or else has deliberately veiled such considerations as being unworthy of scholarly notice. As a result, only the most fragmentary and disconnected patches of information concerning the homophile can be discovered.

"So far as is known, no educational institution has ever devoted itself entirely, or largely, to the question of homosexuality. In the philosophical speculations on the subject in Plato's Academy, of which the Symposium is but one of the writings left, to us, evidence is given of Greek concern with the topic.

"During later centuries, a church council here and there has debated the theology involved, or a legislative body may have appointed its study commissions. In the early years of this century we had in Berlin Magnus Hirschfeld's 'Institut', a massive enterprise devoted exclusively to medical and psychological investigation of sex questions in general, with heavy emphasis on homosexuality. Dr. Kinsey's Institute for Sex Research has of course dealt considerably with the field.

"However, all of these approaches have been fragmentary, whether philosophical, religious, scientific, or legal. Not one of them has taken the comprehensive view, which is the very essence of a universal (or university) attitude. It is this attitude which characterizes ONE's approach to the homophile question.

"As stipulated in our Articles of Incorporation, the primary purposes of ONE, Inc., are to publish and disseminate a magazine and to otherwise aid the sexual variant. One of the stated general purposes is 'to sponsor, supervise and conduct educational programs,' etc. From the beginning, the directors of ONE have had this aim clearly in mind, although our public has tended to identify ONE, Inc., entirely with the magazine, ONE. The directors have consistently felt that ONE, to accomplish its purpose s, must be more than just a magazine. Our first tentative starts toward 'sponsoring, supervising and conducting educational programs' were the Midwinter.

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Institutes, held in, 1955, 1556 and 1957.

"In the 1956 Midwinter Institute program was the announcement that the year would see a fully-launched program for ONE's Division of Education. During the summer a planning committee: of four, appointed by the Corporation for the purpose, met to work out plans for the fall opening of ONE INSTITUTE as an adult education facility.

"Their final report, as adopted by the Corporation, called for several 'popular' undergraduate courses, such ass 'A General Introduction to Homophile Studies,' (prerequisite to all other courses in the Institute); 'The Homophile in History'; 'A Survey of Psychological Attitudes on Homosexuality'; 'Homophile Literature and Writers'; 'The Sociology of Homosexuality'; 'The Homosexual and the Arts'; and 'Religion, Philosophy and the Homophile'.

"In addition to these 'popular' courses the Institute will offer professional training on undergraduate and graduate levels for those wishing to become scholars in the field. Specialists will be trained in the various periods of history in which the homophile has played an important part. Writers intending to treat homosexuality will be trained in sound methodology for either fictional or non-fictional handling of the subject. Considerable emphasis will be laid on the training of sociological specialists competent to deal with this much-neglected approach. Therapists and counselors will be given suitable preparation in the psychology of homosexuality, for the responsible treatment of maladjusted individuals.

"At a later date It is hoped there may be added a department of courses for self-expression in music and the arts, where the homophile may cultivate his talents and ability in a non-repressive atmosphere. This department is also expected to serve importantly in the therapy and rehabilitation of those needing such assistance.

"We are convinced after much observation of even the best-intended efforts of other institutions that the general university perhaps never can or will do the job, and that a specialized Institute is as necessary in

[p. 12]

this field as in any other difficult and highly technical area of learning.

"We are convinced that as ONE INSTITUTE carefully and soundly expands its work, by training experts, by offering the general public reliable information, and by setting up standards in a field so sadly without them today, that much good can be accomplished.

"It Is the purpose of ONE INSTITUTE to conduct systematic and serious examinations in three important phases: (1) The collection, tabulation and careful compilation of what has already been written about homosexuality by scholars and literary figures; (2) The critical analysis of these findings, with a view to extending knowledge of the subject and discovering now facts, from which may eventually, come the development of a comprehensive theoretical system and practice; and (3) Independent study and research by the Institute's staff, as new contributions in the field.

"In an area so relatively unexplored and new as this, predictions are difficult, but it is hoped that these studies may result in a stronger and more stabilized philosophical outlook, leading to improved social adjustments for the homophile himself, as well as a reduction of uninformed judgments and irrational attitudes on the part of the general public.

"Examination will be made of several of the sciences, social sciences, the arts and literature, to discover what they have to contribute to the study of homosexuality and the homophile. An attempt will be made to find in what respects these various approaches have been successful, and where they have fallen short. The questions each might properly answer will be asked. Naturally the pursuit of detailed inquiries cannot be attempted in such a survey course. These must be left for more specialized studies.

"In accordance with this approach, the present survey will in general follow the procedure of: (1) Giving a brief out-line of the subject under discussion, i.e.,

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sociology, anthropology, etc.; (2) Focusing the subject of our study on those aspects of the subject which may particularly be concerned with homosexuality, or which can throw special light upon the question, with a critical examination of what contributions it has made and may be expected to make; (3) Application of the contributions of the particular subject to personal needs and problems of the individual student, to the homophile public and to society as a whole. Bibliographical material in the respective fields will be briefly examined.

"The whole field of homophile studies being so new, it is to be expected that progress may be laborious and demand vigorous efforts on the part of all concerned. As a pioneer educational effort, possible revisions of method may become necessary from time to time. Student suggestions for improvements will be welcomed.

"Because we will grapple with such controversial questions as: causes, cure, social adjustments, personal behavior, ethical standards, prejudices (both in-group and out-group)--it is not to be expected that pat and immediate answers will be easily achieved, if at all. However, we can state without reservations that this, together with the other courses in the Institute, do constitute an educational contribution not to be had elsewhere, and are of unique value.

"We envision this as developing into a major branch of the Corporation's work. In this Educational Program we offer the American homosexual something he and his kind have never had before; the intelligent means to orient himself, to find his position in relation to the evidences of science, to find his birthright in the cultural heritage of Western society, and to find that necessary philosophy which can lend meaning and satisfaction to life.

"We expect ONE INSTITUTE OF HOMOPHILE STUDIES to develop rapidly into a major agency for helping the homosexual find his place in society--an agency the likes of which has never before existed.

- Sten Russell

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Some Remarks on Marriage

Nancy Osbourne has dealt intelligently with one facet of fear with which the married Lesbian must deal; however, she comes to the conclusion (implicit, and unstated) that the Lesbian who keeps her secret from her marriage partner must of necessity deny her own nature. I do not think this necessarily follows.

It occurs to me that the basic aspect of adjustment to such a partnership Consists in convincing the partner (after, if necessary, convincing herself truthfully) that her Lesbianism does NOT necessarily consist in an insatiable or an unconquerable desire to engage in relations, either promiscuous or discreet, with members of her own sex, any more than his male nature manifests itself in an insatiable desire to conquer other women.

The married Lesbian who can say to herself, and if necessary to her husband, "I find other women interesting; that does not in any way affect our relationship," is making a mature attempt to accept the nature of the world she has chosen to live in. If she cannot say this truthfully to herself, and, in emergency, to her husband, she had better get a divorce at once.

An aid to this adjustment can occasionally be found in realizing that the Lesbian desire frequently represents a subversion or an alternate channeling of the maternal desire. I am convinced that most Lesbian women who marry do so out of a conscious or unconscious desire to bear children and thus redeem to herself the real or fancied deficiencies in the maternal relationship. While it would not be wise to assume the bearing of a child would automatically right the psychosexual orientation, I feel convinced that many women can, in a sound maternal relationship, resolve their conflicts. One of the primary causes of Lesbianism appears to be a failure--as I say, either, real or fancied--in the quality of maternal love. Obviously a woman cannot return to childhood to be brought up more satisfactorily by her own mother. It is equally escapist to seek a mother-and-child relationship to another woman...And I would say that of all Lesbian relationships

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this one is the least realistic. On the other hand, a sound psychological device lies behind the turnabout switch--wherein the woman can, by assuming a sensible maternal relationship with her own child, attain at last a genuine identification with her own mother.

I am not--please observe--recommending marriage and motherhood as cures for Lesbianism. Quite the contrary; I seriously doubt whether any woman who considers herself a Lesbian should marry at all, for whatever reason. But if she has married already, and particularly if she has or plans to have a child, these remarks may help her to accept the situation she has precipitated, and avoid marital discord, disharmony and harm to an innocent child.

I would say, then, that the married Lesbian should start by honestly understanding her own nature. If psychiatric help is beyond her reach, or beyond her means, or if she feels that she is getting along satisfactorily without it, her first step lies in an open and honest admission to herself of what she is; without guilt, without self-pity, but with a clear resolution to see and understand her own position. If she has, or if she desires to have children, this self-understanding is even more imperative.

Which returns us to the original premise; if she and her husband take their marriage vows seriously (and most women live in areas of the country where marriage is still a serious matter and divorce one still more serious), she must be able to put genuine truth in her statement that her interest in other women will affect her marriage no more than the heterosexual woman's healthy interest in other men. Some mixed-up women seem to have the thoroughly untenable notion that indiscretions will, or should, be condoned in a Lesbian which would not be condoned in her heterosexual sister; that a husband should or could be expected to tolerate certain behavior which no husband in his right mind would consider condoning in his wife. For such Lesbians there can be little sympathy; they are claiming, hot equality but superior privilege.

If the personality adjustment is suitable, there is no reason why a woman who is, or suspects her self to be,

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inherently Lesbian cannot make a happy marriage without in anyway denying her nature. She has no incentive toward misbehavior with men, and if she has no self-pity and no self-excuses, she need not feel deprived of her "true nature", any more than her husband need feel deprived because his emotional outlets have not a promiscuous orientation.

I think--a possibly controversial point--that casual social feminine friendships come more easily to such women. If so, they have a God-given gift for promoting harmony and mutual sympathy in the most ordinary social contacts. The field of feminine personal relations is one field where the Lesbian-oriented woman can contribute much to understanding...and one might hint that it is a good place for sublimations...to prove at last that women need not be cats with one another. This would be doing, all women, not Lesbians only, a service.

- Marion Zimmer Bradley


On the August newsstands appear two magazines with articles which purport to describe the female homosexual for the lay reader. The two conceptions are of extreme interest.

According to Hugh Barnes, M.D., in an article entitled "What Makes A Homosexual?" in the magazine, "Actual Medical Cases":

"The homosexual female is characterized by deficient fat in the shoulders and at the girdle, firm muscles, excess hair on the chest, back and legs, a tendency to over-development of the clitoris. There is also a tendency toward a shorter trunk, a contracted pelvis, underdevelopment of the breasts, excess hair on the face and a low-pitched voice."

Edward Dengrove, M.D., offers a slightly different picture in hip presentation of "Homosexuality in Women" in the August issue of "Sexology":

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"Contrary to the popular conception of the woman with homosexual tendencies, she is not necessarily, or even usually, the extremely masculine woman, aggressive, strong and muscular, mannish in physical appearance and dress, lacking all the delicacy and gentleness we associate with the feminine.

"As a matter of fact, she may be the most feminine of women, and many Lesbians actually accentuate their female charms the better to attract the kind of woman they want as a sexual partner. For most Lesbians are not women who are pretending to be men, but rather women who cannot express their normal sexual drive in relationship to men, but must direct it towards other females instead.

"Even in the sexual sphere, the Lesbian remains essentially feminine, with the natural desires and reactions of a woman....

"There is a small group of Lesbians whose sexual inversion does arise out of their attempt to live the part of a man. These are the Lesbians who dress and behave as much like men as they can, though not all women who do so are homosexual by any means."


"Any permanent relationship between two persons, regardless of their sex, must be a cooperative adventure in growth in order to endure."

This statement keynoted the remarks of Basil Vaerlen, San Francisco psychotherapist, who spoke on "Is A Homophile Marriage Possible?" at the June public discussion meeting sponsored by the Daughters of Bilitis.

Such a cooperative adventure, Mr. Vaerlen stated, is possible--depending upon the intelligence of the two people involved.

He defined intellect as "logic on the level of awareness --2 x 2 equals 4. Intelligence is the total reaction of the whole organism as a unit (including feelings, emotions, reactions) not tied by the past

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or worried about the future--in immediate contact with reality. As human beings our job is to live by intelligence."

Any two people have every right to try, using their basic intelligence, to make a marriage. When such a union fails, Mr. Vaerlen pointed out, it is usually out of the stupidity of the two people involved.

The psychotherapist declared that the major reason why marriages fail is that the two people involved haven't decided intelligently on what they want to do. What also tends to, interfere with these partnerships is:

1. Each expects the other to fit into a preconceived ideal and the first rough blow comes when the person tries to be an individual and doesn't fit the ideal.

2. Most people have a preconceived idea of what a marriage should be, based on the concept of marriage which they get from mom and pop.

The foregoing remarks apply equally to homosexual or to heterosexual unions. In a homophile partnership, however, there are additional problems to face--most of which are created by fear. To have a successful union of any type cultural conditioned fears must be discarded, Mr. Vaerlen stated. This is particularly true for the homophile.

"Cooperation in a partnership entails mutually agreed upon compromise. It does not entail competition. Competition may be the life blood of business, but it is the life blow of partnerships.

"Any relationship is a creative process going on now, in present time. Adventure goes hand in hand with this creative process, and growth comes automatically."

The speaker pointed out that in many instances one of the partners will outgrow the other. In such a case there is little use in the two remaining together.

"The label homophile, or any of its substitutes, is a false delineation. Nothing in research proves that homosexual activity is a specialized aspect of human behavior. Such sexual preference is no more aberrated than any one mode of sexual activity.

"Any marriage is possible between any two people if they want to grow up--and it is nobody's business but their own.

"However, since we live in a culture predominantly heterosexual we must conform to its laws and customs. Because of a basic resentment of this society the homophile tends to exaggerate his mannerisms and to flaunt his sexual preference. Then, he yells because he is 'persecuted'.

"A homophile marriage is not possible unless both partners are willing to recognize the other as an individual and to cooperate together in seeking adventure in living and growth both individually and together."

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17. OLIVIA by Olivia. William Sloane Associates, New York, 1949.

A 16-year-old spends a year in a French finishing school near Paris, where she learns more about human relationships than found in her school books. "Olivia" is a poignant story, delicately told, by an older woman looking back on her childhood. It is the story of youth and first awareness.

The French movie, "The Pit of Loneliness", by Colette is actually an adaptation of "Olivia" for the screen.

18. SERAPHITA by Honore de Balzac (1834). Gebbie Publishing Co., 1898.

The variant as saint! Seraphita, an androgynous creature of devastating beauty, wanders alone in a sea of Swedenbourgian mist. As pure and noble as the seraphims she exemplifies, she lives and dies sans love, sans marriage, sans sin.

19. CARMILLA by Sheridan Le Fanu (1872). From "Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories, Arkham House, 1945.

The Lesbian as vampire! A very subtle and spine tingling mystery, written by a master in that field. It is remarkable for the time it was written, and is not a book to be read alone on a dark night.

20. THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN EYES by Honore de Balzac (1835). Illustrated Editions, 1931.

The Lesbian as conquistadore! A cloak and dagger romance, full of flamboyant action, intrigue and purple rhetoric. The plot is a little absurd, but otherwise delightful, reading.

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Calendar of Events

Tuesday, July 23 --Dr. Carlo Lastrucci, social psychologist from San Francisco State College, will speak on "The Sexual Impulse" at 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (fifth floor), 8:15 p.m. Dr. Lastrucci is an excellent speaker 8 and his original approach to the subject should provide much food for thought and discussion.
Thursday, August 1 --Panel discussion. Another "Battle of the Sexes" between members of the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis. Mattachine monthly meeting, 1830 Sutter St. 8 p.m.
Friday, August 2 --Gab 'n Java session, 2217 Fillmore st., 8 p.m. An informal bull session at. present limited to women only.
Saturday, August 10 --Party for members only at 651 Duncan St., 8:30 p.m. $1.50 donation.
Wednesday, August 14 --Monthly business meeting, 2174 California St. (basement apartment). 8 p.m. Members only.
Tuesday, August 27 --Public discussion meeting at 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (5th floor) 8:15 p.m. Robert E. Mack of the Kimball Foundation of Human Engineering will speak on "Proven Methods of Developing Better Human Relationships".

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Readers Respond

(...) in particular your L.A. reporter for a good reporting job of the panel discussion held April 15. I felt that my comments, as well as the other members', were faithfully presented.

"The thought comes to me that I might ask your opinion in the matter of conducting group therapy for female homosexuals. A number of people wish to start a group and I have been asked to become the therapist. Your comments will be appreciated..."

Edward R. (Rabbins, M.D.
Beverly Hills, Calif.

"Have just received and read, cover to cover, the June issue of THE LADDER. This is the first copy I have seen since receiving your initial issue last fall. I think you have made real progress since then.

"The article which interested me most in the June issue is "What Mental Health Is Not". Among these items No. 6 seems superfluous. Who would ever suggest that mental health could be 'a lessening of accomplishment and creativity'? No. 9 seems highly debatable to me. 'It is not opposition to religious values'. I do not think that the converse of this statement is necessarily true, 'Opposition to religious values is mental sickness'. I personally rate religious values highly. But I do not believe

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that those who do not do so are mentally sick. 'Religious values' covers so much. There are so many religious values, and conflicting ones. There are sound and unsound ones. In some parts of the world cannibalism and ritual murder are based on tribal religious values.

"In the Caribbean Voodoo permeates the life of the people to the point at which religion seems a kind of institutionalized madness. And there remains much that is primitive and unhealthy in even the most advanced religions. Opposition to all that is barbaric and primitive in religion seems quite healthy-minded to me. Sigmund Freud himself was anti-religious and wrote a book to explain why: 'The Future of an Illusion'.

"One of the reasons I am going to keep your June issue is the wonderful quotation from Augustine de Villeblanche submitted by 'J.L.' of Washington. I am greatly indebted to you and to 'J.L.' for that!

"The letter from 'G.K.' of Chicago was, to me, greatly moving. I think it is a great thing to give people the chance to express what is in their minds and hearts as you are doing.

"The article which stirred me up mentally the most was

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'One Facet of Fear' by Nancy Osbourne. I wonder if your readers are aware that the great pioneer in sex studies, Havelock Ellis, embarked on his life work for a very personal reason: Be discovered after marriage that his wife was a Lesbian. The situation of the married homosexual must, more, often than not, be a desperately unhappy one, Perhaps there is a limit to the amount of intelligence one can expect in what is, after all, an emotional relationship. And it is hard to see how there can be harmony between man and wife if one of the partners (either one) must live a life of deception. To find that someone whom you have loved and trusted through the years, with whom you have sharped your life, has abused your trust, has used you deceitfully, must be a terribly painful thing, really heartbreaking. And it seems to be asking a lot to expect the deceived partner (of either sex) to handle the situation intelligently.

"I certainly think that a homosexual, whether male or female, who enters marriage with full knowledge of his/ her deviation but who has failed to lay the cards on the table before the normal mate, has acted very unwisely and unjustly. I think that the homosexual, male or female, who seduces an up-to-then heterosexual married person can lay little claim to sympathy or respect. But I certainly sympathize with the plight of the spouse who discovers only after marriage an imperious homosexual need. Yet, it is also undeniable that a great many people in this world want to have their cake and eat it too. After all, there is a difference between desire and need. Does the glutton really need the enormous quantities of food he consumes? He thinks he does, certainly, but as a matter of fact he would be a lot healthier if less self-indulgent.

"After all, nobody is forced to take the marriage vows. It is a purely voluntary act. And Lord knows plenty of heterosexuals fail to take their own voluntary vows seriously. All the same, it is a mystery to me how people can break faith in marriage, can violate what is perhaps life's most serious pledge, and still keep their self-respect, much less continue to expect respect from others. This sounds pretty harsh and unsympathetic, I realized. But one can see that when one individual breaks his/her freely given pledge to another individual who loves and trusts him/her a genuine and serious sin has been committed.

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In the last analysis the whole structure of civilization rests upon trust, good faith. When that goes everything breaks down.

"To the homosexual toying with, the idea of marriage I would say, 'Don't enter into any life-long commitment you aren't darn sure you can fulfill. And once you've given your word abide by it'. To the unmarried homosexual I would say, 'Leave people's marriages alone, Even if they are unhappy ones. Have decency and guts enough to live lonely, if need be, rather than even to risk wrecking a home'."

Luther Allen, Baltimore, Md.

The writer of this letter is well known to readers of THE MATTACHINE REVIEW which recently ran a two-part article by Mr. Allen entitled "Values and Responsibilities" in the February and April issues, 1957. Copies may be obtained at 50¢ each from Mattachine Review, 693 Mission St., Rm. 307, San Francisco 5.

"My roommate and I are over joyed after reading two issues of THE LADDER. You seem to be hot only earnest but clear-headed and free from the all-too-frequent homosexual guilt feelings which hamper many of us from standing up for what we believe is not only right but in harmony with the highest aspirations of human morality. One thing I wish you would drop, however, is this homophile rather than homosexual fad. I have come to regard this trend (after experience with men's homosexual organizations in New York which failed) to be a beating about the bush and a neurotic attempt to conform and integrate into heterosexuality. I am weary of men and women who have three children and a home in the suburbs who regard themselves as homophiles.

"I have just read Dr. Foster's book and find it an excellent study...

"One more word to answer Barbara Stephens' article on transvestism: I consider myself (and my roommate also considers herself) a mild, transvestite--that is, we wear

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slacks almost always on our off-work hours. We are comfortable in them and we have no problem adjusting to the stares of the passersby. We consider dresses, high heels and stocking holders the most uncomfortable contraptions men have invented to restrict the movements of women so they cannot walk very far, lift many things, or sit with their legs apart in warm weather."

A.C. New York, N. Y.

Regarding the homosexual-homophile word usage, there is more to it than preference of word--there is the matter of repetition and the need for synonyms! Also, new readers may be interested to know that the book referred to above is SEX VARIANT WOMEN IN LITERATURE by Jeannette H. Foster, Vantage Press, New York.--ED.

"I was taken up by the intriguing subject as to the natural 'rights' for a person to dress and act in a masculine manner. Now pitfall, I agree as to the practical reasons why one must not overtly show one's masculine tendencies in public. Avoidance, of persecution and ridicule, and holding down a job are not the least of these reasons. Yet, the argument does hold some loopholes, theoretically interesting if not practicable in our still primeval times.

"1. What scientific basis is there for a society to uphold certain idiosyncrasies of dress and manner and to condemn others? Of all the intellectual rubbish in the history of mankind, none has been more voluminous than the conventions and taboos of dress. And for the awe and superstition and emotionalism attached to such breaches in convention, we're not too far from the age of the nose-ring and filed teeth.

"2. Transvestism is not necessarily coincident with homosexuality. Many transvestites are not homosexuals, and many homosexuals are not transvestites. Moreover, the origins of this complex are as often nonsexual is sexual, coming as they do from security and power motivations, or from faulty education. Cross-dressing may be a neurosis, or might be a natural

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tendency, but it certainly is no crime.

"3. A clear-cut distinction should be made between a crime (defined as an injury inflicted against society) and unconventionality. Breaches in convention may appear childish or ridiculous in some cases, but they certainly do not warrant the cruel land unusual punishments that are meted, far out of proportion to the act.

"4. The cult of conformity itself remains to be questioned. The human race may be compared to a giant organ of a million musical stops, each potentially of great beauty. Yet our mores and customs will condemn the personality to such mutilation, changing him from a human being into a 'type', according to race, occupation or sex. Those who depart from the rules are punished for the 'crime' of not behaving like a typical Negro, professional worker or feminine woman. The homosexual world is as guilty as the rest, when they would confer the strait jacket of 'Butch-hood' upon its embryo members. Perhaps the time is not ripe to preach autonomy and creative living, for the Barbarian still walks among us as legacy from the past ages. May it be that sometime, in the not too distant future, a fifth freedom shall arise: 'The right to be ourselves!'"

B.S., San Leandro

"I am much impressed with THE LADDER. It differs from other publications in that it is reportorial of things that you are actually doing. And the doing seems to be of value to your group and to whatever of the general public you can meet. Your programs are apparently well thought out and of great value from a group therapy standpoint. Keep up the good work and count me among your friends."

A.B., San Francisco, Calif.


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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP--$5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP--$2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents in the area where meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $2.50 per year.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application form.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $2.50 for one year or $5.00 for two years, enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

693 Mission Street--Room 308
San Francisco 5, California

Please send THE LADDER for year(s) by first class mail sealed to the address below. I enclose $ at the rate of $2.50 for each year ordered.






I am over 21 years of age (Signed)

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The Ladder, August 1957, Vol. 1, No. 11

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Purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and. maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudice's; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco, California. Telephone EXbrook 7-0773.


President--Helen Sanders

Vice-President--Del Martin

Secretary--Marty Elliott

Treasurer--Audree Allen

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Jaye Bell

Production--Helen Sanders

Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell

Librarian--Barbara Stephens


The latest in jokes, called "horribles" or "grislies" are gravely worrying some psychiatrists, according to a NANA press release from. New York.

These experts see in this "humor", which has made jokes centered on sex all but passes, ominous evidence that sadism is the upcoming problem our mental health guardians will have to face on a large scale. The "sadistic stories" deal with human suffering in various forms, but usually involve a child. An extra-vicious twist is often added by having the child's mother deliver the punch line.

Typical is this one--and in advance, it doesn't make pleasant reading:

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A. child asks his mother if Christmas always comes in August.

"No, dear" she answers, "but remember you have leukemia."

Or this dialogue:

"Ma, can I watch television?"

"Shut up and study your Braille."

Others enlarge even more cruelly on the themes of cancer, polio, leprosy and loss of limbs. New York's newest form of this party play consists of solemnly reading official reports of a disabling accident case from a city's safety bulletin, with the merrymakers then making appropriate or "inappropriate" comments.

That morbid "jokes" are told does not surprise the psychiatrists, since death and bloodshed have always had an unhealthy popular appeal. What really worries them is that the new humor is so calculated, in its nastiness. Also, the experts ponder the big why--why the listeners laugh.

Dr. Eugene J. Braun, a New York psychiatrist, feels that the jokes are a reflection, of the times.

"The emphasis in psychiatry today has shifted from sex to a new area--sadism. The most common neurotic problems now have to do with power and dominance. The sadistic person enjoys inflicting power by hating or hurting some one. These jokes, which can hurt people, are simply one manifestation of this tendency."


"There's no more fun in sexual jokes," Dr. Braun said. "People don't mind them so much any more."

Dr. Frederic Wertham, a psychiatrist who is also an. authority on juvenile problems, agrees that ours is an age of violence and that outcropping of this type of joke at this particular time is further evidence of the fact. He points out too the amount of violence seen in movies and on television, and in our literature.

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"We can kill more people in a minute now than we formerly could in a month, and we talk about it all the time. All these things and the jokes are connected--if we only knew how."


A third psychiatrist, who preferred not to be quoted by name, disagreed. He sees in the jokes, not a national disposition towards sadism, but a harmless letting-off of steam. They are, he feels, an expression of the childish desire to violate social taboos simply for the sake of violating them.

"Incurable diseases are very much a matter of public concern today and naturally are treated with great seriousness, For this reason people find a certain release in telling jokes about them. The jokes also strike at other respected institutions--home, family and mother --especially mother. They shock people, and this is very satisfying to the teller. But this is as far as it goes."


Bring your specs and pay your respects. The long-awaited Daughters of Bilitis library is now processed. The books, ranging from strictly homophile subjects to the better-known established classical works, are now available to anyone interested at the DOB office, room 308, the Williams Building, 693 Mission St., San Francisco.

To all those who, chanced to borrow any of these books before the withdrawal procedures were completed we issue a plea for their return, that they may be added to our ever-growing number of volumes.

Readers interested in helping out on this, our latest educational and recreational venture, may do so by contributing any books on the homophile or related themes. Monetary donations for the purchase of books arc always welcome, too.

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"How Can the Homophile World Grow Up?" was the subject of a lively panel discussion staged between the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis at the August Mattachine public meeting.

The goal, or the definition of being "grown up", was defined by Basil Vaerlen, psychotherapist and moderator of the discussion, as "conforming to a certain degree, yet still preserving individuality and contributing one's bit to society".

Sage advice from the panel to achieve this goal follows:

1. If you can't fight 'em, join 'em. A degree of conformity is only protective coloring.

2. Stop playing a role. Being "different" is simply an act. Be yourself!

3. Individualize rather than generalize. Many hostilities are due to judgment by extremes instead of considering the average.

4. Remember you are a human being firsts Your difference is only in choice of love object, and actually, your feelings, emotions and problems are the same as any heterosexual's.

5. Quit worrying about what other people think of you. What do you think?

6. Common courtesy can do wonders. Throw in a little patience for good measure.

Out of; the suggestion that members of the two organizations may learn to get along better (that is, getting the male and female homophile to know and accept each., other) through mutual social functions came an idea for dating.

"Living in a predominantly heterosexual world, an individual at times must, or should, have a date. At office parties or the like it very often leaves a lot better impression," one of the panel members pointed out.

Other advantages to this dating idea between male and female homophiles were discussed by the panel: getting

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to know each other socially can be of benefit to both neither need be afraid that something might be expected at the end of the evening; it wouldn't make any difference who asked whom; those who may be unpoised or gauche in heterosexual contacts could learn to achieve social rapport; it would provide a new avenue for social outlet for those who are weary of gay bars and the same cliques.

It was interesting to note that by a show of hands in the audience there is considerably less hostility between the men and women present since the intermingling of the two organizations during the last year.


"The sexual urge in man is purely voluntary--not instinctive as is so frequently stated and believed," declared Dr. Carlo Lastrucci, social psychologist from San Francisco, State College, at the July discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis.

Presenting the theory that he has evolved through his many years of teaching and research, Dr. Lastrucci pointed out that the higher up in the animal kingdom you go the less periodicity there is in mating. In the lowest animals the mating is compulsive and rigid. With man the sexual urge is diffuse and general with no biological compulsion.

"You might say that man is the only animal showing no periodicity in sexual behaviour. He has no rutting season or, conversely, he is always in rut."

Usually the sex instinct is lumped along with such basic instincts for survival as hunger, thirst and need for sleep. This is wrong, the speaker declared, since the need for food, water and sleep are basic to life while sex is not. It is purely voluntary, not biological.

Dr. Lastrucci stressed that in man the need for a sexual outlet is attitudinal, and ranges from nothing to the impelling need of the rapist. These attitudes differ in each person depending upon the individual circumstances

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DOB Asked to Join ICSE

The Foundation of the International Committee for Sexual Equality, founded in 1951 in an effort to Unite all homophile groups under a common goal, has just recently heard of the Daughters of Bilitis and written for an exchange of statutes and publications with an invitation to the DOB to join the international group, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Holland.

ICSE publishes every month: in English, Periodical Newsletter; in German, ICSE-KURIER; in German, ICSE-PRESS (for the German and Austrian Press).

Both ONE, Inc., and the Mattachine Society have been, members for some time. Membership fee is one dollar per member per year. For every 250 members one delegate may be sent with the right to vote at the international council (Verwaltungsrat). Most of the annual meetings are organized in Europe.

According to Jack Argo, editor and member of the Board of Directors, "special female groups are rare institutions. The COC f.i. has both female and male members. There is a group in Denmark, called 'Allen for een Klubben' for females only, also a member of ICSE".

Available issues of THE LADDER and a copy of the DOB constitution and by-laws are being forwarded to the ICSE. The possibility of joining the international organization is being considered by the membership of the Daughters.

The aims of the ICSE are:

a. Furthering objective scientific studies of the essences and phenomena of masculine and feminine homophily and of all problems connected with them.

b. Furthering the exchange, on an international level of the results of these studies as well as the widest possible spreading of the insights based on then.

c. Furthering the legal and factual harmonization of homophile man with the principles laid down in the "Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man" issued by the United Nations, running as follows:

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"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood".


Copies of a booklet entitled "Your Legal Rights" based on the Illinois Criminal Code, which has been prepared by the Legal Department of the Chicago Area Council of the Mattachine Society, are now available.

While the booklet is specifically based on the statutes of the State of Illinois, it is significant in that similar statutes are in effect in virtually all the states. By consulting the penal codes for other states, particularly those sections pertaining to sex offenses, vagrancy, etc., as well as municipal codes where applicable, this, booklet can be readily adapted to fit the situation in any U.S. jurisdiction.

As pointed out in "Your Legal Rights", many private citizens, through ignorance and fear, fail to avail themselves of those laws created to protect individuals from harassment and persecution by society or its agents. This state of affairs is particularly prevalent among minority groups whose social ostracism frequently makes them feel a personal guilt or inferior status before the law. It is essential that these groups be apprised of their legal rights and learn to replace fear with a true knowledge of legal procedure for their own protections.

"Your Legal Rights" was prepared by the Mattachine Society with the assistance of Attorney Pearl M. Hart of Chicago. Copies may be obtained at 25¢ each from the following addresses:

Chicago Area Council
Mattachine Society, Inc.
Post Office Box 3513
Merchandise Mart Post Office
Chicago 54,Illinois

Mattachine Society, Inc.
693 Mission St., Rm. 307
San Francisco 5, Calif.

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by Jo Allyn

Hazel leaned against the wall and felt again for the letter in her pocket. The counter was clean and empty; there were only occasional customers this time of the afternoon in the little coffee shop. She brushed short, blonde hair back; it was hot and she was weary after the noon rush.

For the tenth time she pulled the letter from her uniform pocket and read it.

"Wednesday will be our first anniversary," it said, "You know I want you to be with me. Navy life isn't the best thing for marriage not with me gone as much as I've been lately, put the ship will be tied up in San Diego for ten days and we can spend that time together if you'll come down. I know I haven't been a very good husband, Hazel, but give me this chance to make it up to you. Love, Jim."

Another chance.... she sighed. How like Jim. Always wanting another chance to make up for the bad times, the loneliness, the indifference and neglect, the quarrels.

Heaven knew she had given him enough chances. She 'd also stayed here in the little college town working, as he wanted her to, instead of following when the ship went to the East Coast last winter.

"Your family is here," he had argued when she suggested going with him. "Besides you've got a good job here. You sight not find another one back there that pays as well."

Money meant a let to Jim. Her wages kept the car payments up, among other things. Jim liked driving the late-model convertible he'd bought in New York, and he liked having plenty of "green stuff" to spend drinking with his sea-going buddies.

On the other hand, settling down to marriages didn't appear to mean so much. There were problems of adjustment that, after a year of being too seldom together, still remained

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unsolved. And when they were together, his rough demands and careless neglect left her nervous and unhappy.

She sighed. Still, ten days vacation from the daily eight hours of catering to the crotchety hotel-coffee shop guest would be a relief. Maybe she could get rested up if Jim didn't insist on his usual nightly round of skid-row bars.

There was another reason she wanted to see him. Something had been bothering her lately. Perhaps if she was with him again, the growing friendship between herself and Patricia Blaine would fall into a reasonable, explainable perspective® Perhaps she should stay in San Diego, not see her any more.

It had begun the day her boss's daughter returned from Europe where she'd been bicycling across country on a youth-hostel tour. The big, pleasant looking girl with dark, closely cropped hair was enrolling in a post-graduate course at the college. She had enthusiastically detailed her plans to Hazel over a cup of coffee the first day she was back.

"It's wonderful having someone who is interested in these things to talk to," she said. "Most of the kids I know who graduated last year are gone, or," her brow wrinkled a little, "or married. The ones this year seem so darn. young." She looked at Hazel's fair hair and level grey eyes with appreciation. "I hope you don't mind my taking up your time this way," she apologized belatedly.

"Not at all," Hazel reassured her quickly. "It gets pretty lonesome in here between two and five." Pat's loneliness was very appealing to Hazel who certainly understood it much more than the other girl was aware. The older girl's brown eyes were sad and wistful and trusting, all mixed together with something else....the shy admiration and devotion that Hazel recognized. She knew that Pat's mother was dead and that her father was much too busy to bother about being a companion to his only child. Money spent on her education and in travel was his substitute for parental love. Hazel knew it wasn't enough, and wondered if Pat was aware that she, too, was searching for acceptance....for a niche in someone's heart...........

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She wondered, too, what Pat would think if she told her of Tommy. Thomasina, the girl whose devotion had filled all the days of Hazel's young childhoods Tommy, the two years older tomboy whose, quiet strength had protected Hazel from teasing boys and spiteful girls. Tommy she was always her sympathetic confidant and helpful friend. And finally when they were in their teens, whose attachment had seemed naturally, of its own accord to ripen into and demand the fulfillment of love.

How strange that the very naturalness of their devotion had turned their parent's adjoining homes into armed enemy camp Hazel still couldn't under stand, her mother's revulsion when she discovered her daughter had a "crush" on the older girl next door. But the memory of her mother's bitter denunciate of Tommy, and the angry words that ensued between the two families still had the power to tear agonizingly through Hazel's mind.

Later Tommy's family had moved away without allowing the girls even to say goodbye. The family pastor had come to pray with Hazel and her parents to exorcise the "wicked and evil" thing that had come into their lives. Perhaps it was that, more than anything else, that had fastened the horrible scars of shame and guilt, across Hazel's heart so that never again could she think of love and tenderness without the dreadful remembered sensation of guilty fear.

If only both sets of parents had been less dramatic about it...had treated it as a normal crush perhaps a reasonable adjustment could have been reached later by Hazel. But their super-dramatics only served to freeze her emotionally into the very pattern her parents feared.

And then again, if only they hadn't made. such an issue of things when he met Jim some months later, things might have fallen naturally into a different pattern for her. She might have been able, if they'd let her alone, to respond to the attraction he felt for her, and have fallen in love with him. But, inevitably, as soon as her mother knew that Jim was interested, she began her openly obvious campaign to see that Hazel married him.

"Now is your chance to make something of yourself," her mother nagged, "You're just too young to realize what

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you and that horrible girl branded, yourselves with, carrying on like you did," she sniffed in scorn. "If you get married to Jim, as any decent girl would, you'll be a respectable married woman and we can hold up our heads again...." The pressure only served to mix Hazel up. Still, anything would be preferable to her mother's. hounding and watching her every minute.

To add to her grief, Tommy had never written since moving: away. Eventually this apparent betrayal had weighted the scales in favor of Jim. It wasn't until after the wedding that her mother confessed contritely that a number of letters from Tommy had been burned "to save Hazel embarrassment." They came from another city.

Perhaps it wasn't Jim's fault that he brought none of the tender glory that Hazel had wistfully hoped for to their marriage. Nor that he couldn't understand and was impatient of her lack of response to his rough demands. But by "the time he left for a new duty station two. weeks after the wedding Hazel, already knew that the new relationship was empty of meaning for her.

Nor was it too odd that, left alone most of this first year, she should respond to the questing look in Pat's brown eyes that were so very much like Tommy's.

It wasn't too long before. Pat began coming downstairs at seven to walk home with Hazel after her work was done. Often she would invite the lonely girl in to have coffee or a glass of wine. Pat, raised since babyhood in the downtown hotel, appreciatively drank in the homey atmosphere of the little apartment.

Sometimes they went to movies together, and soon, without meaning to, Hazel realized they were spending almost every evening of the week together. There were times when Pat talked of her studies. She was majoring in psychology, and Hazel would listen wide-eyed to the amazing knowledge about interesting things that the older girl was acquiring. There were other times when Hazel told Pat haltingly of her life before her marriage to Jim, of the crowded small home across town, of the father who drank too much, and the mother who nagged. But she never mentioned Tommy.

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One night she did admit, to Pat that her marriage to Jim was not what she had dreamed it would be. Slowly, haltingly she recounted the reasons reluctantly, wanting to find excuses for Jim while she talked.

"I...I think I've tried," she finished humbly, puzzled at her own defensiveness, feeling disloyal to Jim. Yet she felt, better for having confided in the sympathetic girl.

Pat's eyes, were patient and understanding as she touched. Hazel's arm. "I'm sure, you have, my dear," she said. "I think you've made him a good wife, as far as he's allowed you to." She looked away to the rim of hills outside the window. "Better than he deserves," she muttered almost under her breath.

Lately Pat has seemed protective as well as sympathetic and Hazel had come to depend on seeing her every day. What fun it was to listen to her talk of her travels, or of the books she had reads. Sometimes they would sit in silent companionship, listening to Pat's collection of classical records. With Pat, in her comfortable slacks and shirt, sitting across the room from her, Hazel felt an odd sense of completion. The big girl's eyes were so understanding, so eager and...and tender. Without realizing how it had come about, Hazel found herself wishing that Pat would stay in the little apartment with her always. And in her dreams, when something unknown frightened her, it was Pat who held her close and reassured her, not Jim.

Now that the letter had. come, Hazel knew it would be hard to tell Pat she was leaving to be with him. What she wouldn't... couldn't tell her was that if Jim would agree, she would Stay in San Diego, and find work there. It was the only way left to salvage their marriage, she knew that now, Only last night, saying goodnight at the apartment, she had sensed the trembling urgency struggling for release, in Pat. And the answering response in her own blood had left her weak and filled with longing.. Not by any word between them, but by something electric and unspoken.

Although it would hurt both of them, she knew she must go to Jim, severing the sweet companionship that was becoming increasingly dear to her. The association that was

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trembling on the threshold of something much, much deeper.

Pat was waiting in the hotel lobby, as usual, when she got off work at seven. Falling naturally into perfect stride as they walked towards the apartment, Hazel told the big girl of her plans to join Jim. She touched Pat's arm as she finished. "I'll write to you, and...and I want very much to hear from you, too."

Pat paused to light a cigarette, and Hazel noticed, dismayed, that her friend's hands were shaking. But when she spoke, her voice was level and flat, as If every emotion had been forcibly ejected from it.

"Of course, Hazel. But....but you won't be gone long?"

Hesitating over her words, she answered, "I....I don't know. M..m..maybe note."

Without speaking again, they resumed their walk, but, miserably, Hazel could feel the tight., control that Pat was holding over herself. How could she hurt this wonderful girl who meant so much to her? But she had to. Her duty was to Jim, and he wanted her to join him. Maybe this time it really would be different. Maybe he'd made up his mind to make a success of their marriage after all. To love, honor and cherish her, as their wedding vows had said.

"Here we are," Pat broke into her reverie. "I'll see you up to your door, then; I'll be on my way," she said crisply. "You've got your packing to do." But her eyes when they met Hazel's were lost and forsaken.

"Thank you, Pat," Hazel murmured, as they started up the stairs "I'll...I'll phone; you tomorrow before I leave."

But there was a yellow envelope slipped half-way under the locked door when they reached her, apartment.

"Just a minute, Pat, don't go yet," Hazel touched her arm lightly and she stayed, her eyes watching warily as Hazel read the contents of the telegram.

It was from Jim, of course.

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Yes, Jim, as always, at the eleventh hour had let her down, Still, sudden tremendous relief flooded her being. Now she could admit to herself how much she had dreaded seeing Jim, submitting to his temper tirades, his sly brutalities. And what was more, she could admit it at last to Pat, too.

Now she could voice what had been in her mind these past few months. She would tell Pat about Tommy and confess her need to find that lost tenderness again. She had tried marriage and failed.....whether it was her own fault or Jim's she was not sure. Perhaps some day she would try again, the Pates would decide. Meanwhile, now, in the magic presence of this girl she had come to care so much for, one door had closed, and another was opening.

Hazel put her arm around Pat's waist and opened the. door with her key.

"Come in, darling," she said softly. "I'm not going away after all...ever."

And her eyes told Pat that she was glad.

Then, as she put, the coffee pot on the stove, she told the other girl her story, chattering with an abandonment of relief brought about by her new decision. And in her joy at being able at last to confide in her friend, she didn't notice that Pat said nothing in reply, only sat lighting a new cigarette on the embers of the old one, Finally through with her tale, Hazel came to stand in front of her and place a timid hand on her shoulder.

"But you're not glad.... about us...that...that I knew..." she stammered, puzzled and suddenly alarmed.

Pat turned her troubled face away from Hazel's searching look look for a long moment, and then she sighed and straightened her back. Her eyes, when they rested on Hazel's, held a new determination.

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MOST OF YOU have never actually been in "Helena's Bar." And probably won't be, unless you happen to live in the town where she runs it. Even then, you may not be able to. discover where it is. If you're lucky enough to do so, you will still have to arrange for an "introduction" before you can enjoy it to the full.

... don't scream at your mother ...

If you do, "Mother" Helen Is likely to scream right back at you and throw you out. "The obvious homosexual is in the minority," she says. "I think he brings the censure of the public not only on himself, but is the main cause of all adverse judgment against the group as a whole. He is such a rebel and such an exhibitionist that he is held as an example of the homosexual. I do not welcome this type in the bar. I am rude to them, watch them so closely for any infraction of my arbitrary rules, that they soon leave."

...hit him with your headed bag, May...

"When tourists arrive,"Helen" reports, "I walk along the bar and talk to two or three couples and give them the following instructions:

"'One of you turn and look at those in the booth. When you see they are looking at you, say something to the other, then you both laugh.' Say another bit and laugh again.'

"After this treatment is repeated several times, our unwelcome guests drink up real fast and go. A bit of laughter follows them and we have the case of the biter being bitten."

Helen will show you there's more than one way of getting rough and standing up for your "rights."

....and away we go....

"I took over for a bar owner who wanted to change his place to a gay bar. In several months I became quite experienced. Later he fired me in Order to bring in someone else. This new host had a reputation for a following and the boss thought, he'd hold my group and acquire his. It did not work that way. Many of my own friends followed me and the new fellow was fired after a month."

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And so, HELEN'S was started....

And it continues, night after night, week after week. Its patrons couldn't be happier. You meet your friends at Helen's, You catch up on the latest gossip at Helen's. You have impromptu parties at Helen's. You can patch up your domestic difficulties at Helen's. Or find a way to console yourself after the "divorce."


For now Helen has put her bar between covers. Her readers can become happy habitudes of the place--at least for a time. So pour out a beer for yourself. Cold glass, of course. And settle down to the pleasure of a night in Helen's

gay bar

Casting a spotlight on one of those gathering places found in every large city... written by a woman who knows her subject from the inside out! The humor.... the heartbreak....the piercing reality....

Everyone will want to reed Helen P. Branson's first book

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"You won't find any statements in parentheses in my book," said Helen P. Branson as she Turned in the final manuscript for publication. "I typed this myself an a Polish model typewriter. It had no parenthesis marks on the keyboard. So I made all of my statements direct-- just as if I were talking to you."

That same directness has characterized Helen's life throughout her sixty years, with a great deal of variety of living included. She was graduated from high school in 1914, then took voice lessons for two years while she taught school in Nebraska. Not satisfied with her singing, she entered a new field. She became a bank teller during World War I, after which she moved to a ranch in Idaho, and finally settled in California. Today she operates a bar, does all the work herself, and every week visits her aged mother, whom she helps support.

"I've had more ups and downs than I care to tell about," she says. "But all my life I have had an interest in the occult and the unseen, the hard to explain things about me," she says. "I was a student of astrology and became a palmist years ago. In fact I made my living entertaining in this field for several years.

Her study of astrology led to on interest in reincarnation, which she says she explored for her own satisfaction.

"All of this led me to a recognition of the biggest word in my vocabulary; today, Helen says. "That word is WHY. Trying to find that answer is the main reason for my interest in people and what they do."

"My first intentional contact with homosexuals as I a group was to determine if there was a pattern in their palms. My gradual integration with such groups has come through mutual affection and respect. I am at home with them."

Homosexual or not, everyone, it seems, has an immediate reaction to Helen. No in-between regard for this intensely active and perceptive woman is possible; it is a case of love her a lot or not at ail. But readers of her book, "Gay Bar," will see at once what the reaction of the majority is.

"Everybody loves Helen," say those who know her. It's a safe prediction that sons and daughters, as well as mothers and fathers, will be infected with the same feeling for her after they read the book, too.

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"I'm glad that you know why your marriage was failing, Hazel. And....in a way that I can't explain... I'm glad, too, that there was a Tommy in your life. But," she rose and gripped the smaller girl's shoulders, "There is something I want you to promise me."

"I...I promise..." Hazel stammered, unable to guess what was on Pat's mind.

"If you think that you care for me now, I want you to go to Jim. Stay with him, follow him, be near him and with him for at least six months. Talk to him, try to understand him and help him to understand you, Hazel. If all else fails, go to a marriage counsellor. You're still young and you owe it to yourself to make your marriage work. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about."

Hazel's eyes fell and her shoulders drooped. Rejection was the last thing she had expected and she didn't know how to meet it.

Then Pat went on, "But remember this. If, after six months' trial...or even a year's trial, it doesn't work....I'll...I'll be waiting right, here." She lifted Hazel's chin gently and gazed deeply into her eyes. "I'd wait forever for you, my dearest."

And Hazel knew she was speaking the truth.


The New York chapter of the Mattachine Society has moved into permanent quarters after over a year of "living out of a suitcase".

The new address is il83 Avenue of the Americas, New York 36, New York.

We are assured by the group that they will welcome all visitors inquiring about Mattachine or just wishing to visit. They are also looking for help in re-doing the office and donations of furnishings or office equipment.

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Mattachine Convention Near

"Must the Individual Homosexual be Rejected in Our Time" is the topic of discussion for a panel of five professional persons who will be featured at the 4th annual convention of the Mattachine Society on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel, San Francisco. Moderator Sam Morford will Introduce the panelists, who are: Harry Benjamin, M.D., who practices in New York and San Francisco; Alfred Auerback, M.D., San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Mental Health of the California. Medical Association and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California; Leo J. Zeff, clinical psychologist and practicing therapist, Berkeley; William A. Baker, M.S.W., and Julia Coleman, M.S.W., therapists from San Carlos, Calif. Banquet Speaker will be David Schmidt, M.D., chief psychiatrist at San Quentin Prison.

Convention activities begin at 8 p.m. Friday, August 30, at Pan-Graphic Press, 693 Mission St., with a reception for members, delegates and friends.

On Saturday at the Sheraton-Palace registration begins at 9 a.m. (Fees., including luncheon and banquet tickets, are $13). Call to order is at 11 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. Attorney Kenneth C. Zwerin of San Francisco will speak on "After Arrest--What?" Luncheon speaker is Thurmond H. Hanson, U.S. Probation officer of San Francisco, The panel discussion will begin at 2 p.m. Cocktail hour is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the banquet at 7.30 p.m.

Sunday's events will open with a Continental Breakfast, 9-12 a.m., at the national headquarters office, 693 Mission St. Tapes of addresses on the homosexual problem will be played. At 1 p.m. in the Williams Building, a panel program featuring representatives of ONE, Inc., Daughters of Bilitis, the Mattachine Society and Pan-Graphic Press will be held. After adjournment at 3 p.m. committees for the Monday Business session will meet to complete necessary work>. Daughters of Bilitis will be hosts at a cooking program on Sunday from 5:30-7.30 p.m.

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in Studio 30 at 465 Geary St. Donation is $1.00. The remainder of the evening will be free.

Monday, September 2 (Labor Day) will see the Society's annual business meeting open at 9 a.m. in the Williams Building. It will conclude at noon with, the election of officers and directors. A short meeting of the Board of Directors will follow to conclude the 3-day convention.

Events on Saturday are open to the public". The. session or Sunday, Sept. 1, is open to Mattachine members and friend: and representatives of the participating organizations. Members and delegates of the Mattachine Society only will participate in the. Monday business session.

Calender of Events

Monday, August 26 --Open House for New York Board members of the Mattachine Society will be held by Pan-Graphic Press at 693 Mission St., Room 307, at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served. Donation is $1.00.
Tuesday, August 27 --Public discussion meeting sponsored by the. DOB at 465 Geary St., Studio 51, (5th floor) 8:15 p.m. Robert E. Mack of the Kimball Foundation of Human Engineering will discuss "Proven Methods of Developing Better Human Relationships".
Friday, August 30 --Pan-Graphic Press will hold a reception for members, delegates and friends here for the Mattachine Society convention at 8 p.m. at 693 Mission St., Room 307.
Saturday, August 31 --Fourth Annual Convention of the Mattachine Society, Inc. Registration at 9 a.m.

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at tip Sheraton-Palace Hotel. For full information see page 18.
Sunday, September 1 --Daughters of Bilitis Cocktail party from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Studio 30, 465 Geary St. Donation $l.00.
Thursday, September 5 --Mattachine Public Discussion Forum, 8 p.m., 1830 Sutter St., American Friends Service Committee Center. Ellen M. Carder, registered nurse and teacher of marriage and family relations, will speak on "Communication: the Key to Happiness".
Friday, September 6 --Gab 'n Java session, 6340 Geary St., Apt. 19. An informal bull session at present limited to women only.
Wednesday, August 11 --DOB monthly business meeting to be held at the office, 693 Mission St., Room 398, 8 p.m.
Friday, September 13 --Mattachine Koffee Klatch, a moderated discussion meeting, 2001 Francisco, Berkeley, Calif., 7.30 p.m.
Saturday, September 14 --Daughters of Bilitis bowling at the Sports Center, 3333 Mission St., 7 p.m. To enable us to reserve the right number of alleys please make reservations by Friday, Sept. 13, to the office, EXbrook 7-0773 or THornwall 3-5505.
Tuesday, September 24 --DOB public , 465 Geary St., Studio 5, 8:15 p.m. William Baker, national president of the American Graphological Society, handwriting expert and counselor with a background of experience in clinical analysis of emotionally disturbed persons will speak.
Saturday, October 26 --Keep this date open for the D0B's annual Halloween party. Details later, but we might warn you that this one will be a costume party with prizes for the best, etc. Those of you who shun actual costumes may Just wear masks. For members and guests only; full details later.

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21. STRANGE FRIENDS by Agnete Holk. Pyramid Books, New York, 1955.

Translated from the Danish, this is the story of Vita Storm who adopts a school friend as her "little sister", not realizing the true nature of her attraction to Hilda. A frank story, the author has handled the subject with delicacy and understanding and concludes on a hopeful note.

22. BIRTH OF THE GODS by Dmitri Merezowskii. J.M. Dant and Sons, London, 1926.

Laid in Crete during the reign of Amenhotep IV, a large part of the story Is devoted to the passionate love affair between Dio, a priestess, and her novice, Eoia, a temple dancer.

23. DEW IN APRIL by John Clayton. Kendall and Sharpe, 1931.

"This middle volume of an historical trilogy is located in a Provençal convent during the early 13th century and deals with the introspective and relatively innocent homosexual outburst among three of the youngest novices.

24. LOVELIEST OP FRIENDS by G. Sheila Donisthorpe. Berkeley Publishing Corp., New York, 1931.

The powerful and bitter story of Audrey and Kim, this novel by an English writer portrays the seduction of Audrey, an upper middle-class wife, by Kim, also married but deeply experienced in Lesbian affairs. Kim succeeds in winning Audrey completely, but Kim's desire for conquest after conquest leaves no room for a permanent relationship. Audrey without either Kim or her husband is left riding a downward spiral from which the book gives little hope that she will rise.

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FUGUE IN D MINOR--by Del Martin

The still sound of the countryside
Splintered by the tattoo of, rainfall
And the, turning of a lotus bud
From its nest of frog wings.
The spring sound of birds in early morning,
Of butterflies and bee balm,
The wrapped mind and the tinkling flesh.
The powder of pearls and peach down
On a landscape of green satin sheets.
The murmur of lips joined
In the crystal promise of summer.

The beetle sound of the pointed storm
Sheathed by the tree of my content.
For I have listened to the rainbow,
I have seen a lover's lullaby.

The shadow sound of the sleeping
Fractured by a scream in the night.
The volcano vomits into the. valley,
The foghorn stretches across the swollen sea,
Train wheels whir along Iron rails
In extended applause.
The stutter of machine gun bullets,
Tempests of trumpet tongues,
The cast iron buckle of thunder,
A propeller of drumsticks on the ivory gate--

Reeled into an eddy of sound And curdled in the faucet of my brain.

The grey sound of the dirge,
Of worm-cast and burned bones.
The hush of evening spelled
By the grave note of the serpent
As the skeleton kneels,
The trees drop their leaves--
And the lion purrs.

The muffled sound of twilight
Inching Into the black of night
And the hollow heart
And the deafened ear.

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Reader Respond

"Included please find three dollars for "Gay Bar", as advertised in the July issue. "Wind Woman" was good, if somewhat naive. Its greatest virtue is its honesty."

J.L., Washington, D.C.

"A week or two ago I wrote you a letter, commenting on the progress made by THE LADDER, and on various ideas set forth in the June issue of your magazine. After sending that letter off I wondered if perhaps it didn't sound pretty dogmatic, perhaps intolerant, in part. Tonight I have been reading Sherwood Anderson's letters, and I was brought to a halt by one which he wrote to the woman who was to be his future mother-in-law. There is a juxtaposition of ideas in this letter which, to me, was very moving. In one place Anderson wrote, 'Think what Christianity would gain if Christians did not feel themselves superior to non-Christians.' Then, in the following paragraph, 'We all do so much of this. The moral man sets himself above the so-called immoral. How does he know what immorality is? In every inch you set yourself above anyone, you hurt that other one.' That is, in itself, a form of morality, of course. And a damn good one, I think. Then, two paragraphs farther on Anderson writes, 'I have wanted to say so much about my feeling about; Eleanor (his future wife) I can't say. The fact that my loving her should hurt others seems horrible to me. I don't want to touch her in her real self, change her, I don't want her if it is going, to hurt her or you who are dear to her. I'd much rather live the rest of my life alone.'

To me, these two passages illustrate the morality which is, itself, love. As everybody knows,, Sherwood Anderson

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was no puritan, no blue-nose. He was the antithesis of all that. Nobody has praised sensual love as wholeheartedly as he. This willingness he expresses to sacrifice his own needs to the well-being of his beloved does not arise from anything anti-erotic in his nature, but rather because he. was so intensely pro-persons. There is nothing in the least guilty in Anderson's love for Eleanor. There is no question here of broken vows, deception, the threat of a wrecked partnership and home. The issue is simple, 'I don't want her if it is going to hurt her or you who are dear to her. I'd much rather live the rest of my life alone.'

I hope this will show my earlier letter in a less dogmatic light."

Luther Allen, Baltimore, Md.

Correction: "Values and Responsibilities" is a four-part article by Luther Allen appearing in the February, April, June and August issues of the "Mattachine Review". Copies of these issues are still available at 693 Mission St., Rm. 307, San Francisco 5, Calif., at 50¢ each.

Fans of Mr. Allen will be interested to know that his will be the second book to be published by Pan-Graphic Press in San Francisco. The theme will pertain to morality and religion as regards homosexuality and will include the four installments, above mentioned, as well as a fifth not yet published. Publication date will be some time in 1958. -ED.

"I Wave now received and thoroughly read (and reread) five issues of THE LADDER, and I feel I must write and congratulate you on your magnificent work for us all. I enjoyed your attempt to list and annotate literature in your feature 'Lesbiana' most of all, as I know the years of frustration and work involved in collecting a library of gay literature. I now have some 300 works of fiction, poetry and drama, with perhaps 200 devoted to women. Your column should help many others along the same lines. I am very grateful to you also for reviewing some of these works. It is refreshing to read unbiased

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material for a change. I hope you will continue to support and mention Dr. Jeannette H. Foster's 'Sex Variant Women in Literature', "as this is a magnificent volume of both review and bibliography....

"I truly hope you will continue to include fiction and poetry in some quantity in your publication. (However small they are all important.) I have noticed in rereading some of the letters submitted to you that everyone finds a little to criticize, and I am happy to say the that I cannot find anything to criticize even slightly. I believe I know the tremendous work and sacrifice you all have put into this magazine. I am enclosing with this letter a few additions you might wish for 'Lesbiana'.

"Please keep up the wonderful work. Your cover illustration reminds me of a few words from the last paragraphs of Radclyffe Hall's 'The Well of Loneliness': 'We are coming, and our name is legion. You dare not disown us.'

G.D. Kansas City, Kansas

Dr. Foster's book was reviewed by Marion Zimmer Bradley, herself a well known science fiction writer, in the May issue of THE LADDER. Copies are still available at 50¢ each by writing to 693 Mission St., Rm. 308, San Francisco, 5, Calif.

Also would like to ask G.D. to send along a sentence or

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two (about the book as well as title, author, publisher, year etc. Sometimes we haven't read the book nor have the volume available to us. For inclusion in "Lesbiana" we will accept any volume which includes Lesbianism, as either a major or minor theme. -ED.

"I want to thank you for giving the Denver chapter's newsletter a write-up in THE LADDER. We are. going to give DOB a write-up, too, very soon....

"We don't know any women here. If any of your group have contacts in the Denver area they would like to refer to us, or have us contact them, we would appreciate it. "I always exhibit THE LADDER at our meetings. We will seek to place it in the hands of interested women when we have contact with them."

Carl B. Harding, Secretary
Mattachine Society
P.O. Box 7035
Capitol Hill Station,
Denver 6, Colorado

Regarding that manuscript on Lesbian marriage we never got around to writing for the Mattachine Review, please be advised that if it ever comes into being it will be run in THE LADDER. After all,... -ED.

"Enclosed you will find a money order for five dollars which is to help make good a so far neglected earlier promise of financial support....

"With the last two copies of the publication I am more convinced than ever of the depth and sincerity and-- dignity--you people are determined to pursue your work with. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is. From where you are getting the energy and courage is something of a mystery to me but please know it begins to inspire similar qualities in those who read THE LADDER.

"In the issue before the last I was particularly struck

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with and interested in the articles by Osbourne arid Stephens. I remarked at some length in my first (rather talky, I'm afraid) letter on my views on transvestism. I am how pleased to see that there are those who have given and are giving attention to the question in a most serious way. Good. I feel I am learning how to think all over again.

"Most of all I wanted to leap into the questions raised in Nancy Osbourne's so very important bit on heterosexually married lesbians. (I am one of those, incidentally, who is going to stick to lower-case, until somebody convinces me that what the homosexual wants and needs is not autonomy from the human race--but utter integration into it. I feel, however, that I could be wrong about it.) I was equally interested in Marion Bradley's contributions on the theme in the current issue, though frankly I understood what she was saying far less. I felt the piece was of serious and intelligent intentions but made some rather precarious suggestions. Speaking personally. as well as abstractly here, may I ask when did the problem of saying to one self, or to one's husband, or anyone else that one finds "other women interesting" get to be any kind of a problem at all? With the very best circumspect motivations I am sure, it does seem to me that Miss Bradley misstates the problem of the homosexual woman (married or otherwise) so crucially as to almost approach the comical. I mean really, unless I am afflicted with the worst kind of misunderstanding, the homosexual impulse does transcend 'interest' in other women. Isn't the problem of the married lesbian woman that of an individual who finds that, despite her conscious will oft. times, she is inclined to have, her most intense emotional and physical reactions directed toward other women, quite beyond any comparative thing she might have ever felt for her husband--whatever her sincere affection for him? And isn't that the problem? How one quite admits that to oneself--and to one's husband? And isn't it necessary to state it so before we can pretend to discuss it?

"Further, to assert that such women ought to be able to 'put genuine truth in her statement that her interest in other women will affect her marriage no more than the heterosexual woman's interest in other men' is making an

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equation of two decidedly different social circumstances that simply have no equality in life. A woman of strength and honesty may, if she chooses, sever her marriage and marry a new male mate and society will be upset that the divorce rate is rising so--but there are few places in the United States, in any event, where she will be anything remotely akin to an 'outcast'. Obviously this is not true for a woman who would end her marriage to take up life with another woman.

"I very loudly agree, on the other hand, with the writer's view that women who violate their marriages freely because the violations involve women rather than men deserve the condemnation of both society and lesbian opinion. Not so much because of any sacredness of our dubious social morality, but rather because it involves the deception of another human being--and that, as always, is intolerable. Also I think it is very nice if somehow lesbian women in general might lend themselves amiably to showing that all relationships between women need not be those of 'cats' tearing at one another--but in this particular discussion it seems rather beside the point.

"I suspect that the problem of the married woman who would prefer emotional-physical relationships with other women is proportionally much higher than a similar statistic for men. (A statistic surely no one will ever really have.) This because the estate of woman being what it is, how could we ever begin to guess the numbers of women who are not prepared to risk a life alien to what they have been taught all their lives to believe was their 'natural' destiny--AND--their only expectation for ECONOMIC security. It seems to me that this is why the question has an immensity that it does not have for male homosexuals. We must, as noted above, take a dim view of anyone who treats a married partner without respect; but at the same time I should imagine that we would have a particularly sensitive and sympathetic awareness of the nature of the 'social trap' (I cannot think of a better set of words at the moment ) which the fundamental position of women as a sex is likely to force many women into--homosexual or heterosexual.

"I am suggesting here that perhaps it is pat and even unfair to suggest that all that remains for the married

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lesbian, already nursing her frustrations and confusions, is somehow to get rid of her 'self-pity' and 'self-excuses' and make a 'happy marriage without in anyway denying her nature'. I am afraid that homosexuality, whatever its origins, is far more real than that, far more profound in the demands it makes; otherwise it could hardly deserve to be called a problem at all. I don't think people start out in this world to be 'bad'--they start out to be happy. Frankly, I haven't the least idea in the world what a 'solution' to the question night be at this particular moment in history. And I guess in the face of that kind of an admission it seems a little presumptions to have charged into Miss Bradley's really quite worthwhile efforts. But maybe that is what I was trying to say--let us not get lost in answers which

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cannot possibly exist at the moment; but rather, exhaust ourselves in the dissection of previous views. For instance the whole realm of morality and ethics is something that has escaped the attention of women by and large. And, it needs the attention of intellectual women most desperately. I think it is about time that equipped women began to take on some of the ethical questions which a male dominated culture has produced and dissect and analyze them quite to pieces in a serious fashion. It is time that 'half the human race' had something to say about the nature of its existence. Otherwise--without revised basic thinking--the woman intellectual is likely to find herself trying to draw conclusions--moral conclusions--based on acceptance, of a social moral superstructure which has never admitted to the "equality of women and is therefore immoral itself. As per marriage, as per sexual practices, as per the rearing of children, etc. In this kind of work there may be women to emerge who will be able to formulate a new and possible concept that homosexual persecution and condemnation has at its roots not only social ignorance, but a philosophically active anti-feminist dogma. But that is but-a kernel of a speculative embryonic idea improperly introduced here."

L.N., New York, N.Y.


"The Lark News" made its debut in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania in April of this year. The publication, a "local newsletter", is published by the "ELL" Club, a non-profit organization of both men and women.

The group has been in operation since November, 1956 and boasts approximately 85 members in good standing. Application for a state Charter is now in process.

The purpose of the organization is to "bring closer unity between men and women homophiles,to help them to understand themselves and make their own adjustment, to society, and to work for acceptance by the general public".

Anyone interested in contacting the "ELL" Club may write c/o Lark Hotel, 302 DeKalb St., Bridgeport, Penn.

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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP--$5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP--$2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents in the area where meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $2.50 per year.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 303, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application form.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $2.50 for one year or $5.00 for two years, enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

693 Mission Street--Room 308
San Francisco 5, California

Please send THE LADDER for_____year(s) by first class mall sealed to the address below. I enclose $_____at the rate of $2.50 for each year ordered.



CITY_____ ZONE_____ STATE_____

I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

The Ladder, September 1957, Vol. 1, No. 12

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Purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco, California. Telephone EXbrook 7-0773.


President--Helen Sanders

Vice President--Del Martin

Secretary--Marty Elliott

Treasurer--Audree Allen

Publications Director--Phyllis Lyon


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Assistant--Del Martin

Circulation--Jaye Bell

Production--Helen Sanders

Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell

Librarian--Barbara Stephens

Mattachine Looks at
Life--Life Talks Back

The fourth annual convention of the Mattachine Society, Inc., held in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend, brought together interested persons from all over the nation to hear speakers, both professional and lay, on the homophile subject.

Convention sessions were held at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel and in the Mattachine offices in the Williams building.

The convention got underway Friday night, Aug. 30, with a reception for members and friends at Pan-Graphic Press.

The convention proper began Saturday morning, Aug. 31, at the Sheraton-Palace. Don Lucas, president of Mattachine,

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gave the address of welcome and sketched the history of the Mattachine Society from its inception seven years ago as informal discussion groups to its present democratic structured. He told of its purposes and some of its accomplishments; of the monthly Mattachine Review, of the brochure, "Your Legal Rights", of the Society making itself available to professional groups studying homosexuality rather than attempting to carry on any original research of its own. He stated that the future of the Society would depend on how much the members fulfilled the principle of the four "Fs"--Faith, Fellowship, Friendship and Funds. Funds, he pointed out, were more than just money, but also time and energy. Also, that those who said they could not afford $10 a year dues could afford $100 a year if they really wanted to--if not out of their own pockets, then by raising it in some other manner.

The main morning address was given by Kenneth Zwerin, San Francisco attorney-at-law, whose controversial topic was "After Arrest--What?"

He told Don Lucas he could throw away that brochure on "Your Legal Rights"--that for all practical purposes it wasn't going to mean much to the average homosexual who is arrested--that few people, otherwise law-abiding, could adjust to the traumatic situation of arrest in time not to say or do those things that make it next to impossible for an attorney to help him, once he gets hold of the case.

Mr. Zwerin then proceeded to tell a hideous little story of a hypothetical but realistic case showing how theories of legal rights and privileges go out the window when shock, fear and ridicule step into the picture.

After arrest--what? Ken Zwerin says, "Tragedy, perennial tragedy."

After all this, Mr. Zwerin ended his address on the optimistic note that the situation is becoming more favorable for sexual acts between two consenting adults as indicated by projected changes in the law in Britain.

The afternoon session consisted of a panel discussion

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on the topic, "Must the Individual Homosexual Be. Rejected in Our Time?" (l had eagerly awaited this panel, as I was consumed with curiosity as to how anyone could answer this question unless he was first prepared to say whether he had stopped beating his wife or not. Unhappily, no one took exception to the wording of the question and I was left with my own thoughts on the subject... namely that known individual homosexuals are accepted in our time in many areas, depending on the individual's other qualifications. The topic, "Must Homosexuality Be Rejected in Our Time?" would not have brought such intense brow-knitting out of me.)

Sam Morford, research director of the Mattachine Society, was moderator. Harry Benjamin, M.D., New York and San Francisco, endocrinologist and sexologist, was the first panelist. Dr. Benjamin has had 40 years study in the field of endocrinology. He worked with Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld in pre-Nazi Germany. Through Dr. Alfred Kinsey he became acquainted with the work and aims of the Mattachine Society.

Dr. Benjamin said in reference to the panel topic that he was ashamed that the question had to be asked. He stated that the situation represented a form of "puritanical terror", that the enforcement of the law was highly selective, that a few homosexuals undoubtedly acted in such a way as to bring rejection on themselves and the whole group but that other homosexuals could help change the picture.

Dr. Benjamin defined a homosexual as one who was exclusively or predominantly aroused by the same sex. Then he went into various main theories as the cause or-- causes of homosexuality in an individuals:

1. Heredity. In the studies of the frequency of homosexuality occurring in identical twins raised separately the incidence has been quite high.

2. Endocrine imbalance. A disturbance of the glands in the mother could affect the unborn child's later sexual development.

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3. Fixation at the "immature homosexual phase" of emotional development.

4. Psychological conditioning. (All homosexuals belong to this group according to "Orthodox" psychological theory.)

5. Cultural and environmental conditioning. Prisons and prison camps are one illustration of this "homosexuality for want".

The speaker indicated that these causes were not mutually exclusive, but could operate separately or in groups to help make a person the certain type of homosexual he might be. He stated that in his opinion homosexuality was a symptom, not, a disease; that it was not un-natural, as it was a product of nature; that in some way he felt it might even be a defense of Nature--a means of guarding against over-population; that no one knows what is "normalcy", only what is "customary". He finished his address with the opinion that whatever the causes, the "why?" of the matter, homosexuals must be made free from the fear of blackmai1, entrapment and the "deadly poison of ostracism".

Leo J. Zeff, clinical psychologist and practicing therapist, stated that the Mattachine Review, ONE Magazine, and THE LADDER were invaluable to professional people with therapeutic experience with homosexuality in that they give insight into the problems of homosexuals. In other publications all one could find was the description of, and opinions about, homosexuality from the point of view of outsiders. In actuality, the essence of homosexuality is indescribable, he said.

Mr. Zeff came closest to pinning down the paradox of the panel topic when he said that if he had to answer the question, "Must the Individual Homosexual Be Rejected in Our Time?" he would have to say "No!" but that if he re-phrased the question, "Can the Individual Homosexual Be Accepted in Our Time?" he would have to give an equally emphatic "No!" Implicit somewhere between the two extremes was the thought that the question was meaningless to Mr. Zeff--or at best, wrongly directed. He

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felt that the panel topic hung in the balance on one word, "rejected". What did this word mean to the questioners? Did it mean to imply that the Individual homosexual, the "person", was being rejected along with his homosexual acts? This was an important thing to know before one could possibly answer the question "yes" or "no", Mr. Zeff felt.

The "neurotic homosexual" carries his homosexuality like a sore thumb; he stated, still that is not all that he is. This is true of so many in minority groups. It is a "negative reaction" to minority status and decides whether he will be a "neurotic" member of that group or not. This is part of the "self-fulfilling prophecy" wherein one truly becomes what he believes himself to be.

This is not an anti-homosexual society; it is an anti-sex society. So that the problem is really one of the homosexual rejecting himself. This is everybody's problem who rejects himself for any reason. The unhappy, unfulfilled heterosexual's problem is no different. His feelings and reactions are the same, though his "crown of thorns" may look a little different.

The question always uppermost in the self-rejecting person's mind is, "What would THEY say?" These people do not understand that true authority for one's actions lies not in THEY, but deep within one's self. The trouble comes when people do not understand or follow the First Commandment: "I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me." This God lies not outside, but inside. The real essence of any religion is LOVE. Whenever hatred enters in and love is blocked by judging and condemning, someone has misinterpreted the original teachings.

Mr. Zeff went on to say that we must not burden people with things they do not understand, they have enough problems of their own to understand. "Understand yourself... everything else will fall into place."

Julia W. Coleman, M.S.W., San Carlos, Calif., social worker and practicing psychotherapist, took the opposite

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approach of Mr. Zeff and spoke of "The Price of Rejection" to society.

That society does reject the homosexual, as assumed in the panel topic, Miss Coleman said, was beyond argument. She said that society pays a high price for rejecting homosexual's who are not socially destructive, but simply because they were "different". This price could be outlined but never really totaled. There is the loss of productivity of the outcast group, the high cost of mental illness, alcoholism, severe neurosis, the throttling of creativity. There is the loss to the art, music and dance group--that many people, including heterosexuals, will not enter, despite their talents, because they fear being branded "queer".

She felt that society had a definite responsibility to study the causes, implications and cure., if any, of the homosexual problem; that the field had never been studied in an adequate or scientific manner; that such research as had been done had been in prisons and institutions, Instead of financing and setting up an adequate study program, it was so much "easier" to have the police make a few arrests, but so much more expensive in the long run. The knowledge gained from such study would extend its value far beyond the Immediate Investigation. Any other route leads to a contempt for the law which spells the disintegration of its authority in society.

The immediate results to the individual rejectors in society who hate and scorn by pre-conceived stereotypes is that they have a warped view of reality and become, themselves, stereotypes. Such emotionally charged reactions denote anxieties and fears within the rejector that are being avoided. It is small wonder that people do this when society teaches that "difference" is evil; nevertheless hatred and scorn wreak their inexorable toll in brutalizing and cancerous effects on the rejector.

Miss Coleman concluded her address with the thought that responsibility lies not alone with the homosexual groups, but that society as a whole must act on the

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matter of rejection...and must act on facts, not myths.

William A. Baker, M.S.W., San Carlos, Calif., social worker and practicing psychotherapist, said that it was simple to see that in general the homosexual was rejected, but that the answer to the topic question of "must he be" was a very complicated one. In the first place, "Why is he rejected?" The answer to that filled books...but boiled down simply to the fact that it was because he is a homosexual. The solution was that the homosexual must learn to accept himself first as a person, more alike than different from other people. When he did that, he would be paving the way to being accepted by others.

"However," Mr. Baker stated, "Even being accepted by one other is a satisfying experience." The homosexual, Mr. Baker went on, has a precious gift to society: the ability to understand other minority groups.

Alfred Auerback, M.D., San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Mental Health, California Medical Association, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, University of California, stated that one of the main reasons for the great hostility against male homosexuals in this culture is that a great anxiety prevails about being "manly" enough. Also, back in 1885, an Englishman helped crystallize certain attitudes into law by getting the House of Commons to pass a rider (to a law protecting women) which made it a felony for two men, in public or private, to have sexual acts with each, other.

However, Dr. Auerback feels, with the late Dr. Kinsey, that "knowledge will bring about a change in our ideas." He felt optimistic about the future...citing the very existence of the Mattachine Society and other groups as showing great progress. He mentioned how only recently syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer, etc., were also unmentionable subjects. He said that we must show the public that homosexuality is not a contagious disease or a great threat to the body politic as it is so often feared or purported to be; that we must show that

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homosexuality just "is" and cannot be squelched.

He felt that we could not bring about any change in the present attitudes by force or pressure, but only by evolution. He suggested that we be active in society; show that we could be of help in community problems as well as our own. He thought we should conform as much as possible to outward mores and police ourselves and our group as much as possible.

Sam Morford, moderator, wrapped up the panel discussion by saying that it didn't seem to him that anyone could be rejected unless he accepted the rejection. He cited the case of Madame Jenkins, who, in a concert house filled with boos and catcalls, heard only the three people who applauded.

The Annual Awards Banquet was held that evening in the French Parlor, with President Lucas presiding and Ken Zwerin as Toastmaster. A scroll of commendation was given to Tony Segura, public relations director, Mattachine Society, Inc., New York chapter, as "Member of the Year". Other awards were given to Luther Allen, writer; THE LADDER, and the C.O.C., a homosexual organization in Holland.

The featured banquet address was given by David Schmidt, M.D., Larkspur, Calif., chief psychiatrist, San Quentin Prison. Dr. Schmidt, who has worked more than 25 years at San Quentin, had as his topic, "Sex Offenders and the Homophile in a Prison Situation".

Dr. Schmidt, said that when he first came to San Quentin he knew very little about homosexuality, that he had; learned much over the years, but was always seeking to learn more about the subject and understand it better in all its manifestations. Were this not true, he said, he would not be speaking before such a gathering, and then dryly quoted from Dr. Kinsey, "Sex is not only so biologically normal, but also centrally located."

Of the thousands of San Quentin inmates, he said, "Our guests are the product of an imperfect social environment," and added that they posed one of the major psychiatric

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problems and the greatest unsolved public health problem today.

He referred to Stephen Nash as a homophile, credited with eight homicides and said, "We are all of us, perhaps, the product of one man and one woman. None of us had any choice of our ancestors. We none of us are 100$ male or female."

Up until 1939, the homosexual served much longer sentences than he does now. The psychopathic unit at San Quentin can serve only 20% of those begging for psychiatric help.

Dr. Schmidt said, that some homosexuals may be "born", but that the larger part were "acquired", in his opinion. He had, noted throughout his practice that most homosexual males appeared to be masculine in physical structure and the homosexual females to be feminine in physical structure, contrary to the popular opinion, and that homophiles have less mental defectives in their number, percentage-wise, than the rest of the prison population.

Poor and delinquent homes had produced the prisoners, and by "poor", Dr. Schmidt stated he did not mean necessarily poor in money. He labeled these homes variously as: over-dominant, over-perfectionistic, over-protective, over-indulgent, over-solicitous, and inconsistent. Children from such homes often sought refuge in mental illness and either internalized their suffering (neurotic behavior) or externalized it as psychopaths.

Dr. Schmidt gave a weary list of procedures which had been used on many of the prisoners in the attempt to "cure" homosexuality. These were: injections from goat glands. (which made the older prisoners act "like kids" but did not alter the love object); pituitary injections; sterilization (which failed, except in certain areas with mental defectives); orthodectomy (only helps before puberty); 25,000 spinal fluid exams; fever treatment; EEGs (which showed concussion in the background of some prisoners); insulin shock; insulin

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tonic; electro-shook. But none of these "cures" had much effect on homosexual behaviour.

The most helpful approach Dr. Schmidt had found was the group therapy units which aided the prisoners in understanding, their defense mechanisms. Each psychiatrist at San Quentin handles eight to ten therapy units.

Of particular interest at the Continental Breakfast, held in the library-lounge of the Mattachine Society offices, Sunday, September 1, was a tape recording of Dr. Murray Banks. A practicing psychologist in New York, Dr. Banks delivered a lecture to the 1956 Teachers' Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, which, on tape, was the funniest and richest in practical advice on how to live a reasonably happy life that I have ever heard.

According to Dr. Banks, a person has four basic wants:

1. To live...forever.

2. A feeling of importance.

3. Someone to love him.

4. Variety or adventure in living.

We are all destined to be frustrated on one or more of these points, he tells us. "What kind of an adjustment do you make when life hands you a dirty deal?"

There are many possible adjustments: suicide, murder, alcohol (the alcoholic hates life more than liquor, and he hates liquor), insanity (yes, this is a form of adjustment... practically every one who is insane wants to be, though usually not consciously), nervous breakdown (no such thing as..."show me where the nerve broke down... show me"), nervous stomach (caused by emotions, fears, etc.), psycho-neurosis (an unconscious neurotic adjustment ranging all the way from tiredness to complete paralysis), psychosis or "insanity" (emotional suicide).

And, all of this is avoidable, says Dr. Banks, if we

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would learn to face our problems instead of flee them. Find out what's wrong and do something about it.

"It isn't good to be too well adjusted. The people in the cemeteries are all well adjusted. You're not crazy if you talk to yourself...only if you listen. What is normal or abnormal is only a matter of extent and degree. It is normal to be depressed occasionally. It is abnormal to stay that way. It is normal to laugh." They take you away if you continue laughing too long."

Dr. Banks offered the following points as a basis for knowing how to live with yourself:

1. Are you happy? Seek happiness directly and it will never be yours.

2. Zest for living.

3. Are you socially well-adjusted? Do you like people? Can you see the other fellow's point of view?

4. Do you have unity and balance? Don't wrap your life around one thing. This is like building a house on one pillar. If the pillar goes, the house goes.

5. Most of the worry that goes on is about things which never happen or about things done that cannot be undone.

6. Seek insight into your own conduct.

7. Have a confidential relationship with someone.

8. Cultivate a sense of the ridiculous...at yourself. "Laughter is the sunshine of the soul". It is chemically impossible to laugh and be angry (have ulcers) at the same time.

9. Are you engaged in satisfying work? The, person breaks down over worry--not over-work.

10. How to worry effectively is to find out what's wrong and do something about it.

It is a matter of attitude that determines whether life will be a slippery glass hill, impossible of climbing, or not, Dr. Banks said.

--Sten Russell

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THE GOD WITHIN--How to Achieve the Maximum of Health and Happiness--by Cristina Midence Valentine. Exposition Press, New York, 1957. 222 pp. $3.50

For some months now I personally have been concerned, in my Work with the Daughters of Bilitis and THE LADDER, with the apparent conflict and consequent suffering among homosexuals who have been unable to reconcile their way of life with their religious teachings. For my own part I have through the years been evolving a philosophy of life which works for me when I work at it. I am aware that I have only begun to scratch the surface in this search for universal truth, but to the degree that I have been able to find peace of mind I have wanted to reach out to those in our group who were, to me, bogged down with dogmatic and rigid concepts wholly incongruous and at odds with their basic personality.

I had wanted at least to impart the rewards of love, understanding, constructive thinking and actions as against the punishment of hate, resentment, negative thoughts and acts. I had wanted to convey the fact that we as individuals are exactly what we make of ourselves: if we are rejected, it is because we have accepted the rejection; if we are miserable, it is because we have allowed ourselves to wallow in self-pity; and if we are happy and prosperous, it is because we have risen above our handicaps and with self-discipline have sought a constructive outlet for our energies.

As I was reaching out for help in presenting this problem adequately, the answer came. We received in the office a reviewing copy of Cristina Valentine's book, "The God Within". I was struck by the fact that I had met the author some months before and yet had no idea that she was working in this field. But more than that I was elated to find that she has put into words for the lay reader fundamental rules for achieving "the maximum of health and happiness". For Cristina believes that "the intangible and inexplicable phenomena of life, such as miracles, follow laws as exact and immutable as those of chemistry or physics" and gives the reader 11 basic rules "to reduce frustration to a minimum and increase fulfillment to the maximum".

This is not Pollyanna stuff. It is based on years of study of the world's major religions, sociology, psychology, physical and social sciences--synthesized into a workable, practical guide for better living. It is the testament of faith and inspiration of a woman who has overcome the handicap of being totally deaf since infancy--a woman who despite this handicap speaks two languages and understands five, who founded the first school for the deaf in Central America (in Honduras), who was editor-in-chief of "Avante", a leading Latin American magazine, and U.S. section editor off "Norte".

While it may be possible to take exception to some minor points or examples cited by the author in clarifying the fundamental laws of life, to do so would be petty and would defeat my purpose. For I sincerely believe that "The God Within" holds a dynamic message for those who would help themselves to a better, healthier and happier life.

--Del Martin

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25. WARPED WOMEN by Janet Pritchard. #B121 Beacon Books c1951 (1956).

Despite the title, this is a fairly well written explicit story of the love affair of Miss Jan Carter and young Cynthia Bennett. It has an ending to satisfy censors but nevertheless is well worth reading.

26. THE HEARTH AND THE STRANGENESS by N. Martin Kramer. #R236 Pyramid Books, c1956.

Enclosed in a lengthy and excellent novel on inherited insanity is one of the most beautifully told stories of love between two women. It is especially important in that the causation of Lesbianism in the one girl is made manifestly clear from early childhood, to complete maturity. Although the ending is not a happy one, it is not the fault or failure of either participant, but rather an act of God.

27. THE DARK ISLAND by Vita Sackville-West. Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1934.

To Shirin there are but two obsessions: Christina and the lonely, windswept dark island. Of the bitter conflict that arises between the jealous Venn and these obsessions lies a story of melodramatic and tragic impact.

28. DESPERATE REMEDIES, by Thomas Hardy (1871). MacMillan, 1951.

The diary of a noble woman's servant is recorded with intense reality, concerning "woman and woman", of whom "the facts were ethereal and refined". The tale leads later on a heterosexual vein into a plot of overwhelming complexity.


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'One Generation from Extinction'

As we continue to express our belief in freedom, it would seem that the American youth is rejecting this precious ideal of our forefathers.

In a survey of political and social opinions of American teen-agers taken recently by the Purdue University Opinion Panel, half of the high school students polled felt that most people are incapable of deciding what's best for them. 41% believed we should cancel freedom of the, press; 34% favored denying free speech to certain people; 26% would allow search and seizure without a warrant; they favored legalized wire tapping and the "third degree"; they believed censorship of books, movies, radio and television was a job for the police.

As pointed out by Wellington J. Griffith, Jr., in his article, "Freedom Is Not Free", published in This Week Magazine (United Newspapers Magazine Corp., New York) early this month, "Always freedom is but one generation from extinction".

He deplores the failure of American adults "to pass on the lesson that men and women who founded our nation knew so well: freedom, our most valuable possession, must be jealously protected and strengthened by each generation".

Britains Seek Sex Law Revisions

A special government committee on vice recommended early this month that homosexual behavior between adults no longer be considered a criminal offense in Britain, according to United Press releases.

Regarding homosexuality, the committee said, "We do not think that it is proper for the law to concern itself with what a man does in private unless it can be shown to be so contrary to the public good that the law ought

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to intervene in its function as the guardian of the public good."

Under present law penalties for homosexuality--both public and private--range to life imprisonment for "the gravest offense". The group recommended that life imprisonment be retained only for offenses with boys under the age of l6.


The group also made a clear distinction between homo-- sexuality and homosexual offenses, saying homosexuality is a "state or condition" and is not as such within the purview of criminal law.

The report was prepared by a 13-member committee headed by Reading University Vice-Chancellor Sir John Wolfenden. No early government decision on the report is expected. It will probably be debated in the House of Commons in November.

In the meantime, spokesmen for religious and civic groups generally spoke in favor of the recommendations, but newspapers were sharply divided.

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On The Eve of Spring

A Story by Alice Vernon

The smell of Spring was in the night. It had rained that afternoon; yet the deluge had been short and not unpleasant. Winter and the freezing rains were now of the past. The street lights shone as halos through the shiny wet-branched trees of the Boulevard Raspail. They were street lights of the last century--the hiss of the gas mingled with the soft creaking sound of the breeze as it played among the barren branches.

The girl stood beneath the trees, her duffle coat open to the cool night air. She breathed it in ecstatically, sensing the promise of Spring. It was over--the long winter night of Paris was over. She was alone in the night but Spring was hidden in the darkness, and she felt the first stirrings of a rebirth in the heart of the sleeping city.

The time for solitude was passing. The boulevard was silent. But from afar came sound of great revelry--the cafe crowds of Montparnasse had come out from winter hibernation to welcome the Spring. She walked slowly up the Rue Vavin. The neon-lighted cafes burst into view and the night became as day. The Select cafe was even more crowded than usual--full of those who might one day be renowned in the world of arts. Some were true artists; however, many were simply avid readers of Hemingway--almost as pilgrims they came to that spot where their idol had sat writing day upon day.

The girl Vicky stood outside watching those people. How intense appeared their lives, seen through the panes of the glass-enclosed terrace! Conversing seriously or bursting with gaiety, their rather wild gesticulations and intense expressions conveyed a feeling of the importance of each individual's thoughts. They were youth, possessors of the universe--in Paris on the eve of Springtime.

Vicky entered the cafe and joined a group of her friends who were seated in the corner of the terrace. They were

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all optimistic, still-to-become-famous, young artists. They were a mixed group held together by strong bonds of friendship, with similar hopes for the future, the same sentiments on life and love, and, above all, a profound love for Paris. Yet tonight, with Spring in the air, friendship was not quite enough. The unity of the group was weakened--it was divided into couples, too selfish in love to give their thoughts to others. It was not a night to converse deeply--to solve all the world's problems over a glass of wine. It was a night for love and laughter.

Vicky looked out onto the sidewalk. Couples arm in arm strolled by heedless of the chill of the night air. She recognized many faces. Paris is like a grouping of many small cities. People know each other; they nod and greet familiar faces as they pass in the crowd. One can feel at home in Paris as in no other large city in the world. In New York City one sees millions of vague faces; one is lost in the crowd passing in silence. In Paris one smiles and; speaks to familiar faces; everyone is a neighbor. Vicky saw the French-American couple who lived upstairs--the ones with the adorable, completely bilingual, little boy. And there was the girl whom Vicky often saw walking alone. A young girl who walked alone, loving Paris, knowing that one must wander the streets to really feel and know the heart of the city. Vicky saw her many times each day--always alone, always walking. She was probably American, although her clothes--tapered black slacks and duffle coat--looked French, and she wore her beautiful dark hair long and uncurled, Parisian style. The girl looked into the cafe and smiled quietly to Vicky. She did not stop but continued walking slowly up the brightly lit boulevard. Vicky followed her with her eyes until she was lost from sight in the flowing crowd.

Vicky and her friends left the cafe of words and walked up the Boulevard Montparnasse to the cafe of music in the Hotel des Etats-Unis. They sat down, in the smoky cafe filled to overflowing with an excited crowd. The entire room seemed to sway to the throbbing rhythm of the five-piece jazz band. Dancing was prohibited in the crowded room. However, downstairs outside the rest rooms--if one can call them by such a luxurious name--was an area large enough for dancing. A couple of Vicky's friends

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went down to dance. The remaining couples had loving eyes for each other only. Vicky sat and listened to the music. The strong, primitive sounds blared forth in the small room. The rhythm throbbed within her body; she felt rather than heard the music. It was an intense beat; it coursed through her veins tumultuously. The music was for two--it was too fervent to be borne in loneliness.

Vicky slipped away into the dark stillness of the night streets, her head and heart pounding still with the wild rhythm. She began walking up the boulevard towards the Observatoire. There by the fountain she loved she could regain her usual calm. The fountain shown dry and naked In the cold light of the Paris night. The horses reared up from the empty basin. They glittered, wet from the afternoon's rainfall. A shadow moved by the fountain. Vicky started, and then relaxed with a smile. It was the girl who walked alone. She greeted Vicky, speaking in a beautiful French. Yet she too was American. They spoke of Parks, and of the coming Spring; they spoke little, yet each knew she had found understanding. Neither would ever again walk alone in the night. The streets of Paris had brought them together; and together they would come to know the heart of their city.

They walked arm in arm down the Boulevard Raspail. The gas lights hissed softly, the breeze brought to their ears far-off sounds of laughter and gaiety. Faintly they heard soft strains of jazz, footsteps around a dark corner, lonely whistling in the night. The breeze carried a breath of warmth. Paris--on the eve off spring, and of Love.


It seems to be a universal fact that minorities--especially when the individuals composing them can be recognized by physical characteristics--are treated by the majorities among whom they live as an inferior order of beings. The tragedy of such a fate lies not merely in the unfair treatment to which these minorities are automatically subjected in social and economic matters,

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Tuesday, September 24 - Public Discussion meeting at 465 Geary St., Studio 51 (5th floor) at 8:15 p.m. William Baker, national president of the American Graphological Society, will speak on "Handwriting As It Relates To The Personality".
Wednesday, October 9 - Monthly business meeting and annual election of officers. 2174 California St. (basement apartment) at 8 p.m. Members only.
Saturday, October 26 - Annual Halloween Party (costume) for members and their guests only. Details in next issue of LADDER.
Friday, October 4 - Gab 'n Java session at 2217 Fillmore St., 8:15 p.m. Informal bull session type meeting for women only.


However, it is planned to have Leo Zeff, clinical psychologist speak in November on "Depth" Psychology and Religion. Particulars will be announced in next issue,

but also in the fact that under the suggestive influence of the majority racist of the victims themselves succumb to the same prejudice and regard their kind as inferior beings. This second and greater part of the evil can be overcome by closer association and by deliberate education of the minority, whose spiritual liberation can thus be accomplished.

Albert Einstein, Amsterdam, 1934

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Readers Respond

"You have sent me issue number 9. Would you, however, back date my subscription to the first issue and send me all the previous ones? I am interested in these first issues, and also to see how the mentality of the female homosexual corresponds to my own.

"Today, by letter post, I have posted off two books to you. One of them, 'Olivia', the story of a Lesbian, you may already have; however, it may not have been issued in the States and therefore of interest to you. The other is a book with photos, of the life of Queen Mary.

"May I wish you all the very best for success with your work and magazine ..."

B.W., London, England

Thank you indeed for the books--they arrived safely. "Olivia" has been printed in the United States. However, until now we did not have ä copy in the DOB library.

We have forwarded all available issues of THE LADDER--beginning with March. We are STILL in process of reproducing a composite edition of the first five issues (now out of print). Advance orders for this edition are being accepted at 50¢ per copy; $1 on publication. -ED.

"May I share the following quote with you? It

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was written by Robert G. Ingersoll (American lawyer and agnostic, l833-l899). I send it to you in response to a frequent statement made in THE LADDER i.e., the homosexual's difference is only in choice of love object.

"'Love is the only bow on life's dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb.

"'It is the mother of art, Inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart--builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody--for music is the voice of love.

"'Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven and we are gods.'"

P.K., Sausalito, Calif.

"I am a Hungarian emigrant. I am 26 years old and should like to correspond with a 40 or 50 year old woman. Please, help me and send me an address!"

E.H., Zurich, Switzerland

We receive a great many letters of this nature from various parts of the world. However, we are not set up to help those who wish to find some one with whom to correspond. Because of

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the laws in this country and the stigma attached to homosexuality, most of our members--readers prefer to remain anonymous. They rely on us to use discretion and to keep such information in confidence. Therefore, much as we may be sympathetic to the problem, it is definitely against the policy of the DOB to give out names and addresses in any case. Sorry! -ED.

"Could you tell me where I might secure a copy of the book, 'Chase of the Wild Goose' by Mary Baker--it is an English book. Do you have any books to sell concerning the Lesbian theme? If so, please send me a list of them"

E.W., Decker, Indiana

Sorry, we don't know off hand where you might be able, to obtain Mary Baker's book. Perhaps one of our readers may know. Also, our book service at present is limited to "Wind Woman" by Carol Hales. See ad on page 17. -ED.

"I enjoy THE LADDER immensely, my favorite Item to date being Dr. Blanche Baker's open letter 'pleading guilty' in the April issue. I'd enjoy knowing Dr. Baker!"

J.A., Kansas City, Kansas

For those who missed Dr. Baker's provocative letter, copies of the April issue are still available and may be obtained at 50¢ ea. -ED.


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You Control Your Life

"Only one person can control your life--you!"

This statement keynoted the remarks made at the August public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis by Robert E. Mack of the Kimball Foundation of Human Engineering.

The Foundation aims to teach people how to use the capacities inherent within them. "All of us have what is necessary, but maybe we are not using it," Mr. Mack pointed out. "Nature will give you anything you act like you have," he said, "and take away anything you act like, you haven't."

Positive thinking is well and good, the speaker stated, but accomplishes nothing unless the act is coupled with the thought. The Foundation uses a series of "keys" to unlock the personality to gear the action to the thought.

Mr. Mack put the audience through a set of these keys, and everyone agreed that it was hard to feel depressed or mean while standing straight and tall and smiling broadly. "When you feel better things will work better for you. We stress as the Golden Rule of our course to be good to yourself, because until you are you can't be any good to anyone else.

"Nothing happens to you unless you allow it to happen. If you depend on a thing, person or surroundings for your well-being these things can disappear or change. Your security must come from within yourself if it is to be valid and lasting."

The Kimball Foundation conducts regular classes in "Human Engineering". All are based on the precept that by thinking and acting positively at the same time a person can teach himself to live now, not in the future or the past, and to utilize to the utmost his capabilities, most of which are now latent in most people. Integration of the thought with the act sums up the basic approach.

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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP--$5.00 initiation fee and $1,00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP--$2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents in the area where meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $2.50 per year.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work, We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication, While men may not become members of the Daughter of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER.

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco 5, Calif., requesting an application form.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $2.50 for one year or $5 for two years, enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

693 Mission Street--Room 308
San Francisco 5, California

Please send THE LADDER for __ year(s) by first class mail sealed to the address below. I enclose $ __at the rate of $2.50 for each year ordered.

NAME _____


CITY _____ZONE __STATE _____

I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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The Ladder, October 1957, Vol. 2, No. 1

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purpose of the
Daughters ofBILITIS


1 Education of the variant, with particular emphasis on the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects, to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society in all its social, civic and economic implications--this to be accomplished by establishing and maintaining as complete a library as possible of both fiction and non-fiction literature on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions on pertinent subjects to be conducted by leading members of the legal, psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

2 Education of the public at large through acceptance first of the Individual, leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and -prejudices; through public discussion meetings aforementioned; through dissemination of educational literature on the homosexual theme.

3 Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible. psychologists, sociologists and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

4 Investigation of the penal code as it pertains to the homosexual, proposal of changes to provide an equitable handling of cases involving, this minority group, and promotion of these changes through due process of law in the state legislatures.

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Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a non-profit corporation, 693 Mission Street, Room 308, San Francisco, California. Telephone EXbrook 7-0773.


President--Del Martin

Vice' President--Billie Tallmij

Secretary--Marty Elliott

Treasurer--Audree Allen

Publications Director--Helen Sanders

Librarian--Barbara Stephens


Editor--Phyllis Lyon

Circulation Manager--Winnie Little

Production Manager--Jaye Bell

Los Angeles Reporter--Sten Russell


Growing Pains Don't Hurt! Del Martin Page 4
Hail and Farewell Jan Addison (Story) Page 7
A Symposium How Homosexuality Fits In Page 12
The Children's Hour Too Close for Comfort
Jann Miller (Review) Page 14
You Carol Hales Page 15
Your Handwriting Reveals You! Page 18
Lesbiana page 21
Love In the South Seas Barbara Stephens
(Review) Page 22
Calendar of Events Page 23
Readers Respond Page 24

Cover by Kay Somers

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Growing Pains Don't Hurt!

'Growing Pains' Don't Hurt...

While this is the first anniversary of THE LADDER, it marks the end of two years of "growing pains" for the Daughters of Bilitis.

It all began; when eight women gathered together looking for a social outlet and some answers to a few of the problems which Lesbians face. And as is inevitable one idea led to another, and the present program of the organization gradually evolved.

The primary problem during the first year was that of meeting new people and spreading the word that the club did exist complete with constitution and by-laws. The going was slow indeed. Although the fact that the Daughters were in; existence was an unguarded secret, the word just wasn't getting around. Interest wavered, and membership fluctuated from a low of six to the 15 on the rolls at the end of the first year.

In an all-out push, "do or die" effort, the 15 set up public discussion meetings in a rented hall with professional people invited to speak on the subject of PEAR as it relates to the homophile. For PEAR and the dispelling of it was the immediate problem to be faced if the organization were to be effective and" continue to grow.

But setting up the meetings was not enough. How were the events to be publicized so that there would be anyone in attendance? And so THE LADDER came into) being as a mimeographed newsletter just one year ago. As the first issue. went to press there were 17 paid subscribers(at $1 per year) and a mailing list of some 200 names and addresses including psychiatrists, psychologists, attorneys and other professional people lifted out of the telephone directory. Additions to this list were made as anyone came up with more acquaintances. Members and friends of the Daughters are still asked to supply us with more names and addresses in order that sample issues of THE

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LADDER may be sent to introduce the publication and the organization. Since it is not feasible to advertise openly, there is no other way in which to increase THE LADDER'S circulation.

At any rate, this first effort at publishing "snowballed". The mail came in faster than it could be read--let alone answered. The organization as well as the publication was suffering from growing pains. And a handful of not too-unwilling people were in for a lot of hard work!

By the third issue THE LADDER graduated from the none too satisfactory (to put it mildly) mimeographed newsletter to a bona fide printed format--the printing taking place before and after working hours in a local commercial concern unbeknownst to the proprietors. In due time (three issues) this arrangement proved to be somewhat confining, and since the circulation was growing steadily, each month, the job was farmed out to Pan Graphic Press, where it is still being printed.

During this same period the Daughters of Bilitis applied for and received a charter from the State of California as a non-profit corporation. An office was rented in the Williams Building, quarters being shared with the Mattachine Society. The Daughters were in business!

The public discussion meetings--on fear, employment, the law, and other related homophile problems--met with a favorable response, attendance ranging from 15 to 55. Many men attend these meetings as well.

Then came the need for more intimate, "let the hair down" type discussions, and the Gab 'n Java sessions were born. Attendance at these bull, sessions has ranged from 10 to 45.

Social activities are another important part of the D'OB, program. Aside from the opportunity they afford for getting better acquainted, they have also proved to be very successful in the all-important matter of raising funds. Several "annual" events have evolved during the past two years: the St. Patrick's Day brunch, to which members of

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the Mattachine Society are invited; a summer picnic outing; Halloween Party; and New Year's Eve party. During the Interim there is bowling scheduled and other events of interest to the group. During the recent Mattachine Society Convention the Daughters entertained delegates and visitors at a cocktail party.

The DOB library, while still rather limited, is now processed and available at the office, room 308, 693 Mission St. The books and periodicals range from strictly homophile subjects to the better-known established classical works. Many subscribers to THE LADDER have generously donated volumes from their own collections or sent funds with which to purchase needed titles. Any such help in this educational and recreational venture is gratefully received.

At the beginning of this third year, the Daughters of Bilitis is launching its first research project. Case histories of Lesbians are now in process on a voluntary basis, the purpose being to provide data on a subject long ignored. Those in the San Francisco Bay Area who would be Interested in" volunteering as subjects are asked to contact the DOB office,693 Mission St., Room 308, San Francisco--phone EXbrook 7-0773. For those in outlying areas a questionnaire is being prepared.

It should also be noted here that, while the Daughters of Bilitis is a separate and distinct organization with its own policies and goals, the "growing pains" would have been a great deal more excruciating had it not been for the full cooperation and support of the Mattachine Society and ONE, Inc. Both of these organizations have favored have favored us with encouragement, advice, and publicity, without which the DOB would not have been able to proceed as rapidly as it has.

From a newsletter, THE LADDER has graduated into the classification of a magazine, and as of June 1 the rates were raised from $1 to $2.50 a year. THE LADDER is offering reportorial coverage of the activities of the various homophile organizations, articles relating to or of interest to the homophile, fiction, and poetry. While THE LADDER is published by the Daughters of Bilitis, the editorial matter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization. The publication is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view.

Membership in the DOB now numbers 45; there are approximately 400 subscribers to THE LADDER. These numbers represent considerable growth in the past year. Prom vague ideas have come a concrete program. In the next year it is hoped that the tag ends which are still flapping will be tied in and that participation in the varied activities of the Daughters of. Bilitis will continue to grow.

--Del Martin

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A Story by Jan Addison

When she had hung her ulster in the staff-room locker she took the stairs slowly, for the first time since the doctor said she must. ('Not for the first half-century I won't,' she'd said. And Br. Eleanor, not joking: 'Want to finish that half-century?' And she: 'Not much, if it means having to die by inches,') Well, yesterday she'd finished it, fifty years at her own pace. Today she was ready to lean back, begin letting her juniors do the running.

She walked into the half-glass office with Agnes Dawes, Associate Director in new gold-edged black low on the panel, and sat down. Technically it was her office three days ago, first of the month, but what with clearing a decade's accumulation out of her old desk, rehearsing her successor, and being coached herself by old Emmy--(As if five years of Acting Associate Director through vacations and sick-leaves weren't enough coaching.

She looked out the window and was as dashed by the serene reach of lawn as though it were the ocean. But through plate glass on the other side was still the old morning "turmoil around her desk out there--no, not her desk any more, Lou Brandt's. Agnes Dawes need never again keep afloat in that surf of urgent demands for Instant and variegated information. Never again sit exposed eight hours a day at a mill-race public service point.

Never again... A wave of nostalgia sharp as panic invaded her. She hustled a folder out of the deep filing drawer at her right land dived into the Associate Director's annual report. But what use? She'd got all that in hand last month during Emmy's vacation, and couldn't finish it till fiscal statistics were completes. What was there that had to be done? At this instant nothing.

Now it was real panic. What had she let herself in for? Where was she headed now? This; office had been the goal for

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so long. The top of a hill beyond which one couldn't see. Well, she was up there now. No farther to climb. (For of bourse no Board in a city this size would ever appoint a woman as Director.) So this was it... Nowhere to go from here Fifteen years of these glass walls ahead, certain as a prison cell.

She all but snatched the mail from Arvid when he preferred it limply through the door. Anything--but quick--to clear this emotional smog. She riffled the first of the professional journals. Positions Open--no help there. At fifty, ten years in one system behind you, no advertised vacancy could offer advantages. New Library Buildings--dead pigeon. With the Annex added three years ago, there 'd be no new one s here in her time. Personal Notes--not one familiar name, all quick rising juniors. It wasn't her baby any longer even to watch for deaths, insert their dates in the biographical volumes and notify the catalog department. But at fifty one watched the obituaries anyhow. So often a name there was familiar.

Lynn Currier? The blow of a fist on the heart. Oh no, no! Why, she's younger than I!...or is she?

(Mary). Lynn Currier, Anglo-American novelist, suddenly, in London, at. 53. Miss Currier, born and educated in Oxford, combined woman's college teaching in this country and England with the writing of uncommonly subtle and artistic mysteries. Best known are September Song, Who Travels Alone, and Candle Burning,

But not Quicksands nor Odd Body, Agnes Dawes raged in silent bitterness. Oh no! Never say one good word, anybody, for either of those 'queers'. Though they happen to be the best things she ever wrote. Because in them she wrote what she knew, she'd been there! Girls' dorms, summer camps at the shore... God! Could one ever forget the and of Quicksands - tall, cool Honora walking straight on through the marsh grass as if it were, sidewalk, the sleuth following, until without warning the sands took them both. So the girl Cy could go free...

Agnes Dawes thrust her chair back and strode three paces, hands-clasped behind her, before a glass wall recalled where she was. She took another step toward her old desk, and

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then returned, sat down. No use combing the biographical stuff again, she knew every sentence in print by heart long since, and it came to dammed little more than this obituary. Nor need one expect much in addition even now Lynn Currier was gone. Not about a woman unmarried at fifty-three, teacher of phys. ed., with those two queer books to her credit.

Lordy, the fever of that first wild futile hunt to learn about her, after finding Quicksands! And the desperate secrecy of the hunt. Just as one had cut classes and rushed the whole way downtown to buy the book in a store where one wasn't known. And read it in a single afternoon, and finished blind drunk on no more than discovering at last that one other person completely understood...

Why didn't I write her then? Again a kind of choking panic. Now I never can. ...Always going to someday, when I found the time--and courage enough to say what had to be said. ...Always seemed there was all the time in the world for it. A sort of treat, saved for the future. And now--you never will.

Her aching throat closed, her eyes burned dangerously. And there were still lunch and four working hours to get through. A fine thing if Old Agate began weeping here in her new fishbowl. She snapped erect and rang down all her inner asbestos curtains. Let the young half-bakes twitter their warnings; Old Ag's blowing up a storm...

Going home she bought a fifth of Seagram's 7-Crown. So much for Dr. Eleanor's calamity howling. (Hell, men, do you want to live forever?") Food was of no more Interest than at noon. She spread camembert on a rye crisp or two. Those and the scotch syphon and ice at her right elbow. A fresh pack and the nine-inch ashtray at her left. Then she reached down Quicksands from her shelves, and settled.

At the touch of the now softened shabby covers she shivered Uncanny to become so utterly again the girl who first read it--her first queer book. Stumbling on that review by accident, running crazy with excitement, making the wild dash to buy It, going the reckless length of lunch at the University Women's Club so she could sit unnoticed in the

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lounge afterward, face to the wall, and devour it in one dizzy oblivious afternoon...

'On the Shoreline train going down to The Landing, Honora Williams presently became aware of a rigid, silent, freckled poker-face turned stubbornly to the window.' No need of opening the book for that first sentence! Nor scarcely for much of what followed. Nevertheless she opened it, and began to read slowly, luxuriously, savoring each loved phrase, never skipping a word. If its three-hundred-odd page s kept her up all night, so be it. This was her tardy rendezvous with Lynn Currier. Her night watch beside the stranger now dead whom she'd known and loved for nearly thirty years.

Well as she knew the book, it held fresh, sure news tonight: In some measure, this was Lynn Currier's own story. Her first volume,autobiographical as so many of the 'firsts' are that spill out of the early twenties... Like fireflies there lit in her memory small incidents scattered through the half dozen straight novels and the other gay one. Unmistakable recurring patterns, like motifs in music, transposed from key to key, from major to minor, but constant. The writer's; own. And taken together, so deeply revealing..

Agnes Dawes lived the story as never before in all her hundred readings. Print on pages faded, and she was Cy Rawlings, rigid silent, with that reform-school chapter hidden in her past. Taken on sufferance as swimming coach. Burning up, eaten hollow with passion for Honora that must be as rigorously hidden. And Honora, athletic director, tall, cool, gallant... Oh Lynn, you were Honora! You knew that dam fool spoiled brat lost her ring in swimming-- and lied. But with no proof, and the evidence--trivial diabolical circumstantial evidence--against Cy, and that hidden chapter bound to come out if... Into what quicksands did you walk once, Lynn...and for whom?

To the core she was Cy, shivering in her cabin, listening for the detective's step, planning how to kill herself if Honora believed... Then, panicked by the silence, peering out over the marsh and seeing-suddenly grasping Honora's game, knowing its end-and that to save her!

She ran out shrieking... too late.

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A scrape in Agnes Dawes' throat brought her back. She must have uttered some croaking dream parody of Cy's scream. The cigarette pack was an empty crumple, the bottle held little more than an inch. How? When? But these images were only a dull one-dimensional mural, an irrelevance, behind Cy's searing agony.

Honora! she moaned, flung fist on the rough boards of the cabin floor, tearing, them with her nails. Honora,my life! Wait for me, I'm coming too... Not in the book, that. But it had happened. And Honora... Lynn didn't die actually... not then... She came in through the cabin door.

Oh Lynn, I meant to write. Don't go without understanding that... Somehow it was Lynn herself... here... not Honora bending over Cy in a cabin. Lynn in this room, tall, Sardonic, an unfamiliar white streak in the dark hair, clothes of today, not those in the only--the 1940-- picture...

Lynn, Lynn, I love you. I've loved you thirty years. If we'd met you'd have been the only one,! forever, you must understand that... Don't leave me...

Color was fading from even the dull one-dimensional mural now, its grays running together in a dim blur. But Lynn stood clear... a thin color-slide projected faintly on a mottling gray wall...

With unmoving lips Lynn said: I know, I've always, known. There'll be no one else for either of us now...

The transparent strong brown hand reached out for her fingers

Suddenly all the lights were out and it was incredibly, deathly cold... But Agnes Dawes was happier than she had ever been... in her life.

THE LADDER welcomes any and all contributions in the form of articles, stories, poems and artwork either for illustrations inside the magazine or possible covers.

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How Homosexuality Fits In

Those of you in the Bay Area who have expressed interest In attending ONE Institute's program of homophile studies in Los Angeles (THE LADDER, July,1957) now have a chance to obtain much of the material presented at the Institute in a week of meetings to be held in San Francisco November 11-17.

A Symposium entitled "How Homosexuality Pits In" will be co-sponsored by the Daughters of Bilitis and ONE, Inc. This will include a concentration of the material presented at the Los Angeles Institute.

The first four sessions of the week-long Symposium will be conducted by W. Dorr Legg, acting director of the Institute; the following three by James Kepner, Jr., instructor at ONE Institute.

All classes will be held at 465 Geary Street, Studio 30, San Francisco, starting Monday, Nov. 11. The program is as follows:

Nov. 11, 8-10 p.m. SQUAW MEN AND AMAZONS
Some Sax Customs of Our Ancestors
Nov. 12, 8-10 p.m. THE GLORY THAT WAS GREECE
Men and Women Who Made It Great
Nov. 13, 8-10 p.m. THE "NEW ATHENS" IN AMERICA
Some Intellectual and Social Currents
Nov. 14, 8-10 p.m. MORES AND MORALS
Femininity, Masculinity and Philosophy

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Nov. 15, 8-10 p.m. IS YOUR BODY HOMOSEXUAL?
Evidence Prom Biology and Medicine
Nov, 16, 8-10 p.m. THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS
Disaster, or Decadence? Germany as an
Religious Doctrines Down Through the Ages
Roundtable and coffee--open to those
attending at least three previous

Tuition for all eight sessions is $10; for any three, $5; single sessions are $2. Checks may be made payable to Daughters of Bilitis or 0NE, Incorporated. Further information may be obtained by writing the DOB at 693 Mission St., Room 308, San Francisco, or calling EXbrook 7-0773.

We strongly urge everyone interested to take advantage of this chance to learn more about the homophile problem.


A mask I wear
For the world to see.
I put on a show
Even for Thee.

It's been so long
Oh, can it be
That I have lost
What's really me?

- Audrey Kern

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a review


The Interplayer's production of Lillian Hellman's tense drama "The Children's. Hour", which recently completed la three-month run at the Bella Union Theater in San Francisco, has received loud acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

The drama, hailed as one of the most moving and vivid portrayals of the unveiling of repressed! homosexuality, has set intellectual and emotional gears in motion wherever presented.

Miss Hellman, author of the theatrical bombshell, described it as "a play about a lie and the havoc that it brings to the lives of the principal characters." This, in my estimation, is a very inadequate description of the drama, as Miss Hellman neglected to add that the "lie" (a false accusation of overt Lesbianism on the part of the two female school teachers around whom the play is centered) was not, in actuality, a lie! The motives are there if not the means for their immediate disposition. The mind, in this case, merely speculates whereas the heart knows all along.

This play, born and nurtured in the mind of Miss Hellman will always be more than just a play, for the writer is certain that there were many in the audience the night I was" present, and there will be many in innumerable future-performances to come, who will read into the drama a certain deadly but ever-present self-identification. It is for these that the play, whether obvious or inobvious to its author at the time of its first performance, was actually written.

-Jann Miller

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To accept the advice of others is dangerous whenever It is contrary to your own inner convictions of what is right or wrong for you. If, honestly, before God, you admit you are a homosexual, and the idea of attempting to live a "faked" heterosexual life is obnoxious to you, then DON'T attempt it. Not even to win the esteem of a person or persons who might applaud such an attempt. Their approval would not be worth the price it cost.

However, if advice given to you is good, such as an aid in helping you to BE YOURSELF and yet do so without creating disturbances with those who are unlike you, then you will know it is advice you should need.

You will know it, because your own heart will feel a spontaneous agreement.

You are of a sexual minority, but that does not mean you are one whit less fine, courageous and capable of contributing much good to the whole of life, than is anyone belonging to the sexual majority.

You are you! Don't ever underestimate your assets and the good points; that are your very own.

You are an individual, as is every human being. Have the courage and, if necessary acquire the skill to live successfully as the individual you are.

Leaves, snowflakes and fingerprints have their separate distinct, pattern. Don't fight and cry out complaints because you, too, are a distinct; individual. Homosexuals are like heterosexuals in some ways yet unlike them In others. So what? No two persons of either sexual group are exactly alike. No two heterosexuals, no two homosexuals are alike in every manner. Nature gave us the charm of infinite variety. YOU ARE YOU! Rejoice in that fact.

Don't curse Nature for placing you at what you may wrongly

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consider a cruel disadvantage. Lock closely at all the facts and bless Nature for the advantages she has given you. Yes, I said ADVANTAGES. If you are honest you will see that you do have advantages--even in spite of much of society's stupidity and prejudice regarding your kind.

By using every thing you thought was against you as grist for your mill of self-development you will find real meaning, new zest in daily living.

The very opposition you face, can be used as a burning forge upon which the metal of your character is shaped and molded into a thing of power and beauty.

You have control of your reactions. Others may act as they will, but if you react in a constructive manner toward your own individuality you will always grow stronger regardless of any outer pressure.

For you--life is not always a garden of roses. Is it for anyone? Yet you always have the secret flower of your own individuality, that, if you will let it, will bloom even in a desert waste.

Once you become real friends with God, it will be easier to work out any difficulties that occur between yourself and your fellow human beings. To become real friends with your Creator you must have your own feeling of closeness to Him. Certain religious concepts are satisfying to many people. There are other people who must do their own reaching out and finding, apart from ritual and creed. Wherever, however one finds God and companions with the Spirit over all, for that one, the joy of trusting God is made manifest. You can find your own way, but to be happy in this world, you MUST find God. Select the path best suited to you and if you seek God, you will indeed find Him and be aware of His loving Presence God's Presence is with you, but you must be aware of it to receive its blessings.

Be glad you are the distinct personality you are. Hold your head proudly. Consider how Nature has worked through your ancestors to determine your physical and mental make-up

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up to a large degree. Acknowledge that the accumulated experiences you have had since your birth, plus the ways you have reacted to these, experiences have also had an important influence in determining the sort of an individual you are now.

Then most important of all, realize that the immortal spirit within you was given to you by God, and when you trust God and your own inner spirituality you have a guidance and protection that never fails.

You have your very own likes and dislikes, your own ideals and standards. You know more about yourself than does anyone else on earth. And so you have a right to form your own set of values. You know what you want from life. All right, then teach yourself to get it, without harming others, and with as little conflict as possible.

So if you love someone whose values are as your own, there is no need to expose that love to the glare of the spotlight of public knowledge. No need to offer yourselves up to be nailed on the cross of mass misunderstanding and condemnation. (Not unless you happen to enjoy suffering.)

Only an exhibitionist must expose his private life in order to enjoy it. The only exception is found if homosexual partners reveal their private lives in an attempt to show the world that such unions can be, and often are, fine and decent, and that they contribute much to the sum total good of today's world. Those who attempt this are born CRUSADERS who are dedicated to the Cause. They realize the risk involved, but they consider it a calculated risk. You alone know in your heart whether or not you are willing to take it. Unless you feel very sure of yourself in meeting any problems that exposure might bring forth, then it is wiser to keep your private life private.

But this does not mean you need to be a hypocrite. Only a fool or a coward will seek to appease mass thinking by attempting to be what another person or mass concept says one should be. BE YOURSELF!

The only right changes for an individual are those prompted by a sincere belief and one's honest reactions

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to the situations that confront one, and the experiences through which one passes.

So you do have conflicts and so you must face issues. Who on earth does not? No one who is still breathing. Conflicts and the facing of issues is one thing that homosexuals share with heterosexuals. The conflicts and the issues may differ for these two groups as they may differ among individuals, but they are there.

It isn't so important to try to avoid them, though in some cases this may seem wise. But it is vitally important to learn to handle both conflicts and issues with skills. And to maintain a healthy sense of balance-- nothing helps so much as to feel that when the going is tough you have the aid that comes of knowing you are holding on to God's hand. And this you CAN do if you only try.

The most satisfying life is the one a person lives in his own way, being true to his deep convictions, and trusting God.

Who ever you are, where ever you may be, God bless YOU.

-carol Hales


That your handwriting discloses the real you was proved to everyone's satisfaction at the September public discussion meeting of the Daughters of Bilitis.

William Baker, national president of the American Graphological Society, declared that the psychological and physical being of a person comes through in his or her handwriting. Your handwriting tells the truth about you. It does not, however, foretell the future or the age or sex of the writer.

In analyzing handwriting the entire picture of the writing is taken into consideration, Mr. Baker pointed

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out, including the width of the margins and the slant of the words and lines.

For the benefit of those who could not attend, the following are capsule analyses of individual letters and characteristics:

Speed and spontaneity in writing mean truthfulness. Slow writing is suspect; too fast writing may mess things up and lead thoughts astray.

Downhill slant shows depression or pessimism, or a bad physical condition.

Uphill writing shows optimism. In business letters (particularly signatures) the uphill slant shows ambition and self-endorsement.

Straight line writing is the sign of a rigid person.

Wavy lines of writing indicate a person changeable in moods.

Rounded letters show a self-conscious, lazy, comfort loving person. Angular letters are characteristic of the narrow personality.

The upper areas (loops) of letters indicate the values of a person (ideals, love); the middle area shows how the daily work is done; the lower areas (loops) point out the natural instincts bothering the writer.

Any swing to the left in a letter indicates regression to childhood. Adolescents, particularly girls, often go through a period of backhand writing showing their confusion with the complex world into which they are being thrown.

The letter D written with an ell-like look betokens a person of exceeding sensitivity with feelings that are easily hurt.

Open letters are the sign of unbalanced ambition;

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points in letters are hostility jabs.

A pointed arch on an M or N indicates the conniver or a person with a fetish--or both. A figure-eight lower loop is the sign of the Lesbian.

Perpendicular writing is the sign of a head-ruled persons. Writing which slants from 85 degrees to 55 degrees is acceptable, showing a good balance between the head and heart. More slant indicates the person pretty close to a neurotic breakdown. A regular slant point's out willpower and good organization.

Broken words are a token of a highly intuitive person. Those who keep all their words connected have good reason and logic.

A circle dot over an II is the sign of the seeker for beauty.

A tee crossed solidly straight across the stem indicates a good student and intelligence. One crossed low shows a person interested in physical satisfaction. The impractical daydreamer crosses his tee high above the stem. An upslant cross is the sign of a good and loyal friend; the critical person, prone to take unfair advantage, slants his cross down. The extremely down slanting cross, like a club, betokens destruction of things, or people.

You who cross several tees with one bold slash just can't be bothered with little details.

Large writing characterizes the person of big ideas but no follow-through. The small writer is the detailist, has follow-through and probably literary ability.

The perpendicular stroke is masculine; the rounded stroke is feminine.

Although the above are but a surface introduction to this fascinating subject, if you apply them to your own handwriting you may be surprised and intrigued. Those at the meeting were.

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29. THE ILLUSIONIST by Francoise Mallet-Joris. Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, 1952. Also published as The Loving and The Daring by Popular Library, 1957.

An adolescent girl, in her need for companionship, turns to the charms of her father's confidante. A more complex relationship ensues, ending with a surprising and ironic twist.

30. ADVENTURES OF KING PAUSOLE by Pierre Louys (1901). Collected Works of Pierre Louys, Shakespeare House, 1951.

The Lesbian comique. A brilliant satire on Parisian days and nights in the never-never land of King Pausole. An elopement of the king's daughter and an amusing sequence of events characterize this rare and comic study.

31. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence. Phoenix edition, London, 1954. Avon Publications, Inc., New York.

This lengthy tale of the amours of women includes part of a chapter devoted to a young girl's fascination for her teacher. The climax of this fascination occurs during a swimming scene.

32. THE LOVE SEEKERS by Leonora Hornblow. Simon and Schuster, 1957.

A very modern and quite well written novel with approximately one-fifth of the book telling the story of the lonely young Lesbian Mab, and her tragic love affair and the rather macabre developments surrounding it. An interesting sidelight, the main feminine protagonist is sympathetic and voluble in her complete defense of Mab throughout the book.

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LOVE IN THE SOUTH SEAS by Bengt Danielson,
Anthropologist on the Kon-Tiki Voyage.
Reynal & Co., 1956.

A person never knows his own culture well until he has viewed other peoples, other ways, and then looks back upon his own with a new perspective. Such is Dr. Danielson's penetrating analysis of Polynesian culture in contrast to our own.

Contrary to popular concepts, the Polynesians were not moral anarchists but, rather, slaves to customs all their own. To begin with, they have valued above all a comfortable life, with enjoyment and a full spontaneity of feelings, quite in contrast to our Western values of emotional suppression and competition for economic wealth. Their valuations of spontaneity have been most marked in their sexual attitudes.

"It cannot be denied that compared with us Westerners the Polynesians seem abnormally oversexed. But this is primarily because we are so repressed and puritanical; in reality,it is not the Polynesians but our own attitude toward sex and love that is peculiar and abnormal.

"World-wide anthropological data shows that of the 118 peoples on whose attitude toward sex matters we have detailed information, only two Negro peoples are anything like as puritanical and anti-sexual as us Westerners.

"The Polynesians considered that love was an art, which could and should be learnt.

"They avoided a too violent conflict between 'normal and abnormal' persons by allowing homosexuality to a limited extent and giving social sanction to those who wished to live as transvestites."

Not that the Islands were an ideal paradise, for they were burdened with a rigid caste system and many taboos. Nor could we adopt the Polynesian ways of sexual freedom without a drastic alteration of our whole social and religious organization and ideals. Yet Dr. Danielson does

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offer some pertinent proposals on what we might learn from the Polynesians:

1. A consistent moral code instead of ours of a "bewildering quantity of incompatible and contradictory standards."

2.A positive attitude toward sexuality-to have an appreciative attitude rather than branding it as something base and sinful.

3. A realistic conception of love: "Our sentimental and romantic ideal of love is undoubtedly, responsible for the failures of so many marriages. The Polynesians instead attach decisive importance to such qualities as beauty, temperament, common interests and outlooks, without anyone being the worse for it."

-Barbara Stephens


Friday, November 1 Gab 'n Java session at 6340 Geary
St., Apt. 19, 8 p.m. Informal bull
session for women only.
Week of November 11 - 17 Symposium on "How Homosexuality
Fits In". See Page 12 for details.
Wednesday, November 20 Monthly business meeting, 2174
California St. (basement apartment).
Members are urged to bring their questionnaires
with all additions and
deletions indicated.
Tuesday, November 26 Leo Zeff, clinical psychologist,
will speak on "Depth Psychology and
Religion" at the public discussion
meeting at 465 Geary St. The room has
been changed to Studio 30 (third floor).
Time remains 8:15 p.m.

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Please accept my thanks for the excellent "coverage in depth" which was so evident in your report on the Fourth Annual Convention of the Mattachine society, Inc., in your September issue under the byline of Sten Russell. She told not only who spoke, but what they said-- something that is seldom done so well.

I wish also to express gratitude for the fine support given to the Mattachine convention by members and friends of the Daughters of Bilitis, evident from attendance by women of the sessions.

Hal Call, Editor
Mattachine Review

I received the September issue this morning and find I have to answer one or two things immediately. First to W. W. of Decker, Ind., the book you ask about is a very rare biography entitled "Chase of the "Wild Goose" by Mary Louisa Gordon, published by the Hogarth Press in England in 1936.

It concerns the life and love affair of Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, known to literary history as the "Ladies of Llangollen" because they ran away from their aristocratic Irish homes together and went to live in the beautiful valley of Llangollen in ales. They lived together in harmony for 50 years before death separated them.

They left behind for posterity a journal written primarily by the elder of the two, Lady Butler. This all took place, by the way, between 1750 and 1800. I doubt if you will be able to obtain the book to buy, but it can be gotten to read by inter-library

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loan through either the Library of Congress or Chapel Hill University Library,University of North Carolina. Your local librarian will be able to borrow this for you and the only charge is postage and insurance.

Next I was truly sorry to see that the first copy of "Olivia" in your library came from so far away. I am ashamed of myself and I hope a few other readers will be also. I am enclosing my check for $10 for your book fund.

I am also enclosing a few well-marked current second hand book catalogs. With a little perseverance you can obtain almost any of approximately 100 titles on female homosexuality for $1 each--I know, I have done it.

To all who want to know how to find books, contact one of the large second hand book centers

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and request their free catalogs. Then with them on one side of you and Jeannette Foster's bibliography (Sex Variant women in Literature, see THE LADDER, Nay, 1957) you are in business. Three of the secondhand bookstores are:

Biblo and Tannen Books
63 Fourth Ave.
New York, NY

Central Book store
36 south Clark St.
Chicago, Ill.

Gladys Foreman's Books
908 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, Calif.

All of these will supply free Catalogs on request with delight.

B.G., Kansas City, Kan.

I wish to compliment you and your staff upon the work you are doing out there. May this not-too-small beginning grow into a movement of the tremendous proportions it deserves!

And may I add I appreciate the "more cheerful tone your magazine displays then other, homosexual periodicals. As you so well know, variants meet with though depressing material on this subject in the general press--without having to encounter in within their own literature! Everyone whom I know personally agrees with me upon this. We might sacrifice a few "strong endings", a certain amount of "realism", and copy the "slicks" in this matter. If readers of general magazines want "happy conclusions", how much

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more so does the homosexual need the encouragement, the satisfaction, that is to be found with a story which closes with a promise.

In summing up the above, I shall add that, true, there must be exceptions. But I hope THE LADDER will continue to stress that side of homosexuality which is bright and beautiful and inspiring

May I compliment Jo Allyn on her "Eleventh Hour"? It was both a well-written and interesting story. In line with the above, however, I should like to say that I wish the conclusion might have been more definite with emphasis on the rewarding life that Hazel and Pat might have built together. After all, any reader acquainted with psychological teachings Would say that Hazel was not constituted so as to "make your marriage work". Although Pat was trying to be big and noble, some

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readers felt she was out of character in not being more shrewd. Not, that is, viewing the picture in its entirety. After all, Pat was not committing the unpardonable: Breaking up a happy marriage!

F.L., Peace Dale, R.I.

I am enclosing a money order for $3. Would you please send me, with the October issue, another copy of the September issue. In my opinion it is really one of your best ones.

M.T., Providence, R. I.

Thank you so much for accepting me into your group. I've enjoyed reading THE LADDER very much. Everything in the two copies I have read has been very enjoyable and worthwhile reading. I think your magazine has a very commendable attitude--without the bitterness which too many of us are too tempted to feel and express. I hope that someday I may contribute something of value for THE LADDER.

A.K., Lawrence, Kan.

I am currently a subscriber to your publication THE LADDER. My first issue was the June, 1957, one. I notice that it is Volume 1, Number 9. I presume there were eight preceding issues. Could you please advise me on the availability of these eight issues, and the cost of obtaining them?

Please accept my best wishes for continued success

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to your organization and affiliated publication. I hope in the future to be able to make a small financial contribution to aid you in your work.

J.J., Fargo, N.D.

For information on the FIRST FIVE issues of THE LADDER, currently collectors items, see page 30. Single copies of the magazine from March, 1957, to the present are available at 50 cents each. Readers may also start their subscriptions With any copy from March on.--ED.

I enclose $10 for which I would appreciate your sending your splendid publication to the libraries of any universities of your choice.

I enjoy THE LADDER immensely. Keep up the good work. As soon as possible I will send you another small donation.

S.P., Medford, Ore.

Your publication has been of great value to me in understanding myself better and in getting other people to understand the homosexual problem in a favorable light.

My parents have been reading each issue and it has helped our relationship in many ways.

I only wish that I was near enough to help you in the wonderful work you are doing.

N.M., Baltimore, Md.

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MEMBERSHIP in the DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS may be either a voting or associate membership.

VOTING MEMBERSHIP--$5.00 initiation fee and $1.00 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP--$2.50 initiation fee and .50 monthly dues. THE LADDER is sent FREE. Since most people having this membership are not residents in the area where meetings are held, copies of business meeting minutes are also mailed to these members.

THE LADDER: A monthly publication by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed by first class mail in a plain sealed envelope for $2.50 per year.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wishes to assist us in our work. We are a non-profit corporation working entirely on donated labor. Our fees are not of such amounts as to allow for much expansion of the publication. While men may not become members of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., many have expressed interest in our efforts and our publication and have made contributions to further our work. Of course, anyone over 21 years of age may subscribe to THE LADDER

TO BECOME A MEMBER: Write to the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., Room 308, 693 Mission Street, San Francisco. 5, Calif., requesting an application form.

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LADDER: Send $2.50 for one year or $5.00 for two years, enclosing coupon below or facsimile.

693 Mission Street--Room 308
San Francisco 5, California

Please send THE LADDER for __ year(s) by first class mail sealed to the address below. I enclose $ __at the rate of $2.50 for each year ordered.

NAME _____


CITY _____ZONE __STATE _____

I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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