Leonard Matlovich  

Memorial plaque outside of Matlovich's former apartment building.

Hi guys; welcome to the podcast. This week, we’ll be covering Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich who was born on July 6, 1943. He was a Vietnam War veteran in the Air Force, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Matlovich was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight their ban on gays, and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s next to Harvey Milk, who we’ll be detailing in a forthcoming episode. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a media sensation, around which the gay community rallied. His case resulted in articles in newspapers and magazines throughout the country, numerous television interviews, and a television movie on NBC. His photograph appeared on the cover of the September 8, 1975, issue of Time magazine, making him a symbol for thousands of gay and lesbian servicemembers and gay people generally.  It also mad him the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of a U.S. news magazine. I’ve placed that cover on the blog entry over at, so I encourage you to check it out there. 

According to author and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts, who went on to pen “And the Band Played On, a seminal dissection of the early days of the AIDS crisis, quote: "It marked the first time the young gay movement had made the cover of a major newsweekly. To a movement still struggling for legitimacy, the event was a major turning point."  In October 2006, Matlovich was honored by LGBT History Month as a leader in the history of the LGBT community.

Early life and early career

Born in Savannah, Georgia, he was the only son of a career Air Force sergeant. I will share with you that I’m actually the son of a career Air Force man, so I paid attention to his story, growing up.  He spent his childhood living on military bases, primarily throughout the Southern United States. Matlovich and his sister were raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Not long after he enlisted at 19, the United States increased military action in Vietnam, about ten years after the French had abandoned active colonial rule there. Matlovich volunteered for service in Vietnam and served three tours of duty. He was seriously wounded when he stepped on a landmine in Đà Nẵng.

While stationed in Florida near Fort Walton Beach, he began frequenting gay bars in nearby Pensacola.  In a later interview, Matlovich lamented: "I met a bank president, a gas station attendant - they were all homosexual", seemingly noting on the significance of the encounters as something rare. When he was 30, he slept with another man for the first time. He "came out" to his friends, but continued to conceal the fact from his commanding officer. Having realized that the racism he'd grown up around was wrong, he volunteered to teach Air Force Race Relations classes, which had been created after several racial incidents in the military in the late 60s and early 70s. He became so successful that the Air Force sent him around the country to coach other instructors. Matlovich gradually came to believe that the discrimination faced by gays was similar to that faced by African Americans, and this remained his position until his death.


In March 1974, previously unaware of the organized gay movement, he read an interview in the Air Force Times with gay activist Frank Kameny, who had counseled several gays in the military over the years and would emerge as one of the gay rights early pioneers. He contacted Kameny, who told him he had long been looking for a gay service member with a perfect record to create a test case to challenge the military's ban on gays. Four months later, he met with Kameny at the longtime activist's Washington, D.C. home. After several months of discussion with Kameny and ACLU attorney David Addlestone during which they formulated a plan, he hand-delivered a letter to his Langley Air Force Base commanding officer on March 6, 1975. When his commander asked, "What does this mean?" Matlovich replied, "It means Brown versus the Board of Education" - a reference to the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case outlawing racial segregation in public schools.

Perhaps the most painful aspect of the whole experience for Matlovich was his revelation to his parents. He had told his mother by telephone, dialing her one evening after much debate. She was so stunned she refused to tell Matlovich's father.  Her first reaction was that God was punishing her for something she had done, even if her Roman Catholic faith would not have sanctioned that notion. Then, she imagined that her son had not prayed enough or had not seen enough psychiatrists. His father finally found out by reading it in the newspaper, after his challenge became public knowledge on Memorial Day 1975 through an article on the front page of The New York Times and that evening's CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Matlovich recalled, "He cried for about two hours." After that, he told his wife that, "If he can take it, I can take it."

Discharge and lawsuit

At that time, the Air Force had a fairly ill-defined exception clause that could allow gays to continue to serve if there were extenuating circumstances. These circumstances might include being immature or drunk, exemplary service, or a one-time experimentation (known sarcastically as the "Queen for a day" rule).  During Matlovich's September 1975 administrative discharge hearing, an Air Force attorney asked him if he would sign a document pledging to quote:  "never practice homosexuality again" in exchange for being allowed to remain in the Air Force. Matlovich refused on the spot. Despite his exemplary military record, tours of duty in Vietnam, and high performance evaluations, the panel ruled Matlovich unfit for service, and he was recommended for a General (yet under Honorable Conditions) discharge. The base commander, Alton J. Thogersen, citing Matlovich's service record, recommended that it be upgraded to Honorable. The Secretary of the Air Force agreed, confirming Matlovich's discharge in October 1975.  He sued for reinstatement, but the legal process was a long one, with the case moving back and forth between United States District and Circuit Courts.  When, by September 1980, the Air Force had failed to provide U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gesell an explanation of why Matlovich did not meet its criteria for exception (which by then had been eliminated but still could have applied to him), Gesell ordered him reinstated into the Air Force and promoted. The Air Force offered Matlovich a financial settlement instead. Convinced that the military would find some other reason to discharge him if he reentered the service, or that the conservative Supreme Court would rule against him should the Air Force appeal, Matlovich accepted the settlement. The figure, based on back pay, future pay, and pension, was $160,000, or roughly half a million in today’s money. 


Sometime in the early 70s, Matlovich abandoned his Roman Catholic faith, and converted to Mormonism.  He eventually found himself at odds with the Latter-day Saints and their opposition to homosexual behavior. He was twice excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for homosexual acts, first being excommunicated on October 7, 1975, in Norfolk, Virginia, and then again January 17, 1979, after his appearance on the The Phil Donahue Show in 1978.  But, by this time, Matlovich had stopped being a believer at all.

Settlement, later life and illness

From the moment his case was revealed to the public, Matlovich was repeatedly called upon by gay groups to help them with fundraising and advocating against anti-gay discrimination, helping lead campaigns against Anita Bryant's efforts in Miami, Florida, to overturn a gay nondiscrimination ordinance (which we’ll be covering, in detail, on a forthcoming episode) and John Briggs' attempt to ban gay teachers in California. Sometimes he was criticized by individuals more to the left than he had become. "I think many gays are forced into liberal camps only because that's where they can find the kind of support they need to function in society," Matlovich once noted. After being discharged, he moved from Virginia to Washington, D.C., and, in 1978, to San Francisco. In 1981, he moved to the Russian River town of Guerneville, where he used the proceeds of his settlement to open a pizza restaurant.

With the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. in the late 1970s, Leonard's personal life was caught up in the hysteria about the virus that peaked in the 1980s. He sold his Guerneville restaurant in 1984, moving to Europe for a few months where, during a visit to the joint grave of lovers Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and the grave of gay writer Oscar Wilde in Paris, France, he got the idea for a gay memorial in the United States. He returned briefly to Washington, D.C., in 1985 and, then, to San Francisco where he sold Ford cars and once again became heavily involved in gay rights causes and the fight for adequate HIV-AIDS education and treatment.

In 1986, Matlovich felt fatigued, then contracted a prolonged chest cold he seemed unable to shake. When he finally saw a physician in September of that year, he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Too weak to continue his work at the Ford dealership, he was among the first to receive AZT treatments, but his prognosis was not encouraging. He went on disability benefits and became a champion for HIV/AIDS research for the dise

MdS 43 - O mundo gay  

No episódio dessa semana, bailemos ao som da nossa madrinha Madonna, embora tenha muito gay por aí que só ouve Sepultura. Nosso tema é o mundo gay e, lembrem sempre, o mundo é gay. Vamos nos aventurar com nosso Capitão Gay, Cacofonias, o Pit Bitoca, Roberto; a nossa Elke Maravilha, Manu; e, por que não, ir além da caricatura com nossos amados e idolatrados, Éric, que aprendeu a gostar de Madonna com o pai hétero; Rômulo, que é torcedor do Flamengo e Rafucko que já teve namorada. Neste episódio, você vai: 1 – Aprender que as nomenclaturas geralmente não servem de nada; 2 – Saber o que são ursos, lontras, barbies e outras subdivisões do mundo gay; 3 – Descobrir que quem só come também é gay (e geralmente homofóbico); 4 – Perceber que nem todo time de gay é tricolor; 5 – Aprender que nem todo gay gosta de Madonna e nem todo mundo que gosta é gay; 6 – Escutar leitura de perfil de homens que ainda estão no armário; 7 –Entender um pouco melhor as relações homossexuais; 8 –Ouvir histórias de saídas do armário; 9 - Mandar seu preconceito ir pra puta que o pariu; 10 - Entender de uma vez por todas que gays não querem ser mulheres; 11 - Escutar um debate sobre moda hetero e gay e saber se ela existe; 12 – Ouvir a leitura de comentários do podcast anterior.

Gay-Baiting Pop Stars with guest Simon Curtis | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

We’re breaking down all the gay glitz and glamour from the Golden Globes this week with our special guest, musician and author Simon Curtis.  Plus, Joe Jonas follows in his brother’s gay-baiting, skin-baring footsteps. And “The Librarians” introduces a new gender-fluid character. All this and more on Gay Weekly Roundtable with your hosts: Adam Salandra, […]

The post Gay-Baiting Pop Stars with guest Simon Curtis | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

Compton's Cafeteria Riot  

In this episode of the Mattachine Podcast, we’ll be looking at the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, which occurred in San Francisco, in the late summer of 1966.  We’ll investigate the riot’s significance, and how it set the tone for gay rights moving forward—particularly within the scope of rapid social civil rights advancements in the tumultuous 60s.

The Compton's Cafeteria Riot occurred in August 1966 in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This incident was one of the first recorded transgender riots in United States history, actually preceding the more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.


Compton's Cafeteria was one of a chain of cafeterias, owned by a gentleman named Gene Compton, in San Francisco from the 1940s to the 1970s. The Tenderloin location of Compton's at 101 Taylor Street—was open from 1954 to 1972 and was one of the few places where transgender people could congregate publicly in the city, because they were heretofore unwelcome in gay bars in the city. The cafeteria was open 24 hours until the riots occurred.  Because cross-dressing was illegal at the time, police could use the presence of transgender people in a bar as a pretext for making a raid and closing the bar.

Many of the militant hustlers in the neighborhood, and street queens involved in the riot were members of Vanguard, the first known gay youth organization in the United States—we’ll be covering that organization in a later podcast.  Vanguard had been organized earlier that year with the help of radical ministers working with Glide Memorial Church, a center for progressive social activism in the Tenderloin for many years. A lesbian group of street people was also formed called the Street Orphans.

Cause of the riot

Starting in the 1960s the Compton’s Cafeteria staff began to call the police to crack down on transgender and transsexual individuals, who would often frequent the restaurant in the neighborhood. In response to police arrests, the transgender and transsexual community launched a picket of Compton’s Cafeteria. Although the picket was ultimately unsuccessful, it was one of the first demonstrations against transgender and transsexual violence in San Francisco. On the first night of the riot, the management of Compton's called the police when some transgender customers became loud and unruly. In the 50's and 60's police officers were known to mistreat transgender people—often their behavior was sanctioned. When one of these officers attempted to arrest one of the trans women, she got angry and threw her coffee in his face. That was the flashpoint for the riot to begin. Dishes and and even furniture were thrown, and the restaurant's plate-glass windows were smashed. Police called for reinforcements as the fighting spilled out into the street, where a police car had all its windows broken out and a sidewalk newsstand was burned down. It escalated very quickly. The exact date of the riot is unknown because 1960 police records no longer exist and the riot was not covered by newspapers, which was another societal signal of how this group was ignored.

The next night, more transgender people, hustlers, Tenderloin street people, and other members of the LGBT community joined in picketing the cafeteria, the owners of which would not allow transgender people back in. The demonstration ended with the newly installed plate-glass windows being smashed yet again.

Effects of the riot

The riot definitely marked a turning point in the local LGBT movement. 

In the aftermath of the riot at Compton's, a network of transgender social, psychological, and medical support services was established, which culminated in 1968 with the creation of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit [the NTCU], the first such peer-run support and advocacy organization in the world.

Serving as an overseer to the NTCU was Sergeant Elliott Blackstone, designated in 1962 as the first San Francisco Police Department liaison to what was then called the "homophile community." According to Susan Stryker, the local historian and transgender activist who spent nine years uncovering the Compton's Cafeteria saga and making it into a documentary called Screaming Queens, Compton’s Cafeteria riot was “the first known incident of collective militant queer resistance to police harassment in U.S. history." Transgender people finally stood up to the abuse and discrimination by police officers. Following the riot, transgender and transsexual individuals were allowed to live their lives more freely and openly because police brutality towards them subsided—a direct result of the riots. For example, they had much less fear of being heckled by the police department for dressing how they chose to during the daytime, in the neighborhood.

The tired transvestites who clashed with police at an all-night greasy spoon here in 1966 never would have expected the city's political elite to show up for a dedication ceremony honoring their struggle as a civil rights milestone.

Yet there, at the site of the Compton's Cafeteria riot, among a crowd of unusually tall women and noticeably short men were a pair of city supervisors, the district attorney, the police chief, and a transsexual police sergeant. The California Assembly and the mayor sent proclamations that

"Trans has become part of polite society," said Susan Stryker,  "You can't be openly anti-trans the way you could before."

Until Stryker teased it out, the story of the Compton's Cafeteria riot remained as hidden as its main characters' true identities and carefully concealed razor stubble. Now the event is quietly challenging New York's 1969 Stonewall Riots as the dawn of the modern gay rights era.

While not every city is ready to celebrate the contributions of its cross-dressing citizens, San Francisco — which in 2001 extended its health insurance to cover sex reassignment surgeries for municipal employees — is no longer alone in the landscape. Across the nation, transgender residents are quickly winning rights and recognition they began to demand only recently.

In the last three years alone, New Mexico, Illinois and California have updated their anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender home buyers and renters; colleges in Vermont and Iowa have dedicated "gender neutral" dorm rooms; and corporations have adopted policies for helping employees stay on the job during sex changes. "When we are getting phone calls from people who have lost their jobs, and e-mails from people who are facing violence, it's sometimes easy to think everything is still really bad," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality in Washington, D.C. "But to see that people were able to stand up for themselves 40 years ago is a very wonderful reminder to us of how far we've come."

The sea change is especially obvious this month as cities in the United States and Europe observe gay pride events.

Although so-called "drag queens" have been a visible part of pride marches since the 1970s, gay and lesbian groups were long afraid to embrace transgender causes for fear of being tainted by the more extreme prejudice they provoked, said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "There was a time when nobody wanted to even mention transgender issues or have transgender people accompany you on lobbying visits to members of your state assembly because that was pushing the envelope too far," Foreman said. "There was a myth in our community, and frankly I was part of that myth, that including transgender people would set our cause back."

"The history of transgender civil rights and Pride was that it was OK as long as it was gay men in dresses and it was about spectacle," said Chris Daley, director of the National Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. "The shift we are seeing is that the broader LGBT community has been able to embrace not only the more comfortable parts of the community, but everybody."

Observing the range of lawyers, entertainers and openly transgender professionals who were on hand as the sidewalk plaque marking the Compton's Cafeteria riot was installed, Stryker was struck by how much had changed in the last 40 years. "Back then, you couldn't be out as trans without huge costs," she said. "To see all these people honoring a bunch of drag queens who rioted against the cops is amazing."

Today, a granite historical marker installed in San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin District would be unremarkable if it didn't honor men who dressed in women's clothes and once walked the streets selling sex.

[Music Out]

Thank you for listening to the Mattachine Podcast.  This episode was researched, written, narrated, and produced by Brad Dunshee—yours truly.  Our logo was designed by Matt Smith. 

If you want to support this podcast, including costs associated with producing it, please visit  Any amount is extremely appreciated, to keep this thing going.

In an ongoing effort to bring you fresh LGBT stories week after week, please email us at with episode suggestions.  We’ll do our best to get these into the editorial calendar.  If you like the show, please tell your friends, and please subscribe to us in your favorite podcast app.  We love reviews, so please feel free to leave one of those, as well—it really helps get the word out.  We’ll be back next week with another episode about our LGBT history, so until then, please be good to one another.

Logo’s Fire Island Reality Show with special guest Michael Henry | Gay Weekly Roundtable | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

 Logo announced it will be premiering a new reality series called “Fire Island” and gay people have a lot of opinions about it. We’re breaking it down with our special guest, comedian Michael Henry. Plus, we’re discussing Laverne Cox’s new ABC show and reviewing Yael’s recent trip to ClexaCon.  All this and more on Gay Weekly […]

The post Logo’s Fire Island Reality Show with special guest Michael Henry | Gay Weekly Roundtable | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

Disney’s First Gay Character Appearing In Beauty And The Beast | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

 An LGBT-themed film won Best Picture for the first time, but not before a lot of Oscars drama went down first. Plus, upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” reboot will have a gay character. And “Drag Race” gets a premiere date and a new channel! All this and more on Gay Weekly Roundtable with your hosts: […]

The post Disney’s First Gay Character Appearing In Beauty And The Beast | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

A Will & Grace Resurrection with Gay of Thrones’ Jonathan Van Ness | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

We’re discussing the Will & Grace reboot this week with special guest and Gay of Thrones star Jonathan Van Ness.  Plus, Jennifer Holliday says “I’m not goin'” to the presidential inauguration following LGBT backlash. And we’re dissecting ClexaCon, the upcoming lesbian media convention. All this and more on Gay Weekly Roundtable with your hosts: Adam Salandra, Yael […]

The post A Will & Grace Resurrection with Gay of Thrones’ Jonathan Van Ness | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

ScathingAtheist 175: His Ark is Worse Than His Bite Edition  

In this week’s episode, we’ll read the book equivalent of getting dicked to death by wolverines, state-mandated anal probes get two thumbs up from a Kenyan judge, and Bill Donohue will dress up like a penguin and plot against Batman.


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Creationists to counter-protest atheists at Ark Park opening:

Donohue: Law to extend statutes on child rape was designed “to rape the Catholic church.”

Police in Trenton NJ plan to bring underage curfew violators to churches in the middle of the night:

Hackers add gay pride stuff to ISIS Twitter accounts:

Canadian police break up fight over whether or not the earth is flat or round

Turkish Muslim mob attacks album release party at record store in Istanbul for not doing nothing during Ramadan:

Man attacked with machetes for not fasting on Ramadan:

Anderson cooper is too gay to interview straight people

Anderson cooper goes hard in the paint on bigot:

Anal probes are a legal way to determine if someone is gay:



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Inside Gay Pakistan  

Mobeen Azhar investigates gay life in urban Pakistan and despite the country's religious conservatism and homosexuality being a crime there, he finds a vibrant gay scene, all aided by social media. He meets gay people at underground parties, shrines and hotels and finds out what it's really like to be gay in Pakistan. As one man tells him, "The best thing about being gay in Pakistan is you can easily hook up with guys over here. You just need to know the right moves and with a click you can get any guy you want." At a gay party he meets an NGO worker who then takes him to one of Karachi's prime cruising locations - a shrine to a 9th Century Muslim saint. Mobeen meets a "masseur", who works on the street advertising his services. The masseur's real job is selling sexual services to men - with the full knowledge of his wife. And with great difficulty, Mobeen speaks to a lesbian couple, who conceal their relationship from their own parents. One of them argues that it is too soon for gay Pakistanis to fight openly for political rights and that they must find happiness in the personal sphere. Mobeen discovers that while urban Pakistanis may easily be able to find sex, being in a relationship is far more difficult. Reporter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Helena Merriman.

Pride Flag, Drag Race Finale, Gay Men’s Golden Girls | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

Philadelphia added a black and brown stripe to its Pride flag, and ignited a storm of controversy about race and LGBT issues in the process. Plus, Hollywood is gearing up to make a version of the “Golden Girls” with older gay men! And we’re prepping for Friday’s big “Drag Race” finale with our predictions and […]

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SNL Parodies Gay Reality Show “Fire Island” | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

“SNL” parodied Logo’s “Fire Island” this week and also displayed support for trans youth, and we’re breaking it all down for you on today’s episode. Plus, we’re discussing the importance of local elections if you want to make a change.  All this and more on Gay Weekly Roundtable with your hosts: Adam Salandra, Yael Tygiel, Blake McIver and Tony Moore […]

The post SNL Parodies Gay Reality Show “Fire Island” | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.


What do you do if your friends are being dicks to your dude before they've even met him? Is 6 months enough time to be monogamous before embarking on a threesome? Corinne & Krystyna aren't really too sure, but they're going to do their darndest to provide these #fuckers with an answer! On this week's episode, well, it's been a spell since the girls of Sorry About Last Night have sat down with their closest gay friends to talk about life, so today they welcome back DUFF (Gay Panel Pt. 1) and his also-gay-brother, ERIC! The four friends discuss the homosexual stereotype, what makes one gay man punch another gay man in the face, glory holes, timing your coming-out announcement in conjunction with your brother's, genital cleanliness, aesthetic judgement, having a super hot partner, the term "fag", what to do when you're both tops, and drinking. Lots of it. Check out DUFF's cartoon, MYSTERY SQUAD GALS! Email us: Tweet the ladies: Tweet Corinne: Tweet Krystyna: Follow us on Instagram: SorryAboutLastNight YouTube: Facebook: SEE US LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY (and Upstate NY/Austin/DC/NJ!) **ROSENDALE, NY** CORINNE FISHER HEADLINES MARKET MARKET SATURDAY, MARCH 12th @ 10pm VENUE: Market Market, 1 Madeline Lane, Rosendale, NY COVER: $15, cash only Market Market will take dinner reservations for this event. Reservations are for diners only. There will be no reservations taken for the bar(first come, first serve there) or for drinks only. CONTACT: Call (845) 658-3164 or visit for more information. **AUSTIN, TX** SUNDAY, March 13th @ 7PM {Saturday show is almost sold out} KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON & former GWF guest, WENDI STARLING, are bringing GLAMOURPUSS to Texas! Spider House Ballroom 2908 Fruth Street, Austin TX 78705 For tix: **ALBANY, NY** WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16TH @ 7:30pm Corinne & Krystyna are both on Chicks Are Funny! at The Funny Bone Albany Tix are $10, 21+ **WASHINGTON D.C.** SATURDAY, MARCH 19th @ 7PM KRYSTYNA HUTCHINSON & former GWF guest, WENDI STARLING, are bringing GLAMOURPUSS to DC for one night only! DC9 1940 Ninth Street NW Washington, DC 20001 For tix: FRIDAY, MARCH 25th @ 11:15pm NACHO BITCHES Hosted by CORINNE FISHER & BLAIR SOCCI New York Comedy Club 241 E. 24th Street - NYC Tix are just $10 with code NACHO SATURDAY, MARCH 26th @ 7:30PM GLAMOURPUSS! Hosted by Krystyna Hutchinson + Wendi Starling Zinc Bar - 82 W. 3rd Street, NY, NY For tickets, go to: **PRINCETON, NJ** SATURDAY, MARCH 26TH @ 7:30PM & 9:30PM CORINNE IS OPENING FOR PAST GWF GUEST BEN HAGUE CATCH A RISING STAR - PRINCETON Hyatt Regency - Princeton TIX for 7:30PM show: Tix for 9:30pm show: MUSIC FEATURED THIS WEEK: 1. Leisure Cruise - "Mother" 2. StaG - "Colorado/Suicidal" 3. Sleeper/Spaceborn - "Communique" Do you think your music should be featured on an episode of GWF? E-mail Stephen a streaming link to:

RiseUp Podcast – The H Word  

In this episode of RiseUp, Nick Galieti interviews a Young Women from Southern Californa named Mikalya.

Mikayla's parents were members so she was born into the church and baptized when she was 8. But it wasn't until she turned 13 that she really dove into the gospel. Before that, she was relatively inactive for a few years. She now lives in Southern California where she is currently the Laurel Class President but because her ward is so small, she is effectively the overall Young Women's Class President. She loves to play guitar, but is not good enough to consider myself anything beyond a beginner. She loves to read, especially anything that involves history, fiction, or both. She love to write and currently writes for her school newspaper and designs a page of the newspaper. She also loves to draw, but her skills are limited to Disney Characters and Looney Toons. She comes on the RiseUp podcast to talk about a poem she wrote for an online contest where she declared her experience as a member of the Church defending  traditional marriage. Here is the poem she submitted and the original link for the poem:

The "H Word"

"Did you know he's a homophobe?"

I froze.

It felt like one of those moments in movies where




Yet emotions, thoughts, and feelings hit me at 3x10^8 meters per second.

I'm not one to swear.

I never liked the anger and harshness associated with the words,

Didn't like the feeling of such unnecessary words rolling off my tongue,

Nor did I enjoy the taste they left behind.

Yet those words no longer gave me

The strange jolt-in-your-chest feeling

That young children get

When they're young enough to feel uncomfortable at the sound of an infrequently heard "bad word",

Yet old enough to know it's bad.

Those words, though I still discouraged the use of them,

Didn't have the same effect on me

As this "H word" did.

This "H word", used so casually, carried heavy baggage of hatred.

I knew the "he" they spoke of.

I knew his name, his face,

And I knew his church,

Because his church was my church too

And I had an idea why people might give him such a label.

His church, my church, our church

Did not support gay marriage,

And to some people, wearing a BYU sweatshirt

Or an "I'm a Mormon" pin

Was equivalent to putting an "I supported Prop 8" sign on your back.

And this wasn't always okay.

This feeling isn't always there, out in the open,

But it's never gone.

It's hiding somewhere in the corner of the room, and comes into the light

When you hear that another state legalized gay marriage

And the person next to you turns toward you and says

"Doesn't your church hate gay people?"

And whether or not there's a joking undertone or a serious air to their voice,

It feels like time freezes as their words hit you,

Yet the clock ticks faster as you scramble for the right words.

Because how you explain to this person, whether they be a stranger, acquaintance, or friend,

Whether they be joking or absolutely serious,

That your church doesn't support gay marriage because of biblical reasons

Without pulling out the bible and throwing out religious doctrine.

And how do you explain to them that just as it says in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman,

It says to love thy neighbor,

Whoever they are, whatever they believe

And that you don't see why people assume that you can't love someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender

As much as someone who isn't

And simultaneously not agree with gay marriage?

How do you incorporate that your uncle is gay

And happily married to a great man

To provide the ethos-influenced evidence that your Eng...

My Father's Secret Life  

Whitney Joiner was 13 when her father Joe told her he was HIV-positive. He said he hoped to see her graduate from high school. Five months later, he was dead. It was rural Kentucky in 1992, and Whitney and her family thought it was best to keep quiet.  

Whitney never learned how her father contracted the disease. After his funeral, her mother heard from a mutual friend that he’d secretly gone to gay clubs. As a teenager, Whitney had wondered if he were gay. She'd even asked him, but he denied it. His denial was a relief at the time. Now, she wishes she had more answers.

That’s part of what led her to co-found The Recollectors, a site to collect stories from children about their parents who died of AIDS. In this episode, Whitney talked to me about the shame and anger that kept her family from talking about her father for years, meeting other people who had a parent die of AIDS, and reconciling her memories of her father with details she’s only learning now.


Remembering the Early, Mysterious Signs

The only thing I knew was wrong with him was we would go to the hospital in Lexington and see this doctor. And he would get his blood drawn...It was kind of like, oh we’re going to the mall. And the movies. And just stopping off at the doctor. And he explained that he had a blood problem, and I said at one point, like, oh, Leukemia? And he was like yeah, something like that.

Whitney keeps this photo of her late father on her refrigerator. (Whitney Joiner)

Finally Meeting Someone Else Whose Father Died of AIDS

It felt like, so shocking there was someone else out there with the same story. And we just started talking about—it was so weird that we don’t know more people, there have to be more people. Not everyone who died of AIDS is a gay man with no children!

The Conversation She Wishes She Could Have Again

I said, I asked mom once if you were gay...And he said, I’m not gay. In this kind of like scoffing way, like what, I’m not gay, obviously. And I said, Oh. Oh, okay. He was like no, I got it from a woman. You can get it from women too, you know. Oh, okay. Part of me at the time was relieved, honestly. Because I was still so young, I didn’t want to have to deal with the gay dad. At 13, in rural Kentucky….It felt like a relief, but just in that, ugh, we don’t have to have that conversation. But really, we should have that conversation. Because that’s the important one. And we both know that’s really what’s happening here.

Whitney now, with her mom and brother. (Whitney Joiner)

When Her Family Was Afraid to Accept His Sexuality

My family was very angry at him for lying about his sexuality. To me it felt like our family was almost glad that he was gone. Like I would bring him up, I just felt like any time I brought him up, there was this eye-rolling on the part of my family. So I felt like I just shouldn’t talk about him. And I would feel ashamed of loving him, you know, even though he’s my father. And why would anybody have to feel ashamed of loving your father?

You can read a full transcript of the interview, and read Whitney's essay about her father on Slate.

Episode 140 – Suzanna Walters  

Suzanna Walters - Gay rights. Recent years have ushered in a whole new meaning to the idea.  Many believe that with gay marriage becoming legal and more gay role models we are becoming much more tolerant. But what about the idea that they need to be tolerated in the first place? Do any of us have the right to simply tolerate someone? This week we speak with Suzanna Walters, Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University, as well as the author of the new book, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality. "The notion of tolerance already has built into it a kind of tepid acceptance of that which you do not really embrace." -Suzanna Walters Quotes from Suzanna: What we learn in this episode: The slippery slope we encounter when we talk about tolerance around gay rights, as if it is something that we can only tolerate and not embrace. By focusing on singular issues surrounding gay rights, we miss out on the entire idea of individual rights in general. How social inclusion and celebrating others differences is a key part of a truly thriving society. Resources: The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality Twitter: @suzannadwalters

Gay Muslim Marriage  

Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism. British gay Muslims are joining the global fight for equality and seeking gay marriage. 5 live Investigates speaks to pioneering gay couples about their 'nikah' - a Muslim matrimonial contract - and asks how they balance their sexuality with the Islamic faith, which vehemently rejects homosexuality. Many gay couples who marry in this way say they have actively rejected secular civil partnerships, as they say it is vital to have their union recognised by Allah, and not just by the state. The ceremonies are based on heterosexual Muslim marriage ceremonies, and are often conducted in private, without the knowledge of the couple's family, for fear of damaging so-called 'honour'. However, there is also a view that the British Muslim community may not be as conservative as it appears - it is claimed a 'liberal closet' exists whereby some families are becoming more accepting of their gay children, albeit behind closed doors. Adrian speaks to one American imam, who has conducted a number of gay marriages in Britain - some of which have been grand events. Also on the programme, analysis of the uprising in Libya with Huda Abuzaid, whose father was assassinated in his butcher's shop in London by Gadaffi's henchmen in 1995. The high maintenance charges for people living in supposedly 'affordable housing'. And claims that the student visa system is being used to bring over qualified people for training, who are sent straight out on 'work placements', doing a job at less than the minimum wage. To contact the programme, email - or send comments via Twitter to @5LInvestigates.

Daughters of Bilitis  

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the esteemed Daughters of Bilitis.  In concert with the Mattachine Society, this group led the birth of the modern queer rights movement.

The Daughters of Bilitis, also called the DOB or the Daughters, was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States.  The organization, formed in San Francisco in 1955, was conceived as a social alternative to lesbian bars, which were subject to frequent raids and ongoing police harassment.  As the DOB gained members, their focus shifted to providing support to women who were afraid to come out.  The DOB educated them about their rights, and about gay history, in general.  Historian Lillian Faderman declared, "Its very establishment in the midst of witch-hunts and police harassment was an act of courage, since members always had to fear that they were under attack, not because of what they did, but merely because of who they were."  Overall, the Daughters of Bilitis thrived for 14 years, becoming an educational resource for lesbians, gay men, researchers and mental health professionals.


The years after the end of World War II were some of the most morally strict in US history. Postwar anti-communist feelings quickly became associated with the personal secrets of people who worked for the US government.  Congress began to require the registration of members of "subversive groups," which of course they alone were able to define, giving them a dangerous power in helping define morality of the day.  In 1950, the State Department identified homosexuals as security risks, and what followed was a succession of more repressive acts that included the dismissal of federal, state and local government employees suspected of being homosexual; politically motivated police raids on gay bars all over the US and Canada; and even the enactment of laws prohibiting cross-dressing for men and women.


In 1955,  two women named Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon had been together as lovers for about three years when they complained to a gay male couple they knew that they did not know any other lesbians.  The gay couple introduced Martin and Lyon to another lesbian couple, one of whom suggested they create a social club.  In October 1955, eight women — four couples — met to provide each other with a social outlet.  One of their priorities was to have a place to dance, as dancing with the same sex in a public place was illegal.  Martin and Lyon recalled later, "Women needed privacy...not only from the watchful eye of the police, but from gaping tourists in the bars and from inquisitive parents and families."  Although unsure of how exactly to proceed with the group, they began to meet regularly, quickly realized they should be organized, and swiftly elected Martin as president of the group.  From the start, they had a clear focus to educate other women about lesbians, and reduce their self-loathing brought on by the socially repressive times.

The name of the newfound club was chosen in its second meeting.  Bilitis is the name given to a fictional lesbian contemporary of Sappho, by the French poet Pierre Louÿs in his 1894 work The Songs of Bilitis in which Bilitis lived on the Isle of Lesbos alongside Sappho.  The name was chosen for its relative obscurity--even Martin and Lyon did not know what it meant.  "Daughters" was meant to evoke an association with other American social associations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Early DOB members felt they had to follow two seemingly contradictory approaches: trying to recruit interested potential members and at the same time, being secretive.  Martin and Lyon justified the name, writing later, "If anyone asked us, we could always say we belong to a poetry club."  They also designed a pin to wear to be able to identify with others, chose club colors and voted on a motto "Qui vive", French for "on alert".  The organization ultimately filed a charter for non-profit corporation status in 1957, writing a description so vague, Phyllis Lyon wittily quipped, "it could have been a charter for a cat-raising club."


Within a year of its creation, most of the original eight participants were no longer part of the group, but their numbers had grown to 16, and they decided they wanted to be more than only a social alternative to bars.  Historian Marcia Gallo writes "They recognized that many women felt shame about their sexual desires and were afraid to admit them.  They knew that...without support to develop the self-confidence necessary to advocate for one's rights, no social change would be possible for lesbians."

By 1959, there were chapters of the DOB in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Rhode Island along with the original chapter in San Francisco.  Upon arrival at a meeting, attendees would be greeted at the door.  In a show of good faith, the greeter would say, "I'm so and so.  Who are you?  You don't have to give me your real name, not even your real first name."

Soon after forming, the DOB wrote a mission statement that addressed the most significant problem Martin and Lyon had faced as a couple: the complete lack of information about female homosexuality in what historian Martin Meeker termed, "the most fundamental journey a lesbian has to make."  When the club realized they were not allowed to advertise their meetings in the local newspaper, Lyon and Martin, who both had backgrounds in journalism, began to print a newsletter to distribute to as many women as the group knew.  In October 1956 it became The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the U.S. and one of the first to publish statistics on lesbians, when they mailed surveys to their readers in 1958 and 1964. Martin was the first president and Lyon became the editor of The Ladder.

The DOB advertised itself as "A Women's Organization for the purpose of Promoting the Integration of the Homosexual into Society."  The statement was composed of four key parts that prioritized the purpose of the organization, and it was printed on the inside of the cover of every issue of The Ladder until 1970:

First, education of the enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society...this to be accomplished by establishing...a library...on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public be conducted by leading members of the legal psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.

Secondly, education of the public...leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices...

Thirdly, participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists, and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.

And lastly, investigation of the penal code as it pertain to the homosexual, proposal of changes,...and promotion of these changes through the due process of law in the state legislatures."

New York chapter president Barbara Gittings noted that the word "variant" was used instead of "lesbian" in the mission statement, because "lesbian" was a word that had a very negative meaning in 1956.


The early gay rights movement, then called the Homophile Movement, was developed by the Mattachine Society, formed in 1950, as previously covered by this podcast.  Although the Mattachine Society began as a provocative organization with roots in its founders' communist activism, leadership of the Mattachine thought it more prudent and productive to convince heterosexual society at large that gays were not different from themselves, rather than agitate for change.  As discussed, they changed their tactics in 1953.  The Daughters of Bilitis followed this model by encouraging its members to assimilate as much as possible into the prevailing heterosexual culture.

This was reflected in ongoing debate over the propriety of butch and femme dress and role play among its members. As early as 1955, a rule was made that women who attended meetings, if wearing pants, should be wearing women's slacks. However, many women remember it being a rule that went unfollowed as attendees at many meetings were wearing jeans, and the only jeans available in the 1950s were men's.  Barbara Gittings recalled years later of an instance when, in preparation for a national convention, members of the DOB persuaded a woman who had worn men's clothing all her life, "to deck herself out in as 'feminine' a manner as she could... Everyone rejoiced over this as though some great victory had been accomplished... Today we would be horrified at anyone who thought this kind of evangelism had a legitimate purpose."

The Daughters of Bilitis were used as political fodder in the 1959 mayoral race in San Francisco. Russell Wolden, challenging incumbent George Christopher, distributed information implying that Christopher was making the city safe for "sex deviants".  Wolden was responsible for materials that stated, "You parents of daughters — do not sit back complacently feeling that because you have no boys in your family everything is alright... To enlighten you as to the existence of a Lesbian organization composed of homosexual women, make yourself acquainted with the name Daughters of Bilitis."  There were only two copies of the subscription list of The Ladder, a deliberate attempt to discourage its getting into the hands of anyone who might use it against the subscribers.  DOB leaders moved the list from its headquarters to find later San Francisco police had searched the office after its removal.  Even the FBI was curious enough to attend meetings to report and confirm in 1959

102: Patty Rosborough  

Meet the comic that Judy Gold opened for!:

Comedian Patty Rosborough joins Judy & Hennessy at the Kill Me Now studio.

'Gay Dracula' - Patty's first NYC gig was an underground off-Broadway play where she fended-off vampires with her bare breasts.

'Gay 'Ol Time' - Who gets into comedy for money? Patty does!

'Gay-Dar' - Patty knew who was gay before they ever came out, Also, a call from Judy's partner Elysa.

'Gay Married' - Patty marries a gay man and has children with him.

Spilled Tea From DragCon | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

It’s our post-DragCon extravaganza, with behind-the-scenes gossip about your favorite “Drag Race” queens and Mama Ru herself. Plus, what did we think of Season 9’s Snatch Game? All that and more on this week’s Gay Weekly Roundtable with your hosts: Adam Salandra, Yael Tygiel and Blake McIver. RSS Feed: Gay Weekly Roundtable is a weekly panel discussion that’s breaking […]

The post Spilled Tea From DragCon | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

Big Little Lies Season Two And Drag Race Drama | Gay Weekly Roundtable | Gay Weekly Roundtable  

Gay men were obsessed with “Big Little Lies” and we’re going to figure out why. Also, will we be blessed with a second season of the HBO series? Plus, more “Drag Race” drama to dissect. And we’re breaking down the terrifying news that Chechnya has started homosexual concentration camps. All that and more on this […]

The post Big Little Lies Season Two And Drag Race Drama | Gay Weekly Roundtable | Gay Weekly Roundtable appeared first on AfterBuzz TV Network.

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