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DIARY 3403


In to find Mark Williams and Don Goodwin scattered all over the table with the articles for the Mattachine Times, and I settle right in to proofing them, though Robert Burdick goes out for dinner and leaves me with Igor, or whoever he is, to train, and I just don't FEEL like training anyone else, having gone through Vincent and Joe and Robert and what feels like about three other people, so I tell him to read the Rolodex, show him the books, tell him to read the bulletin board, and then Robert's back and I can get back to the articles. Amazed to find that all the PRESIDENT'S articles are written by Marc Williams, and I tell him that I find that the PRESIDENT writes much better than the TREASURER does, and he says that's because he edits and re-edits his articles as treasurer, whereas the articles from the president are just train of thought. I tell him that I have the same trouble: my first drafts, some say, are better than my finished versions, and I DEFINITELY tell him that his sentences are too long when he edits, but he insists that that's the way he's written, and that's the way he's GOING to write. Then I do something silly. The articles are really in VERY poor shape, and I put about 6 marks on each of the 25 pages just to get it into MINIMAL shape, then copy editing something by Robert Burdick, who writes rather well, and something for the president, which is pretty good too, since Marc didn't have a chance to edit it. So I say that I want to type the articles in the future, and he said that he thought Henry Messer had told him I said "Never again" for typing, and I can't remember it, but I suddenly think of all the work of my OWN I have to do, and wonder if I shouldn't say "Well, he was RIGHT," and give it all back to him. But if it comes out only once every two months, that's not much to do, since he'll try to get it to me way ahead of time. I finish and he insists he'd be willing to do ALL the corrections, and I argue with Don about his absolute conservatism, his unwillingness to do ANYTHING controversial, and his hate of ANYTHING against GAA. I keep my mouth shut, though, since it's MARC'S editorship that Don seems to be taking over, and not my writing. But Don just seems to get more and more acquisitive of power within Mattachine.


DIARY 3422


Thought it was supposed to start at 6:30, but it was going when I got there at 6:20. Alan Henderson was somewhere speaking, John Hood wasn't there, and Don was sitting regally and fatly in the middle of his paste-up job for the Mattachine Times. Robert Burdick was taking notes, having been voted in as secretary before I arrived, and was also starting his noon-6 pm stint at having the office open all the days for a member-sponsored payment of $50 a week. Mike Christian didn't show up for the financial matters that were supposed to be discussed, so there wasn't much to be said, so I got into my topics that I hadn't brought up before: I didn't think out-of-town calls should be taken collect, but the board voted me down, saying that they'd SEE how expensive a matter it was, and if it WAS a significant amount, the treasurer would bring it before the board, but they thought it should be done as good will, though I insisted I saw NO reason why someone should call from California at OUR expense to give them the name of some bar there. I also brought up the business of accepting phone calls from the meeting, holding everyone up, and Henry insisted that, as a doctor, he HAD to be on call, and Don rightly said that in cases like last time, when straights were beating up gays at the truck, he should certainly take care of it. But they said they UNDERSTOOD what I wanted, that the staff had been TOLD to try to screen as many calls from the board as it could, and that they didn't think it had to be made into any kind of a motion. Marc got into a snit about Don's postponing the paste-ups due to personal commitments as president of Mattachine, and he wanted someone ELSE to paste-up, and I got out the Action Committee cards, giving them to Burdick in the process, and found the name of Ranieri who'd volunteered, but the at the last I heard he didn't get in touch with him at all. Then they dredged around for more business, but couldn't come up with any, so the meeting was adjourned at 7:30, amazing everyone on the board, me most of all. Thankfully, they didn't even see any reason to hold a board meeting after two weeks, it would be only an executive meeting, open to anyone else who wanted to come. Maybe it'll be OK after ALL the fuss.


DIARY 3438


Robert's talking to about three people at once, one fat and ugly whom he sees for a lengthy talk later in the evening, and thankfully the phone isn't too busy. Igor's in again, and I put him to work on the alphabetization of the nonfiction sections when he says he's too stupid to work with the biography section, and [oh, forgot about bringing up the Park-Miller freebies at the board meeting, and Don didn't like it, but said they were being given to people who gave more than a basic membership, and many were handed out to the WSDG people on Sunday] I sit down and wheel out the red labels for the sections with Don's machine until the tape gives out with about five labels left to go for nonfiction, and all the ones for the fictional sections. Finish alphabetizing the duplicate fictions, and try to think of some way to get rid of some of the files. Get into Tangents and Ladders and more of the Mattachine Review and the Mattachine Newsletter and the Eastern Mattachine Magazine, and it seems that THAT will never end, and I can't even think of an easy way to describe the work to be done, as I did in filling out the card for alphabetizing the library. Bob Burdick is now working 1-6 pm, and he can have something to sick on the people who "want to help." Igor got involved in reading a book, answering the three or four phone calls, and did one three-shelf section, having me check it out, and he said he'd help next week. I assured him it would still be there waiting for him, and Don said he might get some paint to fix the subjects' initials on the back of the biography section to help keep it straight, and he wanted to do something with the cards, and Bob Burdick and I argued that most libraries do or don't have THREE catalogs, one for title, one for author, and one for subject. We ended at a stalemate, each thinking SURELY we HAD to be right. Glad not to be on staff anymore, since Tsi-Dun is NEXT week, and I'll probably only be there for an hour, if even that, since I'll have to eat sometime before the meeting to keep up my strength. But it feels good to help out WHEN I want to and HOW I want to, rather than being tied down to the keys and the schedules of a member of the regular telephone stuff.

DIARY 3455


Henry and Don both kiss me good morning, and Carl looks handsome in a blue blazer with an ornate silver shipping pin. John enters and crows to Mrs. Messer about how long it's been since Mrs. Zolnerzak's had a chance to dine out on her husband's fame, and I make it known to everyone that I'm glad that John doesn't do things like this OFTEN. There are some old fogies from WSDG around, and I chat with them, but decide I'm hungrier than that, so I'm the first one to the again-good sausages and pancakes. The fuses have blown, and Barnes had to go back to Jersey for some friends, but Bill Broberg and Hank Moscicki do very well with the cooking and the mixing of the bloody marys with sprigs of tasty watercress. Then George and his lover come in, and I talk to the gray-haired sadly-large-nosed lover about their collection of books from authors like Symonds whose works were burned after the fuss from the Wilde trial in 1895, and then Marie Milo comes in and I talk to her lover Yvonne, and we chat about women's things, happy about their success with their every-other-Tuesday woman's nights, and they say they might help out with some speaking engagements if we call them, though Bobby and Sandy have to be careful, since one of them's a teacher. We all sit down to transact our business, and some of the people tell about why the groups separated, mainly because of people like Julian Hodges, Frank Kameny, and Arthur Warner and Dick Leitsch (naturally no one from WSDG was to blame, and no one from the PRESENT Mattachine board could be blamed). So we planned to have some of them at the Sixth Precinct, that brochures would be exchanged, that we were invited to their Christmas dinner, that some of the gals might speak with us, and that we'd be more friendly in the future, even Marie admitting that their's could be considered a halfway house between the closet and activism. So we left at three (they all had another meeting on 14th Street), and everyone seemed to agree that it was a good meeting, except when the wind knocked a painting to the floor, scattering glass all over the place, and Don Goodwin said "Dick Leitsch has just made himself known." Everyone laughed, but it WAS apposite. THEY have an even uglier group than Mattachine does. Nice to know we don't take ALL the cakes in that.


DIARY 3459


I figure we're going to be late, but the Kingsbridge building is right in front of us, we enter on the second floor and the 4th is just 12 flights up, so we actually walk into room 418 at 11:09 am. Ann is happy to see us, and she introduces us to the highly integrated (white, black, PR) class, and I start on my spiel. Marg says I go on too long, but the questions start and some of them are quite good, particularly from a hefty black in green. Another black next to her uses what Marg calls Socialist Leftist terminologies she got from his animosity toward the Socialist Party, and people in the back of the room are always waving their hands to be recognized. The advantages of having a woman along are enormous, because that plays up the differences we even admit in ourselves, but the fact that about 75% of the class knew someone who was gay floored me, too. Ann got into some things about women fearing to associate with lesbians because it might feel TOO good, there were good questions about children and promiscuity, the place of love and sex in the relationship (and again my description of my and John's relationship so floors them that I have to add, "Remember, I'm 36, and have had a lot more experience than you have, and I've made mistakes and been miserable, too."). Marg contributes good stories, and Ann sends out for milkshakes and sandwiches while we talk between classes, and some students are BACK, the ultimate compliment, and Marge starts this one, having trouble getting questions started, getting some to ask from the old class, especially one guy who asks about simultaneous orgasms (Marge for, me against), and how guys have sex, and they get into women's lib before some male chauvinist pig talks about his male friends being "OK" if they're gay SINCE birth, and I say "if that sign's on their forehead, what does it matter to you if they were BORN with it on, or if they CHOSE to put it on yesterday, it's nothing to YOU." The class responded with "Right on!" Other questions were good, and I think we did VERY well, Ann saying it was the best class of the year, telling us that the black in the back NEVER participated, and we got hung up in the hallway for an additional half-hour talking with two girls, and then talked with Ann and ANOTHER teacher who wants us, in the street until 3. Whew!


DIARY 3476


I want to transfer the last of the Mattachine newsletters from the file in the front to the shelves in the back, but when I start cleaning out the shelves themselves, there are still lots of things that haven't been sorted out, and then I start going through the green cardboard display cases for many of the publications, and find that duplicate sets abound, so I start taking things out of the green cases and putting them together with other stuff, and sort around Sexologies and Tangents and Ladders and start an "uncatalogued" section in one of the empty green things, and get into the last box of books, those of "Der Kreise" (The Circle), and "Arcadia" which Don asks "Is that gay?" and I look into the first issue and find a French study about gayness, and an article by or about Andre Gide, so it's quite a periodical. Then Frank Patton comes in to talk with Michael Miller and Don about the legal possibilities (oh, BEFORE that, since Igor isn't in this evening and Bob Burdick went out to dinner, I answered the phone, and it was a woman of 19 who wanted her cousin, who married an Italian and had two kids, to come to the USA and live with HER, but I said that the BETTER chance would be to write to the Gay International News to get the address of "Fuori" in Italy to find what the legal status was THERE, and try to move THERE and settle things) for Mattachine, and HE starts talking about the couple of women who wanted to keep their kids, and he mentioned the female judge in Suffolk County who studied the psychological tests on the two gals and AWARDED the kids to THEM, pending a grand jury review of the case in January, and everyone agreed that that sounded like a real LANDMARK. I fussed around the table while they were talking, and just about cleared off the marble mantelpiece except for Mattachine Reviews and Ones, and had almost everything below fixed when it was 9:30, I didn't have my keys, Don was leaving, so I put the last stacks of Mattachine newsletters on the few blank spaces left on the shelves, hoping that NEXT time I came in I wouldn't have to spend another 45 minutes on the phone, that I could finish the bottom storage section, and possibly get started on the files THEMSELVES for sorting.


DIARY 3486


Marge goes to the john, so I take the opportunity to ask the class if they have any questions, and there isn't a single one! Inger suggests I tell them about Mattachine, and when Marge returns she tells them about GAA, and questions start before we can really get introductions put away. They start onto the "Naturalness" of it, insisting that if the whole world was gay, no one would have kids; and want to know the REASON for it, though Marge insists "Why, so that you can change us?" And I retort that you're just talking the RICHNESS of life away if everyone's going to be made the same, just like "Brave New World." Yes, we admit, we WERE unhappy because of what YOU did to us in society, but we're VERY happy now with our partners, maybe even more happy than you are with yours. They get into the way people look, and one black guy, not even TRYING very hard to be smart, observes that I don't look exactly like a rip-roaring MALE with my long curly hair, my red turtleneck sweater, and my round pasty face. But I can only say that the continuum would stretch out equally far on either side of my physiogonomical gender, and there would be (which Inger thought was the "step-by-step clincher") straight guys who would look far gayer than I do. They pursued the role playing, asked if we wanted to undergo sex changes, seemed to ignore our saying that "The world should accept the fact that we EXIST, and that we are as we ARE, and do something about THAT, and not try to find out WHY we're like that, or how to CHANGE us." We repeated that so often we lost some of our patience, and even the teacher had to drop in to say they would ask some other questions, and John said that we should beware of the "You out there" general blaming syndrome. I agree, and wonder if Marge thinks she "got to know the class" better by "going into one subject" at great, almost exclusive, depth. There were a few general questions after class, a guy who'd been invited to a gay party in which he felt ostracized, another in which he didn't (wanna come to another, buddy?), and a gal interested in the Catholic church's position now. The class had some visitors just for us, and we were thanked for a good talk, and indeed we felt emotionally drained on the way back on the subway.


DIARY 3488


No one was quite ready to get started, but I make it clear to Don that I had to leave at 7:15. Finally underway with Irwin Strauss, John Hood, and Henry Messer not there, though the latter came later. No one thought that ANY of my points about long distance calls, calls at the meeting, or the immigration oath or the Park-Miller tickets belonged in the minutes which Bob Burdick tries to read to the meeting, which made me feel just great. Don resigned as art director of the Times, but of course no one was named to take his place. There were all kinds of reports on meetings, but the big business of the meeting, as I could have guessed when Don Goodwin came in when I was getting my stuff from the mailbox, incidentally giving me a pile of old correspondence that he'd gotten out of the files in putting them into some kind of order, and said that "wouldn't you like to see a gay legal arbitration board at Mattachine?" I didn't know what he was talking about until Michael Miller came in, thankfully without his dog, and said that he'd addressed the Gay Legal Council, wanted someone like Stanford White to be chairman of that committee for Mattachine, while HE wanted to be chairman of the Gay Arbitration Board. It turns out that qualified lawyers can sort of set themselves up as judges, with power to subpoena witnesses, legal documents, receipts from businesses to verify costs, and adjudicate in cases where both parties have pre-signed with the board, and they will adjudge property settlements on relationships breaking up, decide who did what (or owes what) to whom when a marriage doesn't work, and even try to come up with a marriage contract that the bugs are ALREADY ironed out of. He wants (a man after my own heart) a corpus of ALREADY decided precedent to present for a set of gay laws, already ESTABLISHED by the board and known to WORK in the gay community. Alan and Henry wanted the Metropolitan Council to handle it, but everyone else agreed they'd talk about it for hours and NEVER agree, he said he'd do it on his OWN if Mattachine didn't want it, and then I had to leave, leaving my vote with Marc saying "YES" to Michael Miller, and it turns out they're going to TRY it, but sadly on Monday nights, not the Thursday's they'd originally mentioned.


DIARY 3493


Get there about 5:20 to find no one there, so I'm glad I brought my keys WITH me. Get into the bottom shelves again, and Dick Smith's in quickly, we chat for a bit, then Don Goodwin's in, and it turns out the lawyers will be there again for a meeting, and I revert to the position which caused Mark to point to me at the board meeting and say "THERE'S the LIBRARY." I get the old stuff that I put away last week out, and sort that in with the old stuff, check through the ONE's on the shelf to see what's missing, discovering that someone DOES seem to be taking one or two copies, and make a list of what issues of various things we don't have. Then get to the biggest job: the old Mattachine Newsletters from 1956-1965, and they just about fill the table, and I'm glad when Don and Michael go out to eat, leaving me all alone, since Igor's sick and Bob Burdick's hurt his knee. I just turn the answering service OFF and then back ON, letting someone ELSE play with a whole half-reel of queries on the tape. There are a few phone calls through the night, and two people come in to see Don, but otherwise it's blissfully quiet, thank God. Get all three stacks already put away, new ones found in going through the old boxes in the office, which I finally get rid of by sorting through for magazines and putting them away, and putting the rest of the stuff into the formerly blissfully empty new filing cabinet we just got from Carl House and from Don Goodwin, and those from the bottom drawer of the OLD filing cabinet, which was the REAL archives) and start collating them, finding that we're missing three (or two, if there isn't a transition issue between the old format and the new), and put them all away, getting to the Advocates, bugged by that awful Martin, who's back, "happy to find me," talking away a mile a minute about things to do, but not DOING anything, saying that GAA's losing members fast, and seems to be dying. Hm. Get THOSE finished by 9:30, so that JUST leaves: (1) the rest of the newspapers in the cabinet under the window, (2) the remnants in the top of the glass case where the RECENT Newsletters are, (3) any spare issues that come up from the files being ordered. Bless Mr. Poole for coming in last night and putting away the stacks of library books that had piled up for weeks!


DIARY 3517


In just before 6, and Bob Burdick's at his desk, trying to type, while someone is endlessly, fruitlessly, talking to him. I ignore the phone and get right to the cabinet under the window, getting everything out and spreading it all over the table, chagrined to find that there are many MORE Advocates, Tangents, Ladders, and other things that I thought I'd finished with already, and then Henry Messer comes in to talk to me about people working for Mattachine, but most of the cards have incomplete information on them, or they aren't members anymore, and then Howard Wells and others come in to talk with him with someone who's blind, and Henry says that a great number of blind people ARE gay, which is interesting. I continue sorting away, feeling a great sense of accomplishment, and Don Goodwin comes in, fighting some sickness as usual, fatally tired, and he reads Julian's article that I typed at work in desperation after Barry came to me and said I should slow down working (so I repaired the ribbon-tangled typewriter, reversing the input reel to hopefully the correct configuration, and typed the notes I'd taken from Julian Hodges and the WSDG meeting), and surprises me by saying that he'd print ALL of it. I finish up that stack and start looking for some missing items, and pull open a drawer of the filing cabinet to find IT containing periodicals, so I get THOSE out, along with the remains from the top of the glass-front case, and I think THAT'S really it. Sort through and find even MORE Tangents and Vectors and Advocates, and finally end up making the top shelf of the cabinet under the window a "To be filed" shelf, and put some One's and Eastern Mattachine Newsletters in that, and then Michael Miller comes in (after Don's left about 8:30, and things get quiet, except for a steady stream of people to talk to Bob Burdick and a fairly busy phone), though sadly he says he doesn't feel he can CONTINUE his job, and he slips with his crutches at the sink, and I try to help him, but he says he just has to be patient and go slowly. I feel kindly toward the feeling of niceness and "wanting" I get from Michael, and stick around putting the last of the Mattachine Newsletters into year-order, but wash at 9:55 and really HAVE to leave, Michael studying the library, Bob talking to one last person, whom he might even take home with him. I hope he gets SOMETHING!


DIARY 3540


The rookie class observes us sidelong while they're having lunch in their set area, which makes them look like extras eating on a Western location in the movies, with their boots and holsters at their sides. Then the class starts, quite slowly at first, and then they start asking questions, and all the hands in the class seem to be waving at us. I make the point that "Gay" is the word of choice, and they (or at least one guy in the back) doesn't seem to want to understand, and finally I say "We're here to ENLIGHTEN you, and those of you who don't want to be enlightened can't be helped at ALL." That was the last from him for awhile. Then there were the questions about the normalcy of what we did, and we couldn't quite get across the point that what was normal for US wasn't necessarily normal for THEM, and vice versa. I DID make the point, which they couldn't reply to, that I wasn't made uncomfortable by being surrounded by mostly THEM, who had different sexual preferences from me, while THEY, who were in the majority, were uncomfortable with only a FEW of us. What did that say about RELATIVE STABILITY? They changed the subject. Henry launched into lengthy discussions of transvestites, transsexuals, bisexuals, with blackboard lists, and got into another digression into "How many of us are there?" almost giving a lesson in how to read percentages. Then he made the rather odd remark that people who considered themselves bisexual were probably SCHIZOPHRENICS, which I was too stunned with to even follow up on the trip back. There were no explicit "What do you DO?" questions, though they were impressed, as usual, about Henry's 21st anniversary, and John's and my promiscuity that didn't endanger our friendships. For a class, they didn't seem to have any aversion to us having equal RIGHTS legally speaking. A black recruit, the first of any of the four classes, was saying "You call me a pig, you're talking about my uniform; you call me a nigger, you're hitting at my HEART." And I thought that was a great statement; we really CAN'T equate calling them pigs to calling us fags. Again much discussion about CAUSES and CURES, which I again shouted down. But there weren't enough questions to carry us and the class past 3:40 pm.


DIARY 3559


Though numerically this should be the last one, we're really not even 2/3 through the year. Dominick checked with me AGAIN to make sure I wasn't interested in running for any seats next year, and I assured him that was true. They were going through long discussions of the new constitution, which I couldn't care less about, so I leafed through the questionnaires which were returned with about $15 in additional donations, so I figure it was a success on THAT count. Not much help on suggestions, however. Mark wasn't there because he had a bad cold, so there wasn't anything for me to proofread for the Times, and I just left my articles with Don at the end of the meeting. Strangely, Mark and Henry were missing, they who are ALWAYS there, and everyone ELSE WAS there, including John Hood, who insisted on asking the most trivial questions and suggesting the most hair-splitting rewordings when he didn't even take the effort to help with the ORIGINAL revisions, and it looks like three-year seats are OUT. When we finally got through with that, there were other reports, and then, magically, it was over, without Henry or Mark to bring up any outside questions, and with the news that Michael Miller would look over the wording to ensure that it was all properly legal. There was another guy there who wanted to help with fundraising, and we were introduced but I forget his name. I asked if I could take along copies of the Mattachine Newsletters to work on the history course, and he said I could, so I sifted through while everyone jabbered away after the meeting, finding I HAD most of them anyway. Also marked up Frank Kameny's letter to me, so that I'll have ANOTHER letter column for the NEXT issue---I think that's good! Alan Henderson's going to Europe for the first time, so he calls at 11 and I give him the names of Gilles, Jean-Jacques, and Denis in Paris, and Edward and Leslie in London, telling him to have a ball and give everyone my regards, wishing I were going too. Tell everyone I won't be there in February, so if I'm lucky there are only TWO more board meetings left: March and April, and then the final meeting in May when we turn the board over to the NEWLY ELECTED officers. YEAH!


DIARY 3563


Get there about 7:15, and everyone's working on a mailing around the big table. I get the last bits of Mattachine Newsletter into order, and debate making a list of what we don't have, but something tells me to let that go until I search through the files, and sure enough, the first few digs into the files produce numbers of newsletters, Mattachine Times, newspapers from other organizations, and mailings that were just filed away chronologically without any attempt at ordering. So my premonition was a good one. Find that the black files are being kept for the legal caucus, so I put in some legal documents that I find in sifting through. The brown files fairly easily fall into Mattachine letters and information; letters and information from other organizations; and clippings, until I get into the files in the office and find a whole drawer devoted to clippings anyway, so I sift through THAT to get out all the stuff that ISN'T a clipping, and fold some of the oversized ones that are taking up all the room, and some of them look VERY interesting, but they're in VERY sad shape. Vincent's in for the first time in ages, but he's not interested in working, only reading through the latest newsletters, chatting slowly with Bob Burdick, and serving me milk in a cup when they decide it's going to go bad. Igor's been in a few times this week, thoroughly drunk each time, and it looks like he's off staff. Someone like Jim Griffith is introduced to me, as if he's new on the staff, but he leads Don into such "I'll HIT you," and "Oh, you CUNT" locutions that I can't take it at ALL. *Swish* Figure I'll be working on the files for a good long time, so I get Don and Bob over to show them my framework for going into them, and we eventually hope to get into the small one hidden by the desk, which is full of no one knows WHAT---probably more magazines. I'm delighted that I thought of the "to be filed" shelf, otherwise I'd be CONSTANTLY updating lists and stacks, which would be hopelessly time consuming. At least now the files look like they'll be POSSIBLE to handle in a finite amount of time. And there'll be some very interesting articles coming out of them, I can see, like Leitsch's $400 speaking engagements, and a $6000 bequest that seems to have vanished in the paperworks.


DIARY 3586


There are already a number of very old guys eating their food when we get in, and Russell's there with his dog, Henry Messer's mixing the drinks because Carl didn't want to come, and Don's collecting the money at the desk. There's almost no one to talk with, and Don asks me to watch the money as I get involved with someone who's working with MCC as an assistant on the West Coast, says that they have about 1000 a week, he COULD have been offered the New York leadership but wasn't because he wasn't ordained into the orders yet, was only licensed, and spoke of their plans to open many more churches, leaving them all quite loose to enjoy their own freedoms. The only fellow who entered who looked attractive was dressed in a nicely fitted tan sweater over plaid trousers that showed an attractive box set off by glorious high boots. The "women" and the women in the place turned me off completely. Don agreed that the booted stranger was cute, so I made a point of talking to him a few times, and then when he was in the library we started talking about books, and he told me lengthily about a book called "Taboo and Sexuality in Indian America" or something like that, in which WHOLE TRIBES of men AND women would be gay, and the women would be taken as lovers by old squaws, who when they wished their woman to have a child, would do the man to the point of orgasm and transfer the semen orally from cock to cunt. WOW! We talked on and on about other things, the crowd thinned out, Bernie and Harry went to look at the Studio Bookshop, Don and others transacted business, and finally there was only Bob Burdick and Russell Barnes with his tired dog on his lap, and Hank Moscicki washing up at the sink, and they insisted they weren't waiting for us to leave, but I was relieved when Bernie and Harry returned from their walk at 3:30, giving us enough time to get back without my having to go out and search for them. Doug agreed that he might like to come along to the dance performance, and he left his car parked where it was, and I was sad to hear that he lived all the way up in Connecticut, but he said he liked orgies, and I resolved to get him to the next Tsi-Dun, sad that I wouldn't be having him MYSELF.


DIARY 3670


The auditorium is over-large, so I suggest we sit on the apron of the stage, getting all the chairs out of the way, the podium down for Henry's introduction, and we seven act very well: me and Henry and John Francis Hunter, Chuck Choset, Phil Eberle, Bob Burdick, Alan Henderson. 250 guys and 20 gals in a hall don't quiet down very quickly, and I suggest we separate into classes quickly, but no one wants to, though afterward everyone says it should have been done sooner. There's a lot of laughing, but LESS hostility than in Suffolk, and MORE of the "I don't care what you do, just so you don't go beyond what STRAIGHT couples do," and "When have YOU been arrested for holding hands lately?" THINGS ARE CHANGING. John Francis astounds them by being married twice and a grandfather, says that AUSTRIA has laws against gayness; Chuck talks about the Mayes hassle; Alan talks about Mattachine, and the rest are fairly silent. They bring up the bible, the fact that it IS against the law [BUT we must fight unjust laws, Henry's neat rebuff], the queens on 42nd Street, did we make it with gals, did we have gals as members, the church, etc. In the classroom afterwards, they continued the lines of questioning, getting more physical "What kicks do you get when you 'relieve' someone by mouth," and I say that since I have a cock, I know what it feels like to come, and I can tell what THEY'RE feeling, and John, in response to my response, said "It doesn't sound very exciting," which I disagree with. After a bit they seem to run out of questions, seeming to agree that what we do is OK, so long as we don't go beyond public decency standards, not interested in talking about the draft/Army regulations, housing, etc., and I'm fairly relieved when class is emptied at 11:45. All thought it went well, though TV wasn't there, and finally Police Commissioner Murphy signed the news release, taking it away from the Assistant Commissioner when it DID go well, and Henry chortled that that was the "Rockefeller plan": it's someone ELSE'S idea if it goes wrong, but if it WORKS, it's MY idea. Actually a fairly common practice, which sadly will become more common. So there should be more and more of these coming up in the future.


DIARY 3673


For the first time in ages, EVERYONE'S there after Dick Smith comes in late at 7:20. Irwin Strauss "resigned" last week, there was a vituperative letter from Charles Mountain, Bob Milne seemed responsible for rumors about funds disappearing from the legacy, many members of GAA seemed to be settling in at the meeting as observers, preparing for the elections that many of them are trying to win, and finally, with the three-year seats gone, there is only a SLATE of 8, for the 6 board seats, and there's a long discussion by Bob Burdick that everyone seems to be wanting him to do something DIFFERENT from what HE wants to do during his office hours, particularly Henry Messer, who finally admits he can keep ON doing what he's doing so well, but that we need IN ADDITION an office manager and people coordinator. I get angry at Alan's response to Irwin, just as bitchy back, and they agree to THANK and CONGRATULATE him from the board, and ALAN can write his OWN bitchy letter. We're cut from his will, which is a pity. Charles blames the current administration for MY not running for office again, which is nice that he thinks of me as on "his" side, there's no money in the treasury, though Dick and Phil are working on an 8-page glossy brochure to be used for fundraising, and Don's quite blatantly talking about the possibility of going into the administration of Mattachine fulltime, with a salary, when he's fired from his job for taking off so many "sick" days for Mattachine business. I don't like it, but he IS always there, and he IS doing a great job. They all keep talking about the need to "enter a new era" where we PAY for everything. That's fine, once we get the money, and pay the rent, which goes up $25 a month EVERY YEAR FOR 5 YEARS, which I hadn't heard about, until it comes to rest at something like $400 a month. Pretty good for the slobby place that we fixed up ourselves! Then Henry launches into his pettiness, the IBM typewriter was ALSO stolen from the office, people are beginning to work in EARNEST on the library, and I get up and leave at 9 when Henry gets into other small things like the dedication of the Fahner memorial. I'll be SO glad when the next TWO, I estimate, are over, because they'll be the LAST ones I'll have to attend.


DIARY 3676


In about 6:15, and Bob's still there, but he leaves quickly. I look through the files and Don's taken over the top of the good file for HIS use with Pentaflex folders, and I get through the old ones, attempting merely as a next step to separate out all the clippings and all the old correspondence and what in bulk appears to be about other organizations, which I succeed in doing, leaving one drawer open for clippings expansion, one drawer in the new file open which I take over for a Mattachine historical file, and there's only the file in the BACK to get into to see what's there. There are MANY people in and out, many of them the faggoty type which give the gay movement a bad name, and Don camps along with the worst of them, and there's some church group meeting which talks about MCC and Dignity in the conference room, and there are two librarians talking and typing cards for the library, as well as answering the phone. As I'm getting ready to leave, I remember that someone said something about Terry, and I ask, but it turns out to be GUY who's the friend of Arnie's, and Terry and Guy used to live together in the Heights, but Terry's moved out to Manhattan, and we start talking about how the library should be organized, and they're just going through all the nonfiction making out three cards for each book: one for title, one for author, and one with the one-word classification that I thought of for the single classifier at this point, so that LATER, when we have the RUDIMENTS, someone can go through and make a true subject index. There are lots of people sitting around doing nothing, or looking over my shoulder, and Arthur Warner's in, saying that he won't mind if I'm NOT in on Monday, since I want to hear John Francis on Tuesday and don't want to spend more than TWO nights a week at Mattachine, and he's talking on the phone to all his friends, using his awful phoniness, and I can't figure how ANYONE can stand him for any length of time. Leave the cans of trash in the library: after all, if I can clean out the files, at least someone else can clean out the trash. But the office is beginning to take on the looks of a thriving organization, even though it IS mainly a sub-office of others.


DIARY 3688


Realize that this is the FIRST meeting that I've been to in the new headquarters, and there's a sizeable crowd for John Francis Hunter, looking as he always does in costume, except for the bandages about his face, which he says are for biopsies for tumors, and he might be coming down with a skin cancer, because he's not allowed to worship the sun anymore, which explains his very unbecoming paleness. He recommends the "Queen's Vernacular" as a book to read for understanding street people, and talks about his special ideas of the gay movement, that it's actually attacking the unitary family, which is the basic institution in the United States, and it seems, he thinks, to be leading toward some new realm of freedom and pansexuality where everyone can do whatever they want without being even looked at as a CONSUMER unit by the advertising industry, who will have to come up with a whole new framework for selling things. But on the whole he's pedantic, boring, over-articulate, and I talk to Dick Smith later (in between his remarks that he thought I had a LOT to contribute to the Board of Directors, and that I shouldn't be leaving it, and even Dominick later said that I was even being considered for vice president of the organization, but I'm glad that no one anymore seems to be talking about me as editor of the Mattachine Times, except that Bob Burdick is putting letters into my mailbox about rip-off companies, as if he expects me to keep up Mark Williams' column about the Editor's Blast). There's an awful crowd there, all the old hangers-on, only a few cute new ones who seem unhappy that they don't have anyone to talk to. People talk on and on, and Dick says they leave "about now," when I ask him at 10:10 how long these things go on. The president of GAB is there with devastating news about a law passed through the state Assembly in an afternoon, and only postponed from Senate vote because Rocky wanted to talk about his budget, forbidding the incorporation of "Fuck Shops," "Jerk-Off Enterprises," "Gay Activists Alliance" and the "Gay Legal Council." Everyone contributes bucks for political phoned-telegrams, and I'm sickened by society's INSISTENCE on keeping minorities on the bottom, so that, merely, they can stay on TOP, as they've always been.


DIARY 3692


In at 5:50 to find Bob Burdick there, Hank Moscicki manning the phone, and a large meeting with Eldon Clingan, Roz Regelson, Henry Messer, and Don Goodwin about the financial difficulties of Eldon Clingan, and there appear to be some fairly wealthy fellows there talking about "a thousand" as if it really DIDN'T matter to them, and they were using the offices as some Mafioso chieftain would use some Italian greasy spoon. I got through to the files anyway, grabbing out huge hunks of "Other Organizations" and spreading myself all over the table in the library, and then Guy came in to take a bit for the typewriter, someone who was formerly an assistant to John Lindsay was in doing some kind of research, someone else was working on a mailing list, and various hangers-on to these activities were lounging around, and might offer to help, but when they were given suggested tasks, it didn't appeal to their sense of duty, so they didn't do anything. A married couple came in with a kid in a stroller, to add a touch of class, and then a cute aging falsetto-voiced fellow came in and smoked some little dark cigarettes that I said smelled just like bidis, and he didn't know what they were, but I said they gave you a high, which he said these didn't do. I took a puff, inhaled mightily, and gave just as mighty a cough, and immediately my head was off somewhere, and I insisted they DID give me a high, what WERE they, and he said "Sher bidis," and it was only when I LOOKED at the name that I realized "Bidi" was "Beedie" and he said they came from across the street. So later I went over, after putting everything back into their proper categories in the drawer, making up lots of NEW "Other Organization" headers, convinced that it WAS a possible task, and as calmly as I could said "Sher bidis," and he blew my mind by asking "Regular or king size?" and I said kings, and for $1.35 was handed a large box of these instant high-makers. Walked out marveling at this city, and figuring legalization can't be far behind. Two birds: GOT into Mattachine and DID something, and STILL had time left to do the things I wanted to do. The best way to work things, but sad to hear there's ANOTHER Board meeting Tuesday.


DIARY 3711


In to say hello to Don Goodwin, and find that he's finally been fired from his job, so Dick Smith has written an emergency letter to go to all the Board of Advisors asking for money for a payroll fund, and they finally, under my suggestion, decide to ask for 4 people with a combined salary of $1600 a month, and then make the contributions accordingly. Dick also wants me to look over the brochure, and I say I'll call him Saturday afternoon at the office, but I forget to do it. It will be sent first to everyone BUT the Board of Advisors and the membership, and THEN to the membership. So then I'm free to get to work on my own stuff, and get the friend of Guy's to help me move out the filing cabinet in the back, and find that a couple of the drawers are empty, which helps, and then put the envelopes in the back where they're not needed but still accessible, and find that the OTHER filing cabinet is full of receipts and junk, so I start a SECOND drawer for receipts and bank statements, making one FULL CHEST for clippings and the financial statements, which is fine, and then empty out the two OTHER files but for two drawers, and then have six EMPTY drawers to distribute things into, coming up at first with "Mattachine Branches," "Empty folders," and "Mattachine mailings to members" and find lots more stuff for the "Other Organizations" drawer. Some black comes in for a meeting at 10, and asks if he can help, saying he's had some filing experience, so I put him to work making up more file entries and filing in the stuff, and he seems to do OK once he's told what every organization is. It's nice to know. Hope I see him again, but I doubt it. He kept asking where he could go to hang out all the time, and it obviously wasn't HERE that he wanted to hang out. There was a guy flaked out on the sofa crying, being gently talked to by Bob Burdick, and there were the normal influxes of faggots and screamers, and not too many people that I appreciated at all. Good night for getting things done, but now I'm really INTO it: the FIVE drawers that are left are the real hard core of the files, and have to be gone through page by page. Here's where I start getting into the real MEAT of the matter, no more easy stuff.


DIARY 3724


Look through the five drawers of filing that I have to get through, and decide that the bigger ones should go first, particularly since the back of the bottom one seems to be mostly branches of Mattachine. Fill up THAT drawer enough so that I have to pry the supporting box of envelopes out of the back of it and let it stand on its own weight. Start a "New York Mattachine File" drawer, and find that most of it goes in there---at least it's a start. Not only does it NOT contain clippings, which I'd sorted out BEFORE, but it contains very LITTLE of either OTHER ORGANIZATIONS or of MATTACHINE BRANCHES, and I've even gotten more stacks of library addenda, and the legal file is getting so big that I have to move the OTHER ORGANIZATIONS drawer in the new cabinet into TWO drawers, one for the file itself, the other for the ADDITIONS to the file, and I actually manage to get through TWO drawers of files tonight, leaving only ONE of the large drawers and TWO of the small drawers left that I haven't sorted through. Guy St. Clair doesn't seem to be coming in anymore, which means that the library is sitting with nothing being done with it. There are lots of people hanging around who seem to be the Thursday night regulars, a thin-faced fellow who seems concerned with mailings, a tallish cutish Jewish fellow who turns out next week to be running the campaign of Jim Owles (though why he should use OUR phones for Jim Owles is slightly beyond me), and a bleached-blond flabby young thing who's always camping, seemingly willing to help until something's SUGGESTED, and then he shows no compunction about saying "Oh, I'm no good at doing THAT," and slouches back to shriek with his friends. There are other meetings, the three lines are almost constantly busy, and Alan Henderson's in and out with business of his own, and the library table is so taken up that I have to work on the sofa. Liking the place less and less, though I feel a certain commitment to keep up, at least until they elect a new Board of Directors in May. And then maybe when the files are over, my compulsions toward them will be over, too, and I'll be able to reevaluate my position with the Mattachine Society.


DIARY 3741


In at six and Don's there, so I can confirm the 5 pm time with him, and then Alan comes in so I can tell HIM how to get there. Dick's in, but has nothing for me to proofread, so I get right to the filing, taking a huge stack out of the third-last drawer to have it cascade out of my hands in a fan of defilement, but since it was in no order, it really didn't matter. Someone had brought in some bubble gum, so we sat around trying to blow bubbles with the leathery stuff. Dick Smith helped me put some of the stacks away when he wasn't doing anything, and Terry had more than his share of the phones to answer, and all the faggots were still there in heat. I methodically worked my way through the last of the large drawers left, finding more stuff for the library addendum drawer, and giving Dick the task of putting away so much of the New York Mattachine file that he had to expand it into a second drawer, so that it's still going to be a great pile to go through, except that MOST of the junk will have been sorted out. More stuff for other organizations, more stuff for me, more stuff for the legal drawer and to be thrown out. Don comes up with the idea for a brochure for the police department on homosexuality, and I say I simply can't take on anything more, and that the only way they'll be able to get me to help for anytime during the rest of the month is by catching me on Thursday night, and for the rest of the month, even THAT looks like a bad thing, since THIS Thursday I want to go to the Jamaica, and the NEXT Thursday is Tsi-Dun, except that it's at 9 just down the block on Christopher, so I can do BOTH, provided I can grab something to eat. Don's still sprawled all over the library table, and I was happy to get the SECOND card from Mattachine saying that the special board of director's meeting has been cancelled, which means that there will be only ONE more on April 17th before the annual meeting on May 8, which thankfully Avi and Arthur bought my tickets for the Hurok ballet for when I saw them "tomorrow night" at the opera. Things SOMETIMES work out nicely. Leave at 7:15, leaving only TWO small drawers to go through. Hope I don't need a THIRD New York Mattachine drawer.


DIARY 3744


There are 8 of us for five classes: Don Goodwin and Rich Wandel alone in two, Marge Dumond and I in another, Henry Messer and Chuck Choset in another, and Michael Miller and Nath Rockhill so enthrall THEIR class that they don't even have a break, but go straight through. The first class was mainly mine, talking about sin and society and how they'd agree to give us our rights, but do we HAVE to kiss in the street? Then the next class asks for a gal, and they immediately start in on the premise that all Marge needs is a good cock and she's converted to straight. They get into the bit about her stern cold father, but it doesn't affect them that her lover's father is a nice guy that they both like. They ask about her first gay experience at 18 and her first straight experience at 21, and misinterpret it when she says she has to know someone emotionally before she can relate to them sexually, and they say she should get to know some GUY emotionally, take a chance, and she retorts she's NOT in a raffle. I even jump in to say that the IMPLICATION of the talk is that SHE can be swayed, and when they use the phrase "make love TO," she shouts, "Sure, just stretch out and we'll do things TO you that will CHANGE you---and where am I in all that?" Then they ask about someone "slobbering over her ice cream," and she manages to convey the thought that her lover is a free agent and could deal with the man HERSELF. Then I describe finding someone at an orgy for John, and crack them up entirely by saying, "So I just add the TOPPING to MY ice cream," and there's circled thumb and fingers and shouts of "Right on" from the blacks, and I agree with John that I should have ASKED whether it was current slang, or just something that they made up. Lots of good talk afterward, about relatives and friends being gay, though none got the point of the guy in Henry's class who showed a PHOTOGRAPH of himself in drag, or the guys that Henry said would as much as SAY, "Well, I'm gay, too," or "My best friend is gay, and we've made it together." Goodness, what's the world COMING to? Talk to DeVito, suggesting a questionnaire, or SOMETHING to show to a new commissioner to continue the talks.


DIARY 3750


We got back to the original idea: a group of 20-30 invited to a cocktail party at which there would be some celebrity that everyone wanted to meet. Curtis had originally suggested Tennessee Williams, but no one knew how to get in touch with him. Merle Miller's name came up, but seemingly because HENRY and DON thought he was old hat, having spoken at Mattachine, they assumed Curtis would say the same thing, though at our lunch he was enthusiastic about him. Then local people like Lige Clarke and Jack Nichols and Arthur Bell were dismissed, though he said everyone read Gay, because they weren't big enough. John suggested Pilobolus, and Henry said that Howard Brown should definitely be on the planning committee. We sort of dismissed such people as Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Mark Crowley, Donald Webster Cory (whom Curtis knew well, but he'd dropped out of sight with his wife, children, and string of lovers), Dr. Weinberg, John Francis Hunter, Pete Fischer, and Randy Wicker. Then it came to life with the thought of Casey Donavon or Colt models, and then someone suggested Bette Midler, and Henry could contact her, and thought it MIGHT be possible to get her to a place if she didn't have to perform. Then the duo of Holly Woodlawn and Joe D'Alessandro made everyone drool, and Henry rather sillily said that Holly was a rather nice guy. Others we'd LIKE to get but who are surely inaccessible are Rudolf Nureyev (though I wanted to call Arthur Mitchell about Alvise AND about the chance of his knowing Rudi), Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey, Truman Capote, and then Henry started going through his rich friends, Jerry Herman, who's always at Tsi-Dun, having fun until someone like Henry recognizes him; Jerome Robbins, who cruised John at the last dance recital; Hal Kantor of "Cabaret fame," who has someone helping him spend all the money he has, Christopher Isherwood and Gore Vidal, somewhat older. So Curtis said he'd talk to his friends, and see who he could invite to his place with their reactions for a meeting with Howard Brown and Henry and Don. I felt out of it, but had done my duty by bringing him BACK into service for Mattachine, hoping he COULD tap his $25,000/year friends.


DIARY 3801


Get started with my introduction, talking about my talks with the police, with Marge, my relationship with John, Stonewall, and Mattachine, and there are a few questions from the class and the teacher, and I mention "the turning point" of LSD once, then get asked what it was, and say it was LSD, and the class is so interested that she insists that, if I want to, I can go into it. So I tell about taking it in NYC, going to the White Institute, going to Dr. Hammer, going to Hollywood Hospital, my relationship with Madge taking me BACK to Hammer, my contentment NOW with the gay life, but the troubles it cause me while growing up. Questions about relating to friends, to psychiatrists, to doctors, to the health industry, to the government, and they really cover all the bases, not really getting as hung up on children or the Bible or the personal details as much as other classes, and then they blow my mind by asking what INSIGHTS I got on the acid, and I go into the "You and I are everyone" bit, saying that I feel silly telling about it when it takes me a bit to get into it, but mention a few things which affect me so deeply that I can feel tears come into my eyes and my voice get husky. The class is utterly with me, every eye on me, no side remarks, no whispered conversations, even laughter is like turning on a uniformly graded switch and turning it down again---laughing WITH me and not AT me. Talk about my mother and father and sister, the insights about the family from acid, the tolerance I have to others, plea for THEIR tolerance of others, voting OUT the people who vote against the Intro 475 (not knowing that it had been voted DOWN again just last week), and they even seemed to say that they WOULD help. JUST called her at home (and a breaking-voiced son called "Mom!") and she said she'd call the Grove Press offices to see if Penelope Weiss still worked there, who MAY have been in acquisitions two years ago, but who may have moved to the coast. No applause after the class, only five or six coming up with glowing eyes to say how much they loved the class, and how much they liked to hear me talk. I LOVED it---and got excited on the subway AGAIN about writing, to the point of thinking of not GOING to Switzerland and taking the time to REWRITE "Acid House" to send again.


DAIRY 3829


Terry's in just as Bob Burdick leaves, and the evening looks to be a quiet one until Don Goodwin and assorted faggots enter. I'm busy with the last two drawers of unsorted stuff, but since most of it goes into the Mattachine of New York file, it goes very quickly. The new---Phil Eberle is being very obnoxious, and it seems that all the hangers-on from GAA seem to be hanging around HERE. Some guy who's stuffing envelopes for some reason is on the phone for all hours, the Japanese guy comes in to answer the phone, but sits around reading magazines when not actually talking, and there are a number of people coming in that I just don't care for at all, and even Terry seems somewhat turned off by the group, and he's rather attractive in his silent, competent way. I get through both drawers, and decide I still want to finish up odds and ends, and get the WIDE Mattachine file and fold everything down so that the New York Mattachine file fits into TWO drawers, and then decide that I'll make it official to Don, and type him up a memo, saying essentially that he has two drawers of HIS files, I have one of MY file, there are two for clippings, two for gay organizations, one for library addenda, two for receipts, two for NY Mattachine, one for chapters, two drawers of empty folders, a drawer for refiling, and 4 empty ones, for 20 drawers of the 5 files. Try to get rid of some of the "gay lingo" forms that Kerr hadn't picked up (though he swept through for a moment without saying a word to me, as did Mike Miller, for that matter), and with a certain flourish took MY name off the mailbox file (which was left on, though John Hood and Warren Strauss were on the floor). Turned off completely by the crowd, and also by the lack of anything to really apply my talents to. So much the same old thing that I felt I might have to stay AWAY for awhile to feel like getting back into anything, though the magazine files REALLY need some work, and the section in the cabinet for "library additions" is almost full, and there are "Ones" and "Ladders" all over the place, which someone must have just contributed. But I'd like to think that someone ELSE besides me was ALSO interested in keeping the library and the files in order.


DIARY 3845


A loud burst of harsh, ribald laughter greets the sergeant who introduces us, and there are whispers even when they're standing at attention when we enter. There are lots of questions, and we get into many of the answers, but there's the attitude through the entire class that we're to be DISSECTED for their pleasure rather than listened to for our information. Finally it's made explicit: we don't really want to LISTEN to you at all, but it's crazy people like the NEW police commissioner in New York, who's said that he plans to take gays into the classes, who make things rough for them, who are REALLY the ones who know what the world's morality should be. Comments about the fact that the United States is one of the few countries with laws against homosexuality are greeted with the impression that "as soon as those countries wake up to the sickness, or as soon as WE get control over those countries, that'll soon change." At one point I mention women's lib, and someone cracks, "Yeah, we heard THAT bullshit, too." I said they should complain, and they said "You BET we're going to!" John goes into his most reasonable, pleading tone, and they either ignore him, misinterpret him, or laugh at him. Then one of the guys brings it to a head: "If MY son turned out to be gay, I'd beat him up and kick him out of the house." And my statement that if he'd hate such a son, imagine how much MORE the son would hate such a FATHER, but they twisted it around to show that the son would be even MORE sick and MORE to be avoided by the father. Only ONE time of feeling some of the class on the side of "reason," some guy talked about "the niggers 'got' their rights, but they're still on the bottom," and the class actually groaned, implying that they thought even HE was going too far with his bigotry. The class ended dismally, and the class leader, who apologized to Henry (while asking stupid questions himself of the form "Do you guys REALLY want---?") left while we were talking together, and the smooth-skinned class president, who admitted we turned his stomach, came up to formally apologize for the rudeness of the class, which I hope cost him MUCH PAIN and soul searching, and we accepted it, though he might have been able to tell that, of those in the class, we'd like to get HIM into bed most.


DIARY 3873


I strongly get the impression that they're against us: having NO other classrooms available though we SAID we preferred breaking them up into companies; and they diddle-shit around about getting the lights turned on in the auditorium, getting the microphone on, and I "introduce" myself by saying, quite calmly, that the IMPRESSION of a minority group MIGHT be that this is harassment, but in the class, when I say "You'd do different if the mayor was talking to you," and they said, "Yeah, it WAS different, we had to wait TWO hours for him, because of the same kind of mess-up we had with YOU." Oh. The first class, with Marge, tends to keep with the "We've only been here a week, just had a class that told us we have to SUBMERGE our personal feelings and administer the law IMPARTIALLY, and here you're telling us we have to treat you SPECIALLY." We insist that we want NOT to be treated specially: we DON'T want to be discriminated against at CBS (and my partner whispers that that's old hat, now) and Pan Am; we DON'T want to be singled out for police harassment as Arthur Bell was on the street holding hands with his lover; we want the SAME treatment you'd give the "Society for the Preservation of Cats," if they were having a demonstration and they were your favorite group. Then into the class with some other gal who rambled on interminably in answering a question, and I TOLD her, "Take more questions," and the class was VERY loud: every answer gleaned at LEAST six loud responses from the class, and many times there were TWO sets of questionings being carried on while members of the class shouted back and forth at one another. Even the girl from next door came in (excuse me, "woman from next door") to say we were being too loud, but Henry agreed that it was a loud, unruly class, and he even applied the term "hostile" to the class he had later with Marge, who stayed in the first room, though I said THAT was a bit extreme. We decided it would be better for Mattachine to speak to them LATER in their training, and Lou DeVito, remaining cool, said he'd try to get a syllabus to Don so they could decide when a better time to speak would be. One of the poorer classes THERE, too.


DIARY 4011


Phoned Henry Messer to say hello and ask if he accepted Sergeant Dmuchowski's apology for the last class's treatment of us, and he answered by saying "Have you called to talk about my resignation from the Mattachine Board of Directors?" Turns out he wrote a couple of letters as corresponding secretary which Don wanted to review in detail before they went out. Also, Bob Burdick had resigned as recording secretary for like reasons, and there had been an emergency board meeting last night where everyone was replaced by hand-picked stooges of Don Goodwin. Dick Smith was there, he said, and he wanted to hear how it went. Without too much beating about the bush, I said that I'd like to hear what Dick had to say, too, and why don't we get together and hear it all at once. So Henry suggested we come to his place at 5:30. Dick said that even HE felt now that something was wrong. I asked if there were things that could be done: could Don be talked to? No, Henry and Alan and Dick and even I had talked to Don: he'd seem to come around to our view, but continue to do the same things. Henry gave a long list of people whom Don Goodwin had alienated: Bill Broberg was looked down on for fixing the punch at the meetings, Hank Moscicki wasn't working in the evenings anymore, Dominick Marino would make agreements with people for ads, and Don would take them out, notably from the Church of the Beloved Disciple; I wondered where Chris Reed had gone. Henry said that Dr. Howard Brown had wanted to speak at the Monday police meetings, but Don wouldn't let him: he wanted to do EVERYTHING himself. Dick agreed that everyone GOOD was leaving, and I said that those who were now coming IN were the dregs of GAA, and I really didn't care for them. Dick said that Alan's grandmother said he was supposed to be at the Mattachine office at 4:30, but calls until 7 didn't get to him. Finally the only alternative left seemed to ask Don to resign and have Alan Henderson take over as president. What would Alan think about this? I invite Dick to our place for dinner, and we still try to get in touch with Alan, finally reaching him at HOME, and Dick says that he's "struck by the suddenness" of the whole thing, but he has other things to do tonight. John goes to bed and Dick and I talk until about 10, when he starts saying that I'm saying good things, so I get to the typewriter and we go through two or three drafts of SOMETHING to Don, just to start with, and Dick leaves at midnight, saying he's supposed to call Alan and Henry, and I say I'll bring the letter to work, so if they want to hear what's in it so far, I'll read it to them. Finally decide for the FOUR of us to meet, again at Henry's at 5:30 to talk about the next step. They're all there when I get there at 5:30, and Alan reads the letter and says it's VERY harsh, and says that if Don resigns HE would resign, since he wouldn't be able to spare the time from schoolwork (he's working for a bachelor's in January on June, and then hopefully some adoption service will pay for a Master's in Social Work for him to work for them) without taking off for a year, and anyway he doesn't feel qualified for the job. But, he adds with great wisdom, if HE resigned, neither of the next two in line would take the job and someone named Jay Friend, who was pleasant but an absolute moron, would love the prestige of the title, would THINK he could do it, and would thoroughly wreck the thing. Henry and Dick and I again catalog the grievances against Don, and even ALAN admits that he doesn't like Don, but still demands that we look at the alternative: having the place ruled by Jay Friend. "But," says Henry, "if YOU asked us to work, we'd ALL come back FOR you." But Alan picks up the Mattachine Times that Chuck Choset was given free rein on and produced such a dud: "What happens if you come back, but in three months you STILL aren't appreciated," he says to Henry, "and you STILL don't like the people in the office," he says to me, "but I'm still the president, and everyone will dump everything onto ME." And then discussions bring out that EVERYONE: Dick Leitsch, Michael Kotis, Bob Milne, Don Goodwin---EVERYONE was looked at as the savior at the beginning of his term of office, but by the time his term had gone half through, everyone hated his guts. In fact, the Don Goodwin "monarchy" was compared EXACTLY to the Dick Leitsch monarchy, in which the CURRENT group, which seems to be finding itself "out," threw out the CURRENT Ins. And Alan CONTINUED to come up with his marvelous points: maybe it's the BEST for Mattachine that the likes of Bob Burdick and Henry Messer and Bob Zolnerzak are getting out, and younger, DIFFERENT people are coming in. Are we really saying that MATTACHINE is dying, or that the MATTACHINE WE KNOW AND LIKED is changing into something else? And of course it's the latter, and no one's to say that it IS for the worse. Except that Henry says that the organization has NEVER been in QUITE such hard financial state, and many of the old members seem to be dropping out, though Alan counters with the fact that Bruce Voeller (as Jim Owles did before him), is chasing people by the DROVES out of GAA, and many of them are coming to Mattachine, and even Henry says that some of them are remarkably competent. Alan insists that Sergio's leaving is STRICTLY because he has a lover, finally; that Mark Williams DID leave because of the pressures of his work, and even said that he'd RETURN when it was eased up; that Chuck Choset had great PERSONAL reasons for reigning from the board, and that Mattachine has ALWAYS, except for a very few months, been in dire financial straits. And the presidents have ALWAYS paid out of their own pockets, though maybe not as much as Don's current $1000 for the newsletter that only barely got 20% of the issues out at the Gay Pride March. So Alan, masterfully, asked Henry WHAT he wanted, and he said EITHER the chairmanship of the speakers bureau (which he asked as, anyway, for the police groups) OR the editorship of the Mattachine Times, which he'd even want NO budget for, since he'd pay for it mainly by ads, and the rest from his own pocket, saying JUST as we were leaving, that SOMEONE knew something about editing, looking at me with a leer, and I said that the meeting lasted JUST three seconds too long, but admitting, too, that, offered speaking engagements, I WOULD accept them. So maybe not too much has changed anyway, thanks to the MASTERFUL maneuverings and reasonings of Alan Henderson, People-Expert.


DIARY 4080


Intrigued, frankly, more by the 58th floor of the World Trade Center Building Two (though of course I don't know it's the 58th floor when I volunteer to talk to them), and it's Detective Fuente, whose mother's Polish, so he recognizes my last name as being Polish, trying to get Amalio Villalba to talk about the murder of his doctor friend, "Pepe" Lopez, upstate in June. Sadly, he speaks almost NO English, though the cops say he's just "jerking off," and is a "pathological liar." I tend NOT to believe them, but then I DON'T give him my home phone number when he asks for it, and I LIE and say I work at Mattachine every Thursday night at 6-9. So I tell the cops that I'm dreadfully naïve, that I'll try to get a Spanish-speaking lawyer from Mattachine for him, but I'm surprised when they say they DIDN'T hit him, and say that he MUST have been biting his own lip "Or why would we call YOU in?" I honestly don't know, and am GLAD I don't have their job, as they point out to me that it's their DUTY to think that he's not telling the truth. Ugh. Look out over the heat-hazy river and the lights running into New Jersey out the narrow windows, thick walls, and bare rooms that they've occupied since last Saturday only. The maze of tunnels underground is staggering, the size of the lobby is difficult to encompass, the SIZE and the SPEED and the RUSTLE of the cattle-car elevator taking people to the unfinished sky lobby is TRULY appalling, and the elevator service in general is gratifyingly speedy, INSTANTLY there, though of course the building is CLOSED at 6 pm, and I have to sign in on TWO books, and even have to show an ID card, and then he complains that he can't read my NAME in my SIGNATURE. The cops express surprise that I had to sign in twice, so I guess they haven't been there late before, they said they were waiting for me, and I try to phone out to Mattachine and get some strange "intercept operator" who says I have to try dialing again, and then that I dial "O for Operator," and that just rings and rings, and they SAY that they don't think it works after hours. And the thought brushes my mind NOW that it was an elaborate hoax, a sort of "Candid Camera" with balls, and that it was all taped and filmed for future use. Well, I hope my "straightness" confounded their hopes of sensationalism.


DIARY 4153


to not have attended the last five or six meetings. All "applied Band-Aids: brunches, speakers for meetings, Russell Barnes comes through. Henry Messer's topic was downed by Don: Henry did it all to HIMSELF. Don fumes that he WAS a one-man show until Board castigated him for doing too much, and then he took the summer off. NOW he's willing to come back to power. Burdick volunteered for 2-3 AFTERNOONS a week. Comments asked for after Dick requests Don's resignation. I cite Henry, Dick, Alan, Russell, Bob, Marc, and me. DON says it's all lies. Dick said it MAY be wrong in DETAIL, but the BASIS is true, and afterwards the one I thought I might be MOST misrepresenting, Bob Burdick, said that I was essentially RIGHT FOR HIM. Vote, secret, came to 4 Yes (request resignation) to 4 No (don't request) before the 9th vote was cast no. No more comment. Don announces Alan has requested Don to accept HIS resignation when he has a replacement. Steve Kraatz resigns, 6 OK, 1 NO, 2 abstains. Dick Smith's resignation: Alan PRAISES Dick, 5 OK, 1 no, 4 abstain. Then Russell and Bob and Dick and I go out to dinner with Charlie Jackson, or someone who will get his place, fundraiser for Cornell, and we debate but Fedora's is closed, I can't find Mona's in the phonebook, and we're outside the Five Oaks, but go in to a VERY expensive menu, and Russell orders sirloin TIPS for Dick that comes out a N.Y. SIRLOIN for $11, quite a blow, but the evening ends on a VERY nice note, mainly Russell and me talking about old opera stars, but Dick talking about his lover leaving, Bob talking about working in the organization, all lamenting about how it's gone downhill, and RUSSELL says something I've heard for the first time tonight: "Us old members have to stick around until it's just about to die, then step in and take it and revive it so that it can be vital again after the others have killed it." Seems that GAA's going down fast, met Hank Moscicki outside who told me that Bruce Voeller resigned as president of GAA, and no one knows who's going to take HIS place, so things seem to be changing AGAIN. Say goodbye and talk to Gerald and David, ride home with Gerald at 11:30, eat, bed TIRED.


DIARY 4285


Get there at 8:50, but no one's in the class so I just sit and read. Then students straggle in and Mary's there bright and cheery, and Marge gets in just at 9:10. The first class is pretty good, though it was the class that Mary Lefkarites was most worried about. Marge started and there were some dead periods before she turned it over to me, and I could barely take my eyes off the FABULOUSLY muscled fellow in the brown T-shirt and the TIGHT blue jeans, and when he stood up to go, there was that incomparable overhang of tit over ripply abdomen that drives me wild. Only three guys in the class, and the black in the corner said "They were scared to come," and winked at me, and Mary assured me that the three guys missing were very erratic in their attendance anyway. The second class went well, looking at the bright-eyed fellow sitting in the center again, until someone started sniping about how "We weren't the way we were supposed to be," and Shirley, Marge's friend who was sitting in the front row, decided to get angry with him, and it ended up a shouting match in the front of the room, the guy storming out saying: "If you're going to be sarcastic, there's no talking to you," and Shirley called him a name that Mary didn't like. We adjourned to the cafeteria where I had frozen raspberry yogurt, great, and we talked with the blind girl and Mary talked about her openness with the class and how difficult it was to teach a class like that. Then at 12 we were back upstairs for Marge to start again, since there were only about 6 guys in the class again, and this time the sharpshooter was Bruce, the older fellow who sat right next to Mary, and started going into the business of "Is it REALLY OK for gay parents to raise children? Everything ELSE is OK and fine and agreeable, but having gay people raise kids? Who could they identify with?" And it does no good to say that I didn't identify with MY straight parents, nor did Marge, nor did ANYONE who was gay, and the class ended on that note. Shirley and Mary went at it again, and afterwards, Mary called me at home to make sure we would be coming back, and I assured her that Marge would NOT bring Shirley to the class when we came again.


DIARY 8607


Class finally starts at 9:15, or rather doesn't start at all, since I go through the bit about what Mattachine is and how much it needs money, to get even with Mary for chewing my ear off about how much trouble she had with the class about asking money for us, and Marge appears to be very personable digging into her past, but there are so few questions that I feel I'm getting shrill and Marge feels that the class hasn't been worth much. She's right. But the next class and we laugh together after about the first four minutes, and there are questions, comments, people talk back and forth, and everyone wants to know about Intro 2, and everyone always prefaces a question by "I hope you don't mind my getting personal," and we don't get ANY hostility at ALL, which makes it a bit of a bore. Interesting that gay couples can apply to be foster parents for gay kids now, which I didn't know before, and it seems the vote now is scheduled for next week. They're really NOT interested in getting into the causes at all, not really talking about having children, mainly because Marge says she's heard about how great it is, but she's not interested yet in trying it. At one point over coffee she says "Bob, will you marry me?" and AFTER we'd decided that she was so emotional and I was so intellectual, I said that that was very intellectual on HER part and my response was only waving my arms and going "Ga ga ga." Everyone laughs. Lots of the students seemed really FOR us, and lots of the kids seemed quickly to have us identify that they were gay. So positive was the feeling that we couldn't even get angry when some people WERE trying to be hostile, like the guy who said he thought sex should always be for procreation, not even thinking 69 was sex! I hadn't told Marge about John, as it turned out, another friend of Marge's came into the last two classes, and there weren't any blockbusters in class, but the three or four TOTAL dolls in the cafeteria almost wrecked my complete day. I think if we'd have taken a vote in the classes, we'd have gotten our civil rights, since they now seemed to be to the point of "How could anyone REALLY be against you?"

DIARY 10756


In about 2:15, getting bright-eyed talked to by Owen Wilson who said that Outreach got about 1000 letters, more than ever before, about the program, there were dozens of calls about Mattachine after he appeared for the legal clinic and about 25 people came in on Monday night, and the letters ran about 40-1 FOR the program, so they were happy about it, getting only a few crank calls during the program. He said that the Eagle had an arrangement with them on MONDAY nights, which got them about $60 a week, which paid the phone bills, and I said that I brought in some stuff, and he said that someone had taken ALL the files to work on a PhD degree at Columbia. Looked around the office and it was MUCH cleared out: no files, many books from the library were cleared out, and some of the stuff underneath wasn't there anymore. But they had what seemed to be the complete Arno Press library in the inner office. They said they'd gotten rid of a lot of stuff when it looked like they'd have to get out of the office, but now it looks like they might be able to handle it. He said Henry Messer was back, giving money, but that Marc Williams hadn't shown up, nor had Don Goodwin. Drew Betterton was there talking to Sarah Montgomery, saying he'd been away for awhile, saying he didn't think he'd EVER get as much involved as he had before, and the "New Times" volume 3 was there as the last issue. I paid $20 for a NEW card for membership, and took 6 raffle tickets for $2, had some dreary lavender punch, good cheesecake, and pretzels, and looked at the Jean-Jacques tanned and smooth-skinned fellow sitting in tight jeans on the desk, but otherwise they had about four younger kids, two VERY old faggots, the report that Bob Burdick was still ailing but still on the speaker's bureau, and Owen had lots of ideas for a community-information number when I picked up a science fiction gay-sexuality lecture for last night (which I was too tired to go to) that I hadn't heard of. But the crowd was VERY small, I'd bought tickets 9-14 for the raffle, Sarah gave them $35, a woman came in as I left, others passed in and out, at least the place looked CLEAN, though somewhat bare, and Drew said that he might be calling me to help out: Owen said there was SO much to do if they only had the PEOPLE to do it. Wonder what the blond's doing after the open house?