The Daily Agenda for Saturday, May 3

Jim Burroway

May 3rd, 2014

Events This Weekend: Curaçao Pride, Curaçao; AIDS Walk Las Vegas, NV; Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Miami, FL; Hot Rodeo 2014, Palm Springs, CA; Prague Rainbow Spring, Prague, Czech Republic; São Paulo Pride, São Paulo, Brazil; Sitges International Bear Meeting, Sitges, Spain; Tokyo Pride, Tokyo, Japan.

TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:

From Northwest Fountain, May 1979, page 19.

Portland, Oregon’s The Other Inn opened in 1964 as the city’s first documented leather bar. It’s first owner, Jim Frantz, later sold it to Mama Bernice, a former barmaid at another gay bar, who took the leather boys under her wing as her “little bluebirds.” Her daughter later ran the Dirty Duck. Portland’s Gay Community Center moved into a space on the second floor above the bar and neighboring laundry in 1972. The entire block was razed in 1982 and replaced with a parking lot for many years before being redeveloped into an office tower.

Sir Francis Bacon, looking fabulous as always

Sr. Francis Bacon Accused of “His Most Abominable and Darling Sin”: 1621. On May 3, 1621, Sir Simonds D’Ewes published his political biography of Sir Francis Bacon, in which he accuses the great lawyer, scholar and “father of empiricism” of “his most abominable and darling sin.” D’Ewes continued, “I should rather bury in silence than mention it, were it not a most admirable instance of how men are enslaved by wickedness and held captive by the devil.” D’Ewes accused Bacon of “keeping still one Godrick, a very effeminate-faced youth, to be his catamite and bedfellow… deserting the bed of his Lady.” That same year, Bacon resigned as Lord Chancellor over accusations that he accepted payment from litigants, which, while against the law, was a widespread and accepted practice at the time. He quickly confessed to accepting payments, a confession that may have been prompted by threats to charge him with the capital offense of sodomy.

Medical Report of a Gay Civil War Veteran: 1921. Dr. Clarence P. Oberndorf, a New York City psychoanalyst, spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Society of the State of New York in Brooklyn about one of his patients, a 74-year-old Civil War veteran who suffered from depression, saying “For sixty years I have been leading a double life.” He became aware of his feelings for other men at a very early age. “He preferred rough, coarse men, like longshoremen, husky and full of vitality. These he sought at intervals, while his acquaintances knew him as a refined gentleman interested in art and literature.” He never married. “In my younger days,” he remarked, “I used to grieve because of my affliction, but in later years I have become indifferent.”

Oberndorf’s goal was not to cure homosexuality per se. “Where treatment is undertaken for passive homoerotism in the male,” — active homosexuals, or “tops,” were not considered truly homosexual in the early 20th century — “psychoanalysis may powerfully influence the attitude of the patient toward his malady by removing some of the urgent neurotic fears which accompany the inversion. After analysis such an invert at least feels himself more reconciled to his passive homoeroticism than previously. I have had male passive homoerotics seek treatment with just such stipulations — not to be cured but to be made more content with their lives.”

[Source: Clarence P. Oberndorf. “Homosexuality.” New York Medical Journal 22, no. 4 (April 1922): 176-180. Available online here.]

MCC Wins Federal Grant to Resettle Gay Refugees: 1981. The Rev. Elder Freda Smith, vice moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church, announced that the gay church had been awared a $380,000 grant from the Reagan Administration to resettle gay Cuban refugees who were currently being housed in four reception centers across the country. Rev. Smith said the church had already resettled nearly 500 gay Cubans who had arrived during the previous year during the Mariel boatlift that brought 127,000 refugees to southern Florida. The gay refugees had additional motives for joining the boatlift: “Gays are looked down in Cuba because homosexuality runs against the macho attitudes in the country,” Rev. Smith added.

Rev. Smith said that federal officials authorized the grant because the MCC was better equipped to resettle gay refugees than other groups. “We are an idea whose time has come,” she said. She also reveald that the church itself would front another $100,000 toward the effort.

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

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Eric Payne

May 3rd, 2014

Got an e- mail from Bet Littrell last night (Friday). Ms Littrell is Lambda Legal’s Senior Attorney for the Southeast Region and, after reviewing Bill’s and my circumstances, wants to talk with us about the possibility of becoming plaintiffs in the recent challenge to Georgia’s Constitutional ban… I’m pumped; Bill’s a little more cautious. If anything comes from this, I’ll let you know.

Bill and I will celebrate 19 years together in June. November 2nd will be our fourth wedding anniversary. I’ve been living in Stage 4/end stage heart failure since right after my 40th birthday; I’ll be 55 in August. We married — not just out of love — for a practical reason: After seeing the actions of my sisters after my father died in 2010, we wanted Bill to be as protected as possible. While our marriage is not recognized, per se, in Georgia… after checking with a Probate Court, in 2010, we were advised a legal marriage license from an equality state would only strengthen Last Wills and Testaments in a probate situation.

Otherwise, we’re both certain at least one of my four sisters would be at the door, ten minutes after I was dead, taking inventory of our home. After my father died — 18 months after my mother died — they went through my fsther’s house, hiding things from each other… not so much hiding them for themselves, but to keep one of the other siblings from getting it. It was… surreal. You’d have thought Dad was wealthy — I mean a Bill Gates-level wealthy — the way they acted.


May 3rd, 2014

Eric, good luck.

I’m sure you’ve gone through all these possibilities but a trust might offer you better protection than you have now till your marriage is recognized.

Richard Rush

May 3rd, 2014

Eric, every time I read one of your comments now, I think about your powerful story of the horrors you endured while growing up gay.

You ended your story with this:

Today, with the help of my husband, I’ve been able to move beyond all that crap and recognize it as being nothing but crap. We become the amalgamation of all previous experiences in our life; that mixture has created someone I like, and he loves. I don’t know why… but he does..

Well, I can imagine one of the reasons he loves you ~ by surviving and thriving after all you endured, he sees the amazingly strong, secure, resilient, and intelligent person that you are.

Whenever I feel the slightest twinge of nostalgia over the loss of another aspect of the gay subculture, I think of stories such as yours, Eric, and then remember that the only reason the subculture existed was as a means of survival in a virulently mean and hateful world.

If anyone reading this has not read Eric’s story, I strongly recommend you read it here:

V Guzman-Orozco

May 3rd, 2014

I had never known the earlier history of what became The Dirty Duck, though I heard a lot about Mama Bernice from daughter Gayle. You prompted me to write my own memory of one of my favorite places:

Thank you (for this post and the blog in general)!

Eric Payne

May 3rd, 2014

Richard Rush,

Thank you for the compliment. But, like I responded to someone (I think it was Ben) concerning my “opening up” about my past: it was what it was, but what it is, is history.

What’s odd, that I though about today: People here in Georgia, when first hearing about the length of time I’ve been living in complete heart failure (My heart doesn’t even produce its own beat anymore; I’ve been cardiac abated, and have an internal defibrillator that, 24/7 zaps me) say something along the lines of:

“Bless your heart! There’s something The Lord wants you to do.”

Of course, when I respond: “So as long as I don’t do it, I’ll be alive, right?” They just look at me funny.

When I told Bill about contacting Lambda Legal, he said: “Now… what if this is what you were meant to do?” Then gave me his wicked little smile…

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