Tag Archives: Newsweek

Gay History – August 1971: NEWSWEEK Magazine Publishes “The Militant Homosexual”

August 1971 – Newsweek Magazine Publishes “The Militant Homosexual” 

A little more than two years after the Stonewall riots in NYC’s Greenwich Village,  Newsweek’magazine published an article titled “The Militant Homosexual”  where it devoted four pages trying to explain it all to its readers where all these nasty homosexuals suddenly came from.

The entire four-page article dealt with the sudden visibility of the gay community — a visibility which had personal, psychological, familial and political aspects, according to Newsweek. As one measure of the surprise this new openness must have engendered, the word “militant” appeared in the four-page article fifteen times. And what the authors regarded “militant” is revealing: they described “militants” coming out to their friends, families and employers; “militants” wanting acceptance; “militants” refusing to accept the APA’s verdict that they were mentally ill (the APA would set aside that verdict two years later); “militants” demanding an end to the ban on federal employment; “militants” starting gay churches and “militants” getting married in them, and “militants” saying it’s great to be gay.  

That last point, according to Newsweek was especially dangerous:

To supporters of gay liberation, marching in the streets and holding hands in public are only minor gestures of assertion. They are picketing the Pentagon, testifying at government hearings on discrimination, appearing on TV talk shows, lecturing to Rotary Clubs, organizing their own churches and social organizations and, perhaps most important of all, using their real names. “Two or three years ago, a homosexual who tried to explain what he and the gay movement were all about would have been ridiculed,” says Troy Perry, a homosexual minister who established Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Community Church in 1968 and has been a movement hero ever since.

…What seemed then it relatively minor clash is now enshrined in gay-lib lore as the “Stonewall Rebellion.” Within weeks, the first of scores of militant homosexual groups, the Gay Liberation Front, was formed in New York. The new mood quickly crossed the continent, leading to the creation of similar organizations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. By the first anniversary of the Stonewall incident, the militants were on the march in a dozen cities. By the second anniversary, they were celebrating Gay Pride Week with an elaborate panoply of parades and protests. The movement already has a book-length history in print and some of its more imaginative propagandists have even begun to speak of a “Stonewall Nation.” [snip]

What all this suggests is a central problem that gay liberation usually chooses to ignore: if the movement succeeds in creating an image of “normality” for homosexuals in the society at large, would it encourage more homosexuality inclined people — particularly young people — to follow their urges without hesitation? No one really knows for certain. Dr. Paul Gebhard, the distinguished anthropologist who directs the Kinsey Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, believes that gay lib “will not convert heterosexuals into homosexuals but might encourage those who are going in a homosexual direction to feel less guilty about it.” New York sociologist Edward Sagarin takes an even dimmer view. “If the militants didn’t say that it is great to be gay,” Sagarin insists, “more adolescents with homosexual tendencies might seek to change instead of resolving their confusion by accepting the immediate warm security that tells them they are normal.”

Three weeks later, pioneering gay rights advocate Frank Kameny responded to that paragraph with this letter to the editor:

The gay liberation movement has been formulating its positions for some twenty years, has quite “come to grips with all the implications of its own positions” and does not at all “choose to ignore” the “problem” of “more homosexuality inclined people — particularly young people — [following] their urges without hesitation.” Not only do we consider this neither a problem nor a danger; we consider it an eminently desirable goal to be worked toward and achieved as soon and as fully as possible. It is the very essence of liberation.

Sometimes I wish we had these militant homosexuals back. 

Because the Twerk Protesting Queers just ain’t cutting it.

Forgotten Gay Heroes: The Legacy of Gay AIDS Activist and “KS Poster Boy” Bobbi Campbell

On August 8, 1983 Bobbi Campbell, and his partner Bobby Hilliard, became the faces of the deadly plague called AIDS that was decimating the gay community with a cover story in Newsweek magazine.

For those who don’t remember or know Bobbi Campbell he was originally from Seattle, WA and became the first person living with AIDS to come out publicly after he became the 16th person to be diagnosed with it in San Francisco.

Bobbi became known as the “KS Poster Boy” appearing with his partner on the above cover of Newsweek on August 8, 1983 and wrote a column for the San Francisco Sentinel from January 1982 describing his experiences. Campbell, who was also a registered nurse, joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the time of the health crisis in early 1982; in his “sister” persona as Sister Florence Nightmare, he co-authored the first San Francisco safer-sex manual, “Play Fair!”, which was written in plain sex-positive language, offering practical advice and adding an element of humour.

In 1983, Campbell and Dan Turner, who had been diagnosed in February 1982, founded the People With AIDS Self-Empowerment Movement or PWA Movement that believes that those living with HIV/AIDS have the human rights to “take charge of their own life, illness, and care, and to minimize dependence on others”.

In January of 1984, when Dan White, the assassin of gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone was due to be paroled, Campbell and Hilliard stood outside Soledad State Prison. White was being transported to Los Angeles for fear of retributive attacks, Campbell stood in front of the media carrying a sign that read “Dan White’s homophobia is more deadly than AIDS,” bringing further national attention to the health crisis.

On July 15, 1984, Bobbi Campbell gave one of his last speeches at the National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco (see video below). Campbell told the crowd that he had hugged his boyfriend on the cover of Newsweek, , “to show Middle America that gay love is beautiful,” He held 15 seconds of silence for the 2,000 who had died of AIDS at that point “and [for] those who will die before this is over,” He then laid-out a series of concerns for politicians to address — including increased funding for both research and support services and a warning of the potential for discrimination with the advent of a test for HTLV-3 (now known as HIV) — and appealing to all candidates in the upcoming elections to meet with people with AIDS.

Two weeks later, Campbell appeared on CBS Evening News in a live satellite interview with Dan Rather. While the rumors and fear of AIDS had reached a mainstream audience, the facts had not, so Campbell was placed in a glass booth, with technicians refusing to come near him to wire up microphones for the interview.

At noon on August 15, 1984, exactly a month after his DNC speech and after 2 days on life support in intensive care, Bobbi Campbell died at San Francisco General Hospital.   His parents and his partner Bobby Hilliard were by his side.  Bobbi Campbell was 32 years old and had lived for over 3½ years with what was by then called AIDS

His partner Bobby Hilliard would succumb to the deadly disease not long afterwards.

It is almost impossible in this day and age to imagine the full extent of the fear, prejudice and misinformation that surrounded the disease in the early years and those who were infected. Even well into the late 1990’s and even sometimes today phobia against people with AIDS runs rampant, along with misinformation about how AIDS is transmitted and threats of criminalization against them.

In the 1980’s, televangelist and fear mongers like Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and others were spewing the belief that AIDS was “God’s punishment” against homosexuality.  People with AIDS faced ostracism from family and friends, discrimination in housing and employment. At one point even funeral directors refused to bury the bodies of those who died from the disease. And to make matters wasn’t until 1985 that then President of the United States Ronald Reagan would mention the word AIDS,  let alone do anything to stop the disease and by this time thousands of gay Americans had already died.

Both Bobbi Campbell and Bobby Hilliard should be remembered forever as what they are.  True heroes of the gay community.

Shall they never be forgotten.

Bobby Hilliard

Bobbi Campbell newsweek

New Owners of “Newsweek” Magazine Anti-Gay, Believe Homosexuality Can Be Cured

Newsweek

The Guardian has done a piece that looks at  the religious underpinnings of Newsweek magazines new owners Johnathan Davis (left)  and Etienne Uzac (right) .  Davis’ company IBT Media acquired the magazine last year, is a proponent of conversion therapy for gays.

Davis, whose company IBT Media acquired the magazine last year, is apparently a strong proponent of conversion therapy for gays.

In a Facebook post in February 2013, Davis described as “shockingly accurate” an op-ed article written by Christopher Doyle, the director of the International Healing Foundation (IHF) (‘Ex-Gay Pride Month’ last July, which was forcibly cancelled as a result of undisclosed (imaginary) “anti-ex-gay extremism) which works to convert gay people. Davis said it “cuts like a hot knife through a buttery block of lies”.

Doyle, has said  that he was delighted by Davis’s praise. “Considering how much of the media is very gay-friendly, this is a breath of fresh air,” he said.

When asked about his Facebook post in support of Doyle’s work, Davis responded:

Whether I do or not [believe that], I’m not sure how that has any bearing on my capacity here as the founder of the company. I’m not sure how it’s relevant. People believe all sorts of weird things. But from a professional capacity, it’s unrelated.”

Not really.  Especially if you run a news group.  Ask Rupert Murdoch

Ramin Setoodeh Newsweek Article: GLAAD Wants An Apology, Glee Creator Ryan Murphy Wants A Newsweek Boycott, And I Want To Kick Ramin Setoodeh’s Ass For Making Me Stand Up For Sean Hayes (Ewwww)

Ramin and his friendly dildo!
One week late GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios released a statement today regarding the Newsweek article by Ramin Setoodeh suggesting that gay actors can’t play straight roles. (C’mon Kristen Chenowerth beat GLAAD to the punch on this, maybe she should be in charge of the organization) 

Said Barrios:

“Whether he intended it to or not, Ramin Setoodeh’s article in Newsweek sends a false and damaging message about gay actors by endorsing the idea that there are limits to the roles they are able to play.

If Setoodeh wanted to start a discussion about the work of gay performers, he undermined his own premise by affirming stereotype after stereotype, such as gay actors being ‘insincere’ or unbelievable when playing romantic leads, and dismissing or disregarding the work of actors like Neil Patrick Harris, Cheyenne Jackson, Cherry Jones, Wanda Sykes, Jonathan Groff and Alan Cumming, among others.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender actors can play a wide variety of diverse roles and Setoodeh’s perspective on this issue reflects his own discomfort that he attempts to project onto the audience by indicting Sean Hayes instead of examining his own inability to embrace gay actors in straight roles.

Since the article’s publication, Setoodeh has attempted to reframe his opinion piece as an analysis of the lack of gay men in leading roles, however, he continues to posit that gay male actors are not believable. In his May 11th interview with Joy Behar, Setoodeh claims about Neil Patrick Harris’ television role: ‘He’s not really a romantic lead where women are actually supposed to believe him as a heterosexual character.’

Whatever Setoodeh’s intentions or beliefs, Newsweek is ultimately responsible for having published this deeply problematic essay and consciously or not, promoting and encouraging Setoodeh’s discomfort.

GLAAD has been in dialogue with Newsweek to provide space for views on the subject that expand their readers’ understanding of this issue past the harmful attitudes of writers like Setoodeh, whose perspective is used to pressure gay actors to stay closeted.

Kristin Chenoweth Sounds Off To Newsweek About Ramin Setoodah’s Recent Article "Straight Jacket"

Last week Newsweek published truly offenive article by Ramin Setoodah titled “Straight Jacket“, in which he claims that gay actors cannot convincingly play straight roles. (Which is laughable considering how man closeted gay men in Hollywood actually do.)  Setoodah who uses barely veiled homopobia when writings on gay topics. (Either because of an internalized problem that he has or for sensationalism reasons had even gone so far in the past to suggust that Lawrence King (who I believe was 15) “had it coming” because his experimenting with his gender identity “made others uncomfortable”.

Kristin who  is currently starring in Broadway’s Promises, Promises opposite Sean Hayes, whom Setoodah describes as “the pink elephant in the room.” wrote a letter to Newsweek blasting its irresponsibility for publishing such an article and condemning Setoodah for writing such irresponsible homophobic garbage.

“As someone who’s been proudly advocating for equal rights and supporting GLBT causes for as long as I can remember, I know how much it means to young people struggling with their sexuality to see out & proud actors like Sean Hayes, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon succeeding in their work without having to keep their sexuality a secret.

No one needs to see a bigoted, factually inaccurate article that tells people who deviate from heterosexual norms that they can’t be open about who they are and still achieve their dreams. I am told on good authority that Mr. Setoodeh is a gay man himself and I would hope, as the author of this article, he would at least understand that. I encourage Newsweek to embrace stories which promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!” – Kristin Chenoweth

BRAVA DIVA!