Another reason why I am always aware of my SRS anniversary is because it coincides with Stonewall celebrations.
One way I can generally tell people were around at the time of Stonewall is how they isolate it in ahistorical space.
Instead it was an important point, the reaching of critical mass, by a movement that had been building for 20 years.
It could have been like the dozens of incidents that had occurred in the decade before had it not been for the reaching of that critical mass.
In the six months leading up to Stonewall gay organizations were already in the streets demonstrating regarding many of the same issues LGBT/T organizations are still fighting to achieve. Such as employment non-discrimination and recognition of same sex marriage.
There was a difference though.
In the late 1960s same sex sexually relationships were criminalized. Often time wearing the clothing of the other sex was too.
Of course there were still obvious people.
Those too butch or too femme to hide it.
Mostly though the infra-structure for the Gay Liberation Front type movement that sprung forth during the summer of 1969 was already germinating.
In these days of Page One Q, The Advocate as well as thousands upon thousands of LGBT/T Blogs like this one it is hard to remember how slow news traveled in 1969.
The gay and lesbian press was just emerging. The MSM went out of its way to ignore gay and lesbian people unless they were providing a scandal that would sell news papers.
Many of us got our news from the alternative media of under ground newspapers. We had things like Liberation News Service.
I think the first real stories that went deeper than a paragraph on page 32 next to the obituaries took nearly two weeks to reach the Bay Area. Mostly due to the week after Stonewall being the Forth of July and the underground newspapers deadlines.
I remember that summer in part because of how I benefited from it. People who had known me before, movement people were extraordinarily nice to me and supportive.
When we saw same sex couples openly displaying affection towards one another we thought “How cool is that?”
It was the 1960s but that ability to think people who were different were neat for having the courage to be different continued on through the 70s until the Reagan/Thatcher regimes.
Granted being individualistic took dings from the assimilationists in both the gay and lesbian movements in the form of attacks on “roles”.
But generally we were a better people back before Reagan/Thatcher.
It is way too easy to give in to authoritarianism, to point the self-righteous finger of scorn at those who are different. Too easy to be just like those who filled the ranks of “conservative” pushers of mandatory conformity and servitude on the part of working people.
I didn’t let a post through tonight from some one condemning the Clinic making access to hormones easy. I think this person is an asshole who wantts to be special and thinks calling names makes her special. She also believes in GID.
My feelings about this clinic are: “About fucking time.” You see I never had to jump through any hoops to get on hormones. I put on a dress, went to a Berkeley Public Health Clinic and met a nurse/social worker there who told me to go talk to a couple of people at San Francisco’s SIR and Mattachine Society who knew the ins and outs of the Public Health Clinic system in SF. They gave me the Center For Special Problems. I had a half hour chat with a psychiatric social worker who spent most of the time telling what I was facing and the resources available to help me face those hurdles. I was then given an appointment for a week later when the physician gave me a brief physical, told me what to expect and a month’s prescription with an appointment to come back in a month.
No GID. I was a self diagnosed person with transsexualism, the screening was the doing. Take the hormones, go to the appointments, on time, go to the places they suggested would help and take the steps to do the progress.
Not one doctor gave me shit about being a hippie radical. Not one doctor told me I couldn’t be transsexual and feminist.
I ran with gay and lesbian people along with hippies and radicals, visual artists and musicians.
I never much cared about being accepted by Republi-Nazis or for that matter church going straights.
The liberation mind set is about freedom as well as integrity and respect for others. It is about following your own muse and yet not dictating to others that they must follow your muse when they might have a different muse.
I’m an atheist when it comes to the Wicca just as I am with monotheism but they have a pretty good saying that articulates a hippie ethos that I embrace: “Do as you will but harm no one.”
The Wiccan Rede is the rule governing Wiccan behavior. It permits Wiccans to engage in any carefully considered action, as long as it harms nobody, including themselves. The Rede is reinforced by the Threefold Law. This is the belief that any harm or good that a Wiccan does to someone else comes back to hurt or benefit them — magnified three times over. Both are mentioned in the Wiccan Credo, a poem about Wicca whose origin is unclear.
The Wiccan Credo:
The Wiccan Credo is a Wiccan poem. Some Wiccans believe that it was written circa 1910 CE by Adriana Porter. Others suggest that it was created during the very early years of Gardnerian Witchcraft, during the 1940s and 1950s. 1 It includes the text of the main Wiccan rule of behavior, the Wiccan Rede, and a reference to the Threefold Law.
The third last stanza refers to the Threefold Law. It states, in part:
“Mind the Threefold Law you should,
Three times bad and three times good.”
The end of the Credo contains one version of the Wiccan Rede. It reads:
“Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An’ it harm none,
Do what ye will.
Blessed Be to thee.”