Gay History – August, 1673: Plymouth Colony Convicts Two Men Of “Spending their seed one upon another”

On August 6, 1673 Plymouth Colony convicted two men of “Lewd Behavior and Unclean Carriage”. 

While not directly labeled in the records as a case of sodomy, it is clearly an act of homosexual behavior.

From the official record:

John Allexander & Thomas Roberts were both examined and found guilty of lewd behavior and unclean carriage one with another, by often spending their seed one upon another, which was proved both by witness & their own confession; the said Allexander [was] found to have been formerly notoriously guilty that way, and seeking to allure others thereunto. The said John Allexander was therefore censured [sentenced] by the Court to be severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished [from] the government [territory] of New Plymouth, and if he be at any time found within the same, to be whipped out again by the appointment [order] of the next justice, etc., and so as oft as he shall be found within this government. Which penalty was accordingly inflicted.

Thomas Roberts was censured to be severely whipped, and to return to his master, Mr. Atwood, and serve out his time with him, but to be disabled hereby to enjoy any lands within this government, except he manifest better desert.

Allexander and Roberts, were two men with a long history of sodomy in Plymouth and were spared capital punishment. Allexander, a property owning man, and Roberts, an indentured servant, not only violated sexual morals, but also transgressed class distinctions .

Their punishment, banishment for Allexander and the denial of future land ownership for Roberts, was approximately the same as was cast upon those who participated in illicit sexual acts between men and women.

Gay History 1961 – WATCH: “The Rejected” The Long Lost First Aired Television Documentary About Homosexuality

While there were  a few previously produced television panel discussions about homosexuality  The Rejected was the first ever full-length televised  documentary about the then controversial subject.

Originally produced and broadcast  by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) – the predecessor of WNET – and first aired on September 11th 1961, on KQED Ch.9. it includes discussions about sexual orientation from: Margaret Mead (anthropologist, pictured aboved); Dr. Karl Bowman (former President of the American Psychiatric Association); Harold Call, Donald Lucas and Les Fisher of the Mattachine Society;

“We think the swish, or the queen, represents a small minority within the homosexual grouping,” Call states. “These people in most cases are not even liked by their homosexual brethren because they have perhaps rejected themselves and they feel society has rejected them.”

Harold Call calls for a change in laws and restrictions that put the lives and livelihood of gay people in danger, while Lucas emphasized the number and ubiquity of homosexuals living in America, not just clustered within large cities.

But it’s  Call’s closing remarks that resonate most deeply:

The homosexual is no different than anyone else except perhaps in his choice of a love object. He desires the same kind of right to live his life freely and without interference, to pursue his happiness as a responsible citizen and to receive the benefits of constitutional rights, due process and protection of the law that all of us enjoy.”

The documentary also includes: San Francisco District Attorney Thomas Lynch; Dr. Erwin Braff (Director of San Francisco’s Bureau for Disease Control; Al Bendich; Mr J. Albert Hutchinson and Mr. Morris Lowenthal (who engage in debate); Bishop James Pike and Rabbi Alvin Fine.

This documentary was written by John Reavis Jr., produced by Reavis Jr. and Irving Saraf, directed by Dick Christian, with location photography by Philip Greene.

This copy of The Rejected was lost for many years and has been restored as much as it could.  The Library of Congress states that there were several problems with the edited 2-inch quad videotape master. Many different tape stocks were used to create this program and the quality of these was often poor. The base of the tape is slippery at times, which causes an unstable control track. The stock was also physically heavy, which causes tension during take up. The audio quality is consistent throughout but there are three extended sequences – noted onscreen by subtitles – which feature bad picture quality.  The Library’s Recording Laboratory remastered these 2-inch tapes onto digital.

You can watch The Rejected in its entirety here.

John Luguizamo Cries Cultural Appropriation While Fidel Castro's Daughter Approves of the Casting of James Franco

John Leguizamo Cries Cultural Appropriation While Fidel Castro’s Daughter Approves of the Casting of James Franco

On Saturday actor John Leguizamo has slammed the decision to cast James Franco as former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in ‘Alina of Cuba.’

“How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? Leguizamo posted. “No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement which would b wrong! I don’t got a prob with Franco but he ain’t Latino!

Leguziamo then went one step further and asked supporters to not put any support behind this movie by taking the decision to boycott the film.

But not everyone feels that way including Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández, who told Deadline she supports Franco playing her father in “Alina of Cuba. “James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma,” she told the publication, “I find the selection of the cast amazing.”

As for Leguziamo all he had to do was look at Wikipedia to see that Franco’s father was of Portuguese (from Madeira) and Swedish ancestry, And while he is there John can look himself up and see that he has played drag queens, gay men. and a French midget in Moulin Rouge.

Cultural appropriation that Mr. Lugiziamo.

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of "Upstairs Lounge" Inferno Through DNA

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of “Upstairs Lounge” Inferno Through DNA

 In New Orleans on a warm Sunday afternoon in June 24, 1973 an  afternoon arson attack on a gay bar called the Upstairs Lounge resulted in the deaths of 32 people. The UpStairs Lounge fire is the deadliest fire in New Orleans history and now the second largest mass murder of LGBT people ever in the United States after the Florida Pulse Massacre.

News coverage at that time, both print and television, made every effort to omit the fact that the fire had anything to do with homosexuals in the community, even though a gay bar and members of a gay church congregation had been involved.  The stories that appeared included quotes from local citizens that can only be described as ignorant, such as a cab driver who said “I hoped the fire burned their dresses off,” and one woman who opined that “the Lord … cooked them.”  Local talk radio hosts were making jokes such as, “What do they bury the ashes of queers in?”  The answer:  “Fruit jars.”

Of the 32 victims  four of the bodies were buried by authorities in an unmarked grave in the local “potter’s field”. Sadly, a record of exactly where those bodies were buried was lost during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy of 2005. Now, officials in the city have announced that they plan to renew efforts to find the victims in the unmarked grave.

Last Thursday, NOLA city council passed a motion promising to renew efforts to find the lost bodies. Doing so opens up the possibility of carrying out DNA testing to identify those not previously named. It also means they can receive a proper burial after all these decades..

“The City’s callous and deeply inadequate response … rooted in pervasive anti-gay sentiment” made suffering worse for victims´ families and friends” states the motion written by Councilmember Jean-Paul “JP” Morrell.

The motion says the city has a moral obligation to do all it can to aid “the recovery and dignified interment of the victims of the UpStairs Lounge massacre.”

You can rad more about the UpStairs Lounge Inferno by CLICKING HERE.

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of "Upstairs Lounge" Inferno Through DNA

Gay History – August 1966: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, San Francisco [WATCH: Screaming Queens]

On an warm August night in San Francisco in 1966 (no one knows the exact date since SFPD files have been lost) at Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, a seedy eatery in the Tenderloin district one of the first rebellions against the oppression of the LGBT community.

Compton’s became a sanctuary drag queens, young gay street hustlers, and down-and-out regulars much to the chagrin of it’s owners.

One August night the management who were finally fed-up and annoyed by the noisy crowd at one table, called the police. When a surly cop, accustomed to manhandling the Compton’s clientele, attempted to arrest one of the drag queens, she threw her coffee in his face and mayhem erupted. Windows broke, furniture flew through the air and the hustlers and drag queens fought back. Police reinforcements then arrived, and the fighting spilled into the street.

For the first time, the gay hustlers and drag queens banded together to fight back.  Getting the better of the cops, they kicked, punched and stomped on the cops with their high-heels. For everyone at Compton’s that night, one thing was certain — things there would never be the same again.

There is so much more to the story of the Compton Cafeteria than those bare-bones facts. In 1966 San Francisco it was unlawful to crossdress and it was unlawful to “impersonate a female.” Drag performers, transvestites, effeminate gay males, and rough trade hustlers experienced frequent harassment by police, including arrests, beatings and demeaning jailhouse treatment.  With no rights, employment or public accommodation protections, prostitution became survival sex work — it was the only way a drag queen or a down and out hot young guy could make a living.

The violent reaction of the drag queens and gays at the Compton’s Cafeteria did not solve the problems that they were having in the Tenderloin on daily basis. It did, however, create a space in which it became possible for the city of San Francisco to begin relating differently to the community — to begin treating them, in fact, as citizens with legitimate needs instead of simply as a problem to get rid of. That shift in awareness was a crucial step for the contemporary  social justice movement — the beginning of a new relationship to state power and social legitimacy. 

REMINDER: COVID Is Not Over! - 12,500 Americans Died Of COVID-19 In July.

REMINDER: COVID Is Not Over! – 12,500 Americans Died Of COVID-19 In July.

Told you so.

Via USA Today: “COVID is over” might trend within social media circles, but weekly U.S. death tolls tell a different story. The pace of COVID-19 deaths has remained relatively steady since May, despite an uptick in July to about 400 a day, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. In July, more than 12,500 Americans died of COVID-19, according to the USA TODAY analysis. “We’re sitting on this horrible plateau,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist with Pro Health Care in New York and a clinical instructor of medicine at Columbia University. “It’s been this way for the past couple of months, and we’re getting used to it.”

Translation: “We’re done trying to fix the problem, we now are being “groomed” to live around it.” stage of how we handle all problems in this country.

See also: Homelessness, gun violence, poverty, domestic terrorism and the rising tide of Republican fascism among other things.

Montreal Pride Cancels Today’s Parade at the Last Minute

Montreal Pride Cancels Today’s Parade at the Last Minute

Hours before it was due to take place on Sunday, organizers announced the cancellation of Montreal’s Pride parade.

Via the CBC: Organizers of the Montréal Pride festival have cancelled today’s parade. They cited a lack of security staff for the parade route, adding that the decision was made in collaboration with Montreal police. Events taking place at the Esplanade du Parc olympique from 2 p.m., including the closing show with Pabllo Vittar, will go on as as planned. Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend today’s parade.

Presse Canadienne, Montreal Pride executive director Simon Gamache said the organization was short 80 people on Sunday morning, most of whom had been assigned to close streets and that it was the result of multiple factors, including COVID-19 cases during the week, multiple possible cases of heat stroke and fatigue among volunteers who had contributed in previous days.

“Montreal Pride isn’t immune from human resources issues.” Gamache added..

Gay History – August 7, 1931: American Solider Found Guilty of Sodomy Sent To Alcatraz Prison

Clyde Findell Hicks was born in Oak Grove, Durham, North Carolina on September 5, 1910. On April 13, 1930 at the age of 20, he was listed as a soldier residing in Barracks #158 at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

On August 7, 1931 Hicks was sentenced to six years in prison for the crime of sodomy with an early parole date of August 7, 1935. After serving almost 3 years of his sentence on June 19, 1934 he was transferred to the infamous maximum security prison of Alcatraz of the coast of San Francisco becoming one of the first prisoners on the island.  Even though he wasn’t a hardened criminal as some of the other inmates were he was put into Solitary on December 3 and 4, 1934 for “for conveying a note from one prisoner to another”.  Two other prisoners were put in Solitary that day, and stayed in much longer, for causing a ruckus and planning an escape. The note may have contained information concern this plan.

Despite his solitary confinement, Clyde seems to have otherwise been on his best behavior, he was discharged on his minimum sentence date, August 7, 1935. 

Clyde Hicks who spent 4 years in prison for his desires for other men a year later married a girl named Mary Wolfe of Mt. Airy on December 19, 1936.

Clyde Hicks passed away in Durham, North Carolina on December 5, 1993.

There are those who claim his ghost returned to Alcatraz Island to haunt the prison for being  incarcerated there for the crime of loving another man.

Clyde Hicks

16 States Suing Florida to Block the Parental Rights in Education Bill aka. "Don't Say Gay"

16 States Suing Florida to Block the Parental Rights in Education Bill aka. “Don’t Say Gay”

16 states have banned together and are now suing Florida to block the Parental Rights in Education Bill, arguing the legislation harms students and faculty and lacks educational merit. These states include: District of Columbia, as well as New Jersey, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Oregon.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in a statement: “It’s my job to stand up for people who are harmed by discrimination–and what harms Florida kids, parents, and teachers harms every one of us. Essential to being able to live with dignity, safety, and respect is being able to say loud and clear who you are as a human being, to speak your truth. But under this law, Florida kids can’t speak their truth. Their parents can’t speak their truth. Teachers can’t speak their truth.”

The Florida’s bill allows parents to sue the school district if LGBT topics are discussed under the idea that their “fundamental rights” as a parent were violated.

The lawsuit asks the court to “declare the law unconstitutional, prevent it from being enforced, and award plaintiff’s costs, expenses, and attorneys fees.” If this bill gets overturned, copycat laws in other states could be on shaky ground.

Let’s hope.

CPAC Gives Hungarian PM Orban Standing O for Anti-Gay Rant

CPAC Gives Hungarian PM Orban Standing O for Anti-Gay Rant

It’s CPAC time again!

“The Conservative Political Action Conference is the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world. (Their wording, NOT OURS) Launched in 1974, CPAC brings together hundreds of conservative organizations, thousands of activists, millions of viewers and the best and brightest leaders in the world.”

Via Mediate: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas and declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. Attendees gave the right-wing authoritarian a standing ovation in response. “Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” he said to applause. “Family ties shall be based on marriage or the relationship between parent and children. To sum up, the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and leave our kids alone. Full stop. End of discussion!”

Orban also claimed with a straight face that Christian politicians can’t be racist, ignoring, well, you know. History.

The American Taliban strikes again!