Gay USA (1978) - full transcript

Documentary that shows several mass manifestations of the American gay liberation movement. Participants as well as critical spectators are being interviewed. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
-I think it's at least double
what it's been in the past,

and as we expected,
there's a new militancy

in the gay movement
and it's here today.

-To each his own, you know?

I ain't prejudice or
nothing like that,

but when they come
in the streets

and messing with
normal people, then

that's something different.

-I'm surprised to see so
many women in the parade.

After all, you can recognize
the men more or less.

But from looking
at the women, there

must be an awful lot
that we don't know about.

-I have two beautiful
children, both boys,

seven and nine years old.

If they grow up to
be gay, I'll love

them as much as I love them now.

-I think they're nuts.

-Well, we have the fight
for what's right on earth.

And we're here, we want to
help the homosexuals to live

the right way, the way Christ
tells, the way of the Bible.

We're sympathetic, we
understand they have a problem.

But we want them to
be cured, we don't

want them to go
on living in sin.

-Gay people are learning that
they are oppressed no matter

what their jobs are, what
their roles are in society.

That when there are laws
passed against gays,

they're passed against all gays.

-We represent the Human
Life Amendment group,

we're fighting abortion.

Life supported Anita Bryant,
so that's exactly how I feel.

I'm not for gay rights.

-As far as you can see, honey,
it's all the way back there.

We got it together this year.

No more gay county for
us, honey, no more.

-This act discriminates
the men certain jobs.

Just like heterosexual
who might molest a child,

he will be discriminated
for minding my children.

Gays rape children.

Gays are in the Porty Authority
picking up boys and girls

all the time.

-They got to do more
than just come out

when it's easy like
this on gay day.

This is a sign of gay power.

What we can do if
we all get together.

We still really do this,
we got to do it more often.

-I think it's disgusting.

If they want to
live that way fine,

but why push it down my throat?

-The only way sometimes
you can get certain rights

is by demonstrating,
and this is probably

the best way to demonstrate.

-I'm seventy years old
and when I was growing up,

I never saw this.

And thank God, I have
no children of this age

that I-- that I have that
would see a thing like this.

-The reason that we're
staying in the Church

is to protest it's
policies against gay people

the Archdiocese of
New York especially.

They've always been
instrumental in defeating

the gay rights act.

-We-- we respect man's
rights, but homosexuality is

condemned by Christ
in the Bible.

It's unnatural way of living.

And while God loves
the sinner, he

abhors the sin of homosexuality.

It is a sickness and we believe
there's a divine position also.

There's Christ, and
there's religion.

And if all young
people, all ages,

heterosexual and otherwise,
were taught what God wants

and the way we're
suppose to live.

But they're not getting
it in the schools today.

-(CHANTING) Gay rights now!

Gay rights now!

Gay rights now!

-You mind talking?

-No, I came just because it was
interesting, human interest.

I'm sympathetic to
the gay movement.

And that's all.


-Very interesting people around.

-Are you having a good time?


-Are you angry about what's
been happening to gay people?


Yeah, angry.

But not really vocal
about it I would say.

-You have an opportunity now.

Are you gay?


-Do you have any
curiosity about it?

-Yeah, naturally.

-You think most people do?

-I think most people do
in one way or another.

I have a lot of gay friends.

-Well, I think when any
group of people is oppressed,

all people are oppressed.

If any group loses its rights,
we all lose our rights.

Now as you can see from
my sign, I'm not gay

and none of my family is.

But yet, but yet it is a
group who has every right

to have their
opinion, their belief,

their private lives just
the way anyone else should.

And I feel very
strongly about it.

Also, I was aroused by
the disgusting campaign

that this woman in
Florida conducted.

She had all the-- the
ultra-right rabble

and the kooks in
the world there,

and it was a very backward
and reactionary thing.

Then of course, as so
many San Franciscans were,

I was very appalled by the
murder of the young man.

That's why I came.

I believe in human rights.

Every mother has a child.

That child, she does not
know whether that's child's

going to be a homosexual
or a heterosexual.

She shouldn't ever
disavow that child.

She should love it from the
moment she gives it birth

till the moment she
or the child dies.

And none of us, none
of us, can choose.

We grow up to a certain
stage and somebody,

somewhere in our genes has laid
down something that has decided

ahead of our birth what
we are doing to be.

But I would say just as God
decides whether you're going

to be a boy or a
girl, He decides

whether going to be a
homosexual or a heterosexual.

-We hope we get my
rights, that's all.

-Yeah I hope they give us cause
I won't go back in the closet.

You know it's like
you know suicide.

Really is.

-Feels like it kills you.

-Yes, it would kill me.

I don't think it will.

-We're getting
married and I don't

know if I should
get married now.


Today's changed
your life that much?

-It's just really
changed my life.

I don't if I should
get married now

because I don't think
I'll have my rights.

-And the reason that I
believe that whenever there's

an attack on any
group in our society,

we all must come to their aid.

And it's a question of human
rights, not gay rights.

And I feel that the environment
in our country today

is going a little backward.

There has been attacks, not only
on gays, but on women's rights,

on the abortion.

That new legislative bit
with the Supreme Court

where poor women are going
to be denied abortions where

rich women could
always get them.

-To support our gay friends
and all the people who we know

are gay, who we personally
share some space and living

space with and find no
different than ourselves

and are entitled to the same
rights that we are given.

-Are you lesbian?


-How would you
feel if your child

came out to be a boy or girl?

-A girl.

-How would you feel if
she was a lesbian too?

-That's OK.

Feels OK.

-How do you feel about
being here today with her?

-Oh, I feel really
good about it.

I like her being here.

It's nice energy and
she's really enjoying it.

-And I'm here
because I would like

to support civil
rights for everyone.

I think you know this is
something this country has

fought for for a long time, and
why let it go down the drain


-Why did you come here today?

-Well, we believe
in human rights.

-Are you a lesbian?


-Are you a lesbian?


-Why did you bring
your children?

-Well, I believe in
human rights, also.

-Do you understand what
gay rights is about?


-Are you having a
good time here today?


-Yeah, but even walking around
like you'll notice there's-- I

mean, that ratio of men
to women, it's really--

must be 20 to 1 or
20 to 3 or something,

cause it's just a
lot more men around.

And that's more like
bittersweet but it's OK.

-Where you from?

-Los Angeles, California.

-Are you gay?

-No, I'm not gay, I'm here
to see what gay people act

and how they act.

-What do you think
so far of the parade?

-I think the parade
is a success.

I think it's going to have a
great impact on the country.

But in the wrong direction.

-Why is that?

-Because to me, this means that
these people are going in the--

in the wrong direction,
for they're not--

they're not healthy in a sense.

-But I don't know, I don't
know how you mean that?

-Well, when your sex hormones,
they balance properly,

you're not a gay person.

When you're sex hormones
are balanced probably,

you will not find
this kind of growth.

-But what does that
have to do with

this civil right of gay people--

-This I admire.

--where they want to.

-They could do what they wish
but you have to understand,

that this is a-- this is
accelerating genetic process

that's taking place
across the country

and it's not a healthy process.

Freedom, yes, but to not to
be healthy is another thing.

-But if everybody isn't free
that means nobody is in a way

doesn't it?

-I agree with that
concept, it's fine.

Rona Barrett made it very
clear across the coast,

they have their
right to their day.

But if the country
goes this way,

it'll be a sad day
for the country.

-Well gay people don't want
the country to go this way,

they just want to be
themselves and-- and

have rights like everybody else.

-I agree with the
right aspect of it.

This has been said
by many people.

-And-- and, we're not saying
that everybody is gay.

-I'm not saying that either.

I'm here to observe
and I say this

is a bad trend for the country.

But you have your rights.

This is freedom of the
constitutional right.

This I agree with 100%.

-Oh, yeah, I like
this parade a lot.

There were a lot
of spaces in it,

and it didn't feel
all smashed together.

It was like you could pick
out different kinds of people

and there were all
different kinds of people;

teachers, and
nurses, and all kinds

of contingents that
made me real proud.

Yeah, they were
standing up saying, uh,

saying what I believe,
you know, which

is that you have to
come out of the closet.

And you have to stand up and
fight, because they're going

to kill you anyway, you
know, one way or the other.

And this way feels a lot
better than the other way,

where we're just
cowering away hiding

and you don't even know
who your friends are.

In this way, you know
your friends are,

you know who your enemies are.

But at least the friends
are right there, you know.

I like that.

-I feel wonderful
about this parade.

In all the years that
I've been in them

since the first
anniversary in New York,

this one has, has
that wonderful balance

between a certain seriousness,
but there's also fun to it,


People are having a good time.

-I'm here from Florida,
and I want to find out

how these California
people enjoy orange juice.

And of course-- hello?

No sound.

The sign says it, huh?

-Are you very moved
by being here?

-I am.

I was really crying before.

I just got really, I
got really turned on

by seeing how many
people, you know,

were brave and weren't cowed
by the tremendous amount

of repressive things that
are coming down in the media,

and the kind of headlines and
things that are making people

feel uptight.

-I'll tell you one thing, if
there is a balance here today,

you can rest assured that the
media will really jump on it

and seize on it,
cause it's sensational

and that's what people
will want to see.

It'll be on channel
2 and channel

5 and channel 7 and channel 11.

-I can probably speak
for all the kids

in the United States
and my brother even.

We all believe in
equal rights for kids.

-All right.

-I think that should
be made into a law too.



-I live up in the country.

But after I was seeing
the headlines up there

in the newspaper, there was
no way I could stay up there,

I had to come down.

It really scared me.

I have talked to my mother.

I ask her how she would
have voted in Miami,

she said she didn't know.

She didn't like my little
sister sitting on my lap.

Makes me really angry.

I was thinking of stealing
her address book with all

my relatives and their
friends names is it

and sending them cards--
you know a queer, too.

You know, next time
you hear a queer joke.

I mean they could prevent
me from seeing my brothers

and sisters, and they've
tried to in the past.

-I'm out of the
closet everywhere.

Work, home, everywhere.

And it's the finest feeling
I've ever had in my life.

-Marching for gay rights,
I feel like there's

a strong connection between
third world oppression

and gay oppression, poor
people in this country.

I think we're all
feeling the same thing.

-We're just strictly observers.

-Are you going to march in it?

-No, I'm not.


-Monitoring's keeping
people starting, marching,

we're watching the sides.

-Yes, making everything funnel
right in to Market Street.

-Just watching.

-Well I'm-- I'm standing
up for my rights.

-I think it's beautiful.

It's absolutely marvelous.

We have straight people
here, we have children here,

we have families here, and
we have a marvelous show

of strength and unity
from the gay community.

-What are you doing in
the middle of the summer,

though, in San Francisco?

-I think there's no
time like the present

to march for human rights.

-Santa Clause for human rights?

Santa Clause and children
for children's rights.

And I think that the
movement in the country

to repress the
sexuality of children

and I think that that
should be fought against.

-For this Christmas,
what would you

wish for the children
of the world?

-Tolerance, and all that stuff.

-Thanks a lot, Santa Clause.

-You're welcome,
Merry Christmas.

-So I'm going to be
the gay consciousness

for everyone in San
Francisco today.

Going to be the perfect fool.

The Parsifal.

The risen prince,
so that everyone

can walk in freedom
when the day is past.

-Now there's the
women's contingent

and the motorcycles
are going to lead off

the front of the
women's contingent.

There are at least
two bike clubs.

The Dykes on Bikes from the
East Bay and from the city

are both here and we're going
to be leading off the parade.


-I grew up in small town
in northwest Canada.

And because of this
location it was

impossible to be
gay and be happy.

So I got married
and had a family.

And was moderately happy.

Nothing to get excited about
for 15 and a half years.

-Did you have gay friends?

-I did, but I didn't know it.

-Any lovers?

-No, not until after I came out.

And that was in 75.

-What caused you to come out?

-I met a lady and
talked with her

and was able for the
first time in my life

to express my feelings
without being laughed at

or given dirty looks.

And I just--

-Was this in Kansas still?

-No this was down in Alabama
for Army Reserve training.

-Oh, wow.

-And I also have a
brother that is gay.

And this helped a lot because
I could talk with him.

And I finally just
decided, I can't

go on being miserable
all my life so I left.

-What was it that made
you most miserable?

-I think the lack
of any total love.

I loved my husband, but I
wasn't in love with him.

And I don't think I was ever
in love until I met this one.

-When did you meet Charlotte?

-In 1975, the same
year I came out.

Just a few months later.

And we've been
together ever since.

-Far out.

How'd you meet?

-At a bar in Wichita.

-You met in Wichita?


I left the town I was raised
in and left my husband

and moved to Wichita.

-What was it like
to gay in Wichita?

-More freedom than
most places in Kansas,

but still very suppressed.

-It doesn't sound like much.

-No, it wasn't much.

And if your employer
found out you were gay,

you lost your job.

-Did you lose yours
for being gay?

-Yes, I lost several
jobs for being gay.

She's lost jobs.

-Let me repeat that question.

Did you ever lose your
job for being gay?

-Yes I did several of them.

If they didn't actually come
right out and say your gay

and we don't want you, they
would ask me if I was gay

and I would say yes and
then they would just

make the work so
totally miserable

that I would have to quit.

-That's awful.

-It was.

And we decided that we
had to have more freedom

to be ourselves and we
came to San Francisco.

-You two came together
to San Francisco?

-Sold everything
we owned, come out

here with $18 in our
pocket and two suitcases.

-That takes a lot of courage.

-Yeah, it did.

-Are you gay?


-Um, depends on what
you mean by gay.

-What's happening?

Are you gay?


-I don't know.

I don't think I can
classify myself.

-Well, that's really
none of your business.

-Everyone is homosexual,
I'm heterosexual.

in the same body.

Everyone is male and
female in the same body.

-Am I gay?

What do you mean
by the word gay?

-It's what's in your head.

-Are you gay?

-Yes, I am.

-Are you gay?


-Are you gay?


-Are you gay?

-Yes, I am.



-Are you gay?


-Are you gay?

Having a good time?

Are you gay?


-Having a good time?

-Right on.

You bet.

-Are you gay?

-Why not?

-Are you gay?


-Are you gay?

Are you gay?

-I definitely am gay, yeah.

-You sure?

-I'm positive, I'm positive.

-Yes, I am.


-Oh, yes.

-Of course.

-I consider myself
a bisexual person.

-I'm sexually turned
on to men and women.

And also that, I
think I'm politically

committed to men and women.

-Yes, I am.


-Yes, forever.

-Well, I'm a very
persuasion type

and I don't think that
popular myths should

be limited to one
particular viewpoint.



-Yeah, yeah.



-Are you sure?


-I am.



I could be, but I haven't
had any experience.

-No, I can't really restrict
myself to just being gay.

I'm not straight either.

And I'm not bi really.

I consider myself pansexual.

-Oh, yes I am.

Today I'm more than gay.

Today I'm jubilant.


-Yes, I've been homosexual as
far back as I can remember,

which is a long way back
because I'm almost 60.

-Have you been in San
Francisco for long?

-Yes I've been in San
Francisco since World War II.

-Did anything in particular
draw you out here to this city?

-Well San Francisco's
always been an open city

that every one came to,
that's the last frontier.

And when I came out
here with the Army,

I decided this is
where I belong.

And I've never regretted that.

It's a good place
for a gay person

and it's a good
place for everybody.

-What do you think about what's
happening right now behind us?

-I think this is wonderful.

I think this is the kind of show
of individualism and of people

power that we saw in the
other minority movements

back in the '50s and '60s.

And it's time now
for gay people.

-How does this parade compare
with previous parades?

-Well the parades have
changed over the years

as gay consciousness
has changed.

The parades came about first
as an anniversary celebration

or an anniversary
statement after

the Stonewall demonstrations in
New York, in Greenwich Village,

in 1969.

At that time the police had
been harassing various bars,

as they always have harassed
gay bars over the years.

And suddenly there
was fighting back

that occurred by a
group of people who

were at the bar in
Greenwich Village.

The people who fought
back were not organized,

they were not leaders
of the gay community,

they were just bar folks.

And many of them representing
the poorer elements of New

York's gay life-- drag queens,
street kids, the bar people.

And because they fought back
and because other people

joined them, a
movement was forged.

A movement that
said we're not going

to put up with the
kind of bullshit

that we've been subjected
to over so many years.

And at that time,
it became nationally

important to
recognize that event

by some kind of annual parade.

The first parades were
aimed at gay liberation.

They were aimed at
the out of the closet

into the street idea.

And many people
joined in those just

on a kind of spontaneous
personal basis.

Households of people,
individuals, couples, people

were involved in coming out.

And so being in the
parade was a coming

out event for a lot of people.

There were also organizations.

Some of the older
gay organizations

marched in the parades.

-Other marches?


The first-- first march
that I remember ever doing

was Mattachine Society.

There were only four
women at that time.

-Four women, wow.

-And the stipulations
for the march

were that we must
not appear gay.

We must the men must
wear business suits

and the women must
wear dresses and shoes.

-What was the spectator's
reaction to that march?

-Was a mixture of
hostility or indifference.

-As the years went
on, they became

more celebrations, carnivals.

So by 1972 or 1973,
political statements

began to be less
evident and there

began to be more of a sense
of, we're already out.

We're not going to be invisible,
we're not going to be silent,

and we're going to
celebrate by being out.


-We're downtown just
on a Sunday afternoon

and it's just a parade
for the children

to look at more than anything,
to be quite honest with you.

-May I ask you a really
personal question?

If one of your children
came to you some day

at the age of 15 or 16
and said, "Mom, I'm gay."

What would you say to them?

-If you want me to
answer you seriously

that's a very, very
difficult question to answer.

It's as difficult as if one of
my girls came to me and said,

you know, Mom I'm pregnant
when she'll be 15 or 16.

I really don't know
what I would say.

-How do you feel
about gay people?

Are you--

-They're people.

They're humans, just like I am.

-Do you know any gay people
are they friends of yours?

-Yeah we stayed, we stayed
with a guy last night,

we just got in town two
days ago and we just got in

and he offered us
a place to stay.

Took us out to breakfast.

It was great.

-Was he cool?

-Yeah he didn't try to force
himself on us, you know.

That's his thing, beautiful.

I've been in the penitentiary,
see, I know what it's about.

Sometimes it's forced on you,
but most the time it isn't.

People are people.

-Where you from?

-I'm from Denver,
Colorado originally.

-How are things there as far
as gay people, do you know?

-Well, they're more
hypocritical there.

They get mugged all the time,
which isn't right, you know.

-I saw a guy from work.

I work with him
every day and now I

know why he tickles
me all the time.

Cause he's gay too.

I'm really glad.


-You've never been to bed
with man, either of you?


-Where you been, have you
been living in the city

all this time?


-Don't you ever get
approached by men?

-Sure, sure.

-What, what do you tell them?

-Well, you know, I ain't
ready for that yet.

-27 years and you're
not ready yet?

-No, I'm not ready for that yet.

But I ain't got
nothing against it.


-It's gotten rid of that hassle.

You know.

-What hassle is that?

-Of hiding it from your
parents, from your family,

from your friends.

This sort of thing.

-I think we should all began
by, OK I'm gay, so what?

You know.

-And have you been
able to do that?

For your life?

-Yeah, for the most part.

I mean slip once and a
while but them we all do.


-(CHANING) We are your children!

We are your children!

-Makes me angry
to see gay people

not coming together and hiding.

Fighting amongst
themselves whenever

they're in an organized group.

-Do you think that's
happening today?

-Well, no.

I think what's been
happening recently

is probably going to
cause a lot of solidarity

with the gay people.

And it's going to help
a lot of straight people

to realize that we're
not all in the closets,

and that we are here.

We're a viable part
of the community

and we're all aspects
of the community.

We can't just sit
back and expect

other people to accept us.

We've got to let it be
known that we're here.

And we're not going to change.

-How long have you been out?

-A couple of years now.

At age 33, I finally, I ran
into an old friend of mine

and spent some time with her
and I couldn't understand what

these strange new feelings were.

And I suddenly
said, "Oh my God, I

think I'm sexually
attracted to this woman."

Then I said how do
I feel about that.

I thought about it for
a while and I said,

I think i feel
terrific about that,

I think I'll give it a try.

And I was scared to death
but being the kind of lady

she was it was a marvelous
experience for me

and it opened up a whole
new, a whole new life.

Actually it opened up life to me
because I had no idea that this

existed in one's
life experiences.

I meant the
lovingly, the caring.

I got in touch with my-- for
the first time in my life,

I got in touch, with a
band right behind me.

I got in touch
with my femininity

that I really was
not aware that I had.

I'd been pretty much
androgynous most of my life.

I've been married
for four years,

I had an affair for four years.


-Had you had any
relationships with women

before you were married?

-I had none whatsoever.

I'd never entertain
the idea of having

a relationship with women.

I thought it was
terrific for other people

but I never thought
it applied to me.

And when I ran into this old
friend from eight years ago

and this happened, I
said my God, you know.

I've been missing what happened.

But I think being from the
south in a small community,

I didn't even know
what homosexuality was,

so I had absolutely no
validation for any feelings

that I might have had
coming up, like crushes

on the gym teacher and
that kind of thing.

I had no idea.

-Did your family
know you're gay?

-I'd say no.

I've never talked
to them about it.

They think I'm
strange and different,

but they don't, I
don't think they've

put homosexual or lesbian
or gay person on me yet.

-This parade was
like a reaction,

but this parade is bigger
than any one reaction.

So many people saying
thank heavens Florida

happened so that
we get together.

This parade's bigger than that.

You know I think
the sum is really

bigger than all of its parts.

And that's something no
one could have predicted.

The feeling that
I'm feeling today,

it's just a really
incredibly powerful.

And that's something new for me.

I didn't feel this way
in the peace marches,

and maybe because they
weren't openly gay.

-Because I wanted
to see for myself

the city of San Francisco
show our nation and the world

that we're not quite
as ignorant and bigoted

as they are in other parts.

We both agreed that we have
never seen such a large crowd

and felt such good vibes.

-I think I just
like it, I enjoy it.

And I think the
gays should be given

the freedom for their own.

-Where are you from?


-From the Philippines?

-Yeah, but I think I'm for them.



-Thank you.


-A gay man 50 years
old, spent 30 days

in jail one time for no
other reason than I was gay.

To see this day, I want to cry.

It's beautiful.

It's fantastic to
see our kids free.

It's beautiful.


-Thank God they're out,
they won't need shrinks.


-A separation of church
and state is not a new idea

but a lot of people
would like to forget it.

Big churches, maybe
not the members,

but the churches for sure have
always back pretty repressive

ideas-- war, burning
witches, having

the Crusades, the
Spanish Inquisition.

-The Bible makes it quite clear
that sex of any and all kinds

aside for the specific
purpose of procreation

is amoral, decadent,
and degrading

And so morally there is
no difference whatsoever

between two guys having
sex or two women having

sex and straight sex using any
kind of birth control at all.

In short, fun sex is
degrading and decadent,

weakening and childish
and unproductive.

-Well you can use the Bible
to defend any position,

if you just take one little
portion of it or one excerpt.

-And the Bible says the
wages of sin are death.

A man was not intended
to enjoy his senses.

-For Christianity, again this
is-- it's hard to say this,

it probably offends people,
but Christianity very often

is against people,
it's against pleasure.

And I don't think that
this is necessarily

what the teachers intended.

And even if it was, not
necessarily my teachers.

-God love homosexuals just
like he loves everyone else.

He just wants them to turn
to him and stop the sin.

-This country has a constitution
which is the primary law.

Not the Bible, not the
Koran, not somebody's

idea of what's good
and what's bad.

-I feel like many
of these people,

if they had a good preacher,
if they had somebody tell them

about Jesus the way
that it would help them,

I feel like it wouldn't
be as hard as it is.

-It's right there
in the constitution.

Freedom of religion.

And you can't have
freedom of religion

if you have religion in the law.

Just impossible.

-It's more or less this time
about religion and how it's

being used to hurt
people rather than

for what it's really supposed
to be intended about.

At least, the teachers
that most of us

respect, Christ
and all the others,

keeping religion
out of the laws.

And I mean the law here
is the Constitution.

It's not The Bible, or the
Koran or anything else,

it's the Constitution.

Well we at least have the
right to our own bedroom.

And we have the right to not be
forced to accept someone else's

religious ideas on
our personal lives.

I mean, I guess religion
gets into things

like murder and stuff like that.

We kinda all agree
we don't want that.

But there's certainly
differences here.

And religion has no
place in Congress

or in city government
or anything like that.

-So you're saying you want a
separation of church and state?



We've been promised
that a long time now.

And I hope we finally get it.

I think maybe what's
happening is coming to a head.

For a long time,
you didn't even have

the right not to have children.

I mean there were laws in a lot
of states about contraception.

That wasn't even
your right because

of certain powerful
churches that

decided that it's
evil in their eyes

that they have to prevent
everyone else from doing it.

-But sometimes doesn't preaching
against a certain group

of people incite
violence against them?

-Many people have
a violent nature,

as in this instance of
killing this one man

the other day are
very, very wrong.

More wrong than the sin of the
other person whatever that was.

-A week ago, I was walking down
the street and this these three

black kids passed me and one
of them bumped me in the arm

and called me a faggot.

You know.

And with that sort of
hostility running rampant.

-What was your reaction
to that, that incident?

-I was really upset about it.

I was, I felt hurt.

But I was also angry.

-Last week I got on a bus
one day with a friend of mine

and I went to sit
down and there were

about four black teenage
youths in the back of the bus.

And they started yelling
faggot and harassing us,

and I just kind
of froze because I

was really torn
between fear and anger.

-I experienced it right at
Market and Castor Street, which

is suppose to be the center of
the gay community in a sense.

And If it can happen
there, it certainly

will happen anywhere
else in this world.

And days like this,
we feel very united

and we feel safe and secure.

And yet I feel that
there is a threat.

-I understood you
to say that sometime

earlier that you were married?

That correct?

-Yes, I was married
for five years.

I have two daughters.

They live in-- they
know that I'm gay

and they're very accepting
of that situation.

And I hope that they remain so.

-I'm on the Jean Gillian
defense committee

and we're trying to familiarize
people with the case.

And we've been selling food to
raise money for her legal fees.

-Tell us a little bit
about Jean Gillian's case.

-Jean Gillian is a lesbian
mother from Oakland,

and her husband has recently
taken her children away.

She's had a trial and an
appeal has gone in already,

and the judge has dismissed both
summarily without reading it

and has put gag orders
on the whole case.

So the appeal's now going
to the supreme court.

We're trying to help her
raise $12,000 for a defense.

-How much money have you
raised today do you know?

-Over $1,000.

-We're representing all
the women that can't afford

to be here, because they
feel that there are millions

of lesbian women that
are really locked at home

in dependent relationships
with men, you know,

because they depend
on them for money.

And so they can't come out, you
know, to a parade like this.

-Do you think that there are
a lot of lesbian mother's who

are afraid to come out
because their children

will be taken away from them?


I mean, I think the whole
save our children campaign

has been a real attack
on lesbian women

and on lesbian mothers,
you know, a real attempt

to push up back into the
home and force us to choose

between being lesbian and
having children at all.

-How do you feel
about the word dyke?

-Dyke, I don't like it.

Walking down the street
and I heard some women even

say, hey, yeah, right
on beautiful dykes.

I don't like the word.

I won't respond to it.

I'm a woman.

-What do you think
about the word dyke?

-Dyke, I like dyke.

I'm a dyke.

And um--

-You think people have
used that word negatively.

-I don't.

Do you?

-No, I don't, I like it.

-Having a good time?

-Oh yeah.

-Good parade?


-Good parade?

-A real good parade.

-Very high.

Very high.

-Are you gay?

-No, but I'm all
for their right.

-Straight for the rights.

-You having a good time?


-Got you another beer?

-Nothing like it.

-You from San Francisco?

-Oh, yes, sir.

-Are you gay?


-Having a good time?

-Yes, sir.

-How long you lived out here?

-Oh, 50 years.

-Things changed a
lot in that time?

-Oh, boy and how.

-For the better?

-For the better, for the better.

-Far out.

-What do you think
of the parade today?

-It's wild.

No where else in
San Francisco, could

I say that this
should take place.

It's just fantastic.

-And I glad everyone here, and I
wish you know a lot more people

to come and just see the great
feeling that is going around.

-How did the two
you get together?

-Well first time was
at the Castro theater.

We were watching a movie
and we saw each other

and just, you know.

Then second time,
we just started

sitting together so
it just worked out.

-If I love someone, I don't want
to say I love you but I cannot

touch you, because, you know,
feeling is also very important.

We are very
sensitive, all of us.

-What brought you out here?

-Uh, friction between family
life in Kansas and just more

relaxed out here.

-Did you find problems
with being gay there?

-We can't, we can't show
any feelings at all,

or they just sort
of crucify you.

They just, they just
don't like that out there.

-I believe that people should
be able to relate to people

and communicate with
people and not draw lines,

because one you happen
to be male or female.

Because we are here
for life, liberty

the pursuit of happiness.

And that's I want.

-Do you think you're going to
stay around in San Francisco?

-Yeah, we live in San Francisco.

Hopefully for quite a while.


-Now there's you story.

OK, somebody fell in love with
me when I was 18, a woman did.

But I didn't actually come
out till I was 21, almost 22.

-Well I guess because I
became intensely interested,

I was very curious about
having sex with women.

-And that yet back
east especially women

are into the male
female dichotomy

and so that was even harder
because I knew what I wanted

but it was mostly
in west coast terms

but I was still stuck on
the east coast at that time.

-At first I was really
curious and excited

then I got very freaked out.

And I was living in Los
Angeles, at the time,

I didn't know anybody at all.

I mean, I mean, I didn't
know anybody that was gay.

And so I was very freaked
out about me being gay,

like I just could not see
a future in it at all.

-That came out for woman
and that blew sky high

so I had to find my own
reasons for being here

and California means a
lot to me as a person.

-Then I don't know.

I was also very curious as
well as being very sympathetic,

so one time I ask her,
Ann tell me what's

it like to make
love with a woman.

And she said well,
you know I can't, I

can't tell you what that's like.

You, you can only find that out.

I went ahhh!

-This is three lovers later,
and now my lover due to economic

whatever is working in
Bakersfield for the summer.

-Couple of weeks later this
friend of mine and her lover

ask me if I wanted
to sleep with them.

And I was married at
the time to a man.

-Really difficult because
they're into roles, and that

was some of my hangups is
that I'm not into roles,

and being gay for me is a whole
political power type situation.

-I don't really know how to
talk about what it's like, I

guess it's like to love, I mean.

The woman that I'm
involved with right now,

I guess I don't know
why I love her but I do.


-I came because, um,
I'm proud of being gay

and I wanted to let
people know that.

And I thought the
more of us-- and I

knew also it was going
to be an incredible high,

I mean there's no way that you
can see this many gay people

together ever any
other time of the year,

and it's such a free thing.

Cause, you know,
usually you walk around,

you can gay but you know most
people don't know you are

and if they know
you are, you assume

that they hate you for it.

And here you can walk around
and people love you for it,

you know, and you
can love them for it.

Well the straights over
here are for gay rights

and a lot of them are
our friends in someways

you know I mean like,
they're not afraid.

In some ways of
course, they don't

have to be as afraid
as gay people do

because they aren't
going to get it.

I'm digging the fact that this
is the first time ever I've

been with this many men,
and I have not been afraid,

and I've not been hassled.

And to be able to be out in the
streets with this many people

and not be afraid of them
physically or mentally,

you know, is just-- it's
never happening to me

before in my life except
maybe at the lesbian commerce

but that was with women right?

And this is like being
in the real world,

the whole real world, and
not having to be separate

and being able to be yourself.

You can't beat it.

-For the straight folks
who don't mind gays

but wish they
weren't blatant, you

know some people
got a lot of nerve.

Sometimes I don't believe
the things I see and hear.

Have you met the woman who was
shocked by two women kissing

and in the same breath tells
you that she's pregnant?

But gays shouldn't be blatant.

Or the straight couples
sits next to you in a movie

and you can't hear the dialogue
because of the sound effects,

but gays shouldn't be blatant.

And the woman in your office
spends your whole lunch hour

talking about her
new bikini drawers

and how much her husband
likes them, but gays

shouldn't be blatant.

Or the hip chick in your
class babbling a mile a minute

while you're trying
to get stalled

in the john about
the camping trip

she took with her
musician boyfriend.

But gays shouldn't be blatant.

You go in a public
bathroom and all

over the walls there's John
loves Mary, Janice digs

Richard, Pepe loves
Delores, et cetera,

but gays shouldn't be blatant.

Or you go to an amusement
park and there's

a tunnel of love and
pictures of straights painted

on the front and grinning
couples coming in and out,

but gays shouldn't be blatant.

The fact is blatant

are all over the
place-- supermarkets,

movies, at work, in church, in
books, on television every day

and night, every place,
even in gay bars.

And they want gay men and women
to go hide in the closets.

So you straight folks, I say,
sure, I'll go, if you go too.

But I'm polite, so after you.

-Well, right now I'm employed
as a nursery school teacher

for the Cross Cultural Family
Center here in San Francisco.

And I work with two,
three, and four year

old children as a teacher.

-And they have for as
long I've been out.

And maybe for as long as
I'm aware of being gay,

that was a question
with my desired

ballet training as a kid.

My mother's best
friend said that I'd

be a silly little faggot, so
I didn't get ballet training.

I would have want to,
I'm sorry I didn't now,

it would have been
nice preparation.

-Oh I just, I just
enjoy it so much.

I just love being
with little children

and I love sharing my
love with little children.

Watching them run
and jump and grow.

It's been a shear
joy, just a joy.

-I'm from San Diego, and
with the exception of friends

I've made since I've been
here, most of my friends

here are San Diego gay men.

And we moved pretty
well on for that reason

because it wasn't
possible there.

We didn't give as possible
to be comfortably gay,

be where we are and
be gay and stay there.

So we split.

This is the place
to be to do that.

-Living in San
Francisco has been,

has been a real
saving grace for that.

I found problems with it
as a junior high school

teacher in Rochester, New York.

That's one of the reasons
that led me to come out here.

I used to teach junior
high school for five years,

I was a junior high school art
teacher in upstate New York.

Was in the closet, was feeling
very dissatisfied with myself.

And then I came out to
visit San Francisco,

and saw everyone loving everyone
else and saw so much openness

and I just knew
I had to be here.

-I guess it's cause I'm gay,
I haven't ever been straight,

so I don't know
how I would relate

to this if I were straight.

-Because I have
beautiful relationships

with their parents as well.

I, for the first
time in my life,

I can live as an open gay person
and can totally be myself.

I could be as flashy
as I want and I

could be as
conservative as I want.

-Well, here's the story.

When I was four years old, I
used to put blocks in my socks

because I always wanted
to wear high heels.

And I used to do it very
secretive, you know.

Well I came to San
Francisco and I

found out that it was really OK.

And I wear my high
heels on days like today

because I've always wanted
to wear high heels, you know.

I think it's really, it's OK.

It's perfectly all right
to wear high heels.

I get a little
flack now and again

but I can handle it I hope.

-My feeling is about drags,
it's degrading to women.

And I don't pretend to
understand what motivates

the men to do that but I know
that the whole society mocks

women at the same time that
it pushes them into that role.

And I think that there are women
still all over the country, all

over the world,
suffering from trying

to being that stereotype.

And being taught continually
that that's what they're to be.

And then to see men just getting
off on it knowing that they're

not stuck with the
oppression that goes with it.

That they're just
having a good time.

They can take off their
dress and their makeup

and just be free of that role.

So really to me, it's a
very, very heavy issue.

-Oh I love it.

I made a decision
a long time ago not

to do anything I
didn't feel good about.

To have a good
time, to have fun.

I mean it's the only
thing worth doing.

-Really, I haven't
taken any time

to deal with drag
queens or men who

are into drags, because
I find it offensive.

-Drag is just the tool that
you use to express who you are,

and in terms of clothes.

Some people wear leather,
some people wear feathers,

some people wear sequins,
some people wear Levi's.

It's all drag.

It's all the tools to tell
other people who you are.

-I like outrageousness.

You know like I like punk
rock and I like crazy things.

But I'm a punk rock freak.

But drag is somewhat
offensive to me.

-And I think that when
you're having a good time,

people relate to that goodness,
even if it's not their style.

-When I see men dressed up,
um, as Anita Bryant look likes

and, which is what they're
doing most of the time,

in a very offensive
way, cause there's

no description for
womanhood in my mind.

-It runs from all sorts.

I mean people love
it, people hate it.

The same way that people love
or hate you no matter what.

But it's just the
focusing device, you know?

It's like a magnifying glass
that just makes it clear,

it makes it bigger in your eyes.

And I still relate to people
hopefully as I would relate

to them outside of this
dress and this feathers

and these makeup.

-Into it is a giggle.

I talked to a guy at this
thing we went to last Sunday

and it's just a giggle.

-Yeah, because it's
fun there's also

a political sentiment behind it.

I mean I feel a
victim of sexism.

And I think it to understand
what I am victimized about,

I have to understand
what sex is all about,

both as a homosexual--
as relating to women,

sex in terms of the clothes
that they wear and stuff,

this helps me feel
androgynous or hermaphrodite.

I mean it makes me feel
like a whole person

instead of just half a person.

Just like I'm part of the whole
human race instead of just half

of it.

-In to radical a
societies and oppressive

societies and fashion societies.

People are taught
to dress a like.

People are forced to
dress alike, to act alike,

to perform a life as opposed
to follow their inner needs,

inner inter wants,
their own promotion.

And it's easier.

It's easier to control people
when you don't relate to them

on an individual
level, or you're

relating to them as an image.

I'm an individual human being
and I want to express that.

I want to express the
truth inside of me.

I mean everybody is different.

They need to express that
differentness then people don't

automatically fall into line
and start automatically taking

orders and automatically not
question what superiors quote

unquote are telling them to do.

And when everybody
looks alike, then you're

just assuming that everybody
is exactly like you,

so you can take all these
liberties with them,

as opposed to seeing that
people are into different trips.

When you look at mass
demonstrations in totalitarian

societies, I mean, where you
see these, as many people

as there are here
today, you don't

get a sense of the individual,
you don't get a sense

that these are
real people there,

you only I mean
see herds of sheep.

I mean the basis of
racism and sexism and ages

and seeing people
at not individuals,

but seeing them as
part of the group.

Seeing them as stereotypes,
you know, a faggot

or a nigger or a dirty old man.

You begin not to think
of people as individuals.

People dress alike,
people talk like, people

raise their hands at same time.

When people are just
being themselves,

you begin to see that there
is this whole diversity.

Seeing all these people
today just gives one

a sense of confidence
that that kind of thing

could never happen
again because there's

this whole spectrum
of people around.

And certainly some of us are not
going to let that happen again.

-I notice a lot of people
wearing pink triangles today.

-The pink triangle has come
into use in recent years

as an identification with
the gay individuals, who

were imprisoned in Nazi
Germany, and were forced

to wear a pink triangle
signifying their homosexuality.

The sad fact of gay
history during that time

is that very few people,
either then or even now,

realize how many or hundreds
of thousands of gay individuals

were rounded up, thrown
into concentration camps,

and killed, executed
summarily or worked to death.

The homosexual
population in Germany

was one of the first populations
that was subjected to genocide.

In fact some of the
methods of extermination

that were used
later had first been

try it out on gay individuals.

Gay people must learn
their own history.

Many people wear
the pink triangle

and probably have
little idea how

horrible the history
of that triangle is.


-(CHANTING) Gay rights now!

Gay rights now!

Gay rights now!

-If you could invite one
gay person from any period

of history, who would you
like to see here today?

-Well I, I wouldn't want to
say anyone one person I'd like.

I mean, I can think of lots
and lots of people that like,

I wish were here.

I wish.

-Well I think I would like
to see Alexander the Great,

after reading the
"Persian Boy," I

think it would be a
beautiful history lesson

to see that men
strutting down the street

with the sunlight
glinting off of his armor.

-I wish all Amazons were here
that raise so much ruckus.

-Herman Melville.

-I'd like to have
Jesus Christ, I'm

pretty convinced he was gay.

I mean, any man
that has no women

and you know, who can say,
we know he had no women,

it says that in the Bible.

It never mentioned no men so
I think that probably was gay.

-Well, I think he'd
enjoy the parade.

-I think he would
definitely enjoy the parade.

He's see that a lot of people
dress like him for sure.

-I wish Sappho was here
and all, all her friends.

-I think James
Baldwin, if he's gay.

-I wish Diana the
Huntress was here.

-Probably Buster Crab you know.

Nowadays he could
still be in his movies.

Back then they kicked him
out of his movie contract

for being gay.

-Bessie Smith.

-Well I think, I
think Andre Gide would

be the man I was thinking about
today as I was going along.

When I was a student, Andre
Gide, the great French man

of letters, was an
inspiration and model

because he was open
about his gayness

although it was a
struggle for him.

And he would have liked
taking to the streets.

He was a man of the streets
as well as a man of letters.

-The spectacle of today with all
of the thousands and thousands

and thousands of people on
the streets in San Francisco

and in other major
cities, is that's it's

a statement to
everyone in the world

that there are gay people, that
there is a gay life, that there

is a gay community
for the young person

somewhere feeling
very much alone.

This kind of statement does
away with that terrible sense

of isolation and loneliness.

We used to have an expression
that so and so was not

for street wear, meaning
you couldn't walk down

the street with
them without being

somewhat identified
as a gay person.

And if you were trying
to keep a cover,

if you were trying to maintain
a job or live in a community

where you didn't want
people to know you were gay.

There were certain people
you couldn't associated with.

But those people,
we always knew,

were serving us a purpose.

They gave us a screen
behind which we could hide.

And therefore, it's very
important in today's gay parade

that there be individuals who
are blatant, who are obvious,

who are outrageous.

Because they've
always been there.

The drag queens,
the hair fairies,

the people who by their
behavior said, I'm so gay,

I can't cover it up.

And then the rest of us
could stand on the sidelines

and let the rest
of the world think

that that's what a gay
person looked like.

Today, we join them
and hold hands.