Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The summer of 1977

David Thorstad recently wrote to David McReynolds:

Your summary is accurate, based on what I have experienced.† Here's one
more anecdote:

In summer 1977, after the Anita Bryant antigay victory in Dade County,
Florida, New York's Gay Activists Alliance, Lesbian Feminist
Liberation, Church of the Beloved Disciple, and others organized a
protest in Sheridan Square, which continued, without a permit, some
6,000 strong, up Sixth Avenue.† I was one of the organizers, and walked
at the head of the march.† The rear saw cops in pigmobiles actually
ramming slightly marchers in the back end of the march. Around 36th
Street or so, all of a sudden, I saw†the Workers World contingent try
one of the ploys it used frequently during the antiwar movement:† As a
group, they rushed to take over the front of the march.† I yelled at
them to "Get the fuck out of here!†This is a gay march!" They did, and
moved farther back.
††† This was clearly a planned and staged effort to take over the front
of the march, presumably so their banner would be sure to be
photographed, and, misleadingly, give the impression that they were
leading the protest. They were not.

When I thanked David McReynolds for sharing so much gay history with us in his frequent group e-mails, he asked me if I was in that march.

In the summer of 1977, I was just back from four years in Rome. I purchased packets of Rit dye to mix in the bath tub in order to achieve the right tones of salmon, acqua and olive drab needed on my tee shirts, to offset my white painters jeans and web belts. I picked up Mark, my classmate from Oakland California, at the airport, in my brand new white MGB. I had one task left before we officially embarked on our vacation in Ptown. The next morning, I delivered a sermon entitled "Maria Goretti, Model of Virtue". We drove to Ptown with the top down, tape deck screaming. Absolutely, sweetly, blissfully nothing in our heads. We were young. We were pretty. We were precious.

I wonder what everyone else was doing that summer (C says he was at Bible Camp).

Monday, July 18, 2005

C in Exit Art

DSC01738, originally uploaded by farmboyz.

I get dragged by C to so many galleries when what I really want to do is take a nap, but they are inevitably engaging, as was this installation at Exit Art (475 Tenth Avenue). The artist invited participation, so C entered into it and I held the camera. His shirt clashed with the orange flooring, so I asked for its removal. (The director of the gallery, Jeanette Ingberman has great and copious hair.)