21 responses

  1. Timothy Kincaid
    January 13, 2008

    I love Los Angeles. Our community tends to think that NYC or San Francisco made all the important advances but our city was often there before, if somewhat more quiet about it. And so many of the national groups started in LA.

  2. Emily K
    January 13, 2008

    “But what the magazine lacked in raciness, it made up for in audacity.”

    As if “raciness” is something you need to “make up for.” Absolutely not. Perhaps I differ from most gays in that most of the time I prefer NOT to read racy literature. It’s just not my taste, at least not at this point, just like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Fettucine Alfredo aren’t in my taste. I was born rather conservative, and very reserved in that manner. (And she’s still GAY, right?) yep. Still Jewish, too.

  3. David
    January 14, 2008

    A fascinating and important bit of history.

    Since your excellent post deals with freedom of speech, I hope, Jim, you do not mind my using it for a little self-defense. The topic of free speech came up in a conversation that occured on BTB back in November.

    In one of my comments to the post, “Sometimes an Anti-Gay Appointment Makes Sense”, I quoted an opinion piece by a Lawrence VanDyke, who complained of anti-free speech activities by the governments of Canada, England, and Sweden. I thought the incidents brought up were plausible but fellow commentor Ben in Oakland was very skeptical of VanDyke’s claims.

    On Saturday an article appeared on the National Post’s website about a man being investigated by a human rights commission in Canada — for republishing some cartoons.

    The article states, “The commission is investigating Mr. Levant’s decision two years ago, as publisher of the Western Standard, to print a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. … Syed Soharwardy, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, filed a complaint after the Western Standard published the cartoons.”

    Mr. Levant has placed a video of his opening statement before the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission on his website.

    I think this episode verifies my view that VanDyke’s complaints were perfectly plausible.

  4. Willie Hewes
    January 14, 2008

    Jim, just wanted to say I really appreciate these historical articles on BTB. Thank you.

  5. Larry Fafarman
    January 14, 2008

    –”Even more surprising, the Supreme Court issued its short, one-sentence decision on January 13, 1958 without hearing oral arguments.”–

    The reason for that is that the court’s decision was based on a precedent — Roth v. United States — that was only about seven months old and was therefore too recent to have affected the lower court’s ruling in ONE Inc. v. Olesen. The entire opinion said, “The petition for writ of certiorari is granted and the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is reversed. Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 .” Probably the only reason why the opinion was published at all was that the SC wanted to go on record as reversing the lower court’s decision, which had already been published (241 F.2d 772). To get a general description of the case, one must refer to the published lower court ruling.

    Actually, the Supreme Court’s decision here was not a gay rights victory at all — this was just a general decision about sending alleged obscene material through the mail.

  6. Jaft
    January 14, 2008

    Wow. I’m so glad you posted this. Too much of our history is simply unknown or scattered everywhere. It’s good, sometimes, just to be reminded we have one.

  7. Betty Pawsheifer
    January 15, 2008

    Our community tends to think that NYC or San Francisco made all the important advances

    Don’t forget DC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kameny

  8. Victor J. Banis
    January 15, 2008

    An important and often forgotten part of our history, from someone who was there. My first gay novel, The Why Not, was reviewed by Joe Hanson in One. This was an important publication for those of us struggling with our identity in those early days.

    Victor J. Banis

  9. Jim Burroway
    January 15, 2008

    Betty! We don’t want to forget about Frank Kameny!


    Thanks for stopping by with your note! I’m glad to see that ONE played such an important role for you. If I have anything to do with it, ONE will not be forgotten.

  10. C. Todd White, Ph.D.
    January 15, 2008

    Great article! Glad you found information of use on the Tangents website, and thank you for linking to it.

    FYI, it is Eric Julber, not Jubler! and the ONE Archives you refer to at the end of the article is not really related to ONE, Incorporated. When ONE divided in 1965, 1/2 of it survived as ONE and 1/2 became the Homosexual Information Center, which became a tax exempt organization in 1968 and currently hosts the Tangents website. ONE, Inc. legally merged with ISHR in 1966 ( see http://www.ishrdbaone.org/). The ONE Archives is more properly remembered as the descendent of Jim Kepner’s International Gay and Lesbian Archives. The materials that were ONE Inc.’s original archives (formally known as the Blanche M. Baker Memorial Library) have been with HIC since the 1965 split and are now being archived at the Vern and Bonnie Bullough Collection on Human Sexuality at CSUN. (See http://library.csun.edu/Collections/SCA/SC/bullough.html )

    Please look for my book on this history, titled Pre-Gay L.A.: A Social History of the Movement for Homosexual Rights, which is due out from the University of Illinois Press early in 2009. Also, CLAGS is soon to host a website at OutHistory.org, and the HIC is sponsoring a pre-gay module there.

    Cheers! And again, thanks for a wonderful article on this important day in LGBT History.

  11. Jim Burroway
    January 15, 2008

    Dr. White,

    Thank you very much for stopping by and offering an update on ONE’s history. And I very much look forward to seeing your book when it comes out.

  12. Lori L. Lake
    January 16, 2008

    What a fascinating and immensely readable description of ONE Magazine’s trials and tribulations in the 1950s.

    Obviously these brave people paved the way for my own writing. Without their struggle and commitment, I wouldn’t have the freedom to share my writing today. Thanks so very much for the article!
    Lori L. Lake

  13. Clyde
    December 29, 2008

    It’s time we all start uncovering our history in the community that we live in. For far to long we have focused on instant gratification dismissing the old man or women sitting next to us. They are the ones that hold our history. say hi to them and find out their history.

  14. Thomas Kraemer
    December 15, 2011

    W. Dorr Legg Legg was a Professor at Oregon State University from 1935-1942 and his personnel file recently became public under state law. While researching OSU history, I had fun reading it to see if there were any clues to why he had to resign (rumor says it was due to being homosexual). I posted several blog posts with images from Dorr’s personnel file and pictures of where he lived in Corvallis, Oregon, which confirms the FBI file erroneously listed Dorr’s address in Eugene, Oregon instead of the correct address in Corvallis, Oregon, home city of OSU (called Oregon State College when Dorr worked there).

    Note, you will get a Google objectionable content warning because my blog was attacked by Justin Bieber fans:

    Thomas Kraemer, “W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942,” posted July 31, 2010

    Thomas Kraemer, “FBI files on gay OSU professor 1956,” posted July 7, 2011

    Thomas Kraemer, “Gay Oregon Professor 1935,” posted Dec. 16, 2006

    Thomas Kraemer, “OSU W. Dorr Legg homosexual marriage 1953 vs. CA Prop 8 2010,” posted Aug. 22, 1010

    July 18, 2012


    while this was about alleged obscenity, the Supreme Court in One implicitly held that these protections apply to homosexuals just as much as heterosexuals, just as it would do so for privacy forty-five years later in Lawrence v. Texas.

  16. Mike Jameson
    November 3, 2013

    In what I may be misremembering as the November 1963 edition of ONE MAGAZINE, I found a moving poem called “Five Hundred Days Ago Today.” That issue, featuring a black & white wood-block illustration of autumn leaves, was instrumental in the U.S. Army discharging me for being homosexual in August of 1964 when the magazine was found in my footlocker during a surprise barracks-wide inspection. I cannot find any reference to that poem anywhere on the Internet or in compilations of issue content on various websites dedicated to ONE.

    Can anyone out there offer any insight or aid? I would like to find the poem and would love to have a copy of the issue for framing.

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