The Ladder, January 1965, Vol. 9, No. 4

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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 nonprofit 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.


East Coast Homophile Organizations--Report '64 4
Part One: Sidelights of ECHO 4
Part Two: Highlights of ECHO 7
Part Three: A Nazi Stunt Fails 20
Prelude--by Ger 12
Living Propaganda--by Mrs. B. 13
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 14
The CAMP Complex--by L. E. E. 22

Cover Esme Langley. (See page 23.) Photo by
courtesy of Serena Wadham/Black Star/London

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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echo REPORT'64

E-C-H-O. What does it mean? The letters stand for East Coast Homophile Organizations. ECHO was created early in 1963 when four organizations--Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society of New York, the Janus Society, and Mattachine Society of Washington--met in Philadelphia to discuss an informal alliance of homophile groups on the East Coast. Participation in ECHO is limited to formally organized groups operating east of the Mississippi River, whose main purpose is working by lawful means toward the improvement of the status of the homosexual.

The ECHO affiliate organizations decided at the outset that ECHO should sponsor a yearly public conference. The first one was held in Philadelphia on Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1963, and had as its theme "Homosexuality: Time for Re-Appraisal." The second one, on the theme "Homosexuality: Civil Liberties and Social Rights," was held in Washington, D. C. on October 10-11, 1964.

Here are the first 3 parts of THE LADDER's special coverage of ECHO '64. Part 4, reporting the debate on "Education versus Legislation," will appear next month.


"I'm an activist," said a handsome young man present at the ECHO conference for 1964. "I've read nearly 75 books in the New York Mattachine Society library, and I'm fed up with reading on the subject of homosexuality." His statement seemed to typify the attitude pervading this serious conference.

Any disappointment over the small attendance (less than 100 persons) could be offset by the fact that this was a down-to-business meeting attended primarily by those dedicated to immediate action. It was a gathering of men and women impatient to remedy the discriminations against the homosexual citizen in our society.

We talked with a long-time friend of one of the sponsoring organizations, and his remarks confirmed our view. "A few years ago," he said, "ours was a sweeter, clubbier, less insistent organization. Now there seems to be a militancy about the new groups and new leaders. There's a different mood."

ECHO 1964 was one of the most colorful events of the homophile movement.

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The host organization, Mattachine Society of Washington, had endured cancellations of bookings by 3 other hotels, a fact which crippled plans to publicize the meeting place and date. Legal pressure was applied to two of the reneging hotels, the Gramercy Inn and the Manger Hamilton. But the damage to publicity for the conference was done. By contrast, the Sheraton Park Hotel (the largest, and one of the most luxurious hotels in Washington) handled the entire conference with courtesy and poise. The sales manager for the Sheraton-Park stressed that his hotel was "not narrow-minded," and the hotel authorities went out of their way to back up his claim.

On the bulletin board in the main lobby of the hotel, the announcement of the ECHO conference was made in large, accurate lettering. But it must have been an unbelieving hotel employee who billed us in the hotel elevator signs as the EAST COAST HEMOPHILE ORGANIZATIONS.

What actually did hotel employees think about ECHO? Whatever the scuttlebutt among them, a cashier in the drugstore chose to tell a hotel guest who asked about us, "That's the group the Nazis are going to picket. "

ECHO leaders were reassured by the open arrival of Washington policemen. ECHO had alerted the police to the possibility of an intrusion by the American Nazi Party. On the other hand, nobody expected the plainclothesman from the Morals Division of the same police force. A handsome chap moving among many handsome chaps, he might have gone through the conference unnoticed, but for the sharp memory of a Washington Mattachine member. This member reportedly looked the plainclothesman in the eye and said in effect "I know who you are." Shorn of his cover, undercover officer Graham phoned his boss at the Morals Division to say he'd been recognized and what should he do? "Continue on assignment" was his order--and continue he did, staying for the entire ECHO conference.

The word spread about Graham's presence, and he became a curiosity. Why was he there, if not to memorize faces? Despite suspicion of the motives of the plainclothesman, many ECHO registrants went out of their way to talk hospitably with him and to discuss the speeches. Here, some thought, was an educating job to be done. Officer Graham was a captive listener, sitting politely among homosexuals and friends of homosexuals and hearing speakers denounce our absurd sex laws and the peculiar tactics our police resort to in trying to enforce them.

We will never know what impact ECHO had on Graham. He is a "morals" policeman with a special and obnoxious job to do: selective enforcement of antiquated sex laws. Several days after the ECHO conference, when the story broke into national headlines, we learned that Graham had been one of the officers participating in the arrest of Walter Jenkins in the YMCA.

What kinds of people were at ECHO, what walks of life did they come from? Here are the occupations of some of those we met: two librarians, a biologist, a secretary, an editor, a school counselor, a chemical engineer, a waitress, a statistician, an

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investment salesman, a lawyer, a nurse, a housewife, several teachers, a playwright. Sam was one of the most unforgettable characters we met. He took the step to investigate ECHO on behalf of many of his fellow government employees who were afraid to appear at a public conference of homophile groups.

And speaking of government, politicians are still chuckling over the cordial citation, delivered in absentia, that ECHO had for Representative John Dowdy (D.-Texas). Dowdy was the congressman who wanted to disqualify the Mattachine Society of Washington from soliciting contributions. He was cited as the public official who had done the most to help the homosexual cause in 1964--by drawing attention to it in the high quarters of our Congress. A spokesman for Dowdy told newspapers he viewed this citation as an attempt to "embarrass" him.

The ECHO conference had remarkable press coverage. A 22-inch story in the Washington Post went out from the Times-Post Wire Service to newspapers as far away as San Francisco. A reporter from a Japanese English-language paper was present, also a free-lancer doing a write-up intended for the Jerusalem Times in Israel. The Washington Star had detailed coverage of the ECHO banquet speech by the head of the local ACLU affiliate.

A scientific convention was booked at the Sheraton-Park Hotel at the same time the ECHO meetings were on, and a British research scientist wandered by mistake into the ECHO anteroom and registered his name. There were disconcerting moments for the gentleman when he realized he wasn't registered for the right convention. He sat dazed for half an hour while an ECHO assistant explained to him the aims of the homophile movement, and he went on his way amused but convinced (count on the British sense of fair play!) that our objectives are worthy.

"Gay Crusader" Randolfe Wicker, who couldn't come in person, sent along his controversial lapel buttons which say in lavender letters EQUALITY FOR HOMOSEXUALS. Some people at ECHO wore these buttons, but most displayed the red-and-white ones with the smart ECHO symbol. We were in a group of friends wearing both kinds of buttons when the most amusing incident of the conference happened.

Our group--feeling very jolly--was on its way to a Saturday night party being held in the New York Mattachine Society's suite. Eight of us entered one of the self-service elevators. Then, just before the doors closed, in stepped a heterosexual couple all dressed up for a Saturday night engagement. The doors shut and the man and woman stood self-consciously in the center of us. Noting that we looked like a friendly bunch, the woman of the couple spoke up.

"What do your red-and-white buttons mean? I've seen them all over the hotel."

"Why, E-C-H-O stands for East Coast Homophile Organizations." "Oh...how nice," said the woman, obviously still puzzled. "Here's another button that you may not have seen," said our suave friend Otto, thrusting out his lapel. "It says EQUALITY FOR HOMOSEXUALS."

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The man and woman, suddenly wondering if they were surrounded by homosexuals, stood silent and confused. Rescue came as the elevator doors opened; the couple scurried out into a corridor, trailed by spontaneous laughter among the eight of us.

When the elevator doors shut again, a pretty girl announced her inspiration: "I'm planning a speech for next year's ECHO meeting. It's going to be on The Plight of the Heterosexual!" In view of the literature of the Planned Parenthood Conference down the hall from the ECHO rooms, her topic was timelier than most of us could realize.

But these were only the sidelights of ECHO '64.

--Warren D. Adkins and Kay Tobin


The content of the ECHO '64 conference revolved around ACTION. How do we go about improving the status of the homosexual minority in our society? The '64 conference theme was explicit: "Homosexuality: Civil Liberties and Social Rights." Emphasis was primarily on politics and law, secondarily on religion. No psychological discussions were planned. This time,lawyers and clergymen--individuals of stature with influence in their communities--were consulted. The goal was practical assessment of what to do, not ingestion of a menu of psychological speculations. Recognizing that many homosexuals now insist on standing up for their rights, the speakers at ECHO uniformly started from the premise that discriminations against the homosexual are unjust and should be systematically fought.

In the keynote address, Robert King, a member of Mattachine Society of Washington and the coordinator of this year's ECHO conference, declared, "I stand here...as a criminal and liar." He explained he had joined the armed forces, served his time, and been honorably discharged. Yet this satisfactory record was possible only because he perjured himself when enlisting. Otherwise he would have been denied the right to serve.

For years, Mr. King admitted, he had accepted such discrimination against the homosexual as unalterable. Then he found the homophile movement--"a worldwide social phenomenon"--and he realized at last that he should not have to settle for second-class citizenship. Mr. King charged the federal government is adept at passing the buck when reasons are demanded for its "ridiculous charge of undesirability and unfitness of the homosexual to serve" in armed forces and government employment. "We resent the treatment...the unsubstantiated accusations."

Pointing up what our movement has in common with other minority movements, Mr. King said that the three Washington hotels which had canceled earlier bookings of the ECHO conference "refused to serve us because there might be some homosexuals

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present," and that three Washington newspapers had refused ads for the conference because it pertained to homosexuality.

"The average homosexual is running scared in his own society," Mr. King maintained. As an example, he reported that most of the heterosexuals attending ECHO had paid their registration fees with personal checks, while most homosexual registrants had avoided such tell-tale records by paying with bank drafts

Mr. King summed up: "We are asking...the right to live a happy, decent community life, to be accepted by our neighbors as equal, members of society.... (We are asking for) the rights, and all the rights, afforded the heterosexual. We are still in the asking stage. We will soon reach the demanding stage. ... (A) dormant army is beginning to stir."

Hal Witt, a member of the D. C. bar and the executive board of National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, spoke at lunch on the topic "New Frontiers in Civil Liberties." He called freedom "indivisible" and stressed that the freedom of all depends on protection of the rights of the few, including "the legitimate rights of Nazis...and other purveyors of distorted doctrines to have their say in the free market place of ideas."

Mr. Witt said he believes "the government has no proper role at all" with respect to sexual behavior in private between consenting adults. Private morals and ethical sanctions are legitimate concerns of society, he said, but "I fail to see a proper role for police, for courts, or for jails in this...." Mr. Witt discussed five areas of sexual behavior in which he believes "the law's attention is misplaced": prostitution, fornication, sodomy, pornography, and homosexuality.

"Your recognition of your situation as a minority group with a grievance and a right to be heard is...important.... You do have a right that your grievances be heard, and not merely to ask for favors or for charity,"said Mr. Witt. "I wanted to emphasize today the importance of recognizing your solidarity with other minority groups and your vital stake in maintenance and development of a society with freedom and justice for all."

Glenn R. Graves, Washington trial lawyer, prefaced his advice with the comment that in our culture, unlike some other cultures, the homosexual is a pariah, an outcast. The law, being "a conservator of conventional wisdom, takes the value-judgments of the body politic pretty much as it finds them."

"'Civil liberties' is a disturbing concept," said Mr. Graves. The late Justice Jackson had remarked that "a civil right or liberty is whatever right a respectable member of the bar can be retained to go into court to defend." Thus the rights of homosexuals are "slight, poorly advanced, compared with those of other minorities." Homosexuals are not yet a full-fledged minority group with institutional status, like the Negro.

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Mr. Graves urged that homophile groups work toward "enlarging and perfecting procedural rights" in cases of dismissal of homosexuals from government employment. Traditionally, federal employment has been regarded as a privilege, hence "separation" or dismissal from it has not been viewed as a criminal punishment calling for due process and other constitutional guarantees. Yet dismissal for homosexuality; usually "consigns... a person to a lifetime of obloquy and humiliation" and may therefore be considered "analogous to the much older punishment of banishment"--which would call for all the safeguards in the Bill of Rights. Mr. Graves said two Supreme Court justices have already accepted this analogy. So there are signs that someday government employees facing dismissal will have the same rights as would a defendant in a criminal proceeding. By working for fair play in dismissal cases, homophile groups could ally themselves with the interests of all government employees. Mr. Graves predicted there would then be a decrease in dismissals for homosexuality. Later on, he advised, homosexuals could more effectively call into question the primary reason advanced for dismissing homosexuals: that homosexuality in and of itself, constitutes "unsuitability."

J. C. Hodges, president of Mattachine Society of New York, declared that "politics is everybody's business." Quoting poet John Donne, "No man is an island, entire of itself...for I am involved in mankind," Mr. Hodges called politics "the sphere of human activity through which our involvement with our fellow man is primarily determined." We must engage our movement in practical politics if we would obtain our rights.

After describing three basically unsuccessful tries by homophile groups to influence politics in California, Mr. Hodges urged us not to be discouraged, since these failures reflected not political reality but the kind of undisciplined amateur efforts "which may be associated with a social club." He offered a lesson from the Negro civil rights movement, which is making its voice heard through work in local political groups. "It doesn't take a lot of votes at the local level to make your influence felt there," Mr. Hodges claimed. As an example of grassroots political activity, he told of a political party newly in power in New York City's Greenwich Village. Its leader, apparently oblivious to the support he could have from homosexuals in the community, is said to be planning to "clean up" homosexual activity in the Village. Mr. Hodges said that MSNY members are joining this political organization and working to influence it.

Mr. Hodges warned against backing candidates representing "a lunatic fringe element, with no universality of appeal." Success in political activity can be achieved "only through work within established political organizations.... Go," he ordered, "to the established political club of your choice and join it.... Involve yourselves if you are to have any voice on your own behalf."

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"To get a court in the U. S. today to declare (not a crime) that which has been regarded as crime...by our society for thousands of years," is asking for a decision comparable to the one which established the Negro's equality. Such a decision would "set aside...a deep-rooted and fundamental belief," according to David Carliner, a member of the D. C. bar and chairman of the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union.

Yet "we have in America come a long way from the notion of an eternal or natural law... Within a community there are different eddies of moral behavior." Mr. Carliner said he saw "no more need to impose uniformity of behavior in sex roles than there is need to impose uniformity of behavior on ethnic groups within our society."

Sex is usually "so utterly a private act, that the law can't cope with it.... Only those people get prosecuted who are... exposed to police officers." Mr. Carliner believes the courts should stay out of the area of private sex acts between consenting adults, since the courts can't realistically cope with it anyway.

Arguments about morality and attempts to influence votes are fruitless tactics for homophile groups, Mr. Carliner said. Efforts should be on a "more discreet and manageable basis." A magoritarian society may accept the right of a minority to differ in behavior when that society is persuaded that laws against such behavior cannot be effectively enforced.

"It's a mystery to me...why I was asked (to come here)," confessed Sidney Sachs, former Asst. U. S. Attorney and now in private practice. His "Short Discussion of the Miller Act,": and the following question-answer period, pointed up the concern homosexuals feel about certain sex laws which might be applied to them--however far fetched seems the possibility.

The Miller Act, or "Sexual Psychopath Law," became effective in the District of Columbia in 1948. Mr. Sachs helped draft this law, which aims: a) to strengthen the D. C. laws as they are related to sexual offenses against children and to clarify the laws on sodomy; b) to define the term "sexual psychopath."

A sexual psychopath, says the Act, is "a person, not insane, who by a course of repeated misconduct in sexual matters has evidenced such lack of power to control his sexual impulses as to be dangerous to other persons because he is likely to attack, inflict injury, loss, pain, or other evil on the object of his desire." Within the statute the sexual psychopath is referred to as the patient--not the accused or the defendant. Enforcement of the statute is a civil, not criminal, proceeding. Mr. Sachs admitted that a person does not have to be charged with a crime to be nabbed under the Miller Act. The U. S. Attorney can decide alone to instigate the civil proceeding after reviewing "information...from any source" on the sexual conduct of any D. C. resident. In practice, however, the Miller Act is applied to those charged with a sex crime.

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Under the Act, a person suspected of being a sexual psychopath must submit to examination by 2 psychiatrists and must answer their questions. The answers go on his record, although they cannot be used against him in any other proceeding or a court trail. The person has a right to legal counsel at every step. If one or both doctors claim he is a sexual psychopath, the "patient" gets a hearing and has the right to a jury trial.

"Though it's not right,"Mr. Sachs admitted, the courts generally take the path of least resistance when the mental condition of someone accused of sex crime "comes into question": they commit him to Washington's mental hospital. There the overworked psychiatrists "write brief reports" on the person. And when his trial comes up, it's "just perfectly understandable then" that the doctors' judgment is chiefly relied on.

A women in the audience challenged the merit of the Miller Act by pointing out--and Mr. Sachs had to agree--that condemnation to psychiatric incarceration is potentially worse than jail because the person could languish in a mental hospital forever. Then a man bluntly asked the prime question: "Would I, as a habitual practicing homosexual, be called a sexual psychopath?" "I think that you would be,"Mr. Sachs replied. Yet, he reminded us, "everything that's on the books that is oppressive to homosexuals is not carried out to the letter."

John w. Karr, a Washington trial lawyer, described the gradual erosion of criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior and of discriminatory attitudes in the courts.

An influential debate in 1955 at the American Law Institute centered on a motion to drop sodomy from the list of crimes. Judge Parker argued that homosexual activity in private should be prohibited because "it flies in the face of public opinion." Judge Learned Hand, on the contrary, believed the law against sodomy should be dropped. He felt that disgust was a stronger element than moral condemnation, and that there is an important distinction between conduct repulsive to prevailing mores and conduct which is an actual invasion of another person's legally protected interests.

The 1952 case of Kelly Vs. U. S. established the necessity for "corroboration," forcing the prosecution to, prove the defendant had really made an invitation to the arresting officer. In 1956, "real or implied consent" on the part of the person approached for solicitation became a factor for automatically barring conviction. In 1960 (Rittenauer vs. U. S.) private homosexual behavior between consenting adults became legal in the District of Columbia, as long as sodomy was not involved. And finally, Illinois in 1962 adopted a penal code that does not prohibit any private consensual sex acts between adults.

ECHO continues on page 15

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Prelude...by Ger

She opened her eyes and stared a moment drowsily into space. Then a happy excitement deluged her and she was wide awake. Why was she so happy? Her heart went pit-a-pat to answer her, but, she restrained it strongly. Was there a feast? No, Did she get a new dress? No. And then her heart jumped impatiently in her throat and she couldn't restrain it any longer. She was going to school--and would see Laura....

She sat on a bench in the playground and watched the school gates intently. It was getting late and Laura wasn't in yet. Anxiety grew like a monster in her heart. Laura, Laura, where could she be?

The school bell rang and she stood up slowly, reluctant to put her eyes off the gates.

But Laura didn't come and with lead in her shoes she trudged into her classroom. She stared gloomily at her desk and her excitement changed to a miserable emptiness, as empty as the place beside her. Then suddenly the door flew open and Laura blew in, gasping, out of breath.

"I'm sorry, Sister Mary," she apologized, "but I fell from my bike and had to go to a doctor first," Sister Mary looked from her rosy face to her bandaged knee and smiled briefly. "You're a tomboy, you are," she sighed.

Laura threw her bag beside her seat and slipped into the empty place, "Hi, Hanny," she greeted merrily. They sat in the 4th grade and had to do arithmetic. They bent zealously over their work. They were the best of their class and when they were ready, much sooner than the others, they looked inquiringly at Sister Mary, who made a gesture of reading. They dived in their desks, but Laura's hands reappeared empty. She blushed, embarrassed, and Sister Mary shook her head reproachfully. "I told you not to take your books home."

They moved closer together so their shoulders touched and read from one book.

From nearby, Laura's cheek looked like a rosy anemone, velvety soft. And she smelled of bonbons. Hanny couldn't use her right arm to turn a leaf because it was nearly behind Laura, She put it hesitatingly around Laura's shoulders. Laura moved closer to her. And suddenly Hanny took a piece of paper and wrote laboriously with her pencil: "I l...you!!"

She didn't dare to look at Laura anymore and could only hear a dull murmur in her ears.

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Her heart throbbed as if it would burst and her throat felt thick and burning. She saw Laura's hand move over the book and she closed her eyes in mortal fear. But when she opened them again, she looked straight at the piece of paper and under her little sentence stood: "I l... you too!!"

And the murmur in her ears swelled to a mighty thunder and she trembled with the force of it.

They both listened to those chords they never heard before and didn't know. That wonderful magnificent music, floating to infinite heights and descending to unfathomableness.

They didn't know those chords--and they didn't know that they couldn't recognize them because it wasn't the symphony yet, only the prelude.


Once again we look toward a New Year. Such a short time ago we made resolutions for 1964! Where have we gone as individuals? What have we accomplished as representatives of our minority group?

Most of us wonder occasionally whether what we think or how we choose to live our lives really does matter. We feel so insignificant, often living dull day-to-day struggles. We fail to see that we are all plural. For example--I am mother, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor, in-law, aunt, a client to attorneys and physicians. I have close friends and many acquaintances in at least five states. I play a great number of roles--and so do you. If we could see grouped together the large number of people that we each contact in our lives, we would take our lives a bit more seriously, we would hesitate to write ourselves off so quickly as "insignificant."

I reached a personal crossroad in 1964. After eighteen years of marriage and four children, after a long, desperate attempt to keep a marriage together that was stifling to both partners, I sued for divorce and openly declared my love for a woman and our intention to make a future life together. With the custody of four minor children at stake, I gambled because I believe deeply that there is justice for the homosexual.

I was frank and honest with both my own and my husband's families, both our lawyers, and with the physicians and clergy who were involved--including three pastors from three different denominations. Because I had worn the mask with fair success, some were shocked and unbelieving. Some had always felt I was "different" but could never quite put their fingers on how I was different.

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All but a few of the relatives stood by me in the divorce. The remarkable thing is that the most narrow-minded and prejudiced of them agreed that I'm certainly not "sick." The most prevalent response was, "But she is so good, a good mother, a good housekeeper, a good person!"

My husband's attorney could not uncover anything derogatory about me, an acknowledged lesbian. And I have won uncontested and complete custody of my children.

My friend and I are discreet and have used good judgment when admitting our homosexuality. I do not advocate random admissions, as that can be unwise. However, in my case it was possible to be honest not only with attorneys, physicians, and clergy, but also with carefully chosen neighbors and friends. There has been much less prejudice than one would expect.

If I have accomplished no more than to raise questions in some people's minds about their image of our minority group, I am nevertheless helping to change public opinion. We desperately need conscientious ambassadors, as there is much to be done at the personal level. I urge that we stress Living Propaganda in 1965: not necessarily open admissions of inclinations, but definitely a daily conscious effort on the part of each one of us, seeking opportunities to show our best and real selves which we hide far too often. By doing this, we can make 1965 memorable for the lesbian minority everywhere.

--Mrs. B.

Lesbiana by Gene Damon

299. THE CATALYST--a play by Ronald Duncan. London, The Rebel Press, 1964.

This two-act drama, written in 1957, was banned by the Lord Chamberlain, which meant it could only be performed at a private club. It was given at the Arts Theatre Club in 1958. In 1963 the Lord Chamberlain granted the play a license, and it was then performed publicly in England. It is a concise study of a menage a trois, and is handled with wit and compassion. The ending is unusual but plausible. Highly recommended.

300. THE SHIP SAILS AT MIDNIGHT--by Fritz Leiber. Short story in THE OUTER REACHES, edited by August Derleth. Pellegrini and Cudahy, 1951.

A lovely fantasy novelette about the strange erotic and uplifting influence a beautiful woman exercises over a group of friends, three boys and one girl. Each improves his or her life because of the relationship, and each believes himself to be the only beloved. The denouement is the mutual discovery of their intimacy with the woman.

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301. TWILIGHT LOVERS--by Miriam Gardner. Monarch, 1964.

Gail, a girl of unhappy background, falls in love with Dr. Gretchen Smith, a university teacher. Rebuffed by Gretchen, Gail turns to Marja, who is less reluctant to admit her sexual orientation. After some years with Marja, Gail runs from the shallow relationship and falls in love with an understanding man. Gretchen, freed from a self-imposed prison, goes to New York and, the reader is left believing, to Marja. This book puts Miriam Gardner in the front ranks of paperback-original novelists and may be the best paperback lesbian novel of 1964.

302. THE GOLDEN PLAIN--by Roger Bordier. Houghton, 1963.

An unusual approach to lesbianism is provided in the story of Laurent and his love affair with the introspective girl, Sli. In his effort to understand Sli, Laurent uncovers the causes of her withdrawal: the untimely death of her brother Jean, and the lesbianism of her older sister Agnes. Laurent must prove to Sli that the death belongs to the past and that her sister's lesbianism is acceptable. He succeeds, and thereby provides a convincing and sympathetic treatment of the subject. An important book.


- THE LADDER's new subscription rate is in effect: $5 a year in the U. S., Canada and Mexico, $6 elsewhere. But members of DOB get the magazine free! Any woman over 21 is welcome to join, no matter where she lives. See inside back cover.

- COMING IN FEBRUARY: News of our "Books for Ger" campaign. ECHO / 64--Part 4: The Debate on Education vs. Legislation. Gene Damon's annual survey, "Lesbian Literature in 1964."


ECHO continued from page 11

(John w. Karr, continued)

Some people feel, said Mr. Karr, citing the words of a dean of a Catholic law school, that having laws against sodomy on the books "imposes some social conscience upon the public." Mr. Karr, however, believes that law enforcement suffers, when laws that are practically unenforceable are on the books. He prophesied that in the next decade we will see adoption by most of the states of the sex code now effective in Illinois.

Monroe H. Freedman, Assoc. Prof. of Law at George Washington Univ. And an attorney who has often aided Mattachine Society of Washington, talked spontaneously about congressional hearings on HR 5990, the "Charitable Solicitation Act," The bill was launched by Rep. John Dowdy (D.-Texas) whose avowed aim

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was, according to Mr. Freedman, "to make it impossible for MSW to collect funds in order to carry out its civic activities."

Mr. Freedman had testified at subcommittee hearings on HR 5990 and said they were "an eye-opener" for the congressmen. Dr. Kameny, president of MSW, "quite wisely used the occasion as a platform for his and his Society's views. He was an extremely effective advocate of these views. He did not fit the stereo-type they (subcommittee members) had in mind." Dowdy, on the other hand, gave the appearance of being "a professional peeping torn, the kind of man who gets some perverse pleasure from prying into other people's private affairs." Mr. Freedman conjectured that Dowdy has spent much of his time this year as a public servant "in reading homosexual literature." HR 5990 passed in the House despite an impressive dissenting minority report, then it died in the Senate. Will the bill be launched again in the new Congress? Mr. Freedman said it "depends on how Congressman Dowdy decides to get his kicks next year, if he is still in the mood for homosexuals."

Mr. Freedman concluded by urging: "Please don't isolate yourselves! ...Recognize that your movement is one of many and your interests are akin to those of the community at large."

The legal panel, moderated by Dr. Franklin E. Kameny of Mattachine Society of Washington, discussed legal discriminations against the homosexual--and the prognosis for change.

Dr. Kameny, in opening, made the following observation: "We invited the various (military) services to debate their policies with us at this conferences They refused. In view of the terms of the invitation and our subsequent notice to them, we can only conclude they concur with our judgment that their policies against homosexuals are indefensible and that they are afraid to discuss the matter."

Views expressed during the panel discussion are summarized:

MR. CARLINER: We must distinguish between what the courts will do and what the Congress will do. Congress seemed very hostile toward the homosexual when HR 5990 was under consideration. The courts, on the other hand, are very sensitive to demands for rights in the due process field. One way of getting to the Supreme Court is through conflicting decisions obtained in the various circuit courts. Most landmark cases in the Supreme Court have been the result of deliberate legal strategy. Press coverage will help the homophile movement and so will court decisions, which have an educational impact on the public. But your progress will be slow.

MR. GRAVES: Brick by brick, and stone by stone, the law is built. The homosexual is consigned to slow and piecemeal progress. Start with the easiest inroad: change in and enlargement of procedural rights in cases of dismissal for homosexuality. The negro movement started in 1935 a long string of cases deliberately set up. Achievement by the homosexual of

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institutional status, such as the Negro minority now has, cannot be over-estimated.

MR. KARR: The attitude of the courts toward criminal sanctions is demonstrably changing. Even the language used by the courts today is more mature than that of 10 years ago. Attitudes in the courts toward homosexuality are now more realistic and civilized, and the prognosis for change is favorable.

MR. SACHS: In the '40' s nobody wanted it known that he was a homosexual. The case law in the District of Columbia is substantially without any reported cases in this area until the last 10 or 15 years. Only recently have enlightened and courageous defendants been willing to give their lawyers the opportunity to push the courts into rulings which would help build a defense for the position of the homosexual. Homophile groups can lend support to these defendants. Prognosis: good.

MR. WITT: It's hard to over-estimate the entrenchment in the government of hostility toward homosexuals. The government is a leader in the field of lack of understanding. If its position could be moved, that move would have an effect on the rest of society. Rather than risk decisions unfavorable to its policy of blanket exclusion of homosexuals, the government avoids litigating cases if it can. It even avoids reasonable discussions such as this one. Minorities are interdependent. You are now suffering from much "bad law" deriving from the McCarthy era. Homosexuals didn't realize then that their own liberties were at stake when procedural safeguards were denied people belonging to suspect political minorities. Recognize your unity with other minorities who suffer from lack of procedural rights. Stand up for your rights and don't accept the position of pariahs. Until homosexuals recognize within themselves that there is nothing wrong with them, it's hard for society to come around to that viewpoint.

At the close of the discussion, Dr. Kameny asked if the panelists would be willing to form a board to look into the possibility of a coordinated, multi-attorney approach to planned legal strategy. The answer was yes. It was Mr. Carliner who noted forthrightly that the NAACP has raised a legal defense fund, and Dr. Kameny proposed that such a plan be the first order of business for the new Board.

"Imagine how difficult it is for the clergyman when he faces the kind of stubbornness of person and of attitude which homosexuality represents!"

At ECHO '64, six clergymen ventured such a confrontation. The religious panel talked about "Alienation of the Homosexual from the Religious Community," An invitation had been made to ministers and lay men and women attending meetings elsewhere in Washington of the Methodist Board of Christian Social Concerns, and more than a dozen of them came to ECHO's religious panel. "I never expected to hear anything this exciting," exclaimed a Methodist lady.

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Panel members agreed that homosexuals have, in the words of Rabbi Eugene Lepman (non-Orthodox) of Temple Sinai, "a valid, important civil liberties fight." Noting American Jews tend to be "civil rightniks," Rabbi Lipman predicted Jewish organizations would not oppose the homophile rights movement when it is fully organized. Rev. Robert J. Lewis, minister at River Road Unitarian Church, said this movement is "at the beginning of a long fight...and I am glad to be in it." Rev. Kenneth K. Marshall, minister of Davies Memorial Unitarian Church, said many Unitarians are in civil rights groups, and he would "welcome reform in the laws." Other panelists gave similar views.

Why then is the homosexual alienated from the religious community? Rev, Berkley C. Hathorne, Th.D., Director of the Washington Counseling Service, Foundry Methodist Church, said that most often the homosexual "alienates himself" because of his "interpretation that the church rejects his chosen way of life," Any homosexual who nevertheless comes for counseling is hoping for the understanding, love and acceptance that the church supposedly represents. Rev. Hathorne said the church is remiss if it rejects someone with these needs. Yet he noted "...of course, when a known homosexual seeks fellowship in the church, he is ostracized, in most congregations."

Rev. Ernest O. Martin, minister of the Church of the Holy City (Swedenborgian) said that his church has never taken a stand on homosexuality. He claimed "a lot of ignorance is involved both ways," and called for more education and information.

"Each person must be free...to give witness to that which is meaningful to him," according to Unitarian belief, said Rev. Marshall. Unitarians share their deepest insights and joys, learning from each other. So if a homosexual feels alienated in a Unitarian congregation, he "needs to help the congregation understand his insights," But, Rev. Marshall cautioned, "we do not guarantee to make everyone feel comfortable,"

Father John F. Harvey (Catholic), Instructor in Moral Theology at DeSales Hall, Hyattsville, Md., claimed the homosexual is alienated not only from the church, but also from the secular community, from family, and from self. From adolescence, the homosexual knows he "should be attracted by the opposite sex." He assimilates society's scorn and becomes "filled with revulsion toward himself," Later, "supported by homosexual literature and friends... conscience all the while being smothered," he withdraws further. Hopelessness often tempts him to suicide or alcohol. He feels hostile toward the church. Alienation is furthered by his bitterness toward God Who allows a "mystery of suffering" and by the harsh attitude of many clergymen. Father Harvey urged that the homosexual accept himself and seek spiritual guidance to devise a life plan (excluding marriage, since conversion to heterosexuality is rarely possible) of service to the community and to God. Aging homosexuals might reveal their condition to demonstrate "that they led Christian lives despite their deviate impulses." Father Harvey advised the Homosexual should "re-direct (his) will to supernatural values...love of God must be the driving force,"

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Rabbi Lipman warned it is useless to try to change Jewish law. Homosexuals may join synagogues but will find congregations family-oriented. "The purpose of life (in Jewish theology and tradition) is for the individual to fulfill himself maximally. One fact about each of us...is gender ...One aspect of human purpose is perpetuation of self through the next generation. ...(In rabbinical counseling of homosexuals) Goal One is heterosexuality if we can arrange it. ...The maximum would be a happy heterosexual raising happy children. ...Only secondarily would I be prepared to accept happy homosexuality. ...I don't consider the second one a defeat, but I consider it second."

What are Rabbi Lepman's views on the chances of reorienting homosexuals by therapy, asked Father Harvey. Rabbi Lipman replied that he runs a one-man referral service to psychiatrists and other therapists. "The old saw that homosexuality is the hardest of the emotional problems to do much about is true.... So far nobody appears to know what succeeds and what doesn't. The formulas aren't here yet." Father Harvey concurred.

Dr. Kameny of MSW later spoke from the audience to give his opinions "Rabbi Lipman made the statement that his first aim is not a happy homosexual but a conversion to heterosexuality. Implicit in this (view) is the idea that the homosexual state is somehow inferior to the heterosexual (state). This is the view which the homosexual community by and large is not prepared to accept.... This (desire to convert to heterosexuality) extended, is what leads to alienation of the homosexual from the religious community. We are not prepared to accept inferior status." The audience broke into applause.

"In the eyes of the churches, does a person have the right to practice homosexuality?" asked panel moderator Joan-Fraser, secretary of ECHO and a member of DOB. Rev. Martin: Does not view a homosexual act as sinful in itself. It depends on the individual situation. Rev. Lewis: "It's not up to me to say what is sin and what isn't." Rabbi Lipman: His personal answer, as a non-Orthodox Jew, is yes. Rev. Hathorne: He feels the important thing is the quality of the relationship. Rev. Marshall: He personally would not encourage or affirm homosexual practices, since he believes it would be difficult for a homosexual to have the attitudes of responsibility,,care and respect. "It's not the act that's a sin to me; it's the attitudes, motivation and intent." Father Harvey gave the only categorical "no," since to the Catholic Church homosexual acts are immoral. Nevertheless, he said, many Catholics feel these acts should not be illegal because "the prosecution and the way it takes place in many instances is a great abuse."

"Rabbi Lipman, do you agree with Father Harvey that many clergymen take a 'harsh attitude' toward homosexuality?" asked Miss Fraser. Citing a study in a book called CONFLICTS OF THE CLERGY, Rabbi Lipman agreed many clergymen are punitive-minded people. And in the U. S., he went on, congregants "don't pay very much attention to us," so it's easy for clergymen to feel frustrated and often angry. Bearing this in mind, "imagine how difficult it is for the clergyman when he faces the kind of stubbornness of person and of attitude which homosexuality

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represents! And it is a stubborn (in the sense of persistent, not willful), deep seated, continuing attitude that you people have. You insist you have the right to be homosexuals, and this is absolutely infuriating to anybody who's heterosexual!" Rabbi Lipman concluded that "this is one of the things that you have to live with. ...How can you help clergymen be less harsh in their approach to you? ...In the first instance, I have to say the problem isn't yours, it's the clergymen's."

Rev. Lewis remarked that the primary concern of his congregation was "frankly, not the civil liberties of homosexuals; it was 'Is my child going to become homosexual?'... We got into the question of the origin of homosexuality, and the question of civil liberties was then shunted aside."

Rev. Hathorne said homophile organizations can help churches re-examine the issue of homosexuality. The religious community is familial and heterosexually oriented, he pointed out. "(It) is closely bound, and...does not open up to allow others into this circle who are different.... You must be patient with the religious community." Rabbi Lipman spoke boldly: "You have to help us. We'd be lying if any of us here (said) we were not at least mildly defensive, at least mildly uncomfortable, about our relationships with homosexuals."

--Lily Hansen and Barbara Gittings


The infamous commander Kramer of the huge Nazi concentration camp at Belsen told the first British officer to reach it in 1945 that "the prisoners were habitual criminals, those guilty of serious crimes and homosexuals." (THE TIMES, London, Sept. 20, 1945) Though the fact was scarcely mentioned in the U. S. press, homosexuals in Nazi Germany were persecuted as savagely as were Jews and Communists.

Today there is an American Nazi Party headquarters in Arlington, Va. Part of its published "American Program" states, "we shall ruthlessly suppress all forms of vice, such as... homosexuality...." The party's commander, Lincoln Rockwell, wrote on July 15, 1964: "The MOST unhealthy, most unwholesome cancer in any civilization is homosexualism."

It was no surprise, then, when rude telephone calls were made by Nazis to the ECHO suite at the Sheraton-Park Hotel. The callers warned they would disrupt the ECHO conference. These calls were not the first clue that there might be a Nazi intrusion: about a week earlier, Washington Mattachine members had recognized at a gay bar two sometime Nazi supporters with ECHO literature in their hands. Rockwell's Nazis have earned a reputation for successfully breaking up peaceful gatherings by their well-planned stunts. ECHO leaders, determined their conference should not be disrupted, alerted Washington police

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that the Nazis might visit ECHO, and devised a plan of action to use if an incident were to occur.

The incident does occur, around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. Nearly 100 people, including visitors from a Methodist Church convention in town, are" waiting for the religious panel to begin.

A young man enters the. ECHO anteroom. He is blond, good-looking, well-built, quietly dressed. He is self-confident and smiling. He speaks with a southern accent. He carries a huge pink gift-wrapped box marked QUEER CONVENTION+ Two of his cohorts wait outside the door. A LADDER reporter flips a switch and makes the only tape recording of the Nazi incident. The quotes in the following are verbatim excerpts from that tape:

NAZI: Would somebody call Rabbi Lipman, please? Is Rabbi Lipman in the house? (Rabbi Lipman is one of the clergymen on ECHO's religious panel. He has not yet arrived.) I've got 24 quarts of Vaseline here to deliver to Rabbi Eugene Lipman. I believe all you queers will be able to make use of it. (He starts toward the inner room, carrying the box. ECHO leaders, moving according to plan, link arms in the CORE fashion and stop him from going further. Others join the line. A crowd gathers. The line begins to inch forward.)

ROBERT KING: You must either pay an admission or get out. You are trespassing. (Plainclothes officer Graham--see Part 1--leaves the room to telephone police officers specifically stationed in the hotel to protect ECHO from the Nazis.)

NAZI: Would you quit pushing me, you queers.... I see you've got queer rabbis and priests and reverends and everything here today.... Would somebody please bring the queer Rabbi here for me to deliver this Vaseline to him? (He smiles, partly turns,; digs in his heels, presses back against the line.) The Rabbi's waiting for his Vaseline.... Are there any lesbians here? (A blonde girl Joins the line.) Are you a lesbian too?

BLONDE GIRL: As much as you are!

NAZI: If you queers don't stop pushing me I'm going to charge you with assault.

FATHER HARVEY: Sir, you are trespassing. Would you please leave? (Father Harvey is one of the religious panel members.) NAZI: Sir, would you like some Vaseline too? This Vaseline is for the rabbi, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing It with his cassock friends.

DR. KAMENY: You are being asked to leave.

ROBERT KING: The authorities are on the way.

NAZI: I'm only a delivery boy. I had to leave church today in order to bring this Vaseline over to you queers. (He pushes back against the line, continues to smile.)

SHIRLEY W.: Sir, you're stepping on my foot. Would you please move.

NAZI: I believe you're trying to kick me, aren't you, lesbian?... There's a queer for LBJ. He looks like a kike, too. Are there many kike queers here?... A dog himself shouldn't be subjected to you bunch of queers. (A cameraman from WTOP-- TV enters and begins filming. The station has apparently been alerted by the publicity-hungry Nazis.)

SHIRLEY W.: Please, sir, you're stepping on my foot. Would you mind leaving?

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NAZI: I heard the Rabbi was out of Vaseline. Is that right? (Enter plainclothesman Graham. Ironically, he is forced to do the apprehending because the special police sent to prevent a disturbance are too far away at the moment in the huge hotel.)

GRAHAM: I'm a police officer and I want to talk to you alone right now.

NAZI: Do you have some identification?

GRAHAM: Right. (He produces badge.)

NAZI: Am I under arrest?


NAZI: Well, I have to deliver this case of Vaseline to....

GRAHAM: You ARE under arrest. (The Nazi", still hefting the gift-wrapped carton marked QUEER CONVENTION, is escorted out of the ECHO room. Applause breaks out for Graham's action.)

Postscript: The Sunday ECHO conference went on in an orderly way as soon as the incident was over. The stunt had failed to disrupt the meeting for more than 5 minutes. The WTOP-TV film of the event was not shown. The Nazi was taken to Washington police headquarters where he was booked on a charge of disorderly conduct. He elected to forfeit collateral (a technical waiver of right to trial) in the amount of $10.

We did not know at the time of our Nazi incident that Walter W. Jenkins--apprehended by the same Graham and another officer of the Morals Division--had been booked 4 days earlier on a similar charge of disorderly conduct and had elected to forfeit collateral in the amount of $50.

- Kay Tobin

the CAMP complex

Everyone Wants To pet Into The Act Department: It's become fashionable for erstwhile intellectuals to show how hip they are by using gay terminology casually, without defining the terms or setting them off with quotation marks. A woman reviewer in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OP BOOKS notes that Brigid Brophy's short novel THE FINISHING TOUCH is about a girls' school "run by two dykes."

In the fall issue of PARTISAN REVIEW, Susan Sontag has a long. heavy-footed set of "Notes on Camp." The article resembles those tourist guides in ESQUIRE or HOLIDAY purporting to give out the secrets of the "in" places where the other tourists don't go. Miss Sontag shows little understanding of the homosexual sensibility, and confuses with "Camp" the kookie fads adopted by the self-appointed sophisticates among college students and younger suburban housewives. She sees "Camp" in the nostalgic appreciation of the bad or exaggerated styles of the twenties and thirties and Victorians, as exemplified in old Rudy Vallee records and the Tiffany lamps on her "in" list.

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The fact is the Camp is in the eye of the beholder, not in the object. The essence of Camp is the homosexual's deep protest against the biological and/or social order--against which humor is the only protest possible. It is the opposite of the straight, square, self-congratulatory middlebrow appreciation (of cute old clothes and bad old movies.

Despite Miss Sontag's air of giving away some well-kept secrets, her "Inside" knowledge of Camp is already shared by the masses--like the Tiffany lamps that are selling fast in the discount stores. The nationwide Les Crane TV show recently had two former winners of the Miss America contest as quests, along with a comedienne who makes a regular appearance on the show. The comedienne contended that no one takes the Miss America contests seriously. "It's high camp," she tossed off airily. "People just sit in front of their TV sets drinking beer and laughing." Presumably the tens of millions watching the show understood the meaning of "high camp," and lifted their beers to the TV screens in agreement.

--L. E. E.

the ladder
arena three

This month, January 1965, is the first anniversary of our English counterpart, ARENA THREE, As many LADDER readers know by now, ARENA THREE is the only other magazine in the English-speaking realm which focuses on the lesbian. ARENA THREE is published by Minorities Research Group in London and edited by Esma Langley--who graciously agreed to be our cover girl this month!

THE LADDER salutes ARENA THREE, which even in Its present mimeographed form is one of the liveliest and most sophisticated homophile publications. The phenomenal growth during 1964 of the M.R.G. and its magazine is recorded in the following press release issued by Miss Langley in December 1964:

Background and Development of Minorities Research Group

The M.R.G. was founded in 1963 by five women: an engineer, a sociologist, a librarian, a writer/journalist, and a tradeswoman. Its purpose was to investigate and report on the situation of the lesbian minority in general, and in particular in Great Britain. It was decided that its findings could best be

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reflected in a monthly magazine for free circulation to everyone joining the Group. The first issue of the magazine, ARENA THREE, was an edition of 70 copies datelined January 1964. An application form setting out the Group's aims was sent to all inquirers. This application (to be revised for 1965) states:

"The Minorities Research Group is an association of people who are at present concerned about the problems of female homosexuality. Membership is open to anyone who has a bona fide motive for applying to join the Group, whether this is directly personal, or sociological, or from disinterested good will. This point must be stressed, because one of the objects of the Group is to free female homosexuality from the prurience, sensationalism and vulgar voyeurism with which it is associated in some minds. The objects of the Group in this field are:

1. To provide a centre wherein homosexual women can meet others for discussion of their differing views, problems and interest. It is now becoming generally recognized that isolation is potent factor in inducing neurosis.

2. To provide material for medico-social research workers and writers who wish to investigate the condition.

3. To seek ways of improving the public image of the lesbian by familiarizing this fairly common condition, and of removing from it the aura of social stigma.

4. To publish and circulate monthly to members the magazine ARENA THREE, in which Items of particular concern to homosexual women can be discussed, but which will also publish material of more general interest.

5. To arrange meetings, debates, lectures and conferences and to promote intelligent and properly informed press and radio comment in relation to this minority group."

Collaboration with other social agencies, intelligent press and television publicity, and a small amount of classified advertising by the Group resulted in a phenomenally rapid growth of membership from the original five founder-members. Within a few months there were hundreds of subscribing members, and more than twice as many non-subscribing supporters. Many new members were referred to us by leading psychiatrist, who took the view that "cure" is either unfeasible or inadvisable and that friendship with others of the same temperament and life-experience is of Inestimable value to women suffering from loneliness, isolation and/or "conflict" stresses.

By no means were all the members of M.R.G. of homosexual makeup. Many people, both men and women, joined from motives of disinterested good will and the desire to see a belated and much-needed improvement in the situation of the considerable homosexual minority.

News of the Group's activities attracted the inevitable attention of prurient and sexually immature men in search of 'adult literature', who wrote, telephoned" or called personally at our office. We had no difficulty in distinguishing between these and the genuine inquirers about our work, and we took various steps to discourage them from plaguing our staff, to dissuade them from further inquiry and, at the same time, to encourage

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Programme for the Coming Year

To meet the two most urgent needs, described in the previous section of this report, we propose in 1965 to make certain amendments to our aims and objects as set out in the original membership application form.

1) We shall provide a counselings service as described above.

2) As a new women's club in London is to be opened in 1965 by three M.R.G. members (in collaboration with M.R.G. though not under our auspices) we shall devote more time and attention to the forming of small social and discussion groups in the provinces, and extend our advertising accordingly.

3) In addition to circulating ARENA THREE each month, we intend to send out questionnaires, reports, and other material of interest to our members.

4) We shall investigate the most practicable ways of making the Group and its publications economically self-supporting.

5) We hope to decentralize much of the work at present being undertaken by a few people on a voluntary basis, and pay salaries to the Editor and Librarian and other regular staff.


We are happy, and a bit surprised, to report that all the aims set out for 1964 were largely, in some cases wholly, achieved. The London Club is due to open shortly, under management of a welfare officer and two other professional women. Our Library contains an impressive number of books and brochures of considerable interest and help to homosexual people; our public image has improved in previously ill-informed and prejudiced circles; our monthly magazine has met with an enthusiastic welcome not only in Britain but throughout the world, and the standard of contributions sent in by M.R.G. members has been extremely high. And finally, the debates and discussions we have so far held have been very well attended.

We are confident that the high calibre of M.R.G. members and supporters will ensure an equally notable record of achievements in 1965

Esme Langley, Secretary, M.R.G.

LADDER readers wanting to subscribe to ARENA THREE should send $5.00 in the form of a special bank draft (not personal check) or postal money order, payable in England, to: Esme Langley, 47-A Broadhurst Gardens, London N. W. 6, England.

This year, 1965, marks also the tenth anniversary of D.O.B., and THE LADDER's ninth year. A forthcoming issue will celebrate D.O.B.'s ten years of progress in the U.S.!

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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 $5.00 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 send THE LADDER for ______ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $5.00 for each year ordered.






I am over 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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A Subscriber Writes....

Last October this new subscriber wrote DOB to say, "I am a graduate student in sociology at a large university in the mid-West. Imagine my disappointment when I found that the huge library here has very few books pertaining to homosexuality. Fortunately 1 found DOB and its Book Service. Through your Book Service, as well as book reviews in THE LADDR, I am at last able to keep up with what's being written on a still-taboo subject!"

The greatly expanded DOB Book Service has mora titles than ever before. We offer everything from light fiction to scholarly non-fiction. And you can depend on the DOB Book Service for prompt shipment. If you are not a LADDER subscriber receiving regular announcements from the Book Service, you are invited to send for these bulletins.

Better still, enter a subscription to THE LADDER and be sure of receiving all the DOB Book Service bulletins, as well as notices of DOB activities, which are mailed with the magazine. Every book order and every subscription helps DOB! Let us be your source for better reading on homosexuality.


The Ladder, February-March 1965, Vol. 9, No. 5 and 6

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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.


After the Ball 4
New Study Under Way 6
I Hate Women--A Diatribe by an
Unreconstructed Feminist
East Coast Homophile Organizations--Report '64
Part Four: "Act or Teach?"
"Expert" challenged 18
Lesbian Literature in 1964--by Gene Damon 19
To Tell or Not To Tell--by Vera Niven 24
Readers Respond 25

Cover by Kim S., modeled by Midge Brown and P. D. S.

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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After the Ball...

Dozens of police swarmed in and around California Hall in San Francisco on New Year's Day, invading a benefit costume ball organized by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual.

A line-up of police cars, one paddy wagon, plainclothes and uniformed officers, and police photographers greeted over 600 patrons of this supposedly gala event. Attending the ball were prominent ministers in the San Francisco area, as well as many members of their congregations, and members and friends of Bay Area homophile organizations.

The Mardi Gras New Year's Ball was held to raise funds for the work of the Council of Religion and the Homosexual, a group formed "to promote a continuing dialogue between the church and the homosexual." The Council is composed of representatives from six homophile organizations--Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society (San Francisco), Tavern Guild, Society for Individual Rights, The Colts, Strait and Associates--as well as ministers of the Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, and United Church of Christ Faiths.

Police dogged the assembly from 9 p. m. to 1 a. m. in a blatant display of police power. Official police photographers snapped pictures of most of the 600 guests as they arrived. Arrested were three attorneys and a housewife who challenged inspectors from the sex-crimes detail by insisting the police needed either a warrant, or Information that a crime was being committed, in order to enter the hall. The four were charged with obstructing police officers. A clergyman was threatened with arrest while escorting two guests to their car. Two men attending the ball were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, which brought to six the number of arrests.

This flagrant harassment, surveillance, and show of force by police caused the ball to break up an hour early. Nevertheless the guests tried to enjoy the festivities as planned. No criticisms were made by police of the costumes, the dancing, or the program.

"Angry Ministers Rip Police" said one newspaper headline over a report of a press conference held by the ministers on January 2, The clergymen accused the police of "intimidation, broken promises, and obvious hostility" and claimed police had acted "in bad faith" and had "Terrified" well-behaved guests.

The ministers explained they had gone to the police on December 23 to tell them in good faith about plans for the benefit event. Thereafter, police reportedly tried to get California Hall officials to cancel the Mardi Gras Ball booking.

On December 29, ministers and members of homophile groups met again with police officials, who gave assurances that guests

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in costume (including drag) would not be summarily arrested. Ministers described these negotiations as "strained."

The clergymen contended police had questioned them about their "theological concepts." They reported police "looked at the rings on out fingers and said 'We see you're married--how do your wives accept this?'" Police also suggested to the ministers they were being "used" by the homosexual organizations.

San Francisco newspapers carried a stream of letters and articles about the ball. Wire service reports were picked up by newspapers around the country. Radio and TV (including BBC) discussed the repercussions from the ball and also took up the subject of homosexuality in general.

The local American Civil Liberties Union reacted swiftly by announcing it would defend the three arrested attorneys, who are retained by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual. The ACLU spokesman claimed that police made the arrests "to intimidate attorneys who represent unpopular groups."

Del Martin, DOB Treasurer and a member of the Council, commented that "this is the type of police activity that homosexuals know well, but heretofore the police had never played their hand before Mr. Average Citizen. ...It was always the testimony of the police officer versus the homosexual, and the homosexual, fearing publicity and knowing the odds were against him, succumbed. But in this instance the police overplayed their part." Miss Martin speculated that police had arrested two of the ball guests on disorderly conduct charges in order to justify police invasion of a peaceful, orderly gathering.

As this issue of THE LADDER goes to press, San Francisco's Mayor John Shelley and Police Chief Thomas Cahill still aren't talking. They want to "study police reports" before making statements about the ball. Police claim their intrusion was warranted because tickets to the ball were being sold at the door. Ministers say they knew of no tickets sold this way.

What next? "Police action in this affair will be contested in court to establish the right of homosexuals and all adults to assemble lawfully without invasion of privacy..." according to a statement issued by the Committee for the Mardi Gras Ball.

THE LADDER will cover new developments in this cause celebre.

--Kay Tobin


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 the name and date of the publication. Dispatch to The Editor, c/o DOB National.

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DOB has agreed to cooperate in the distribution of research materials for a project aimed at noting the relationships between the sexual attitudes and experiences of females and certain personality characteristics.

This study is being conducted by Manfred F. DeMartino, M. A., certified psychologist in New York state. Mr. DeMartino is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Humanistic Psychology, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. He has taught psychology at Syracuse University and Alabama Polytechnic Institute, and now teaches at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. He has also served as research psychologist for the New York State Mental Health Commission and as clinical psychologist at Southbury Training School for the mentally retarded at Southbury, Connecticut.


The materials will be sent out shortly to all paying LADDER subscribers in sealed envelopes, and will be completely anonymous. As in the past, DOB hopes that you will give this project your best attention.

--DOB Research Committee



--THANKS to all who remembered DOB at Christmas time!

--WHEN YOU MOVE, please notify our Circulation Manager. The postage rate used for the magazine 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.

--The BOOKS-FOR-GER CAMPAIGN is over. Some quality books have been gathered for shipment to subscriber Ger van B., half a world away. Donations of books and postage came from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania,and Virginia. As we go to press, the books are being packed for the long trip overseas. News of their arrival will appear in a future LADDER issue. Our sincere thanks to those who responded to the appeal. We know that Ger will be pleased.

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I Hate Women

A Diatribe by an Unreconstructed Feminist

As a lesbian, I am supposed to hate men. But some of my best friends are men. It's women I can't stand--that is, the current model of American femininity, trussed into the Feminine Role of Wife and Mother, with a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval stamped across her Maidenform-upholstered bosom.

Now femininity is something I like very much. Smooth, silky, soft, warm feminine attributes, physical and spiritual, delight me. That is one of the chief reasons I am a lesbian.

Normally--if you'll excuse the expression--I should be attracted in a general way to many women around me, for their femininity. Instead, I find the particular brand of femininity they represent quite repulsive, because it represents extinction of themselves as persons in their own right, to play a role society has thrust on them.

What makes a person attractive? Vitality, intelligence, individuality, a self-propelled quality. But these are exactly the characteristics the 1965 model American female hides if she has them, until they evaporate and leave her an automaton in female dress.

Women are sociologically an oppressed minority who never question the ruling group's right to keep them down and exploit them. All too submissively they learn to adopt the humiliating strategies of the slave who has to curry favor with the master group. Every girl is told she must smile and smile on dates, much as Uncle Tom smiles his big ingratiating smile at massa. She is warned to keep repeating the heterosexual equivalent of "Yassuh, yassuh" to any idiocy put forth by the male, who is placed by society in the master role by virtue of the class he belongs to rather than by personal superiority. And she accepts the role of making herself pleasing to him, though the social structure has placed her there regardless of her personal worth. Everyone knows a woman must never let a man find out she's smarter than he is, and never correct or dispute him. Men, young girls are warned, hate women with more brains than they have. (It would seem that any amount Is more.) As long as you know your place, massa will love you, but don't ever try to assume equality.

What is unattractive about the current version of American womanhood is that she shows no spark of rebellion, but has been thoroughly, abjectly brainwashed into worrying whether she is having the right "feminine" feelings and attitudes which will please men, so she can be early married, impregnated, Pyrexed,

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Bendixed, Kentiled, Cheered, Ivory Snowed, and PTA'd. She is busy playing the Feminine Role forced upon her by American industry, psychology, sociology, and the mass media. It's no accident that wigs and false eyelashes are becoming widely marketed consumer products now. Added to the already popular false bosoms and stiletto heels, they indicate that to play the "natural" Feminine Role, the American woman has to use all the props of the female impersonator.

If she finds housework, marriage and babies uninteresting and admits it, she's sent to a psychiatrist or marriage counselor to Find Out Why she Rejects the Feminine Role. For some reason, rejecting the Feminine Role is the most terrible accusation you can make against any woman these days--more serious than adultery, promiscuity, or even prostitution, which at least prove her Femininity.

Even critics of the "feminine mystique" like Betty Friedan and Eve Merriam merely plead for women to have the right to escape from the kitchen only after they've had children. They too go on the assumption that motherhood is woman's highest fulfillment; only they beg for her a little relief from this highest fulfillment in the form of a job and a nursery school to take the fulfillments off her hands. They are merely proposing a slight loosening of the tight bonds on those innumerable women who, cowed and brainwashed, duly marry and breed and run neat homes and buy tons of Tide, and yet are not saved.

The Feminine Role is rigidly defined, and every female is supposed to fit into it. As with the ben of Procrustes--those who were too short had to be stretched to fit it, and those too long were lopped off--every woman, whatever her needs, must fit herself into the wife-and-mother role.

Lest anyone make an appeal to Nature and pretend this is every woman's destiny and true fulfillment, note the attitudes of the experts who as handmaidens of the status quo, have the job of processing women for their social role. In their hearts they know that talk of nature and destiny is palaver. What is important, is conforming to the rules of your society--right or wrong, just or unjust.

In an essay called "Learning the Feminine Role" (1), sociologist Mirra Komarovsky shows that "feminine" attitudes are not inborn and "natural," but are inculcated by society at an early age and promoted consistently through adolescence. The author coolly admits that though parents may want daughters in today's uncertain world to be trained to make a living for themselves if necessary, "In doing so we run the risk of awakening Interests and abilities which run counter to the present definition of femininity."

The "risk" of awakening interests and abilities! Risk to whom? To the ruling group of course. In whom would it be a "risk" to awaken abilities--usually considered a desirable thing--except in a subject people, who might get up on their hind legs and insist on being treated as persons instead of being consigned by the master race to the society's slob jobs.

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These abilities we risk awakening "run counter to the present definition of femininity," a clear recognition this "present definition" is artificial--her whole article proves it--but she, agrees that nevertheless the female should conform to it, because it's our society's norm! We have created a definition of what women should be like, and if they're not like that, there's something wrong with the woman, not the definition.

This genuflection by the professionals to a temporary, distorted and unhappy status quo for the female leads to an appalling "Orwellian doublethink and doubletalk. A woman educator writing in the COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FORUM (Spring 1962) titles her essay "Educating Female People." Immediately you suspect she is calling them "people" because she is going to rob them of their person-hood. And doesn't she! Blandly stating that "The right of women to an equal education may be considered won" (she got hers, she's teaching at Columbia), she recommends that the educational system be revamped so that girls postpone going to college until their children are grown because after a taste of the possibilities opened up by education, they find a life bounded by the washing machine and the babies intolerably frustrating. Pushing them hard into early, and practically forced, motherhood, she would withdraw their right to choose their lives and their careers as freely as boys. She performs the trick of promoting the Nazi "Kinder, Kuche, Kirche" (children, kitchen and church) doctrine while making "progressive" noises. She merely wants the poor darlings to be happier in their oppressed state--and to nip in the bud any stirrings of rebellion.

Every society creates models, or images as the ad men call them, of the types of people it wants its members to emulate. Gone out of mind in America is the strong, self-propelled single woman who was a dedicated teacher, doctor, writer, or social crusader. Even the strong pioneer woman, though married, has probably been bypassed in school textbooks. Girls are taught to be passive, compliant and "feminine," to give up their individuality and concentrate on making themselves mantraps to snare a boy into early marriage and parenthood.

Our ideal image of woman is that housewife in the ads, looking lovingly at her box of detergent in her sparkling kitchen, and having orgasms over the giant in her washing machine who gets her husband's and children's dirty shirt collars so clean.

Her function is to consume products and produce consumers. In a year-end ritual common to large corporations, in which they predict a rosy sales future, the president of Kentile told the floor coverings distributors of America that "11,896 women rise newly pregnant every morning." The specific nature of this figure indicates the intimate relationship between American industry and its female consumer--they've gotten way inside her.

Now, like everyone else, I want to see the national economy strong. But I don't want to see it rest on a psychological exploitation of half the citizens--the female half. This is sheer imperialism, comparable to going into a backward nation and making slaves of the natives for corporate profits.

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What I despise about women Is that they're so easily sold this cheap bill of goods and don't fight for their rights against the exploiter. You don't see the slightest signs of any Resistance movement. The few remaining career women on the scene wear flowered hats all day, go to the analyst four times a week, and have numerous divorces and unfortunate babies to prove their femininity and apologize for their presumption.

Yet, aside from the cows, the timid, the lazy, and that minority who genuinely like housekeeping and children, most women hate being stuck in that plastic kitchen depicted in the ads. It is a wonder that there has not long ago been organized an underground network in the suburbs of America which would one day give a secret signal, at which simultaneously every housewife would dump a whole carton of Tide into her washer, turn it on and run off, resulting in the total inundation of the communities in detergent suds. All business would be stopped, and the men would be left by themselves to clean up the mess.

Instead, dissatisfied women take refuge in boring part-time jobs, psychiatry, alcoholism, adultery, or neo-fascist political movements. Never has there been so much neurosis as since almost every woman in America (94% are married before age 40) has fulfilled herself in homemaking, marriage and motherhood.

Lesbians are practically the only people who cop out of this farce. Many of them are intimidated by the universal agreement that This Is The Way It's Supposed To Be, to the extent that they feel guilty and often run to the psychiatrist to be made as dishonest as everyone else. Fortunately the treatment seldom "takes," for it would reduce the small number of those who are waiting out the dark ages, keeping a little lamp of dissent lit underground until a new era comes in.

Which Is very close at hand. Not by virtue of anybody's strength or rebellion, but because the "population explosion," like a fireball from an atomic blast, Is rolling towards us at a suddenly accelerated pace. The big World War II baby crop is full grown and has begun to breed, as- directed, early and fast. The put-off time Is over when only the population experts worried about standing room only. The consciousness of the problem is being moved down to the masses, and the propaganda machine is preparing itself for a complete reversal.

We are faced with the possibility--the certainty--of too many consumers of air, water and space, resulting in a physical and spiritual pollution of the atmosphere, the devaluation of the individual life, and a downgrading of the quality of life to a mass level much lower than we have today, according to the authors of TOO MANY AMERICANS (2).

We will have to tailor our social myths to fit the situation. The hard sell on femininity and motherhood will suddenly go out of fashion, and those geniuses who coin terms like "population explosion" and "organization man" which crystallize and change the public consciousness, will think up persuasive slogans related to busting the baby boom for a greater America. Babies, instead of being regarded as blessings, will be looked

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on as calamities. Breeding will be unpatriotic. Someone will even stop Mrs. Robert Kennedy from having her 15th or 20th child, because large families will no longer draw votes.

The propaganda machinery will reverse itself and promote the image of the woman who doesn't breed. The "woman of the year" will be a childless astronaut or deep-sea diver. Since early marriage is a big culprit in exploding populations, girls will be encouraged, even paid, to prolong their school years and postpone or bypass marriage. They will study for newly-created scientific and technological professions. Women will be shoveled by hundreds of thousands into the traditional female occupations of teaching, social work and nursing, but they will also become doctors and politicians and anything else they want to be, since they will not have to interrupt their work for childbearing.

In this millennium, women will be persons, and will become attractive even when straight. It may be difficult then to tell the straight from the gay ones--in fact, it may not even be necessary. A British writer suggests (3):

"The time may yet come when homosexuality is practically compulsory, and not merely fashionable. It will indeed be a piquant paradox if--in the long run and taking the survival of humanity as a whole as our criterion--this controversial instinct turns out to have a greater survival value than the urge to reproduce."

(1) "Learning the Feminine Role" by Mirra Komarovsky--THE FAMILY AND THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION, edited by Edwin M. Schur, Indiana University Press,. 1964.

(2) TOO MANY AMERICANS by Lincoln and Alice Day, Houghton Mifflin, 1964.

(3) "Standing Room Only" by Arthur C. Clarke--HARPERS, April 1958.


(Twentieth Century)

We bend the subtle twigs of our existence
With a grossly educated hand,
And force the natural sway of growth
Into warped limbs and crazy angles
In a frantic race against crowding death.

The serried forest shudders with mangling activity,
As each schooled woodsman vies for space
To twist and thrust his egoistic stem aloft
So the sickly leaves may feed on sunlight
Before the darkness kills.

The forest floor crackles with snapped twigs.

--Carol Orr

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My psalms have all one mark, and memory
Is burnt like incense in a secret place;
And like the ground-swell growing silently,
The soul like spring tide rolls toward one face.
One shifting spectrum lingers in my sight,
Of chestnut-brown caught in the sheen of sun,
To palest pink grown warm beneath the light--
Thus fragile things an altar build to one.
My self, a graven image of one god--
Recorded in my pulse only one touch;
One voice I hear; one kiss I feel--and odd,
How one can miss a mouth loved overmuch.

The litany of loveliness is long--
One deity enough to hear my song.

--N. F. K.


I play the cello
but gently.
I caress velvet strings
or whatever
Searching out the magic
And you, my subtle friend,
Come counterpoint,
Offer me softly
of your melodic

--Carolyn Surface

When I could not bear the thoughts of parting
I'd walk down the grating street
until sand grains formed dunes
and I walked among the reeds,
uncut by mere pebbles and shells.
I'd sit and look past the seagulls
beyond the breakwater and foam,
and the sun shone quietly
making patterns of the sky.
With my footsteps washed by the lapping
I'd stand toward the raspberry sun
asking it questions,
but always the glow remained silent
and the seagulls spoke not in my tongue.

--Natalie Savinov

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echo REPORT'64

E.C.H.O. stands for East Coast Homophile Organizations. This affiliation was created in early 1963 when representatives of four organizations--Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society of New York, Janus Society, Mattachine Society of Washington-- met in Philadelphia to plan an informal alliance of homophile groups on the East Coast. Participation in ECHO is limited to formally organized groups operating east of the Mississippi River, whose main purpose is working by lawful means toward the improvement of the status of the homosexual in society.

ECHO has sponsored two public conferences since its inception. The second one, held in Washington, D. C. on October 10-11, 1964, was on the theme "Homosexuality: Civil Liberties and Social Rights." The first three parts of THE LADDER'S special coverage of ECHO '64 appeared in the January 1965 issue. Part Pour, the last one, appears below. The comprehensive reports in TEE LADDER are based on a complete tape recording of this ECHO conference and not on the edited transcript of the event.


Key philosophical differences within the homophile movement were laid bare in an informal debate entitled "Education or Legislation?" which capped the ECHO '64 conference. The opponents were Dr. Kurt Konietzko, psychologist and member of the Philadelphia Board of Parole, who spoke in favor of emphasis on education/information; and Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, physicist and astronomer, and president of the Mattachine Society of Washington, who spoke in favor of emphasis on legislation.

Dr. Kameny, as the first speaker, clarified for the audience the alternative strategies under discussion. He said "there are three areas in which emphasis can be placed in a movement such as ours: the social services, Information and education, civil liberties and social rights." These areas overlap and are complementary, and each major homophile organization works in all three areas in varying degrees. But, partly because of limited resources, each group chooses which area it will emphasize. Social services must be provided, especially to help homosexuals find jobs and get legal and other professional aid. Yet social services do not get at the roots of the problems --they only treat the symptoms. Since the primary purpose of the homophile groups, said Dr. Kameny, is "to effect a lasting improvement" in the status of the homosexual citizen, the organizations must stress either an education/information

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program or civil liberties/social rights action. The social services, having a place subordinate to these two areas of basic strategy, were therefore not discussed in the debate.

"Act or Teach?" might better describe the alternatives, Dr. Kameny suggested. He explained that traditionally, much of the homophile movement has geared itself to educating and informing, hoping to change prejudiced attitudes. "I feel this is wrong," Dr. Kameny charged--and the debate was under way.

The Case for Legislation

The education/formation approach, Dr. Kameny said, relies on the "naive assumption that in matters of ingrained prejudice, the majority of people are rational and amenable to reason. They aren't. Prejudice is an emotional commitment, not an intellectual one, and is little if at all touched by considerations of reason. Study upon study...has shown this."

Dr. Kameny cited one recent study which he said "showed that tolerance is only slightly promoted by more information, that communication of facts is generally ineffective against predisposition." Large numbers of people "'hate our guts'," he warned. In terms of their deep prejudices in this area, they are "uneducable and noninformable." Anyone doubting this need only read the transcript of the Dowdy subcommittee hearings on HR 5990. "That's entrenched prejudice in very high places!"

He pointed out that "the Negro tried the education/information approach for 90 years and got almost nowhere. In the next ten years, by a vigorous social-protest, social-action, civil-liberties type of program, he achieved in essence everything for which he had been fighting. Let not this lesson be wasted upon us." Dr. Kameny also referred to an article in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN about changing attitudes toward integration, which indicated that "official action has preceded public sentiment, and public sentiment has then attempted to accommodate itself to the new situation."

All these considerations Imply that homophile groups should direct their main efforts toward "changes of law, regulation, and procedure, whether brought about through legislative means or judicial ones. One good court case or court decision will go farther than a dozen radio appearances. A few properly written letters to properly chosen public officials...will go much farther than a dozen public lectures," Dr. Kameny said.

Primary emphasis on education/information, he claimed, would lead only to a "very slow process of evolution." A secondary stress on education/information nevertheless has utility. It will "get us the support of many--but very far from all--of the more intelligent members of the community. Even there, a disconcertingly strong core of resistance remains and will remain." Education work will also bring needed publicity.

Summing up, Dr. Kameny advised the homophile movement to put primary emphasis on "a vigorous civil liberties, social rights and social action program." He urged that discriminatory laws

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and regulations be tested in the courts and that cases be encouraged, even rigged up if necessary. He further recommended that all possible lawful pressure be imposed upon legislators.

The Case for Education

Dr. Konietzko first made it clear that he thinks in terms of a larger problem, "the basic human question of how we get people to live together harmoniously...in a basically tolerant society, (Dr. Kameny and I) have a difference in approach because I see this as basically an educational problem," He said his concern is for liberalization in general of attitudes toward sex. He pointed out that our Judeo-Christian heritage has created in our society an overall problem of sexuality which affects the heterosexual as well as the homosexual.

He noted that clergymen on ECHO's religious panel had spoken of the worthwhileness of the individual. This is "a new thing from new leaders. ...Apparently all the clergy doesn't feel this way. "But this concept of the individual's worth is not yet getting through to congregations because "most people are essentially blame-oriented and punishment-oriented," he said, Dr. Konietzko claimed such deep prejudicial attitudes cannot be abolished by legislation. Further, "you (the homophile groups) are not going to get cooperation from the legislators unless you change some of their basic prejudices too,"

Homosexuals have in point of fact, Dr. Konietzko maintained, only those rights which society is willing to grant to them. Rights are a matter of definition.

Dr. Konietzko observed that society's institutions, including religious ones, are "charged specifically with instilling in the young the,attitudes of the larger society." He concluded: "Prejudices are learned. And if they are learned, they are taught. If you can change the teaching, then you can change the society."


The spontaneous back-and-forth went substantially as. follows:

DR. KAMENY: Dr. Konietzko referred to the clergy. Most people have an emotional not an intellectual commitment to their clergy. People will stop discriminating against the homosexual not because they've changed a single thing in their minds but because their clergyman, as an emotional leader, has told them to do so.

Also, Dr. Konietzko said society defines our rights. Our definitions of (homophile) rights have been carefully keyed in to the rights of other minorities. So we are on fairly firm ground in requesting those rights. Judicial means are more practical, since legislatures are tied in too closely with the prejudices we're fighting. Even if you educate your legislators, they still have to follow the will of their constituents. So you go to the courts. You act, to get what you feel properly and justifiably are the rights that are yours.

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DR. KONIETZKO: In terras of getting your legal rights, your, approach is quite suitable. You can get a court ruling on any one case, and after several years you will have a dozen rulings. But I am more concerned about basic acceptance of the homosexual as a human being. You should work primarily with a heavy education/information campaign, plus legal action where indicated, rather than trying to fight everyone in the courts. You will only establish a lot of legal rights nobody is going to give you because they don't grant them to you emotionally. And when you want to get hired, you will have to return to the courts and stress your rights again and again, and you will still face the same basic ostracism and hostility.

The more you attack, the more defensive people become, and the more reaction you get--usually a reprisal reaction. The more you threaten, the less they're able to think straight, and the less willing they become to grant you anything. I think you should exert a firm, gentle pressure through the courts, but not a slam-bang attack--because I think you're going to get clobbered, (Applause from audience)

DR. KAMENY: I did not propose a slam-bang attack. Yet I feel there should be distinctly more than a firm, gentle pressure through the courts. The Negro went to the courts and Southerners still don't like him. He nevertheless now has his basic rights, and these have been established by the constituted authority of society, even if not by the will of the society around him. The changes in attitude will accommodate themselves to what constituted authority hands down. After that, education/information comes to the fore--but it will go very much faster after the basic principles have been established in a firm, formal sense.

DR. KONIETZKO: Maybe this is just a question of emphasis. Ministers are the conscience of the community and should be your first target. If you can get the clergy to assert the homosexual is a worthwhile human being and not outside God's love, then people--and roughly 60% of the people belong to some kind of church--will believe they must treat homosexuals like human beings and will be ready to change their attitudes. You should begin by getting the church to say that homosexuality Is not a sin per se. Then you will have a good argument and be well on your way to getting legal support. Old values are being re-examined by more humane clergymen, so now is the time for you to get on the bandwagon with education.

DR. KAMENY: Regarding your comment about getting the clergy to grant that homosexuality is not a sin, I have already begun to ask clergymen just this. And I have found that to get a commitment from a clergymen on a statement like that Is rather unlikely. Yet you can get it from some.

DR. KONIETZKO: 100 years ago you couldn't even have asked.

DR. KAMENY: Your point about getting on the bandwagon is well made. Without derogating the education/information approach to third-class status, I would give It a just slightly second role to the civil liberties approach.

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DR. KONIETZKO: I suggest that you not push for rights for the homosexual in states where the Model Penal Code is coming under consideration, for I think you would endanger the entire revision of our criminal justice system. In states that are not ready to adopt the Code, you can push for court action.

QUESTION FROM AUDIENCE: Dr. Konietzko, the education/information approach relies heavily on "experts" because it is felt they are the ones who effectively influence public opinion. Yet the "experts" are constantly making pronouncements to the public which contradict the subjective knowledge of so many homosexuals. How can homosexuals get their message across to the public and to those "experts," who incidentally all have their vested interests? And I include the clergy.

DR. KONIETZKO: How do you get so-called experts to re-examine their position? It's for somebody to challenge them. If it's a question of morality, ask the clergy. If it's a question of illness, ask the psychiatrists. They will give you a dozen different answers, but at least you'll communicate.

DR. KAMENY: A place to start is for the homophile organizations to realize that in the last analysis--and I am knowingly oversimplifying--we are the experts and the authorities. And we had better start educating the public to the fact that when they want reliable information on homosexuals and homosexuality, they come not to the psychiatrists, not to the ministers, and not to all the rest--they come to us. (Applause) We are coming to be more and more called on to speak in our own behalf, and it's time we started a coordinated program to do so. We must get across to the public that we are the ones to come to, not the psychiatrists or all the rest with their utter lack of information and their distorted viewpoints.

DR. KONIETZKO: One comment on Dr. Kameny's expertness. He is just as liable as myself or experts heterosexual or homosexual, to have distorted views. We are all human beings!

--Kay Tobin and Barbara Sittings


The next conference of East Coast Homophile Organizations will be held in New York on September 18-19, 1965. Tentative theme is "The Homosexual Citizen in the Great Society." Each participating group welcomes your support and suggestions for ECHO '65! THE LADDER will continue to announce conference plans.


Daughters of Bilitis--(See inside back cover of THE LADDER) Mattachine Society of New York--1133 Broadway, New York 10, New York

Janus Society--34 South 17th St., Philadelphia 3, Penna. Mattachine Society of Washington--P. O. Box 1032, Washington 13, D. C.

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A woman and three men turned up to picket a lecture entitled "Homosexuality, a Disease."

The lecture was given on December 2, 1964, as part of the popular Cooper Union Forum series in New York City. The speaker was Dr. Paul R. Dince, Associate in Psychiatry at New York Medical College.

Stationing themselves at entrances to the large lecture hall, the four picketers handed out free literature from homophile organizations. They wore signs saying WE REQUEST 10 MINUTES REBUTTAL TIME. A typed letter asking for rebuttal time was taken to, the forum's chairman, who agreed to the request.

During the question and answer period, one of the four picketers was allowed to speak for ten minutes from a microphone in the audience. He pointed out that the so-called experts are in great disagreement, often contradicting each other's theories about homosexuality. Furthermore, he said, research on homosexuality is skimpy and has been conducted almost entirely with unhappy, ill-adjusted homosexuals who were patients undergoing therapy. The researchers usually start with the assumption that homosexuality is a disease, so it is not surprising that their conclusions support this biased view. He noted that those who call homosexuality a disease rarely warn their listeners about the unscrupulous therapists who charge exorbitant hourly fees and promise quick, easy cures to naive homosexuals or their distraught parents.

Applause for the challenger topped applause for the lecturer, who appeared stunned for a moment by the reaction of the audience. Dr. Dince conceded the point about unscrupulous therapists. "Unfortunately," he said, "they do exist." He added candidly that it was quite a surprise to be picketed, and to receive such a rebuttal, at his first public lecture.

--Kay Tobin Editor's note: Meet The Challenger--on our back cover!

Tandem Publication

The New York Mattachine Society and the Washington Mattachine Society are pooling their publishing resources and are about. to issue their publications, separately edited, under a single cover. The first issue of the amalgamated New York Mattachine NEWSLETTER and Washington Mattachine GAZETTE will be datelined February, 1965. Subscription price for this two-in-one publication is only $3.00. Send to. either organization (see their addresses at bottom of page 17). Keep up with the views and news of two of the most active homophile groups in the U. S.!

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Lesbian Literature in '64

by Gene Damon

1964 was a wonderful year in lesbian literature (after a relatively disappointing 1963 season), with some exciting discoveries and an all-time high in quality hardback books on the subject. There was a total of 195 titles: 34 hardbacks and 161 paperback originals. All the hardback works are included in this survey article, but only those paperbacks worth looking into are covered. The merit of paperbacks is always open to debate. Some feel they should be judged on the same level as hardbacks--but this, in my view, is unrealistic and overlooks the intended function of paperback originals, which is lightweight entertainment only.

The outstanding hardback title of the year--and possibly the best lesbian novel since Claire Morgan's 1952 book THE PRICE OF SALT--is Jane Rule's THE DESERT OF THE HEART (London, Seeker and Warburg, 1964; Toronto, Macmillan, 1964). This novel has not yet been released in the U.S., but is tentatively due out in June 1965 from an American publisher. Don't miss it. There is every ingredient to call forth admiration: love, adventure, conflict, and quality of writing seldom found in a first novel. It concerns an intense love affair, with realistic complications and a happy denouement.

Robert Neumann's FESTIVAL (London, Barrie and Rockliff, 1963) is my choice for second novel of the year--not second, in talent but in emotional impact. It is a moving story of a brief romance between two women, one worldly, one very young, whose destinies make their attachment impossible.

A novel intended as satire turned out to contain some real romance and serious consideration of the demands lesbianism entails. In HONEY FOR THE BEARS by Anthony Burgess (Norton, 1963, 1964), a Russian woman physician changes a miserable English housewife into a happy woman through her love.

One choice title each in the popular fields of mystery and humor helped make this a banner year. Sebastien Japrisot's prize-winning novel TRAP FOR CINDERELLA (Simon and Schuster, 1964) holds you on the edge of your chair as you try to determine which of the two girls is dead and why and who killed the questionable corpse. After that, it's fun to watch Louise W. King's THE DAY WE WERE MOSTLY BUTTERFLIES (London, Michael Joseph, 1963; N, Y., Doubleday, 1964) flapping away into the sunset with the delightful coterie of gay interior decorator Maurice, which includes the scatterhead Miss Moppet, her lover Lillian, and a pet horned toad named Butchy.

Some novels defy classification. The fey and gentle story THE LATE BREAKFASTERS by Robert Aickman (London, Goliancz, 1964)

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will probably be the favorite title of 1964 for many readers. It includes one of those eye-contact romances, with the sudden lightning of emotions. For those who enjoy Shirley Jackson's books, Aickman,s novel will have strong appeal, since there is a decided overtone of supernatural mystery in the fatal affair of Louise and Griselda, and the subsequent life of Griselda.

David Stacton's OLD ACQUAINTANCE (Putnam, 1964) takes up the lives of two older homosexuals, a man and a woman who have shared affection for many years. The novel is too slow-moving for all tastes, but it's full of witty asides, knowing conversation and interior monologues which the literate gay reader will dig.

For years Marguerite Steen has written good-quality popular novels. Now, like many other mainstream novelists, she has entered the field of lesbian literature with her book A CANDLE IN THE SUN (Doubleday, 1964). The best part of this English romp is the character Oggie Schneider, who proves that stereotypes need not be vituperatively drawn. Oggie is a butchy girl, and she is presented so well that she will be real to the knowing and inoffensive to the casual reader.

Another well-known novelist making a first venture into the field Is Richard Llewellyn in his SWEET MORN OF JUDAS DAY (Doubleday, 1964), The lesbian theme Is relatively minor and somewhat obscured by the hot-house South American setting, but the lesbian woman is a fascinating witch.

The disappointment of the year is Elizabeth Bowen's THE LITTLE GIRLS (Doubleday, 1963, 1964). Had a lesser writer produced this novel, it would merit praise and be called "promising." But for one of the most important novelists in the English-speaking world, and one who contributed a small masterpiece to lesbian literature (THE HOTEL, Dial, 1928), it is a failure.

Admirers of Iris Murdoch have no doubt already read her latest novel, THE ITALIAN GIRL (Viking, 1964). But for those of you who have, never acquired that special taste for her writing, her witty analysis of the fraughts of human relationships, now Is the time. This book is caviar.

Merle Miller continues to include all types of homosexuals in his panoramic novels on social mores, and he is, as always, quite fair in A DAY IN LATE SEPTEMBER (Morrow-Sloane, 1963).

A brief, cruel episode involving a lesbian brutalized by the hero (?) appears in J. Inchardi's PORTRAIT OF A SEAMAN (John Day, 1964). However, the author's sympathy is entirely with the lesbian victim and his novel has power and shows promise.

Both Leon Uris' ARMAGEDDON (Doubleday, 1964) and THE FUGITIVE by Pierre Gascar (Little, Brown, 1964) contain minor references to lesbianism; in both books these concern wartime and post-wartime prostitution in Berlin, The personal life of the fringe people in wartime London is the general theme of CAN I GET THERE BY CANDLELIGHT by Julius Horowitz (Atheneum, 1964), which includes several homosexuals as miscellaneous figures.

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Maude Hutchins's HONEY ON THE MOON (Morrow, 1964) is a major male homosexual title, but it will be of interest to lesbiana fans because it includes as minor characters an excellently drawn lesbian couple. Miss Hutchins frequently writes about homosexuals, and she handles the subject matter well.

Lane Kauffmann's witty story about the preparations for a society marriage which is, as indicated in the ceremony, AN HOWORABLE ESTATE (Lippincott, 1964), contains several homosexual characters of both, or rather all, sexes. The handling is similar to Merle Miller's "integrated" novels mentioned above.

The year's inevitable college novel, and a really good one for a change, is Andrea Newman's A SHARE OP THE WORLD (London, THE Bodley Head, 1964; N. Y., New American Library, 1964). While the lesbian element is not major, it is substantial and the girl is a primary character. The story line, however, is sad.

With all the attention devoted to politics in 1964, it was no surprise to find a couple of political novels of relevance to this article. THE LOSERS by Borden Deal (Doubleday, 1964),involves one of those unbelievable miraculous conversions to heterosexuality. Harold Bienvenu's THE PATRIOT (St. Martin's Press, 1964) is an ugly tale about the forming of a group of super-patriots a la John Birch Society. None of the book is redeeming, but it serves as a warning. A lesbian character is one of the pawns of the game.

Lesbian incest continues to turn up as a theme--very unpleasantly in Ellen Ryder's unsuccessful first novel, THE RED BAIZE DOOR (London, New Authors, 1964).

THE GREAT SWEET DAYS OP OLD SHIBUI by H. D. Miller (Doubleday, 1964) will appeal to those who find entertainment in the beat world. Prom the same world, but on a higher level of writing, comes A JOURNAL OF LOVE by Edward Mannix (Dial, 1964). Though some of its mannerisms are irritating, the novel includes a lengthy and specific account of a lesbian affair.

Usually it is in the paperback field that one finds the low point of the year. But in 1964, despite the plethora of newsstand tripe, the zero rating goes to Burton Wohl's hardcover novel THE JET SET (Dial, 1964; also Dell paperback, 1964) for its uniformly lousy writing and distasteful sex scenes.

In past years my surveys have included older titles (two years or less) discovered too late for mention in the appropriate annual article. This year I found an important older title: THE JUMPING OFF PLACE by Garet Rogers (Dial, 1962). This novel was widely reviewed and noted as being concerned with male homosexuality. But there is also a major lesbian theme, introduced by a clever literary disguise.

Some fair paperback originals appeared in 1964, if we judge paperbacks as providing entertainment on a more superficial level than hardbacks. Even so, the number of good paperback titles is small compared to former years, and this may be the sign that the genre is ending except for the trashy items that

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are of no interest. Valerie Taylor contributed two novels. A WORLD WITHOUT MEN (Midwood Tower, 1963, 1964) introduces provocative Erika Prohmann, who has an abortive but believable affair with alcoholic Kate Wood. RETURN TO LESBOS (Midwood Tower, 1963, 1964) is a sequel to STRANGER ON LESBOS (Fawcett Crest, 1960) which brought two popular lesbian characters onto the fiction scene: Frannie and Bake. Bake is absent from the sequel, but Frannie, recognizing her sickening error depicted in the earlier story, meets Erika and together they build the stepping stones necessary to a responsible marriage. Miss Taylor consistently produces above-average paperbacks.

THE HOUSEGUEST by Kimberly Kemp (Midwood Tower, 1964) is noted here only because of its theme: the dilemma of a widow of high principles who falls in love with her daughter's roommate. The theme deserves a serious novel; this one is oversexed tripe.

The best-written paperback of the year--despite its derogatory cliché title (was it tacked on by the publisher?)--is TWILIGHT LOVERS by Miriam Gardner (Monarch, 1964). The plot is a brouhaha of complications, but it contains more extensive character and motivation development than is normally found in a paperback original novel.

Lesbian plays are rare and seldom do they treat the subject frankly. Ronald Duncan's play THE CATALYST (London, The Rebel Press, 1964) Is frank yet devoid of sensationalism. It is a well-handled story of a menage a trois.

Two popular-level non-fiction books made news this year: one, a crass journalistic paste-up, THE GRAPEVINE by Jess Stearn (Doubleday, 1964); the other, THE LESBIAN IN AMERICA by Donald Webster Cory (Citadel, 1964). Mr. Cory's book, despite flaws, is a well-intentioned effort to discuss lesbians and the lesbian minority from an armchair psychology/sociology viewpoint.

There was an outstanding biography to delight the history-oriented reader. The combination of scholarship and honesty is refreshing in Maurice Ashley's THE STUARTS IN LOVE (Macmillan, 1964) which covers the great Stuart monarchs of Scotland and England in the 1600's and 1700's. Many of these rulers were wholly or partly homosexual: James I, Charles I, William III and his wife Mary, and Queen Anne, (Ed. note: A biographical sketch of Queen Anne appeared in THE LADDER, November 1964).

Five good short stories--a high number--were found in 1964, and four of these were by distinguished contributors to the genre. Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann's story "A Step Toward Gomorrah" ( THE THIRTIETH YEAR: Knoph, 1964) leaves the reader less than happy. But the experience depicted has happened to more than one of us, and the writing is superior, John O'Hara, who writes better short stories than he does novels, convincingly portrays the lives of a lesbian and a male homosexual --with the contrasts in their adjustments to life--in his long story "Yucca Knolls" (THE HAT ON THE BED: Random House, 1963). H. E. Bates's story "Breeze Anstey" (THE BEST OF H. E. BATES: Little, Brown, 1963) is like D. H. Lawrence's novelette THE FOX in that it concerns two women who run a farm

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together, but it is somewhat more sympathetic to the lesbian who loves in vain. A second story by Mr. Bates, "THE Diamond Hair Pin" (THE FABULOUS MRS. V.: London, Michael Joseph, 1964) is a reader' s-choice tale in which lesbianism seems the plausible conclusion. The least literate of the five stories, but the most rewarding one in my opinion, is in a paperback original collection. It is "Testament of a Green-Eyed Man" by Denys Val Baker (THE STRANGE AND THE DAMNED: Pyramid, 1964). A husband, Jealous of the attention his wife receives from another woman, decides to rape the woman--with less than fortuitous consequences for himself. It's both funny and ironic.

Since the titles in this survey were compiled by December 1, 1964, omissions will be covered in next year's article.

Readers who have seen my annual report on lesbian literature in previous years (it has been a LADDER feature since 1958) will note that this year, for the first time, a complete list of all titles pertaining to lesbianism has not been included. There are too many titles, and the majority are trashy paperbacks not worthy of mention in this survey. Those readers interested in an all-inclusive list should watch for announcement of the new edition of the cumulative CHECKLIST, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley and myself. Notice of its publication date will appear in a future issue of THE LADDER.

Gene Damon Talks about Herself

Once when I was 18, and full of the brashness bred by lack of confidence, I went into a library to kill time. Inspired by a whim, I asked the attractive librarian on duty if they had THE WELL OF LONELINESS (which I already owned). I was hoping for a shocked reaction. Instead, she coolly assured me they had not only this book but others in the same line, and she reeled off several titles. That was thirteen years ago. Now I have, hundreds of other books--and I still have the same "reader's advisor."


Amidst my myriad dreams
were first loves embers.

So seeing you I knew
a beginning had begun.

The end is not in view
But by our very beginnings
We know there must be one.

--Kris Carson

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To Tell or Not To Tell

Should I admit my homosexuality to my parents? That is the question confronting thousands of men and women in this country each year. I believe that, with few exceptions, homosexuals can get acceptance and understanding from their parents.

The first step is to put aside, if you have them, the feelings of guilt which many homosexuals carry around like Marley's chains. Face it, there is no disgrace in being a lesbian! Any disgrace you feel comes from the same kind of prejudice we accuse others of harboring.

Then, if you are not ashamed of your way of life and your way of love, you can present a convincing case to those near and dear to you for acceptance of your orientation.

Home situations vary, and each homosexual will have different problems to consider when pondering this decision. Perhaps one parent is more sympathetic than the other. Fine. I say, choose that one to tell your story to, if you decide to tell.

On the other hand, perhaps you have reason to think that your parents could not possibly understand. Nevertheless, you can tell them by example. Take your friend "home" with you on holidays, mention the time you spend with her family, refer to her in your phone conversations with your parents, until they gradually feel that this person is an essential part of your life. They may not comprehend why she means so much to you. But they will realize this is the case, and for the most part, I believe, they will accept it. If you convey tactfully the idea of your commitment, they will probably come to feel that your friend is a true member of the family.

Why live half a life anywhere? Why continue the deception in which each half of your marriage goes home alone to her own parents for every major holiday? Why not go together, splitting your visits between the families, as heterosexual married couples generally do?

If you are not willing to make It plain that your primary loyalty is to your friend, the alternatives may be painful. Are you risking your marriage to make mother and dad happy? Are you being fair to your parents when you spend time away from them that they feel entitled to, while not giving them the reassurance about your motive that they need?

Maybe you haven't yet entered into a homosexual marriage. Now might be the time to clear the air and make sure your family understands your orientation. It may make things easier later on when you take on a double responsibility. If your parents love you, I think the chances are they will do their best to accept you and your needs.

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For your own peace of mind and for theirs, tell them--by word or by example--where your needs lie. Make sure that all the important persons in your life, especially your parents, have an easy basis on which to maintain relationships with you.

--Vern Niven


Let me add my voice to the many others who have complimented you on the improved LADDER, No matter what else I have to do, the minute a copy arrives in the mail, I seize upon it and read it through from one end to the other. You are doing a fine job!

--F. I. B., California

One of the most pernicious attitudes taken toward homosexuality, and currently a popular one, is the one branding the condition as a disease.

As a psychologist, I consider a person emotionally healthy if he is adjusted to himself and makes a contribution to society. And I know many homosexuals who meet these criteria. Many are so well adjusted to what they are that they neither desire to be, nor can they conceive of being, other than they are. Further, I see no merit in telling homosexuals: "There is only a small chance of cure. You're sick, but adapt to it as will as you can." If the condition is almost impossible to change, at least where adults are concerned, it seems to me it is important that homosexuals perceive themselves as healthy, if the facts permit that interpretation. And I contend that they do. Evelyn Hooker and others have found no more neurosis among homosexuals than among heterosexuals, if one except the sexual orientation itself.

Some psychiatrists speak of the percent of "cures" made among their own patients. We are never given statistics about how many ultimately return to homosexuality. Furthermore, we do not know how many of those who were unsuccessfully treated become more confused than before the effort to convert them.

Two important factors in any individual's adjustment to being homosexual are these: he should establish a clearest concept of what he is, and accept it; and he should develop a strong enough ego to accept his right to differ from the majority.

--A Psychologist, New York

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In your November issue there apparently wasn't room for any fiction--and I missed it. I missed the emotional appeal that fiction has. Too much fact, fact, fact (even if it concerns happy news about progress in the homophile movement) has for me an uncomfortable rigor. I wouldn't want THE LADDER to become a pure newsletter. Please never let the romance, nostalgia, and feeling of SISTERHOOD disappear from its pages.

--L. H., District of Columbia

Editor's note: Fiction and poetry manuscripts are welcome!

The review of LAW, LIBERTY, AND PSYCHIATRY (September) led me to check into the situation here in New Jersey. We have one of the psychiatrically-oriented sex laws, and the officials I interviewed seemed to feel it is a model one. The crux is its reliance, on a diagnostic center which serves as advisor to the courts. The procedure, used with hundreds each year, is for the person convicted of a sex offense to be sent there by the judge, who has no choice in the matter. The offense may be as minor as soliciting. The convicted person is then returned to court with a report, and the judge is required--if the report so directs--to commit him to one of the state mental hospitals for a period not to exceed the term he would have had to serve in a prison. Apparently it is possible in some cases to refuse treatment, but this is rarely done. And a prisoner so refusing would probably get the maximum sentence. Diagnosis before trial may be made in some cases also. The law is described as "protecting both the patient and the community."

What happens to the person at the diagnostic center? He can struggle to prove his sanity, and thereby be recommended for ordinary imprisonment. Or he can accept a hospital, for better or worse--and worse can be pretty bad in an understaffed state hospital. In these, all too many "cured" patients-prove to have been reduced by tranquilizers to a glassy-eyed apathy. Certainly no deep psychotherapy can be attempted on the budget available.

At least New Jersey has one advantage over Pennsylvania and New York: hospital commitments in those states are not restricted to the legal time limits set on the prison sentence for a given offense. There is a great deal of evidence here to support Dr. Szasz's contention that there has been a shift in authority from judicial to "medical."

--S. N., New Jersey

I compliment you on the very high quality of THE LADDER. It is an excellent example of responsible journalism in a field that could very well fall into maudlin sentiment or to the other extreme of sensationalism, either of which would defeat the purpose for which the periodical was established.

--Professor V. C., Indiana

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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 $5.00 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.,
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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 $5.00 for each year ordered.



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I am aver 21 years of age (Signed)_____

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Did You Know ...

that many men as well as women read THE LADDER? Nearly one-fifth of the magazine's subscribers are men. They include professional persons, supporters of D.O.B. and its work, and members of other homophile organizations.

That's subscriber Randolfe Wicker above: New York man-about-town, radio/TY personality, and one-man homosexual crusade. Handy writes, "THE LADDER really says something. It's one of the top two homophile magazines." He didn't name the other one--but whichever it is, THE LADDER tries harder! Why not subscribe today?

THE LADDER-a unique gift,
a unique magazine !

The Ladder, April 1965, Vol. 9, No. 7

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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.


Special Report: A Practical Platform 4
Of Woman Unto Woman: The Story of
Michael Field--by Gene Damon and Lee Stuart
The Heterosexual Obsession--by L. E. E. 10
The Bosom Theory of Masculinity-Femininity
in Lesbianism--by Rita Laporte
Cross Currents 19
Letter to an Old Friend--by Elizabeth Tudor 21
Book Reviews:
THE ITALIAN GIRL by Iris Murdoch -
Review by Clare Barringer
Ernst and Alan Schwartz--Review by Lennox Strong

Cover: "City Dwellers" by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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special report

A Practical Platform

Homosexuals should form political pressure groups to fight for their rights. They should also organize and run their own social clubs, like those in Europe. Homosexuality is virtually impossible to cure, and studies which claim the opposite are questionable.

These were the main points in a talk given late last year to the New York Mattachine Society by Dr. Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek, sociologist and psychoanalyst, and editor of THE PROBLEM OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN MODERN SOCIETY.

Dr. Ruitenbeek noted that in the American political system, minority groups exert pressure on the politicians who represent them to make their voices heard. We are at present seeing an upsurge of the Negro minority. Homosexuals too should raise their voices "to establish themselves as persons" and demand their rights, Dr. Ruitenbeek urged.

Locally, in New York's Greenwich Village, he said, there is a large enough homosexual population to influence the outcome of an election, but the homosexuals don't use this power. Recently Edward Koch, leader of the vocally "liberal" group that ousted the Tammany machine in the Village, received a lot of newspaper space on his campaign to rid the Village of "bums, degenerates and homosexuals." Dr. Ruitenbeek, a Village resident, said he phoned Mr. Koch to protest this derogatory reference to homosexuals. He said that Koch's surprised reaction indicated it had apparently never occurred to him he was maligning a group of perfectly good constituents who might swing their votes to the opposition candidate in the next election.

"Any minority group being persecuted by small-time politicians should unite and fight," Dr. Ruitenbeek advised. Homosexuals "must bring political action against those who represent them and are ignorant of their problems."

Dr. Ruitenbeek questioned the concept of "security risks" in government. He pointed out that Sherman Adams takes vicuña coats, heterosexuals have mistresses on the sly, but homosexuals are singled out for discrimination in government employment. Security risks, he said, are made by the government, which makes homosexual activities illegal. Homosexual or heterosexual, a competent person can do a good job in government. "If I heard a transvestite was working in the White House, I'd say, who cares, as long as he's doing his job," Dr. Ruitenbeek proclaimed.

He observed that the Puritan tradition has left a "narrow-mindedness about sex" and a "climate of intolerance" in America that results in such harassment of the homosexual as the

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closing down of gay bars. Noting the bars are run by" criminal syndicates, Dr. Ruitenbeek said American homosexuals should organize clubs like those in Europe, which are run on a legitimate basis by the homosexuals themselves, not by criminals who pay off the police.

Dr. Ruitenbeek made some important statements on psychotherapy. "It is virtually impossible to 'cure' homosexuality, and psychotherapists treating homosexuals should concentrate on helping them become functioning members of society."

He said psychotherapists should go beyond the standard diagnosis that (male) homosexuality is caused by a strong seductive mother and a weak father, and realize it is also closely related to current changes in our culture, like the new roles of women and the family and the shifting of many social patterns. "The patient is not necessarily served by the therapist's delving into the origins of his sexual orientation," a process which may create conflicts which get in the way of solving his present problems. Instead of discussing psychological origins, analysts and psychiatrists should concentrate on helping the homosexual function well in society, Dr. Ruitenbeek said.

Many studies prove homosexuals can be cured, Dr. Ruitenbeek observed, but he questions their methods and their accuracy. As an example, he cited the much-publicized Bieber report. "It's distressing that it's always misquoted," he remarked. Bieber says 106 homosexuals came into psychoanalysis, and 27% of them became heterosexual. "But in the papers where he is quoted, they don't mention that of the 106 patients, 72 were exclusively homosexual, 30 were classed as bisexual, and 4- as inactive. This makes his 27% 'cure' of homosexuals very questionable," Dr. Ruitenbeek noted.

He objected to the classification "bisexual" as an unclear concept. A person functions predominantly as a heterosexual or a homosexual, he said. If a homosexual man has intercourse occasionally with a woman, this doesn't make him heterosexual or bisexual, any more than the fact that a heterosexual has some homosexual experience makes him homosexual or bisexual.

Dr. Ruitenbeek also criticized the Bieber study for claiming that of 28 homosexuals who were in analysis for less than 150 hours, two had become completely heterosexual. 15O hours at three sessions a week is less than a year--a remarkably short time to effect such a drastic change. Of these 2 patients who reportedly became exclusive heterosexuals with such brief analytic therapy, one died in an accident shortly after "cure," and the other was a 16-year-old boy. The latter case doesn't count, Dr. Ruitenbeek said, because an analyst can put an unformed adolescent on a couch and create any sexual identity for him. Therefore, he said, "the study by Bieber and his associates carries no weight and does nothing for homosexuals in terms of helping them become functioning members of society."

In the question period that followed Dr. Ruitenbeek's talk, Donald Webster Cory cited an American Mental Health Foundation statement (occasioned by the Jenkins case) that homosexuality

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is not necessarily linked to disease or subversion, as evidence that progress has been made in altering the hostile climate of opinion against homosexuals. Dr. Ruitenbeek said he considered the statement insignificant in the largely negative atmosphere that prevails, and indicated the homosexuals work is still to be done.

This reporter found it interesting that Mr. Cory--who at the DOB convention last spring lashed out at homosexuals for rejecting the idea of "cure" and pointed out that the Bieber report's small number of "cures" was still a number which held out "hope" for the rest--had nothing to say about Dr. Ruitenbeek's debunking of the Bieber study and Its percent of "cures."

- C. K.

Editor's note: An article by Dr. Ruitenbeek will be featured in the June issue of THE LADDER.

Of Woman Unto Woman

The Story of Michal Field

"Michael Field" is the mutual pseudonym of two women who were educated together (in a sense) and who lived out their lives almost as a single entity.

Katherine Harris Bradley was born in Birmingham, England, in 1846, and Edith Emma Cooper, who was her niece, was born in Kenilworth, England, in 1862. Katherine was a brilliant student and a "well-developed healthy young animal." Apparently she had complete care of her niece almost from Edith's birth. Edith Cooper grew up to be an almost equally brilliant--and much more meticulous--person.

In 1878 they moved near Bristol and together took up studies at University College. Friends considered them deeply serious. Both ladies were prominent in woman's suffrage work and belonged to an anti-vivisection group and a debating society. Both also did watercolors. Their completely absorbing relationship irritated some of the other students. Nevertheless, the two were surrounded by a devoted group of women friends who looked up to them.

They were nicknamed "Michael" (for Katherine) and "Henry" (for Edith) and for the rest of their lives they were known to each other and to their friends by these male names. Both are considered to have been attractive-looking women--Katherine the more striking, but Edith (from the few portraits) a gossamer and fragile beauty.

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Though their biographers generally view them as withdrawn from the world, the two ladies counted among their intimate friends many great people, including--to name but a few--Mr. Arthur Symons, the Bernard Berensons, and Robert Browning.

Katherine had published in 1875 a volume of lyrics under the pseudonym Arran Leigh. She and Emma both worked on a drama, BELLEROPHON, which was published in 1881 and signed Arran and Isla Leigh. With the publication of their drama CALLIRRHOE (1884) they adopted the writing pseudonym which was to become famous: Michael Field.

The two women always worked together on each writing project and they left a substantial output. Their dramas are now forgotten for the most part, but their poetry--lovely and lyrical - has always had admirers.

There is general agreement that the Michael Field work is so whole, so unified, that the collaboration is truly remarkable. The two women seemed one, in every way. Of course there is no way to prove physical intimacy beyond a shadow of a doubt in any relationship not illumined by our age of invasion of privacy. However, there is every reason to believe that these two women loved one another with a passion so violent and consuming, that most love stories pale beside it.

Biographer Mary Sturgeon wrote: "Their life was in itself a poem, and the beauty of it is unmistakable. These were heroic and impassioned souls, who, in honoring their vow to poetry, gave life, it is true, 'a poor second place', and yet they fulfilled life itself, with a completeness few are capable of, in love...."

Sturgeon's many references to Michael's love for Henry include this passage: "But of her devotion to Henry, its passion, its depth, its tenacity and tenderness, it is quite impossible to speak adequately. From Henry's infancy to her death--literally from her first day to her last--Michael shielded, tended and nurtured her in body and in spirit. Probably there never was another such case of one mind being formed by another. There surely cannot be elsewhere in literature a set of love-songs such as those she addressed to Henry...."

Biographers agree that the specific "Sapphic affinities" of the ladies are expressed in Michale's voice in the ardent love songs she wrote to Henry. These appear in the third book of UNDERNEATH THE BOUGH and scattered throughout other books, including a small group at the end of MYSTIC TREES. To quote Miss Sturgeon again:

"Those poems are a record of her devotion to Edith Copper, and it is doubtful whether Laura or Beatrice or the bark Lady had a tenderer wooing. They explain, of course, the slightness of a more usual (or, as some would put it, a more normal) love-interest in Michael's work."

When speaking of the uproar created when the ladies re-worked the existing poems of Sappho into their volume LONG AGO, Miss

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Sturgeon gives more critical praise to this book than to any other Michael Field work and explains this by saying: "....its more satisfying inner unity no doubt arises from the harmony that existed between the poets and their theme, Sappho."

One of the Michael Field dramas offers this perfect quotation from which the title of this article was taken. In Act III, Scene III, of THE TRAGEDY OF PARDON, are these lines:

There is love
of woman unto woman, in its fibre
Stronger than knits a mother to her child.
There is no lack in it, and no defect;
It looks nor up nor down,
But loves from plenitude to plenitude.

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Not for you are the names of love
I have given others
since I am forbidden to love you.
Therefore your name
will be music to me when one says it suddenly
and I shall speak it with special meaning
because it holds all I may not tell you.

Let me clench my hands behind my back
wounding them with my nails
that I may not offer you caresses
and let my eyelids fall
when you turn your head to me.
Only so can I comport myself before you
as though you were no more to me than others.

If this seem indifference
I offer you in your time of sorrow
know that my breath is stilled with weeping for you
and my bosom
holds sorrow like a stone.

- Valerie Taylor

Someone I could kiss
Has left his, her
A memory
Heavy as winter breathing
In the snow
And with weight and heat
of human body.

- Elise Cowen


And now these small new hurting things,
nagging and vague -
peculiar to my age.

Whiskery soon, and wispy?
Firm legs gone shaky--sure voice rangy?

Then to feel tearful and trembly
all through my slow-dimming human assembly?

O Chance--let no such preposterous plan be favored
before all of life is fully savored.

- Blanche Small

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The Heterosexual Obsession

A recent news story from South Africa states that doctors in a government mental institution are bleaching two Chinese women white so that they can be transferred from the Negro ward to the white ward to facilitate their cure.

Also in the news of late is a rash of stories in which assorted psychotherapists tout "cures" for homosexuality, boasting they have succeeded where others have given up. Their methods incorporate some of the more advanced brainwashing techniques refined by the Chinese on prisoners of war in Korea.

We who live outside the code of the South African establishment can see that it is ludicrous, arrogant, cruel and stupid to bleach Chinese women white, and that it is being done not, as alleged, for the good of the patients, but to reinforce the myth of white superiority. The doctors are performing a ritual aimed at re-stating to both white and black members of the society that white is better. The Chinese women are incidental victims in this ritual designed to reinforce the obsession of the group in power.

If we take off our blinkers and look at our own society objectively, it becomes evident that it is equally obsessive and cruel for psychotherapists to set themselves--with electric shocks, emetics, humiliation, or the drawn-out misery of psychoanalysis - to rooting out homosexuals' deepest personality patterns to make them conform to heterosexual norms as arbitrary as the white supremacy dogma of the South African government. Like the hapless Chinese ladies, the homosexual is the victim of our society's hysterical concern with heterosexuality and its readiness to use all unnatural means to force everyone into the prescribed sexual pattern. Like the Chinese ladies who are neither black nor white, the homosexual who is not a heterosexual male or female is supposed to be processed through a mad machinery to fit the ruling powers' fanaticism for symmetry.

Adding insult to injury, the members of the psychological professions pretend, like the South African doctors, that they are doing it for the homosexual's own good. In the white ward the Chinese women will get better treatment, and being white is in general an advantage in the South African society. Here homosexuals are told that they should submit to "cure" to make them happier in a society hostile to homosexuality. But just as the real purpose of the South Africans is to assert the rightness of whiteness, the psychotherapists are insisting on the rightness of their society's heterosexual bias.

The South African doctors performing their bleaching action, and the American psychotherapists laboring to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals, have dropped the mask of the objective

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scientific truth-seeker and are frankly acting as agents of the status quo. By accepting the ruling values of the society they live in, no matter how irrational, and radically changing the patients to fit the society, they become mere guardians of the official morality and forfeit the prestige of the scientist, who seeks truth wherever it lies, even if it undercuts all the going dogmas of Church and State.

In a most unscientific manner, most psychiatrists and psychologists start with the assumption that what is, is right. Their "research" and "treatment" stay well within the limits of the status quo, as though we had already achieved the best of all possible worlds, where progress is no longer desirable or possible. The arbitrary current definitions of male and female roles are treated as sacred and eternal, and everyone must be re-shaped to conform to them. They ignore the fact that we are in the midst of a social revolution that includes a radical re-evaluation of these roles.

The various psychological professions were a liberating force In the sexual revolution triggered by the first World War, but they soon became respectable and institutionalized and are now reactionaries trying to prevent the completion of that revolution. The 19th century gave us fresh humanitarian political and economic concepts and religious skepticism. We in this century are short on political creativity, but we are cleaning out the old festering sex taboos. Contraception, pre-marital relations, divorce, abortion, masturbation, sexual freedom for women, adultery have been taken out from under Victorian and Puritan nightmare blankets and brought out into the fresh air of sane discussion. There are plenty of reactionary forces trying to cling to the taboos, but essentially the sick spell has been broken.

Homosexuality is one of the last areas where superstition reigns, and it is interesting to see how supposedly scientifically-trained people can be trapped in the same benighted- prejudices as the man-in-the-street. In the last century, respected medical men warned schoolboys they would go insane if they masturbated. Today similar dire threats have been transferred to homosexuality. Psychotherapists have centered their rear-guard action on male and female identity, and homosexuals have been casualties in this last-ditch battle.

The frenzied pronouncements of some psychiatrists and psychologists on the subject of homosexuality have lately been coming out about once a month, possibly with the full moon, and have an ever wilder ring. There are the medieval treatments by those who give electric shocks or emetics to some unlucky gay boy while showing him pictures of handsome men. But my favorite at the moment is the group therapist who recently grabbed so many headlines with the boast that he had made 12 of 32 male homosexuals positively butch by putting them in all-gay therapy groups. Among his "fine successes," gloats the science reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, is "a transvestite who was a teacher in a boys' reform school; he is now the foreman of a construction crew," and, chuckles the doctor, "'getting tougher all the time'."

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These so-called scientists indulge in some far-out fantasies in their lust to promote a "cure" for the unlucky homosexual. Their case studies all have a similar fairy-tale (if you'll pardon the expression) ending, like an old Hollywood movie in which the happy couple kisses and goes off into the distance as triumphant music plays and "The End" flashes on the screen. But one of the reasons for the downfall of Hollywood movies was that a maturing public began to suspect that the real troubles, not happiness ever after, followed the fadeout kiss. Yet the naiveté of the psychotherapists persists. Their stories end with 2, 12, or 29 (it's never been more) patients who are "cured" and get married and live happily ever after.

Now a patient who has won the psychiatrist's affection and approval by giving him a "cure" he can publish, will try to continue winning that approval as long as possible. He also wants to justify his own investment of agony and cash. So for a time he will go around in a false euphoric glow, bolstered by the doctor's pleasure in his own success. But if you've ever known any of these "cured" homosexuals intimately, you know that the "cure" in fact often ends in dreadful conflict, because their real homosexual personality structure usually asserts itself--not to mention the new complications of an unhappy spouse and children.

It used to be popular to turn left-handed children right-handed, in the same cruel spirit of making them conform to the "norm," until doctors realized the "cure" resulted in stuttering, bed-wetting and worse symptoms. Imagine the medical brutality of trying to blast out something so much more basic as the deep roots of homosexual feeling. This job is undertaken by the psychiatrist in a spirit in which "therapy" moves insidiously close to sadism. A new book by Dr. Daniel Cappon, filled with such gems of knowledge as the statement that homosexuals' favorite color is yellow (as is coincidentally the color of the book and its jacket, which offers "hope for those condemned to a lifetime of sexual deviance"), contains an inspired moment of self-insight by a psychiatrist:

"The question may arise: At what cost salvation? At what cost normalcy? And other questions must be asked: For whose sake must this cost be met? For the sake of society which set the original standards? For the sake of the therapist, as a demonstration of his prowess? Or for the sake of the patient? The answers are extremely difficult."

But this doesn't stop the doughty doctor from jumping in to give them. He goes on: "And how can one gauge the cost which the gain of normalcy would justify? Especially since this is a cost to another, the patient."

Then with a bravado deserving of a military medal, he goes on: "It is not entirely fair to back down at the point when the cost must be put in balance with the gain, and say to the patient, 'It is up to you whether you feel you can pay the price of normalcy.' The patient is not yet in a position to estimate the benefit. ...He will have to take the therapist's word

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about this nirvana of normalcy and its value. Yet the patient will have to do the paying.... Is it worth life itself? Is it worth risking the life of a homosexual patient in the hope of gaining his or her normalcy? It may be. One cannot know."

Bravely, he believes in going ahead and seeing what happens. This "risking your life hurts me more than it hurts you" approach is indeed humanitarian. Note how it has become the fashion among these fellows to drop the pretense, loudly proclaimed unite now, that the therapist doesn't tell the patient what to do, that each individual patient chooses his own path. All types of therapy have always been subtly, if not openly, directive, because they assume the norms of society are the correct ones and the doctor and patient set out to "find out" why the patient doesn't conform. Once he "understands," he just naturally changes his attitude. The explicit coercion in the new "cures" being promulgated is something of an advance over the sneaky double-talk that has prevailed up to now.

It's a good deal as though a dentist were to set up a model of the perfect mouth, and look with horror at his patients' teeth and decide it would be best to draw them out and substitute false teeth that would fit his "correct" model. Mow everyone knows that imperfect real teeth work better than false teeth, and nature makes its own adjustments so the imperfect natural mouth is quite efficient. In fact it is conceivable that a dentist might work up a mechanical model of a mouth that could be considered ideal by general consensus through the ages, but the psychotherapist can only set up a highly subjective psychological model of a male and a female who might easily be considered revolting characters by many other people. I would certainly hate to be stuck in a stalled elevator with any of Dr. Cappon's or Bieber's or Albert Ellis's ideal creatures.

The psychotherapists who "cure" homosexuals are matched in irresponsibility by the psychological researchers with their paraphernalia of questionnaires and computers. They too usually go on the unscientific assumption that the roles of male and female have been forever defined, and that that bastion of bourgeois sanctity, The Family, is fixed permanently in its present mold. Where a true scientific approach would question why we have fixed on these particular psychological and social models of sexual behavior, the typical psychologist today asks "What makes a homosexual?" Their basic concept is that they should be investigating deviates from the norm to find out how they got that way so that at least we can keep children from deviating that way in the future.

This is frank social manipulation. "Scientific research" is reduced to looking for ways to bring mavericks into line with the accepted ideas of correct behavior. The not-so-subtle influence of the advertising business, which uses similar research on consumer motivation, reeks from the brainwashing mentality of these "scientists" who are happy to lend their talents equally for the "understanding" hence "prevention" of social deviations and for browbeating consumers into buying cigarettes and other things that are good for them.

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Actually, the information they offer is not even accurate because the way they set up the questions, tabulate the answers. and analyze the results makes their "research" merely a matter of throwing the going clichés into the hopper and taking them out again in the form of statistical tables.

While these researchers ask no radical questions about how we arrived at our current concepts of male and female roles, and whether these concepts are still appropriate, the above-mentioned Dr. Cappon knows there's no point in such inquiries. Males must be sexually aggressive and females sexually submissive, he states firmly, and he tells us he sets out to make them that way, even if the treatment should kill them. This rather grim stricture seems out of place in an enlightened era. Why shouldn't a male, hetero or homo, take a passive sexual role, and a female, hetero or homo, take an active one, if that's what comes naturally? This would seriously upset the order of Dr. Cappon's universe.

It will come as a severe blow to Dr. Cappon, as to his cohorts, that the younger generation has got out of hand on this matter. Novelist John Knowles, describing in New York Times Book Review his stay as writer-in-residence at an Eastern College, notes that the psychiatrists there told him the chief problem of students is "their sexual identity." Translated from the doctors' pompous language and point of view, this merely confirms what everyone can see. The younger generation, disenchanted with most of the values offered by a hard-sell society, is refusing to be clamped into the straitjacket of the masculine and feminine roles as defined by its elders.

From the more advanced campuses all over the country, we are hearing the howls of anguish, augmented by the mass media, with which the hypocrite elders watch the new generation ignore the official moral structure and resist being processed into the social machine. The students are performing a highly moral and socially necessary revolution in which they are trying to feel out their own real responses in a prefab, impersonal world. The sexual exploration, and refusal of outmoded identities, reveal themselves in the extreme changes in dress and hair styles taking place on an international scale among boys, who are pointedly rejecting the clean-cut male look. This is not to say they're all becoming homosexual, but that their elders' obsession with masculinity is passé.

As a corollary, homosexuality is becoming accepted in a matter-of-fact way, without stigma or guilt attached, by both straight and gay young people. On any sophisticated campus today, the students are far ahead of the teachers in their "cool" attitude toward homosexuality. They see homosexuals as people who are both like and unlike themselves in various ways. They aren't so worried about their own ability to play the rigid sexual roles as set up by the adults.

It is not only the young who are disenchanted with the sexual status quo. It is said the 75% of psychotherapists' private patients are young middle-class women. It is not only because these women have the money and the leisure to be dissatisfied

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and to go to the therapist--it is also because they are miserable in the "feminine role" and too brainwashed and hampered by social taboos to fight their way to some new form. The therapist takes their money, talks to them about their orgasm, or rather their frigidity, and perhaps helps them move on from one well-heeled husband to another, which keeps them busy.

There are as many malcontents and spiritual dropouts among men, who go through their paces in the normal roles of husband, father, wage earner and mortgage owner, and yet are left feeling empty. Instead of talking about "close-binding mother figures" on the one hand and "existential despair" on the other, the psychological professions should peep in and investigate whether these men aren't stifling in their "male" straitjackets.

Some homophile organizations have mistakenly and masochistically permitted themselves to be used as a platform from which psychotherapists could proclaim the "moral disease of homosexuality" - as the aforementioned Dr. Cappon so eloquently puts it- and drum up business for themselves. It's time to stop concurring in the "sick" stigma with which some of those in the psychological professions pollute the general climate of opinion as they promote homosexual "cures" designed to sell books or procure patients.

A liberal minister agreed when I complained recently that the clergy, along with the laity, has been totally bamboozled by psychiatrists like Dr. Cappon, permitting them to confuse the basic Issues on homosexuality by mixing up the categories of morality and disease. They arrogate to themselves the roles of both priest and doctor by substituting the word "sick" for the word "sin" in gunning after homosexuals. This minister agreed but assured me, "That's all over. Everything was psychiatry in the past decade, but now that's 'out' and "social action is 'in'."

Homophile groups may well take their cue from this new style in the clerical realm, which goes along with the mainstream of social action for human rights throughout our society. It's time to move, as organizations, out of the stifling, moldy, self-tormenting atmosphere of the psychotherapist's office and into the open fresh air of political action to work for civil and human rights for homosexuals--in changed laws, government jobs, private civilized clubs for meeting places, and other practical areas. Homophile groups too should join the mainstream of our century in demanding human rights and rational attitudes to sex roles.

The South African government hysterically bleaches two Chinese women white to assert its outmoded principles as it feels the tide of history threatening to sweep away those values. Perhaps the noises being made by the heterosexual supremacists indicate they feel the same tide is getting ready to wash them away with the other old, life-hampering, socially destructive debris.

--L. E. E.

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The Bosom Theory


I wish to apologize at the outset of this paper for its patent incompleteness. Though I have explored the theory discussed in this monograph for almost eighteen years and pondered its deep ramifications, I have withheld publication in the hope of presenting a more fully supported hypothesis. Despite my lingering fears that this present brief account of my work is premature, I bow to the advice of my colleagues that such momentous findings should no longer be denied the world.

I have excerpted here from my more technical paper, still in manuscript form. I shall try to render the essence of my theory and findings in simple language so that the laywoman can follow its purport. To that end I have omitted footnotes and references to earlier works, though I must state in all humility that most of my work is new and original. THE LADDER, with its daring material and passionate interest in the broad field of lesbianism, is an ideal outlet for this modest summation of my research to date.

It might be interesting to relate how the germ of this theory first came to me, and how I set about to test it with rigid scientific objectivity. Rather than state the theory at the outset in its present, fully developed form, followed by graphs, charts, and tables (a procedure difficult for the laywoman to appreciate), I have decided to follow an historical course, if I may call it that. I shall tell the story of this pioneering research just as it happened, thus adding a measure of drama to what might otherwise become another dull scientific treatise. As I mentioned above, I shall be as brief as possible, but not at the expense of clarity.

In a way I have been interested in lesbianism practically all my life, possibly because I am a lesbian, though I do not for a moment let that interfere with the strict canons of the scientific method. I was well trained in that method all during my undergraduate years. (Glorious, exciting years they were.) During my graduate years (the WAC, odd jobs such as streetcar motor woman, peach pitter, raisin packer) I naturally specialized more in my chosen field. It was during the graveyard shift at the bottle factory, while I was on ketchup bottles, that this story begins.

I had been around some by then--gay bar seminars, etc.--and knew that meaning of such terms as butch and femme. We had both varieties at the factory. While I was idly ruminating about nothing in particular, it suddenly occurred to me that butches were big breasted, and femmes just the opposite. How

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odd, I thought as I tossed four more ketchup bottles into "a carton. One would think it would be quite the other way around. I was excited--intellectually, you understand. Many questions came to mind. By the time my shift ended I knew my immediate course. I must gather more data. Perhaps my flash of insight was wrong; I had not really been aware of making these observations.

My first detailed observations were completely reassuring. I am omitting my tabulations, as I believe I stated supra. But I realized that my sample of lesbians was small, too small, my calculations told me, for statistical reliability. And then I changed jobs, my love affair broke up, and somehow this whole fascinating problem fell dormant in my mind. Of course, I continued with casual observations. Having acquired the habit, I found it difficult to break. I told no one of my research. I instinctively felt it was a taboo subject. I knew I had made a great breakthrough and was aware that many great discoveries have been ridiculed at first. I must confess that in those days I was more sensitive to such laughter than I am now. Then some years later, it occurred to me that the Russians might claim a first in this field and I had better get back to work.

I was most fortunate at that time in acquiring a reliable assistant. Between us, we pretty well covered the country. Now before I discuss my more refined data and occasional puzzling cases, I would like to say a word about the matter of observation itself. Sizing up breast size is not as easy as it seems. The obvious way--getting in bed with the girl and thus combining tactile with visual evidence--is much too limited a means. The method of asking "What's your cup size?" can be embarrassing to both subject and researcher. Besides it is not too accurate, since some prefer to stuff a great deal into a small cup and vice versa, not to mention those who shun bras altogether. In the long run, I have found the judicious look to be the best method. One must be careful, however, not to be caught staring. I find it advisable to double and triple check; sometimes the first glance yields equivocal or erroneous evidence. So much for breast size.

Now we come to the very complex question of butch and femme. The theory, remember, stated as it stands so far, is that batches are big breasted and femmes are small breasted. For the sake of brevity, if not confusion, henceforth:

BB stands for big breasted butch;

bF stands for small breasted femme;

bB stands for small breasted butch;

BF stands for big breasted femme.

(Later research did turn up what might at first be considered bB's and BF's. See infra.)

I might be tempted to say offhand that the possessor of large breasts is butch (B). To guard against such errors, I first observe the whole girl. Assuming her to be some kind of lesbian, I make a tentative categorization as to B or F. Beware

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of obvious criteria such as haircut, style of dress, exaggerated mannerisms, and the subject's own opinion. What is left? As others are working on this vital problem, I shall not pause to review their interesting conclusions. Suffice it to say that the expert eye seldom errs.

Now to the vexing question of bB's and BF's. An interesting case came to light some years ago. She was obviously a SB and caused me no qualms. But she was a very fat girl. When I saw this BB a few years later, she had lost a lot of weight and tended toward a bB. Something was wrong, and I feared for my theory. To my great relief she later became a bF. This whole matter of obesity as it applies to breast size needs further study. Nevertheless, for a time there appeared to be enough bB's and BF's to cast doubt upon the validity of my theory. They could not simply be dismissed as the exceptions that prove the rule. Some colleagues had even discarded my entire work on the slim ground.

I soon realized that what was needed was a more profound approach. I noticed a few years ago that there were far more B's than F's, a rather unnatural and deplorable (for B's, that is) situation. My theory offered an explanation: namely, there only seem to be more B's! As we all know, most lesbians feel masculine toward straight women. This in turn leads them to think of themselves as B's, whether they are or not. It is just here that the real beauty of my theory becomes apparent. As with all scientific laws, it is the ability to predict that gives -them value. Actually there are no real bB's. A bB is merely a mixed-up bF. And, though less common, there are apparent BF's who are in fact BB's. What a boon this discovery is to lesbiankind! As breast measurement is perfected, whether one is B or F can be determined in a trice.

As I stated at the outset, this resume is sadly incomplete, and I have deliberately oversimplified in order not to burden the reader with technical subtleties. And there is so much more to be done. There is the vast area of the medium sized breast. Is one so accoutered neither B nor F, or both? And why on earth should B's be big breasted in the first place? Is it that lesbians are more or less upside-down anyway?

- Rita Laporte

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The current crop of newspaper features about homosexuality signifies, more than anything else, that the public is hungry to read about "Those Others," as one paper titled its series.

The most astute, as well as most extensive, coverage so far in U. S. papers appeared in the Washington POST in February. The five articles were reprinted in the Providence SUN-JOURNAL. The POST's survey of the conflicting "expert" views of homosexuality is one of the most comprehensive run-downs in print anywhere and takes up much of the series' 285 column inches of space. But staffer Jean White also included a great deal of material (partly from interviews with homosexuals, including members of Washington Mattachine Society) about homosexuals' problems with the law, job discrimination, and especially with social stigma. The final article concentrated on the government's anti-homosexual policies and emphasized challenges to the government's position by the National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, the American Mental Health Foundation, and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, which noted that "in the governmental as well as in civilian life, homosexuals have functioned with distinction and without disruption of morale or efficiency" and suggested that problems involving homosexuals "be examined on an individual basis, considering the place and circumstances, rather than from inflexible rules."

Lesbianism--usually given token mention if any in the newspaper features--was the focus of an unfortunately brief and superficial pair of articles in January in the New York WORLD-TELEGRAM AND SUN. Staff writer Nina McCain did contact Daughters of Bilitis, and her second article is chiefly a report of her visit to DOB's New York Chapter. Yet she concluded this write-up with psychiatrists' opinions of the DOB organization. Mrs. McCain's only other research on the wide-open subject of lesbianism apparently went little further than the "experts" already garnered by the rival New York TIMES. Notable exception was her reference to Reverend Robert W. Wood (author of CHRIST AND THE HOMOSEXUAL) whom she quoted on permanent relationships between lesbians: "We need more love in the world, and if these unions generate love, that's all to the good."

The Denver POST launched its 3-part series in February with a notice from the editor that "homosexuality is a topic which is at all times distasteful for public discussion." But tackle it he must, because "'Militant Minority' Poses Serious Problem for Society," according to the opening headline. The reporter began with quotes from local clergymen, then hurried to mix in police statements, names and addresses of Denver dealers in pin-ups for all tastes, passing mention of homophile groups including DOB, and comments on the venereal-disease problem. "Trouble at the YMCA" was announced as the POST's angle for the coming second article on homosexuality. As the reporter himself observed: "this series...is not pleasant readings."

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Over in England, there's a completely different tone to the newspaper publicity on homosexuality being sparked by the lesbian-oriented Minorities Research Group. Conspicuously absent are the columns of pronouncements by psychiatrists and other "experts" and the cause/cure discussions so dear to American Journalists. Instead there is emphasis on the human and ordinary aspects of homosexuality, in particular the loneliness of the many lesbians who live "imprisoned...in a private fear."

The December 15 London GUARDIAN featured an impressive article about MRG by its press officer Tony Geraghty in which he noted that fear of unjust dismissal from employment (with teachers especially vulnerable) is a serious problem for lesbians, "since a career is at least as important to the single woman as to a man." .. In a NEWS OF THE WORLD write-up around the same time, the reporter relied almost entirely on an MRG press release (published in the January LADDER), but he also threw in a footnote about the reason male homosexual acts are criminal offenses in England while lesbian acts are exempt. It's believed that when Queen Victoria was shown the original Bill against homosexual acts, including women, she reportedly said,. "Surely it is not possible between women. There must be some mistake"--and to avoid having to enlighten her, that portion. of the Bill was not passed...The most rewarding reading for Americans might well be Monica Furlong's column in the London DAILY MAIL of February 16. More about this in the May LADDER!

BOYS COPY GIRLS--AND VICE VERSA: British hairstylist Gerard Austen thinks the London Look, including the longer hair worn by British boys, will catch on in the U. S. "I suppose it's a sign of non-conformity," he said. "It is a throwback to old times when men wore long hair with curls, very elaborate and ornate, and women wore rather nondescript hairdos." Austen foresees in contrast "a new, short, boyish haircut for girls."

Meanwhile in Sweden, many boys, age 15-18, are wearing high-heeled half boots, lace shirts, shoulder-length hair, feminine bracelets, make-up and perfume. Their girl friends dress more like typical boys. Swedish psychiatrists have duly pondered the fashion revolt and given their authoritative finding that it's not based on transvestism or homosexuality, but is a revolt against conformity--and the long, dark Swedish winter.

"The Mattachine Society of Washington takes the position that in the absence of valid evidence to the contrary, homosexuality is not a sickness, disturbance, or other pathology in any sense, but is merely a preference, orientation, or propensity, on par with, and not different in kind from, heterosexuality."

This resolution was approved on March 4 by overwhelming vote of almost the entire voting membership of the society. Read more about this forthright action in the April Issue of the new Mattachine NEWSLETTER/GAZETTE, which combines under one cover the separately-edited publications of the Mattachine groups of New York and Washington. Subscription currently is $3 and may be placed with either organization (see page 23).

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Letter to an Old Friend

by Elizabeth Tudor

My dear Liza:

Can we be done now with all the polite formalities? Can we shut them and stand naked before each other as once we were able to do? No, I think not, You are not able to do this. You fancy that you can, you even think that this might afford you some pleasure--and you remove a glove to show me your good will. A bare hand is not the same as a bare soul.

So you send me a little card--so impersonal, so friendly - "Won't you come visit me?" And you don't sign your name. You sign much more than your name. Do you know what "as always" means to me? Again--I think not. You are playing with fire - you always have--and it tempts you, tempts you. Perhaps you do remember, after all. Perhaps you remember how very completely I belonged to you. Perhaps you remember and that memory is bittersweet and irresistible. Because I did belong, wholly and unreservedly, the way one does when one is very young. (It frightens me a little to think of it--and I had not thought of it for a long time.)

Or perhaps you think that I will be able to hold a mirror to you, a mirror where you can see my Liza (who must be every bit as dear to you as she is to me). A mirror where you can see how very lovely, how young, how desirable you were--the fire and laughter, the ambition, the pride. A mirror that reflects only you, uncluttered by responsibility or obligations. You, singly and individually, before you took on the roles of wife and mother. Surely this must bother you sometimes--as it does nearly every woman--that you have lost your individuality somewhere along the way, that you are no longer a whole being, only a part of the machine, Family. So you must think of my Liza occasionally with tenderness and regret--and wish her back.

Or perhaps you are bored, and sense that further contact with me might relieve that boredom. Once upon a time, we meant excitement. Is that what you seek?

In any case, you persist. You go out of your way to contact me after such a long period of time. You tease me with coynesses And--very shortly--you may be rewarded for your pains--except that you will not think of it as a reward aft all. The result will be something more than you had anticipated, because my bareness will be even more unbearable to you than your own.

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Do you wonder, then, since I am armed with all this foreknowledge, why I continue to play your little game? A game that can end only in frustration at best, disaster at worst? Perhaps I-am bored. Or perhaps I want to look in a mirror that only you can hold.

Or perhaps I remember, too. Perhaps I remember even better than you do. The first time I went into your daughter's room and saw your high-school picture on her dresser, my breath left me--so sharp was the memory of your awful (but sweet, sweet) power over me.

And then I remember something else. I remember my disillusionment with you. You walked away from me as though these had never been an "us" at all. Do you know what a void you left? Do you know how systematically I tried to erase every trace of you? Do you know how I had to do this in order to preserve any part of myself?

"That," you say, "was many long years ago. That is water under the bridge." You may console yourself with that if you wish. If you do, you do not know me as well as I thought. And, because I remember the hurt as though it were yesterday (the erasing allows me to live, not to forgive), I play your game. I play your game because the idea of humbling you in some small way is dangerously, beautifully enticing. I have tasted moments of this already.

Does the Intensity of my feeling shock you a little--even disgust you? Are you drawing back? Have time and domesticity tamed you, left you little stomach for raw emotion?

What a picture you paint for me--solicitous wife, devoted mother! You charm me with your hospitality, your recollections of our girlhood friendship. And I am almost fooled. Your very artlessness almost fools me, you are so unstinting in your efforts. "It has to be genuine," I say to myself. "No one could so unblushingly pursue, unless it were from open-hearted affection." And the skeptic inside me says "Oh?"

You said you were tense during my visit, and it was obvious that you were. "Why? (I was tense too. I almost didn't come. And I know full well my reasons. I've tried to give you some hint of them. Your reasons--at least the spoken ones--don't hold water.) So--I ask myself again and again: Why? Why did you avoid talking of anything any more personal than your children? (Your children are charming and well-behaved, and they interest me greatly--but only because they're your children.) And why did you so carefully avoid touching me?

How gentle were your references to our friendship, when you spoke of it to me and to your fifteen-year-old daughter. I do not think of us in this rosy, taste-or-spring, innocent fashion. I do not think of us as two teenagers blissfully sharing dreams and confidences, disappointment and heartaches. Oh, we shared these things, all right. But we shared much more than this. And my feelings cannot be diluted into this pale, bland substance--this adolescent idyll.

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I loved you--wildly--with all the intensity of which I am capable. I had always thought you understood this.

"Oh yes," you say. "I loved you too. But we were only" girls.

There are all kinds of love. I have grown up now. I have a husband and children. Why do you make such a fuss?"

I would agree with you. There are all kinds of love. Do you not think that I, too, have known other loves, equally compelling and enveloping? This in no way diminishes what I felt for you. And I cannot fit myself into the little cubbyhole you have prepared for me--that of old and cherished friend. In every sense except the physical one, we were lovers. Lovers - not girlhood chums.

Are you drawing back now? Are you saying that grown women don't speak to each other in this manner? Are you thinking that I have overstepped the bounds of good taste? Are you even wondering by what right I speak to you in this way?

I can speak to you like this because there is a part of you that belongs to me--a part of you that you have stirred to life. That gives me the right. And if it offends you, then retreat as gracefully as possible and learn from your displeasure how unwise it was to tamper.

You see, I will not be a party to building a cozy campfire where once a volcano roared. I can warm my heart at no such hypocrisy. And Liza--dear Liza--neither can you! We aren't "old friends." If the people we are now can become friends, they must begin all over, as new friends do. I am not sure that this is possible, for either of us.

Close your scrapbook--and let the pictures fade.

- Beth


The 1965 conference of East Coast Homophile Organizations will be held in New York City on Sept. 18-19. This year's theme is THE HOMOSEXUAL CITIZEN IN THE GREAT SOCIETY. ECHO conferences are open to the public. Each sponsoring group welcomes your support! Conference cost, program, and other information will be announced in coming issues of THE. LADDER--or contact any of the ECHO organizations:

Daughters of Bilitis--(See inside back cover of THE LADDER) Mattachine Society of New York--1133 Broadway, New York 10, New York

Mattachine Society of Philadelphia--P. O. Box 804, Philadelphia 5, Penna.

Mattachine Society of Washington--P. O. Box 1032, Washington 13, D. C.

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dissent on murdoch

by Iris Murdoch
(New York, Viking Press, 1964)

You either like Iris Murdoch's novels or you don't. It is the same with the Marx Brothers' films. In fact, they have a lot in common: admirable technique and the same bizarre mixture of realism and fantasy. The main difference is that Brothers Marx sometimes make you laugh; Sister Murdoch never does. The famous cabin scene in "A Night at the Opera" may have blotted out many subsequent unfunny moments, and in the same way THE BELL echoes on, obliterating the discordant notes of more recent books which have made even her most ardent fans restless. THE ITALIAN GIRL does little to pacify them.

Returning home for his mother's funeral, Edmund becomes deeply embroiled in seething family intrigues. Inexplicably, he chooses to arrive by moonlight, after everyone has retired to bed, which gives Miss Murdoch ample opportunity to set the scene for another of her unlikely dramatic situations. Brother Otto is not only alcoholic but constipated, and the reader is constantly reminded of his underwear. Edmund is awoken at dawn by a woman sobbing in the garden. This is Elsa, Otto's half-demented mistress, wandering loose in a not quite transparent nightgown across a lawn which is crawling with worms. Her brother David, Otto's young apprentice, has impregnated both Otto's daughter and Otto's wife. Otto meanwhile eats herbs and dreams of snakes and telephones. There is also an Italian servant girl who is the sole beneficiary under the mother's will, presumably for past--and not purely domestic - services rendered. It comes as no surprise when the house catches fire and Elsa is burned to a cinder. Somewhat shaken by his experiences, poor Edmund turns to the Italian girl for comfort.

This is Victorian melodrama unhappily living in sin with contemporary sex mania. The names are as anachronistic as the setting; the symbolism as indigestible as the stark solemnity.

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What is Iris Murdoch getting at? Can she really expect to be taken seriously? Presumably her enormous following of admirers will lap up everything she writes. Where will her unbridled imagination lead her next? An English reviewer has seriously suggested she should try her hand at science fiction before she bores us all into the ground. It might be a worth- while experiment. In any case, she can hardly afford to go on producing endless variations on something-nasty-in-the-wood-shed like THE ITALIAN GIRL.

- Clare Barringer

Editor's note: Guest reviewer Clare Barringer is the regular books columnist for ARENA THREE, the English lesbian magazine.

Subscription to ARENA THREE is $6.00 ( not $5 as announced in the January LADDER). The Minorities Research Group, which publishes ARENA THREE, now has offices at 41 Great Russell Street, London W. C. 1. Payment must be in the form of international postal money order or bank draft payable in England.


by Morris L. Ernst and Alan U. Schwartz
(New York, Macmillan, 1964)

Co-author Morris Ernst was the defending and successful attorney in the famous trial to suppress the novel ULYSSES by James Joyce. Ernst has devoted much of his legal career to fighting the intellectual bugaboo of censorship.

This, the second volume in the "Milestones of Law" series, overshadows many previous histories of censorship in the U. S. and Great Britain. The book is aimed at the lay reader. It includes many significant passages (trimmed of legal citations and references) from court judges' written opinions, and these formal (but not dull) statements nicely counterpoise the pert prose of authors Ernst and Schwartz.

In the earlier years of American history there was practically no legally-supported censorship. Statutes governing obscenity began to appear in the nineteenth century. Then a crusading grocery clerk named Anthony Comstock opened wide the field for legal restrictions on artistic expression. At 24, Comstock began a one-man campaign to stamp out what he called "filth."

The authors comment: "Very soon nearly all freedom-loving editors had been intimidated into acquiescence in Comstock's activities. Thus does man lose a bit of liberty by cowardice.

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Perhaps it is historically right that law should push the cowards around." And elsewhere: "...those who run deserve to be chased."

Comstock was also wholly responsible for the 18 73 law which, with only trifling changes, still governs "obscenity" in the mails. He became the first Post Office agent to hunt down obscenity. By January l, 1874, Comstock bragged that under the new law he had seized 194,000 obscene pictures, l34,000 pounds of books, 14,200 stereo plates, 60,300 rubber articles, 5,500 sets of playing cards, etc. Surely the most startling thing in Comstock's list is his method of counting the books--by the pound!

After laying the historical groundwork, the book covers important examples of censorship, including attacks on "classics," on the "vulgar" (without sexual connotation), and the battles fought over the interpretation of such words as "obscene."

Of special interest here is the chapter "On Banning a Theme", dealing with the 1929 court case over Radclyffe Hall's WELL OF LONELINESS which ended in victory for open distribution of the novel. This was a far more valuable victory than just for free circulation of this one book, for it was the last time any legal attempt was made to suppress an entire theme. Since the WELL OF LONELINESS decision, no action has been taken to legally ban a book on the grounds of theme alone.

Touching briefly on the matter of private as distinct from official censorship, the authors remind us that pressure groups - as long as they try only to persuade and do not intimidate or use government agencies to help impose their views--have a legitimate right to put forth their views in our free market-place of ideas. But the fact that private censorship is so rampant, say Ernst and Schwartz, underscores the great need for equally strong projection of other points of view, to counterbalance the activities of censor-minded groups.

Ernst and Schwartz conclude by summarizing the specific gains in freedom from censorship, and pointing out the uncertainties that remain. In particular they raise the important question of whether obscenity does in fact cause any demonstrable antisocial behavior--since the law cannot control the effect on thought alone of written or spoken utterances. "With very few exceptions...judges have assumed, without proof, that obscenity produces 'bad acts.' Do we really know that?" The authors feel that what scanty evidence we have points away from such a causal relationship. "Books just do not have that kind of influence," they maintain. "We read, in fact, what accords with our pre-existing interests."

Indeed one might make the opposite assumption, that reading about sex is a substitute for having it. In that case, if the guardians of morality are correct and we are being inundated with quantities of "pornography," so much the better. We will all be kept so busy reading the stuff, we won't have time to get into trouble.

- Lennox Strong

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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 $5.00 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 send THE LADDER for _____ year(s) in a plain sealed envelope to the address below. I enclose $_____ at the rate of $5.00 for each year ordered.



CITY_____ ZONE_____ STATE_____

I am over 21 years of age (Signed)

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DON'T neglect to plan your summer reading while you're at it! D.O.B.'s Book Service is at your service, offering you many better books on homosexual and related themes. Send now for list of titles to: D.O.B. Book Service, Suite 108, 1232 Market Street, San Francisco 2, California.

The Ladder, May 1965, Vol. 9, No. 8

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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 it's 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.


A Christ-Like Work--by Monica Furlong 4
The Princess and the Gargoyles--by Nola 8
Does Research Into Homosexuality Matter? --by Dr. Franklin E. Kameny 14
Special Report: Faith and Fury--by Jody Shotwell 20
Cross Currents 22
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 23
I Hate Men--A Diversion by a Male Transvestite--by Susanna Valenti 24

Cover photo by Kay Tobin

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

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A Christ--Like Work


(Editor's note: We are pleased to have permission to reprint the following article by London journalist Monica Furlong, which stands out as an unusually sensible and humane discussion of homosexuality in the public press. This article appeared as Miss Furlong's column in the February 16 edition of the DAILY MAIL0, a popular national British daily newspaper with a large circulation.)

A few weeks ago a reader wrote and asked me whether I approved of an organization called the Minorities Research Group, advertising in the DAILY MAIL.

The advertisement invited women with Lesbian problems to get in touch with the group. My correspondent's objection was that the advertisement might attract the attention of her young daughters and so expose them to the knowledge of ideas and feelings which she preferred to keep hidden from them.

While I sympathized with her concern for her own children, I felt quite sure that this newspaper was right to carry the advertisement.

This is not only because I know the Minorities Research Group to be a responsible body but because I know from the correspondence I receive that it is doing necessary work.

What is the Minorities Research Group? It is a body founded in 1963 by five professional women, and its purpose is to investigate and report on the situation of the homosexual minority, with particular reference to women homosexuals.

One excellent achievement already to its credit is that it publishes a monthly news letter which discusses Lesbianism in a calm, Intelligent, fearless fashion, which will make it much easier for the public to regard the whole matter rationally and without fanaticism.

It has two equally important functions. One is that it is building up its own counselings service, and the other, that it is beginning to provide facilities for debate, discussion, and social meetings for its members.

Why does all this matter? Lesbians are not punished by the law like male homosexuals, and society, while it does not approve Lesbian behaviour, is often prepared to ignore it.

It matters because of the despair and the loneliness involved for those who feel different from the majority, and because

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there is a need for all of us to rethink our attitudes to such problems so that we do not unwittingly drive others to bad solutions.

The M.R.G. have been astonished to discover that a very large number of members are married women--women who thought that marriage might solve their difficulties, but instead brought misery to a husband and children as well as to themselves.

One woman I talked to when preparing for this article told me that she spent 15 desperate years trying to prove to herself that she was just like other women, and in the process had borne two illegitimate children.

She had read everything on the subject of homosexuality she' could think of, tried everything, wrestled with deep religious convictions, and longed intensely to be able to conform to convention.

But in the end she was left with an irreducible piece of knowledge about herself: "To me it seems perverted to sleep with a man."

What bothers me when I write and talk to people about these things is the way innumerable decent men and women find themselves forced into a life of pretense among colleagues, friends and relatives.

And for what?

To keep up a facade of pointless respectability that helps no one, that is more damaging both to the individual and to society as a whole than a quiet, rational acceptance that God does not make us all alike.

The following letter is from a middle-aged social worker who describes herself as "sublimating like mad."

"There are decent, hardworking, conscientious people like myself who have spent bitter, anxious years of loneliness before accepting ourselves, and we are still alone because we don't know how or where to meet similar decent people.

"There are clubs, but only shoddy ones. One tends to throw oneself into work, committees and more work. In the end one still comes home to an empty room. I make lots of lonely people happy during the day and most evenings by giving like crazy, but it isn't the answer. My career matters to me, but I need to share my life."

I believe myself that the time is coming when we will no longer condemn men and women to live in this kind of private hell, because we are learning that people are no more "to blame" for such problems than others are to blame for a speech defect or short sight.

And perhaps even this does homosexuals less than justice, since it implies that there is something wrong with hem,

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whereas there is a certain amount of evidence that, while different from the majority, very many homosexuals are balanced, mature people, both emotionally and physically.

Whenever I raise this subject in print I know that I am going to get many letters from devout Christians telling me that faith could cure these people. Alas, this is simply not true, and it is no more reasonable to ask it than to expect faith to cure baldness.

One of the most moving letters I have ever received came from I a minister, who described the unhappiness and loneliness of | his position.

"My church members are good and kind men and women, but I don't know of anyone among them to whom I could reveal my secret. Popular prejudice is very hard to remove from even Christian minds, and the Christian heart may also feel disgust with something it does not understand.

"My faith has, however, saved me from bitterness. I find myself continually falling back upon the faith that God accepts me for what I am and that I can come to Him and be loved.

"Time and again it is this faith that has saved me from the greater bitterness and worse misery I might have known without it. Only the loneliness remains--undiminished.

"Other sufferers have written to you of the need to 'conceal and pretend to friends, relatives and colleagues that all is well.'

"I cannot describe the heartache that it can cause to a person in my profession. As the years go by the need seems to grow for a human as well as a Divine confessor and friend.

"I hope to God that day comes when the love and understanding you have written about will be freely and widely shown."

The Minorities Research Group is trying to spread this kind of love and understanding, and showing considerable courage in the way it sets about it.

This is, perhaps, one of the most Christ-like pieces, of work anyone is attempting in our time.

(Note: For more information about M.R.G. address: Minorities Research Group, 41 Great Russell St., London W.C.1, England. Subscription to the group's magazine ARENA THREE is $6.00 in the United States. Send payment in the form of a special bank draft or international postal money order payable in England.)

THE LADDER's rate for foreign subscription (outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) also is $6.00. Send a gift LADDER subscription to a friend abroad! Mail your order and payment to our Circulation Manager at DOB headquarters in San Francisco.

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I didn't speak.

You smiled

any my brow felt the touch.

--Vera Traff


Although the bed, by hollow shadows
And a mute impression, shows where
she slept that night,
A simple thing, a chair, the very room
Recalls her presence in this
anguished hour.

Alone, I feel the soft wave
Of her spirit,
That caresses everything she saw
or touched;
These barren things move,
A prank of the gleaming sunlight,
And I move also, her perfect face
Before me.

Simplicity becomes her landscape
And her room of sleep--
Terrain of massive forms, of
cluttered space--
Primary colors, purity of design
The light and motion where
abstract ideas make manifest
their force, and shape for me
The sanctified archives
Of memory
While I, dumb disciple of
Broken dreams,
Hear in my heart
The sound of her deathless footsteps.

--Jann Miller


Child am I--
But not of Nature.
Nature knows
the pattern of a rose,
How it grows,

Offspring, whose?

--Elizabeth Tudor

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the Princess and

the Gargoyles _____ by Nola

(At school there was the stink of vomit and pee and the sound of Miss Hurley's screaming and the feel of her icy fingers on the back of your neck. And at home there was Mamma yelling and the stink of dirty baby carriages in the hallway. And in the streets around the house there were the other Mamas screaming, running after the screaming kids. There was just one lovely thing and one magic hour. It came just before dusk in the spring and summer. After the Mamas had gone upstairs to put the babies to bed a hush would fall on the street. The janitor would come out with his hose and wash the day's litter into the streaming gutter and the sidewalk would glisten gold, reflecting the setting sun. Then the Princess would come out.)

"Here comes the Princess!"

Mrs. Levinson's one good eye rolled upwards, beamed at the top of the stoop where the daughter of Pinsky, the tailor, stood patting her bushy red hair and staring into space.

The eyes of goitered Mrs. Rosenkrantz and wart-nosed Mrs. Estrin followed. The grandmother-gargoyles guarded our Brooklyn tenement well.Graven beside the stoop, they sat day after day immobilized on their folding chairs, the uncorseted flesh of sapless hips and thighs spilling over the sides. Their heads turned slowly in unison on wrinkled necks, faded eyes squinted and blue-creped lips pursed or fell apart in wonder as they followed the progress of each person entering or leaving the "building. Alien spirits brought forth a low hiss followed by a sing-song litany--half in Yiddishized English, half in Anglicized Yiddish.

"The Princess"

"Again a new dress..."

"Putzed up like a movie star..."

She blazed against the dingy brick building in her brilliantly colored dress, her gold earrings and bangle bracelets glancing in the setting sun. Her hair was a torch above a tallow-white face. Black penciled eyebrows swept up and out from bridge, of nose to temples. Large gray eyes, shaded by black mascara, looked out from behind the mask. To me at age eight she was all the loveliness in the world.

(Oh Princess, shine on me, your secret worshiper!)

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We girls used to sprawl on the stoop in postures of bacchanalian abandon, spitting out poppy seed and Indian nut shells, licking and sucking ices out of paper cups, popping our bubble gum as the changing light transformed us from gold to violet to dim shadows. When the Princess came "out we would stare silently and shove aside to let her pass.

Like her father, the Princess was hunchbacked. But he bent low under the burden on his back, never lifting his eyes from his work or the ground. She held herself erect, even tilting backward a little in her attempt to throw off the burden, With each of her crisp bright dresses she wore a matching little cape covering the hump. Her tiny body was otherwise as exquisitely formed as an ivory figurine.

The Princess greeted nobody, looked at nobody as she descended the stairs. Teetering on her spike heel's, exuding dime store oriental scents, she delicately picked her way through our rubbish and passed into the street. Her eyes were fixed on a distant vision.

(Oh Princess, look at me!)

The gargoyles watched and we watched as she walked slowly down the canyoned street. And I would move away from my friends and listen avidly for the chant of the gargoyles.

"The Princess don't say hello to nobody."

"Too stuck up."

"Walks like in her sleep..."

"Oy, oy... such a curse..."

"Worse yet for the mamma..."

"But she got a nice little figure..."

"Looks funny the way she stands..."

"Stiff, like a wooden soldier..."

"And that make-up on her face..."

"Like a clown..."

"Like a you-know-what..."

"You think men like it?"

"Feh, gives them ideas..."

"That they got enough already..."

"Shhh...the children..."

"And those crazy dresses..."

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"Such colors...so bright..."

"You think she helps her father? All day she's making for herself dresses."

"So? She should have a little pleasure..."

"Who begrudges? Only she got nowhere to go. "

"Who knows where she goes..."

Who knows? We girls had our theories. She went, we decided, to New York to find men and make assignations with them. At night the men climbed in her window and what orgies ensued! The Princess's nightly escapades made up an endlessly embroidered tale often climaxed by the delectable question: "When you get married will you let your husband do that to you?" and, the rapturously shrieked answers, "Never, never!" "Not me!"

It is unlikely that the Princess left Brooklyn more than once or twice a year. Those were depression years. She lived on what her father earned. Where was there to go? There was the park--a breath of air for the gasping lungs--and the movies - a breath of air for the gasping soul. Usually she returned within an hour or two with a newspaper and a movie or confession magazine under her arm. Then she would sit at the ground floor window reading and smoking or staring into space. She often read by the street light when it got dark. Behind her in the room were the pictures of actors and actresses she had cut out of the magazines and tacked on the wall. Prom the street we could see the pictures and the magazines neatly stacked on her dresser top.

The Princess often visited my father's office for treatment of her sinus condition. I had seen her many, times sitting in our living room, which served as the patients' waiting room. When she wasn't holding her head in pain she would stare into space or read a magazine, oblivious of the gossiping women and the squalling babies.

One day she came to the door during the afternoon when Dad was out on calls. I told her my father would be back at six.

"No dear, it's your mother I want to see," she said, smiling at me.

(She smiled at me! She called me dear!)

I led her to the kitchen where Mother was cooking. Her perfume immediately drowned out the cooking smells.

"Mrs. Richman, I would like to ask a great favor of you," she said in a high quavery voice.

The kitchen was hot and she nervously fluttered a lacy handkerchief to the sweat crystals on her forehead and bosom. Her

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low-cut summer dress revealed a tiny golden Star of David dangling from a delicate chain to the very spot where the twin creamy mounds began their swell. I ogled the jewel jealously from the corner of the kitchen to which I had retreated, trying to become invisible.

"Anything I can do to be of help," said Mother, drying her hands on a towel.

The girl spread her lips in an uneasy grimace. Her teeth were large and white and a little tinged with lipstick. Her opalescent eyes were like the gray marbles we played with in the street.

"In the next few days I am expecting a couple of telephone calls and I would appreciate it if you... could..."

"You want me to call you to the phone?" asked Mother anxiously.

She nodded.

"Well Miss Pinsky," said Mother gnawing her lips. "You know I am always happy to help out in an emergency,, But you see this is a professional phone...urgent calls, you know."

"Oh I understand!" said Miss Pinsky in a voice fringed with tears." I would never ask... only it's very, very important. It will take just a second. If you could tell one of the children to ring my bell I'll come right away...I would ask at the candy store, but you know...half a block...sometimes they don't want to bother..."

"Well, if it's so important, all right," sighed Mother. "Only nobody must know about it. People don't realize...."

"Mrs. Richman, I never talk to these people around here," said the girl flushing through her powder.

She left in a flurry of thank you' s, looking ready to cry.

"Ma, who's gonna call her?"

"Where did you come from? Stop that wriggling!"

"Maybe a boy friend or something, huh?"

"Go buy some milk."

"What kinda perfume you think she wears?" I inhaled ecstatically.

"All eyes, ears, nose and big mouth, that's you," said Mother flinging open the window.

"Ma, is she gonna get married?"

"I don't know. Maybe it's for a date. All young ladies have dates."

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"She don't."

"Doesn't... what're you dreaming about now?"

A vision had formed in my mind. I was walking down the aisle of the synagogue in a pink ruffled dress scattering pink rose petals. Behind me walked the Princess in a bridal gown with a white veil over her face. The shadowy figure of a man stood at the altar. The Princess walked up to him and he kissed her and her hump vanished.

The next evening the first call came. Mother sent me down to ring her bell. Prune-faced Mrs. Pinsky, saturated in chicken soup odor, opened the door a crack and witch-eyed me through it. But the girl came to the door, brushed her mother aside and swept out of the apartment. She was wearing a jade silk kimono, which she clasped to her bosom with a little ivory shell of a hand. Her face glistened with cold cream and the eyebrows and mouth I was accustomed to were gone. I could see only flaming hair, eyes filled with light and that small magic hand.

(Oh Princess! Behind that mask that had cast a spell on me was the living beauty that awakened me!)

And then he came. One evening the Princess appeared in the doorway on the arm of a man, He was a little man, scarcely taller than she was and they walked stiffly down the steps, looking like a mechanical bride and bridegroom descending a wedding cake.

There was a gasp, then silence. The chant of the gargoyles began/as soon as the couple moved a few feet from the stoop.

"Seeing's believing..."

"God should only help her..."

"And the mamma too..."

"At last they called a shadjun (marriage broker) like they shoulda done yet years ago."

"Ya think so?"

"What then? He came looking for a Princess with a... "


"He's not much, the fella...I mean so little..."

"So? What can she get? The Prince of Wales, maybe?"

"She wants like all young girls..."

"She wants! The Queen of Sheba wants! She'11 get like all women--aggravation, dirt, a big bellyache..."

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"She should only be so lucky!"

"My cousin Rachel, she also had trouble...a twisted foot from when she was born...they married her off to an old man back in the old country yet...on her wedding day she screamed, tore out from her head the hairs, locked herself up in the house and they all came and broke open the door...some wedding! But three handsome sons he gave her...one an accountant, one a doctor and another a nice business in ladies' wear...the, best in the world ain't none too good for their mamma. Believe-- you-me she don't cry today..."

(Never, never, never! They won't break open her door! No babies! A Princess forever!)

The next time I was sent to call Miss Pinsky to the telephone I went out into the hallway and stood mute and passive before her door for a few minutes. Then I went back.

"Nobody home." I said.

I don't remember whether he called again or whether she ever went out with him or any other man again. Suddenly I was sick of the life on the stoop and I turned my back on my old pals. I trudged back and forth to the library carrying armloads of books I couldn't read. All I remember for certain about the Princess is that for the ten years we continued to live in that house in Brooklyn, she remained with her parents in the ground-floor apartment. She took walks and used to sit at the window, reading, staring, smoking. The pictures of the actors and actresses finally completely covered the wall behind her and the magazines piled higher and higher.

(Oh Princess, in the later years, when I was occasionally caught by your mask in the window, I was riven as by a scream. If it was I who turned the last lock on the door of your enchanted tower, forgive me. It was to protect your loveliness, your dream--my dream. But if only you had known how a living heart had beat for you!)

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Does Research Into
Homosexuality Matter ?


(Franklin E. Kameny, Ph.D., is a physicist and astronomer in private industry. He is founder and former president, and is currently on the Executive Board, of the Mattachine Society of Washington which recently adopted this resolution: "The Mattachine Society of Washington takes the position that in the absence of valid evidence to the contrary, homosexuality is " not a sickness, disturbance, or pathology in any sense, but is merely a preference, orientation, or propensity, on par with, and not different in kind from, heterosexuality.")"


As little as two years ago, "militancy" was something of a dirty word in the homophile movement. Long inculcation in attitudes, of cringing meekness had taken its toll among homosexuals, combined with a feeling, still widely prevalent, that reasonable, logical, gentlemanly and ladylike persuasion and presentation of reasonable, logical argument, could not fail to win over those who would deny us our equality and our right to be homosexual and to live as homosexuals without disadvantage. There was--and is--a feeling that given any fair chance to undertake dialogue with such opponents, we would be able to Impress them with the basic rightness of our position and bring them into agreement with it.

Unfortunately, by this approach alone we will not prevail, because most people operate not rationally but emotionally on questions of sex in general, and homosexuality in particular, just as they do on racial questions.

It is thus necessary for us to adopt a strongly positive approach, a militant one. It is for us to take the initiative, the offensive--not the defensive--in matters affecting us. It is time that we began to move from endless talk (directed, in the last analysis, by us to ourselves) to firm, vigorous action.

We ARE right; those who oppose us are both factually and morally wrong. We are the true authorities on homosexuality, whether we are accepted as such or not. We must DEMAND our rights, boldly, not beg cringingly for mere privileges, and not be satisfied with crumbs tossed to us. I have been deeply gratified to note in the past year a growing spirit of militancy on the part of an increasing number of members of the homophile organizations.

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We would be foolish not to recognize what the Negro rights movement has shown us is sadly so: that mere persuasion, information and education are not going to gain for us in actual practice the rights and equality which are ours in principle.

I have been pleased to see a trend away from weak, wishy-washy compromise positions in our movement, toward ones of strong affirmation of what it is that we believe and want, followed by a drive to take whatever action is needed to obtain our rights. I do not of course favor uncontrolled, unplanned, ill-considered lashing out. Due and careful consideration must always be given to tact and tactics. Within the bounds dictated by such considerations, however, we must be prepared to take firm, positive, definite action--action initiated by us, not merely responding to the initiatives of others. The homophile movement increasingly is adopting this philosophy.


Among the topics to which we are led by the preceding, is that of our approach to the question of homosexuality as a sickness. This is one of the most important issues--probably THE most important single issue--facing our movement today.

It is a question upon which, by rationalization after rationalization, members of the homophile movement have backed away from taking a position. It is a question upon which a clear, definite, unambiguous, no-nonsense stand MUST be taken, must be taken promptly, and must be taken by US, publicly.

There are some who say that WE will not be accepted as authorities, regardless of what we say, or how we say it, or what evidence we present, and that therefore we must take no positions on these matters but must wait for the accepted authorities to come around to our position--if they do. This makes of us a mere passive battlefield across which conflicting "authorities" fight their intellectual battles. I, for one, am not prepared to play a passive role in such controversy, letting others dispose of me as they see fit. I intend to play an active role in the determination of my own fate.

As a scientist by training and by profession, I feel fully and formally competent to judge good and poor scientific work when. I see them--and fully qualified to express my conclusions.

In looking over the literature alleging homosexuality as a sickness, one sees, first, abysmally poor sampling technique, leading to clearly biased, atypical samplings, which are then taken as representative of the entire homosexual community. Obviously all persons coming to a psychiatrist's office are going to have problems of one sort or another, are going to be disturbed or maladjusted or pathological, in some sense, or they wouldn't be there. To characterize ALL homosexuals as sick, on the basis of such a sampling--as Bieber, Bergler, and others have done--is clearly invalid, and is bad science.

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Dr. Daniel Cappon, in his recent appalling book TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOMOSEXUALITY (perhaps better named "A way from an Understanding of Homosexuality" or "Toward a Misunderstanding of Homosexuality") acknowledges at least this non-representative sampling and actually shows some faint signs of suggesting that perhaps there are two classes of homosexuals: patients and non-patients.

Notwithstanding Dr. Bieber's cavalier dismissal of it, Dr. Evelyn Hooker's work involving non-clinical homosexual subjects, with Its very careful sampling technique and its conclusions of non-sickness, still remains convincing.

One sees secondly, in the literature alleging homosexuality as sickness, a violation of basic laws of logic by the drawing of "conclusions" which were inserted as assumptions. Dr. Bieber does this (and by implication, attributes it to his entire profession) in his statement: "All psychoanalytic theories ASSUME that homosexuality is psychopathological." Dr. Cappon says: "...homosexuality, BY "DEFINITION, is not healthy.... " (Emphasis supplied in both quotations.) Obviously, if one assumes homosexuality as pathological or defines it as unhealthy at the outset, one will discover that homosexuals are sick. The "conclusions," however, can carry no weight outside the self-contained, rather useless logical structure erected upon the assumption or definition. The assumptions must be proven; the definitions must be validated. They have not been.

I am able to speak as a professional scientist when I say that we search in vain for any evidence, acceptable under proper scientific standards, that homosexuality is a sickness or disorder, or that homosexuals per se are disturbed.

On the basis of a disguised moralistic judgment (sometimes not at all disguised, as with Dr. Cappon), mixed both with a teleological approach to sexual matters, and with a classification as sickness of any departure from conformity to the statistical societal norms (on this basis, Dr. Cappon seems to come close to defining left-handedness as sickness), homosexuality has been DEFINED as pathological. We have been defined into sickness.

In logic, the entire burden of proof in this matter rests with those who would call us sick. We do not have to prove health. They have not shouldered their burden or proof of sickness; therefore we are not sick. These are things which it is our duty to point out, and, having pointed them out, to take strong public positions on them.

Then there are those who say that the label appended really doesn't matter. Let the homosexual be defined as sick, they say, but just get it granted that even if sick, he can function effectively and should therefore be judged only on his Individual record and qualifications, and it is that state of being-judged-as-an-individual, regardless of labels, toward which we must work. This unfortunately is a woefully impractical, unrealistic, ivory-tower approach. Homosexuality is looked upon as a psychological question. If it is sickness or

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disease or illness, it becomes then a mental illness. Properly or improperly, people ARE prejudiced against the mentally ill. Rightly or wrongly, employers will NOT hire them. Morally or immorally, the mentally i11 are NOT judged as individuals, but are made pariahs. If we allow the label of sickness to stand, we will then have two battles to fight--that to combat prejudice against homosexuals per se, and that to combat prejudice against the mentally ill--and we will be pariahs and outcasts twice over. One such battle is quite enough!

Finally, as a matter of adopting a unified, coherent, self-consistent philosophy, we MUST argue from a positive position of health. We cannot declare our equality and ask for acceptance and for judgement as whole persons, from a position of sickness. More than that, we argue for our RIGHT to be homosexuals, to remain homosexuals, and to live as homosexuals. In my view and by my moral standards, such an argument is immoral if we are not prepared, at the same time, to take a positive position that homosexuality is not pathological. If homosexuality indeed IS a sickness, then we have no right to remain homosexuals; we have the moral obligation to seek cure, and that only.

When we tell the various arms of organized society that part of our basic position is the request for acceptance as homosexuals, freed from constant pressure for conversion to heterosexuality, we are met with the argument of sickness. This occurred recently at a meeting between Washington Mattachine members and eleven representatives of all three major faiths, at which we asked for such acceptance of the homosexual into the religious community. Our entire position, our entire raison d'etre for such meetings, falls to the ground unless we are prepared to couple our requests with an affirmative, definitive assertion of health--as we in Washington did in that instance.

I feel, therefore, that in the light of fact and logic, the question of sickness is a settled one and will remain so until and unless valid evidence can be brought forth to demonstrate pathology. Further, I feel that for purposes of strategy, we must say this and say it clearly and with no possible room for equivocation or ambiguity.


Movements tend to get themselves tied up with certain ideas and concepts, which in time assume the status of revealed and revered truth and cease being subjected to continuing,searching re-examination in the light of changed conditions. As an habitual skeptic, heretic, and iconoclast, I wish here to, examine critically if briefly the value and importance to the "homophile movement of research Into homosexuality, of our commitment to It, and of the role, if any, which such research should play in the movement and in the activities of the homophile organizations.

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I recognize that, with the deference granted to science in our culture, it is very respectable and self-reassuring and impressive to call one's group a research organization or to say that the group's purpose is research. However, at the outset one fact should be faced directly. For all their pledges of allegiance to the value of research, for all their designation of themselves as research organizations, for all their much-vaunted support and sponsorship of research, NO American homophile organization that I know of has thus far done any effective or meaningful research, has sponsored any research, has supported or participated in any truly significant research. (With the single exception of Dr. Evelyn Hooker's study, and while I grant that to be a major and important exception, the participation involved nothing more than supplying candidates for experimentation.) The homophile movement's loss from its failure to contribute to research has been not from that failure, but from the diversion into talking ("maundering" might be a better term) about research--diversion of effort, time, and energy better expended elsewhere.

For purposes of this discussion, we can divide the objectives of relevant research into two loosely delineated classes: research into the origins and causes of homosexuality, and research into collateral aspects of the homosexual and his life and his community.

Almost always, when the homosexual speaks of research on homosexuality, he means the former class in one aspect or another: "What is the nature of homosexuality?" "What are its caused?" "Why am I a homosexual?" "Is homosexuality a sickness?" "Can the homosexual be changed?" Objectionably, "How can homosexuality be prevented?" etc.

A consideration of the rationale behind the homosexual's interest in such questions will quickly show that they are symptomatic of a thinly-veiled defensive feeling of inferiority, of uncertainty, of inequality, of insecurity--and most important, of lack of comfortable self-acceptance.

I have never heard of a single instance of a heterosexual, whatever problems he may have been facing, inquiring about the nature and origins of heterosexuality, or asking why he was a heterosexual, or considering these matters important, I fail to see why we should make similar inquiry in regard to homosexuality or consider the answers to these questions as being of any great moment to us. The Negro is not engrossed in questions about the origins of his skin color, nor the Jew In questions of the possibility of his conversion to Christianity.

Such questions are of academic, intellectual, scientific interest, but they nor NOT--or ought not to be--burning ones for the homophile movement. Despite oft-made statements to the contrary, there is NO great need for research into homosexuality, and our movement is in no important way dependent upon such research or upon its findings.

If we start out--I do, on the basis presented in Part II above--with the premises (1) that the homosexual and his

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homosexuality are fully and unqualifiedly on par with, and the equal of, the heterosexual and his heterosexuality; and (2) (since others have raised the question) that homosexuality is not an illness--then all these questions recede into unimportance.

We start off with the fact of the homosexual and his homosexuality and his right to remain as he is, and proceed to do all that is possible to make for him--as a homosexual (similarly, in other contexts, as a Negro and as a Jew)--as happy a life, useful to self and to society, as is possible.

Research in these areas therefore is not, in any fundamental sense, particularly needed or particularly important. There is no driving or compelling urgency for us to concern ourselves with it. Those who do allege sickness have created THEIR need for THEIR research; let THEM do it.

In the collateral areas mentioned, well planned and executed research on carefully chosen projects can be of importance, particularly where it will serve to dispel modern folklore. Evelyn Hooker's research (referred to above) showing no difference outside their homosexuality itself, in its narrowest, denotive sense, between homosexuals and heterosexuals,is one case in point. A study in the Netherlands by a Dr. Tolsma, which showed that the seduction of young boys by homosexuals had no effect upon their adult sexual orientation, is another. The study now under way by the Mattachine Society of Washington to obtain the first meaningful information on the actual susceptibility of homosexuals to blackmail, will probably be a third.

These are all useful projects. Dr. Hooker's has turned out to be one of our major bulwarks against the barrage of propaganda currently being loosed against us by the agents of organized psychiatry. (However, as I pointed out above, this is a bulwark not needed, in strict logic.) I shall in fact probably be using the results of all three of these collateral research projects from time to time in my presentations of our case. But these studies are not of the vital importance which could properly lead many of our homophile groups to characterize themselves as, research organizations (only one of these projects actually involved a homophile organization to any significant degree) or to divert into research resources better expended elsewhere.

Research does not play the important role in our movement which much lip-service attributes to it. It plays a very useful and occasionally valuable supporting role, but not-more than that.

More important than the preceding, however, is the matter of this emphasis upon research, in terms of the evolution of our movement. In the earlier days of the modern homophile movement, allegiance to the alleged importance of research was reasonable. As the philosophy of the movement has formed, crystallized, and matured, and more important, as our society itself has changed--and it has changed enormously in the past

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fifteen years and even in the past two--the directions and emphases in our movement have changed too. As indicated in Part I of this article, the mainstream has shifted toward a more activist mode of operation.

Continued placing of primary or strong emphasis within our movement upon research will only result in the movement's loss of the lead which it is taking in the shaping, formation, and formulation of society's attitudes and policies toward homosexuality and the homosexual.

Thus, while as a scientist I will never derogate the value of research for its own sake in order to provide additional knowledge, as an active member of the homophile movement my position must be quite different. It is time for us to move away from the comfortingly detached respectability of research into the often less pleasant rough-and-tumble of political and social activism.

special report

Faith and Fury

Members of Daughters of Bilitis's New York Chapter, along with members of the three other homophile groups comprising the E.C.H.O. affiliation, attended a lecture in Philadelphia on April 1 by Dr. Samuel B. Hadden, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

Dr. Hadden is best known for his work in group-therapy treatment of male homosexuals. He recently came into the public eye when he attacked the homophile organizations in a talk he gave at an American Group Psychotherapy Association Meeting in San Francisco. Nationwide publicity was given Dr. Hadden's claim of success in "curing" homosexuals and his condemnation of the homophile groups' "propagandizing efforts" to convince society that homosexuality is an acceptable way of life which cannot be changed.

Dr. Hadden's Philadelphia lecture on April 1, 1965, was sponsored by the Janus Society of America.

According to Dr. Hadden, the homosexual is victim of a neurotic disorder which is in many cases treatable. He relates the disorder to early environmental situations, often created by a dominating mother-figure. In his group-therapy technique, the homosexual is brought into contact with other homosexuals who, according to Dr. Hadden, have seen some kind of light. During the sessions, those patients farther along in treatment try to convince the newer members of the group of the dissatisfactions --if not horrors--of life as a homosexual. Some attention is given to dress and mannerisms, in an effort to get the more effeminate homosexuals to conform to our culture's notion of masculinity.

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Dr. Hadden reported that 12 of his total of 32 homosexual patients are considered "cured," having changed to heterosexual orientation. When asked about follow-up in the 12 cases, Dr. Hadden said he keeps in close touch with discharged patients, and no backsliding has been reported. An audience member suggested that any regressions might be concealed by the men and that Dr. Hadden had no reliable way of checking up on them.

Dr. Hadden announced, as though it were a revelation of importance, that although many people say a homosexual cannot be recognized on sight, "I can always recognize a homosexual or a prostitute--if they want to be recognized."

He feels people who are arrested and forced to go to clinics for psychiatric treatment should be required to pay, so that they may attach more value to the assistance forced on them.

Early in his talk, Dr. Hadden made a tasteless analogy between homophile groups and Nazi or Ku Klux Klan groups--saying in effect that he realized his chances of impressing his audience were as slim as would be his chances of impressing a group of KKKers or Nazis. He later repeated this analogy several times to his partly homosexual audience.

Dr. Hadden made it plain he thinks homosexuals should not have security clearances. He also claimed that all the people who had defected to the Russians were homosexual--a point taken up repeatedly by appalled members of the audience.

He particularly riled his listeners by remarking that the only people bothered by police are those engaging in sexual acts publicly, and by suggesting that homosexuals' feelings of discrimination are exaggerated. An audience member won applause when he responded that those remarks sounded suspiciously like arguments we have been hearing for years from the segregationist South about the Negro. The respondent then pointed out that he personally had starved--literally, not as a figure of speech--as a result of the discrimination against homosexual employees by their own government. Dr. Hadden had no reply.

Dr. Franklin E. Kameny of the Mattachine Society of Washington put the following questions to the speaker: 1. Are not his patients particularly susceptible or prone--as demonstrated by their being his patients--to justify the changes he has wrought, and hence atypical of homosexuals as a whole? 2. He seems to have taken it as a premise or axiom that homosexuality is pathological. What scientifically meaningful proof or demonstration of such pathology does he have? Dr. Hadden did not reply to or touch on the first question. In answering the second, he spoke in terms of "I feel (that homosexuality is a sickness,etc.)...We believe...I consider...We think..." In the exchange of remarks, Dr. Kameny asked for a definition of pathology in this context and said that homosexuals have been defined into sickness. When Dr. Hadden's responses continued in terms of "I think" and "We feel," Dr. Kameny declared, "This is not science, Dr. Hadden; this is faith."

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The mid-April news report that Fidel Castro's government is going to crack down on Cuban homosexuals and send them to work camps, touched off picketing by homophile organizations at the White House in Washington and the United Nations in New York.

Mattachine Society of New York wanted to stage a protest at the Cuban mission to the United Nations, but police rules do not permit picketing closer than one-fifth of a mile, so arrangements were made to demonstrate at Hammarskjold Plaza at the U.N. itself. There, 29 persons picketed on Sunday, April 18. The protest was covered by a New York Times reporter.

The White House had been picketed before on behalf of homosexuals, by the same one person on two occasions about a year apart. But the official demonstration by Mattachine Society of Washington on Saturday, April 17, marked the first time for mass picketing at the White House by a homophile organization.

Since the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba and there is no Cuban embassy in Washington, MSW decided to combine protest, in effect, and to picket at the White House in regard both to Cuba's campaign against homosexuals and to American homosexuals' grievances against their own government.

The MSW picketers, 7 men and 3 women, were given a choice spot directly in front of the White House for their hour-long demonstration late in the afternoon. Both city and White House police reportedly were courteous and helpful. Newspapers had been notified in advance. A WTOP-TV cameraman was on hand. The picketers' signs read as follows:

U.S. Claims No Second-Class Citizens. What About Homosexual Citizens?

Cuba's Government Persecutes Homosexuals. U.S. Government Beat Them to It.

We want: Federal Employment--Honorable Discharges--Security Clearances

Gov. Wallace Met with Negroes. Our Gov't Won't Meet with Us.

U. S., Cuba, Russia United in Persecuting Homosexuals

Employment for Homosexuals SI! Labor Camps NO!

Jews to Concentration Camps under Nazis; Homosexuals to Work Camps under Castro. Is the U.S. Much Better?

Members of the Mattachine Society of Washington Protest Cuba's Crackdown on Homosexuals

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Lesbiana by Gene Damon

303. OLD ACQUAINTANCE--by David Stacton. London, Faber, 1962; New York, Putnam, 1964.

This quiet story of the later years of two homosexuals who have long been good friends is pleasant reading. Charlie, a novelist, and Lotte, an actress, each accompanied by the friend of the moment, meet at a film festival. The two young ones have a change of heart and run off together, though this is not the point of the story. The dual viewpoints of Lotte and Charlie--shown in their conversations, asides, and interior monologues--make the book rewarding.

304. DAILY AND SUNDAY--by Richard Powell. Scribner's, 1965.

Rhoda Winthrop, one of the members of the Board of a metropolitan newspaper facing a management crisis, faces also a personal crisis in her discovery of lesbianism in herself. The handling is unconvincing, since Rhoda is portrayed as a forceful, talented, and mature woman, and her panic and subsequent childish actions on realizing that she loves another woman are simply unbelievable. A substantial portion of the novel is devoted to Rhoda and her personal life.

305. P.S. WILKINSON--by C.D.B. Bryan. Harper, 1965.

This year's Harper Prize Novel shows the insidious workings of our society toward the stamping out of individuality. The hero's rejection by the C.I.A. on grounds of homosexuality is a Kafka-like nightmare. One of P.S.'s few pleasant interludes covers his emotional relationship with a lesbian couple. Minor homosexual content in a timely and generally good novel.

306. NOT IN THE CALENDAR--by Margaret Kennedy. Macmillan, 1964.

Since the family-chronicle novel, rich in characterization and plot, has all but disappeared from contemporary writing, it is gratifying to find this panorama of the well-to-do Knevett family from Queen Victoria's day to 1938. Caroline Knevett, the leading protagonist in an "aunt heap" of relatives, has a strong lifelong attachment to a deaf-mute girl, Wyn Harper, who becomes a famous artist. But it's Caroline's sister Alice (Lallie) who will most interest Lesbiana fans. Lallie, an invalid with a weak heart, is shunted about, unwanted, from relative to relative until her fortuitous meeting with handicraft teacher Martha Lecky. Martha literally kidnaps Lallie and moves her into a cottage in the country, where they do good works and collect pets and become known as "The Ladies of Owls Head" (in honor of the Ladies of Llangollen), Recommended.

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307. SISTER IMELDA--by Edna O'Brien. S.s. in WINTER'S TALES NO.9, edited by Maclean. St. Martin's Press, 1963.

In her last year of convent school, the 16-year-old narrator falls in love with Sister Imelda, a youthful, beautiful nun. Bittersweet reminiscence of the gaudeamus-igitur variety.


A Diversion by a Male Transvestite

FOREWORD: In a lesbian magazine, the title "I Hate Men" doesn't sound half as exciting as "I Hate Women." But this article reflects the views of someone who, though born with a male body, has always felt the vivid intensity of what he calls "the girl-within." In other words, the author(ess) is a male transvestite, who also happens to be the contributing editor of TRANSVESTIA, a magazine which is to the TV (short for transvestite, and especially useful in conversation when there are "outsiders" present) what THE LADDER is to the lesbian. The name of the "girl-within" is Susanna Valenti. She was deeply impressed by the thundering condemnation of the "woman image" of our times set forth under the title "I Hate Women" in THE LADDER's February/March issue. Susanna believes that society's man image" also deserves indictment. So here is Susanna's reaction to "I Hate Women."

I've always felt a sense of unfairness in the way society is arranged. The world of women has been to me as much mine as it is theirs. All the time I was a little "girl" I inwardly gnashed my teeth when I was denied the supreme joy of playing with dolls, as I was dying to do, or worse still, when I saw my sister bedecked in dresses I would have given half my life to wear. My poor parents, however, only saw me as their boy. How could they know there was a girl within me? So they kept giving me the kinds of clothes and toys society demands be given to all little boys. My parents had to follow the formula, and therefore I was made to follow it too.

There is a set pattern for men to be fitted into, and woe to those who do not want or are not able to conform. One of the theories that tries to explain transvestism is based on this society-made mold into which all male children must be poured. By pushing males into the Masculine Role, society is actually sentencing to oblivion a good percentage of each individual's personality.

From the beginning a little boy is taught that boys do not, cry, that to do so is unworthy of their maleness--even if the

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poor brat is dying to have a good cry! He mustn't be timid. He mustn't be tender. He mustn't be fond of pretty things. He isn't supposed to use sissy words like "lovely." If he should feel like running away from a fight, his father will probably upbraid him and insist he give the other "little ruffian" a good scrap. Physically I've always been a coward; a fight scares the devil out of me and I'd much rather run away. But this is "unmanly"--so I am quite out of the pattern so nicely set for me. I often wonder what would happen if everybody in the world were bold and fearless and endowed with a conquering spirit. Who would then be the conquered? After all, there is a lot of fun in being conquered.

But the average man is forever worrying about conforming to the rigid ideal which demands that he be Arrowed, Stetsoned, grey-suited and brown-slippered and that he definitely go into ruptures whenever he hears talk of hunting, fishing, mechanics or carpentry. If he doesn't like these things, it's immediately assumed there's something wrong with his masculinity. He may be accused of Rejecting the Masculine Role--which is a much more terrible crime than adultery, alcoholism, gambling, or renting a car that doesn't come from Hertz. (Here I am unashamedly paraphrasing the author of "I Hate Women.")

The ideal image of man we have been brainwashed to accept is that husband in the ads, deliriously happy over a can of beer while he experiences untold thrills over his new portable electric saw/can opener/shaver combination. Just the thing for his workshop downstairs where he simply must spend every Saturday of his life. This is the manly image every male is supposed to squeeze himself Into, whether he fits it or not. Woe unto the man who should show interest in sewing or ironing or wearing lipstick around the house, or who admits a desire for a smooth, silky, soft life. We have created a definition or what men should be like, and If they're not like that, then there's something wrong with the man, not with the definition.

So far I've been coasting along with the "unreconstructed feminist" who wrote "I Hate Women." But the time has come to do a bit of scratching and hair-pulling. You see, I don't use my fists for fighting as a "man" should! Let me tighten my girdle a bit, and here we go.

Our author claims that, the women of today are an oppressed minority and that the oppressors are the men: woman is slave, man is master. This author despises women because "They're so easily sold this cheap bill of goods and don't fight for their rights against the exploiter." Come on, honey! Who told you women are slaves today? Women run the world and you know it! Their acceptance of the mold which you say men have forced them into, is only strategy, marvelous feminine strategy. You yourself admit that a woman with any amount of brains has more brains than a man. It is woman who, in order to rule, has convinced man that his ideal of femininity is the right one.

It makes me, as a TV, indignant to see the fabulous amount of freedom a girl (born a girl) enjoys in our present society. Let's take the matter of dress--the subject dearest to the

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heart of the TV. If a girl wants to wear pants, who is going to stop her from doing so? She can walk on Fifth Avenue wearing a man's shirt, slacks, socks and loafers, and nobody will say boo. But let a man walk to the corner store wearing a print blouse and a skirt--and you'll see pandemonium! Men must conform to the "definition," remember?

So how can I, born a male, satisfy this craving of the "girl-- within" me? I must resort to all the props of the female impersonator. These include a wig (a good one, of course) and everything down to nylons and garter belt. Now, if my beard should be heavy and dark--which it is--I must shave so close that you can see through to the other side of my face and then I must use liberal amounts of make-up. Trouble is, on a sunshiny day the darned shadow still shows through the make-up. So I have to resort to plucking my entire face--something I doubt most women readers of THE LADDER (with a few exceptions, of course) have ever had any need to do. This plucking is painful, believe me. And since I'm a physical coward,as I said before, you can guess how overwhelmingly strong the need to express my femininity must be, to make me stand that kind of torture. But I've done it and--no shaving, and no shadow! I do feel Ivory Snowed, and I love it!

No, my dear "unreconstructed feminist," women have all the breaks. How many times has a woman solved an important problem just by putting on a good cry? The brainless one (man) swallows the beautiful act and gives in. By acting helpless, a woman can always get an idiot to do the work for her. Women are actually using men to make women's lives easier and softer. Woman today makes all the important decisions that affect a man's life. And I have a sneaking suspicion that it's woman who has invented today's Masculine Role. She is the one who insists on man's fitting a pattern which she herself has concocted with devilish cleverness. She has decreed that he must stay within the rigid frame of that mold, while she keeps for herself all the freedom she wants in life.

I am positive that if Science continues to advance as it is doing now, one day a woman biochemist and geneticist will discover the formula whereby it will be man, not woman, who will conceive and bear children. If that should come to pass, I am sure we would never have to worry about a population explosion --for I doubt whether many men would want to become mothers. The only exception (perhaps) might be the transvestite. Nobody, as far as I know, has made comparative studies of pain. I wonder if plucking your beard hurts more, or less, than having a baby.

So as a TV, I hate men for being so stupid and allowing themselves to be kept within the bondages of the Masculine Ideal. The transvestites are the only ones who are rebelling against this artificial definition of what man is and wants, and we feel proud of being able to show the world an honest inner self--who adores frills, loves to walk on high heels, and is happy to sign an article like this with her real "real" name

Susanna Valenti.

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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 $5.00 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.
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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 $5.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed) ____

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A subscriber recently sent copies of THE LADDER to friends of hers, a heterosexual couple doing sabbatical-leave studies at the University of Mexico. Here's what the wife wrote back to our subscriber:

"We got all the issues of THE LADDER you sent, and they made the rounds at the University here. One day, a student who was entirely unknown to me came up and said, 'That's a terrific little magazine your husband brought in. I'm gaining a great deal of respect for those women!' I was sitting at a table in a group of other students, so of course off we were on a discussion of the homosexual in society."

You too can put THE LADDER to work by sharing your copies! Stop to think of ways in which you might share this unique magazine. Of course, friends straight or gay who take an interest in current social issues will find THE LADDER an eye-opener. But there are many other possibilities.

For example, you might send copies to a clergyman, teacher, lawyer, physician, or school counselor.

Or mail a few copies to the editor of your newspaper or to your favorite columnist.

A prime place to send back issues of THE LADDER is a library. A college or university library; your main public library; a religious, legal or medical library--all may benefit from having issues of THE LADDER on their shelves and listed in their card catalogs under what is in many libraries a neglected subject: Homosexuality.

Make use of your back copies of THE LADDER!


The Ladder, June 1965, Vol. 9, No. 9

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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 Invisible Woman--Some Notes on
Subversion--by L.E.E
Saturday Conversation--by Valerie Taylor 9
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 12
Cross-Currents 14
New World A'Comin'? (or, How Can You Tell
the Girls from the Boys?)--by Georgette
Living Propaganda--by Rita Laporte 21
Golden Rule--by Gene Damon 22
Readers Respond 24

Front and back cover photos by Day Tobin Sketch on page 17 by M. G.

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco; California

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The Invisible


The word "homosexual" is being thrown around as never before in the mass media, but almost always it refers to the male of the species. This is also true in the psychology textbooks. The male homosexual has become socially "visible," but the lesbian is the invisible woman.

Why this blackout on female homosexuality? The reason is that the lesbian is a dangerous subversive rebelling against the deepest injustices of our social order. Her existence brings up questions so uncomfortable that most people can't even bear to admit her existence. They even leave her out of the laws against homosexuality, while penalizing the men.

They find it possible to admit the existence of the male homosexual because they can use him as a bad example. He is made an object of ridicule so the others can form a pack and, turning against him, reaffirm their own masculinity and their identification with the o.k. guys. He is the scapegoat on whom they heap their own repressed homosexuality.

But the lesbian can't be allowed even that much existence in a male-dominated culture. To the frail male ego, the thought of a woman who has her own identity, instead of getting it from her relationship with a man, is so destructive it's unimaginable and must be ignored out of existence.

The self-determining woman is a horror whose existence drives men mad. Immediately they cry "competitive," as though it were the worst epithet, though applied to men it's one of the most complimentary words in our business-oriented culture. Let a woman move ever so slightly out from under centuries of male domination and agonized screams of "Momism" are heard throughout the land in the popular press and psychotherapists' clinical studies alike.

The modern woman has yet to emerge as a human being on her own rather than as somebody's wife and mother. The lesbian is that anomaly, a free woman, legislated out of existence by 3,000 years of patriarchal culture.

Men are very insecure in their male supremacy these days. In a century of the rebellion of the underdog, women are proving the last group to revolt. They have been subjugated the longest and are the most totally brainwashed. But the handwriting

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is on the wall and all forces are marshaled for one last manly stand in defense of male supremacy. In this tense situation, the lesbian must be kept invisible because she embodies everything the male most fears.

Men's irrational behavior indicates they have an unconscious terror of women. Having been born to women, and left helpless and dependent on that giant mother, they seem compelled to spend the rest of their lives proving to themselves and everyone else how independent and manly they are. Everywhere they look they see challenges to their masculinity. They see women not as human beings, but as threats or not-threats to that apparently delicate and easily lost physiological appendage about which their whole psychic life revolves.

Psychoanalysis and the related psychological professions are particularly involved in this highly subjective and one-sided battle. Though it purports to be a science, psychoanalysis is in fact built on a superstitious, narcissistic and homoerotic overvaluation of the male appendage. The whole "scientific" machinery of the psychoanalytically-oriented professions revolves comically around "masculinity"--threats to, loss of, search for. Woman is the ultimate threat, who may cut off, swallow up in her vagina, or wither with scorn that so delicate organ. With totally un-self-critical male vanity, they even accuse her of wanting to steal it and appropriate it for herself, certain as they are that everyone finds it as infinitely desirable as they do. Woman, as in the darkest ages, must be bullied into taking the part of the Womanly Woman, who will treat that precious part with respect and offer no threat to it. Psychotherapists have invented that mythological figure, the "domineering mother," on whom can be blamed all men's failures and weaknesses. Another scapegoat is the "frigid" and "castrating" wife, who won't play her proper role in coddling the male vanity.

What greater enemy could there be in this scheme than the lesbian, who not only is socially and psychically independent of the male, but also gets her sex elsewhere and, worst sacrilege, isn't interested in that male appendage. Further, she is likely to compete not only for the jobs, but for the women. Men have an awed respect for the lesbian's power to make women enjoy sex--apparently men feel inadequate on this score.

Even Albert Ellis, that dyed-in-the-wool dyke-hater, tells men in one of his how-to sex articles that it's true lesbians are better lovers than men, but that's only because the American male is so uneducated sexually. Ellis promises to teach them tricks that will make them equal any lesbian.

The revolt of the female has been temporarily set back by this male-oriented psychoanalytic counterattack. Back at the turn of the century, G. B. Shaw ridiculed the Womanly Woman as an invention of the male for his own convenience. Women are told they find their happiness in living for others as wives and mothers, he said, but the independent woman who lives for herself rather than for others is much more interesting and vital a person.

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At just about that time, when the breakthrough of the New Woman was taking place, Gertrude Stein was in the first graduating class at Radcliffe. Like her, many of her classmates were lesbians, and all were determined feminists. They were among the first of a large group of American women who became leaders in their professions, never married, and lived very long and active lives. Their obituaries are still appearing in the newspapers, and as they go there are no replacements.

Today's graduating class at Radcliffe has as its chief goal marriage before graduation. The girls are worked over from early childhood to be terrified of not catching a proper husband early, and many get themselves pregnant and give up the rest of their education to do so. Even the brightest give up the idea of a career in order to fulfill the Womanly Role that Madison Avenue ad men and psychotherapists have combined to promote as the most important thing in life.

The American Association of Medical Women notes that many girls do better on the National Merit Scholarship tests than the smartest boys, and show superior talents for going into medicine. But the number of women entering the medical profession has dropped fantastically since earlier days when women were supposedly less emancipated. A sign of the times is a booklet put out by this association, encouraging girls to become doctors. The theme of the booklet is that you can be somebody's wife, somebody's mother, and somebody's doctor. It's hard, but you can be a doctor and raise a family at the same time. Aside from the fact that one would hate to be sick and be examined by a woman who was worrying about getting home on time to make dinner for the kiddies, think of what it does to the woman herself to be so fragmented. No man is told that he has to fill three primary roles at once.

The unfortunate effect on the woman is depicted in a book called THE ACADEMIC WOMAN (l), a sociological study of educated women who have had conflicts about marriage and career. The study finds that the problems are so destructive to the woman, who in the end always returns to the career, that in all compassion sociologist David Riesman makes a most revolutionary suggestion in the preface--he says celibacy may be preferable to the problems of marriage for these women.

Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim goes a grudging tiny step further. In an essay called "Growing Up Female" (2), he points out that women get a raw deal in our society. They are raised to a certain point with the belief that they live in a democracy in which everyone is equal--and then when they come to puberty they find out that men are just "more equal." From regarding themselves as independent, active human beings, they

(1) THE ACADEMIC WOMAN by Jessie Bernard, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1964.

(2) "Growing Up Female" by Bruno Bettelheim--PSYCHOANALYSIS AND CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CULTURE, edited by Hendrik M. Ruitenbeek, Delta (Dell Publishing), 1964.

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have to switch suddenly into passive females dependent on men - or at least pretend to be. Either way it's a great indignity.

Being a psychoanalyst, Bettelheim naturally suggests better preparation for the female role from the beginning, but he does go on to say that some women who cannot make this adjustment may be better off living with another woman than with a man, in a relationship which offers them the image of themselves a man can't give them. He adds very prissily that though there's a "danger" this will turn into a sexual relationship, it needn't!

It takes a woman novelist, Mary McCarthy, to come out with the logical solution. Her novel THE GROUP is precisely about several young women who are educated to see themselves as human beings, rather than as women. As a result, when they go out into the world they come to grief, because men naturally treat them as women, and they are too civilized to fight back. Only the lesbian and the celibate girl in the novel make out well. The lesbian, in addition to being a character in herself, is a projection of the lesbian component in all the girls which makes them demand equality.

Miss McCarthy's Final Solution, the elimination of the male, is the logical outcome of the situation she describes. It is so unacceptable that the book, though on the best-seller list for a long time, received chiefly hostile reviews. Most critics, being male, just didn't understand the book. the ESQUIRE reviewer, in a state of shocks, kept saying that only the women "who give up sex" have a good end in the novel. But it's quite clear that the lesbian is not doing without sex. He just can't bear to admit it. Men, in their inadequacy, seem to feel pushed off the edge of the world into annihilation by the thought that women don't need them. Whereas I doubt that women are nearly so deeply upset by the idea of men having sex and love without them.

Miss McCarthy's book has been out for a couple of years, and has produced no rash of imitators with lesbian heroines. Her novel has yet to be fully appreciated. The author has written an essay expressing disappointment at the way the novel has been misread, with the double-edged irony of the piled-on clichés taken as straight narrative by most readers and critics. The lesbian figure was ejected like an unassimilable foreign body from the reading public's collective psyche, even though the book has had such huge sales.

The taboos die hard. The male vanity is so strong and the male ego so weak that the social set-up conditions women to feed the one and prop up the other by pretending to be dependent and inferior to men. Many women may prefer to continue this role if given a choice, but the choice should be there- for those who do not.

The lesbian wants to be self-determined as a man is, not put herself aside and live as a reflection of some man's fantasy life. It is not at all the man's penis or his muscles that

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she covets, but his right to be an active, self-determining person. (Most lesbians love femininity, and, contrary to popular myth, dislike brawn in themselves or their partners.)

A lesbian living in a patriarchal male-dominated society like ours, who goes to a psychotherapist to be told she must be "cured" and force herself into the straitjacket of the Feminine Role, is like a Mississippi Negro who might be told' by a therapist that he has to adjust himself into the "Nigger" role society has cut out for him.

There are times when revolt, not "adjustment to society," is the only "mature" and self-respecting course. And you can't depend on the authorities-in-power to tell you when that time is.

- L. E. E.

The Homosexual Citizen
In The Great Society

is the upbeat theme of the 1965 conference of East Coast Homophile Organizations. This, the third annual conference of the ECHO affiliation, will be held in New York City on September 25 and 26, 1965. Speakers who have to date accepted invitations are:

James Collier, author of THE HYPOCRITICAL AMERICAN (reviewed in THE LADDER, June 1964)

John Lassoe, Director of Christian Social Relations, Episcopal Diocese of New York

Dr. Isadore Rubin, Managing Editor, SEXOLOGY Magazine

Dr. Hendrik Ruitenbeek, sociologist, psychoanalyst, author of THE PROBLEM OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN MODERN SOCIETY (reviewed in THE LADDER, April 1964) and the just-published HOMOSEXUALITY AND CREATIVE GENIUS (Ivan Obolensky, 1965)

Dr. Ernest van den Haag, psychoanalyst, Adjunct Professor of Social. Philosophy at New York University

ECHO Conference sessions are open to the public. Hotel site, registration cost, and more details of the program will be announced in coming issues of THE LADDER. Reservations may be made through any of the ECHO affiliate organizations:

Daughters of Bilitis--(see inside back cover of THE LADDER) Mattachine Society of New York--113 3 Broadway, New York 10, New York

Mattachine Society of Philadelphia--P. O." Box 804, Philadelphia 5, Penna.

Mattachine Society of Washington -P. O. Box 1032, Washington 13, D.C.

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Saturday Conversation
by Valerie Taylor

"You know," I said, "it's getting harder and harder to publish a decent lesbian novel."

Joan sipped her diet drink. Contrary to popular fiction, many gay women don't drink or don't drink much. "You mean, a novel about decent lesbians."

"That's right. According to about ninety-five percent of the gay books on the market, we just don't have any morals. We hop from bed to bar and back to bed again, with anybody who comes along. It's wonderful."

"Oh, I don't know. Remember, we all end up as alcoholics or dope addicts or suicides."

"Or in bed with a man, after hating men for two hundred pages. In Paperback Land people switch loves the way you and I change our stockings, but they all settle for the pure love of a good man on the last page."

Joan was thoughtful. "I don't hate men. They're some of the nicest people I know."

"That's because you never slept with one. All lesbians become lesbians because they're brutally raped in Chapter One. As soon as a kind, understanding male comes along, they respond passionately to his caresses."

"Everyone in Paperback Land responds passionately, twenty-four hours a day," Joan reminded me. "Nobody ever has a head cold or a backache, or final exams coming up. Nobody's ever annoyed because her roommate leaves the cap off the toothpaste or forgets to pay the telephone bill. All they do is--"

"Unh, unh," I warned, "don't use that kind of language. You have to describe your love scenes in palpitating detail, but you can't use any of those good old basic words everybody knows. They're immoral."

Joan carried her diet pop bottle into the kitchen, "I like your apartment," she called back. "Can I use it in my book, if I decide to write one?"

"Certainly not. People in Paperback Land don't live in ordinary apartments, just penthouses or beatnik-type slums. They don't have regular jobs, either. They're actresses or dress designers, or they wear men's pants and work as bartenders or elevator operators. The ones who wear men's pants are tough butches who go around picking fights with men."

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Joan, who is a librarian, said, "Gee, what am I doing living with a file clerk? And my former friend worked in a department store. Where do you meet all these glamorous actresses?"

"I once met an actress at an autographing party," I remembered helpfully. "She was about fifty and wore falsies."

"Nobody in Paperback Land is flat-chested. They all have great big bulging bosoms, and they wear black nylon underclothes and transparent blouses. We dropped in at Carlo's Castle for one beer last Saturday night," Joan said, "but nobody was there in a transparent blouse. They must not have read the books."

"Anyway," I got back to the subject in hand, "if you want to get a gay book published, you'll have to forget about real life. One or two publishers will let you have a happy ending, girl gets girl, but they have to make mad love with a dozen other people first."

"I really need to earn some extra money," Joan said. "My roommate may have to have her appendix out. Do you think if I told the editor--"

"Nope. Nobody in Paperback Land has an appendix, just a gorgeous bosom plus other basic equipment. Your girl may meet a gay gal doctor in Paperback Land, if that's any help, but the doctor will be too busy to look after her patients."

"I know. She'll be luring restless married women into a shadowland of unnatural lust."

"That's right. Women executives are even worse. They seduce secretary after secretary, while the mail piles up in the IN basket."

Joan said dryly, "Thanks for the encouragement. I'd start my novel right away, but I have to go to the laundromat. I owe my mother a letter, too."

"In Paperback Land nobody has parents," I reminded her. "And they don't get out of bed long enough to wash the sheets."

"Sounds unsanitary. By the way, when is your new book coming out? "

I winced. "It's not. They sent me a contract giving the publisher the right to make certain minor alterations--like changing the entire plot and all the characters. Good thing I have a part-time job."

Joan gathered up the books she had borrowed. "Maybe you could put on a black lace bra and seduce the editor. Then you too could end up in the arms of a good man."

"No thanks. Besides--"

But she was already halfway down the stairs.

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Oh well, I thought as I went into the kitchen to drown my sorrows in diet pop, why disillusion the kid? If she doesn't know Paperback Land was invented by male authors in search of a fast buck, or compensating for their own sexual inadequacy, why should I tell her? She'll find out fast enough that being a lesbian is the easiest way to disqualify oneself from getting a gay book published.

I wonder how you get a job as an elevator operator?


(Portrait of a Woman of 40)

There a woman passes--
Gratian the grey-eyed--
with a gift of fitting silence,
with level divining gaze,
a ready shoulder for burden
and unshaken lips.

But behind her are wistful shadows...

Zoe who ran brown-footed in wet grass,
hair a flung banner,
throat and wrists curved back against the
soft gale,
fleet child's body, and eyes as secret
as dawn.

There was Nada
of restless, tempered grace,
dancing with light sure feet and pliant
smiling swift-hearted,
fleeing back behind wide proud eyes;
Nada with slipping whimsy voice
and a madcap's tongue.

And Ardis, who sat long in shadowy places,
drowned in books,
floating and lost in dreams,
seeing the faint rosy roofs and white towers
against cobalt sky,
breathing the musk, the jessamine,
hearing the smooth tunes, the amorous
the cool mocking silver laughter
of the Land of Coccaigne.

But only their thin wraiths walk
when the moon is clear
and old friends call.

Gratian is growing.

- Abigail Sanford

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Lesbiana by Gene Damon

308. JOURNEY TO FULFILLMENT--by Valerie Taylor. Midwood Tower, 1964.

Miss Taylor's three novels featuring Erika Frohmann as heroine have appeared in chronologically reversed order. This book takes up Erika's childhood years in a concentration camp, her adoption by an American family, her first teenage love affair, and her first serious attachment, to a much older woman. All this precedes her experiences with Kate Wood (A WORLD WITHOUT MEN) and Frances Ollenfield (RETURN TO LESBOS). This story with its emphasis on Erika's youthful years is less interesting than the other two novels about her life, but it is a welcome and nicely written piece for the overall picture of an appealing fictional lesbian character.

309. THE HORSE KNOWS THE WAY--by John 0'Hara. Random House, 1963, 1964.

Three of the stories in this excellent collection have homosexual content. "The Staring Game" and "The Jet Set" concern male homosexuality. "Clayton Bunter" is a subtle and gently humorous tale about the life-long menage of Clayton, his older sister, and his wife. The story opens with Clayton's death and goes back in time to record the friendship of his wife and his sister and their happy life together.

310./ A JOURNAL OF LOVE--by Edward Mannix. Dial Press, 1964.

Though the "journal" kept by an eccentric young author is primarily about his love affair with Janine, much of the story concerns the relationship between Janine and Roberta (Bobby), a neighbor of the narrator. Well handled in spots, particularly in the chapter-long account of the girls' mutual seduction, but overall it reads like an exercise rather than an experience.

311. THE OTHER GIRL--by Theodora Keogh. London, Neville Spearman, 1962.

This realistic, straightforward narrative is a departure from Keogh's usual style of obscure writing with much symbolism.

Margory Vulawski is unlike any lesbian you or I will ever know, but she is a convincing character and probably many Margorys walk the earth. Margory leaves her father's farm in the mid-1940's and, since men are scarce, she readily finds work as a mechanic in Los Angeles. She meets and falls in love with Betty, a beautiful slut. Chance and circumstance seem to afford Margory one wonderful night and part of a lovely day with Betty. But the unworthy Betty takes advantage of Margory's

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devotion (and money.) Inevitably, since Betty is not a lesbian, Margory is left by the wayside. Somewhere in the back of her mind lies a "vague, throbbing tide,"and at the close of a day of humiliation the tide rolls up and brings the story to its shocking end.

Early in the narrative,a man who admires Betty sexually says about her: "Yes, she was like some flower, its petals bred thicker and thicker, its colour murky with the perversion of man--like a dahlia, a black dahlia." This book is in a sense a mystery novel. It suggests a plausible answer to the famous and still unsolved California case upon which it unmistakably is based.

going on
crying inconsolate
seeking after shelter
always looking through a window
face pressed
close against the glass
frozen forever
from outstretched clasp
going on
as far as yonder
lost in light
touching lamp-posts for a token
in a starry night
calling like the loon
diving into dark
upon a lake of loveliness
merely not mine
never nearing
ears with hearing
an open heart
one drop of cautious caring
and on
but only as far as yonder
as far as
barely beyond

- N.F.K.

Compassion is a Chinese greeting
Justice--disappointed eyes
Mercy is the lap of judgement
Just the naked skies

- Elise Cowen

[p. 14] | [Page Image]

Cross -Currents

Some TV stations in Canada and the U. S. have shown a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation film on homosexuality which included the expected line-up of professionals giving their views: an anthropologist, psychiatrists, clergymen, and law-enforcement officers. Nonetheless the show has been judged a comparatively rational and responsible handling of the subject.

When it came to picking a catchy title for the show, the producers were obviously taken with sensation-writer Jess Steam's slick phrase "The Sixth Man"--referring to the conjecture that statistically, one man out of six is homosexual. But apparently the CBC people couldn't quite believe it. They settled for a more conservative estimate of the gay male population and called the show "Every Tenth Man."

To the unidentified LADDER reader in Seattle, Washington, who reported seeing this show and regretted that there was no sign of a sequel called "Every Tenth Woman": See the article "The Invisible Woman" in this issue of THE LADDER!

On the February 8, 1965 cover of ANTIQUARIAN BOOKMAN, a journal for the rare and out-of-print book trade: "The only dirty word has 10 letters: C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P."

"Pink Foils Fascist Fomenting Fag Pest," flapped the flippant headline in the April 1965 issue of THE REALIST, a satire magazine. Below it was a write-up of the notorious Nazi incident at last year's ECHO Conference in Washington. The account quoted heavily from THE LADDER's January 1965 report, "A Nazi Stunt Fails," which was based on a tape-recording made on the spot during the homosexual-harassment visit by one of the American Nazi Party's handsome heterosexual henchmen.

In crediting THE LADDER for use of its material, THE REALIST characterized it as "a lesbian review of militant dignity."

Our society is "trying to outlaw single people," complains a Vassar College sociology professor. Her sprightly article, "Why Get Married?", appeared appropriately in the February 13 (Valentine) Issue of the SATURDAY EVENING POST. Dr. Leslie Koempel says that the all-consuming pursuit of the Ideal marriage that governs our whole American culture today, makes a lot of people unhappy and wastes productive energies that could go into other equally valuable life goals. She condemns the unnatural pressures we've built up which push everyone to marry and live lockstep, and she points out that our society

[p. 15] | [Page Image]

is thereby depriving itself of the talents and energies of unmarried persons who don't have to give their prime attention to spouse and children. Dr. Koempel notes with concern that today's young people have become so conditioned by the overvaluation of marriage that they don't even want to have the choice to marry or not to marry. She urges reversing our conformity stampede and encouraging gifted young people "to create their own life patterns. "

With the reprinting of the article in the May 1965 READER'S DIGEST, Dr. Koempel's prickly message has been well broadcast to the over-92%-married American adult public.

Benefits of Bachelorhood Dept.: A LADDER subscriber in San Francisco spotted two unrelated newspaper accounts of never-married ladies who have celebrated their 100th birthdays.

Among those gathered for the centennial of Sarah Tomlinson was retired Justice C. J. Goodell of the State District Court of Appeals, whom Miss Tomlinson had taught when he was in kindergarten. Miss Tomlinson, born in Spain, came to San Francisco in 1879. She attributes her long life to the fact that she never married.

Another centenary, Frances Tarpy, gave what the newspaper guilelessly called "a variant in answer to the question, 'What is the secret of your longevity?'. 'I never married'," was Miss Tarpy's reply. And she displayed her ringless left hand as she celebrated at a small party given by friends.

Homosexuality is the most serious minority problem in Sweden, says Henning Pallesen, a Swedish journalist who felt the need to write a book calling for greater acceptance of homosexuals. "The problem is not being homosexual, but being allowed to be one," he claims. To gain insight into the lives of homosexuals, Pallesen decided to identify himself with them--where-upon some of his old friendships ended abruptly.

Pallesen questions the notion that one can be seduced into homosexuality. He quotes a Swedish sex specialist who points out that if heterosexuality were "natural" and homosexuality "unnatural," then exposing homosexuals to the "natural" heterosexual experience should pull them around to heterosexuality, while a homosexual experience should have little influence on a heterosexual's "natural" drives.

Homosexuals in Sweden have it easier than most other persons with divergent sexual drives, claims Swedish psychiatrist Lars Ullerstam in his book THE EROTIC MINORITIES, which followed the Pallesen Book. Dr. Ullerstam feels that Christianity got its power through sexual taboos and is heavily to blame for - "poisoning the sexual attitudes" of Western culture. With the loosening of Christianity's grip in Sweden, there has been a superficial shift in attitude toward persons with divergent

[p. 16] | [Page Image]

sexual drives: while no longer "punished" in prisons, they are "treated" in mental institutions, with the same goal of correcting the disapproved behavior. Dr. Ullerstam notes that the welfare state benevolently fosters conventional heterosexual expression but cuts everything else out of the official picture. He says he would encourage divergent sexual outlets.

There are strange undercurrents in the mass-produced greeting cards. One "studio" card shows two girls enthusiastically gabbing, and the message goes: "we have a lot in common... we're both Americans...both like to spend money...adore dogs ...jazz...cheeseburgers...so you see, we could have a pretty good thing going for us...if one of us were a fella."

The homosexual-dance cause celebre (see "After the Ball" in the February/March LADDER) closed on a technicality in court.

On New Year's Day in San Francisco, police had harassed a benefit costume ball organized by the Council on Religion and the Homosexual to raise funds for its work. Three attorneys and a woman ticket-taker had been arrested. The Council hoped that the trial might pave the way to a substantive decision concerning homosexuals' rights of legal assembly and privacy. But the court hearing was cut short when the judge ordered a not guilty verdict because of confusion in the State's formal complaint that the lawyers and the woman had interfered with police entry to the ball.

Before the premature close of the trial, however, the court heard some colorful explanations from the testifying chief of the police department's sex-crimes detail. When asked why police photographers had snapped pictures of guests arriving at the hall where the dance was held,. Inspector Nieto replied that police "wanted pictures of these people because some of them might be connected to national security." Nieto was also asked why he took along to the ball more than a dozen officers and a policewoman plus the two photographers. He side-stepped with the assertion, "We went just to inspect the premises."

A UPI item from England notes that there are three doors in a corridor of a factory in a London suburb. Between the doors labeled "Ladies" and "Gentlemen" is one marked "Experimental."


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 the name and date of the publication. Dispatch to the Editor, c/o DOB headquarters.

[p. 17] | [Page Image]

A' Comin' ?

or, How Can You Tell
the Girls from the Boys?

Clothing fashions reveal on the outside the inner life of an era. The avant-garde fashions of this moment, which like everything else today are fast moving down to the mass level, have a startling story to tell.

In Paris, there has been a revolution in fashion design equivalent in significance to the storming of the Bastille in 1789. The leader of the revolution is the designer Courreges, whose new "Look" has already begun to spread over the world. In our fast-moving era, fashion ideas take hold as fast as they are born, and hip women in the cities of Siam, Argentina, Sweden and South Africa, as well as in Paris and New York, are decked out in the new international style.

What is the Look? According to the yells of protest issuing from the old guard of the design world, who have been deposed by the revolution, its chief characteristic is that it's Unfeminine. "The Courreges Look is hard as steel," protests American designer Donald Brooks. "I don't think women with taste will wear them...a sadist might," shudders English designer Geoffrey Beene.

What do these clothes look like? Characterizing the Look as "tough chic," Women's Wear Daily reports that the cowboy theme dominates Courreges's controversial collection. Women's Wear Daily's woman reporter in Paris gives an orgastic description of "those erotic pants, cut cigarette slim, high in the crotch, low on the hips" and delights in the "welt seams forming bold stripes running up the inside leg, crisscrossing at the vital parts front and back" and repeats: "the most erotic thing in years." Also producing sexual ecstasy in the reporter are the "cowboy leather belts slotted below the bare navel and on the buttocks--it all moves to the beat of the music."

Cowgirl suspender dresses, pants suits with tattersail jackets for wearing in town or to business, cowboy straw hats, boots and big motorcycle goggles are also part of the Look, which replaces female curves with a hard square architectural look.

[p. 18] | [Page Image]

Yet, as the Women's Wear reporter enthusiastically points out, "the body is always there--sex must out." Not the old-style femininity. "Tough chic" is the new lock.

A New York Times fashion supplement had a Courreges theme running throughout Girls were shown on motorcycles or in high powered sports cars wearing helmets, goggles and boots along with the boyish clothes.

Radio commentator Jean Shepherd spent hours protesting the "masculinization" of today's hip young woman. There are no girls anymore, a new sex has emerged and the last thing It's interested in is men, he reports, hysteria lurking in his voice.

Agreeing with him, but much less alarmed about it, Harper's Bazaar's April issue featured girls in the new "look" accompanied by young men who also had a new look. "Frankly Beautiful New Young Gentlemen" is the way they are described, with their "long, extremely tossable hair" which they brush with "absorption." This newly discovered creature "chooses his shampoos with the gravity of a connoisseur and scents himself with enormous care...seriously collects colognes, perfumes, powders, shave creams and shampoos." And, the magazine predicts, tomorrow he'll be frankly using makeup.

Harper's Bazaar notes: "How you feel about this Frankly Beautiful New Young Gentleman is, frankly, your own business. But this much is certain. You must reckon with him. He is here - and now."

Obviously, if nothing else, this young man is here to stay because he's such a marvellous consumer.

In a rather defeatist mood, columnist Russell Baker observes on the New York Times' editorial page that Harper's Bazaar has stacked the cards against anyone who objects to the way the world is moving. It has outmoded the common garden-variety male, describing him as "Old Mr. Muscles" and calling him "as square and wiped-out as the Hupmobile." No one wants to be square and wiped-out, so they have to go with the trend, Baker complains. Bazaar- has planted the idea "that among the modern young, feminine is masculine" and the older fellows don't want to be left behind. But, he observes, "There are consolations. The clothes those fashion models wear can finally be worn by men, for whom they seem to be designed, anyhow. And it may very well end the population explosion."

One of Bazaar's Frankly Beautiful New Young Gentlemen is Nicky Haslam, a 25-year-old Englishman who works on magazines in New York. "Within a decade," Nicky tells Women's Wear Daily's interviewer, "love rather than marriage will be the thing." He goes on coolly, "And all sorts of sexual behavior will become less curious." He talks about his friends as "serious people with a strong feeling for gaiety." Photographer David Bailey, he says, is "absolutely my closest friend. I think he's a genius." Photos show Nicky in tight jeans and sweater and Mod haircut, sprawling on an exotic Indian bedspread.

[p. 19] | [Page Image]

And in Rome they're doing as everyone else is doing. Women's Wear's Italian bureau reports on another day that in the new Mod fashion sweeping over the sophisticated young, "the boys prefer to look Edwardian...The girls go for tweed skirts, with men's shirts and ties...sturdy shoes, mostly black with thick heels and wide straps."

While New York was assimilating Bazaar's bringing into the- light what everyone has known for some time, and the official, if satirical, acknowledgment on the august Times! editorial page, the San Francisco Ballet came to town. One reviewer objected righteously to the homosexual character of ballet called "Life," with its black-leather-jacketed boys with HATE spelled out on their backs and S and M, representing Sadism and Masochism, lettered in a skull above them and on a set of lapels.

A few days later the New York Times reviewer described without comment, but without enthusiasm, another of the company's ballets, "Shadows," in which "the girls are dressed in yellow, the boys in gray. At the end of the work, one of the girls gets transformed into a gray-wearing girl and walks off into shadowland with one of the boys."

But the new era was officially ushered in when the Royal Ballet of England arrived in New York the following week and "the beautiful" Rudolf Nureyev took over the city. (He was also TIME magazine's cover boy.) On the front page of Women's Wear Daily appeared a photo of long-haired Nureyev (there were snide rumors that those dramatic tossing locks were really a wig) along with a drawing of a girl in a checked suit, with skirt, shirt and tie. The caption gloated, "Rudolf has been seen all over New York in HIS. LOOK--the tight little checked jacket, the tight little pants... very St. Laurent (a women's designer) with its little glimpse of white collar and black tie.

"It's a look for the ladies with a certain something...and if you really follow the Nureyev Look, your skirt will be very tight, very tight in the back.


- Georgette

[p. 20] | [Page Image]


(society's accusations)

they call it defiance of the
laws of nature.
you as a woman cannot love
another woman

for it is immoral, and you would
abuse your body, distort your mind,
we cannot accept you then as
a human being.
rebuke motherhood and marriage
and you would be less of a woman.


(in response)

who determines the laws of nature?
is it not the nature of
man who sees and interprets
what should be.
should it be immoral to
love from the depth of one's being
or break the boundaries of
sex, race, and age
or feel that your love
is pure and sincere?

you are a woman even without
the need of a man or marriage.
you are a woman, though not being
a mother.
so, let us not speak of what
should be, and speak of what is.


(of what is...)

yes, in you darling I find the
fragrance of orange blossoms
delicate, fresh, and pure.
and when you are away you remain
in my thoughts and presence.
when we touch nothing could
be more right for there is
no reflective image of me
in you.
there is the mystery, the delights,
and the joys of being mother,
child, and lover.

- Kim S.

[p. 21] | [Page Image]


I've become an old hand at confiding my gay nature to straight folk. My attempts at Living Propaganda have been improving over the years and I haven't had a real failure for some time. Perhaps that's because I'm wiser now in choosing my victims. But my first attempt was a failure. It was like this:

The year was 1943. I was in the Army, and I was young. I had previously had my suspicions about myself, but the college library had given me no help. I thought of myself as unique, uniquely criminal. Not a word must I breathe to anyone.

The WAC was more helpful than the college library. In the WAC, I fell in love. Not the awkward, inept sort of thing of the past, but my first great love. I learned then that I was not unique, but the inordinate fear of detection stayed with me. Otherwise all was bliss.

And then she was transferred to another base.

She was sensitive and gifted, and she had been hurt by life. She needed me; I had to get to her. That meant my getting out of the Army. Not so easy in wartime. I plotted and thought, and time passed.

Then I came across an AR (Army-Regulation) buried in the old Section VIII, the "psycho" section. It was brief and no doubt written long before WACs were thought of. Its message was that a homosexual could be honorably discharged if there were no aggravating circumstances. Well, I hadn't seduced any little children.

Suddenly the solution to my problem was very simple. It only entailed my confessing to the proper authority. I thought some more. My life would be ruined, my family would disown me.... But SHE needed me. It was a time for courage and for action. I made an appointment with the personnel officer, a young (but old to me) major.

The morning of the fatal day I dressed to look especially smart. I rehearsed my speech again and again. I should say my speeches, for no two were alike. They all tended to be lengthy, forceful, articulate--and of course, courageous.

Precisely at 10 a.m., with my chin up and my tummy tucked in, and clutching my little AR, I walked into the Star Chamber. I have no recollection of my real speech. Did I even salute? I do remember thrusting that AR over the desk at the handsome and terrifying major, and uttering perhaps half a small sentence.

Ages passed and my mind whirled. I had burned my bridges. I had sacrificed all on the altar of love. I trembled; I froze;

[p. 22] | [Page Image]

I awaited my fate. Then the major smiled. In a kindly voice he said, "You're kidding. I don't believe you."

I was stunned. Naturally I had rehearsed all the major's possible answers. I was ready to hang my head in deepest shame, to bear up under all insults, to weep or not weep, as might be necessary. Something was terribly wrong.

At last I blurted out, "But I AM one!"

We argued. I pleaded. But it was useless; I could not convince him.

It was at least fifteen years before I could see how funny my failure was. Well, that was wartime and--c'est la guerre.

- Rita Laporte

Golden Rule

by Gene Damon

To say Sandra had a calculating mind would be an understatement. Ordinarily Jerri and I avoid seeing much of Sandra. Oh, we like her, but her coldly analytical treatment of people and the world in general is unbearable after a short period. But that day, when Jerri was on her way home to me after a trip to Chicago, the three weeks of unrelieved boredom became too much for me.

Sandra's apartment expresses her personality. It is simple and expensive and beautiful, but the overall impression is that she really lives somewhere else and slips into her showcase just before you arrive. This showcase is on the ground floor of a three-sided building and the best part of it is the large front window that overlooks the court.

When I got to Sandra's it was only four in the afternoon but already nearly dark. A wind had risen to the north and clouds were closing over, blotting out the receding February sun. Sandra took my coat and led me to the comfortable chairs near the front window. She seemed edgy. We talked in fits and starts, of this person and that book. Her mind seemed outside and dark, like the wind-swept court.

Suddenly she stopped talking and leaned close to me, taking my hand. I drew back, startled, and she smiled.

"Beth, do you remember that married couple across the court I pointed out to you when you were here in December?"

"Oh yes, the little blonde girl with golden eyes and that elfin husband dancing beside her. What about them?"

[p. 23] | [Page Image]

"Do you remember what I said about them?"

"Not exactly," I replied. "Something about he was a fairy for sure and you ought to take that lovely girl away from him." I blushed, for that wasn't exactly the way she had phrased it.

"Well, Beth, I've been seeing her a lot since then. Her name is Darlene Clay, and Bill, her husband, is the manager at Carter's and Sons. Darlene is lovely, and he is nice but all wrong for her, of course."

"So what have you done, unmatched them to suit yourself?" The edge of sarcasm was in my voice.

She ignored me a moment and then went on. "We've gone everywhere together--sometimes all three of us, but usually just she and I alone. Darlene seemed to fall in love with me at once, almost at sight, and..."

Furious at Sandra's complete indifference to her victims, I cut her off with "Don't you think you carry your joke on mankind a bit far?"

Sandra got up and walked slowly to the window and then turned to face me, outlined against the last trace of light. "You don't understand, Beth. They were doing it together as a joke on me. Darlene told me. Bill saw me watching Darlene right after they moved in, and they thought it would be fun to, as they put it, lead a dyke on. I love her, Beth. I never loved any of the others. But she was only playing a trick..."

I got my coat and walked back to her at the window. I kissed her cheek. "Jerri and I will be over tomorrow night, Sandra."

She nodded but didn't speak, and I left the showcase knowing that when I came again, a different Sandra would live there.


- The rate for FOREIGN SUBSCRIPTION to THE LADDER (outside the U. S., Canada and Mexico) is $6 for a year. It's a bargain! Send orders and payments to THE LADDER's Circulation Manager at DOB headquarters in San Francisco.

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- WHEN YOU MOVE, please notify our Circulation Manager. The postage rate used for the magazine 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.

[p. 24] | [Page Image]


The April edition of THE LADDER tops them all, in my opinion. Both what is said, and how it is said, seem to me to be of special quality..

I was very favorably impressed by "A Practical Platform," and when this was followed by that excellent analysis, "The Heterosexual Obsession," I was increasingly gratified. Of course, this article could have been titled "The Heterosexual and the Homosexual Obsession," because too many homosexuals share the prevalent, albeit mistaken, belief that they are sexually maladjusted and need psychotherapy to become "normal." One tends to become tainted by the cultural myths, even when the myths militate against one's own beliefs, deepest feelings, and emotional health.

For years I have been decrying the insulting notion that homosexuality is something to be "cured." I continue to believe that it is as normal a type of sexual adjustment--or perhaps I should say, more cautiously, that it can be as normal a type of adjustment--as heterosexuality. And let us not pretend that heterosexuality does not go off the deep end here and there, because we know that it does.

It was also gratifying to read L. E. E.'s comments about research on homosexuality. The very diligence with which studies are directed toward finding out "why" people are homosexual often contributes to the feeling that somehow it must be wrong to be homosexual. After all, nobody is trying to find out why people are heterosexual. Nobody wants to discover the causes of heterosexuality in order to learn what might be done to change a heterosexual into something presumably more desirable.

There are more and more homosexuals who do not want to be harried with the "Why are we this way?" approach; who are coming into the happy realization that their sexual pattern of living has much to be said in its favor and that they do not want to change it; who are beginning to realize that homosexuality, given an environment free from the ignorant and painful criticisms and disapprovals of a backward society (and not all our researchers can be excluded from this group), could be as normal and desirable a way of life as heterosexuality, which also is scarcely without its flaws.

I am currently taking graduate work at _____ College, and my observations there support L. E. E.'s contention that the younger generation is breaking with many of the traditional attitudes toward sexuality--not only in the matters of dress

[p. 25] | [Page Image]

and of acceptance of non-heterosexuals, but also in the areas of speech and body management. More power to the younger generation!

In general it looks as if better times are on the way. And when they come, you will probably lose me. I am only interested in causes where the people directly involved cannot speak for themselves. And you are certainly learning how to do that quickly--and well!

- F. I. B., California

May I congratulate you on a much improved magazine which has been put together with a great deal of taste. I hope you will be able to keep it on the level evidenced by the last few issues.

- B. B., Massachusetts

I was greatly impressed by the challenging article, "I Hate Women," in the February/March LADDER. It seems to me that the biggest contribution a lesbian magazine can now make to both lesbians and society in general is to explore the murky area of the feminine identity and the changed and changing relations between the sexes in our time.

Two years ago Betty Friedan's book, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE, brought to general attention the fact that a "snow" job had been done on the modern woman--that she had been shoved back into her old "place" at the very point in history when she was ready to emerge as a fully individuated human being.

I am beginning to feel, however, that Mrs. Friedan's solution - that modern woman add a career to her family responsibilities - will only result in more trouble for everyone concerned.

The kind of influence Mrs. Friedan's book is having was brought home to me recently when a friend, the 32-year-old mother of three youngsters, aged two, four, and seven, told me that she was planning to start work on her doctorate.

"Everyone is doing it," she said. "Motherhood is not enough."

She didn't say enough of what, but from the tenor of her remarks I gathered it wasn't enough to keep up with the other girls. This woman had eight years before cut short her graduate work because all her girl friends were finding""fulfillment" and "self-realization" in marriage and motherhood.

The most articulate feminist of all time, Bernard Shaw,had something to say about this matter more than a quarter of a century ago in a play called "Getting Married." The heroine, named, interestingly enough, Lesbia Grantham is violently anti-marriage. On the other hand, she says that she would

[p. 26] | [Page Image]

like to be a mother and believes that she would make an excellent mother if the state would subsidize her to do the job.

"If I am to be a mother," she says, "I really cannot have a man bothering me to be a wife at the same time."

Lesbia is well above the average woman in mind and energy. Yet she believes that combining even wifehood and motherhood on the high level of her own standards is just too much. But Mrs. Friedan and her followers tell the average woman that it would be good for both her and her family to be a career gal as well as a wife and mother!

What has all this to do with lesbianism? A great deal, I think. Lesbians are a very special breed of the homosexual species. They share in the life and problems of all women. It seems to me that they can do something more and better than provide a grotesque mirror of the most ludicrous aspects of present-day heterosexual relations. They do not have to play a game in which one girl has a chance to take on the idiotically outmoded role allotted to men in our society. Lesbianism offers unique opportunity for two women to develop their best potentials without sacrificing their right to the basic satisfactions of love and companionship.

Not until quite recently, under the pressures of the population explosion, has anyone dared to speak up in behalf of the totally committed career woman. The voices that do speak for her are, at present, few and weak. And they do insist officially upon celibacy and unofficially are willing to let her engage in casual extra-marital heterosexual affairs.

In other words, our social patterns will tolerate a minute number of unmarried females, but they demand that these creatures be hard and cold as nails. In our world today, the woman who wants to commit herself totally to a career accepts this condemnation as an essential fact about her personality.

Is this necessarily so, however? I don't think so. I think many women who prefer commitment to a career without the responsibilities of wifehood and motherhood would also like to find the kind of emotional satisfaction that is possible only on a sustained basis between equal partners. In today's world this kind of life is open only to the lesbian, but I think it may well serve as an ideal example for many heterosexual couples.

I, personally, look forward to the time when society sees lesbianism in a new light--as a possible road to health rather than a symptom of "sickness." I hope that lesbians will stop asking "What is wrong with us?" and will become concerned about what is wrong with society. At that time., I believe that psychologists and social scientists will turn to THE LADDER for fresh Ideas and insights on improving social patterns rather than for "sick" material to support the decrepit structure of their theories.

- Mrs. J. I., New York

[p. 27] | [Page Image]



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 $5.00 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 26th St., New York l, N. Y.
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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 $5.00 for each year ordered.




I am over 21 years of age (Signed

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


TO E.C.H.O. '65


The Ladder, July 1965, August 1965, Vol. 9, No. 10 and 11

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

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

purposes 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.

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

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

[p. 3] | [Page Image]

Published monthly by the Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., a nonprofit 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.


DEVIANCE--by Howard S. Becker. Book
Review by Professor Val Clear
Why I Became a Lesbian--by E. N. 9
Lesbiana--by Gene Damon 13
Research Is Here to Stay--by Florence Conrad 15
Youth-Romance--by Ger 22
Homosexuals Picket in Nation's Capital 23
Readers Respond 25

Front and back cover photos by courtesy of SANDY

Copyright 1965 by Daughters of Bilitis, Inc., San Francisco, California

[p. 4] | [Page Image]



by Howard S. Becker

(The Free Press (Macmillan), 1963, $5.00)

The cover of this book sets the tone. No other decoration or even name appears--just a square peg and a round hole adorn the cover.

Howard S. Becker is a reputable sociologist and writer at Stanford University who was apparently persuaded to pull together two studies that he had published previously and to add introductory and concluding chapters. Hence the core (and half the bulk) of his book OUTSIDERS consists of analytical studies of marijuana users and dance musicians--four articles reprinted from professional journals. Readers of THE LADDER will wish Becker had given more direct attention to other kinds of outsiders. But implications for the thoughtful reader are there throughout the book, and at several points Becker brings up homosexuality specifically though briefly.

At first reading, I reacted negatively to Becker's definition of an outsider. He says, "All social groups make rules. When a rule is enforced, the person who is supposed to have broken it may be seen as a special kind of person, one who cannot be trusted to live by the rules agreed on by the group. He is regarded as an outsider." (p. 1) Becker maintains that outsiders exist only when rules are created and then applied to particular people who are thus labeled as outsiders, "From this point of view, deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an 'offender'." (p. 9)

Is it true that "outsiderness" is a state that does not exist until someone draws a line creating it? Further thought forced me tack to Becker's view. The drawing of the line is not necessarily done in a formal and explicit act. It can be done subtly by the unfolding of the mores.

Becker indirectly illustrates that rules are not necessarily explicit and formal when he points out (in another context) that in our society, rules are in many respects made by white people for Negroes; by men for women; by adults for adolescents; by the middle class for the lower class; by Protestant Anglo-Saxons for other groups.

The chapter entitled "Moral Entrepreneurs" contains two of the best sections of the book: a discussion of rule-creators and

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a discussion of rule-enforcers. I found these especially insightful. Here Becker shows some of the dynamics associated with society's creation of rules.

A prototype of the rule-creator is the crusading reformer who is convinced that existing rules (which may or may not be formal laws) are not adequate to cope with the evil he feels must be corrected. He is an absolutist. He sees things only in black and white, and he is willing to make whatever personal sacrifice is necessary to set things right. Though he may be operating from wholesome motives, his judgment may suffer from single mindedness. And his training is usually limited, so when he has achieved his goal of arousing the populace to the dangers he sees, he must look for an expert to formulate his crusade into specific legal proposals.

Thus, says Becker, the crusade may fall afoul of experts in other fields, who because of their particular orientation twist the drive for reform into channels reflecting their own specialized interests and competencies. Prime offenders traditionally have been lawyers. But in recent years psychiatrists increasingly have captured movements in this manner. Becker notes that "those who draft legislation for crusaders have their own interests which may affect the legislation they prepare. It is likely that the sexual psychopath laws drawn by psychiatrists contain many features never intended by the citizens who spearheaded drives to 'do something about sex crimes,'features which do however reflect the professional interests of organized psychiatry," (p. 152)

Going on to discuss rule-enforcers, Becker points out that an unavoidable outcome of the successful moral crusade is a police force. When rules are created, outsiders are created and policemen are needed to police them. This is in some respects better than leaving enforcement to the rule-creators, because the policeman tends to have a more detached view of his job. He tends not to have the crusader's zeal and personal involvement; he merely apprehends where the law requires it.

But he is faced with practical problems. He must show that he is needed. He must produce enough rule-breakers in court to justify his continuing employment as rule-enforcer. At the same time, his resources and time are limited, so he develops a system of priorities for his work. Thus he enforces rules in a selective way. Whether the person who commits a deviant act gets caught, and thereby gets publicly labeled as deviant, often depends on factors extraneous to his actual behavior, including such factors as the rule-enforcer's set of priorities, whether the enforcer is making a special show of doing his job, and whether the rule-breaker has shown proper deference to the enforcer.

Becker says many interesting things about research. He calls attention to the fact that what little research has been done on deviance is limited almost entirely to studies of rule-breakers. Very little has been done to study scientifically rule-enforcers, or rule-creators (other than studies of the prophet as a sociological type). Furthermore, only certain

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kinds of rule-breakers have been studied. Becker says, for example, that "an area of deviance of utmost importance for sociological theorists has hardly been studied at all. This is the area of professional misconduct. ...for all the wealth of sociological descriptions of professional behavior and culture, we have few if any studies of unethical behavior by professionals." (p. 167)

One formidable obstacle to research into deviance comes from the fact that researchers are generally outsiders to the subculture of deviation that they are trying to study. Kinsey's studies have been questioned--very validly, it seems to me-- on grounds that the kinds of information he sought just are not imparted in our culture to strangers. The satyr may exaggerate his exploits to a sympathetic listener or conceal his aberration from a stranger whose integrity he feels he cannot trust. To be sure of securing perfectly accurate information about "normal" sexual behavior in our society is extremely difficult; to do so about behavior society labels as abnormal is almost impossible using the Kinsey techniques of direct interviewing of masses of people.

In particular, says Becker, "the student of deviance must convince those he studies that he will not be dangerous to them, that they will not suffer for what they reveal to him. The researcher, therefore, must participate intensely and continuously with the deviants he wants to study so that they will get to know him well enough to be able to make some assessment of whether his activities will adversely affect theirs." (p. 168)

Although Becker mentions having seen MATTACHINE REVIEW and ONE Magazine, he apparently was not aware of some of the research projects involving homophile organizations. If a reputable homophile organization assures respondents that anonymity will be zealously guarded, some of the source of error in research might be reduced if not eliminated. And this is happening.

However,- there is another major problem. Most unsubsidized research of this kind now being done in our society is for doctoral dissertations, and the best method for much social research is the participant observer. The ideal combination would be a mature and stable Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago who was himself a homosexual active in the homophile movement. But to identify himself publicly as a homosexual in our present stage of society would be to jeopardize his degree; just one intemperate faculty member on the committee could nullify six years of the candidate's graduate study. It would be an unusual person who could weather the pressures of such a situation.

In explaining how insufficient descriptive research on social phenomena can lead to faulty theorizing, Becker gives this example: "...our theories are likely to be quite inadequate if we believe that all homosexuals are more or less confirmed members of homosexual subcultures. A recent study reveals an important group of participants in homosexual relations who are not in the least confirmed homosexuals. Reiss has shown that many juvenile delinquents 'hustle queers' as a relatively

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safe way of picking up money. They do not regard themselves, as homosexuals and when they reach an age to participate in more aggressive and profitable kinds of delinquency they drop the practice. How many other varieties of homosexual behavior await discovery and description? And what effect would their discovery and description have on our theories?" (pp. 167-8)

My first reaction to Becker's point here was puzzlement that he would refer to juvenile delinquents who "hustle queers" as homosexuals. But perhaps my confusion serves to document his assertion that broader research is greatly needed. I am sure the statistics on incidence of homosexuality include a number of such juveniles despite the fact they are not in any real sense homosexual in their orientation to life.

In a brief attempt to develop a typology of deviance, Becker begins a promising excursion that he ends too abruptly. Perhaps some day he will push it further. As he correctly points out, this is an exercise that should be done before further research is attempted, because different types of deviant behavior can be confusing and can invalidate results if they are not distinguished in the research process. Of relevance to the homophile movement is his helpful distinction between the "pure deviant" and the "secret deviant." I believe that any research in the field would throw more light on homosexuality if data were sought separately for these two groups. More thought and pilot research projects are needed at this point.

This book partakes of the weakness of most books consisting of articles written for other purposes and occasions. It is not well integrated on all aspects of Becker's theory--such as the idea that outsiderness does not exist until someone draws a line creating it. For instance, in his chapters on the jazz musicians' subculture, Becker comes close to spelling out this idea that deviance exists only after a rule is created, but he does not do so as explicitly as it warrants. To avoid putting words into Becker's mouth, let me label the following as my own reaction, triggered by some of the things Becker says.

Like the nouveau-riche taking culture lessons, who was amazed to learn that he had been speaking prose all his life without knowing it, some deviants are surprised to find that they fit into a category different from other people. Prior to this realization, they may have been only vaguely aware of a lack of commonality with the rest of the world at some points. But they have no significant insight into this until suddenly they become aware of a rule which they have violated. The "rule" is not necessarily written law; it may be part of established mores, violation of which is considered serious by society.

In this sudden awareness comes outsiderness. The "coming out" experience so dramatically described in current literature illustrates this. Has the person changed as a result of his first homosexual experience? I believe he has in most cases.

C. H. Cooley, a pioneer social psychologist, developed the concept of the "looking-glass self." The central fact of personality, said Cooley, is our tendency to react to the way we

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think others perceive us. This happens in three parts: imagination of the way we appear to the other person, imagination of his judgment of that appearance, and some sort of self-feeling like pride or mortification.

I assert that the experience whereby a person comes to see himself in his looking-glass as a homosexual is likely to be an experience so traumatic (I search in vain for a better-adjective) that he is to a significant degree a different person afterward. He is both outsider and insider: outsider to the straight world of his family, friends and business associates; insider to a new world of persons homosexually oriented. And he has migrated across a border as definitely as if he had moved from Michigan to Ontario.

I think Becker has done a service to the homophile movement, particularly by developing concepts of deviance and by calling for research on those who create and enforce rules as well as those who break them. He notes that "If we are to achieve a full understanding of deviant behavior, we must get these two possible foci of inquiry into balance." (p. 163) He explains the importance--and the difficulty--of trying to-capture the different perspectives of both sides.

Furthermore, Becker defines the rule-creating process as a political one, in which all groups may participate. Society's rules are not, he points out, "universally agreed to. Instead, they are the object of conflict and disagreement, part of the political process of society." (p. 18) Those on the nether side of any of society's rules should find OUTSIDERS interesting and insightful, and creative readers will be able to make specific applications of its content to their own worlds.

- Reviewed by Val Clear

(Professor Clear is Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Anderson College in Indiana)

The Church and the Homosexual

DOB Book Service announces a new booklet called THE CHURCH AND THE HOMOSEXUAL, prepared by Rev. Donald Kuhn of Glide Urban Center in San Francisco. It features comprehensive reports on the 4-day consultation between clergymen and homosexuals which was held in San Francisco in 1964 and which led to formation there of The Council on Religion and the Homosexual. The booklet also includes an extensive list of source materials.

Write today for your copy of THE CHURCH AND THE HOMOSEXUAL! Cost is $1.10 for this attractive 6x9 booklet of 44 pages. Get extra copies for your minister, your friends, your family. Send order and payment to: DOB Book Service, 1232 Market St,, Suite 108, San Francisco 2, California 94102.

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Why I Became
a Lesbian

I often read books and magazine articles about lesbianism by so-called experts and I laugh and laugh. Most of them are so far from my personal experience or that of any lesbian I ever met. I have lived as a lesbian for almost 20 years. I have undergone intensive psychotherapy. I am now in my late thirties and feel that I am well qualified to evaluate my experience and measure it against what is commonly presented as fact.

First I would like to dispel a few common misconceptions about the "typical" lesbian.

I did not become a lesbian because I was raped in childhood or adolescence or because I was cruelly treated by any man.

I did not become a lesbian because I had a drunken or tyrannical father who mistreated me or my mother, or because any individual soured me on the male sex.

I did not become a lesbian because I am physically mannish. (At age 14 I started drawing wolf whistles from the truck drivers and I still do.)

I did not become a lesbian because I was seduced by a "butch" girl.

A small number of lesbians have had experiences of the kind listed above, but this explains little. Many heterosexual women have had such experiences.

As for my own background, I come from a close-knit middle-class family. My parents were deeply devoted to one another and to their children. My sister and brothers are happily-married and are raising average American families.

What went "wrong" with me? From my point of view, nothing. When I was 19 and a college student, I met a girl nearly my own age with whom I developed an intense friendship. We were happy only when we were together and miserable when we were

© Copyright Sexology Corp., 1965
Reprinted by permission.

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apart. As soon as we were able to earn our own livings we went to live together and enjoyed our first serious physical contacts. We have loved one another ever since.

Does this sound a little too pretty and simple? It is. We have experienced great anguish and turbulence. Yet we are together despite circumstances that would have wrecked most heterosexual marriages.

Let me start at the beginning. I was never a tomboy. I was a bookish child who avoided rough games. From earliest childhood I had a strong dislike of domestic life. Tending a home and babies seemed dull and repulsive to me. I had no interest in dolls and never imagined myself becoming a mother.

Like many girls I dreamed of becoming an actress. When I grew older it became evident that my talents lay in another direction--art, I started to dream of being a great artist and working in my studio all day and coming home to a loving husband (also an artist) at night. My dream made no provision-for the execution of domestic chores.

When I first began to develop physically I took pride in my budding femininity. But pride turned to shame when I realized that suddenly my looks were everything, my accomplishments nothing. I remember my fury when a well-meaning relative turned away" from one of my pictures and said, "With your looks you don't need talent."

A frightful war then began within me. I had the adolescent's instinctive desire to be like everyone else, but I refused to wear make-up -or to flirt. I hated everything that suggested that a girl must make herself physically desirable and then wait for the right man to choose her. I had more to do with my life than that! Naturally, my teen years were very lonely.

At college I experienced a new burst of joy in life. I was accepted at a good women's college. My artistic abilities were encouraged--and I met my friend.

Lynn was a girl much like myself--fiercely ambitious and contemptuous of what she considered feminine subservience. Unlike me she was clear-minded about her future. She would never marry. I still daydreamed about finding the perfect male partner, a man who would not expect me to live a woman's life with its domestic and maternal responsibilities.

But Lynn and I were in accord on other subjects. She was in the social sciences, but had a strong appreciation of art. We stimulated one another to read more, to see more in the world around us. Despite the seriousness of our interests, we constantly laughed and joked and seemed to find humor everywhere.

This pure happiness was cut off one day when one of my friends took me aside, and after a few dark hints about "unhealthy relationships," told me that all the girls were saying Lynn and I were lesbians. I was able to deny this in all honesty, yet a sickening dread took hold of me when I recognized the

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germ of truth in what was said. I was never able to enjoy our relationship with the same abandon after that.

Then my parents got wind of the rumors about us. Again that frightening word "unhealthy" arose. I considered myself an adult, independent young woman, hut my parents' attitude affected me deeply. I felt guilty, although I was in fact innocent of anything except an uncontrollable need to he my own master and find love suited to my temperament.

When the pressures became unendurable, I left home. Lynn and I set up housekeeping in a dismal furnished room--the best we could afford. At last we were free to express in physical terms the tenderness and passion that had been growing beneath the surface for nearly 3 years. Neither of us seduced the other. We literally fell into one another's arms.

I would like to say that we were ecstatically happy in our new life. We weren't. There were moments of supreme happiness, of course, but there was also gnawing misery. My family was in an uproar and this depressed me deeply. Guilt and shame made me hide from my old friends and withdraw from the people with whom I worked. We could not even enjoy the company of other homosexuals because I didn't want to ally myself with them. But the idea of separation from Lynn filled me with horror.

This situation continued for several years. At last I went to a psychiatrist. For years the doctor and I poked and prodded my psyche at several sessions a week. I accepted his diagnosis completely. I, like all men and women, was basically bisexual, I, like all homosexuals, chose one of my own sex to love because I was unconsciously afraid of intercourse with men.

The reasons for this fear were never established. In any case, the doctor said, I had formed my ambitions and my ideas about life essentially as a defense against experiencing heterosexual sex.

I set out to overcome my fears. I began to date men and to have physical relations with them. My first sex experience with a man was far from satisfactory, but gradually I came to fully enjoy heterosexual love-making and I was twice on the verge of marriage.

Throughout the period of my analysis, however, I continued to see Lynn and to depend upon her companionship. Only when I was with her did I feel fully myself. I didn't have to pretend to be interested in things that bored me, to act coy, to laugh at bad jokes or subtly flatter her. We respected one another and were completely honest with one another. This was not true of my relations with men. I felt bored and' burdened by the apparent necessity to turn myself into the kind of object that aroused their sexual interest.

At last, after having spent thousands of dollars plus an-enormous investment of time and suffering, I realized quite -simply

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that I did not want to live with a man, that I did not want children or a conventional family-oriented household, that I wanted to be me--an ambitious, creative woman who needed a love that would not force her to distort her personality.

Lynn and I are together again and our life is much improved. Interestingly enough, our sex life is better than it has ever been because I am no longer torn by guilts and misgivings. Through a homophile organization, the Daughters of Bilitis, we have found congenial friends. My own freedom from guilt and shame has helped my family to accept my way of life. Lynn and I have finally achieved some serenity and have unlimited freedom to enjoy the things we care about--books, art, music, travel.

Despite the many problems involved in being a homosexual in a heterosexual world, I feel that my life is happier and fuller than it would have been had I forced myself into a mold never made for me.

I have been asked whether we are "typical" lesbians. I can only answer that I have never met a typical lesbian any more than I have ever met a typical heterosexual. The" lesbian who is easily identified by the general public is one of a tiny fraction of homosexual women.

The lesbians I have known run the gamut in physical appearance, mental capability and style of life. They are found on every level of society and are engaged in every conceivable kind of occupation. Many have been married and have children and grandchildren. Some live wild, promiscuous lives and others live stable, fulfilled lives,

- E. N.

(E. N. is an artist and teacher living in a large city.)


Are you the one, my subtle muse,
with the enchanted flame?
Can you light a hidden fuse
forgotten long ago?
Or with your bow, my huntress,
can you hit this moving target?
Or with your harp, musician,
can you play forbidden melody?
Or with your brush, my artist,
can you paint a real me?

Your eyes say yes

(I want to guess)

Or do I dream alone?

- Carolyn Surface

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Lesbiana by Gene Damon

312. BEWARE AU PAIR--by Liselotte Durand. London, Heinemann, 1965.

Swiss girl Liselotte runs into a variety of types during her two years as an "au pair" girl in England, while she works to improve her English. Among these are a married lesbian (who does not-make a pass at her) and two lovely gay boys who treat Liselotte the best of all her English employers. Light, funny summer reading fare.

313. THE JEALOUS GOD--by John Braine. Houghton Mifflin, 1964, 1965.

Vincent, an Irish Catholic, loves Laura but cannot reconcile his beliefs with her Protestantism and her divorced status. Laura had been married to a homosexual, who later becomes the catalystic victim of the story, since he conveniently commits suicide and his death dissolves the marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Laura's roommate, Ruth, is a lesbian and is in love with Laura, though in vain.

314. TILL THE BOYS COME HOME--by Hannah Lees. Harper, 1944.

A novel about women in wartime and the emotional upsets caused by the absence of their husbands and lovers. Some of the. women fall into the arms of other men. The heroine Sophie and her best friend Milla experience a single incandescent, sensual day together. It is clearly understood that both women are basically heterosexual. Excellent handling and penetrating analysis.

315, SCHOOLGIRL--by Carman Barnes. N. Y., Liveright, 1929.

Remarkable novel by a teen-age girl about an exclusive girls' school. Despite the naiveté of her writing, the author was quite worldly for 15 years of life in 1929. There are several variant attachments in the story. Heroine Naomi has an ardent affair with her roommate Janet. When jealous Celia spreads the news, Janet backs out. Rejected but resilient, Naomi goes, out with a fast boy for an inevitable, distasteful experiment with sex. Worth searching out.

316. THE LATE BREAKFASTERS--by Robert Aickman. London, Gollancz, 1964.

Griselda slept and dreamed of a "strange perfect love." She awoke to find Louise, in a mist-covered, haunted world. After one perfect night, Louise is gone--literally snatched away. mysteriously. All Griselda's life thereafter is taken up with the search for Louise. The real world is juxtaposed with the

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almost-horror world. Highly recommended to those who appreciated Shirley Jackson's HANGSAMAN or HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE.

317. BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBERED--by Viscount Churchill. Coward-McCann, 1965.

These are the fuzzy memoirs of 75-year-old Victor Alexander Spencer Churchill, 2nd Viscount, a cousin of the late Sir Winston Churchill--and the black sheep of the family. His mother, divorced from his father, had at least two lesbian attachments. In one case, she forced her son to marry her lady love, in order to stem the rumors about the women's relationship. But since the friend was 20 years older than Viscount Churchill, it was a poor subterfuge and the gossip just increased. The book is mildly entertaining.

The Homosexual Citizen
In The Great Society

is the upbeat theme of the 1965 conference of East Coast Homophile Organizations. This, the third annual conference of the ECHO affiliation, will be held at the Hotel Biltmore in New York City on September 25 and 26, 1965. Speakers who have to date accepted invitations are:

James Collier, author of THE HYPOCRITICAL AMERICAN (reviewed in THE LADDER, June 1964)

John Lassoe, Director of Christian Social Relations, Episcopal Diocese of New York

Dr. Isadore Rubin, Managing Editor, SEXOLOGY Magazine

Dr. Hendrik Ruitenbeek, sociologist, psychoanalyst, author of THE PROBLEM OP HOMOSEXUALITY IN MODERN SOCIETY (reviewed in THE LADDER, April 1964) and the Just-published HOMOSEXUALITY AND CREATIVE GENIUS (Ivan Obolensky, 1965)

Dr. Ernest van den Haag, psychoanalyst, Adjunct Professor of Social Philosophy at New York University

More information about the program will be given in the August Issue of THE LADDER, ECHO conference sessions are open to the public. Total cost for both Saturday and Sunday sessions will be approximately $20. For reservations contact; East Coast Homophile Organizations, 1133 Broadway, New York, N, Y. 10010. Phone (212) WA 4-7743. The ECHO affiliate organizations are:

Daughters of Bilitis--(see inside back cover of THE LADDER)

Mattachine Society Inc. of New York--1133 Broadway, New York 10, New York 10010

Mattachine Society of Philadelphia--P. O. Box 804, Philadelphia 5, Penna. 19105

Mattachine Society of Washington--P. O. Box 1032, Washington 13, D, C. 20013

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Is Here to Stay

Dr. Franklin Kameny's broadside attack on research and related matters (May LADDER) needs to be answered.

First, what is actually being attacked? Not as much as appears at first glance! Kameny is not against "research for its own sake in order to provide additional knowledge", and he admits that research results can be extremely useful to the homophile movement. Then what is he against? Boiled down, apparently this:

a. the homophile movement taking "weak, wishy-washy compromise positions" in general; being "intellectual" instead of "militant"; and in particular failing to take a "firm stand" on the concept of homosexuality as disease;

b. the homophile movement "wasting" its time and energy talking about research, and supporting "insignificant" research.

The first complaint is supposedly based on tactical or strategic grounds: "strong" "no-nonsense" positions are more effective than "weak, wishy-washy" ones. But the truth is that the real strength of a position does not derive from the use of "fighting language" in its support--EVEN, and ESPECIALLY, when you are dealing with a hostile, uninformed, and prejudiced public. These will be the last ones to be convinced by militant and unsupported assertions whose truth is far from self-evident to them, on matters regarding which they do NOT consider the homophile movement as experts. Thus the Washington Mattachine Society's motion on homosexuality as "disease" (1) was tactically NOT strong, despite its "firmness"; it was on the contrary, in my opinion, a very foolish one, whether considered from the standpoint of substance or of tactics.

As to the second target, the "waste of time" on research, this is largely a straw man, and to the extent that it isn't, it is based in my view on a mistaken conception of the reasons the homophile movement should support research.

(1) Resolution adopted in March 1965: "The Mattachine Society of Washington takes the position that in the absence of valid evidence to the contrary, homosexuality is not a sickness, disturbance, or other pathology in any sense, but is merely a preference, orientation, or propensity on par with, and not different in kind from, heterosexuality."

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But before coming to closer grips with these issues, it is necessary to take up a crucial matter that is implicit as well as explicit in Kameny's article: the question of whether the homophile movement is in any important way dependent on research findings.


As preliminary, I would ask where the Negro civil rights movement would be today, militant or not, if research into racial differences had not long ago supported the Negro's claim to equality of treatment? And where would WE be today without Kinsey's two classic volumes on sexual behavior? Ours is a science-oriented society, and scientists are God to most people. In the long run, I do not think it can be seriously doubted that what science says will be important for the success of the homophile movement.

Nevertheless I do not intend to argue that the homophile movement must await research findings before working for fair treatment for homosexuals. In this I agree with Dr. Kameny, though not for his reasons. Efforts to win changes in the law, civil liberties, employment rights, etc., CAN and SHOULD proceed independently of research results. Why? Not because much past research has been poor--which is doubtless true, but not at all sufficient to prove the point.

The real- reason why the homophile movement should proceed to work for equal treatment now is that STATISTICAL FINDINGS FOR LARGE AGGREGATES ARE NOT PREDICTIVE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL. Regardless of whether homosexuals as a group, or Negroes, or females, or any other group you care to name, rate higher or lower on any psychological test than heterosexuals, Caucasians, males, etc., discrimination against John Doe's with regard to a particular job is wrong--because John Doe is not an Average! It is known that the RANGE of differences between individuals within a single racial group is far greater than that between the AVERAGE for one racial group and the average for another. Thus many Negroes, though not most, may be better suited to a particular job than many whites. The same is true for differences between men and women. Common sense suggests that the very same is likely to be true for differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals. At least I would think that every homophile organization might well use that as a working hypothesis until solid research evidence is brought forward. (A good example of the possible uses of research, by the way.)

The use of this argument--that is, the IMPERATIVE to judge each person as an individual--Kameny calls "impractical, unrealistic, ivory tower", because people are prejudiced against the "sick", and the "sick" label is applied to all homosexuals. True, people are thus prejudiced, and the label often is so applied. But to ask--or demand, if that word is preferred-- that people be judged as individuals and not as stereotypes,

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is to appeal to a central and recognized principle of our society. It is far MORE realistic and likely to succeed than is the expectation that the public will take Washington Mattachine Society's word against that of the doctors on the question of "sickness".

So we come inevitably to the question of what attitude the homophile movement should take to the "sick" label, (Note by the way that "sickness" is not, as Kameny correctly points out, a research finding. Although some attempts have been made to experimentally validate hypotheses of various forms of disorder, conclusions are anything but clearcut, so far as I am aware. It is more accurate to say, as Kameny does, that "sickness" is largely a research assumption or definition. The homophile movement may in the short run be more dependent on research terminology than on research findings.)


This has already been done by one segment of that movement, unfortunately. The Washington Mattachine motion was, it is true, carefully enough worded so as to deny "sickness" IN THE ABSENCE OF VALID EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. (My emphasis.) And it is, I think, quite appropriate to try to place the burden of proof on those who claim the "sick" label is right. But this motion is not likely to achieve that effect. It will be interpreted by any who read it as a simple declaration that homosexuals "are not sick". And as such I think it will be quite ineffective, to say the least. Let me make clear the grounds for my position. It is not because I agree that homosexuals should be labeled "sick". It is because the question of whether or not they are or should be considered "sick" is not a question capable of being decided by vote; nor will vote on such a matter impress anyone other than those who voted and those who already agree.

It will certainly not impress the literate citizen who reads a few books and respects the scientific Establishment, nor of course will it impress doctors or social scientists, except in a negative way. Then whom will it impress? Kameny points out that "most people operate not rationally but emotionally on questions of sex in general, and homosexuality in particular". Correct! Are these the people who will be convinced by Mattachine's motion? I leave the reader to answer this for himself.

Then what should be done, if anything, on the matter of "disease"? What is needed is an in-depth discussion--I believe the latest word is "dialogue"--on this subject with thoughtful laymen and with professionals. They, not we, carry weight with the majority on matters such as these. But while our role must be an auxiliary one, it can be a catalytic and useful one, if handled with good sense. THIS IMPLIES SERIOUS, SOLID DISCUSSION OP ISSUES, RATHER THAN EMPTY PROPAGANDA. 'To label the former, as Kameny does, as "woefully impractical" and "ivory tower" is to replace substance with "strategy".

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Strategy has its place, but it does not work in a vacuum. The homophile movement is not like a new brand of toothpaste which may be "sold" to the public by superficial promotion techniques.

Basically, the difference between Kameny's approach and mine is a question of what audience we think we are (or should be) addressing. Obviously you don't discuss these matters in depth on a 15-minute TV show or in a 2-page leaflet. But-you MUST discuss them with those who care about such things if you want to be taken seriously by the opinion-makers. It is totally unrealistic to assume that we can make opinion on our own, in flat contradiction to those who deal in psychological matters professionally. Our audience is not merely the unthinking masses--we cannot influence them in any case on such a matter as this. But we could conceivably get some issues clarified with those whose opinions count with the public and who deal in ideas, the crucial role of which Kameny grossly underestimates.

The question of "sickness" cannot even be discussed without talking about meanings. This Kameny never once refers to-- presumably it would be overly intellectual to do so. And yet without some definition of terms there is no sense at all to either debate or pronouncements. This is not only because different people use "sick" to mean different things, but because there are so many overtones and unspoken implications to the word, that precision is absolutely necessary, or there will be failure of communication--or worse. The plain fact is that EVEN WHEN the "experts" agree (and they don't always do that), the public is not told clearly just how the terms are delimited. This can and does have grave consequences for the homosexual. Here are some possible ways in which the word "sick" is used (and for "sick", "diseased" or "pathological" could be easily substituted):

1. "Sick" may be applied to a PARTICULAR homosexual AFTER individual clinical diagnosis has established that there is some generally recongnized form of disturbance in his nonsexual areas of behavior.

2. "Sick" may be applied as a label to homosexuals in general, the implication being that this type of sexual adjustment always carries with it some form, mild or serious, of personality disorder or malfunctioning in nonsexual areas.

3. "Sick" may be applied as a label to homosexuality per se, by reason of the homosexual choice of love object, with no serious attempt to claim that disturbed behavior in other-areas of the personality accompanies it,

4. "Sick" may be used in one of the above-mentioned ways by doctors, but the public may understand the term to mean that ALL homosexuals are likely to be unstable, or unreliable, or dangerous. (It should be added that a few doctors talk this way, too, or come very close to it, but they appear to be in the minority.)

We need have no objection whatever to point 1, in my view-- though Dr. Thomas S. Szasz has some thought-provoking ideas on

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even this (2). Point 2 is a controversial area just now, as I understand it, and should not be discussed by persons who do not have a solid back ground in the literature. But even if it should be indisputably determined (and as of now that is NOT the case) that a homosexual adjustment inevitably brings with it some handicap, some "neurosis" (3), involving other aspects of the personality--this still matters very little to our cause. Can there be very many persons in our society who escape "neurosis" completely? The real question is: does the "neurosis", if there is one, interfere with a given individual 's effective performance, on a job for example? Does it threaten harm to other persons? If the answer is "no"--then there are no grounds for discrimination in matters of civil liberties, employment rights, etc. We are back to the principle of "individual treatment". "Neurosis" by itself is not grounds for departure from this principle.

As to the third point above, "sick" as a mere synonym for homosexuality: this is quite meaningless, and we should expose its meaninglessness whenever we find it used that way. To call homosexuals "sick" when there is no claim of other disturbance is merely to call them homosexuals. The added word adds nothing to anyone's understanding of the matter, and in fact interferes with understanding.

It is point four above which is especially important to us. Even the most orthodox psychiatric view, if I understand it at all, does not warrant the inference that all homosexuals are dangerous, or unstable, or unreliable (as of course they are not), Yet this inference is one easily drawn by an uninformed public, frightened by the indiscriminate and undefined use of words such as "pathological". HERE IS WHERE THE PROFESSIONALS CAN ACT MORE RESPONSIBLY IN THE FUTURE THAN THEY HAVE ACTED IN THE PAST, BY ATTEMPTING THEMSELVES TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC. HERE IS WHERE THE HOMOPHILE MOVEMENT CAN ACT RESPONSIBLY, BY OFFERING TO WORK WITH PROFESSIONALS TO THIS END.

We might also encourage those we know who are solidly grounded in psychology or psychiatry to enter into a serious discussion about the concepts of mental health and illness, in print If possible. Dr. Thomas Szasz has started this discussion at a high level (2). Others may follow. Even a survey of the literature on definitions of mental health, written for readers of homophile publications, would be useful. Once these matters are better understood, it may be easier for the homophile movement to take a stand against whatever cases there may be of "forced cures". I believe it is the fear of forced "cure" or attempts at cure that motivates most of the homosexual outcry about "sickness". It should be perfectly possible for the homophile movement to rightfully oppose forced "treatment" of

(2) See especially his books LAW, LIBERTY, AND PSYCHIATRY (Macmillan, 1963) and THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS (Harper, 1961)

(3) I do not believe any informed person can for a moment bring up psychosis in this context.

[p. 20] | [Page Image]

any kind where the "patient" is harming no one, without getting itself involved in unnecessary wrangling over which cubbyhole to place the homosexual condition in. I doubt that most reputable professionals would differ with us if we took such a stand.

Now I want to go back to the question of research and its place in the homophile movement.


First, about talk. I personally feel that time is wasted in criticizing research. But I doubt that the critics feel they are wasting THEIR time--and given the criticisms, I do not propose to save time by failing to answer. So much for talk.

Second, about support. How much time IS spent by homosexuals in supporting research, significant or otherwise? As far as the average member of a homophile organization is concerned, half an hour or so once or twice a year, at the very outside, in filling out a questionnaire or submitting to an interview. I very much doubt that that hour or half hour, it saved by the elimination of research activity, would be put to uses significant to the homophile movement. Those few who give more time are convinced of its value and would be unlikely to substitute other activities if research support were eliminated entirely from the program.

Kameny is setting up a straw man when he claims that no American homophile organizations have done any effective or meaningful research. Who ever said they did, or should? DOB's amateur survey of some years ago had the main purpose of spurring others to research; in that goal it succeeded, and further research by DOB itself is most unlikely. I do not know of any homophile organizations that designate themselves as "research organizations".

Next, the question of significance. It is quite arbitrary to claim, as Kameny does, that all research in which the organizations are or have been involved, with the sole exception of the Hooker studies, is insignificant. I wonder if Dr. Kameny is even aware of the studies now being carried on by Dr. V. Armon in the Los Angeles area, or by R. Mcguire in California and New York, for instance? And by what special insight Into the future can the Kinsey and Gundlach studies on lesbians, both still in process, be dismissed as insignificant? We do not know until the results are in; prejudgement is certainly not in order.

But of course the issue of "significance" turns on what is meant by that term. To Dr. Kameny, no research is "significant" unless it investigates a question of Immediate use to the homophile movement. Research that is merely of "academic, intellectual, or scientific Interest"--such as research into the origin and causes of homosexuality--is not one of these. This is an extremely short-sighted view.

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1 admit that causation is probably NOT DIRECTLY of paramount significance to homosexuals, and I do not know of any who consider it so or who are "engrossed" in it. But other people are interested--specifically those who are doing and publishing research. They will investigate these questions whether we help them or not. Their results will be far more distorted if we do not cooperate than if we do.

Dr. Kameny finds it difficult to believe that all research into causation is not motivated by a desire to change homosexuals into heterosexuals. As a scientist he should know better. The major motivation of MOST social scientists is probably the same as that of MOST physical scientists--namely, plain curiosity, and a desire to advance in their profession by doing a competent, professional job. Yes, medically-oriented psychiatrists and a few others are taken with the idea of "curing" people. And there are shoddy workers and charlatans in every field. But it is a gross mistake to lump all researchers into the same category--and a mistake that hurts us if it denies others the opportunity to more fully explore the homosexual population than has been done by the Ellises and the Haddons.

Even research into causes can be specifically useful to us, by bringing researchers into informative personal contact with a broader cross-section of homosexuals than they could otherwise meet. The good that can come of this is not to be measured merely by the details of a particular study.

And of course more and more research is going beyond questions of causation, to investigate the "here and now" of homosexuals rather than the family histories only. This has great potential value for us which few would question. This being true, it behooves us to support reputable research IN WHATEVER AREA researchers wish to investigates We will do no good to ourselves or to potentially helpful research, if we build the reputation of supporting only those projects we like or that we think will come out "favorably". Nothing could more quickly "kill" a research project than our help, if we ever did build such a reputation.

IN SUMMARY: Research has never played, and need not play, a primary role in the ACTIVITIES of the homophile organizations. Its importance to the ultimate attainment of our goals is however quite basic, always has been so, and will remain so as long as our society is science-oriented. There is no reason, why we cannot support research and do other things at the same time, especially since the interests of persons in the homophile movement differ. No one has ever asked that we drop other activities to become research organizations; this would be ludicrous and disastrous. Strong support for the research of properly qualified persons and institutions should in no way diminish--and will in fact increase--the effectiveness of the homophile movement. Maintaining or increasing the barriers dividing us from the scientific community can work only to our disadvantage.

- Florence Conrad.

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Youth Romance__by GER

What does a girl answer when a boy proposes to her?

I said "Yes," with beating heart. "If I may borrow your trousers, "

I was 8 years old; the boy was 9, and he generously granted my request. I was overjoyed, even though I realized bravely that our marriage lay in a faraway future. But the outlook was heavenly, and I dreamed about that future with the wildest imagination. All about those trousers.

The boy saw my radiant happiness and began to chaffer, "But not on Sundays, do you hear, for I must go to church." I promised readily, not on Sundays. I had still all the other days of the week.

The boy seemed dissatisfied and I peeped anxiously at his gloomy face. He kicked at pebbles in silence and then said, "But a girl doesn't wear trousers."

My heart stood still and I stumbled over my words. "She does! And when she is married she may do anything!" He peered suspiciously at my tense face and seemed to feel vaguely that he had been taken in, for suddenly he looked surly and he kicked angrily at the gravel.

"May I kiss you also?" he asked threateningly.

1 swallowed and nodded miserably. The coin had turned its face and frightened my enthusiasm.

The boy sniffed contemptuously. "Liar!" he taunted. "You are always beating and kicking and you may NOT marry me and borrow my trousers!"

He trotted away and left me behind, brokenhearted and bitterly grieved at his stinginess and the painful loss of my heavenly dream.

About those trousers.

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Homosexuals Picket
in Nation's Capital


"It is the established policy of the Civil Service Commission that homosexuals are not suitable for appointment to or retention in positions in the Federal Service." This statement is from a letter written in September 1962 by John W. Macy, Jr., Chairman of the United States Civil Service Commission. The policy of total and blanket exclusion of homosexuals from Federal employment was confirmed in another letter in May 1965.

Homosexual and non-homosexual citizens who are active in Mattachine Society of Washington have tried over a long period of time to get the Civil Service Commission to discuss with them its discrimination against homosexuals. The Commission has repeatedly refused to meet with homosexual spokesmen. And just this past May, the commission reviewed and sustained its policy against employment of homosexuals--still without any consultation between homosexuals and Commission officials. Later letters to the Commission have brought more refusals of Mattachine's requests for a conference with Commission officials to discuss grievances and seek constructive solutions.

After all efforts to negotiate with the Commission had failed, the homosexuals decided to stage a public demonstration and call attention to the problem. On Saturday, June 26, 1965, twenty-five homosexuals and supporters of their cause picketed the Civil Service Commission building in Washington, D. C. The 18 men and 7 women who participated came from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and elsewhere. All were conservatively dressed and presented a dignified appearance. Their neatly-lettered signs carried such messages as:

Government Should Combat Prejudice, Not Submit to It and Promote It

Discrimination Against Homosexuals Is as Immoral as Discrimination Against Negroes and Jews

Denial of Equality of Opportunity Is Immoral

Governor Wallace Met with Negroes; Chairman Macy Won't Meet with Homosexuals.

As a Matter of Right, We Demand Meetings with the Civil Service Commission

We Want Federal Employment Based on Relevant Criteria

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The American Way: Employment Based upon Competence, Ability, Training--NOT upon Private Life

Sexual Preference Is Irrelevant to Federal Employment

Fair Employment Applies to Homosexuals, Too

Equal Opportunity for All; All Means ALL

Among other signs were those listing the names and addresses of the groups sponsoring and supporting the demonstration; Mattachine Society of Washington, ECHO (East Coast Homophile Organizations), Mattachine Society of Philadelphia, Mattachine Society Inc. of New York, and the newly-formed Mattachine Mid-West (4753 N. Broadway, Chicago, Illinois 60640).

The orderly two-hour march was conducted according to rules carefully drawn up by MSW's Committee on Picketing and Other Lawful Demonstrations. Police had been informed in advance; this notification was not a request for police permission, since to demonstrate by picketing is a right, not a privilege.

A press release had gone out just before the picketing. One newspaper, the Washington Star, gave advance notice of the demonstration. (As this issue of THE LADDER goes to press, we have not yet had reports on publicity following the event.) During the demonstration, copies of a leaflet were given to interested passersby. Here are excerpts from this leaflet:

"Homosexuality...is not, and has never been demonstrated to be, reasonably relevant to employment. Homosexuality has not been shown to affect competence or quality of job performance in any way. A citizen has the right to conduct his private life in private, free of governmental intrusion. ...Nevertheless, without regard to their training, background, abilities, competence, deportment or demeanor, or any other relevant or possibly relevant factors, homosexual citizens are subjected by the U. S. Civil Service Commission to a total, blanket exclusion from Federal employment. ...The Civil Service Commission is not an Equal Opportunity Employer.

"The Commission attempts, feebly, to justify its exclusion by claiming that homosexuality is so repugnant to most people that the mere presence of a homosexual in a government office would be detrimental to morale and efficiency. We feel that this argument fails on two grounds: 1) The continuing presence of some quarter-million homosexuals in Federal Service (the inevitable result of the inherent ineffectiveness of any possible screening procedures) has resulted in no perceptible lowering of morale or efficiency. 2) The Commission's argument represents a supine submission to prejudice. The Commission does not refuse to place Negroes in an office staffed by segregationists, or Jews in one staffed by anti-Semites. Its policy toward homosexuals constitutes one of penalty to the victims of prejudice rather than to those who are prejudiced."

"We feel that in our democracy...when the members of a...group of American citizens feel that they have genuine grievances

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against their government, or a branch or agency thereof, they are entitled to a hearing... entitled to confer with the appropriate officials...to participate in continuing efforts, made in good faith, to resolve their problems and to seek redress for their grievances. They are also entitled to participate in the establishment of official policies affecting them. These are matters of moral right, not ones of mere privilege,"

After describing the Commission's refusals to meet with homosexual spokesmen, the leaflet poses the question: "What is there left to do, for a group of American citizens who feel that they have a genuine grievance, in order to get the constructive attention of their government?" Hence the picketing.


On May 29, a month before the picketing at the Civil Service Commission building, 10 men and 3 women picketed at the White House. This protest was directed in part against the military service policies about homosexuals: exclusion of homosexuals from the Armed Forces; the giving of less-than-fully-honorable discharges to homosexuals found in the service; offensively-worded military regulations on homosexuals.

This demonstration at the White House, sponsored and supported by ECHO and the Mattachine groups of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, got extensive publicity. It was covered by American and foreign newspapers and press services, including AP, UPI, Reuters, French News Agency, White House Press Corps. Reports are known to have appeared in the New York Times, New York News, Washington Star, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, Chicago Sun-Times. The demonstration was filmed at length by ABC-TV and a spokesman was interviewed. The TV film was seen in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Indiana, and Texas, All the coverage was reportedly favorable or factual.

Among the picket signs on that occasion were these: "Homosexuals Died for Their Country, Too" and "Honorable Discharges for Honorable Military Service; Homosexuality Is Not Dishonorable"


Franklin Kameny's article in the May issue was the best thing you've ever published! Perhaps it will help eliminate the psychological, psychiatric, introspective, self-analytic orientation which has been like an albatross around the neck of the homophile movement since its beginning.

- R. F., New York

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To Susanna Valenti (May LADDER), from one who has both borne a child and plucked a beard: really, the beard is preferable.

- Lu Clarke

Recent LADDER issues have devoted much space to the winning of rights for homosexuals. When our rights have been nominally won, there will have to be a climate of public indifference to make them work--i. e., homosexuality must be so accepted that the public will pay no more attention to it than to any taken-for-granted human topic. The word SEX will always hop off the printed page, for the love-life of the species is of enduring interest. But there should (not necessarily will) come a day when the prefixes "hetero" or "homo" will make no difference.

The big fly in the ointment is the homosexual himself--and for shame, the lesbian in particular. The lesbian, less despised than the male homosexual, could be the leader in gaining our goals because she is freer than he is to speak out without risking social ostracism, loss of job, or legal reprisals.

So where are we all hiding? Just everywhere. I'll bet half the lesbians who have a permanent home with another women, and the two act as a mated pair, don't even know they're gay. For now we'll have to excuse them as slow starters on a wet track.

This leaves a couple of million other women who KNOW they're homosexual. No doubt they all belong to DOB or Minorities Research Group. Not on you life they don't! Many would rather be dead than admit to the world even indirectly that they are homosexual.--Many even feel that the homophile organizations are wasting time and money and energy. These women think that since they can look-out for themselves, so can everyone else.

Several dozen women that I know personally have expressed such views--including a world-famous novelist, a corporate lawyer, a systems control designer who's an authority in the field, a doctor, and an editor of a major magazine. No doubt these examples could be mass-duplicated in the male homosexual world.

The homosexual cause needs to have at least the percentage of homosexuals working for it as the Negro cause has people from its own ranks working on its behalf. We're nowhere near this. "Each One Teach One" should be our motto. Each of us must proselytize as many of our gay acquaintances as possible to do whatever they can on behalf of the homophile groups.

It's sad that supporting the homosexual cause is distasteful to some of the most successful persons in the homosexual--and especially the lesbian--population. But we MUST try to get THEIR support too. Until we find a way to make the needs of the "little people" seem vital to those who do not suffer under the social system, all the talk in the world won't do a damn thing to help us!

- Marilyn Barrow

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