Gay & Lesbian Review May-June 2019

literature and the gossip about writers must have been rich! But the carnal side of me would want to be a guest of Piatt Andrew and Henry Sleeper. What gay man could re- sist parties and peepholes with such hand- some men? MS: There are also details scattered throughout that are especially delightful for anyone who knows Boston. For example, Charlie Gibson, who established the Gibson House Museum in Back Bay in the 1930s, liked to hang around the Park Street subway station to pick up shoeshine boys. Do you have any favorite details like that? RL: My favorite political tidbit is that the 1971 Pride March stopped in front of St. Paul’s on Tremont to protest how religions treated LGBT people. Then in 2007, the Re- ligious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry met there before marching through the Common to support same-sex marriage. There are so many ironies in Boston history. MS: You have a lot of details about Bos- ton’s gay bars over the years. Any favorites? RL: In the ’60s there was 12 Carver, owned by Phil Bayon, who liked to ride in a swing above the crowd. One man described it thus: “He’d get all juiced up and get in his swing. And she would sing ‘Summertime’ and she’d wear a big straw picture hat with ribbons and bows ... and here she is, 300 pounds with this great big straw picture hat on.” Can you imagine staring up at a 300 pound drunk man on a swing? MS: Of course, there are some non-delight- ful stories. The section on the secret Har- vard tribunals of 1920 is heartbreaking. RL: It is so hard to write about the tragedies of this history: the murders of trans women, the despair that led so many to drink or suicide, the AIDS years. I kept thinking of the bone-chilling fright those poor young men must have gone through, their terror as their futures collapsed when they were accused of being gay and then ex- pelled. They were alone and no one would help them. MS: I assume you used the historian’s cus- tomary source material—newspapers, mem- oirs, historical archives. Did you stumble across any surprising source material? RL: There were amazing diaries and per- sonal letters, but the most interesting was an unpublished novel by Frank O’Hara. It was mentioned by Brad Gooch in his biography of O’Hara, and I found a copy at the UC– San Diego Library. It’s not ready for print, it lacks an ending, but his description of life in Boston in 1948 is fascinating. Plus he couldn’t decide if one character should be a he or a she. He kept crossing out and chang- ing their pronouns. MS: You’ve dedicated the book to Ann Maguire. Why? RL: Not only has Ann been a friend and mentor (she was my boss at City Hall), but also she has done so much for so many peo- ple. I kept running across her name while I was doing my research. This is a modest thank you for her kindness to generations of LGBT people over the past decades. MS: In your section on domestic partner- ship benefits in Boston, you mention An- drew Sherman, your husband. RL: I was personally involved in much of the recent history covered in the book. I was working for the Mayor while Andrew, my partner, was volunteering his expertise to implement the benefits. I didn’t go to the hearing, as we didn’t want to suggest there was any potential conflict of interest. But several other aides came running back up- stairs to tell me how Councilor “Dapper” O’Neill was grilling Andrew as to who Mr. Pro Bono was. We almost passed out from laughing so hard. Mayor Flynn teased me for a month. Michael Schwartz is an associate editor of this magazine. Gutiérrez, Larry Kramer, and Chelsea Manning—and organi- zations from around the world. The collectives in Ohio, D.C., and New York are doing sim- ilar grassroots work within their communities to challenge what has become the Pride Establishment. This activism is develop- ing a social movement to “reclaim pride” by going back to our roots in recognizing that the struggle for liberation is far from over. Just as trans activist Sylvia Rivera led an alternative march in NewYork during “Stonewall 25” in 1994 to protest the exclu- sion of transgender people from the events, so too are these or- ganizations pushing back against exclusionary practices within the activist community and commodification of the larger com- munity as a marketing opportunity under capitalism. The Queer Liberation March points to the future possibili- ties of trans/queer organizing by grounding its intersectional movement in radical traditions, most notably recognizing that identity categories are attached to specific life chances that need to be transformed through the power of community. With World Pride being organized by Heritage of Pride and taking place in NYC to celebrate “the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement,” it is more important than ever not to let our histo- ries be reduced to a singular narrative, but instead to read them as a complex and continuous struggle for liberation. The question is, will BQIC, NJNP, and RPC inspire the Pride Establishment around the country and around the world to focus more clearly on a collective liberation instead of choosing to celebrate the privileged gains enjoyed by only part of the community? May–June 2019 25 Tell your story. The Gay & Lesbian Review is opening a new channel on our website, a regular space where you can share some part of your life story with our readers. We receive a lot of submissions of personal memoirs, but the magazine does not publish first-person narratives as a general rule. “Tell Your Story” will be a space that al- lows our readers (and others) to talk about their experi- ences as members of the LGBT community. There are no restrictions on subject matter, but some broad areas might include:: coming-out stories; memo- rable love affairs; an epiphany (e.g. a work of art) Send a proposal or submit a paper (< 1,000 words) for publication on The G&LR website ( . We will help you with editing as required. — The Editor Call for Submissions Submit your memoir to: