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The Daily Agenda for Thursday, September 8

Jim Burroway

September 8th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA:
What “Love Won Out” Leaves Out: Houston, TX. Exodus International will bring its Love Won Out road show to the Houston suburb of Sugar Land on Saturday, but tonight, Truth Wins Out and the good folks at Houston’s Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church will continue their series of events to educate the local community about ex-gay movement. Tonight, Resurrection MCC will play host to a showing of Morgan Fox’s This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, a documentary about the controversy surrounding sixteen-year-old Zach Stark’s committal to the Memphis-based ex-gay program known as “Love In Action” in 2005. Fox and Brandon Tidwell, a former client of the Memphis-based ex-gay residential program run by Love In Action, will be on hand to answer questions after the movie. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. And tomorrow night, you won’t want to miss Ex-Gay Survivor and performance artist Peterson Toscano, who will reprise portions of his one-man play, “Doin’ Time In the Homo No Mo Halfway House,” along with excerpts from “The Re-Education of George W. Bush” and “Queer 101–Now I Know my gAy,B,Cs.” This week’s activities will wind up with a protest outside of Sugar Creek Baptist Church, host of the Love Won Out conference. Click here for more information. Resurrection MCC is located at 2025 West 11th Street in Houston.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Grimsby, UK; Humboldt/Eureka, CA; Limerick, Ireland; Mankato, MN; and Peoria, IL.

AIDS Walk This Weekend: Bathurst/Chaleur, NB.

Also This Weekend: Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, Austin, TX; Folsum Europe, Berlin, Germany; and OUT Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Time Magazine’s “The Homosexual In America”: 1975. When Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich’s picture appeared on the cover of Time with the caption announcing “I Am a Homosexual,” he was determined to become a test case challenging the pre-DADT ban on gays serving in the military. As Time reported, he was the perfect test case: “The tall, red-haired sergeant has an impeccable twelve-year military record, no known psychiatric problems, and a Bronze Star and Purple Heart won on one of his three tours in Viet Nam.” A five-member Air Force review board would hear his case the following week. He would lose that case, and he would be excommunicated from the Mormon Church a month later.

But on this date in 1975, he would be the face of the gay community as Time devoted several pages to the rising gay rights movement. By 1975, twelve states had eliminated their laws making homosexuality a crime, and the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association recognized that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. AT&T and the Civil Service Commission had announced that they were willing to hire openly gay employees, and one major educational journal wrote that gay teachers should come out to their students. Time covered the usual ground for stories of this kind: a look at the new gay activism, the problems gay people face, the glimpse into a gay bar for that requisite dose of seediness (New York’s Eagle gets a mention, along with an introduction to a handkerchief code and bathhouses), yet the article manages to present gay people as real people — something quite rare for 1975. The word “gay” is used in about equal measure as “homosexual,” and the word “militant” appears only three times in the 5,400 word article. It did however end on a down note, warning of the dangers that homosexuality might spread if anti-gay discrimination were to end:

Says Psychoanalyst Herbert Hendin: ” ‘Anything goes’ is a legitimate attitude for consenting adults toward each other, but for a culture to declare it as a credo is to miss entirely the stake all of us have in the harmony between the sexes and in the family as the irreplaceable necessity of society. This is a society that is increasingly denying its impotence by calling it tolerance, preaching resignation and naming all this progress.”

It’s worth noting that while both APA’s (the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association) had declared that homosexuality was not a mental disorder, the American Psychoanalytic Association was much slower to reach that conclusion. It wasn’t until 1991 when the APsaA formally declared that homosexuality was no longer a barrier to becoming a psychoanalyst. It’s also worth noting that most conversion therapy today is still rooted in older psychoanalytic theories. And, it’s worth noting further that the argument that increased acceptance for gay people today will create more gay people tomorrow is still a staple of anti-gay and ex-gay rhetoric.

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).

Comments

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Charles
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

I was a subscriber to Time magazine and remembered when I got that issue. Frankly I did not know what to think about it all. Barriers were falling, but the resistance to the acceptance of homosexuals, such as myself, seemed to be unthinkable. I was 23 working in a CPA office at the time in a small southern town that was very conservative. I got my CPA license. The ironic thing was that one of the partners in the firm who was from my father’s generation had five children. Two of which, also, turned out to be homosexual. Today they both live normal productive lives. One works for CNN in Atlanta and the other is a physical education coach at a public school in North Carolina.

Mark F.
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

One can compare that Time Magazine cover story to the infamous Life Magazine article of 1964 (a scant 11 years before) and see the progress. Now in 2011, incredible progress has been made. Too bad Matlovich never got to see anti-gay military discrimination end.

Charles
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

What infamous Life Magazine cover are you referring to? By the way Matlovich did sadly die of AIDS and was buried in Arlington National Cemetary. On his tombstone it reads “When I was in the Military they gave me a medal for killing two men and discharge for loving one.”

Here is link to s picture of his tombstone: http://www.leonardmatlovich.com/storyofhisstone.html

Jim Burroway
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

I think he’s referring to this edition of Life Magazine.

Timothy Kincaid
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

I would have to hunt for it, but if I recall correctly Matlovich was also uniquely qualified to challenge the law in that while he identified as gay, as of the time of his hearing he had not engaged in homosexual behavior. His challenge put to test the lie that it was just “behavior” that was objectionable.

Charles
September 8th, 2011 | LINK

“I would have to hunt for it, but if I recall correctly Matlovich was also uniquely qualified to challenge the law in that while he identified as gay, as of the time of his hearing he had not engaged in homosexual behavior. His challenge put to test the lie that it was just “behavior” that was objectionable.” Please find out if that is the fact.

I did find out about the 1964 article in Life magazine. There was no cover that depicted a homosexual. It was just an article in Life magazine, which at that time was more some like People magazine, but a bit more serious in just a larger format with better photography.

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