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238                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            Fundamentalists obsessing over Bible words also obsess over gay language
            and judge, for instance, the triumphant word pride in “Gay Pride” as the
            “signature queer sin” among the seven deadly sins; for pride is vanity, the
            sin from which all other sins arise. (“Gay Pride/Power” is a riff, of course,
            on “Black Pride/Power.”)
               Ten years after Stonewall, on the night of May 21, 1979, thousands
            of San Francisco gays rushed on City Hall, attacked two squads of police,
            and set nine police cars afire. The “White Night Riot” ignited violently
            because a jury, believing the label “Twinkie Defense,” gave a slap on the
            wrist to the assassin of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Spin-
            ning off the snack food Twinkie, Drummer author Fred Halsted in 1975
            had coined the terms twink and twinkie to define his boyish blond lover
            Joey Yale who typically represented a certain kind of young, hairless, and
            cream-filled gay youth. (I wrote three stories for the fiction anthology,
            Twink: Stories of Gay Young Men, Alyson Publications, 2001, and the
            opening definition of twink equates cream with cum which a twinkie is
            both full of and can be injected with.) The May 22 San Francisco Chron-
            icle went beyond “slender young men” with the headline: “Gay Plea for
            Calm.” These were no longer the amusing “friends of Dorothy.” The
            1950s and 1960s codes of self-defense had given way to 1970s rhetoric
            that the best defense is a good offense. As 1970s “gay liberation” rekeyed
            itself into 1980s “gay politics,” fag tags turned linguistic helixes around
            1) the politicalization represented in the rise of gay-and-lesbian studies
            and 2) the medicalization of terms around GRID (the specific blood
            libel of Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) and then around HIV which
            was the iceberg that struck the Titanic 1970s as the festive party was
            cruising on.
               By 1983, AIDS vocabulary, particularly in the popular straight mind,
            virtually returned homosexuality — after only a decade off for good
            behavior — to its definition as a “disease” albeit not the “mental disorder”
            which had been abandoned by the American Psychiatric Association in
            1973. The politically correct made a huge mistake in medicalizing 1970s
            behavior as the cause of AIDS. Their diktat is a post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc
            fallacy. Truth be told: Some who felt left out of or who missed the 1970s
            celebration were simply jealous. It may have been cute to blame bell bot-
            toms, disco, and bath houses, but a virus caused AIDS which was passed
            more by the sharing of needles among the A-List than by A-List sex acts.
            If HIV had never been invented, and if Marxist keywords had never been
            injected into the gay bloodstream, the 70s would be fondly remembered as
            a Gay Renaissance, the Golden Age of the First Decade of Gay Liberation,
            because the 70s were to sex what the enlightenment was to reason.

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