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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                235
             to as they and them more than thirty times. In 1945, Raymond Williams
             returned from the war to Cambridge and found life had changed. “We no
             longer spoke the same language,” he wrote in Keywords: A Vocabulary of
             Culture and Society (1983). Even as each 20 -century decade more or less
                                              th
             accommodated homosexuality, the 1960s blew in on Stonewall by offer-
             ing a perfect storm of liberation as elements converged through the media
             of popular culture wherein everything changed, if one applies Warhol,
             every fifteen minutes. In 1964, the trifecta of Mario Savio’s Free Speech
             Movement at Berkeley, Kenneth Marlowe’s best-selling Mr. Madam, and
             Susan Sontag’s “Notes on ‘Camp’” sounded the charge of the gay-keyword
             stampede out of Polari and into the streets.
                In the revolutionary Prague Spring of 1968, after Martin Luther
             King was assassinated in April and protest riots of resistance broke out
             in sixty American cities, Robert Kennedy was killed in June, two days
             after Andy Warhol was shot by genderist Valerie Solanas. Word-slinger
             Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band opened April 14 in New York and
             accurately outed fluent gay badinage into pop culture media. In August,
             when the Chicago police rioted with clubs beating activists at the Demo-
             cratic Convention, the victims — surrounded in the streets — resisted and
             changed the politics of dominance by chanting to invoke the power of the
             international television cameras: “The whole world is watching.”
                In spring 1969, in Paris I listened to Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
             anointing 1969 sexually in their shocking duets, “69 Annee Erotique” and
             “Je T’aime Moi Non Plus.” At the same moment, Gloria Steinem wrote
             her first feminist article, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation,” the
             taboo-breaking Midnight Cowboy premiered May 25, and on the very
             “out” date of June 9, 1969, once-a-century “6/9/69 parties” were cele-
             brated throughout the free world — which inaugurated the 1970s orgy
             fad. Driven by this tidal surge, eighteen days later, at the Stonewall Inn,
             as June 28 became June 29, the love that dare not speak its name began
             to shout underground vocabulary to the media, like some wild burlesque
             Berlitz teaching gayspeak as a foreign language.
                Reporting the Stonewall uprising six hours after the first stone was
             cast, a reticent New York Times in ten short-shrift paragraphs used the
             word homosexual once and “young men” twice. The New York Post in
             five paragraphs used homosexual only once but actually dared quote the
             framing chant of “gay power.” The New York Daily News tried to disarm
             the mutiny with the mocking, nelly, campy “Homo Nest Raided, Queen
             Bees Stinging Mad.” In its Independence Day issue (July 3, 1969), The
             Village Voice nailed the gay gravitas with the headline feature “Gay Power
             Comes to Sheridan Square.” On November 5, activists successfully pick-
             eted the Los Angeles Times for refusing to print the word homosexual in

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