.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Note: This website has no control over the ads placed on it. Caveat emptor.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

 

Finally Some Credit for "Gay Pride"

Some readers of this blog will have noted that I say, in the squib at the top of this blog's template, that "I'm ... the guy who in 1970 offered the term 'Gay Pride' as it is now used." In researching the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag recently, I followed a link in Wikipedia to an article where I am finally, or at least temporarily, given some public credit for the term "Gay Pride":
[Brenda] Howard along with fellow LGBT Activists Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word "Pride" to describe these festivities. As LGBT rights activist Tom Limoncelli put it, "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'"
That assertion about Brenda Howard is of course a complete fabrication. The account of the main participants in the organizing committee in the paragraf above the one I quote also leaves me out, even tho I offered an amendment (that was accepted: that there should be no dress code) to the original resolution at the Philadelphia convention that approved the march; and some meetings of the Committee may have been held in my apartment on the Upper West Side (as my friend and fellow activist John Lauritsen recalls). John this week actually stated that as far as he could see, the organization I founded, Homosexuals Intransigent!, was the ONLY organization in the United States restricted to gay men ONLY — which is to say, the only HOMOsexual (one sex), not HETEROsexual (two sex) organization in the United States. That is because I founded it, and insisted that gay men are NOT straight and NOT lesbian, and NOT to be defined in terms of others but only in terms of themselves.
+
The June 1970 march was set in spring 1970 by a committee, the Christopher Street Liberation Day [Umbrella] Committee, of which I was a member, that organized the first annual march to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. The Riots happened to occur in the last week of June 1969, and in spring 1970 the COMMITTEE — not Brenda Howard — named the weekend of events around the first march, scheduled for the last Sunday of June, "Gay Pride Weekend" because I didn't like the first thought, "Gay POWER Weekend", so formally moved for the weekend's name to be "Gay PRIDE Weekend". That motion was duly seconded by Jerry Hoose of the Gay Liberation Front, and then instantly approved by everybody present. There was no discussion and no dissent. I don't recall anyone named "Brenda Howard" even participating in that Committee, much less in that particular meeting. And she played absolutely NO role in the Committee's naming that weekend of events by the host-city (NYC)'s organizations.
+
Bob Martin was also from NJ (West Long Branch). I never heard of him being referred to as "Donny the Punk". His early pseudonym was "Stephen Donaldson". Nice guy, and very nice-looking, but strange. Dead now, from drugs ("AIDS").
+
I used a pseudonym only once, in my entire, nearly 68-year life: a name I thought of using if I decided to pursue a career as an actor, because "Schoonmaker" was very often mispronounced, with an SH-sound rather than the proper SK-sound. I used that pseudonym, "Craig Lee", ONCE, in a letter to, and which was used by, ONE Magazine, an early gay publication out of Los Angeles. When I sought to establish a gay men's organization at City College/CUNY, however, I didn't even THINK of using a phony name, even tho a lot of people had trouble knowing how to pronounce my actual last name: skúen.mae.ker.
+
A close relative gave me grief about using the family name, so I asked my (late) father, from whom we in my immediate family got that (cumbersome) name, if he thought I should change my name. He laffed. That was his actual, instantaneous reaction to the suggestion that I, his son, should change my name. It wasn't staged. It wasn't a considered political reaction to a proposal. He was just startled by what struck him as a totally unexpected, RIDICULOUS suggestion. So he laffed.
+
You've got to love a man who laffs when someone suggests that a gay kid of his should change his name to avoid embarrassing the family. MY father LAFFED. I was never prouder of HIM, nor of being his SON. Thank you, Dad. You really came thru for me when I needed you.
+
Let me tell you something about my father. He was almost 6-4 (six feet, four inches tall). When he lifted you up onto his shoulders, you were nearly in the sky. He never (had to) hit us, because we were "scared to death" of him (but not really "to death", because we knew he would never either actually kill us nor even hurt us badly). Our mother was the ordinary disciplinarian, but it didn't always work. (We were six kids, and that can overwhelm anyone now and then, tho my mother was ordinarily strong enuf to match any challenge.) The oldest brother, Russell (who was at least Dad's height) defied Mom once, and she threatened to beat him with a belt (parents did that, then). He said something like, "What are you going to do, stand on a stool?" That so cracked her up that she didn't take a swing.
+
When I was a very young child, my father worked in construction, and on isolated occasions, we got to go to one of the sites at which he was working to build a house. My older brother Alan proudly regaled us with having seen Dad drive an entire nail clean into a 2x4 with a single slam. And I thought that it would be a great thing to be a carpenter, building houses. I still think that, and enormously admire people who, thru programs like Habitat for Humanity, build houses for people.
+
Alas, if you click on the link for my name in the Wikipedia article, you will find that my enemies successfully had an article about me (that I did NOT write) removed from Wikipedia. They have not YET managed to have mention of me deleted from this article, but they might soon. I think they're waiting until I'm dead, so cannot correct any lies, to try to erase all mention of my place in gay history. They're likely to have a long wait.
+
Fair-minded people might wonder who my enemies might be, and why they hate giving me any credit for anything. Lesbians. Lesbians who deeply resent my refusal to identify as a 'male lesbian' but insist that gay men and lesbian women have NOTHING in common, but are as far apart as people can be without being of different species. I have said this for decades, but have managed to reach only the tiniest portion of the general public. Fortuitously, finally, a few weeks ago the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family made exactly that point in an episode in which the gay couple "Mitchell" and "Cameron" formed three visual grafs showing that gay men and straight men have something in common, and gay men and straight women have something in common, but gay men and lesbian women have NOTHING in common, and do not even remotely like each other.
+
I have nothing against lesbians. But I have nothing in favor of them, either. (I have, in fact, a lesbian niece I am very fond of and get along fine with.) I just want nothing to do with lesbians (that I am not related to), and do not grant them any special favor nor rights over me or other gay men. 'You can go your own way' — and don't bother us.
+
Maybe my lesbian enemies will now redirect their animus from ME to "Mitchell" and "Cam". But it's over. The fraud that gay men have an obligation to castrate themselves psychosexually to win approval from lesbians, who mean NOTHING to them, has been exploded on national TV. To quote something I think I also saw on Modern Family, in regard to some female figure or other, "Begone! You have no power here."



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?