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NYU Professor Designs Video Game Recreating The Mansfield, Ohio Gay Sex Sting of 1962 Called “The Tearoom”

Video game developer and New York University professor Robert Yang has created a historical PC video game called   The Tearoom .  Set in a small roadside bathroom , The Tearoom is a historical piece based on the real events of  the Mansfield. Ohio gay sex sting of 1962 in which  38 men were arrested and charged with sodomy.. It strives to recreate a sliver of the fear that many gay men felt at the time.

“The Mansfield police had to figure out how to jail people for having “public sex” that wasn’t actually in public view,” Yang writes. “To make this invisible subtext visible, the Mansfield police secretly recorded the public bathroom for 2 months and basically made one of the first full-color gay porn films in history.”

Noted in his artist’s statement that 23 per cent of the men you can fool around with in The Tearoom are undercover cops. This is based on a 2015 Williams Institute study that found LGBT survivors of violence and abuse from strangers pegged police officers as the perpetrators 23 per cent of the time.

Besides recreating a historical event, The Tearoom also deals with modern-day censorship. Yang uses penises that look like guns to get around the censors  at TWITCH a streaming video game platform (now a subsidiary of Amazon.com ) because the site refuses to allow the streaming of explicit games, or at least games that show dicks explicitly. Instead, Yang presents “penises” as guns, representing the most omnipresent of gaming weapons.

“To appease this oppressive conservative gamer-surveillance complex, I have swapped out any pesky penises in my game for the only thing that the game industry will never moderate nor ban – guns,” Yang states.

As for The Tearoom itself, it’s another examination of historical homophobia. This time you play as a gay man in 1962 Ohio, using a rest stop urinal to hook-up and have sex at a time when gay bars hardly existed and there was no such thing as GRINDR.  If you offer the right amount of side-eye and they dig your vibe, they’ll unload their, um, package, on you and . But be forewarned, cops may bust you if they see you through the window.

the one thing that the game could never create though is the pain and suffering of those who were arrested in these sex stings at a time in our country where homophobia was the norm. The men who were arrested lost jobs, families, and sometimes their lives after they were exposed with some going to prison and others committing suicide.

You can learn more about the Mansfield, Ohio gay sex sting of 1962 by clicking this link;  Gay Persecution Revisited – The Mansfield, Ohio Gay Sex Sting Of 1962 – Rare NSWF Video

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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