Gay Is Good for Us All

Oh no, not the fairies too!” said a woman watching the Gay Liberation Movement march up Sixth Avenue last June, with a quizzical, good-humored expression on her face, as though they were so many puppies. “I’m from Ohio. I think it’s funny,” said a tourist. “I’d like to kick the shit out of them,” said a clean, tense young man turning on his heel. No one quite knew how to react. Few grasped the implications or viewed it as more than either a circus or an abomination. But the marchers were confident. They had taken the trick out of the trick mirror; the invisible homosexual was now massively visible. With what seemed hardly more than a flick of the wrist they had upturned a whole new complex of bigotry and exclusion into broad sunlight, and the astonished prejudices could do little more than blink.

And once again, with the emergence of the Gay Movement, the old image of society as a vertical structure with one group holding another in subjugation was transformed into something more like a many-leveled house of cards, suits straining against each other, Queens standing on Knaves, one-eyed Jacks trumping Queens, the ceiling of one set forming the floor of another, with only one simple element in the complex of relationships—the position in the throne room of the white, male, heterosexual King.

The movement was born one night in August, 1969, when the New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street. It was by no means the first time—few of the many gay bars in the Village vicinity were immune to the arbitrary raids which usually ended in several arrests and many more bruises and broken heads. But this time, to the amazement of the Sixth Precinct, the homosexuals refused to take their punishment passively. The sissies fought back. Word of the brawl traveled, the gay community turned out in force, and the battle spread from the bar into what came to be known as the Christopher Street Riot, a free-for-all in which cars were overturned, fires lit, and police sent to the hospital. After that the image of the homosexual in the eyes of the world, and, more important, in his own eyes as well, was irrevocably altered.

Prior to Christopher Street, the two major homosexual organizations, the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, were small and necessarily timid. Though Mattachine did make statements to the effect that homosexuality was neither pathological nor depraved, its objectives were in fact limited to helping the homosexual adjust within the society, providing social activities and legal and medical help, and backing conservative campaigns to change the more flagrant anti-homosexual laws. They were limited because their members were limited: homosexuals tended to be isolated and inhibited, having taken the one course they could really afford, which was to pass for heterosexual in order to pursue careers and life within the society, both of which would likely be destroyed were their homosexuality exposed. So their endeavor was not to battle the dragon but to sneak around it, to “get by” with a minimum of pain.

Furthermore, most people view the homosexual as a criminal and a pervert, an attitude deeply embedded in the culture; and it would take rare assurance for a homosexual not to let this attitude pervade his own image of himself and further deter his drive to challenge it.

Out of the Closet into the Street

Out of Christopher Street the Gay Liberation Front was formed. In New York and subsequently in every major city in the country, the Front recruited, held workshops, and started newspapers. Many of the members were also part of the New Left, and, like the women, they started by confronting prejudice among their peers, educating them to the oppressiveness of their attitudes and the problems of the homosexual. After 10 months they had grown big enough and become inwardly confident enough to organize a mass march up Sixth Avenue in New York. It was touch and go down to the wire, however. No one knew until the last minute whether more than a handful would actually show up, and few thought the march would reach its destination in Central Park without a violent confrontation with bystanders or the police.

But thousands and thousands turned out for the first big holiday from the closet. The festive mood was intoxicating. People in their Sunday best, their hippie best, lots of work-shirt and jeans types, a few fantastic costumes—they looked more like a peace march to whom the President had just capitulated than homosexuals. They just didn’t look queer, and that fact registered everything from horror to discomfort to plain surprise on the faces of people on the sidelines. As one marcher put it, “So much has been accomplished in terms of who we are. We are people.” And not only were they people, but they were evidently quite happy. The happy homosexual was supposed to be an impossibility. These together struck a solid blow at the assumption that homosexuality is in itself distorting, sad, and sick. Rather, it becomes clear that the conditions under which society forces it to exist are the causes of all those traits—deviousness, self-deprecation, unstable relationships— that we have been accustomed to linking inextricably with the way of life.

This seemed to have been a discovery for the marchers as well. After lives of secrecy and guilt, coming out into the open with the assertion “Gay is Good” gave them a healthy sense of self many hadn’t known for years. “Coming out has been a delight,” a woman recently told me. “It’s difficult to imagine what it was like before. We are conditioned not to remember pain.”

The briefest glance uncovers the depth of prejudice which the movement hopes to vanquish. The psychoanalytic tradition describes homosexuality entirely in terms of sickness, arrested development, unhealthy parental relationships, etc. Upon learning that a friend is homosexual, most of us, however sympathetic, have a tendency to conjure up an image of his mother. We assume that something has gone wrong, that the person has become homosexual for negative reasons, because he was unable to deal with some problem, and hence his choice represents a failure of sorts. The masculinity cult in America colors all our attitudes. Qualities like courage, effectiveness, and leadership are considered superior and are associated with virility, and conversely, the “feminine virtues” of tenderness, docility, and patience are considered of lesser importance. Men are expected to embody virility, and women maternity. Deviates from these roles are thought to be “half a man” or “half a woman”—and inferior in areas which have nothing whatever to do with sexuality. To most straight people, it is simply self-evident that a heterosexual is “better” than a homosexual. The notion that it’s not a misfortune to have a child become a homosexual is as strange as the suggestion of one member of the movement that when a child discovers he is homosexual, the parents, not the child, should go to a psychiatrist to try to overcome their hang-ups about homosexuality.

“Gay Lib and Women’s Lib have played a crucial role in each other’s development. Together they expose the underbelly of society in a more extensive, penetrating way than either could alone, uncovering the depth and extent to which predetermined masculine/feminine roles have governed social dynamics, not only allowing, but often forcing one group of people to exploit another.”

The legal tradition is even harsher. In all states but one (Illinois), sodomy is a crime with sentences running as high as 10 years’ minimum and referred to in such phrases as “infamous crime against nature.” Under this legal umbrella, discriminatory hiring practices exist unchallenged. For instance, the Civil Service Commission hand- book on personnel states flatly that a homosexual is not suitable for service because his condition would automati- cally impair his efficiency as well as “inhibiting” those who were forced to work with him. This policy was re- cently overturned in a District of Columbia Court of Appeals, but the decision applies only to hiring within the D.C. Circuit. Further, because many homosexuals are reluctant to expose themselves to publicity, Civil Service has been able to pursue its old policy within the District with few challenges.

The armed forces also have policies to the effect that homosexuality is an incapacitating condition which under- mines discipline and makes the individual incapable of leading a constructive life. These policies have led to the dishonorable discharge of many men as well as Wacs and Waves. The women’s services are one of the few areas where intense job discrimination against lesbians exists. In most cases lesbians, who can in any event hide their homosexuality more easily than men, are discriminated against primarily as women.

Beyond these formalities, anti-homosexuality permeates the popular culture. “Faggot” is a universal term of derision. Wherever homosexuals are protrayed in movies they are ridiculous or desperate or disgusting. The old man in “Midnight Cowboy” was revolting, and Joe Buck responded “naturally” when he hit him. The host in “Boys in the Band” was pathetic. Both lesbians in “Five Easy Pieces” looked ugly in a movie full of pretty people. These versions of the homosexual generally go unquestioned. They fulfill our preconceived notions and affirm heterosexual superiority.

It seems clear that this overall attitude is irrational, that there is no necessary connection between worthiness and sexuality, and that whether or not one considers homosexuality a sickness these policies and attitudes are a barbarous response. It would seem that attitudes towards homosexuality are far more unacceptable, far more degrading to those who hold them—as well as those who endure them—than homosexuality itself could ever be.

Sisters

Bonds between Gay Lib and Women’s Lib grew early. It was a natural affiliation; they both were rebelling against roles predetermined by sex and felt oppressed by the chauvinistic heterosexual male. Both worked to develop a sense of self-worth against the long-accepted condition of second-class citizenship. The women were also struggling with the influence of the psychoanalytic tradition which, as Kate Millett put it in speaking of Freud, “assumed that to be born female was to be born castrated” and therefore innately inferior to the potent male. It was not a smooth affiliation, however. Straight women found they had to struggle with sex chauvinism in dealing with the gay men and were, in turn, guilty of resisting the lesbian within their own ranks for fear the movement, which was already being ridiculed as “a bunch of dykes,” would be discredited. However, despite the resistance they encountered in Women’s Lib groups, the larger percentage of activist lesbians has chosen Women’s Liberation as their primary point of identification and Gay Liberation second, thus bringing the gay struggle into the heart of the women’s movement.

On the whole, society seems to be less outraged by lesbians than by male homosexuals. After all, within the context of sex roles, the male is rejecting kingship, thus blaspheming what society holds most holy—whereas the lesbian is rejecting servitude, a futile act for one born with the indelible marks of a servant. Secondly, it has long been the prejudice of Western tradition that women endure rather than enjoy sex (Freud insisted that their only pleasure came from a masochistic enjoyment of pain) and hence sex between women is nonsensical. Thirdly, because a woman’s homosexuality is far less manifest, to the extent that she can apparently function perfectly within a marriage, lesbians seem to be a rarity rather than a social “problem.” If anything, men find lesbians titillating, a la James Bond, Pussy Galore—a challenge, something to be conquered, coerced into the proper reverence for their irresistible powers. On the other side of the coin, lesbians are the gravest threat to the sex role power structure, for they are at the bottom of the pack, the ace if you will, and independent of men—so that in rebelling they have nothing to lose. This is what has brought them into a unique position within the women’s movement. As a Radicalesbian statement put it, “Lesbian is the word that holds women in line.”

The faces of men commuting on trains between affluent suburbs and their high-level work in the big-time world of the city are blank and worn beyond their years. They don’t seem like people in the flush of fulfillment, the inheritors of the earth, or for that matter like cruel, arrogant nobles gripped with the excitement of power. They sit on the train between battlefields, wrapped in their newspapers, for a spell excused from guarding their titles, and they seem in this rare, unselfconscious moment a tired, dreary lot. It would seem that rather than the possessors, they themselves are the spoils of kingship. Their wives, however bored and discontented with their roles, have observed intimately the price their husbands have had to pay, and with the thought of that cost can turn to their laundry with a fleeting, perhaps, but distinct, sense of reprieve.”

The resistance to homosexuals within the Women’s Lib movement has not been overcome in all factions. The more establishment oriented, such as the National Organization for Women, have adamantly insisted on their heterosexual purity (though even NOW is expected to come out with a statement on lesbians in the next month reversing its policy). But in the more radical groups, lesbians have evolved a very special role for themselves. As one woman said, “As lesbians we are truly independent of men, and it’s very important for straight women to see that that’s possible. We just aren’t dependent on that candy bar”—the candy bar being the hope for some form of masculine approval. Some women have even gone so far as to become “political lesbians”—that is, to become lesbians on purpose so as to utterly sever their dependence on men, presumably in order to eventually reenter relationships with men from a position of equal inner strength. That is certainly an extreme; a more moderate measure is for a woman to reply to the question of whether she is or is not a lesbian in the affirmative regardless of fact, thus reducing the word to meaninglessness and eliminating the fear of being called a “dyke” for stepping out of the homebody, “real woman” role which society has cut out for her.

So, though the relationship has been trouble-fraught (in some places they’re not speaking to each other), Gay Lib and Women’s Lib have played crucial roles in each other’s development. Together they expose the underbelly of society in a more extensive, penetrating way than either could alone, uncovering the depth and extent to which predetermined masculine/feminine roles have governed social dynamics, not only allowing but often forcing one group of people to exploit another.

Ho-Ho-Homosexual

A sector of Gay Lib has extended its horizons beyond Women’s Lib. A strong element in the Gay Liberation Front of New York brought radical politics explicitly into the Gay platform, ultimately causing a split within the New York group. A break-off group, the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was then formed. The GAA limits its activities to gay liberation per se and works, though militantly, within the system, while the GLF men consider themselves revolutionaries first. Though groups in other cities haven’t split, the same elements exist in all, the more militant factions resolving their position within the whole by forming radical caucuses. GLF women in general identify primarily with the Women’s Lib movement; the more revolutionary lesbians having formed their own group, Radicalesbians, which like the GLF/New York men identifies primarily with political revolution. These groups are by no means mutually exclusive.

The revolution-oriented gay men and women explain their fusion of the two causes thus (their arguments being greatly reduced here): the basic unit of the sex role structure is the family in which the woman performs menial chores for the man, who is thus freed to pursue more lofty ambitions. The family is also the basic consumer unit of the capitalist system, which stresses the connection between worthiness (you can read power here) and the acquisition of objects. This is directly related to the sex role nature of the family, in that among the objects a man accumulates is his wife (this is a version of the thesis that men treat women primarily as sex objects), hopefully beautiful, efficient, and at the service of his pleasure. This relationship between the acquisition of goods and power over women is emphasized unequivocally in advertising, the lubricant of capitalism in its function of engendering greed. Capitalism, then, is based on the assumption that people are greedy for goods—and the power that goods bring. It assumes that these basic facts cannot be changed, that social planning can only be corrective within the system, not redirective. The result of this power-acquisitive urge has been racism, imperialism, and sexism. Revolution says these “facts of nature” can be changed, but to do so you have to raze the system which nourishes them. In other words, to achieve true gay liberation you have to do away with capitalism which, in its present form, is deeply intertwined with sexism—just as in order to achieve black liberation you must dissolve the system, because in the same power-oriented manner it induces people of one race to beat up on another. And this is why the causes of the nigger, the dyke, the bitch, and the faggot are one and the same and why these Causes Incorporated must be geared to the overthrow of capitalism.

It is easy to punch holes in this argument, to call it simplistic, metaphorical, in parts fanciful, but that would be, I think, a dodge to avoid recognizing a certain genius at work in it. The genius is in great need of refinement, granted, but it is there. My reaction to the argument at this point is that somehow it doesn’t manage to produce its own kernel. And while I’m no great defender of capitalism it seems clear that sexism, racism, and imperialism have occurred under every system, Marxism included, and that by doing away with capitalism you will by no means insure yourself against these evils. The revolutionary gays will agree with me there, but counter that while oppression can certainly exist without capitalism, the particular form of capitalism which has actually evolved is so deeply rooted in oppression that it would be impossible to purge the system without in effect destroying it.

The merging of Gay Lib and Women’s Lib directly with revolution raises another issue: how do you describe these groups—are they a class, a caste, or what? This is more than a semantic issue, because the confusion in definition represents, I think, a real confusion within these groups in terms of who they are. The terms class and caste are really relevant only in a metaphorical sense; the social structure one combats as a gay person or a woman is far more kaleidoscopic, more mercurial than what one combats as an economically oppressed person. “People use the economic thing to negate the gay movement,” said a black member of GLF. “They don’t stop to consider how many gay people belong to economically oppressed groups.” NOW is currently waging a battle with the FCC over the equal priority of sex and race discrimination in hiring practices: “Without equal enforcement against sex discrimination, employers are encouraged to discriminate on every other one of the prohibited bases—race, color, creed, and national origin—as long as they do so against women.” But because women and homosexuals have numbers among the oppressed class does not make them as a group an oppressed class, though the dynamics of discrimination described above are very real and suggest the nature of the bond, of the common denominator which they share. Women and homosexuals, respectively, belong to groups, or kinds, with certain common traits which society has arbitrarily invested with symbolic meaning—i.e., that your value as a lawyer, doctor, thinker, is discernable through those traits—female, homosexual—which actually tell nothing whatever about your value in those capacities.

But whatever the exact role and definition of any group within the structure, all discriminations, as suggested by the NOW statement, aid and nourish each other—witness the KKK slogan “Don’t be half a man, join the Klan”—and, conversely, there is a kinship between all oppressed groups. When one group relates its condition to another, however metaphorically, there is a sudden subjective realization of kinship which transcends all antagonisms. When a black man leers and clucks at me in the street I feel angry, helpless, and misused, but if I connect these feelings to what he must endure at the hands of whites, then despite my antagonism, nonetheless real, I feel a spontaneous sense of kinship. Just so, a homosexual’s sympathy for the black cause is clinched into something far more compelling than sympathy when he realizes that to be black in a small town would be very much like being gay in a small town. This is why the GLF was so persistent in courting the black militants. They weathered ridicule and then abuse— black militants have tended to be a super-macho cult—but persisted and won the Panthers over to a recognition of the common elements in their plight. In August, Huey P. Newton wrote in a public letter:

“Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to relate to them in a revolutionary fashion.. We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect for all oppressed people.. . . When we have revolutionary conferences, rallies, and demonstrations, there should be full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women’s liberation movement… (they) are our friends… the terms “faggot” and “punk” should be deleted from our vocabulary, and especially we should not attach names normally designed for homosexuals to men who are enemies of the people, such as Nixon and Agnew. Homosexuals are not enemies of the people.”

When recently the homosexuals marched down to the New York House of Detention, the prisoners leaned out the window and cheered. When they marched up Sixth Avenue one of the most sympathetic comments was from a drunken bum: “It’s wonderful,” he said, “they have a place in this world, too” and hitched up his ragged overalls. This is not to say all prejudices have been overcome within these groups; many Women’s Lib advocates refuse to deal with gay men’s groups—”they’re male dominated, aren’t they?” – and a heterosexual virility bias is undoubtedly still deeply entrenched in the Black Panther Party. But the contrary tendency is there and growing while the macho mood is fading.

When people realize they’re all up Queer Street together, the bonds of kinship can grow denser and stronger than any of the divisive factors of class, or caste, or suit, or kind. Whatever your politics, the cross-hatching of supportive relationships which have sprung up in the far left, not out of expediency but out of a discovery of a real human bond and an energetic effort to overcome the most deeply ingrained prejudices, go far to controvert the notion of the “incorrigibility of human nature” which, whether or not it is the outgrowth of capitalism as the revolutionaries charge, seems indeed to have permeated social attitudes in this country.

The Spoils of Kingship

And the culprit, the white male heterosexual king who sits in the throne room guarding his birthright, the recipient of all this wrath, what of him? Isn’t the throne room as vicious a dungeon of his humanity as those in which he keeps his underlings?

The faces of men commuting on trains between affluent suburbs and their high-level work in the big-time world of the city are blank and worn beyond their years. They don’t seem like people in the flush of fulfillment, the inheritors of the earth, or for that matter like cruel, arrogant nobles gripped with the excitement of power. They sit on the train between battlefields wrapped in their newspapers, for a spell excused from guarding their titles, and they seem in this rare unselfconscious moment a tired, dreary lot. It would seem that rather than the possessors they themselves are the spoils of kingship. Their wives, however bored and discontented with their role, have observed intimately the price their husbands have had to pay, and with the thought of that cost can turn to their laundry with a fleeting perhaps, but distinct, sense of reprieve.

Just as the black militants for a long time seemed to be aspiring to the bourgeois ideals of the white society they challenged, Women’s Lib groups for a time emphasized their desire to live like those men who they felt oppressed them. Those early days, again like those of the first black militants, were marked by simplistic rhetoric, humorlessness, and inflexibility. But as the movement developed, confidence was gained, and discussions began to probe more deeply, the realization evolved that the roles assigned to men were not enviable, but in ways as pernicious to the men themselves as to women. Men have been the most rigorously programmed of all. From childhood it is impressed on them that they must be dominant, the strong authoritative guardians of weaker human beings—and to the extent that they are, they are “real men.” To the extent they fail in this role, to the extent they betray “feminine” traits of docility, repugnance to violence, and tenderness and also unsureness, a need for comfort, and timidity—to that extent they are “womanly.” And in the eyes of society, the womanly man is a pathetic thing indeed. Since a major tenet of both Women’s Lib and Gay Lib is that the division of “traits” between the sexes is for the most part arbitrary and without foundation in reality, it follows that men are as arbitrarily conditioned as women. A less vituperative look at that sex—and not just those stodgy commuters—reveals that the same behavior which women find oppressive is in many instances evidence of the strain their predetermined role has put on their humanity. Why do so many men compulsively talk louder than women, interrupt them, and make it difficult for them to contribute their side of a conversation? Why do they constantly have to make it clear that they are “important” and that they speak with authority, the more so in instances where they don’t have any particular authority? Why do they find it so painful to be found wrong, especially by a woman, sometimes insisting that they are right despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary? These very common ways, rather than suggesting that men are naturally overbearing, suggest more that they are insecure, fearful of insignificance, not strong and right, unable to dominate.

A most telling quality along these lines is the American heterosexual male’s inability, in varying but widespread degrees, to laugh at himself. Even worse than being found wrong by a woman is to be joshed by her, no matter how friendly the manner. If she does so she is likely to be called a ball-breaker, a bitch, a dyke. Women, homosexuals, and blacks have in general been quite ready to laugh at themselves, admittedly sometimes to a pathological degree—the clown-like minstrel, the charming, absentminded idiot, the mincing drag queen. But there is a wide territory between in which an ease with oneself and one’s human failings provides a leaven without which self-seriousness, ambition, assertiveness—all good things in themselves—become strident, intractable, and dissociated from reality, more a liability to self-realization, not to mention peace and happiness, than an asset. It is significant that in the early days of black militancy and Women’s Lib, members of those movements were, like the white heterosexual king they rebelled against, noteworthy for their lack of humor about themselves—as well as for other white male traits such as intractable insistence that they were “right” and refusal to let anyone else be heard.

These qualities have by no means been purged from those movements, but they have diminished considerably for many reasons, among them greater confidence, and a redirection of energies from a drive to parallel the white male oppressor into an effort to evolve a whole new image of man and society which will change things for the better for everybody, including Massah King. As time goes on and the movement develops, it also becomes apparent that those who retain the qualities of stridency and humorlessness are those newest to the movements, who have rejected the security of their designated roles but have not yet been able to overcome the sense of their own racial or sexual unworthiness. And so this behavior appears to be kind of therapy, a necessary stage, like a neurotic in psychoanalysis acting out his neurosis in the extreme before he is cured. This only reconfirms the notion that men act that way because they are insecure.

And why shouldn’t they be insecure? No human being is omnipotent, all-knowing, and self-sufficient. Men as well as women feel sorrow and tenderness, fear and need of comfort. The accepted solution has been that when a man wavers and is afraid, his good wife should “build up his ego,” to make him feel courageous and unwavering and important, all those things a man is supposed to be. The endeavor is to quell his real emotions rather than deal with them: repress, repress. It’s little wonder that men shout, insist on constant service as evidence of their manliness, and have a hard time laughing at themselves. Not enviable.

Gay Liberation has played a crucial role in dissipating the deeply rooted reverence for the image of the king- male. Many gay women had long rejected that image; and so, utterly indifferent to it, they provided straight women with living examples of independence from that candy bar. Gay men were in an equally unique position, for not only had they been victimized by those who play the male role, but they had also suffered because they had been made to play it themselves. It took women a long time to begin accepting lesbians, and it took the blacks a long time to begin accepting both the women and the gay people, because both movements have been trapped within the norms of the throne room. The tendency towards fusion of these groups with each other augurs a motion away from stridency and inflexibility and towards the ideal of a world built according to human needs rather than according to power. The redefinition of those needs is a far greater revolution than any straight political rear- rangement could in itself accomplish.

The king will be liberated when the whole pack of role cards falls—when he is not restricted by the king-male role. Much of the physical violence that wracks the country is committed by males between 15 and 25—the per- iod in which traditionally a boy proves his manhood. The masculinity curse also drives the less gory but more common psychological violence, which pervades business meetings, dinner parties, and the home—as people pierce, jab, and scrape to wrest some form of triumph and have it saluted. It’s the crying of uncle that’s at stake in the worst cases, psychological submission, and the king-male must abhor that most o fall. He strains to make sure someone is below and knows it.

The masculinity complex lives in our national throne room. The last three Presidents have been nearly obsessed with proving their toughness; Presidents have bled the nation white to keep from backing down in Vietnam—to keep from looking chicken in backbone warfare.

But when more men feel that they no longer need to be the king-male—or share his compulsive desire to be crowned, to reign virile and proud and appreciated—maybe there will be fewer bloodied people, fewer good things ravaged, and maybe even fewer wars.

Utopias have an air of death about them. Fortunately, they never come true. They are deathly because they omit the basic mystery of life and reduce existence to a smooth-running machine. Utopias are humorless. But Life, Death, Beauty, Ugliness, Good, and Evil are here to stay and will insure us against all utopias, so one can look at the vision projected by all these new developments without fear for the future.

The vision of these sexual freedoms is not a very full one, a kind of comprehensive liberation in which all oppressed groups unbind each other for a hazy new purpose. Reasonable as the idea is, it seems to exist in a thin, improbable future.

It also seems to include the seeds of disasters, such as large numbers of people, having no role assigned to them, going out of their minds for lack of identity—like a lot of bureaucrats without their bureaucracy. But as things change, the vision firms up and even becomes a little part of reality—like the Panthers’ trying to accept the Gay Liberation people. A large part of it all lies in just getting used to separate ideas, such as that homosexuals are just as good as heterosexuals. America seems to be on the brink of a Dark Age which will tolerate none of these new ways. But on the other hand, as a man marching up Sixth Avenue on that bright euphoric Sunday said to me, “There’s a lot of people in this.”

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