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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1987)
Queers and tears
our days in October will remain the high
point of my life. Imagine, if you will,
being in a city and knowing that almost every
one you saw in the crowded streets, subways,
shops, restaurants, museums — that people
everywhere — were either gay or lesbian.
Imagine strangers stopping in the streets and
actually talking to each other. Imagine same-
sex couples walking hand in hand or with their
arms about each other — being publicly af
fectionate with each other — everywhere you
happened to be.
And then imagine 800,(XX) people gathered
in one place rooting for your side. 1 wept with
joy. I would even venture to say that I had what
some people might call a religious experience. I
had been validated as a human being.
Those four days were immeasurably enhanced
by the hospitality o f Michael Young and Chris
Venable, whom I had not met before I arrived
on their d(X)rstep, luggage in hand, on Friday
evening. Michael and Chris live in a small
apartment near DuPont Circle.
Michael grew up in a suburb of D .C .; Chris
emigrated East from Idaho about ten years ago.
Michael and Chris have been lovers for seven
years. They are painters and just last summer
both completed courses of study in art.
D.C. is a wonderful place, especially if,
when experiencing it for the first time, one is
lucky enough to have a homegrown artist for a
guide. There is art everywhere: buildings dating
back almost two hundred years, fountains and
statues on almost ever street comer, museums,
historical buildings, art galleries. I kept my new
friends busy answering my unceasing ques
tions. Washington, D C. became a real place
for me and thanks to Michael and Chris it will
remain a loving place.
Michael and Chris are gay artists who follow
in a tradition as old as time which proclaims and
Senior member of the JO staff (in more ways
than one). Jay’s political activism began with
opposition to fellow Arizonan Barry Goldwater
in 1964. Homophobes and hypocrites are
slap o f dismissal to the gay/lesbian civil rights
movement. The vote on the Helms amendment
could not have been more perfectly timed.
On October 11, more than 800,000 people
had assembled in the Capitol Mall to demand
equal protections under the Constitution of the
On October 13, more than 600 people had
been arrested at the Supreme Court tor protest
ing religiously inspired, institutionalized
The 94 senators, including our so-called
“ liberal friends,” did not just turn their backs.
They shouted, loud and clear, “ You make us
What makes me sick, however, is the
knowledge that any person — gay or straight—
would financially support such ignorance and
Feeding the mouth that
loser to home, the Oregon Republican
Party appears to be firmly in the clutches
o f a woodpile offspring of North Carolina’s
cretinous senior senator. News that Gov. Neil
Goldschmidt was about to sign his promised
executive order elicited a barrage of mental-
midget rhetoric from the mouth o f T.J. Bailey,
ast month, in acynical mood, I questioned
Chairman of the Republican Party of Oregon.
whether the power structure in Washing
T.J. Bailey speaks for the Oregon Republican
ton, D .C ., could ignore hundreds of thousands
Party and that means he speaks for gay and
o f lesbians and gays invading their turf for the
lesbian members of the Republican Party. For
march on Washington for Lesbian and Gay
more than six months Bailey has been using his
Rights. Well, my cynicism was pale, indeed,
office to publicly demean and discredit hundreds
when compared to the cynicism exhibited on
o f thousands of residents of this state.
October 14, by 94 members of the U.S. Senate.
Here’s a reminder, then, to gays and lesbians
(See Just News.)
(especially) who might be thinking of making a
Under the guidance of arch-homophobe
contribution to the Republican Party: You are
Jesse Helms, Republican, South
putting your money where T.J. Bailey’s
Carolina), the political “ leaders” of this
nation contemptuously delivered a resounding
celebrates love between men. I count myself
pri v i leged to have been their guest for those four
Banking on civil rights
he goals are:
YOU ARE CORDIALLY
INVITED TO VIEW
Camel H eaddress
RARE TRIBAL WEAVINGS
E v ery T h u rsd ay, 5 :0 0 to 8 :0 0 and S aturday, 1:00 to 5 :0 0 .
• Enactment of legislation prohibiting discri
mination on the basis of sexual orientation in
employment, housing, public accommoda
tions and education.
• Defeat attempts to impose unjustified mea
sures that abridge civil liberties with respect
to the AIDS epidemic.
• Conduct an active public education program
on the importance of civil liberties.
• Defeat efforts to inject religion into the
• Provide more protection against invasion of
privacy by collection and dissemination of
information of a personal nature, particularly
with regard to the rapid expansion of high
technology in the interconnection of compu
ter data bases.
“ There are so many things we might do. We
have chosen goals in areas where we think we
can make the biggest difference. Success on
these goals will help to make Oregon a place
where everyone feels safe and. indeed, welcome
2 2 7 -5807
SUSAN J. WILL
4 • November. I**87
ctober was AIDS Awareness Month. On
October 2, a group of educators and care
providers gathered, under the auspices of the
Centers for Disease Control, to discuss local
efforts in the battle against AIDS. To the sur
prise of no one, the pervasive topic in the dis
cussion was homophobia.
“ There has never been a more political dis
ease,” observed Tia Plympton. “ If we had the
support of the highest office in the land, our job
would be so much more comprehensive and
The big stumbling block is internalized
homophobia,” Scott Ekblad said.
“ Those at highest risk have the highest de
gree of denial,” Casey Finnegan remarked.
In several instances, participants observed
that many people perceive death as preferable to
accepting that they may be at risk to exposure to
Elizabeth Waters said that IV drug users have
defiantly declared, “ I can't get AIDS, I'm not
g a y”
Homophobia. Ignorance. Fear. AIDS Aware
ness? Only in America.
wo days after the stock market takes a
plunge, the President of the United States
names a commission to study the problem, but
more than five years have passed since AIDS
was recognized as a virulent new disease and
the President has yet to tackle the problem in a
a c jB t m ypnxs cowg___gfcMrow
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Pistachios and tea will be served.
Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has
protected individuals’ civil liberties including
their freedoms o f expression, association, reli
gion and privacy. In the past two years, the
ACLU of Oregon has spearheaded the fight to
enact legislation prohibiting discrimination
against gays and lesbians. The ACLU continues
to uphold and preserve the U.S. Constitution
and Bill of Rights for all individuals.
The strength of the ACLU comes from its
numbers. The ACLU o f Oregon needs you.
Gays and lesbians are noted for supporting their
friends. The ACLU is, indeed, the friend of
lesbians and gays.
A basic membership to the ACLU of Oregon
is $20 for an individual, $30 for a joint member
ship. Send a check to ACLU of Oregon, 705
Board of Trade Building, 310 SW 4th Ave.,
Portland, OR 97204. You’ll be glad you did.
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R e c e n t r e s e t t l e m e n t o f n o m a d ic tr ib e s m e n h a s b ro u g h t a fin e s e le c tio n o f
c o lle c tib le tr ib a l w e a v in g s to m a rk e t a t e x c e lle n t p ric e s. In a d d itio n to
p r a y e r r u g s a n d o th e r c a r p e ts , a d iv e rs e c o lle c tio n o f a n im a l tr a p p in g s
a n d o th e r ite m s o f u tility a n d d e c o ra tio n a re o ffe re d , in c lu d in g cam el
h e a d d r e s s e s , k n o tte d h o rs e n eck c o lla rs , s a d d le b a g s , s a lt b a g s, p illo w s,
e m b r o id e r ie s , b ro c a d e s , c lo th in g , a n d n u m e ro u s a r tif a c ts o f n o m ad ic
e x is te n c e .
to be themselves — to be the best kind o f person
they can be. That, after all, is what civil liberties
are all about — helping to ensure that our com
munities are places where everyone understands
that acceptance o f differences among people is
good for all o f us.”
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