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“ Who are we? Where do we come from? What are we for? ” questions posed by Harry to founding members of Mattachine compiled by Will Roscoe for Radically.

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Presentation on theme: "“ Who are we? Where do we come from? What are we for? ” questions posed by Harry to founding members of Mattachine compiled by Will Roscoe for Radically."— Presentation transcript:

1 “ Who are we? Where do we come from? What are we for? ” questions posed by Harry to founding members of Mattachine compiled by Will Roscoe for Radically Gay: The Life & Visionary Legacy of Harry Hay, September 27-30, 2012

2 “ Someday you will have wandered to a strange and faraway place. You’ll not know who any of the people are there. And then suddenly, in that frightening and alien place, you’ll look across the square and you’ll see a pair of eyes open and glow at you. You’ll look back at him, and, at that moment, in the lock of two pairs of eyes, you are home and you are safe! ” The Trouble with Harry Hay advice from his first lover, a sailor named Matt 1926

3 “ In that long-ago fantasy, he whom I would reach out in love to was indeed projected as being another me.... He’d be standing just before dawn on a golden velvet hillside... he’d hold out his hand for me to catch hold of, and then we would run away to the top of the hill to see the sunrise, and we would never have to come back again because we would now have each other. ” “A Separate People Whose Time Has Come”

4 “ The golden boy has to be one who sees as I see; he has to be somebody who is not afraid of the strike line; he has to be somebody where we can walk shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand and he’s not afraid to be beaten up. And if I’m beaten, he won’t be worried about me; he’ll carry on. ” Bohemian Los Angeles

5 “ If my father could be wrong, then the teacher could be wrong. And if the teacher could be wrong, then the priest could be wrong. And if the priest could be wrong, then maybe even God could be wrong. ” The Trouble with Harry Hay 1920 s

6 “ …and if they got that wrong…what else did they get wrong? ” response to scholars, politicians, religious leaders, and indigenous spokespeople who deny the presence of queers

7 “ The commitment was not an intellectual one to start with. It was purely emotional, a gut thing. You couldn’t have been a part of that and not have your life completely changed. ” Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities recalling the San Francisco General Strike 1934

8 “ Organizing the Mattachine was a call to me deeper than the innermost reaches of spirit, a vision-quest more important than life. ” Gay American History

9 “ It was obvious McCarthy was setting up the pattern for a new scapegoat, and it was going to be us —Gays. We had to organize, we had to move, we had to get started. ” Gay American History

10 “ Almost from the very first moment of our meeting, we were in love with each other and with each other’s ideas. ” Radically Gay on meeting Rudy Gernreich 1950

11 “ To earn for ourselves any place in the sun, we must with perseverance and self-discipline work collectively for the full first-class citizenship participation of Minorities everywhere, including ourselves. ” “Preliminary Concepts” (prospectus for Mattachine) 1950

12 “ We figured that, if we insisted on calling ourselves by a term they didn’t understand, the media would have to ask us what it meant; and we—then—would be able to define and characterize ourselves, for a change. ” Gay American History on the use of the term “homophile”

13 “ The Mattachine Foundation’s inventory was strictly for the birds! Atomically powered by a dream about to be born, its reserves were... total allegiance to high purposes, tenacity of vision, irrevocable resolve, a compassion as enfolding as faith, and above all else... audacity. ” “Epilogue: In Memory of the Mattachine Foundation,” in Homosexuals Today 1956

14 “ Throw off the ugly green frog-skin of Hetero-imitation! ” Opening comments, Spiritual Conference for Radical Fairies,

15 “ Why do the shoes of middle-class respectability and conformity never seem to fit? ” Western Homophile Conference Keynote Address; “A Separate People Whose Time has Come” “ After all, we aren’t heteros. And when we do imitate them, we usually do it badly—we either overdo or we underdo. Mostly, to be perfectly candid, we overdo. ” 1970/1987

16 “ Did you ever ask the girls back then if they thought you threw a ball like them? They’d have straightened you out in nothing flat! They’d have told you that you didn’t throw a ball like a girl, but like something other. ” “Toward the New Frontiers of Fairy Vision…subject-SUBJECT Consciousness” 1980

17 “ Sexual Orientation isn’t the only difference between Us and the Heteros. As a result of the way we had been malignantly demeaned and diminished over the centuries, it is the only difference LEFT between US and the Heteros. ” “Remarks on Third Gender” 1994

18 “ Rather than being merely a sexual variation of them, in all other senses exactly the same as they, we are a Separate People with, in several measurable respects, a rather different window on the world, a different consciousness, which may be triggered into being by our lovely sexuality. ” “Radical Faerie Proposals to the ‘March on Washington’ Organizing Meeting” 1986

19 “ We are maximizing the differences between us and them as an act of love, a love for ourselves and a love for the society in which we belong. Because I am not suggesting at any time that we separate out and forget it entirely. We need them, they need us. ” “A Call for Fairy Sanctuaries,” Vortex

20 “ We Queers, having won our autonomy with no help from anybody, shall continue to maintain that autonomy. We shall be happy to walk with any group so long as we and they remain in a loving-sharing consensus. But the moment the consensus breaks—we Faeries vanish! ” “What Gay Consciousness Brings, and Has Brought, to the Hetero Left!” 1991

21 “ The whole point about gay rights is an illusion, because when you come right down to it, we can buy a legislator, but they can buy him back twice as fast—and they do. There are ways and means by which we can relate to the political process, and we can do them beautifully: We can give them— the parent society—some of our courage. ” “A Call for Fairy Sanctuaries,” Vortex

22 “ When the parent society begins to appreciate what it is we contribute—and recognize that their law is in our way against further contributions— they will change that law to their advantage. ” “A Call for Fairy Sanctuaries, Vortex

23 “ Insofar as child molestation is concerned, the most common, yet unrecognized, form is the sexual coercion of Gay and Lesbian youth into heterosexual identities and behaviors. ” “Our Beloved Gay/Lesbian Movement at a Crossroads” 1994

24 “ When we stumble upon recorded or secondary evidences of permissiveness towards Homophilia in a given archaic culture we must simultaneously search for the institution that permitted it because it used it. ” Radically Gay 1959

25 “ Ritual and magic are usable only on a group level, and serve to promote unity, to maintain identity, and even to offer the collective security needed to continue the struggle for survival. ” Radically Gay ca. 1946

26 “ The Fool... as protestant (with a small ‘p’)... as communal teacher... as Master of ceremonies as festive rituals... as leader of the dance... as mime and glee-man... as wizard or deputy to the wise woman with the second sight... was a beloved and cherished phenomena. ” “Epilogue: In Memory of the Mattachine Foundation,” in Homosexuals Today 1956

27 “ In the Berdache we see arise the great social division of labor which becomes the groundwork of industry as we know it today— the artisan and the cultural craftsman. ” “The Homosexual and History... An Invitation to Further Study,” Radically Gay 1953

28 “ To all of history and to two-thirds of the world today, music is a language, an encyclopedia of patterns, a science—of organization. A method of communicating, organizing, educating, mobilizing in ways beyond the scope of language or static illustration. ” “Music—Barometer of Class Struggle” 1955

29 “ Karl Marx had a marvelous concept of a self- maintaining political process in socialism, but what he didn’t know was that the shining promise of socialism could not be fulfilled through subject-object consciousness. ” Gay Soul 1980

30 “ Science has had to move from the Aristotelian- Cartesian logics of Binary-analytical-classifying objective thought to “analog” thought, from formula-type thinking in categories to modular thinking, from two-dimensional inter-processes of Dialectical thinking to three- dimensional or triangulational thinking. ” “Gay Liberation: Chapter Two” 1976

31 “ Whereas the BINARY, or digital, computer studying a given problem functions in terms of opposites—in terms of Go/No-Go, true or false, yes or no, add or subtract, A or B, man or woman, with nothing in between according to the Aristotelian ‘Law of the excluded Middle’—the ANALOG computer, in studying a given problem, essays to become the problem, by becoming a three dimensional map or model of the problem. ” “Gay Liberation: Chapter Two” 1976

32 “ Humanity must expand its experience to thinking of another, that other, not as object—to be used, to be manipulated, to be mastered, to be consumed—but as subject, as another like him/her self, another self to be respected, to be appreciated, to be cherished. ” “Gay Liberation: Chapter Two” 1976

33 “ As adults, some of us may be a combination of both hetero masculine and hetero feminine, but mostly we a combination of neither. It is from this spiritual neitherness, evident in our capacity to fly free from historical conformities and prejudices, evident in our capacity to invent in the very teeth of nullifying rules and regulations, that our contributions come. ” “Toward the New Frontiers of Fairy Vision... subject-SUBJECT Consciousness” 1980

34 “ When I was looking for a word to represent neither masculine or feminine, I used the word the hetero bully boys had used to describe me as they saw me all those years ago. ‘Fairy,’ they called me, ‘not-masculine/not-feminine—fairy.’ Only now that I’m gown up and have become a proper queer, I gussy up the spelling to make it f ‑ a ‑ e ‑ r ‑ i ‑ e. ” “A Separate People Whose Time Has Come” 1987

35 “ How might we apply subject-subject consciousness to gay sexual sharing? For starters, we might try enjoying each other’s enjoyment. ” “A Separate People Whose Time Has Come” 1987

36 “ Yeah, I just went out and ran down an old lady and I feel much better. ” The Trouble with Harry Hay comment after storming out of a Mattachine meeting ca. 1952

37 “ I had a rush of brains to the head… ” “ A circle has no head or foot … ” “ Honey, queens don’t follow, they lead… ”

38 “... straight men never were my type. I always thought they had a certain smell... ”

39 “ This is our job now: We must begin to define ourselves to them as we wish to be defined, we must begin to show ourselves as we wish to be seen, and we must begin to speak as we wish to be heard. ” Gay Soul 1994

40 “ What happens to a dreamer is that his dream never comes to an end—it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. ” Gay Soul 1994


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