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September 27, 1962, Vol. VII, No. 49
A Third Party For the Third Sex?
By Stephanie Gervis
In 1951 a homosexual under the pseudonym of Donald Webster Cory wrote a book called “The Homosexual in America,” in which he differentiated his own particular minority group from others on the grounds that it was “a group without a spokesman, without a leader, without a publication, without an organization, without a philosophy of life, without an accepted justification for its own existence.”
In 1962 R. E. L. Masters, a member of the heterosexual majority, came out with a book listing eleven homosexual organizations in the United States (including one for women), at least seven homosexual publications, and nine “specific wants and alleged rights” that “the homophile movement” demands be fulfilled. There is also a chapter that discusses homosexual bloc voting as a very real possibility. The title of Masters’ book is “The Homosexual Revolution.”
But are these organizations, publications, and speculations about voting power the stuff of which revolutions are made?
Can it even be said that the emergence of so much organizational trapping in little more than a decade constitutes a movement in any real sense? Or does this plethora of organizations only indicate a great divergence among homosexuals about how their problems should be met and a degree of disunity on aims and methods inimical to any united social or political action?
To those homosexuals contacted here in New York, including “organization men,” the idea of a unified national — or even citywide — homosexual “movement” is laughable. To all but one, so is the specific idea of a political pressure group or voting bloc. That one, Randolfe Wicker, public relations director of the recently formed Homosexual League of New York, regards the political effectiveness of homosexuals qua homosexuals only as a potential that may or may not be realized. He insists, however, that the potential is there and that in New York it is “terrific” in three areas — the Village, the east 50s and 60s, and the west 70s.
But a homosexual resident of one of these areas of “terrific political potential,” a Villager active in the radical (anti-Communist) left, flatly states, “There isn’t going to be any movement. They won’t be a pressure group. If Dworkis (Democratic Congressional candidate) came out for jailing the homosexuals and Lindsay (Republican incumbent) came out against it, Lindsay would win the homosexual vote and lose the election.” Homosexual Villagers, he went on, are like all other Villagers — “there are great differences among them, they don’t respond the same way, they don’t vote the same way; Greenwich Village is united only when there is some invasion of the community”…
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]