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96                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.

               The 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade & Celebration
               Sunday, June 24, 1979

                                    Diversity . . .

                . . . the right to be different . . . to live your own way . . . to follow a “dif-
               ferent drummer . . . ” These rights are what the annual Gay Freedom
               Day Parade and Celebration are all about.
                   When we march in support of others’ right to adopt different
               modes of speech, dress, sexuality, and self-expression, we are
               supporting our own right to be different.
                   When we celebrate the home we have found in this city, we
               also celebrate the tremendous value we derive in our lives from
               the diversity that IS San Francisco.
                   This year marks the 10  anniversary of the Stonewall Rebel-
               lion, the beginning of the end of second-class citizenship for gay
               men and women everywhere.
                   We will march to support gay men and women here, and
               throughout the world, who look to this event, more than any other,
               as evidence that our numbers are plentiful and that our move-
               ment is strong.
                   We will march to remind politicians, in this election year, that
               votes are not to be won at our expense, and that harassment of
               any part of our community will be met with the resistance of our
               entire community.
                   We will all be there, celebrating the joy and full self-expres-
               sion we experience in our sexuality . . . celebrating our cultural con-
               tributions . . . celebrating with music, color, sun, and dancing in the
                   Join us.

            Even more then than now, the rate of uncloseting oneself and freeing
            oneself varied vastly according to culture and gender: whites tended to
            come out before Blacks and Hispanics, males tended to come out before
            females. There was no All-American Boy clothing store on Castro Street
            before gay males arrived. Presence creates culture signified by commerce.
            Genderistas might note that gay men could not back then support women
            who were not present. It is not ingenuous to posit that in the 1970s, Drum-
            mer did not publish female creatives, even when Jeanne Barney was editor
            in chief, because, as far as she remembers and I know, no women submit-
            ted material. Before the arrival of Cynthia Slater, Pat Califia, Camille
            O’Grady, and Gayle Rubin, gay men’s acquaintance with “women in

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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