The Ladder, January 1965, Vol. 9, No. 4
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purpose of the
Daughters of BILITIS
A WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THE INTEGRATION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL INTO SOCIETY BY:
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.
NATIONAL OFFICERS, DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC.
RECORDING SECRETARY--Agatha Mathys
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY--Marjorie McCann
PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR--Phyllis Leon
THE LADDER STAFF
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|
|Living Propaganda--by Mrs. B.||13|
|Lesbiana--by Gene Damon||14|
|The CAMP Complex--by L. E. E.||22|
|THE LADDER Salutes ARENA THREE||23|
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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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.
PART ONE: SIDELIGHTS OF ECHO
"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
part two: HIGHLIGHTS OF ECHO
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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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.
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."
DON'T MISS THE FEBRUARY ISSUE!
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
PART THREE: A NAZI STUNT FAILS
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.
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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DAUGHTERS of BILITIS
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.
P. O. Box 4497,
DAUGHTERS OF BILITIS, INC.
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 DOB BOOK SERVICE