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View Diary: The Free Pass: Permissible Homophobia (43 comments)

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  •  I grew up in New York City as well (11+ / 0-)

    In 1967, I was a 16-year old junior/senior in high school, so deeply in the closet that I didn't even acknowledge to myself the fact that I was gay. I can assure you that where I grew up (northeast Queens) it was NOT safe to be gay. Gay bashing was so normal that it was taken for granted and therefore never commented upon. Preventing a gay bashing might have elicited comment mostly along the lines of questions regarding the intervenor's own sexual orientation. One's safety at the time was entirely dependent upon where one lived, who one knew and who one was associated with. By the time I was a sophomore in college (at Stony Brook, which hosted one of the first gay student organizations), Stonewall had already taken place. I had friends who were gay and out (I, by contrast, hid behind a girlfriend). Some of them felt safe and supported; some of them indeed were quite outspoken, and yet I continually heard stories regarding the abuse of gay men who were roommates, either simply as friends or as a couple, who feared to walk the hallways of their own dorms for fear of being physically attacked. And those folks had absolutely no expectation that their rights would be defended.

    •  Can't say that I got to Queens very much (7+ / 0-)

      My best friend in high school was a big McGovern supporter in 1972 and he somehow managed to get these campaign buttons that said "Queens for McGovern" referring to the borough.  We wore them on the lapel of our jackets at school and we used to laugh our heads off at the few conservative kids who noticed and would say "McGovern???" but never said a word about "Queens."

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

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      •  Well I must admit... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teloPariah

        particularly when I was young, Queens was not a terribly exciting place. It was the borough people moved to on their way to the suburbs. It was the place the airports were located. And that's about it. While it's true that there were and are interesting places in Queens it was hardly a tourist destination in the '60's or the 70's. And if you lived there, you were looked upon as part of the "Bridge and Tunnel" crowd by Manhattanites, whether said Manhattanites were natives to New York or not.

        •  People in Manhattan are like that (0+ / 0-)

          when it comes to all the boroughs except maybe Brooklyn, or parts of it.   Staten Island is part of the city too, but people from Manhattan will pretend that they have no idea where it is.  And of course, "West of the Hudson, it's all New Jersey."  I moved away years ago but I have friends who still think like that.  

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

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    •  Thanks, sfbob (5+ / 0-)

      I was born in the Bronx, went to H.S. in Manhattan and college in the Bronx in the 1960's. Throughout that time, I struggled mightily against my attractions and feelings because the society I grew up in, NYC, was not accepting of them. I had H.S. classmates who would go down to the Village on weekends for the sole purpose of beating up the "queers". I hid deep in the closet, I stuck to baseball and repressed everything else. The "tolerant" NYC evolved much later. After a suicide attempt in the early seventies, I moved to Boston where I came out. My gay memories of NY are not that fond.

      There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.

      by EdSF on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 03:47:12 PM PDT

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