13 responses

  1. Merv
    June 26, 2014

    It was a very busy day in history, to say the least.

    Thank you for naming the author of the anti-gay Life magazine article. I was criticized before for asking that the author of an anti-gay film review be named, but I think it’s important that, at the very least, those who contributed to the persecution of gay people not be able to get away with their reputations intact. That’s especially true of members of the mass media, who played a huge role in shaping public opinion toward gay people. If there is no penalty paid for persecuting people, history will repeat itself.

  2. Eric Payne
    June 26, 2014


    I agree with you, but for one caveat: At the time of its publication, Life‘s article wasn’t anti-gay for the sake of being anti-gay. The piece was, merely, a reflection of society’s then prevalent belief of homosexuality being a destructive mental illness.

    Something Box Turtle Bulletin does very well — and the reason BTB is my first gay-blog “read” of the day — is to recount our history as just that: our history. Jim Burroway is to be complimented in being neither overtly celebratory in the retelling of gay “wins,” nor rabidly lambasting the anti-gay actions of others in the past.

    History is immutable. I appreciate Jim’s daily collection of tidbits publicizing our community’s past.

  3. Hunter
    June 26, 2014

    Just a note on Pride celebrations: I noticed you left out Chicago, although you had us listed for last weekend: last weekend was Pride Fest, a street fair on North Halsted Street that opens Pride Week; our parade, which is expected to draw a million people from all over the Midwest, is this coming Sunday, June 29.

    And the City of Chicago has been flying rainbow flags from the lamposts in Boys’ Town all month.

  4. Larry Gist
    June 26, 2014

    My husband and I married in Indiana yesterday. I NEVER EVER thought I would live to see this day here! Yes a stay is likely and surely an appeal, but for now my “partner” has become my husband and NOTHING they do will EVER take the joy of that moment away from us!

  5. eddie
    June 26, 2014

    AND… BTB is fantastic with all the history. It should be put into a book.

  6. Eric Payne
    June 26, 2014


    After 15 years together, I thought Bill and I getting married would have been no big deal… but I was wrong. Though it was just the two of us, in a park in Boston, with the county clerk officiating, it was… magicful. I know… that sounds so Disneyesque, but there’s no way to capture everything that was going on. The entire ceremony lasted all of 10 minutes. He’ll, the process of getting to Boston’s Municipal Office the day before, then getting to a courthouse for a waiver of the 3-day waiting period, then getting back to City Hall to get the certificate filed took longer than the actual ceremony.

    But every moment of that ten minutes just stands out with such clarity. We were so casual about it… and then, it hit. I was married. I was friggin’ MARRIED. Me. The life-long loner and outcast, married. I wasn’t just screwing around anymore, I was someone’s husband. Life wasn’t a “me” thing now, it was an “us” adventure.

    Dammit. I’m starting to get all misty-eyed again.

  7. Jim Burroway
    June 26, 2014

    Congratulations Larry! Thanks for sharing the joyous news.


    I found your comment. You’re right. It somehow ended up in the spam folder. Also, I’ve added Chicago pride to the list.

    Which brings me to my number one pet peeve. Most Pride websites prominently display their dates right up at the top in easy to find bold letters. But I am constantly amazed at the number of sites — like Chicago’s — where it’s not obvious from the first moment you land on the page when the Pride events take place. I mean really? Don’t you want people to know when to show up? Why force them to hunt and click for the information? For this weekend, I had 63 events to log on the calendar, and it really annoys me to no end when a Pride web site doesn’t do its job right and just tell you when it is.

    Okay. Rant over for the morning.

    And thank you all for your notes of appreciation for the history bits. I really appreciate it.

  8. Hunter
    June 26, 2014

    Jim — you’re right about the Chicago website — it’s not a great design. Even though there’s a graphic in the header with the parade date, it doesn’t call attention to itself. And the front page is all about everything else.

    • Jim Burroway
      June 26, 2014

      When I went to the web site earlier this morning after seeing your email, the graphic wasn’t there — or at least it didn’t show up on my computer. Now it is, trying to be more clever than it needs to be. Oh well…

  9. Timothy Kincaid
    June 26, 2014



  10. Merv
    June 26, 2014


    Regarding “The piece was, merely, a reflection of society’s then prevalent belief of homosexuality being a destructive mental illness.”: I think it’s time to start being less forgiving about those who participated in our persecution, even if it was in the context of a society that supported that persecution. Some similar examples: DW Griffith and Leni Riefenstahl were pioneering film directors, but their works, while praised in their time (and even now), contributed to the persecution of innocent people, and ultimately that could not be overlooked, resulting in reputations that today are overall very negative, and justifiably so. They should have known better, and so should the author of the Life magazine article.

  11. Donny D.
    June 27, 2014

    Eric Payne wrote,


    “I agree with you, but for one caveat: At the time of its publication, Life‘s article wasn’t anti-gay for the sake of being anti-gay. The piece was, merely, a reflection of society’s then prevalent belief of homosexuality being a destructive mental illness.”

    No, Eric, Life WAS being anti-gay for the sake of being anti-gay. It was pushing a set of homophobic ideas prevalent in the national media at that time, and acting as though it was providing some kind of warped public service by doing so.

    Articles like this were written in the 1960s because, as this article said, “today, especially in big cities, homosexuals are discarding their furtive ways and openly admitting, even flaunting, their deviation.” The homosexuals were becoming less afraid and more and more open; something had to be done! Articles like this were efforts at containment. Their authors and publishers wanted us and our milieu NOT be seen as positive, above all else. The gay demi-monde needed to be deglamourized so impressionable young people wouldn’t be drawn into it, and our national media kept hammering that we were sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick! It seemed like all they ever did in the `60s, when they mentioned us at all, was to sick-bait us. That we were “sick” was the new, enlightened party line on “the homosexuals”.

    As a secondary school student in the early-mid 1970s, I read these same articles, and I had no sympathy for their authors or publishers and made NO excuses for them. What they did was reprehensible even then, and yes, they knew what they were doing. They clearly felt they had to fight against an upsurgence of us LGBT folk. They weren’t “reflecting” anything, they were very intentionally going against us, and were ENFORCING attitudes and opinions that had some popularity then but were by NO means as universally held as media coverage at the time made it seem.

  12. Priya Lynn
    June 27, 2014

    Very insightful, Donny D.

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