Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Time Magazine, 1979: Gay history memorabilia

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | October 29, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, The Movement
Tags: Gay Liberation, LGBT history, LGBT in media, LGBT media history, LGBT national politics

Does anyone remember this piece or cover? It's stunningly sad that the same cover could probably still run today, 31 years later, and some people would think the question is fresh and want to debate the point.

But is there even such a thing as too gay? I don't even understand what that means -- that your taste in clothes is too good? I've never seen hets walk around worried about being "too straight." So what does this question really mean?

And, perhaps more importantly, what does it mean to you in 2010?


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I suggest that readers also look at this link, to a Time Magazine Essay: The Homosexual in America from January 21, 1965. I read this a thirteen year old who figured out that I was gay, and reading this essay in TIME made me feel doomed.,9171,835069,00.html

At the same time, the Washington Post was frequentl;y running stories about gays being fired from the federal government, simply for being gay. The headlines usually read, Homosexual ring discovered at State Department" or "Accused Homosexual Fired".

Read the Time essay. It is a real shocker. It is the America that the teabaggers and most republicans want to return to.

This TIME magazine article is a stunning shock. I can't believe that something so neanderthal was felt to have an audience in what was supposed to be a somewhat liberal, establishment, East Coast news journal. Oh, how many of them hate us. This article came out not long before Stonewall. Thank God they rioted.

DaveinNorthridge | October 30, 2010 9:42 AM

If you think that was bad, imagine reading this as a still-closeted 19 year old:

Joseph Epstein, by the way, is still writing about things like snobbery and gets some respect from the so-called intellectual community.

I’m 66 now, I remember the period of the late 70s, at least from the my perspective in the Castro in San Francisco, just after Harvey Milk was shot, before AIDS had started killing off so many of my generation. A lot of hard fought battles had been won and lost in the Gay equality front by 1979. The Anita Bryant setback of Gay rights in Florida and Briggs initiative victory in California were milestone events in our long struggle, however the assignation of Harvey Milk was a big black eye that took years to heal, if ever. I believe the era was a peak period for the GLBT community, lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll and then AIDS struck about that time or soon after.

I was one of the lucky ones that survived that era. Oh! The memories and stories I could tell. Today, I’m a happy older Gay man just kicking back enjoying life, but still very active and tuned into the current battles being waged by the GLBT community. I had an interesting experience the day after prop. 8 had passed in California, standing on the steps of the capital building in Sacramento at the post election prop. 8 protest. Seeing all of those young GLBT folks standing in solidarity rallying on the capital steps, I broke out into tears. Puzzled at first, why all the tears. Then it was obvious to me. Thirty plus years earlier, I had gone to many rallies, marches and protests struggling for Gay equality. Here we are all these years later, still fighting for equality. Oh yes, the issues were different then, but the battle for equality hasn’t changed. It’s like 4 steps forward and 3 steps back. Our hard won victories have been one issue at a time, in a long struggle that hasn’t changed much in 30 years. Like Harvey Milk said, “You got to give them HOPE.” It was appropriate 30 plus years ago, as it is today.

Ron Williams

I really wish we could read the article that went with it.,9171,920281,00.html

This is the link to the article.

PS- What is your report on how you are doing in DC?

Lee Sonoflaw | October 31, 2010 10:52 PM

I do remember the article. I co-founded my first "homophile" organization in 1966 in Iowa of all places. Society Advocating Mutual Equality (SAME) The article was nothing new to me. I also remember an article somewhere called "The Sad Gay Life" That was very similar.

And there were books galore telling about how ALL gay men were drag queens and sex-change wanna-bes. Many of us laughed, but it was painful that so many had no idea about the truth.

In the last few years, I actually thought we were leaving that world in the distant past. But the Republicans are ready to bring it back. What I really have trouble with is: Hate takes so much work and effort while acceptance is sooo easy.

Why do so many people want to go to so much trouble?

S.A.M.E. - the Society Advocating Mutual Equality - was one of a handful of gay rights organizations at a time when the movement was called (the) homophile movement. Its formation in Rock Island IL was in 1966 independent and may have been inspired by other groups, but not directed to do so by them. Internal struggles and disagreements disbanded the group by 1968. See my brief article on this group here:

I continue to do research on this group. If you have anything that might assist me, please contact me at

The magazine article that he refers to was in the January 10, 1967 issue of Look Magazine. The entire issue was on 'The American Man' and included the article titled "The sad 'gay' life"

The "sad gay life" was in Look magazine, if I remember correctly. There was a special issue of The American Man. The little feature on gay men was entitled "The sad gay life of the homosexual man."

I remember a left profile of a leatherman with a motorcycle cap and an earing. It was my first glimmer that I wasn't alone.

In 1966, I was a high school senior. At that time, I knew no better than to scorn those who were "queer" - the only word we used at that time for what Time called "deviates."

No wonder I had that attitude. Look at how the nation's most esteemed newsweekly looked at the situation! I truly didn't know better - honestly didn't have any contact that I knew of with men who favored men.

No wonder it took me so long to accept myself as a gay man; no wonder it took me so long to make an effort to get to know what it means to be gay in a world such as we live in.

I wish I could read the Harpers' article - don't want to spend $17 for it, though. I haven't read the Time cover article yet - it's past midnight and I have to go to bed. I'll read it tomorrow.

These archives are astounding to someone who absolutely overlooked it all 44 years ago.