Witness to Revolution: The Advocate Reports on Gay and Lesbian Politics, 1967 - 1999

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9781555834654: Witness to Revolution: The Advocate Reports on Gay and Lesbian Politics, 1967 - 1999

An Excerpt

The Awakening: Pre- and Post-Stonewall Riots (1967-1975)

By the early 1970s the political establishment was beginning to take notice of the fledgling movement. In the August 16, 1972, issue, Rob Cole reported on the attempt by a spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern to distance the liberal senator from one of the first unequivocally pro-gay statements from a national candidate. "I hope for the day when we do not need to specify that 'Liberty and Justice for All' includes blacks, Chicanos, American Indians, women, homosexuals, or any other group," McGovern said. "ALL means ALL."

Despite such progress, gay life sometimes resembled a war zone. In the August 1, 1973, edition, the newspaper reported that an arson fire at the Up Stairs, a popular New Orleans gay bar, had killed 32 men. A photo depicted the charred body of a man frozen in place trying to escape the fire through a window. (The arson remains unsolved.) The same issue carried a photo of the Rev. Ray Broshears, a Metropolitan Community Church minister in San Francisco, brandishing a shotgun after announcing the formation of the "Lavender Patrol" to combat "teenage attacks on homosexuals."

The newspaper was not without reports of victories, some of them historic. The January 16, 1974, edition reported, in "Sick No More," that the American Psychiatric Association's board of trustees had voted 13-0 to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Psychiatrists had studied the lives of gays and lesbians and found no evidence of pathology. The decision had far-reaching ramifications, effectively placing the scientific establishment on the side of gays and lesbians. Critics, however, noted that the change came only after years of lobbying from gay activists, and they refused to countenance the science underlying the vote.

As the feminist saying went, the personal was political. Four years earlier, the July 21, 1970, issue had carried a report on a medical-journal article by gay rights foe Charles Socarides asserting that homosexuality is a mental illness. Socarides, the article said, believed that homosexuality "derive[s] from a 'faulty sexual identity' caused by a 'pathological family const

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Review:

Among the radical magazines, news sheets, and bulletins that surfaced in the heady climate of the late 1960s, none can compare with the venerable Advocate, rightly described as "the world's premier chronicle of the lesbian and gay civil rights movement." In Witness to Revolution, Washington correspondent Chris Bull compiles dozens of trenchant and timely articles on politics from the magazine's first 32 years, ranging from descriptions of bar raids and early, celebratory coverage of the first openly gay elected officials to some of the first (woefully belated) articles on AIDS and, later, the rise of the religious right. Among the selections: John Weir's acid reflections on a ubiquitous symbol of queer activism, "The Red Plague: Do Red Ribbons Really Help in the Fight Against AIDS?" "The ribbon," Weir contends, "has seeped into the national culture like the score from My Fair Lady." He even spotted one suspended in a glass ball on his mother's Christmas tree, and discovered that "she had traveled all the way to Greenwich Village to find it, sifting through sex toys at the Pleasure Chest. Any charitable gesture that places me at risk of encountering my mother in a sex shop is one that we as a community ought to reconsider." --Regina Marler

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Book Description Alyson Books, L.A. / New York, 1999. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. 1999 Large paperback book . BRAND NEW from 1999 publisher . Never owned, Never read. 3 feltpen letters on barcode on back & tiny corner curl to cover . 7 x 9 x 1-1/2" size; 429 pages . In 1967 energetic young Los Angeles writer Dick Michaels became so enraged over a police raid on a loca gay bar that he and two partners founded The Advocate which became the world's premiere chronicle of the lesbian and gay civil rights movement . In the first 32 years of the Advocate it grew from a mimeographed newsleter to a full-color glossy named Best Newsmagazine in America three years running - ahead of mainstream publications Time and Newsweek . This book chronicles the best political reporting over the first 32 years of the Advocate, as compiled by the magazine's Washington corrpesondent, Chris Bull . Coverage ranges from the Stonewall riots to the AIDS epidemic to interviews with both left and right - leaning politicians . Pieces by many many different writers from Advocate stories of the day . " Witness to Revolution - The Advocate Reports on Gay and Lesbian Politics , 1967 - 1999 " compiled by Christ Bull . 1999 large softcover book, published by Alyson Books, Los Angeles & New York *** Securely packed for safe delivery ~ Shipping safely worldwide since 1965 *** 7 x 9 x 1-1/2 ". Bookseller Inventory # 6993

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