The Daily Agenda for Sunday, June 26

Jim Burroway

June 26th, 2011

Pride Celebrations Today:
Antwerp, Belgium; Barcelona, Spain; Chicago, IL; Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Dublin, Ireland; Harlem, NY; Mexico City, DF; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OKOslo, Norway; Outer Banks, NC; Panama City, FL; San Francisco, CA; São Paulo, Brazil; and Wichita, KS.

Life Magazine’s “Homosexuality In America”: 1964.

“Homosexuality shears across the spectrum of American life — the professions, the arts, business and labor. It always has. But today, especially in big cities, homosexuals are discarding their furtive ways and openly admitting, even flaunting, their deviation. Homosexuals have their won drinking places, their special assignation streets, even their own organizations. And for every obvious homosexual, there are probably nine nearly impossible to detect. This social disorder, which society tries to suppress, has forced itself into the public eye because it does present a problem — and parents especially are concerned. The myth and misconception with which homosexuality has so long been clothed must be cleared away, not to condone it but to cope with it.”

Over the next fourteen pages, Life magazine explored what they called the “sordid world” of the gay community. The articles provide interesting vignettes and photos of gay life in the pre-Stonewall era, but reading through them today probably tells us more about society’s revulsion towards gay people than it does about gays themselves. At one point, author Paul Welch accompanies a Los Angeles police officer acting as a decoy to try entrap a gay man into propositioning him. Even if the proposition involves going to a private home for the evening — the same type of invitation being made in straight bars all across Los Angeles that very same night — it would end badly with an arrest and possible lifetime registration as a sex offender.

One education pamphlet compiled for Los Angeles police warned that what gay men really want is “a fruit world.” Welch continued: “Although the anti-homosexual stand taken by the Los Angeles police is unswervingly tough, it reflects the attitude of most U.S. law-enforcement agencies on the subject.” On January 1, 1967, gay Angelenos would reach their breaking point and the Black Cat riots would become the high water mark in police harassment in Los Angeles — more than two years before the Stonewall rebellion in New York.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. PLEASE, don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).


June 26th, 2011

Thanks, Jim, for posting this, especially on Pride weekend. I hadn’t heard about the Black Cat raid before, and I thought I knew our history pretty well.

These posts are a real service to our community!


June 26th, 2011

I collect old magazine articles about homosexuality, and I suspect that Henry Luce’s two big magazines, Time and Life, represent his views (and his efforts to shape society’s views) more than the views of society itself.

As the New Yorker put it in 1967 (behind a subscrption wall):

“One thing you could say for Henry Luce — when you picked up one of his magaziness, especially Time, you really felt his presence. … It’s not just that he owned those magazines, he inhabited them.”

As late as 1966, Time was calling homosexuality a “pernicious sickness”:,8816,835069,00.html

Then Luce died in 1967, and the tone changed completely. From 1969:,8816,839116,00.html

As early as 1963, Harper’s Magazine had a long article about the lives of middle class gay men in NYC that basically said that gay men life in a ghetto, but are otherwise boringly normal. (Unfortunately behind a subcription wall.) It freely uses the word “gay” (and only once in quotation marks) and describes bars, businesses and entertainment in an even-handed and calm tone. Oddly, the author for some reason seems to think that the back rooms at bars were used for clandestine dancing(!).


June 27th, 2011


Oddly, the author for some reason seems to think that the back rooms at bars were used for clandestine dancing(!).

Rob–in those days many were. One of the crimes charges during the raids like the one at Stonewall were for dancing. New York has had some strange laws on the books and I know people (straight, gay) in more recent times who were issued citations for dancing at a club that did not have a “cabaret” license (and the bars could be shut down for not doing enough to discourage dancing).

I imagine that these type of laws were used extensively — especially against same-sex dancing in the 60s. So it is very possible that the backrooms were mostly for this purpose. I think only in more modern days, post-Stonewall–did these emerge as alternatives to bath-houses as places to engage in public sex.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.