The Ladder, October 1964, Vol. 9, No. 1

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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, 1232 Market Street, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California. Telephone: UNderhill 3 - 8196.









Editor--Barbara Gittings

Fiction and Poetry Editor--Agatha Mathys

Production--Joan Oliver, V. Pigrom

Circulation Manager--Cleo Glenn

THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


THE LESBIAN IN AMERICA--by Donald Webster Cory.
Book review by F. Conrad
Special Report: Off the Cuff--by W. Mitchell 9
E.C.H.O. News 12
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 13
JONATHAN TO GIDE--THE HOMOSEXUAL IN HISTORY-- by Noel I. Garde. Book review by Vern Niven 14
A Gentle Kiss--by Ingrid Race 16
Cross-currents 21
Readers Respond 23

Cover photo: "October Evening, Beacon Hill" by Kay Tobin

Back cover photo by B. G.

Copyright 1964- by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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The Lesbian in America

by Donald Webster Cory
Citadel Press, 1964. 288 pages. $5.95.

Cory's book on the lesbian is now out, dedicated "to the courageous women of the Daughters of Bilitis." A reviewer writing in a publication of the same Daughters of Bilitis must make a special effort to be objective in her consideration of such a book, especially in view of the great debt the homophile movement already owes to Donald Webster Cory. Such objectivity will be the aim here.

Cory writes a special brand of book on homosexuality. Like his path-breaking HOMOSEXUAL IN AMERICA, this one is neither pure journalism nor a scholarly work; rather it combines personal impressions, interviews, surveys of what others have had to say on the subject, with his own thoughts and conclusions. But this book is lighter in weight (in both senses) than his original book on male homosexuals; it has much more eye-catching dialogue, and it inevitably lacks the drive and sense of urgency of the first book on men. What saves it from mere journalism, what elevates it above the Jess Stearn level (it Will undoubtedly be compared with THE GRAPEVINE) is that (1) Cory has had a far longer and of course deeper acquaintance with his subject than Stearn, (2) Cory has a theoretical background, and (3) Cory has applied gray matter to the subject. Furthermore, when he offers opinions he is direct--he does not resort to innuendo. His book, unlike Stearn's, has a bibliography--a small but significant detail. Like the Stearn book, Cory's (as suggested by his dedication) is sympathetic to the D.O.B. organization and its leaders; unlike Stearn, Cory has sympathy also for the mass of individuals in or out of the organization.

These things having been said, it must be noted that the book will hot offer a great deal that is new to those who either know the gay world or have been following the activities of homophile organizations. The book's formula appears a little stale (no doubt due in part to Cory's previous writings), and there is much that is trite and dull. Here are some chapter titles: "A Glance Through the Ages," "Why Am I Gay?" "Butch and Femme," "The Bisexual Woman," "The Mirror of Literature," "At the Bar. "

On the other hand, there is a good, though short, chapter on "Undesirable Discharges and Security Risks" which is neither trite nor dull. There is also a good expose of the pulp "paperback original"--a form of "literature" on the lesbian which helps only to perpetuate stereotypes. (I disagree only with Cory's impression that it is not bought by women.) As

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Cory says, "The existence of this literature, portraying a portion of American life in so distorted a fashion, seems to have diminished the demand for the honest and intelligent portrayal of this life by serious men and women of letters and by students of the social scene. Hence, by filling a gap, albeit very badly, this semi-pornography deludes people into not seeing the gap." The damage is still greater, he continues, when the same low level of content and characterization is featured in books taken more seriously by readers and critics, such as Dorothy Baker's TRIO.

But all this is relatively incidental. What most requires discussion about Cory's book is what seems to this reviewer to be a certain lack of consistency, or is it a lack of clarity as to his major objective?

I do not refer here primarily to his viewpoint on "cure," to which he devotes a chapter in which he asks why so many homosexuals resent the idea that change may be possible. On the contrary, I agree thoroughly with Cory that it is, or should be, possible (in Cory's words) to "admit the possibility of change, on the one hand, and still to conduct a struggle for the human and personal and civil rights and dignity of those who do not undergo this change." There is no real reason why lesbians cannot recognize the possibility of change for some, and still preserve their own liberty to decide whether or not they personally wish to attempt the process. There may of course be a sense of social pressure, if change is shown to be at all possible. But a lesbian who, after conscientious consideration, has decided against trying to change, needs to fortify herself against this sense. It takes a great deal more than the mere possibility of change to justify pressure on anyone to undergo psychiatric treatment with this goal,, What it takes is a clearcut demonstration that the individual in question (not just a mythical average lesbian) is a menace or a burden to society. If this cannot be shown, then even though some people may consider her a burden to herself, the decision is, must be, up to her. I believe Cory would agree.

What does bother me is Cory's use of words such as "cure," "disturbance," and "sickness" without clear and consistent meanings. I do not know, furthermore, whether he intends to use the last two terms as equivalent in meaning or not; they are sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes not. The clearest, and to me most acceptable statement of what Cory means by "sick" appears on pages 233-4, where he writes:

"For those who are in a state of distress, who are unable to function, who are deeply despondent over their life, whose lesbianism is linked with and is merely one symptom of a wider neurotic pattern, or whose lesbianism has resulted in general debilitation and despondency, one must not hesitate to describe them as sick. These people require therapy, and whether the therapy should try to change their sexual orientation, or make them accept this orientation, is something that must be worked out between patient and therapist, and cannot be imposed from without."

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Precise enough. But immediately before, appears this quite inconsistent statement: "Sickness is a culturally defined term, and if the culture accepts a state of being as a way of life, rather than as a disease, then for that society, and for those people who can accept that definition, it is indeed a way of life.". Presumably, then, if a culture defines a condition as disease, it should be considered indeed as disease, even though the individual in that condition may not be in a State of serious distress, is able to function, is not deeply despondent, etc., etc.? The inconsistency is there, providing one admits that social deviants can sometimes function satisfactorily despite their deviance. I assume Cory would not wish to deny this possibility.

Cory refers on page 147 to lesbians as "disturbed and unusual women," the context being such that he seems to mean all lesbians. On page 256 (and elsewhere) he speaks of the lesbian as a "woman in conflict." A few sentences later, though, he points out that "it is indeed a condition of human existence that each person is, to some degree, in conflict with some aspect of society; the tragedy of so many lesbians is not so much that the conflict exists, but that society imposes conditions that make it difficult to resolve with understanding." Again,"if she (the lesbian} is disturbed in a manner that has led her to homosexuality, the society that condemns her so" vigorously and treats her so shabbily is not the less disturbed. There is probably a two-way sickness..."

Does Cory mean that all lesbians (and society too) are "disturbed, or sick, or only those who don't "function" satisfactorily? Now it seems one way, now another. I wish fervently that Cory had made a try at defining and/or distinguishing the terms "sickness" and "disturbance," and had then stuck consistently to his definitions. It is no easy job, and he is certainly not the only offender in this regard. In this reviewer's opinion there is no single thing that would contribute more to a resolution of the often aimless and bitter controversy over the appropriate attitude society should take toward the homosexual than a general agreement as to precisely how these troublesome words should be defined and used.

Cory is apparently trying to steer a middle course between those who see nothing but "sickness" in homosexuals and those who deny any element of disturbance in any homosexuals. On any reasonable definition of either term, these two extreme positions are untenable. But I do not think Cory is successful, and I think the failure is largely a semantic failure. It is important, for example, to clear up the matter of whether "disturbance" in the sexual area Of behavior necessarily also Involves disturbance in other areas. Does it, for instance, necessarily interfere with satisfactory performance as a citizen, as an employee, as a friend? Anyone, with even a little knowledge of homosexuals beyond the stereotyped picture knows that the answer to the last question is "no, not necessarily--it depends on the person." Cory knows this too--and he should have made this much clearer. Otherwise, he is inconsistent and unconvincing in labeling

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lesbians as basically disturbed (or sick?), as he does part of the time, and at the same time advocating an end to discrimination against them in government service, in the armed forces, and in society generally..

Finally, I come to what was to me the strangest thing about this book--something Cory himself did not write. I refer to the introduction, written by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. Ellis has been writing introductions for Cory books for some time; and while no writer should be responsible for everything his introducer has to say, and no introducer need agree with his "introducee"--in fact the opposite has advantages--still, there are limits! In this introduction; Ellis states, "I probably believe more strongly than does Cory that lesbians are psycho physiologically predisposed to be mentally aberrant." And elsewhere: "An objective study of full-fledged lesbians (as well as of fixed male homosexuals) would show that many or most of them are not only merely neurotic, but are actually borderline or outright psychotics. Almost all homophiles yell murder and call me the vilest of names when I make this statement; but this does not prove my statement to be untrue." Dr. Sam Nelken, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Univ. of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, practicing psychiatrist, and participant in a recent TV panel discussion of homosexuality in the San Francisco area, says of the paragraph containing the latter Ellis statement, and I quote with Dr. Nelken's permission:

The mere fact that a statement cannot be disproved does not make it worthy of belief. Ellis is evidently aware that the term "psychotic" is being taken as a condemnation rather than a diagnosis without moral significance, but does not (in this quotation, at least) clear up the mistake. If such a prevalence of psychosis among lesbians could be established (and so far as I know it has not been), the evidence for its being to some degree inheritable or organic would remain very shaky, to say the least. (Reviewer's underlining)

Does Ellis's "objective study" refer to an actual study, or to a hypothetical one? Is "many" the same as "most"? Could he possibly have been referring to his own study, "The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy with Individuals Who Have Severe Homosexual Problems," based on exactly 12 female cases? Let us hope not. Cory deserves better than this!

- Reviewed by "F. Conrad

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the mirror
that can, that may

- Vera Traff


These chains I chose
Hang limp and silent now.
I wonder will they rust
As the sweat dries?
Ha! Corrosion!
I never thought of that!
Maybe they will rot away
Release by rottenness!
Figures, actually.

You thrust and wrests,
You scream and cry,
You wrench the sinewy will of youth
Against the fused links of steel:
A tot's tantrum exhausts itself
In its own squirming struggle.

Martyrdom compensates defeat,
Surrender brings relief,
You adjust to phthisis,
And then-
'Figures, actually.

- Carol Orr

There is a harvest yet to come
but when it be, I cannot say.

My heart feels the seeds
push up with impatience.

I sit in quiet anticipation
awaiting the bloom of the fruit.

Pray God, it may not be bitter.

- Joan C. James

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Homosexuality was the topic discussed on the unrehearsed TV panel show "Off the Cuff" moderated by Norman Ross and broadcast by Chicago's station WBKB-TV on April 4, 1964. The five panelists for that evening's show offered substantially these comments during the lively two-hour exchange:

FATHER JAMES G. JONES, Director of Development of Episcopal Charities in Chicago: I'm terribly proud of my Archbishop (the Archbishop of Canterbury) for his paper on prostitution and homosexuality published in 1954 especially for its drawing the distinction between the state of being and the state of doing. We should not condemn the state of being homosexual, in which there is no sin, but only the state of doing. I agree with my Archbishop that practicing sexual behavior between consenting adults should be made a moral not a legal problem. Sex should be purposeful within the framework of marriage. Many problems come from not being in cooperation with our nature, and these problems should be worked through. In homosexual culture I find a real block toward God. There are levels of love. If homosexuality is good, why doesn't it more often expand into a higher love relationship with God? If your (homophile) position is true, then maybe you'd better start acting on some higher level with God; if it isn't true, then you'd better give up your (homophile) position and move on to another. Regarding the homophile demand for rights, we've got enough troubles now here in Chicago without equating the Negro problem with the homosexual problem!

DR. FRANKLIN E. KAMENY, physicist and astronomer in private industry, founder and President of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D. C.: I see nothing wrong with homosexuality, nothing to be ashamed of. It is not a disease, a pathology, a sickness, a malfunction, or a disorder of any sort. Underlying all these theories is the subtle suggestion that it is somehow undesirable. Psychiatrists are a biased group. A person should be able to live AS a homosexual, AS a Catholic, AS a Jew--in short, to be a member of his minority--without pressure to change to the position of the majority. Homosexual acts on the part of consenting adults are moral in a positive sense, and are good and are right for the individual and for society. Too much is made of the origins of homosexuality. It's here, and we have to build a society involving it. Homosexuals are entitled to their rights--promptly! Regarding the question of promiscuity, I see nothing necessarily wrong with it. If two people seek to enjoy themselves with each other and if there are no untoward consequences, why shouldn't they do it? This is the attitude most homosexuals take, and reasonably so. The main problem of the homosexual is heterosexual intolerance of him. The prime pressure point on most homosexuals is an economic one. The exclusion of known homosexuals from virtually all sorts of employment is complete and absolute to a degree undreamed of by

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the Negro in his worst nightmares. The only thing that prevents the nation from having close to 15,000,000 unemployed homosexuals is the fact that they are not known to be such. Homosexuals are excluded from civil service on the ground that homosexuality is immoral. The idea that homosexuals are security risks is not true in general, and the government is largely responsible for the very situation it is trying to correct. The Washington Mattachine Society wants to secure for the homosexual the right as a human being to develop and achieve his full potential and dignity, and the right as a citizen to make his maximum contribution to his society.

DR. JORDAN SCHER, Director of the Chicago Psychiatric Foundation and Ontoanalytic Institute, Director of Psychiatric Services for the Chicago Board of Health, and Editor of "The Journal of Existential Psychiatry": Homosexuality is not inborn, and there is little tendency for a genetic explanation. We are getting away from the disease concept, but there is a greater chance that the homosexual will show instability because of the added pressures on him. We must be interested in the origins of homosexuality. Ill-adjusted parents--if we listen to this kind of comment--create everything! My view is that the critical experiences which determine homosexuality are not those with a negative, destructive, or ill-adjusted parent. Rather, the critical experiences are early experiences in heterosexual competition where the developing individual is not able to stand up. Henceforth, that person will have a terror of having his effectiveness, his identity tested in a heterosexual encounter. He doesn't have the system, He feels empty and threatened and lost with persons of the opposite sex, and he just can't take it. Conversely, a person of the same sex supports his sense of identity. The lesbian gets a reinforcement to her femininity from another woman. Most homosexuals are stopped at an adolescent level. They have all kinds of bizarre, distorted notions of what heterosexuality is. It's possible for homosexuals to move in the opposite direction if they can get a few reassuring experiences of a heterosexual order. There is greater fulfillment in heterosexual relations. The heterosexual situation is one that is not just accidentally there. The question is: can you fit the frame of reference of the real world? The real world is heterosexual. Lesbianism is probably increasing because of male ineffectually. Most males have a very limited view of how to conduct sex. The female would be more corrigible if men would learn to perform better. I certainly have no bias against homosexuals. I think there is a great danger that we are multiplying the possibility of a deviant society, and we have enough deviant societies. There should be a firm stand. There should not be discrimination against homosexuals, but there should not be an official sanction of this as a way of life. It's legal enough--really!

DEL SHEARER, President of the Chicago Chapter of Daughters of Bilitis: Yes, it is possible to be a happy homosexual! Environment determines the sexual inclination of the individual and any child may be subject to becoming homosexual. Scientific research is framed by a heterosexual framework. Yet

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more can be determined by looking into a person to see who, he is and what he is, than "by comparing him with others. The notion that many homosexuals act and dress differently is a fallacy. Sometimes a homosexual has a difficult time relating to people who are heterosexual simply because he is confronted with their heterosexuality. It stops him! So much public life has this heterosexual overtone, so much heterosexuality surrounds homosexuals. If they are going to move in society and be a part of it, they have to be able to withstand the pressures of this heterosexual atmosphere. Legislation does not stop homosexuality but only serves to drive it underground. The view that homophile groups want to see homosexuals predominate in society is completely fallacious. Organizations like Daughters of Bilitis want to see the homosexual move out of his cubbyhole and join the rest of society as a responsible person. Also, they want to get society to accept the homosexual as a person. The problem is two-sided.

RANDOLFE WICKER, free lance writer, member of the Mattachine Society Inc. of New York: Hardly 5% of the total homosexual population can be recognized as such. Change or cure should be up to the individual. Much of the research on Homosexuality is contradictory. There is too much bogus authority, too many pat cures, too many charlatans in this area. Doctors who are incompetent promise quick, easy cures to disturbed parents or to a very mixed up person, and It really boils down to one of the most vicious forms of quackery. Much more needs to be learned through legitimate research. Nevertheless, the same as the Negro or any other minority group member, I want my rights! I want to be judged as an individual. Discrimination in hiring and promoting should be abolished. Homosexuality is not based on a fear of the sex organs of the opposite sex, is not a question of physiology,, Homosexuality is an emotional way of relating, and an Intellectual orientation to members of your own sex. Promiscuity among homosexuals stems from the fact there are virtually no social pressures and buttresses keeping a couple together. Many homosexuals live a ghettoized and fearful existence.. They are rejected by the churches, except the most liberal ones, and they live in fear of losing their jobs. Homosexuals are torn up psychologically because of the unenlightened, illiberal social attitudes that they find in their homes, their jobs, everywhere. And that is what the homophile movement is trying to change. The whole area of sex is filled with terrors and counter-terrors. We should all relax and relate as people, and not worry about our masculinity and our femininity.

One revealing back-and-forth of the discussion went thus:

DR. SCHER: In the homosexual there is real terror of heterosexuality... of the confrontation in the foreign realm of heterosexuality. It is a terrifying and terrified situation.

MISS SHEARER: One comment on terror. Isn't it also possible that the satisfaction is so great in homosexuality that the homosexual does not care about heterosexuality? It's not necessarily terror.

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DR. SCHER: As I tried to point out before, a lesbian gets a reinforcement to her femininity from a female contact... The male homosexual has also a reinforcement of self from a homosexual contact.

DR. KAMENY: Well fine! Why shouldn't he?

DR. SCHER: Because there is something rather bizarre in this kind: of establishment of self... This is fine when you are age nine to fifteen... But when you pass into more adult life you must find some new kind of fulfillment for the sexual urge and separate it from the friendship urge.

- W. Mitchell

E.C.H.O. news!

Minority problems have frequently provided the spark for redefining and expanding our concepts of civil liberty. Attorney David Carliner, Chairman of the Civil Liberties Union in the National Capitol area, will consider some of the legal questions raised by members of what has been called "America's second largest minority"--the homosexual. In a debate, "Legislation or Education?", Dr. Franklin Kameny will challenge, and Dr. Kurt Konietzko will defend, the rationale of a predominantly education/information approach to problems related to the homosexual in the community. A panel of representatives of several faiths will discuss homosexuality in relation to religion and morality. Many other facets of the theme HOMOSEXUALITY--CIVIL LIBERTIES AND SOCIAL RIGHTS will be featured at the Second Annual Conference of the affiliation of East Coast Homophile Organizations, to be held on October 10 and 11, 1964 in Washington, D. C. Co-sponsors of the conference are the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., the Mattachine Society of Washington, D. C., the Janus Society, and the Mattachine Society Inc. of New York.

Admission to the entire two-day public conference is $17.50. Tickets to individual sessions are also available. For more information contact ECHO, Box 6038, Mid City Station, Washington, D. C., or phone 202-Emerson 2-2211 after 6 p.m.


Marjorie McCann, National Corresponding Secretary of the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc.: Barbara Gittings, Editor of THE LADDER; Shirley Wilier, President of the New York Chapter of D.O.B.; and Meredith Grey, past Public Relations Director of D.O.B., will be present at a meeting of women interested In the organization, to be held following the ECHO Brunch on Sunday, October 11, in Washington, D.C. Women over 21 who want to find out more about D.O.B. are urged to attend.

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by Gene Damon

285. TRAP FOR CINDERELLA--by Sebastien Japrisot. Simon and Schuster, 1964.

Living in a resort house at Cap Cadet are two girls and the governess of one There is a fire, one of the girls dies - but which one? Did Mickey die? Or did Do die? Which was Jeanne's lover, or were both? This remarkable mystery won a top literary prize in Prance and should live on its literary merit as a classic suspense novel. Highly recommended,

286 MORE DEATHS THAN ONE--by Stuart Engstrand. Messner, 1955; Signet, 1957.

A study of the strange attachment of a young woman to her mother. The woman is unaware of her dependency until a crisis is triggered by an act of violence. Her upset causes her to fantasize that she is her own father, wooing her mother. Weird but compelling. The author, noted for unusual and disquieting novels, committed suicide not long after this one.

287. THE HOUSEGUEST--by Kimberly Kemp. Midwood Tower, 1964.

This book would have to be considered tripe by most criteria. However, it covers an experience seldom touched on in lesbian fiction but not uncommon in real life: the intense, hopeless love of an older woman for a much younger one. Martha, widowed early, has raised Anne, who at the time of the story is 18 - 19. Anne brings Hilary, her orphaned roommate, home for the holidays and Martha falls in love with Hilary. The book is oversexed, but the poignancy of the situation is telling.

288. RINGS OF GLASS--by Luise Rinser. Henry Regnery, 1958.

A slow-moving novel of a girl's development from age 5 to 19. The narcissistic undertones and the strong Catholicism may put off some readers, but the outlining of the girl's growth into lesbianism is excellent. A serious study.

289. BREEZE ANSTEY--by H. E. Bates. Short story in THE BEST OF H. E. Bates. Little, Brown, 1963.

Similar" to D. H. Lawrence's story THE FOX in that it concerns two women who run a farm together. Breeze Anstey gradually discovers her love for the other woman. The appearance of a boyfriend from the girl's past life upsets Breeze without her realizing why. His cruelty, and her final realization of the nature of her love, end the story. Unlike Lawrence, Bates is sympathetic and leaves the reader believing that Breeze will be happy someday. (Libraries will have this collection.)

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290. MALIGNANT STARS--by Jerome Barry. Doubleday; 1960.

Signe Ericson is found dead, and the note beside her body seems to be a love letter written to her by her roommate Lyn Trainor. Things are not always what they seem to be, as this delightful mystery proves.

291. ASYLUM PIECE No. 8--by Anna Kavan. Short story in ASYLUM PIECE. Doubleday, 1946.

Esoteric short story. Tall, well-bred Englishwoman, full of depressions and fears, is very attached to a young, child-like, married woman. Both are inmates in an asylum. When the nervous and very proper husband comes to visit, he upsets his wife so much that he feels she is uncured and he leaves her there. The older woman triumphantly folds the younger into her arms. This is not a pretty story, but it's a good one.

292. THE LOVELY DAY--by Dorothy Evelyn Smith. Dutton, 1957.

This popular novel contains an excellent, subtle portrait of a lesbian who lives in a small English village. The interesting aspect is the complete acceptance and general lack of notoriety the woman enjoys. The story tells of a day's picnic outing attended by many of the village people. On the surface it is light and entertaining, as it should be for the intended audience, but beneath the surface there is an extra story for the sophisticated reader to enjoy.

293. DOCTOR'S WEEKEND--Hubert Bagster. Simon and Schuster, 1960.

Memoirs of an English country doctor. One tale concerns the strange happenings at a famous girls school. The headmistress has migraine headaches over the mysterious playmate who gambols secretly with the school's most beautiful girl. Who could this playmate be? Might even be Miss Bell the art mistress. Truly a delightful story.


by Noel I. Garde. Vantage Press, 1964.

Homosexuals have always existed. Every culture has some mention of them, and at least one magnificent culture was based on bisexuality. If one includes bisexuals in the count, then it is safe to say that we are an enormous minority.

Since shame has often been associated with homosexuality, much effort has been made by many well-meaning and misguided

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writers and historians to obliterate all traces of homosexual behavior in the lives of famous people. Despite this deliberate censorship, history is filled with homosexuals and bisexuals who helped to shape our world.

The black-out on homosexuality in biographical records led to a situation every librarian dreads--the absence of reference tools in a given subject area. In recent years, several bibliographic tools in the field of homosexual literature have been produced, and sporadic attempts have been made to provide biographical reference works devoted to homosexuality. But these biographical surveys are few, are often very incomplete, and in some cases are not available in English.

Now, in Noel Garde's compilation entitled JONATHAN TO GIDE- THE HOMOSEXUAL IN HISTORY, we have that much needed book, a quick reference survey of the lives of 300 famous men. Mr. Garde does not claim homosexual orientation for them. They are all men who have been cited in other works as homosexual or bisexual in orientation. Perhaps 5% of his sources are questionable; however, the pure biographical sources (especially encyclopedias) are irreproachable.

In his own introduction, Mr. Garde says that the best working title of the book would be: "Short Biographies of 300 Men, of Sufficient Importance in Politics and Culture in the Last 3000 Years to Merit Articles in the Best of Encyclopedias, Who Have Been Referred to in Responsible Printed Works as Being Homosexual, or of Homoerotic Temperament, or of Having Had Homosexual Relations on Occasion." Many hundreds of homosexuals have been deliberately omitted as not sufficiently Important historically; among these are dozens of authors, statesmen, military men, minor aristocrats, etc. Mr. Garde explains that the living and recently deceased have been left out for obvious reasons. Quite incidentally, there are many references to historically important lesbian figures who were connected with the various male homosexual subjects.

The book includes a chronological index, an alphabetical index, a bibliography of all major works that include citings of the 300 subjects as homosexuals or bisexuals, an index by nationality, and an index by professions or occupations. The bibliography is not comprehensive, since a person such as Oscar Wilde has been cited in so many works as a homosexual that it would be unrealistic to try to list them all. Then necessary sources are included.

Mr. Garde's admirable labor and dedication have provided us with a ground-breaking reference work which is also fascinating to read. The book is of immense value to students of homosexuality, especially those interested in the historical and biographical aspects. For the casual reader it presents a wealth of data for a new outlook on our past. Any homosexual who is ashamed of being homosexual should have to read this book.

- Reviewed by Vern Niven

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A GENTLE KISS__by Ingrid Race

The house resembled other houses on the street, though something did make it less obtrusive. It might have been the hedge around the front yard, or the pointed evergreens that guarded the steps to the porch. Ren had noticed the absence of flowers in the beds where only sturdy green shrubs grew, hiding small tufts of weeds.

She rang the bell. An old lady with dry, frizzled white hair poked her face through the opening in the curtains to look out. She opened the door and Ren asked her about Michele.

"Yes, she lived here, but in the basement. I don't think she's come in yet."

"Oh. Do you know what time she'll be home?"

"Is she expecting you?" the old lady inquired, inspecting Ren's suitcase.

"No, not exactly. I have just come in from out of town."

"Well now, she might be home any time now. She usually gets home by four,"

Ren turned to go. "Thank you. I'll come back."

"Miss? Why don't you wait just a minute? I'll let you in. She's left a key here somewhere. "The wrinkled old face smiled cautiously. "I suppose it will be all right if I let you in." She wobbled off and came back with her hand stuck deep into her dress pocket. "Come on with me."

As they walked around the side of the house, the old lady chatted steadily as old ladies often do when they are forced to impress important matters upon the unsuspecting. "Have you come very far?"

"From Michigan."

"Oh, you're from Michigan. Are you from her school?"


"Well now, isn't that wonderful? She's told me all about that school. I think she's always homesick for it. You didn't go to school together, did you?"


"I didn't think so. You're a little older than she is." The old lady unlocked the door, went Inside and turned on a lamp.

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"I'm a teacher there. I was a... I was one of her teachers."

"Then you must be Dr. Rennon. "

"Yes, I am. "

"0h, Michele's told me all about you. Why I feel almost as If I've known you,"

Ren was surprised--and pleased--by the revelation. She- tried not to smile.

"My husband was on the faculty at the school here. That's one of the reasons I rent this apartment to professors. Michele's one of the nicest ones I've had. She's such a quiet person. You just make yourself at home. I have to get back upstairs. She should be home in a few minutes. Yes, she's very nice, never complains about anything. Once in a while she comes upstairs just to visit. Last winter she even shoveled the walks for me." She chuckled. "Most professors, especially the young men, seem to think they're above shoveling snow. She's always been very thoughtful. Well, you sit down and be comfortable." The old lady scrutinized the room and, as if she were satisfied, hurried to the door.

"That girl must read all the time. I never saw so many books except in a library."

Ren, without taking off her coat, sat down in a large green upholstered chair.

"She should be home shortly. Do you teach science, too?"

"Oh,no. I'm in the theology department."

"Theology. Now that's a fine field for a woman. My husband used to joke about the divinity students. He taught history. He always said there had to be twice as much devilment in a divinity student, since they all knew how upright they'd have to be when they got out of schools I don't suppose they're much different than the rest though, only they think about God more."

"No, I don't suppose so," Ren agreed to be polite.

"Well, I'd best get upstairs."

"Thank you for your trouble."

"Oh, it's no trouble at all. I'm glad Michele's having some company for a change. My goodness, I hope my potatoes aren't burning. It's been very nice meeting you, Dr. Rennon."

"Thank you, and thank you for letting me in."

"You're very welcome." She left then, closing the door behind her.

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Ren glanced around the room, noticing the way it was decorated. Her eyes rested on the books nearest where she sat. She read the authors' names where they were visible in the dim light. Thomas Paine, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Einstein, Rabelais, Emily Dickinson, St. Thomas Aquinas. She lit a cigarette and got up to find an ashtray. After she had found one, she took off her coat, folding it in half, and laid it on top of her worn imitation-leather suitcase. The light filtered by the lamp shade made little criss-crosses of shadow over the carpet.

Sitting down, she decided not to sit too erectly, and slid down into the comfort of the chair. She didn't want to look stuffy. Most people considered her to be stuffy. It had never mattered much, for she had decided what a woman professor was supposed to be like, and look like, and act like. Even as a young woman starting college, she had believed that people would not be so apt to offend her if her propriety did not allow it. Very few knew why she was so conscious of her bearing. Michele was an exception.

She heard the key turning in the lock. Though she had been waiting for it, the sound startled her and Michele was inside before she had time to think of standing up,

"Ren?" The voice had not had sound enough to falter.

"Yes." Immediately she stood up in a manner that suggested a fear of intruding yet at once asked that she not be thought of as an intruder,, The things she had told herself she would say, suddenly were not adequate or appropriate.

"It has been a long time,"Michele said uncertainly.

"You don't mind that I've come, do you?"

The younger woman hesitated before she answered, studying Ren's face intently without quite understanding why. "No. I'm just surprised, that' s all."

Ren felt the doubt before She saw it in Michele's eyes, "Is it too long?" She knew that she would have to speak then before any further silence grew between them. Nothing had ever been so difficult to say; never had she had such a desire to say anything as much. Apology, confession, revelation, prayer, they were all the same. The question she saw on Michele's face hurt. It reflected hurt.

"Four years is a long time, Michele."

"Yes, a long time."

"Your letters...we've never talked about it since that day."


"I had to come now."

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"I know; it's just that I thought you wouldn't." A single tear overflowed from beneath a lowered lid of Michele's eye. Ren watched it zig-zag down her cheek and stop above her upper lip.

"Has it changed? I mean..."


"I wouldn't blame you, if there were someone else."

"There is no one else."

Among Ren's memories was the recollection of a kiss she had turned away from, the gentle kiss of a tender young woman, a woman who had had a strange power to understand what she had not understood. The memory had filled her mind many times. Now the same woman, no longer young, stood facing her, waiting, waiting for her decision, waiting after a long time of waiting.

"I've been very foolish."

Ren felt the warmth of a hand touching but not caressing her cheek. They kissed, and the queer unhappiness that had lived with her so long was suddenly gone.

She would never turn away again, not for God Himself. She didn't believe He would ever ask her to.


Fearfully and long-withdrawn,
the wonder of woman within you
reached for the kernel of me--

and suddenly--
with knowing
with brawn.

This has no equal for man---
this is of woman
for woman

No idle shoal in a shallow sea
But the deep deeps stirring
In you
In me,

Blanche Small

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We are convinced that somewhere in your progressive readership, there is creative writing talent going to waste. We, the publishers of both TOWER and MIDWOOD BOOKS, therefore invite authors, whether established or aspiring, to submit. original manuscripts that deal in realistic and mature fashion with lesbianism.

The length should be approximately 40,000 words and the manuscript typing double-spaced. Every submittal stemming from this invitation will receive prompt and special attention. Contracts can be issued on the basis of a partial presentation if supplemented by an outline of the planned subsequent action, and advances against royalties will be made upon acceptance.

Please address all manuscripts and/ or letters of inquiry to:


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A bold experiment in entertainment--"the first of Its kind in the country"--has ended sadly. The HAIGHT THEATER opened July 17 in San Francisco as a "fine art theater for the gay set." Movies with gay elements such as "A Taste of Honey" and "The Mark" were being shown, and drag contests were being held on the stage. A nightly radio show, "The Gay Hour," which featured interviews from the theater lobby, was cut off after many complaints to the station. Furor in the Haight neighborhood brought pickets to the theater. The president of the Neighborhood Council declared flatly that "any form of deviation, sexual or freeway, is not good for this neighborhood!" The theater owners maintained that the theater was doing a brisk business, despite reports that patrons were being harassed by juveniles and watched by the police. Then, a little more than 30 days after the theater opened, both co-owners reportedly blew tow, leaving behind unpaid debts arid a bench warrant for the arrest of one of them.

Columnist ANN LANDERS usually offers fairly sensible advice to those who are confronted by homosexuality. One person recently wrote to her describing a seemingly lesbian two-some in an office situation. "Should these women be fired?" the person asked. Miss Landers's reply: "No. If they are competent, if they mind their own business...it would be cruel and senseless to deprive them of employment."

ANITA LOOS, famous for her "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" first done in the '20s, said that she could never do "Blondes" today. "The sex balance has so changed," says Miss Loos, "that today it would have to be called Gentlemen Prefer Gentlemen'." Or, we hasten to add, "Blondes Prefer Blondes."

The ATHENEUM REVIEW is a journal to be watched. Originating in Florida, it is to be published monthly (beginning August 64) by the ATHENEUM SOCIETY OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED, P. O. Box 2278, Miami, Florida, 33101. Subscription is $5 a year. Their promotion letter states: "Our subjects are TABOO, something to be swept under the rug by most people. We frankly discuss such matters as homosexuality, gambling, narcotics addiction, alcoholism, pornography, prostitution, and many other subjects. We discuss the shakedowns, graft, bribery, blackmail, and other corruptions that accompany and are a result of these matters... We believe that homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should not be a criminal offense... We believe that many laws are archaic and inequitable... We are a non-profit organization, dedicated to the discussion of the social and criminal problems of today that are increasing in spite of all measures being taken to curb them. Perhaps these matters need new thinking,

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a new approach." The ambition of the group is reflected in the quote from Thomas Jefferson that appears on its stationery: "Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both."

"In order to promote a continuing dialogue between the church and the homosexual, and in an endeavor to better understand human sexuality, and to promote understanding of the broad varieties and manifestations within the spectrum of human sexuality," the COUNCIL ON REL1G101 AND THE HOMOSEXUAL was formed this summer in San Francisco. The Council is an outgrowth of the "Consultation on the Church and the Homosexual" held in the San Francisco Bay Area in June (see report in our September issue). It is a loosely organized committee which includes representatives from various homophile organizations as-well as clergymen of various faiths. Homophile groups represented are Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society, Society for Individual Rights, Citizens News, and Tavern Guild. Clergymen now represent the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, American Friends, United Church, and Baptist faiths. To continue the dialogue begun in June between the church and the homosexual, the Council has planned meetings to be held in the homes of participating clergymen, with the host inviting several other churchmen to meet and talk with male and female homosexuals. Clergymen will also participate in meetings held by the homophile organizations. In the future, lay church groups may be invited to participate in the dialogue.

Indignant citizens in CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY have vowed an all out war to drive; homosexuals out of their resort town. One irate businessman said the type of homosexual frequenting his town is often "wealthy, successful, and Influential," and often wears a bikini. He said the town's strategy would be a prolonged/harassment of homosexuals by strict enforcement of various ordinances. Alarm over the increase in homosexuals in Cape May may be exceeded only by alarm over the drop in local profits after they have left, if precedent holds.

Those of you who enjoyed MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY's article in the September LADDER may be interested in this tip. A giant cumulative checklist, similar to but far more comprehensive than checklists in the past, is in the works and will be released soon. Compilers, as before, are Marion Zimmer Bradley and Gene Damon. It will supersede all known lists of both male and female literature on the homophile theme.

DOCTORS NEWS CONFERENCE, shown on KTVU in Oakland, Calif., tackled the subject of homosexuality on July 27. Panelists were Rev. Carl Howie, Dr. Sam Nelken, and Dr. Gerald Feigen. Rev. Howie felt that homosexuality has a deteriorating effect on society and that we must "do everything possible to clarify the roles of boys and girls in our society." Dr. Feigen focused on VD among male homosexuals. Dr. Nelken felt that homosexuality was an illness to be treated by a psychotherapist - not by a, psychoanalyst or minister. He allowed that "the great majority (of homosexuals) want to keep their jobs, to live in and with society." We've known it all along!

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I should like to congratulate DOB not only on the fine gathering in New York, but on the quality of the reports of that convention that appeared in THE LADDER. With some dismay, I read reports of the same meeting in other homophile publications. If the quality of reporting that marks these issues of THE LADDER can be extended to the entire homophile press, we will be able to make considerable progress.

The above does not mean that the reports in THE LADDER were above criticism, merely that they were accurate, impartial, and well-written except for one phrase. When the reporter mentions that I made an accusation against ONE Inc., and then adds that this was made "without substantiation," this is a type of editorializing that has no place in accurate reporting. She might just as well have stated that no one asked for substantiation.

It was a very nice convention, but I think the time has come for a different type of meetings. The next one ought to be an internal conference for all groups doing work in this area - DOB, Mattachine, ONE, Janus, etc. It should be a broad internal meeting to discuss program, policies, and- tactics, and not to hear, talks from lawyers and psychiatrists.

-Donald Webster Cory

I loved your review (August 64) of Eve Merriam's AFTER NORA SLAMMED THE DOOR, The bit about the parasol is sheer genius. Kindly tell reviewer Nola for me that she is terrific.

In the same issue, Donald Webster Cory predicts that those in England who think adoption of the Wolfenden recommendations will turn the tide, are doomed to disappointment. I'd give him no awards for common sense there. The point is that male homosexuals in England have quite enough to cope with without having the legal dice loaded against them as well. To reform the law would remove at least one sizable burden from their backs. In England, this is certainly a major problem, because until the law is reformed, so that male homosexuals can meet together without charges of "procuration" being leveled against social agencies, psychiatrists, etc. who act as introducers, how on earth can they start solving their other; problems? So long as our present law prohibits "group-therapeutic" benefit for men, Cory's opinion that legal reform is "not a major problem" is absolutely fatuous. Still, when did one ever expect common sense from a man?

- Esme Langley, Editor, ARENA THREE

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I am writing this letter for two reasons. The first is to compliment the editor and reporters on the convention issues of THE LADDER. The reporting on the various talks at the DOB convention was superb. The second is to acknowledge my membership in S. 0. B. (Sons of Bilitis) and the membership card.

- Wardell B. Pomeroy, Psychotherapist

Your September issue review of Dr. Szasz's LAW, LIBERTY, AND PSYCHIATRY was galvanizing. I bought the book immediately, though I had to wait while my dealer ordered it. It has made me realize not only that therapy is no panacea for all problems of human living, but also that therapy can be used to discredit" people as rational and responsible beings and thus to deprive them of both self-respect and respect from others. The assumption seems to be that no rational, "healthy" person could really want to go against the dictates of his society.

In support of Szasz's claim that social and sexual deviates are often forced to have treatment and so may be "persuaded" to change, their behavior, I quote the following from." The Furtive Fraternity," a famous article which appeared in the sophisticated magazine GREATER PHILADELPHIA (my underlining):

"There is in Philadelphia...a unique program which may blaze a path in reform. It's a psychiatric program of group therapy... run on a weekly basis at Philadelphia General Hospital. ...The members of the groups have all been convicted of a crime and in lieu of reporting to the Probation Office once a month--a form of therapy proven useless--they report one night a week to take part in a group therapy discussion. Each group is led by a qualified psychiatrist.

"...probation officer Anthony Crocce, the acting supervisor of the program...considers his main job (that) of establishing himself as a father-image to the boys...

"Dr. Joseph Peters, the psychiatrist who heads the program, points out that... most of our sex offender groups consist almost entirely of homosexuals. We found that these people are very lonely and feel Isolated, which is one of the reasons they go to public places to make solicitations and, as a result, get caught. Through the group we get a hold on him. a hold that gratifies his need to belong. From there we use the psychological concepts that help him to recognize his inner conflicts.' "

A few lines later in the same article, Dr. Nicholas Bash is quoted as telling a parolee in his Sex Offender Group: "I won't ever try to manipulate you." All this despite the fact that; in the words of THE LADDER's reviewer, "...whether he wants it or not, he gets the treatment for free."!

- J. N., Pennsylvania

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While reading your review of Thomas Szasz's LAW, LIBERTY, AND PSYCHIATRY (Sept. '64), I was reminded of an article I read in SATURDAY REVIEW of June 20, 1964. It described the attack Minnesota, for the politically and socially unorthodox views he holds and for encouraging his students to challenge orthodoxies and test truths for themselves. Following denunciation from the American Legion and other groups, State Senator Wright called the professor an "academic deviate." A state investigation of the university was launched. Clearly, "deviate" has become one of society's most derogatory labels.

-P. W., Connecticut

I very much like the September cover, but had to take time to determine the significance of giving the wheel dominance over the two figures. Then my friend reminded me that the wheel is the symbol of Life and of Navigation (but mostly of Life) originated by the ancients. In this respect the cover is excellent, and it looks highly professionals. AND--as a sidelight, I love those big, bold letters: A LESBIAN REVIEW.

Photos dignify a publication. Today your magazine has FACE, and this is important. The content is the same as earlier: lively, informative, controversial, sometimes humorous. But the face is improved 100 fold!

- M. G.,California

During the past year I have read THE LADDER with great interest, augmented by the fact that I am one of those "isolates" and it is good to feel, for at least one day each month, that I am not of a unique species. Of course there are gay boys and girls in my small town, and one of the local bars is the headquarters for the boys, at least. But my idea of nothing to do is to sit in a smoke-filled bar several nights a week hoping that someone interesting might come along.

I am heartily in accord with the participation of DOB in various public information and service projects that have come along, such as radio interviews, and especially the research being conducted by Dr. Gundlach. I appreciate the information supplied by THE LADDER in "Cross-currents" and the book reviews. Cheers for the gals who have been acting as "Living Propaganda" and doing their bit to show the world that we are human beings too. I have been doing my small bit in that direction, also--rather successfully, I like to think.

It is true, as a reader observed some issues ago, that some of the stories and poems leave something to be desired, but there have also been several that were well and touchingly written. There seems to have been a general improvement in these last few months.

[p. 26] | [Page Image]

A while ago a reader suggested that THE LADDER should adopt a forceful point of view of Its own, and use this point of view in projecting the material it publishes. I, also, am in favor of this Idea, for it will give the readers something to get their teeth into. Controversy?. Certainly. Most of the world's great work has been accomplished amidst -and even perhaps because of--the controversy that someone's Ideas stirred up. Speaking of controversy, have any of your staff been reading the "Philosophy" series that has been running in PLAYBOY Magazine? I refer especially to the April Issue, which dealt with laws and mores pertaining to homosexuality. The chart of penalties for various sex offenses in all the states is most comprehensive--and horrifying,, Editor Hugh Hefner says: "...our belief in a free., rational, and humane "society demands a tolerance of those whose sexual inclinations are different from our own..."

I do want to let you know that I enjoy and appreciate the efforts you and your staff put forth in getting out THE LADDER. I'm looking forward to the next year with much interest!

- B. M., Iowa

A very funny piece, "We Went Thataway" (June issue). I hope you get the writer to supply you with the sequel, panning for gold in summertime. If I can get into Miss Agronsky's gay mood, I will surely try a satirical bit for THE LADDER.

- Sidney Ravenswood

It's a pleasure to observe your tolerance of Inn Aldrich and her "parrot" S. M. who wrote in your April issue. I suppose every organization has one like her--the brilliant outsider who is always ready to find fault but never available to help In a constructive way! Honestly, I don't like some of the poetry either, but maybe I'm just too old for it. Almost everything by Abigail Sanford and Blanche Small I do like. Your May cover was lovely, the nicest I've seen.

I also admire your review of that detestable book THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. The reviewer might have said one thing more: that a person capable of inviting and then betraying the confidences of those sick "sex-club" members (as does the valiant crusader Michael Leigh), is not setting a very high moral standard himself. Perhaps he can regard such treachery as innocent compared to the sins he exposed; I must regard it as being worse.

Keep up the good work, and as for Ann Aldrich, Nil Illegitima Carborundum! That means--"Don't let the bastard grind you down."

-S.N., New Jersey

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MEMBERSHIP in Daughters of Bilitis is limited to women 21 years of age or older. If in San Francisco, New York, or Chicago

area, direct inquiry to chapter concerned. Otherwise write to National Office in San Francisco for a membership application form.

THE LADDER is a monthly magazine published by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed in a plain sealed envelope for $4.00 a year. Anyone over 21 may subscribe to The Ladder.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wants to support our work. We are a non-profit corporation depending entirely on volunteer labor. While men may not become members of Daughters of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and have made contributions to further our work.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS and San Francisco Chapter: 1232 Market St., Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California.

New York Chapter: 441 West 28th St.,
New York 1, N. Y.
Chicago Chapter: P. O. Box 4497,
Chicago, Ill.


1232 Market Street, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California.

Please seed THE LADDER for _____ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $4.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

[p. [28]] | [Page Image]


This reader has ordered GIFT subscriptions for two friends ABROAD. Foreign subscriptions are $5 until the end of this year; after January 1, 1965, the rate is $6. Domestic subscriptions (United States, Canada, and Mexico) are $4 now, $5 after the new year. Order NOW--for yourself and for a friend -before the rates go up! Send to: Daughters of Bilitis, 1232 Market St., San Francisco 2, Calif. Please state that recipient is 21 or over.

THE LADDER-a unique gift, magazine!

The Ladder, November 1964, Vol. 9, No. 2

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

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

purpose of the Daughter 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, 1232 Market Street, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California. Telephone: UNderhill 3-8196.









Editor--Barbara Gittings

Fiction and Poetry Editor--Agatha Mathys

Production--Joan Oliver, V. Pigrom

Circulation Manager--Cleo Glenn

THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


FINDINGS--by Berelson and Steiner.
Book review by Dr. Marvin E. Wolfgang 4
Notes from Abroad: Thanksgiving
from Indonesia--by Ger van B
Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Morley--by Vern Niven 12
Focus on Fashion--by Melanie 16
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 18
Special Report: Invasion
of Privacy--by Del Martin
Cross-currents 21
Readers Respond 24

Cover photo: Ger van B., by Rora. (See page 9)

Back cover photo by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1964 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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an inventory of scientific findings

by Bernard Berelson and Gary A. Steiner New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964. 712 pages. $11.00

The authors of this large book have undertaken the enormous task of examining the increasingly abundant literature in the behavioral, sciences, and then of selecting hypotheses, empirical findings, generalizations and principles that have borne fruit to become part of our heritage of knowledge about man' s behavior. We must keep in mind that there are about 9,000 articles in psychology and 2,5000 in sociology summarized for PSYCHOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS and SOCIOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS each year! There are many more in each field that are not abstracted. I mention these figures merely to give a vague notion of the task facing anyone or any group seeking to condense knowledge and to translate scientific findings into prose that communicates, to the non-specialist. In one sense, the presumption that the task can be done is almost arrogant; that the work has been done at all, and done well, is a display of devotion, courage and erudition. Lesser men would have given up in despair or never tried.

The selection process, while undoubtedly tedious, was aided partly by the fact that much of the literature in psychology, sociology, anthropology, sociometry, and social psychology is heuristic and speculative--not yet tested or not presented in testable, ways. These behavioral sciences deal with such complex phenomena, human behavior, that their lack of precision and of adequate tools for measurement renders them readily vulnerable to criticism. The hard core of verifiable ideas is limited partly by the sophistication of the research methods available to the researcher. This limitation has often resulted in over-researching the picayune and under-reporting of the socially significant. This poverty has been a reflection of these disciplines during this century. But what has been of significance on a relatively firm basis has been clearly, carefully, and succinctly presented by Berelson and Steiner. The authors present, altogether, 1045 findings. As they cautiously remark: "Not all absolutely true, not all final or definitive--but certainly among the best-established generalizations of this scope. Taken together, these findings reveal a good deal about the subjects studied in the behavioral sciences, the ways in which they are studied, and the kind, of knowledge that emerges" (p. 659).

The book is, as the subtitle tells, an inventory of scientific findings. Little attention is given to theory, and consequently there is no systematic viewpoint stretching across the span of topics, from such things as optical illusions to

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such things as differential social perspective and voting behavior. Some of the intellectual giants, like William James, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, are scarcely mentioned. But Berelson and Steiner are quite clear about the reasons: the genius of these earlier writers lies in their "revolutionary reformulating of human problems," but they do not usually offer "the type of empirical documentation required in this inventory," The reader does not miss the theories because his focus is on the data.

Moreover, the reader need not be a teacher, researcher, or formal student to understand and appreciate the writing, which is marvelously free of jargon without losing the force or finesse of the findings. This is not to say that students in the field of human behavior will not profit from the book, for the range covered is wide enough to hit some hiatus in almost anyone' s knowledge. Findings are grouped under these categories: behavioral development; perceiving;' learning and thinking; motivation; the family; face-to-face relations in small groups; organizations; institutions; social stratification; ethnic relations; mass communication; opinions, attitudes, and beliefs; the society; culture.

Mentions of conformity to and deviance from dominant culture themes are scattered throughout the book. There is no focal emphasis on patterns of sexual deviation, but statements made by the authors and quotations from other writers are such that sex variations are placed in the perspective of cultural relativity common to anthropology and sociology. Ford and Beach (PATTERNS OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR) are cited frequentl? in this context, as are Kinsey and other well-known authors. Homosexual behavior is acknowledged as being different from the statistical norm but is not treated as being pathological or socially dysfunctional. Specific references to homosexuality are not meant to constitute a systematic presentation of the topic, but there are statements of interest.

For example, in a general discussion of physiological needs, the authors report that a high percentage of women whose ovaries have been removed show little or no change in sexual desire (p.49); that hormones administered artificially have little effect on men whose sexual motivation is low (ibid.); that when homosexuals are treated with hormones of their own sex, homosexual interest is likely to be increased rather than reversed if there is any effect at all (ibid.).

In an interesting reference to a study in experimental psychology, the authors report that "when looking at interesting or pleasant materials, as compared to neutral ones, the pupil dilates measurably. Conversely, looking at distasteful or disliked materials produces contraction" (p. 103). In particular, acknowledged male homosexuals were differentiated from "normals" simply by their differential pupillary response, to photographs of male homosexuals versus female pin-ups (pages 103-104). The simplicity of such a tool for discriminating between hetero- and homosexuals reveals one of the limitations of the book: namely, the lack of critical analyses of

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the varied research methodologies employed in the many works cited to buttress the generalizations. Perhaps an inventory of behavioral sciences is enough to ask for, however, because the task of methodological criticism would require a separate and different kind of book. Nonetheless, one is left with many unanswered questions when reading about such experiments as pupillary response and sexual differentiation. In fairness, though, it should be noted that the bibliography is extensive and thorough, and anyone wishing to probe deeper is given ample direction to do so.

Another example which leaves unanswered questions occurs in a discussion of repression and "reaction-formation," as mentioned frequently by Freud, relative to paranoia and homosexuality. Gardner (1931), Strakosch (1934), and Sears (1943) are referred to in this discussion which concludes that "Far fetched as these connections may seem, homosexuality, both overt and symbolic, is far more often observed in paranoid patients than in the psychiatric population as a whole" (p. 285).

Attention is also drawn to some of the important findings in learning and psychotherapy. In discussions of experimental studies of conditioning, we are told that desired responses can presumably be taught and extinguished without the respondent's awareness, as subjects showed who were used in experiments without realizing they were subjects (p. 143). A nod, a smile, and other nonverbal reinforcements can be instrumental in conditioning and reconditioning responses. Berelson and Steiner point out that "such findings clearly speak to the question of how social conformity can occur without intentional compliance, or intentional influence, for that matter. Within the behavioral sciences, they have also provoked serious questions about how much significance can be placed on what people say and do not say in experimental, clinical, or other interview settings where the investigator himself may be influencing the subject's speech in the direction of his own hypothesis or bias, via such selective reinforcement" (p. 145) Berelson and Steiner refer to other studies which dispute the finding that verbal conditioning can occur without the subject's awareness, and they conclude: "...the role of awareness is an unresolved and lively issue in the theoretical literature. But many of the practical implications of verbal conditioning hold whether the process occurs with or without awareness--e.g., the possibility that psychotherapists confirm their own theories by reinforcing appropriate statements made by patients" (p. 147).

Referring to Eysenck, well-known behaviorist from England, and to other contributors, the authors firmly state "there is no conclusive evidence that psychotherapy is more effective than general medical counseling or advice in treating neurosis or psychosis," (p. 287). Types of patients, time required to "recover," and a few other variables are mentioned in the summary of studies seeking to evaluate psychotherapy, including psychoanalysis. The evidence is meager and research methods need refining; hence, one of the glaring conclusions

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is the lack of research in psychiatry in general (or perhaps psychiatry's reluctance to be researched). "Strictly speaking," say Berelson and Steiner, "it cannot even be considered established that psychotherapy, on the average, improves a patient's chances of recovery beyond what they would be without any formal therapy whatsoever" (ibid.). When improvements do occur in patients, homogamy between therapist and client seeds to be Important, i. e., the more like the therapist and the less in need of help the patient is, the better" his prospects. And the more psychologically sophisticated, the better educated, the higher in social class, the younger and the less sick the patient, the better are his chances for benefiting from psychotherapy. Thus, selective response., selective therapy, and similarity between therapist and client are Important variables. Under these conditions, many obvious questions might be raised by the homophile community about treatment for homosexuals who have emotional problems. Would a homosexual therapist have more success with a homosexual patient? Is it surprising that a heterosexual therapist should be unsuccessful in trying to change the sexual proclivities of a homosexual patient? Moreover, if neither formal therapy nor lack of therapy appears to have much effect on the homosexuality of an individual, may certain assumptions be made about the stability of homosexuality?

Berelson and Steiner include empirically derived conclusions from studies in sociology and social psychology that are concerned with the impact of group sanctions and the effect of the group on the individual. These findings might be considered of value to the homophile subculture in view of problems faced by those who deviate from the dominant cultural expectations. In most societies, for example, the young learn sexual practices and sexual mores from their peers more than they do from adults (p. 301). Deviant members of a group are more likely to change their behavior to meet the standards of the modal members of the group than vice versa (p. 332). Members of a group generally perceive the group's opinion to be closer to their own opinions than it actually is (p, 336). When an individual is strongly attached to a group and in close, frequent contact with It, his behavior and beliefs are most resistant to change, and at the same time the group can exercise strong control over him (p. 337). The more compatible the members of a group, are in personality, skills, status, norms, the more understood and accepted are the group's procedures for action and the more effective and satisfying will be the performance of group tasks (p. 353). When change is desired, Influencing people as group members rather than as Isolated individuals is more effective (p. 354).

In a further refinement of small-group analyses, the authors draw generalizations from the literature about two-person and three-person groups. Groups of two are characterized typically by high tension and emotion, high exchange of Information, high potential of deadlock and instability, high differentiation of role with one person the active initiator, the other the passive controller (with veto), and "mutual tolerance" as necessary for survival (p. 360). These traits

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apply especially' to intimate two-person groups like that of husband and wife. For groups of three, it is noted,there is typically the power of the majority over the minority of one, with usually two. stronger over the weaker member but most stability comes with shifting coalitions (p. 360).

These are only a few illustrations of the depth and range of items reported in this extremely useful reference book, and I have selected these few as having some relevance to the audience of this Review. It is safe to say that if you have any interest in what science has to report about human behavior in individual or collective form, this book will be a fascinating and informative source. It will provide you with some conclusions and will stimulate you to search for more

-Reviewed by Marvin E. Wolfgang

(Dr. Wolfgang is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.)


Sisters of loneliness, sisters of exile,
such loves are mine.

Bracelets of silver, ceramics and leather,
light voices, high laughter,
brief kisses of wine.

In each lovely face I find a reflection,
my sisters my lovers,
half-walking dreams, moving
to approach me swiftly,
come to my side.

Drifting in patterns
blowing sand, dead sand,
come to me, love for me,
at noon by a tide.

(All others absorbing in flashes of brilliance
one will stand firmly,
to quietly question the scope of my dreams.)

Listening to streams
of melody flowing
from the pain of our bruises our sorrows,
or fears,
come wrap me in velvet,
clothe me with color,
bed me with fragrance of perfume and tears.

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Reach for me quickly
for I go with the morning.
(Sunrise shall find me,
shall trap me, shall bind me,
laving in softness,
drowning in song.)

Tell me I err
to walk thus, so proudly,
shout that I'm wrong.

Or join my gay fantasy,
softly, extravagantly,
planning the victory
(or weeping in loss),
turning to share with loveliness there
where nothing but beauty shall sleep with
the dawn.

Laugh with me lie with me, cry with me,
share with me sorrow,
share with me exile,
share with me wonder
wandering ever
whatever, wherever
forever lost on the road of the world.

J. J.

Notes from Abroad

Thanksgiving from Indonesia

(Editor's note: This letter is a sequel to "Isolation In Indonesia" which was published in our June issue. The writer is pictured on this month's front cover.)

I have such heavenly news to tell you If I could only find the right words That I am no longer alone, that I have suddenly found friends! It began with a secretary that I met, fun-loving Rora. I made friends with her and she confessed quite soon that she was a lesbian--and thought of herself as the only one tool We became vast friends (but just friends) and decided to room together, which we did. We had, of course, a million things to talk about.

Rora knew some male homosexuals, a whole gang of them, to whom she introduced me. They couldn't believe our lesbianism because we look so "dead normal whereas they look, very feminine. They amused and shocked me at the same time. They are so very feminine that I wondered how they could hold their jobs, (And they all have good jobs and are from the best of

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families.) In short, it was a very confusing experience on both sides! I became one of the gang, but not for long. They disappointed me. Their one most cherished topic is SEX, and I am sorry, but after a while it gave me a pain in the neck. They are all polygamous. I thought they wouldn't differ from us!

But I have more wonderful news to tell you--just listen. At a party I made, acquaintance with another woman, married and the mother of a little son. (I didn't know at the time.) She was no beauty, but had a very interesting face: narrow, with sharp features and sparkling cat-green eyes. She was as interested in me as I was in her. Well, I liked her at first sight, and my roommate Rora liked her too and invited her to come and see us. She came--and didn't leave again!... She told her husband her discovery that she was gay and Interested in women. (She has more courage and honesty than I had.) Their marriage wasn't a happy one, but she had stayed with her husband for appearance-sake and for her little son.

I was her first experience, the first woman in her life. She was as ignorant as I was some 15 years ago. I loved her so much I didn't do anything to win her for me. I wanted her to know, herself first and to accept all consequences--without any influence from me. I let her fight her struggle alone, watching her powerless from a distance and sharing her; pain and despair with all my heart. Hetty, that is SHE, came out of her struggle true to herself and went home to tell her husband her decision.

Her husband didn't like it at all. He hated losing her for it would detract from his reputation and career, so he said. But Hetty made her decision and moved in with me and is; now getting a divorce. She gave up her son, because she doesn't think it wise to let him grow up among women only, which was very hard and painful for her to decide. Fortunately he is a very Independent and easy-going little fellow (age7) and doesn't ask questions. She sees him frequently after office hours so that he may tell her all his experiences of the day.

And all this happened in such a short time. I can't believe it myself not being alone anymore. Rora doesn't want to leave us and is looking for a partner of her own--but talking her time. And now Hetty, Rora, and I are busy decorating our new home.

If I had any inclination to leave this country and to try my luck somewhere else, I am sure I don't feel so any longer. I am sure there are more of our kind here, hundreds, thousands, - and I want to detect them and give them at least our friendship and understanding and the enlightenment they so badly need. I know, of course, of so-called women-clubs, mostly high society, where they literally "commit" lesbianism just for the fun of it, but I didn't mean those women. They are just bored with too much time and money and too little to do. Their hobby is maintaining young girls, preferably art students, as their so-called protegees. Of course they

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ruin the girls and make perfect parasites--or worse--out of them. I know, they tried it with me too, and I know some of these girls--before and afterwards. (How I do hate those women, those hypocritical human-vampires!)

I can't say how grateful I am for my subscription renewal from an anonymous donor. Thanks so much, also from the others here who enjoy THE LADDER as much as I do. We don't need anything as much as reading, which is the only way to increase our knowledge and understanding. So...if you should have any reading matter to spare (second-, third-, fourth-hand, it doesn't matter!), would you please cast it on a ship. on its way hither?? It would be so very welcome! You would laugh if you could see us and the boys, raiding each other's bookcases for something to read, and begging the one going abroad to please not forget to bring some of "our" books. (Which they usually didn't forget, but were ashamed to buy, the soft-heads!) We are so very grateful to own a book, no matter if we've already read it.

Do you really think that excerpts from my letters could be anything to others? I can hardly believe it. Of course you have my permission to publish excerpts from my letters and neither Hetty nor Rora has any objections, for we just don't care what people would think of us if they should know. We are not ashamed nor afraid of anything.

Would you give our love to all our sympathizers? And tell the world that we are happy being ourselves and no distorted convention-victims anymore! Thank you again for everything. I can't specify, it's just: everything!

- Ger van B.


At this time of year, as you give thanks for abundance often taken for granted, will you share a book or two? Ger van B. has shared with you her own earnest longing for books on the homophile theme. "Our" books are simply not available in her own country. As Ger explained in the letter published in June: "Even books and other reading matters are hard to get and because our money has no value abroad we can't order anything ourself. We are dependent on what the bookstores are allowed to import. And that is not much--mostly textbooks and very rarely a few pockets." Ger does not take books for granted. She has appealingly described her hunger for them. Won't you respond by mailing a qualityy book with a homophile, element (new or used, hardcover or paperback, non-fiction or fiction) to: BOOKS FOR GER. Postal Box 8432, Philadelphia 1. Pa., 19101. A DOB member in Philadelphia has offered to box and forward the books to Ger in Indonesia. Donations of postage stamps to help with the mailing will also be welcome! More correspondence from Ger will appear in December LADDER.

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Mrs. Freeman & Mrs. Morley

Being in fact some little known facts of the life of Sarah Jennings Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), and Anne (1665-1714), Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, 1702-17l4.

by Vern Niven

Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, was one of the most powerful women in English history, and she dominated the life of "Good Queen Anne," one of the most important queens in the colorful royal history of England

Traditionally, there is often a power behind the throne, and this power is assumed to be a woman; but when the throne is occupied by a woman, one might expect the power to be a man. An exception to this was the clearly lesbian influence that Sarah exercised over Anne during their long and intimate relationship. The fact that these women married and produced children is of little significance in view of the times in which they lived.

Sarah's sister, Frances, was one of the astounding beauties of all time and was a maid of honor to the first Duchess of York (Anne's mother). Sarah was left at home alone with servants during her formative years while her mother accompanied Prances to Court. A few years later Sarah also went to Court long enough to have her mother tossed out and to cement her own position in the dual household--all this while still a child.

From the time Sarah was fourteen and Anne was nine, they were fast friends. The colorless Anne naturally turned toward the vivacious, enterprising older girl. Anne was motherless by this time and her father was neglectful. Her older sister, Mary (who became Mary II, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1689-1694, joint sovereign with her cousin-husband William III, Prince of Orange), was consumed with personal interests another girl--and--no one except Sarah Jennings paid attention to the young Princess Anne.

Mary's pursuits as well as the nature of Anne and Sarah's relationship, are described by biographer Louis Kronenberger:

"The nature of Anne's feeling for Sarah is too intense to ignore, yet not altogether easy to define. For it is complicated by the whole atmosphere of Anne's girlhood. Her sister Mary, for example, was involved in a friendship with Frances Apsley in which Mary acted the wife and Frances the husband, and in which Mary wrote to Frances as follows: 'I have sat

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up this night...to tell my dear dear dear dearest dear husband... that I am more and more in love with you every time I see you, and love you so well that I cannot express it no way but by saying I am your louse in bosom and would be very glad to be always so near you.'

"At exactly the same time Anne played husband to Frances's wife. (*) Some of this derives from the way very young girls of the period--and very young princesses even more--were kept apart from men, and hence given to inventing a life with them, Often, too, they played male roles in Court theatricals (Anne and Frances addressed each other by name taken from Lee's 'Mithridates'). (*Frances playing wife--Ed.)

"So much might be no more than adolescent transferences coupled with period romanticism. Yet almost three years after her marriage at fifteen, Mary could still write to Frances protesting Frances's inconstancy, and urging her to 'take heed...for ' tis dangerous to vex a lover and a woman.'And a grown-up Anne writes, from time to time, with peculiar intensity to Sarah, displaying more than ordinary affection. Indeed, Anne's attitude toward women was remarked upon soon after her deaths. Allowing for the current tendency to ferret out and stress sexual abnormality, one still has a sense of something in Anne's emotions that suggests the abnormal."

It is worth noting that William of Orange (William III of England) is known to have been a homosexual. Here was a remarkable situation: Anne was inclined toward lesbianism, her sister Mary leaned in this direction as well, and Mary's husband was an acknowledged homosexual.

Early in their friendship Anne and Sarah adopted pseudonyms to allow themselves the privilege of written communication as coequals. Anne became Mrs. Morley, and Sarah, befitting her pushy personality, was Mrs. Freeman

Sarah, helped by Mary of Modena (Anne's new, young stepmother), married John Churchill. This marriage is historically regarded as a love match on his part and an ambitious move on Sarah' s. John Churchill was to be England's greatest soldier in a period (the Restoration) filled with greats: Dryden the satirist, Pepys the diarist, Wren the architect, Purcell the composer, Milton the poet, Bentley the scholar, Newton the scientist. The marriage of John and Sarah was done in secret in 1677 or 1678. John's role as soldier took him away from his bride for a great deal of time. Yet even after the marriage was known, the Churchills remained a part of the household of the Duke and Duchess of York and the Princess Anne.

As the years passed, Anne and Sarah were thrown together again and again--whether by accident or by design cannot be known now. By 1684 Sarah's connection with Anne was not only close but official. In 1683 John Churchill had been sent by King Charles to Denmark to conduct Danish Prince George to England "to fall in love with Anne." George dutifully arrived and married Anne on July 28, 1683. He is remembered as

[p. 14] | [Page Image]

a decent, untroublesome, completely boring man with no faults except "drink and dullness." George and Anne moved into an establishment named the Cockpit, and Sarah was appointed one of Anne's ladies of the bedchamber.

An unusual relationship existed in this household. Anne continued to look up to Sarah, even though Sarah was actually in Anne's service and received no small salary for the job. In turn the dull George also came to look up to Sarah.

In early 1685 King Charles died and James, the Duke of York, became James II, King of England. John Churchill, already a colonel, became a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and an English peer, Baron Churchill of Sandridge. James's rule was short.

"His Catholicism frightened the staunchly Protestant English, and William of Orange (whose wife was Anne's sister, Mary) gathered German troops against James. John Churchill defected to join William. Then orders were sent to arrest Sarah. Cleverly, Sarah anticipated this. She and Anne slipped away from their quarters and fled by coach. It must be remembered that James.II was Anne's father, which says a good deal for the hold Sarah had on Anne. As one biographer describes it: "Sarah's great influence over Anne for the first time occasioned fateful action,"

After a brouhaha of actions and reactions, James, who had withdrawn, was declared to have vacated the throne,and William of Orange and Mary were jointly named King and Queen of England, (This joint ascendancy meant that Anne was one more place removed from the throne.) William was grateful to John for his support and created him Earl of Marlborough. Sarah was happily reinstalled with Anne in the Cockpit.

Anne soon made a permanent enemy of her sister, now Queen Mary. The Queen's revenge was directed at Sarah Churchill. Anne refused to give Sarah up and the sisters' quarrels were hot and heavy. This only served to unite Sarah and Anne. Their long intimacy now (in 1692 when Anne was 27 and Sarah 32) became clearly a physical relationship, if it had not always teen so Anne, faced with the terror of separation from Sarah which Sarah herself suggests on behalf on Anne, writes in one letter; "If you should ever do so cruel a thing... from that moment I shall never enjoy one quiet hour. And should you do it without asking my consent...I will shut myself up and never see the world more." And later: "If' it be possible I am every day more and more yours."

For a few years Anne was in royal disfavor and consequently so were the Marlboroughs. However, Queen Mary died, and "sickly" William ruled alone. Anne was now in line for the throne. Court notables who had avoided Anne began to pay her much attention, and Sarah too was again in the limelight.

As a conciliatory gesture only, William made Anne welcome at Court. In 1702, William died, and Anne was crowned Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. To all intents and purposes this made Sarah and her husband the rulers--for Anne belonged to

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Sarah almost entirely. The list of honors bestowed upon both John and Sarah Churchill would fill a page. Sarah was named, among other things, Comptroller of the Privy Purse.

For four years Sarah was the favored one. Then politics caused Anne and Sarah to quarrel. Into the breach moved an obscure cousin of Sarah' s. Abigail Hill, a "waiting woman" to the Queen. Ironically, it was Sarah who had got Abigail her position. The day came when Abigail was plainly Anne's favorite and Sarah was left out. The circumstances surrounding this displacement read like low comedy. Sarah's foolish mistake was that in the face of highly preferential treatment, she ceased to shower Anne with the attention to which Anne had become accustomed. When Sarah at last realized the situation and investigated, she found that "Abigail had for a long time--during the afternoon while Prince George spent hours with the Queen."

The Whigs gleefully pamphleteered the new "love" of Anne's to the nation in this ditty:

Whereas Q_____A_____ of great renown Great Britain's scepter swayed.

Besides the Church, she dearly loved A dirty Chamber-maid

There was a brief period of reconciliation between Sarah and Anne. During this uneasy reconciliation, Sir John Vanbrugh wrote to Lord Manchester: "The Queen's fondness for the other lady is not to be expressed." And when Sarah left Anne's side, Abigail was sent for by Anne. During a time when John Churchill was away at war,Sarah again made a bid for Anne's attention She was part of Anne's life briefly after Prince George died, but this did not last. Soon after the death of George, Sarah and Anne officially and actually broke forever.

Anne herself died not long after. Sarah continued for years in and out of royal favor, and, ever energetic, lived to be 84. No further lesbian interest is recorded for Sarah. Yet, it is curious that her remarkable will left an unusual share of her fortune to Grace Ridley--her" first woman."


Kronenberger, Louis. MARLBOROUGH'S DUCHESS: A STUDY IN WORLDLXNESS . N.Y., Knopf, 1958

Sergeant, Philip W. DOMINANT WOMEN+ London, Hutchinson, n.d.(1938)

Marlborough, Duchess of. MEMOIRS OF SARAH? DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH+ Edited by William King, N. Y., Dutton, 1930


Hopkinson, M.R. ANNE OF ENGLAND+ N. Y.,Macmillan, 1934 Brown, Beatrice Curtis. ALAS, QUEEN ANNE + Indianapolis, Bobbs, n.d.(1928)

Garde, Noel I. JONATHAN TO GIDE+ N. Y., Vantage, 1964

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Focus on fashion

Pants are proper! The running debate among top fashion designers on both sides of the Atlantic has at last subsided. With help from HARPER'S, VOGUE, and the NEW YORK TIMES, the ayes have it! This season you can wear pants absolutely anywhere --which means dandy pants for town and fancy pants for evening. You can choose from knickers, britches, jumpsuits, pantsuits, pant-shifts, etc. Combine with a champion-swimmer hairdo sleeked back behind your ears and a cropped coat. An inside contact reports that fashion artists are being told to draw their panted women to "look like lesbians." But who can be sure what that means?

Let's review what fashion experts were saying about pants. "Enough women wear pants now--mentally, I mean" (Geoffrey Beene)." I've worn pants for years and they are not comfortable" (Nando Sarmi)." I adore them. It's a way of life I understand"(Eloise Curtis)." Enough is enough... Pants are not yet for '21' or the Automat" (Anne Klein). " It's such a definitive fashion statement" (Stanley Herman), " There is not enough variety of sizes to accommodate all our little derrières" (Trigere). Mrs. Vreeland of VOGUE sidestepped the whole controversy: " No matter what a woman wears she's always a woman....My dear,we are all women underneath."

The Sunday, Sept. 20th N. Y. TIMES explored the His-is-Hers trend. They quote fashion philosopher James Laver:" Emancipation of women must ultimately mean the emergence of a matriarchal society. In such as age.male and female costume will invariably come so close as to be nearly identical." In the same article, Debbie Turbeville of HARPER'S BAZAAR declares: "There is a chic about women wearing men's clothes. ...A really independent woman should be able to get her clothes anywhere. Why does it have to be a woman's shop?"

What every lesbian knows about the status of women in our society, was discussed with sensitivity by Paul Johnson, writing in the English magazine NEW STATESMAN for July 24, 1964. Mr. Johnson explains that "fundamental issues of human freedom" --for women--lie behind the topless dress controversy. He notes that the topless dress began as a gimmick intended to make the low-cut gown seem less daring, therefore more tempting, to the inhibited buyer. The press went along with the gimmick for the sake of lively copy. Then to the astonishment of designers, topless dresses actually began to sell well in the stores where they were available. Consequently, new social and moral questions have to be faced squarely.

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Mr. Johnson, who did research on the subject, says a majority of the women wearing the topless dresses are "perfectly ordinary housewives and working girls...." Yet officials (all male and all in offices geared to defending the status quo) line up to a man to denounce such exposure. For example, the prosecuting counsel in a ease in California, speaking of a pretty girl who had worn a topless bathing suit", accused the girl of "throwing filth in the faces of the police and the public." Nudists, strip-tease artists, and call girls also hate the topless trend for the threat it poses to their special monopolies. Test cases are reportedly being contrived.

But, Mr. Johnson points out, if such exposure be a crime of indecency, then it is so because of the view that women's breasts are obscene. We admire the philosophical level to which Mr. Johnson carries the controversy: "The obscenity, if any exists, must and can only lie in the eyes of the beholder. What the law is in fact saying is that women must not expose their breasts because men are obscene. And here we come to the heart of the matter. The law is made by men and for men; the woman is, as it were, incidental to it. "She is regarded more in the nature of an instrument, an impersonal property, without legal conscience of her own, whose significance consists solely in the way men react to her... The interests of the woman are rejected as irrelevant. The law, being entirely masculine in orientation, cannot conceive that a woman may wish to show her breasts without any other motive than that she is proud of them.... Here...we have a very simple and straightforward issue of personal liberty, which goes straight to the heart of the continued subjection and subordination of women in our society.... Women have got the. vote and much else of the formal impedimenta of equality; they have yet to break through the social mould which still treats them as objects rather than persons. A silly season stunt--or a revolt of the still-inferior sex?"

Since you put it that way, Mr. Johnson, we're almost tempted to buy a topless dress tomorrow.

- Melanie


- THE LADDER does not subscribe to a news clipping service. We get ours fresh from the field! You are our only source. Next time you see a news item that might interest LADDER readers, won't you pluck it for us? Please give date and name of publication. Dispatch to the Editor, c/o DOB.

- WHEN YOU MOVE, please notify our Circulation Manager. The postage rate used for THE LADDER does not permit forwarding even though your former post office may have your new address. Avoid missing any issues! Send your new address promptly to the Circulation Manager in San Francisco.

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Lesbiana by Gene Damon

294. A CANDLE IN THE SUN--by Marguerite Steen. Doubleday, 1964.

George, a writer, has been unhappily married for years. When he falls in love with Lucian he decides to divorce Blythe. Complications begin when he finds that Blythe has a female lover, Oggie. The portrayal of Oggie is: no white-wash. But Oggie is a gentleman, and there is very subtle propaganda for lesbians. A good book, worth buying.

295. HONEY FOR THE BEARS--by Anthony Burgess. Norton. 1963, 1964.

Despite the critics' huzzahs, this book is a flop as the satire it was touted to be. English antique dealer Paul Hussey and his American wife Belinda slip into Leningrad to sell dresses (illegally, of course) to the Russians. During the voyage, Belinda is confined to her bunk with a rash (which proves to be psychosomatic). Events cause Paul to be separated from Belinda almost on arriving in Russia, and Belinda is hospitalized for the rash. This puts her into the hands of Dr. Sonya Lazurkina, a gentle and very kind lesbian. All of this is ideal, since Belinda has long been secretly carrying on with various women. After several less than funny adventures, Paul leaves Russia, without Belinda (who is staying with Sonya) and very much in doubt of his own normalcy since it seems he too has been fighting the "urge" for some time. The long letter which Belinda sends to Paul to explain her feelings for Sonya is delightful, and" this alone more than makes up for some of the asinine aspects of the book.

296. THE BITTER FRIENDSHIP--by Rosemary Timperly. London, Robert Hale, 1963.

A detailed study of the intertwined lives of two women, Carol and Astrid, from age 8 until the death of one. Their relationship is far from usual. While it never becomes overt, the affair is so intense it can only be described as lesbian. When they are 12 and 13, Astrid falls violently in love with a mannish (though heterosexual) teacher, and the chapters about this period are the most moving. The author has a talent for describing the emotions and behavior of young girls.

297. THE JUMPING OFF PLACE--by Caret Rogers. Dial, 1962.

This many-people novel of life in a state asylum during the 1920's was rightly considered a male homosexual title by most reviewers. However, it also contains one of the most fascinating uses of lesbianism as a plot device I've ever read. A special treat--a clever and sympathetic approach, and a lulu of a surprise to the reader.

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298. MISS BANNISTER'S GIRLS--by Louise Tanner. Farrar, Straus, 1963.

The subtitle--"An Acidulous Novel"--is a just description. Louise Tanner, wife of Edward Everett Tanner of AUNTIE MAME fame (alias Patrick Dennis), writes of a reunion of graduates of an exclusive girls' school. In the premise of the group, taken from the class prophecy, we find this entry: "Juliet Barton. Nickname: Jojo. Future: First woman to do fifteen rounds with Joe Louis and live to tell the tale." Each girl is accorded a chapter, and each flits in and out of the other chapters. Jojo is painted in a much less malicious light than the majority of the girls. Good, if only because comic novels which touch on lesbianism are so few and far between.



The Mattachine Society's 11th Annual Conference was held at "The Precarious Vision" in San Francisco on August 29, 1964. It was filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. for future television viewing in Canada.

The topic "Invasion of Privacy" was considered from the legal standpoint by W. E. "Dane" Mohler, Jr., of the Frank C. Wood law firm in Los Angeles. The Rev. Canon Robert Cromey, rector of St. Aden's Episcopal Church, spoke on the moral and religious aspects of privacy. A presentation of slides and description of bugging devices were given by Robert J. Durksen, Mattachine's Public Relations Director.

According to Hal Call, president of the Mattachine Society, "Invasion of Privacy" was chosen as theme for the conference because of the ominous growth of spying on the private lives of individuals, in defiance of guarantees in our Constitution. The problem includes not only the illegal searches and seizures often made by law enforcement agencies, but also the unlawful tactics used by private investigators. So great is the threat that the Federal Government has taken steps to combat it. Attorney General Robert Kennedy has appointed an official to study police practices and to hear complaints by civil liberties groups, as a new adjunct activity of the Department of Justice. Mr. Call reported also that Congress is considering the appointment of a committee whose function would be the preservation of privacy and civil liberties.

The afternoon program was opened by the showing of a cartoon film, "The Great Rights," designed to remind Americans that the privileges and rights we take for granted could be lost if we fail to understand and support the Bill of Rights.

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Rev. Cromey noted that there is little reference in Christian theology to privacy. Yet the life of prayer and private meditation is considered important to man's spiritual being. At the same time a mature person must be able to participate in the corporate life of society--his public and private lives should nourish and balance each other.

Rev. Cromey admitted that the Christian church has failed to come to terms with Eros. Whether erotic love, heterosexual or homosexual, is sinful depends on two considerations, he believes. The first is one's individual conscience in relationship with God. The second involves the concept of creation something of the givingness of life. If homosexual commitment is capable of engendering and deepening love, then the church cannot automatically say homosexuality is sinful.

"There can be no nurturing of love without intimacy, and intimacy needs privacy," said Rev. Cromey.

So-termed "surveillance equipment" designed to eavesdrop on private conversations was illustrated by slides with commentary by Mr. Durksen. These devices include: wireless microphones operating on standard FM band that can pick up conversations as far as a mile away; voice-actuated switches which turn on a tape recorder when someone speaks and turn it off when silence ensues; FM receivers in autos, working on car batteries; amplifiers that pick up barely audible sounds; brief cases that have hidden recording equipment. Some other spying gadgets are long-range telescopes, cameras using infrared film which requires no light, and two-way mirrors (often used by police in public toilet facilities).

"This is just a glimpse of the many devices that are available," warned Mr. Durksen. "There are many others we are not hearing about."

Mr. Mohler declared that "if the right of privacy is lost, we lose the cornerstone of freedom. "He added that he was appalled by the general lack of concern for this basic right.

"A man's home is supposed to be his castle," said Mr. Mohler in referring to the Fourth Amendment; which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Until recently this right was seldom tested in this country, but now it is a frequent issue in jurisprudence because the right is constantly infringed upon. Prior to 1960, the Fourth Amendment applied to federal jurisdiction only, there being but 14 states having a similar law. But since 1960, when the Supreme Court said courts could no longer allow these violations, evidence so obtained has been excluded from trial proceedings.

Mr. Mohler said that if the police won't recognize the right to privacy, the courts generally will. But, he pointed out, "we have a long way to go in California," where the police can still make a search without a warrant if there is "probable cause"--which can and often does mean "without cause." The U. S. Supreme Court says warrantless search may be made

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only in "exceptional circumstance," which is certainly more protection than "probable cause" Mr. Mohler suggested that we can help to secure our homes by taking cases of violation to court and demanding our rights be upheld through due process of law. Court decisions favoring privacy may in turn create more respect for the right to privacy.

Mr. Mohler also pointed to the Fifth Amendment which secures the privacy or sanctity of a person's mind by protecting him from being forced to incriminate himself.

"We must fight the wholesale rape of our sanctity," he urged.

- Del Martin


The NATIONAL CAPITOL AREA CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION issued last August a resolution suggesting that "the Federal Government end its policy of rejection of all homosexuals on that ground alone" from employment by the government. The resolution offers a forceful rebuttal to the three principal arguments given by the government to support its view that homosexuals are unsuitable employees: 1) the presence of a homosexual in an office is detrimental to morale and efficiency; 2) homosexuality is immoral and hence is ground for disqualification; 3) homosexuals have greater susceptibility to coercion through blackmail. Argument number 2 is the one most often relied on by the government. The resolution reflects the thinking of the NCACLU only and not that of the national AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, which has the resolution under consideration. Any change in the position of the influential national ACLU will be reported in THE LADDER.

The government transcript is now available of the DOWDY HEADINGS on HR 5990, the bill which would require every organization raising funds in the District of Columbia to "show to the satisfaction of the District Commissioners" that funds solicited "will benefit or assist in promoting the health, welfare, and morals of the District of Columbia." The bill is apparently directed primarily against the WASHINGTON MATTACHINE SOCIETY. Officers of this homophile organization testified extensively under heavy questioning about the nature of the aims and activities of their group. The transcript of this Congressional subcommittee probe makes fascinating reading. You won't put it down once you're into it! The mention of DOB by a Congressman comes as a surprise. The transcript may be obtained free of charge by writing to Room 445, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D. C.

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DRUM Magazine subtitled"Sex in Perspective," is the new and impressive achievement of the JANUS SOCIETY of Philadelphia. DRUM contains 34 pages of articles, pictures, reviews, news, etc. The magazine's title is derived from Thoreau's statement: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." We welcome DRUM to the ranks of homophile monthly magazines! (Subscription is $4.50 for one year, with reduced rates for "longer term subscriptions. Mail to: Janus Society, 34 S.17th St., Philadelphia 3, Pa.) Recent issues of the exurban magazine BUCKS COUNTY LIFE have contained prominent articles on homosexuality with special reference to the Janus Society and it's philosophy.

SEPIA Magazine for September carried a special article on homosexuality. While the treatment is cursory, the concluding sentence speaks as one minority to another: "But how can society continue to ignore a group which already numbers in the millions?"

The San Francisco LEAGUE FOR SEXUAL FREEDOM has been founded as runner-up to a similar League in New York. Pounder Ernest Barry has been certified by two court psychiatrists as sane, but a "dissenter." The Leagues will work to legalize prostitution, end censorship, liberalize divorce laws, and repeal state laws against alleged perversions. They affirm respect for sexual freedom as a fundamental civil liberty. In New York, RANDOLFE WICKER climbed on the League's soapbox in Washington Square to speak extemporaneously to a sizable crowd on the subject of homophile rights. He has since spoken in smaller meetings held by the New York League.

NAOMI JACOB, English novelist with over 50 books to her credit, died on August 27 at the age of 80. Miss Jacob was renowned for her collar-and-tie appearance and her shingled hair. "I just find men's clothes are more practical and more economical," she declared. Her book ME--AND THE SWANS was reviewed-by Gene Damon in the May 1964 LADDER.

Over 500 jurists from 54 countries attended the ninth INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PENAL LAW in The Hague last August. The influential group adopted a resolution which said that homosexual behavior between consenting adults should not be prohibited by criminal law.

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has been in an uproar over BOBO, its prize gorilla. Bobo is handsome and healthy and supposedly in the heyday of the flesh. Yet he won't look at his flirtatious bride Fifi, who would consent willingly to her prescribed role. Aphrodisiacs and even pornographic movies have been seriously suggested for Bobo by his well-wishers. Oddly enough, down at the zoo in San Francisco, keepers were

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distressed by a similar reticence shown by their new gorilla named JACOB. "Perhaps," said zoo director Baldwin, "he's a confirmed bachelor." But getting back to Bobo in Seattle, officials say he had an over-protected childhood with loving human parents. Declared the zoo vet: "Single male primates raised from babyhood in human homes are highly neurotic. Bobo has human inhibitions. He simply will not make an exhibition of himself." How sensitive of him! Looking at his reserved and dignified face, we suggest he may deserve a bit of privacy and perhaps a single male primate who understands.

Author and social philosopher JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH, in a lead article for SATURDAY REVIEW (May 9, 1964.) entitled "Confessions of a Square," got pretty steamed up over "fashionable writers" who "persuade us to believe that the world is different from what our own experience tells us that it is." He concludes: "Their most pressing problems are not mine.... Many of our unhappy geniuses defend homosexuality, (From that we are sometimes prone to assume that homosexuality is what has made them genuises. Perhaps it is only what has made them unhappy," That's a neat turn of phrase, but to each his own "experience," Mr. Krutch!

Postscripts to the DOB NATIONAL CONVENTION held last June at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel in New York: Reporters from both the NEW YORK TIMES and the HERALD TRIBUNE covered the event, taking reams of notes from the speeches and cornering various speakers and DOB representatives for statements. The TIMES report (appearing in the widely read Sunday edition, June 21) played up the fact that some of our speakers disagreed with "the prevailing medical view that homosexuality is a disease." Thus, in a 5 inch, single column item tucked away on a back page. the TIMES made a rare departure from its usual. touting of the disease and/or social menace theories, (In a coming issue, THE LADDER will discuss the articles published by the NEW YORK TIMES on the subject of homosexuality.)

The most disappointing postscript to our convention concerns a TV panel discussion of lesbianism which was to have been broadcast on convention eve. Del Martin, DOB Treasurer, and another DOB member were to have appeared on New York's popular, LES CRANE SHOW+ The show was ordered canceled by the legal department of WABC -TV, with no reason given.

And finally, the strangest postscript to the DOB convention. The most inaccurate and oblique press notice came from Dorothy Kilgallen, who wrote in her widely syndicated column for the following. Monday: "There are conventions all over town, as the newspapers have duly reported, but nobody mentioned the one held over the weekend at a very proper East Side hotel. It was a conclave of ladies with crew cuts." Her comment was obviously not based on first-hand observation. But if Miss Kilgallen looked for us on the East Side, that must be why she never showed up. Better luck next time!

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In my opinion the September Issue of THE LADDER is the best of 1964 so far. It has more intellectual content and vigor. I prefer the photographic covers to the art-work ones, since the slick cover lends a more sophisticated feature to the magazine. Perhaps art-work should be confined to the interior pages. It would be good to have illustrations for some of the original fiction.

It requires great Ingenuity to overcome the incompatibility of imaginative, art and fiction, and the more prosaic analytical and non-fiction sections. It is similar to making a successful transition from "Die Walkure" to the "Goldberg Variations." It can be done, certainly, as it has been done in the large commercial magazines--but still, one can never answer easily the question of professional -appearing journal versus popular magazine. I note that no fiction appears in the September issue, and certainly this issue seems the best constructed. Now the next problem will be to add the, dimension of fictional material and art -work without losing the consistency and content of the September issue.

I was Interested in "The Church and the Homosexual," and I would be interested in the LAVENDER LEXICON mentioned as having been distributed at the conference, since I have difficulty following what seems to be purely urban jargon. I have had no contact with many terms and phrases employed in the fictional material. It might be well to publish a glossary of terms in your magazine. I could not quite follow the interesting scintillations in Paula Christian's "Optical Illusion" appearing in the February Issue, because of a lack of local vocabulary.

I sympathize with G. van B. of Indonesia, who wrote in your June issue: "It is so very much in our isolation."

--M. W., Pennsylvania

I don' t think the brief report of DOCTORS' NEWS CONFERENCE (page 22 of the October LADDER) did full justice to Dr. Sam Nelken's quietly penetrating contribution. Dr. Nelken, a psychiatrist, objected to the injustice of linking promiscuity and crime to homosexuals. He suggested that homosexuals could be helped to feel happier by inducting heterosexuals to stop persecuting them. When asked whether he knew of any homosexuals who; were not emotionally disturbed, he replied: Being a psychiatrist I wouldn't be particularly likely to." And when others on the panel spoke disparagingly of a "homosexual lobby," Dr. Nelken asked "Why not?" He indicated that

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such a movement should seek sympathy (though not increase for homosexuality. Asked for a final word on the subject Dr. Nelken told the story of the little old lady at Oscar Wilde's trial who whispered to her neighbor: "Oh dear, I don't care what they do as long as they don't do it in the streets and scare the horses!"

-F. C., California

I must offer you a pat on the back for turning out THE LADDER, one of the finest magazines I've seen in a long time. Both the creative and expository material are excellent, and consistently so. All concerned may well be proud!

C. S., New Mexico J

To the San Francisco Chapter of Daughters of Bilitis:

I was most happy to receive your check for $90 covering the award which was made to me from the Blanche M. Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund by the San Francisco Chapter of Daughters of Bilitis, Inc. This sum will be used towards my tuition and books this semester at San Francisco State College.

I was pleasantly surprised, and not surprisingly, pleased to learn that I was the recipient of your scholarship. I am in hopes that some day I shall be in a position to contribute to your scholarship fund, thus expressing my gratitude to your organization for this service you have given me and enabling others like myself to continue their education.

It would be considered a great honor by me if you were to, send a news release to the "Golden Gator" stating that I had received your award. My husband, Ron, and I were delighted with the three copies of your magazine, THE LADDER, which were enclosed with your check. We are very much interested in your organization and we plan to attend a Wednesday night open house soon. Meanwhile, we are publicizing your organization and its scholarship fund among our friends.

Thank you for the honor you have accorded me in selecting me as the recipient of your scholarship.

- Elizabeth B. Goodman.

Editor's note: DOB is now raising funds for the 1965 scholarship awards. The total fund each year is allotted in equal parts to the DOB chapters, which receive the applications for scholarships and select recipients, for the available awards. The larger the total fund, the larger the individual awards can be. Donations are welcome! Please send to; Blanche M. Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of DOB headquarters.

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THE LADDER (Sept.) is very serious this time--almost has a scholarly stink, which is fine with me. Lots of solid stuff!

- L.V., Washington, D. C.

I congratulate you for your review of LAW LIBERTY, AND PSYCHIATRY, The following incident illustrates the author's claim that psychiatric power is employed by the state.

Earlier this year, CORE leader Herbert Callender tried to arrest Robert F. Wagner, Mayor of New York City. Callender's action was based on the law that allows a citizen to make a "citizen's arrest." He contended that Wagner was guilty of a felony: Misappropriating public funds by permitting racial discrimination on city construction jobs. Callender was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to Bellevue Hospital for "mental observation." He was released in time to face a court hearing.

This minority leader made a reasoned and dramatic gesture of protest Why wasn't he jailed to await his hearing? The use by officials of psychiatric power against a detained man cast a slur on his mentality and on his action group. Social deviance was thereby punished in a mental hospital even before court action. Popular acclaim of the labels "disturbed" and "sick" for social deviants lends support to sinister government "observation" of mentality. Homophiles take heed!

- B. A., New York

I thought the write-up on homosexuality in LIFE Magazine was clever. The pictures and headings were" excellent for getting the attention of the biased person who, if he or she read the article, was exposed to some sane and objective material.

- R. B. W., Pennsylvania

I have just seen your September 1964 issue of THE LADDER and I am convinced that your magazine is now becoming one of the leading homophile journals. The quality of your material is unsurpassed. Ann Aldrich can gripe no longer.

I was especially pleased by the photograph "September Sea" on the front cover. Scenes like this will do more than many words to convince both homosexuals and non-homosexuals that homosexual people are actually human.

THE LADDER is full of hope and new faith for the homophile movement.

- W. D. A., Washington, D. C.

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MEMBERSHIP in Daughters "of Bilitis is limited to women 21 years of age or older. If in San Francisco, New York, or Chicago area, direct inquiry to chapter concerned. Otherwise write to National Office in San Francisco for a membership application form.

THE LADDER is a monthly magazine published by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed in a plain sealed envelope for $4.00 a year. Anyone over 21 may subscribe to The Ladder.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wants to support our work. We are a non-profit corporation depending entirely on volunteer labor. While men may not become members of Daughters of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and have made contributions to further our work.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS and San Francisco Chapter: 1232 Market St., Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California.

New York Chapter: 441 West 28th St., New York 1, N. Y
Chicago Chapter: P. O. Box 4497, Chicago III.


1232 Market Street, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California.

Please send THE LADDER for_____ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $4.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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She goes to a bookstore near her university to buy THE LADDER. Our magazine rates a place in quality bookstores around the country! Single-copy price will stay 50¢ even after the subscription rate increase (from $4 to $5 a year) goes into effect on Jan.1st. Whether YOU subscribe or buy your copy each month, why not get a Christmas gift subscription for a friend or for a professional person who would be in what our magazine has to say? For order blank, see inside this back cover.

THE LADDER--a unique gift, a unique magazine!

The Ladder, December 1964, Vol. 9, No. 3

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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, 1232 Market Street, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California. Telephone: UNderhill 3 - 8196.









Editor--Barbara Gittings

Fiction and Poetry Editor--Agatha Mathys

Production--Joan Oliver, V. Pigrom

Circulation Manager--Cleo Glenn

THE LADDER is regarded as a sounding board for various points of view on the homophile and related subjects and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the organization.


Another Look at Christian Morals -
by Rev. Robert W. Wood
Symptom of the Times--by Philip Gerard 9
A Christmas Dialogue--Nola 13
The Moral Decision About Homosexuality -
by Iris Murdoch
Notes from Abroad: Gift Books for
Indonesia--Ger van B
Readers Respond 25

Cover photo: "Sizing Up the Tree" by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1964 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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Another Look at Christian
Morals _ by Rev. Robert W. Wood

(Pastor, First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Spring Valley, N. Y. Author of CHRIST AND THE HOMOSEXUAL.)

An increasing amount of dialogue is taking place between segments of the homophile community and portions of the church. Discussions between clergy and homosexuals, field trips for the clergy to gay bars, speakers at each other's gatherings, and articles by clergymen in homophile publications such as this can all be constructive, and more such are needed. But these are only frosting; i. e., they seldom get beneath the surface of the Christian relationship to homosexuality and to individual homosexuals. At best such contacts are with a very few of those millions involved on both sides of the dialogue.

Of much greater importance, albeit less publicized, is the change taking place right now in the church's approach to the complex subject of morals. Already there are discernible signs that an increasing number of our younger Protestant theologians are re-examining this most basic of church doctrines and coming up with some new interpretations. This is occurring at the same time that the church's entire view of man is undergoing change. All of this bids well for the homosexual and in the long run will benefit the entire homophile movement to a greater extent than the more heralded surface events.

Not since the days of the Renaissance has the subject of "morals" been so re-evaluated. Much in the Christian under-standing of moral behavior has become dated and stereotyped, fostering falsehoods and half-truths concerning the way one should live. There is now the realization that millions have been deceived by a false image of goodness as created and imposed by someone else and that countless more have been wounded by church, pastors, doctrines, ecclesiastical authorities. There has long been a cry to repudiate the legalistic perversion of so-called Christian moral standards and to bring into review certain timeless truths. We now recognize that we have the freedom to swim and not just to cling to the rocks.

Helmut Thielicke, Bishop John Robinson, and G. F. Woods are indicative of the theological minds now at work in the fundamental area. Such questions as "What makes an act moral or immoral?", "What is the basis of morals?", "Are morals a net or a blanket?", "When is one a sinner?", and "What is God's role in all this?" are being re-asked. Staid churchly answers of past centuries are being discarded and our moral theologians are going back once again to basic New Testament Scripture for guidance and relevance. And they are making their re-evaluations in the context of the pastoral relationship

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(the existential element) and a realization that there can be no "experts" in morals since morals are everybody's business. When they return to the New Testament they also discover that the purpose in Jesus's coming to nan and doing what he did was not to create a moral code but to proclaim The Kingdom. Restated, there is now a shifting from the old morality which has for too long proclaimed principles first and people second to the new morality which reverses the process and declares people before principles. Jesus did this when he proclaimed that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.

Christian moral theologians of previous generations had taken the Levitical and Pauline texts relating to homosexual expression and given them the status of the Decalogue. But now that the Gospels are being returned to their rightful place as the foundation of the church's thinking on moral behavior, we see that Jesus dealt with sensual sinners much more leniently than he dealt with sinners who committed sins of the spirit or of cupidity. There is no such thing as an absolute Christian moral standard for all mankind, immutable forever. When we so simplify morals we immediately find ourselves dealing with only a fraction of the vast complex of morals. For a moral standard, if it is to have any meaning at all, must become one's own; it must be internalized, made personal, subjective, a "thou" and not an "it." This is one reason why the shibboleth of centuries known as "natural law" can never be fully valid for it proclaims only what has happened to vast numbers, it doesn't state what ought to happen for the individual.

As we search for the basis of morals, let us first recognize that there are four different types of moral standards and frequently we are caught up in two or more at any given moment. There is TRIBAL morality of the gang, the club, the mob, even sometimes the church. Higher moral standards are forgotten when tribal morality takes over. The lives of those destroyed by this level of morality remain unnumbered because so many have been so systematically annihilated by it. Taboos and lynchings are common bedfellows at this level.

Then there is CUSTOMARY morality which is the lowest common denominator of any group, barely above the tribal. This is the moral standard which takes a public opinion poll before making a decision. This is the morality that does just enough to get by or that whines "but everyone else is doing it." This is moralism but it is not morality.

A third type of moral standard is the AUTOCRATIC: the law, the "thou shalt not" approach. Here are the institutionalized self-interests backed up by threats of damnation, hell, sin, imprisonment, fear. This is the standard requiring blind obedience and a degree of ignorance. It is rigidly structured and does not hesitate to sacrifice the individual human personality on the altar of the status quo.

Most homosexuals have been confronted by one or the other of these three, and each at times has taken unto itself the honored title of being "Christian." But fortunately there is a fourth type of moral standard we will call RATIONAL. This is

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the one which encourages us to make our own decisions while at the same time urging us to keep these decisions on the highest spiritual level. This is the standard at which the re-thinking concerning Christian morals is now taking place. It is also being recognized that the cards are stacked against anyone who seeks to live on such a rational moral level just as they were stacked against Jesus, just as Sara Patten Boyle has found them stacked against herself in today's Virginia, just as Ralph found them stacked against himself in "Lord of the Flies," just as many homosexuals have found them so stacked.

But let us continue our search for the bases of morals, meaning a rational moral standard. There are two and only two and they must always both be present partly as a check and balance on each other and partly as representing both sides of the same coin. One basis for a rational moral decision (and as applicable to the homosexual as to the heterosexual) is GOD'S WILL FOR ME IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION. At Pentecost the cry addressed to Peter was "What shall we do?" This calls us beyond ourselves to new spiritual heights. We cannot pretend to have the answers in advance. But in humility and seeking we meet the transcendent God. We need this influence on our actions lest they only be motivated by the utilitarianism of consequence. This means we must grow in the knowledge and love of God through worship, the sacraments, church membership, study, prayer, good works and faith so we are on a personal relationship with our Creator when we seek to know His will for us in a given circumstance. One can hardly expect to learn it if he comes to God cold and indifferent.

The other part of the two-part basis for rational moral decisions is HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THIS PERSON OR THESE PERSONS INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION? Nothing else makes a thing right or wrong except the impact of love! The Law may be the tutor of love but it is not love's master. On this basis we go beyond the Law that says such-and-such is always right or always wrong, to a concern for persons as individuals seen in their social context. The old adage of St. Augustine comes back in force: "Love, and what you will, do."

Jesus again is our best example of one who sought to invoke the will of God in each situation and to love others as involved persons; i. e., to do God's will and to love. These were the bases of his morals. The church at last is beginning to realize they and they alone ought to be the bases for the Christian moral standard today.

At once the homosexual can see some light coming into his or her situation if this new morality were to become standard. But at the same time we recognize the need for the homosexuals as much as the heterosexuals to exercise their responsibility involved in also striving to live on this higher moral level. Recognizing the freeing power of the rational moral level, we also recognize the dangers in trying to live by it. Such an effort cost Jesus his life.

Living on the level of rational moral standards is not going to give us the pat answers, for there will always be the

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wrestling with the problems which moral behavior raises. As Bishop John Robinson says, such a moral standard is a net not a blanket, giving us the bare outline and letting us fill it in each one in his own situation. These two precepts, then, will build for us a foundation but they are not designed to provide a permanent superstructure. For such superstructures easily become prisons.

One final observation. We all recognize that mankind is living in a great age of flux and this is one reason so many try to find a non-existent changeless moral standard. But God is as much in change as He is in stability and this two-prong rational moral standard is more valid for the age of rapid social change than is any other standard: tribal, customary, autocratic. If God is our good shepherd we shall hear His voice in change and chaos as well as in green pastures and beside still waters. The New Testament faith was not designed to be defeated by change, rather it was created as the faith which promises victory (salvation) over change. And the moral standard outlined here, now being advocated in varying degrees by newer voices within Protestantism, is capable of bringing this victory to individual and community without the deadening by-products of previous moral systems.


THE ETHICS OF SEX. Helmut Thielicke. New York, Harper and Row, 1964

CHRISTIAN MORALS TODAY. John Robinson. Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1964

OBJECTIONS TO CHRISTIAN BELIEF. Essays by 4 authors. New York, Lippincott, 1963



- THE U.C.L.A. QUESTIONNAIRES are out. Is yours in? Because of unavoidable delays, DOB did not receive and send out the research questionnaire from U.C.L.A. (as announced in the September LADDER) until the middle of October. If you are a paying subscriber, you should have received two copies with a return envelope sometime during October. Give the second copy to a lesbian friend--both copies may be returned to Dr. Richard Green in the same envelope. Your cooperation in filling these out promptly will be appreciated.

- WHEN YOU MOVE, please notify our Circulation Manager. The postage rate used for THE LADDER does not permit forwarding even though your former post office may have your new address. Avoid missing any issues! Send your new address promptly to the Circulation Manager in San Francisco.

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RECOMMENDS the following books for gift-giving!

Books can bring hours of reading enjoyment, can spread enlightenment on the subject of homosexuality and related topics. Why not give one or more of the following to a friend or relative or professional person? And while you're ordering, stock up for your own mid-winter reading!

SEX AND THE LAW--Morris Ploscowe .75
LIFE OF RADCLYFFE HALL, THE--Una, Lady Troubridge 4.00
POTENTIAL 0F WOMAN, THE _ Ed. by Farber and Wilson 2.95
WOLFENDEN REPORT, THE--Committee on Homosexual
Offenses and Prostitution
LESBIAN IN AMERICA, THE--Donald Webster Cory 5.95
GRAPEVINE, THE--Jess Stearn 4.95
SECOND SEX, THE--Simone de Beauvoir .95
Ed. by Hendrick M. Ruitenbeek
WELL OF LONELINESS, THE--Radclyffe Hall .50
HOMOSEXUAL IN AMERICA, THE--Donald Webster Cory .75
TREE AND THE VINE, THE--Dola de Jong 3.00
WOMEN, SOCIETY, AND SEX--Ed. by Johnson Fairchild .50
MIDDLE MIST, THE--Mary Renault .60
TOWARDS A QUAKER VIEW OF SEX--a group of Friends 1.25

Book Service volunteers stand ready to give prompt attention to Christmas orders! Mark your order RUSH if you want books in time for Christmas. Handling charge: .15 for orders under $1, .25 for orders over $1. California residents only add 4% sales tax. Make check or money order payable to DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC. Every order helps DOB! Let us be your source for better books on the homophile and related themes.

Merry Christmas
San Francisco

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Symptom of The Times

On the front page of the New York Times of July 27, 1910, there appeared a story about the sale of a house in a white neighborhood to a Negro. It begins: "Up in Kingsbridge Terrace...in which none but Caucasians have ever lived, there is threatened an invasion of negro families and great is the disgust of property owners thereat." The whole story is slanted. It implies the Negro is unsavory and his presence a threat to accepted social values. The unmistakable slant reflects a popular attitude of that era, propped up by certain phrenological studies which "proved" Negroes were subnormal.

On the front page of the Times of December 17, 1963, there appeared a story about homosexuality. It is titled "Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern." This story also is slanted. It implies homosexuality is unsavory and a threat to accepted social values. It too reflects a popular attitude of an era, nurtured by certain psychiatric and psychoanalytic studies which "prove" homosexuals are sick.

Since the first story quoted was published, the Times has become foremost among newspaper defenders of the Negro's rights and dignity. The old "studies" that fostered the attitudes expressed in that early story have been discredited. Will the editors in 2011 regard the slant of the second story with the same embarrassment as current editors must regard the slant of the first? Will the psychiatric and psychoanalytic "studies" become as obsolete as their forerunners in phrenology?

The Times is an extremely influential newspaper, especially in New York City, with an awe-inspiring power to create public opinion. One may say it creates more than public opinion--it creates the public consciousness. A story printed in the Times becomes part of current folklore, whether true or not. Part of the Times' power comes from the fact that in the past it kept the livelier sex and crime stories down to a few short paragraphs in the back pages. The Times was serious, thoughtful, and reliable. Its august front page was devoted to major national and international news events.

At least that was the policy until a year ago, when a new city editor named Rosenthal began to beef up the front page with local crime stories which cumulatively created the impression dangerous characters were prowling the city's streets. The Times then also began a new kind of front-page "background" article, filled with hearsay, impressions, and quotes from unidentified sources, and geared to building a picture of a middle class surrounded by growing bands of menacing outsiders from the worst elements of society. One flagrantly unsubstantiated article, for example, conjured up a Harlem group called the Blood Brotherhood, whose members learned karate for use in attacking whites. This article was criticized for its sleazy

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journalism by white and Negro journalists in other publications. In the later investigations of the Harlem riots, no such organization came to light.

In the same mood, the Times printed on December 17, 1963, its startling page one story giving the impression that homosexuals were flooding New York and threatening to engulf the normals - for example, "Sexual inverts have colonized three areas of the city. The city's homosexual community acts as a lodestar, attracting others from all over the country."

The long piece went on to cover almost a full inside page with such "facts" as: "A homosexual who had achieved good progress toward cure through psychoanalysis recently told his analyst that at certain hours on certain evenings he could identify as homosexual approximately one man out of three along Third Ave. in the 50's and 60's. This was probably an exaggeration, but the area named unquestionably has a relatively large homosexual population." From a journalistic viewpoint, this passage is shocking. "A homosexual who had achieved good progress toward cure through psychoanalysis"--note the plug for analysis, the pat-on-the-back air of "good progress," the implication that here is a worthy witness because he's going to the doctor to be cured, the dramatic confrontation of this hard-trying fellow with those dangerous others walking unleashed through the blighted city, the overtones of menace they represent to him as well as to the straight population. "Recently told his analyst"--unnamed even though he is being cited as an authority--"he could identify as homosexual approximately one man out of three"--no kidding! Even the Times admits this is a little too impressionistic--a reporter giving his impressions of the analyst's impression of his patient's impressions - because the article goes on, "This was probably an exaggeration, but...." This is news reporting?

Looking for "experts" to quote in this article, the Times found a couple of publicity-eager psychiatrist. (We know, from the FACT Magazine in which 1,189 psychiatrists blithely diagnosed Goldwater at a distance, not at all loathe to give "expert" opinions on a man they'd never seen, how easy it is to find those.) The psychiatrists chosen, Irving Bieber and Charles Socarides, agreed naturally that homosexuality is an illness and needs treatment. The story then quoted a priest, as representative of the clergy of all faiths, to the effect that homosexuals are sick and should be treated by psychiatrists. Also quoted was the police commissioner who also said it's a medical problem. This heavily psychiatric orientation feeds the impression that "sick" people are prowling the city and menacing the normal citizens. The article was dressed up with knowing tidbits like "Homosexuals are traditionally willing to spend all they have on a gay night." Like standing in a crowded bar nursing a dollar beer all evening?

The Times refused to print many letters protesting this writeup, including one by psychologist Lee Steiner, which appeared in the May 1964 LADDER. However it did print a letter by Rev. Robert Wood, who noted the Times reporter is in no position to write about what he thinks homosexuals are because neither he

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nor anyone else knows how many of them exist. Rev. Wood said, "The usual factual reporting of the Times is lacking in this article...(which) gives considerable space to the Bieber book but makes no reference to the equally qualified books that tell the other side of the story." He also noted that "There is an increasing number of clergy in all three faiths named who no longer condemn homosexuals, but the author in no way indicated this." Rev. Wood concluded with the hope that the reporter will "at some future date...do further research and discover there is much to be said in favor of the homosexual."

The way an item in the Times becomes a solid "fact" in the public consciousness was illustrated some months later by the statement of a young poetess advancing radical political views on a TV panel. Reciting with baby-faced earnestness the ills of the world which poets should protest, she mentioned U. S. aggression in Vietnam and Cuba, starvation all over the world, police brutality in Harlem, and the fact that "homosexuals are attacking people on the streets of New York." Poets Allen Ginsberg and LeRoi Jones, who have written subjective shockeroo pieces on homosexual experiences and were also on the panel, whooped derisively, but said nothing to counteract this statement, at least not on the aired program. The young lady had apparently absorbed the idea as part of the folklore of the world around her, as presented on page one of the Times.

The Times made a further contribution to anti-homosexual folklore on May 19, 1964, when, continuing its efforts to alert the public to the homosexual menace, it published on its front page a story on a N. Y. Academy of Medicine report under the headline "Homosexuals Proud of Deviancy, Medical Academy Study Finds." The subsequent LIFE Magazine article on homosexuality said, "The Academy report, and the newspaper stories it inspired, were just another example of the confusion and downright ignorance that surround the entire subject." The British press had fun with the Academy report. But the Times clothed foolishness with dignity by featuring it on page one.

One Sunday morning, lolling on their couches with the fat Sunday paper filled with comforting ads for food, drink, clothing and furniture, Times readers who are parents got quite a shock when they turned to the magazine section and found an article by Dr. Irving Bieber telling them parents are responsible for making happy little babies into sick, miserable, perverted homosexuals. Fathers who don't take their sons camping, and mothers who don't give their daughters pretty dresses, were threatened about the outcome. One can picture these parents looking with guilt and fear at their innocent tots, wondering if they are "prehomosexual"--an ominous label, used 9 times in the article, which when applied may assume the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy, like an expert stock market prediction - then towing them off for diagnosis, as urged by Bieber.

The scientific quality of the Bieber study, on which he bases his advice to parents, has been challenged in many quarters. Dr. Marshall Deutsch, science editor of radio station WBAI (Pacifica Foundation), pointed out the Bieber study is based on questionnaires answered by psychoanalysts rather than on

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first-hand answers from their patients. The therapists quite possibly start with the Freudian "family romance" (domineering mother, weak father) bias, and fit the patients' histories into their preconceptions. Further, the subjects are only 106 homosexual and 100 heterosexual patients of psychoanalysts, and so are not representative of the general population. The Bieber study starts with the unscientific, culture-bound assumption that homosexuality is sick and must be explained and cured, rather than with an open-minded conception that it may be a sane and legitimate way of life.

The Times-reading parents were in for more jolts when the editors printed one sickening confessional letter after another by homosexuals in response to the Bieber piece. These letters were carefully selected to reinforce the heterosexual's vision of how a homosexual ought to be suffering. One hysterical letter headed "I Weep..." says, "Let all these parents (who made their children homosexual) be tried for murder." A marriage counselor drumming up trade notes that children are sensitive to unconscious hostility in the parents' relationship, which should be treated lest the child become homosexual.

When the Jenkins "morals" case broke, the strongly pro-Johnson Times apparently got more upset than the Democratic leadership. The Times' horror of homosexuality nearly got the better of its political loyalty, for on the first frenzied day it plunked one of Goldwater's routine "morality" speeches (referring actually to Bobby Baker, not Jenkins) in the center of page one, and featured a column by dean of political reporters James Reston, a strong Johnson supporter, speculating that the scandal would hurt Johnson's campaign seriously. Considering the Times' disposition to blow up medical views of homosexuality to front-page "news," it is indicative of its slant that when the American Mental Health Foundation issued a statement, highly relevant to the hottest news of the moment, that homosexuals weren't necessarily sick or security risks, the Times ran the item in an obscure spot on an inside page with a small headline. Its editorials, of course, joined the chorus which called for more careful security checks to keep sick deviates out of key positions. Not one voice spoke up--certainly not in the Times--to point out that homosexuals wouldn't be security risks if outmoded sex laws were abolished.

I am told it was Abe Rosenthal himself, the Times' new city editor, who covered the DOB convention in New York last June. It is extraordinary for the city editor of any large newspaper to go out on a story himself, especially on a story like the DOB convention, which in the perspective of the total day's news in the city is minuscule. He was probably seeking to build up his background on the intriguing subject of lesbianism. The short account of the DOB convention that appeared on a back page was fair, noting that some of the convention speakers did not think homosexuality is an illness. One hopes that further contact with homophile groups will temper the Times editors' hostility and fear, and lead to fairer representation for homosexuals in the country's leading newspaper.

- Philip Gerard

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A Christmas Dialogue
by Nola

Time: Shortly after midnight, Christmas Eve.

Characters: Dora, Beatrice, off-stage voices of Mom and of Joe, Dora's husband.

Scene: A comfortable, typically over-furnished suburban living room. A good fire is going in fireplace at center of stage. At one side of fireplace is a large, heavily decorated Christmas tree. Packages in Christmas wrappings and a tricycle are set under tree. Some packages have been opened and the wrappings, as well as liquor glasses left by the adults, are scattered on tables. As the curtain rises, Beatrice and Dora stand in doorway of room saying good night and Merry Christmas to Mom and Joe, whose voices recede as their steps are heard on the stairs. Dora is an attractive woman about 30, wearing tight red sheath, costume jewelry, bouffant hairdo, very high heels. Beatrice, who appears about same age, presents a striking contrast in a fashionably elegant but very simple dark dress, low heels, no jewelry or make-up, short dark cap of hair framing her pale face.

Mom's voice (off-stage): Don't stay up too late, girls. I know how much you have to talk about.

Joe's voice (off-stage, in tone of forced joviality): I'll try to let you sleep in the morning, Dora--even if it means stuffing the three of them into Timmy's drums.

Dora: Please do. I'm planning to sleep until New Year's Eve.

(More good nights and Merry Christmas sounds while Beatrice moves silently to easy chair in front of fireplace, settles herself and lights a cigarette. There is total silence after voices and steps die down. Dora moves to fireplace and stands staring down at Beatrice.)

Dora: I have another Christmas gift for you. I didn't want to give it while the others were here. (She kneels down and kisses Beatrice hard on the mouth, clings while Beatrice tries to push her off. Beatrice finally gives up, accepts kiss, making no gesture of response. Dora releases her.)

Beatrice: Well, that one didn't cost you much anyway.

Dora: You think not?

Beatrice: Yes--I think not.

Dora: Haven't you any idea what it means to me to see you again? How many years has it been? Ten?

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Beatrice (shrugs): I'm sure I have no idea of what anything means to you.

Dora: You didn't recognize me at first, did you? (Beatrice shakes head in negative.) I know I've changed a lot. Do you think I look horrible?

Beatrice: What difference does it make what I think?

Dora: I often wonder what you'd think--about different things...

Beatrice: I should imagine that with a husband and three babies to look after you'd be much too busy to wonder about anything--least of all about what I might think.

Dora: It's strange, isn't it? I'm really swamped and yet, always in the back of my mind is a little voice asking, "What would Bea think?" I don't know how I do it, because you simply can't imagine what it's like to have one in the carriage, one in the crawling stage and one not yet in school.

Beatrice (shudders): Aren't you laying it on a little thick? Or has your psychiatrist already ordered a fourth?

Dora: Dr. Brooks? Oh, I finished with him ages ago--just after Timmy was born.

Beatrice: That was when you got turned into a "real woman," wasn't it?

Dora (hiding her face in her hands): You got that letter after all? I had hoped it went astray. It was so stupid. But you must understand--when you're trying to sell yourself something you need a slogan or two.

Beatrice: I can understand that all right. What I can't understand is the meaning of your passionate kiss.

Dora: It wasn't a passionate kiss, really--just a warm, loving one.

Beatrice: Oh. (Wipes hand across mouth.) I thought it tasted lousy. What a capacity you have, woman--a husband, three children and a mouthful of warm, loving stickiness for me, too! What did that psychiatrist pump into you anyway?

Dora: How bitter you are! You haven't forgotten or forgiven a thing, have you?

Beatrice: You make it damn difficult with your screaming letters and your icky kisses.

Dora: One letter, one kiss, in ten years.

Beatrice: And what for? To see if the old Dora nerve still reacts?

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Dora: Forgive me, forgive me. (Buries her head in her lap and cries. Bea stares coldly and silently until she stops.) I'm sorry...I didn't...I thought that now that you've...I'd heard about...now that you've been with one person for a few years, we could again become...

Beatrice: Sisters? (Laughs.) Little sister, little sister Dora...

Dora: If it could only be that!

Beatrice (icily): I never wanted a sister.

Dora: I know that well enough. They inflicted me on you. I can still see you as you were that first day. Dad carried my things to your room--three paper bags full of torn underwear and over-sized dresses. Mom kept saying I was to think of this room as my own--my own home, my own family--even if my real mother were to come back. Mom and Dad kept smiling away, hugging me, kissing me. But you just stood near the window, looking out, not even looking at me, and yet...

Beatrice: I saw your reflection in the window pane. You were a beautiful girl--like a creature from another world--with your wild, crazy hair, your ridiculous red gypsy dress and your big, mistrustful eyes.

Dora (laughs painfully): Oh, I was mistrustful, all right. I believed nothing any adult told me. Only you, who said nothing, did I trust.

Beatrice: I didn't want you to come to live with us. I had a premonition that something terrible had come into my life, something I would never be able to shake off...

Dora: You knew at once?

Beatrice: Of course not! How do you know love at 15? I thought love was the crushes I had on my teachers. This was different. Just a painful feeling that I had met you before in an unknown place and that we had made a sort of pact--and now that you had come I would no longer be free.

Dora: You didn't even look at me, yet I felt that I had been really seen by another human being for the first time. I felt that my very existence depended on my remaining near you.

Beatrice: I wanted them to take you away. But I knew it wouldn't happen. They had told me it was hopeless about your mother. I felt trapped.

Dora: You were so cold and nasty to me. Mom tried to make me feel better by telling me you were jealous because she and Dad loved me so much. But I wasn't fooled. I had stored up 13 years of wisdom. I knew they were just trying to use me to pull you out of your loneliness--and I knew you hated them for it.

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Beatrice: How you must have resented it!

Dora: No. I was proud. I felt I was destined to be the one who would get through to you. You were so remote and strong. Only when I was with you did I feel happy and secure. I knew that someday you were going to put your arm around me and I'd be allowed to rest my head on your breast. Oh, how I wanted that!

Beatrice: And when I finally did put my arm around you...

Dora: Five years later...you put off destiny too long...I had grown up. I panicked.

Beatrice: It was a slow panic. For two years you came to my bed every night--at your insistence.

Dora: I know. But I was fighting myself every minute. I felt guilty, confused, frightened...and then you left me.

Beatrice: Left you! I begged you to come with me!

Dora: Come where? You had no idea!

Beatrice (suddenly furious, shaking her by the shoulders): It wasn't a matter of where--it was with whom. The only person you ever loved and trusted was asking you to come away from everyone you hated and mistrusted!

Dora: I know. I know. But suddenly my spirit was broken. It was growing up that did it. I no longer believed in my own dreams, my own instincts. Or else I never was quite what you thought I was--a creature from another world. I'm not like you, Bea. It frightens me to be away from people. I loathed the sticky-palmed boys and the girls with their engagement rings, but I wanted to be right there with them.

Beatrice: You just wanted to turn to me for occasional escape.

Dora: Perhaps. I had to believe that something authentic, something beautiful still existed. I used to imagine that just outside of town there was dark wilderness where the wind always whistled in the treetops and the sun never penetrated through to the earth. The thought of it made me shudder, but I imagined that you took walks there, Bea, and that you loved It. (Bea snorts in contempt.) Yes, I know you hate nature, but I'm speaking in a different sense. You're so far, in every way, from the everyday pattern of life. You scorn patterns. I need them. On Sunday when I go to church (Bea snorts again). Yes, I do that too--I put on my Sunday dress and my hat and my white gloves and I take Joe's arm and Timmy's hand and I walk up the church steps smiling at my neighbors and my neighbors smile at me. I feel so safe. People, patterns, the past and the future. They're what hold me together. (She walks over to the Christmas tree and puts her hand on the tricycle.) Without Christmas lights, without the sounds of children I'd feel lost and lonely in the void. I'd

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always hear the whistling of the wind in the treetops. Aren't you frightened, Bea?

Beatrice: What madness! What hypocrisy! Sure I'm frightened - but not of what scares you. What harm did the wind in the treetops ever do you or anyone else? But look at you patterns, your past, your people. Christmas lights and oceans of blood. They have gone together through history like love and marriage. Has one Christmas light driven the treacherous darkness out of one human brain? The future! Sounds of children! Can't you hear them screaming in agony? An exploding population spawned by amorally and spiritually destroyed generation! Why, if you had any reasonable sense of fear, any true desire for security...

Dora: Bea, you're just as damned rational as you always were! Don't you need the reassurance of human flesh? Don't you crave to hold the flesh you can create out of your own body? Isn't your life empty and sterile? What will you have when you're old?

Beatrice: What will you have? If you have your children so much the worse for them and for you. The only thing I want to have is the freedom to be myself. The only flesh I want near me is the flesh I choose.

Dora: But that's such a selfish life. Don't you need to give?

Beatrice: God, woman, what is all this having and giving? Is that how you know you exist? Do you say to yourself, "I must be I, because my children need me; I must be I, because I have a new car and a houseful of wall-to-wall carpeting; I must be I, because everyone smiles at me"? How much does it take to assure one woman of her existence? A husband, children, a house filled with furniture and appliances--all that plus a psychiatrist, a minister, neighbors--and now you want me for a sister, too! And is that why you hang all this junk on you? So much stuff couldn't be hung on nothing! (Suddenly rushes at her, tears her beads, rubs her face with handkerchief, musses her hair, throws her on chair to pull off her shoes while Dora struggles and tries to stifle her own cries, "Bea! Stop! Stop!")

Mom's voice (offstage): Girls, girls, what's going on down there? (They separate, panting.)

Dora (moving to doorway and shouting up): It's nothing, Mom. We thought we saw a mouse.

Mom's voice: Good heavens.

Dora: But it was just a shadow.

Mom's voice (petulantly): Isn't it high time you both got to bed?

Dora: Yes, Mom, We'll be up soon.

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(Silence. They look at one another across room, Dora in stocking feet, disarrayed, hair mussed, make-up messed.)

Beatrice: I wanted to see the old Dora for one minute.

Dora: Do you see her now?

Beatrice (shakes head in negative): No. The eyes are all wrong. They've gone dead. (Picks up beads and hands them to her.) Is that why you put all that sparkle around your neck?

Dora: I died when you went away. I was amazed when people spoke to me as though there were somebody there. I told my self I was ill and needed a doctor to make me well. Dr. Brooks said I would come alive when I learned to accept my femininity. I believed him--and yet...yet, I still test everything against the way I felt when we were together. I'm not unhappy, but things still seem unreal. I thought if we could have some sort of relationship...

Beatrice: I'm not capable of "some sort of relationship." I'm not a weirdly-shaped scrap you can fit into the jigsaw puzzle of your life. You must forget the past.

Dora: Have you?

Beatrice (shivering): It's gotten cold.

Dora: The fire is dying.

Beatrice: I'll wait until it goes out.

Dora: Next year, next Christmas--will you come home again - with your friend?

Beatrice: Unlikely.

Dora: You don't want to see me ever again, do you?

Beatrice: Who are you?

Dora (recites softly, automatically): Joe's wife. Timmy's, Midge's and Josie's mother. Mom's daughter. Choir singer. Future Franklin School PTA president.

Beatrice: Good night Joe's wife, Timmy's, Midge's and Josie's mother, Mom's daughter, choir singer, future Franklin School PTA president.

(Dora walks toward Bea uncertainly, but stops and turns toward the door when she realizes Bea will not answer. Bea turns face toward the window as Dora exits. She stands between the now-dead fire and the Christmas tree. Christmas tree lights twinkle in the dark room. The cry "Dora" is torn out of her throat as the curtain falls.)

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The Moral Decision about
Homosexuality--by Iris Murdoch

(This article reprinted by kind permission of the author and of the Albany Trust's publication MAN AND SOCIETY.)

About the Author: IRIS MURDOCH was born in Dublin in 1919 of Anglo-Irish family. She grew up and was educated in England. After the war she worked with refugees in Austria. Until recently she taught philosophy at St. Anne's College, Oxford University, and she is married to John Bailey, a Fellow at New College. She has written many novels, including: THE BELL; A SEVERED HEAD (which she later adapted as a play in collaboration with J. B. Priestley); AN UNOFFICIAL ROSE; THE UNICORN.

When homosexuality is discussed these days it is often said that "we ought to know the facts." In these discussions it Is sometimes assumed that homosexuality is a social problem or disease for the removal of which we need the help of psychiatrist, sociologists and other experts. I wish to argue that the problem of homosexuality is fundamentally a moral problem which the whole community ought to face, and that the facts we need in order to make a judgment about it are quite ordinary facts which are accessible to the observation of ordinary people. However, since the various arguments in the dispute have become (especially of late) so involved, it is first necessary to sort out a number of separate issues.

The discussion about whether the English law ought to be changed is not the one with which I am here concerned. Of course the law ought to be changed, and support of this reform is clearly compatible with very various views about the desirability of homosexual practices. Nor do I propose here to argue with those who object to homosexuality only on the ground that there should be no sexual relations outside marriage. Someone who, on this ground--perhaps for religious reasons--condemned all irregular unions, would seem to me to be making a perfectly arguable moral judgment which one must respect, whether or not one agrees with it. There are also people who interpret their religion as simply and without argument forbidding homosexuality, and with these I will not, indeed cannot, dispute either.

Comprehensible too, though less worthy, are the cautious citizens who argue that one ought never to be a party to persuading or allowing another person to do something of which society disapproves. However, those who find homosexuality objectionable often adopt a rather more complicated position, relying on arguments from what they take to be the 'special

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nature' of a homosexual as opposed to a heterosexual relationship, and these are the arguments I want to discuss.

Naturally there are all sorts of general moral considerations which apply to unions of either kind, and about which there is a large measure of agreement. One ought not to seduce minors. One ought to aim at a steady relationship. One ought to be truthful and loyal to one's partner. One ought not to be promiscuous. How exactly we conduct our sex life is an important moral problem for all of us, whether we are heterosexual or homosexual. These general considerations would only enter into our moral judgment about homosexuality if it could be shown that homosexuals were, and heterosexuals were not, inclined to practices of which on other grounds we disapproved. I shall speak of this further below.

It is clear at once, if we consider the hostility which the mere idea of homosexuality often encounters, that many people dislike and fear homosexuals, in a way similar to the way in which people dislike or fear black men or Jews, without being able to understand why. A psychological explanation of these irrational fears, if it can be given, would be helpful, and this is a point at which scientific study can usefully contribute. Let us now however consider the actual arguments which articulate persons who regard homosexuality as undesirable may bring forward.

It is often said that such practices are 'unnatural'. This is an ambiguous term which may be offered as a description or as a moral judgment and is in need of clarification in either case. Many 'natural', in the sense of easy, instinctive human activities are immoral, and traditional morality frequently pictures the good life as the defeat of nature. So the label 'unnatural', if it is to operate as a moral condemnation, will need to be translated into other more specific judgments. If, on the other hand, the label is offered as a description meaning 'very unusual', it would seem to be a false description since homosexuality is very usual. Persons who use the term 'unnatural' often wish in fact to profit from both senses and to offer an unspecified moral condemnation of other persons who they wish to regard as a small peculiar minority.

Before going on to consider how the charge of 'unnatural' behaviour can be translated into more unambiguous terms, let us look at a version of the charge, often current among the more enlightened, to the effect that homosexuality is a disease which psychiatrists should be called in to cure. It seems to me that this notion is usually a moral judgment in disguise, and that it would be difficult to produce any coherent empirical filling for the idea that we have here to do with an 'illness' in anything like the ordinary sense. That homosexuals can be 'cured' has yet to be proved, although of course anyone's attitude to sex, whatever it may be, could be profoundly disturbed by the kind of drastic 'aversion treatment' of which one sometimes reads with horror in the press. Milder attempts at 'cure' usually amount simply to attending to whatever distressed condition has brought the unfortunate homosexual i question into the hands of the 'experts'. The

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majority of homosexuals lead ordinary busy lives as clerks or grocers or university dons, and in generalizations about such persons it is sometimes forgotten that the well-balanced members of the community, as of the other one, escape notice.

It is sometimes said, as a rider to the view of homosexuality as a disease, that there are very few 'natural' homosexuals. I am not sure what the meaning of this statement is or whether it has any meaning. Compare "there are very few natural celibates." Human beings are extremely complicated and the tissue of environment, chance and choice which involves them in what may be called their 'destiny' is hard to unravel. Some people, it is true, look as if they had been framed physically upon the model of the sex other than that to which they officially belong: but such people very frequently turn out to be heterosexual. If "there are few natural homosexuals" means that there are few 'physically ambiguous' persons who are actually homosexual, or if it means that few homosexuals have detectably peculiar glands, this may be true but does not entail any particular conclusion. To conclude here that few people are naturally homosexual is simply to make an unfounded assumption about what it is to be homosexual.

It has long been recognized that the majority of homosexuals are perfectly ordinary in their physical appearance and makeup; and if one must draw a conclusion from this, a more sensible one to draw would be that homosexuality is natural to many people as a function of what makes them human, not as a function of what makes them animal. If, on the other hand, the dictum means that there are few who cannot be persuaded, bullied or otherwise coerced by society into abandoning their homosexual practices, then it is plainly not true. In fact it is very difficult to give a sense to the word 'natural' in a human context of this sort. Some people have always been homosexual, others have become homosexual after a brief heterosexual prelude, some have both characteristics, and some, having searched vainly for a heterosexual mate, settle down later in life with a homosexual one. There are a great many paths into this condition and a great many different ways of living it, which is just to say that it is an ordinary human condition.

General arguments from 'nature', whether frankly metaphysical or pseudo-empirical do not, it seems to me, successfully demonstrate that homosexuality is 'undesirable'. Such arguments, when they are not merely expressions of irrational fears, are often in fact confused or summary versions of a moral view, and it is this view which I should now like to attempt to clarify. It might be briefly stated as follows: "A homosexual relationship is a poor, even a bad, sort of human relationship, and it is better not to have such relationships in our society. Homosexuals are promiscuous, neurotic, jealous and generally unstable people. They should be curbed and discouraged and if possible the breed should be made to die cut."

I would wish to emphasize that those of us who are acquainted with homosexuals are capable of assessing this argument out of our knowledge of human nature without the help of 'experts';

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and persons who do not know any homosexuals are not likely to be helped here by a sociological treatise. It is obviously desirable that more should be known about homosexuality and that more people who are homosexual should openly declare themselves to their friends and acquaintances. Since the law and social prejudice make such behaviour hazardous this particular vicious circle is hard to break. It may help to break it if people who do know about homosexuality frankly express their opinions on what is, in my view, the only plausible argument which could show it to be 'immoral'.

It is extremely difficult to be precise here. There are plenty of neurotic and unstable homosexuals and there are plenty of promiscuous ones. But there are a great many who are none of these things and many heterosexuals who are all of them. Let us consider the charges separately. A homosexual relationship is said to be impoverished or unsatisfying. If by this is meant that such a relationship is 'merely physical' or that such persons do not really 'fall in love', this is untrue. Homosexuals in love can experience the same entire and unselfish devotion of body and soul to another which is characteristic of heterosexual love at its best. Joined to the charge of 'poverty' is the charge of 'promiscuity'. A homosexual, it is said, just wants to find another homosexual. Some do; but plenty of heterosexual men just want 'a girl'. Indeed if one reflects on the extreme promiscuity of heterosexuals, both in the past and today, I doubt if any charge of exceptional promiscuity can significantly be made against homosexuals. Nor do I think that it could be shown that homosexuals are noticeably more' neurotic' than other people (assuming this to be an undesirable characteristic, which I would not necessarily concede), unless one were to make this true by definition: though it is true that the life they lead is in some respects more difficult than that of heterosexuals.

This brings us to what seems to me the only serious and important piece of the 'hostile case': that a homosexual menage is essentially unstable. It may well be true that it is more difficult to establish a stable long-term homosexual menage than it is to establish a stable long-term heterosexual married menage. The reasons for this are obvious, and some of them are removable and some are not. The secrecy imposed by society obviously makes the dissolution of a relationship an easier matter. When you are not known to be 'married' you can part quietly without undergoing the public misery of a divorce. This may be a source of instability though it may also be a blessing. There is also the fact that homosexual couples cannot have children; this seems to me the only purely biological fact which is relevant to out problem. The arrival of children in a heterosexual menage constitutes immediately a powerful moral reason for the continuation of that menage; whereas the homosexual menage lacks this particular motive. All this may be true, but what follows from it?

It seems to me simply this follows. It is possible that those who choose, or who find themselves instinctively upon, the homosexual road are engaging in a way of life where it may be harder for them to settle down with a permanent partner, or,

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to put it another way, where they will not be forced to stick to their decisions. The search for a permanent partner is probably for most people the most difficult as well as the most interesting enterprise in which they ever engage. There are of course many who do not want such partners, and these can be found among both homosexuals and heterosexuals. But the homosexual who does want a steady menage may find it more difficult to achieve one because society will not endorse or approve of or even notice what he attempts, and because he is childless. It may also be that he becomes more possessive and jealous simply because his 'possession' is less secure. A heterosexual in the same situation would experience exactly the same difficulties. A homosexual has here the advantage that he cannot be trapped in an unhappy union which both sides continue only because they fear social disapproval. On the other hand, affection and loyalty may be more readily supported and made to grow in the context of a permanence which is simply taken for granted and not bedeviled by secrecy. In fact many homosexuals do succeed in their search for a steady partner and do achieve a happy and stable menage.

It does not then seem to me that the arguments from the 'special nature' of the relationship succeed in showing that there is anything inherently immoral about being a homosexual; and I have argued that other 'objections', often framed in would-be scientific terms, are really disguised moral judgments. Or one might say that many people regard homosexuality as an illness in order to avoid having to make any straight moral decision about it. Of course persons who are really mentally ill about their sex life may need suitable help, but heterosexuals will need such help just as much as homosexuals. To treat the ordinary homosexual as a sick person is a ridiculous insult to a group which includes, as we all perfectly well know, many of our most distinguished men and women.

In the end it is a simple matter of human rights. One has a right to choose to be celibate: though even this right is sometimes challenged nowadays and the celibate person looked on with suspicion or contempt. One has also a right to choose to be homosexual, or to accept the fact that one is, and to be left alone. Human beings differ vastly, and being heterosexually married is not the only 'proper' or 'rich' or 'rewarding' way of life. The choice to be homosexual is a hazardous choice, for the reasons I suggested; but the choice to be celibate is a hazardous choice, and the choice to marry is a very hazardous choice. It is not easy for human beings to achieve a completely contented and orderly existence whatever they do; and responsibility for others and service to the community can be found on all these paths.

The law must be changed, that goes without saying. But what else can be done to produce a sane and decent attitude to this matter? It is unfortunate that many well-meaning people, who rightly say that we need more information, are still treating homosexuality as a social ailment which 'scientific facts' will help to cure. But if there is illness here it is our society at large that is ill, in the sense of prejudiced or morally blind. The facts which will cure this prejudice belong

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to the ordinary talk of ordinary people, and should gradually become more accessible if those who know about homosexuality will refer to it sensibly, and as homosexuals gradually emerge from the demoralizing secrecy which is at present forced upon them. Doubtless homosexuals will always be a minority and doubtless they will always be with us. What is needed is not more science but just more humane and charitable recognition of our right to differ from one another.

Notes from Abroad

Gift Books for Indonesia

Thanks so much for your "Books fer Ger" action! No, I've nothing to fear of our Customs in Indonesia, for I know that our people are so ignorant they wouldn't even know what those books will be about, if they would think anything at all. I have to ask you, however, not to send to me all at once, for, I am ashamed to say, the sight of too many books would be a temptation and half of them might disappear. Books are so precious in our country--even second ones and irrespective of contents--because of their scarceness.

I just finished reading your letter for the nth time and I am still marveling at your ingenuity. I would never have hit upon something as original as your "Books for Ger" campaign, and admire your spirit accordingly. It's a way of thinking beyond our mentality. In comparison, I do think ourself very dull and indolent.

Rora is disturbing me and reminding me not to forget to tell you that we haven't read Simone de Beauvoir's THE SECOND SEX and would love to have it! She says I should give you a list of the books we already have but I won't do it because I don't intend to keep all the books for ourself. I want to distribute them among our friends and the more we get the better! For they also would be so grateful to own a book, no matter if they already read it. And I want to give spare ones to interested "normal" girls to increase their knowledge of facts. And maybe it will persuade the "more than interested" ones to come out of their shell and be themselves. Who knows what my harvest will be? Oh, I would love to see some pairs of dark almond-shaped eyes widening in wild surprise when I give them some books to read. And I would love to see those doll-like features coloring in panic when I hit their most secret thoughts. I have a whole list of beauties in mind: graceful bamboo stems, society darlings who "just can't find a suitable suitor" and keep fluttering from one man to another.

I am even thinking of sending some books to my sister who is Mother Superior of a school and a well of understanding and humanity. She has hundreds of girls under her wings and I

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think it high time she should know how to handle some matters the right way. I am sure she will understand because she has the mind of a philosopher and the indulgence of a saint. She was the only one who didn't reproach me with my divorce, not- withstanding my church marriage...

And once again our fathomless thankfulness for everything, and our warmest feelings to all of you.

- Ger van B.


We who take the world of books for granted can hardly imagine the hunger for reading material in countries where books are so scarce it's a treat to own a few. Last month we published earlier correspondence from Ger van B., who shared with you her personal story (and her picture) and appealingly described her longing for books on the homophile and related themes. As you plan your gifts for Christmas sharing, please think of Ger - and share a book or two with her! Mail a quality book or books with a homophile element (non-fiction or fiction, used or new, hardcover or paperback) to: BOOKS FOR GER, Postal Box 8432, Philadelphia 1, Pa., 19101. A DOB member in that city has offered to box and forward the books to Ger in Indonesia. Donations of postage stamps to help with the mailings will also be welcome! Send your donation books or stamps promptly, for the special postal box will be closed after Dec. 31st. We will publish news of the progress of the Books-for-Ger plan.


The October LADDER is a love, a small masterpiece. The cover is nice stuff--a moody street docile in a half light, and the figures sure yet tentative. Scary almost in its multiple symbols. Every month you move forward by leaps and bounds.

I appreciate your printing some of my old "Lesbiana" reviews. In a world of atomic blasts, and a shake-up in enemy land, and hell for a little man with no discretion--still they write and say: "Dear Gene, Tell me about more books" or words to that effect, the gasp of a million waterless fish, the lonely. I'd love to send one "instant girl" to every one of them for

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Christmas. I'm no procurer, but loneliness kills, and so many of them die inside without love.

Your report on the "Off the Cuff" broadcast brings out that lovely thing that we have and that "they" do not have and can never understand. That juxtaposition of love and friendship, the way in which lesbians love mentally, is beyond comprehension for the hetero male mind. Somehow. I'm rather glad of it, sad though the implications may be for our public relations workers. Dr. Scher's comments given in your report are poignant: the effort of a well-meaning heterosexual man to discuss a kind of love/friendship ideal he cannot visualize, let alone experience. He rejects (as we all do) a phenomenon he cannot understand. He really thinks that sex and friendship are separate. God pity him.

- Gene Damon

I do think our world is getting to be "more gay." But not. I might say, fast enough to suit me! I may be unique. I am a lesbian and rather proud of it. I believe it's right and wonderful. I just wish every other lesbian felt the same way.

- R. B., Mississippi

Congratulations and more of them on THE LADDER which is really getting better all the time. Conrad's review of THE LESBIAN IN AMERICA by Cory is magnificent!

- J. F., Missouri

We have just seen several copies of THE LADDER and we were thunderstruck! The covers are beautiful! The content has improved 100%. We just look at each other and ask, "Can this be THE LADDER?"!

Since coming to Australia, we have lost touch with the Daughters. We feel it would be unwise to subscribe, but we grab every copy that anyone else has. We have discovered one of your regular subscribers, so we can keep up with things now. The report of the convention almost had us in tears. We really planned to go to New York for the convention. Don't know how we managed to get to Australia instead!

Things are a bit different over here but we thrive on the differences. We have met a nice group of people and we enjoy the Australian version of gay social life. Most everyone is impressed with the idea that the U. S. government lets homophile organizations form. After reading recent LADDERS, we've made plans to revive DOB's Los Angeles chapter when we return home!

- J. N., Australia

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MEMBERSHIP in Daughters of Bilitis is limited to women 21 years of age or older. If in San Francisco. New York, or Chicago area, direct inquiry to chapter concerned. Otherwise write to National Office in San Francisco for a membership application form.

THE LADDER is a monthly magazine published by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., mailed in a plain sealed envelope for $4.00 a year. Anyone over 21 may subscribe to The Ladder.

CONTRIBUTIONS are gratefully accepted from anyone who wants to support our work. We are a non-profit corporation depending entirely on volunteer labor. While men may not become members of Daughters of Bilitis, many have expressed interest in our efforts and have made contributions to further our work.

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Please send THE LADDER for______ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $4.00 for each year ordered.



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You needn't go to out-of-the-way places to search for unique gifts of lasting enjoyment. DOB makes many choices available to you at very little cost.

The DOB Book Service is a reliable source for better books on homophile and related themes. Don't overlook the partial list of available books on page 8. You can give hours of reading pleasure by ordering from our Book Service!

DOB also offers THE LADDER--A Lesbian Review, one of the foremost homophile magazines. Send a gift subscription before the rate rise! Domestic subscriptions (U. S., Canada, Mexico) are only $4 now and will be $5 starting January 1st. Foreign subscriptions, now $5, will be $6 after the new year. When you give a gift subscription to THE LADDER, you give reading enjoyment for a full year!

THE LADDER--a unique gift,
a unique magazine !

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