As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)

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The Loeb Editor's Notes:

And so my college friend sort of introduced me to the homosexual community he knew. Still, I went through the soul-searching bit for several months, trying to decide if I was homosexual, where I stood. But then having once decided, the next thing on the agenda was to find a way of being in the homosexual movement--because I assumed there was such a movement, or should be.

Do you think that because you were accustomed to thinking of the Negro movement with its organizations, you automatically felt that homosexuals would have organizations? There are some white people who have the impression that there is so much sexual freedom among Negroes that they naturally know all about homosexuality, that they try everything'.

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What do you say to this notion? When people talk about sexual freedom among Negroes, I think what they may mean is that Negroes have less inhibition generally, also that they have fewer other outlets. But I don't agree that there are any sexual differences between Negroes and whites.

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There may be more freedom for Negroes to participate in sex--but not a variety of sex. I think there is more freedom to try different things among whites than among Negroes. Negroes are not now at the stage where they can begin to explore. They' re still very caught up with other people's definitions of how to live. So they can't. No, I don't. I wish it were true. I'm always reaching toward a complete communication with people, and I would like to be able to really communicate with a Negro lesbian.

This would be a perfect situation so far as I' m concerned. If your closest friends are heterosexual, have you told them you' re a lesbian, and do you communicate well with them? Most of my close friends know I'm a lesbian. I do find there's a sort of gap in communication that can only be overcome with a lot of effort.

For instance, one of my colleagues at work who's a very close friend of mine has just gotten married. So she talks to me in terms of her being a wife having a husband. And I talk to her in terms of my being a lesbian , having a girlfriend. And we talk, but it's still very strange. Our problems are so different. So there is a gap. It can be overcome, but it takes effort.

I have had heterosexual friends argue with me that heterosexual love Is by Its very nature more fulfilling than homosexual love. What would you say to this? I can only speak from my own experience,and all I can say to that is that I've known heterosexual love, and comparing the two, I find homosexual love preferable.

Speaking again personally, it is much more beneficial to me. I communicate much more easily, sexually and in every other way, with a woman. I can reach a much closer kind of unity with a woman than I ever could with a man.

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Because after all the whole object of love is to reach a kind of unified state. And homosexual love enables me to do this, in essence. But let every man speak for himself'. No, I feel the homophile movement is more open to Negroes than, say, a lot of churches, for example. Unfortunately, I find that there are very few Negroes in the homophile movement. I keep looking for them, but they're not there.

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And I think there should be more, I really do. At the time I was there, there was no other organization, no other choice. Worthy says that the white liberals' influence has had a "fatal, debilitating effect"--because they donate money and lend prestige and then expect that NAACP will go along with their ideas for slower progress, and will defer to their wishes. Do you agree here?

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I think they have more influence than they should have, but I don't think they can be said to have "emasculated" NAACP. Without the financial support of the white liberals, the NAACP wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway, so I think it was a choice that had to be made. I think it does, historically, yes. More so than any other single factor. But you also have to take into account the fact that the NAACP Is made up of middle-class Negroes who are every bit as conservative as white liberals. The square Negroes are very conservative and very frightened. They've reached a certain level in society, and any kind of protest really seems a threat to them.

Because if the whole mass of Negroes were raised up, then the position of these middle-class Negroes would not be singular, not be distinctive anymore, I don't say they deliberately try to hold the mass of Negroes down. But they just don't make any big effort to help. There are some people who feel that to demonstrate or make any kind of public protest is somehow not nice. Do you think this too is tied in with middle-class values? I brought up these points because there are parallels in the homophile movement.

Some homosexuals prefer to work through influential heterosexuals and also to have them in our movement even to the extent of having them on the governing boards of our organizations, where they can wield a great deal of influence in determining the way things go. Other homosexuals feel we should work with the prominent heterosexuals who want to support our movement and that it's fine to get their help, but that we shouldn't let them control or determine the way things go, shouldn't allow them to take over to any degree or gain a superior influence.

What do you think? I think Negroes need white people, and I think homosexuals need heterosexuals. If you foster cooperation right from the start, then everyone is involved and It's not a movement over there. But the white liberal, for example, doesn't feel the same strong motivation to get things done that the Negro civil rights worker feels. And similarly in our cause, the heterosexual doesn't share the homosexual's strong motivation.

And so there are those in the homophile movement who fear that influential heterosexuals in our movement might hold us back. But that' s why I feel so strongly that an organization should be formulated with a definite aim in mind and then the membership should fall in line with this aim. But the outsiders can modify the tactics used and make them less dynamic, even if they don't modify the aims.

I think this is a justifiable fear, but I think it's a chance we must take.

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I would like to see in the homophile movement more people who can think. And I don't believe we ought to look at their titles or at their sexual orientation. Movements should be intended, I feel, to erase labels, whether "black" or "white" or "homosexual" or "heterosexual. Would you give us your opinion of picketing? Some people consider it radical, or untimely, or both,, What do you say? Picketing I regard as almost a conservative activity now. The homosexual has to call attention to the fact that he's been unjustly acted upon. This is what the Negro did.

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Let me tie this in with what we discussed a moment ago. There are those in our movement who want prominent persons, especially from the psychology and therapy professions, on our governing boards and in our organizations--feeling that these persons will lend not only prestige but good judgment. Yet we find that, almost to a man, these psychology-oriented persons tell us, "Don't picket. Some homosexuals fault them for this and say, well, they're heterosexual and they're not suffering the way we are.

But one thing that disturbs me a lot is that there seems to be some sort of premium placed on psychologists and therapists by the homophile movement. I personally don't understand why that should be. So far as I'm concerned, homosexuality per se is nor a sickness. When our groups seek out the therapists and psychologists, to me this is admitting we are ill by the very nature of our preference.

And this disturbs me very much. To me, a sickness represents a maladjustment. That would include Negroes who can't adjust to being Negroes, and homosexuals who can't adjust to being homosexuals. Such people may fail to adapt or to function properly in a society.


Surely though you must think that some degree of anxiety would be legitimate in a hostile society. That is, if you're a cat in a world of dogs Yes, that's true. I think it takes a very strong, Independent-minded person to accept all the pressures and to function well in spite of them. I think some homosexuals do find it hard to overcome these pressures--not because they are homosexuals per se, but because of the pressures exerted by society and the prohibitions against homosexuality.

Then do you think the homosexual's anxieties are helped best by a therapist or by his being with like-minded people? I think the best therapy for a homosexual is reinforcement of his way of life, by associating with people who are like him. I think the whole anxiety business comes in when he is constantly pitted against a different way of life--you know, where he's the odd-ball. I believe homosexuals need this sort of reinforcement that comes from being with their own kind.

And if they don't have it, then they have to be awfully strong to create their own image. Most people are not that strong. Would you say the burden of change is on society or on the homosexual, if his lot is to be Improved? I think to a certain extent it's on both. The homosexual has to assert himself more, and society has to give more.

As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)
As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)
As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)
As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)
As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)
As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17) As His Lordship Pleases (National Service Capers Book 17)

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