Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern

17 Dec

Wow! Today in gay History was a pretty big one!

I’m real excited about this post, so please bear with my nerd-dom.

47 years ago, in 1963, the New York Times published quite the article. It reads like it was written by the American Family Association today. The front-page story Robert C. Doty was entitled “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern.” The article starts out by focusing on some of the raids that had been going on in NYC gay bars and continues on to some rather bigoted statements about the threats homosexuals pose to the city.

There is of course the “you can’t be born like that” argument…

The old idea, assiduously propagated by homosexuals, that homosexuality is an inborn, incurable disease, has been exploded by modern psychiatry, in the opinion of many experts. It can be both prevented and cured, these experts say. . . . [Psychiatrists] have what they consider to be overwhelming evidence that homosexuals are created — generally by ill-adjusted parents — not born.

We’re multiplying…

Some experts believe the numbers of homosexuals in the city are increasing rapidly. Others contend that, as public attitudes have become more tolerant, the homosexuals have tended to be more overt, less concerned with concealing their deviant conduct.

We’re changing the language…

They have their favored clothing suppliers who specialize in the right slacks, short-cut coats and fastidious furnishings favored by many, but by no means all, male homosexuals. There is a homosexual jargon, once intelligible only to the initiate, but now part of New York slang.

and finally…we are EVERYWHERE…(but specifically in theatre and hairdressing)

Inverts are to be found in every conceivable line of work, from truck driving to coupon clipping. But they are most concentrated — or most noticeable — in the fields of the creative and performing arts and industries serving women’s beauty and fashion needs.

24 years later, the New York Times first used the word “gay” to refer to homosexuals…you know…8 years after the first New Yorker died from AIDS.

Then, 40 years ago today – Gloria Steinem and 8 other feminist activist held a press conference where they announced that they supported gay rights.

Tootsie, a film where Dustin Hoffman played a man who dresses as a woman to get cast on a soap opera premiered today.

And on this day in 1997, gays in New Jersey were first granted the right to adopt!

Look at how things have changed. Please have hope that things will change even more. Keep telling your stories and change the world.


3 Responses to “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern”

  1. Eric Ethington December 18, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I love these posts Jamie, keep them coming!


  1. Tweets that mention Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern « Talk About Equality -- - December 17, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie McGonnigal and Take Back Pride, TalkAboutEquality. TalkAboutEquality said: Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern #LGBT @TalkEquality […]

  2. A Gay and Lesbian Museum: There’s A Space For US « Talk About Equality - January 12, 2011

    […] have written several times about the importance of history and about preserving and reflecting on our past. The opening of this museum is an important moment […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: