Thursday, June 16, 2016


As most who know me or my writing well already are aware of, I spent about a year from mid 1972 to mid 1973, identifying as a gay man. I hadn't had a sexual relationship with a male since childhood, and in later life wouldn't either, but as an act of opening up to all the possibilities and moving forward as a supporter of the feminist and gay "revolutions" as they were called at the time, I experimented with other men sexually and was advised by the "gay revolutionary" who was advising me that calling myself a "bisexual" would be a cop out since I would get the benefit of being with gay men sexually but not the stigma and oppression of being identified as gay.

So, I "came out" at a time when even my "gay revolutionary" advisor was still using a phony name to avoid the repression and oppression, much of it legal still, of being identified as "gay." As a result, some friends never spoke to me again, and I lost my job as a college teacher, as well as was criticized and dismissed by former friends and fans in leftist politics and the poetry and literary worlds. I'm not any politically correct martyr, since I went on to be mostly seen as a "straight" man later in my life and to accrue the privileges that came  with that.

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of me with any of the male lovers I had, which I would love to post in solidarity with the Orlando victims. But here are two shots of me during that period, one trying to make as gay a pose as I could at the moment (in the tee shirt celebrating the beautiful Vietnamese spokeswoman for the North's side in peace negotiations [taken by Tom Wilson]) and another in a more typically angry posture defying anyone objecting to my new "gay" label [taken by Len Randolph], and in a shot [can't remember who took it] with the late, great poet and friend Ed Cox who "came out" while he was living in a then "straight" commune in DC with me and my late wife Lee and our children and several other adults, and which eventually became a lesbian feminist commune before I finally moved out.


AlamedaTom said...

You may recall that I took the first picture shown and made you two or three prints of it. The negative was lost in the Oakland firestorm, but I'm pretty sure I took the shot with a two-and-a-quarter camera, which yielded super quality. Nice to see that it lives on.

~ Willy

Lally said...

I forgot that but will add the credit, great shot as always brother