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).


Mark said...

I actually was in that march in the summer of 1977. I was heading out to dinner at One Potato on Hudson Street when a rally formed and we went shouting up Sixth Avenue. I believe we ended up at Columbus Circle, where Bella Abzug might have spoken to the assembled multitudes.

In the summer of '77 I was in the process of moving from my 2nd floor walk-up on East 6th Street to the penthouse on 12th Street I currently inhabit.

I believe we also endured a major blackout that summer. I watched the lights go out from a window table at the Lone Star cafe. I skipped out on the check!

I won't be held responsible for my tastes in restaurants. I was 22!

tornwordo said...

Considering I was 12, I was discovering wonderful (and sticky) new liquids issuing forth from my body.

I remember it fondly. (Wink)

XX said...

I remember the moment distinctly, manipulating my rattle limp-wristedly as my total Army-hottie Uncle Carl buckled me into the carseat, brushing accidentally against my babyhood and giving me an awe-inspiring gay infantboner.
Uncle Carl, my aunt's first husband of seven ("One of Seven", for the Star Trek oriented) had a huge Georgia State class ring and huge hands with hairy knuckles. Made an impression.

Thank God for all the trailblazing (now) daddies that permitted this horndog faggot to storm NYC as a green undergrad and enter into an eight-year nonpersecuted polygamous fuckfest of a queer relationship.

JMG said...

I spent the summer of '77 reveling in my just-graduated-from-high-schoolness. Most evenings and some afternoons were spent exploring the Parliament House balconies. I smoked pot for the first time and hated it. Still do. I had my first planned sex party in my little one-bedroom apartment in Winter Park, Florida. Rent:$180, which everyone agreed was outrageous.

Tony Adams said...

All of you are lieing about your age.

Anonymous said...

More hyperbole... Are you in front of the mirror most of the day?