A find forwarded

The love of my life if you don’t already know is black.

He forwarded me this from Flickr:

The text is very interesting since this dates to the 1920’s:

The Story of Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips was a young black gay man growing up in the Midwest during the early 20Th century. He was the son of a fairly prosperous middle class lawyer within a family exemplifying the aspirations of the talented tenth. Somehow, rumors of Paul’s extracurricular activities revolving around his “sexual behavior and preference” reached his father. Quite calmly and plainly, his father explained to Paul that he was living his life within an “unnatural” condition since he did not evince a desire for the opposite sex within their small segregated community. To help his son overcome this “condition,” a trip was planned to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

For a total of seven day, Paul was interviewed and examined. At the end, the doctors reported to Mr. Phillips and his wife that nothing could be done to change Paul; he would be a “homosexual” to the end of his days. And, that under Minnesota law at the time, they were required to report suspected gay men to the Rochester police, gay being a criminal offense. For whatever reason, the doctors, to the great relief of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, declined to report Paul to the law enforcement authorities.

After returning home from an exacerbating trip that required them to camp out because they were not allowed to stay in white only hotels, Mr. Phillips came to a rather judicious conclusion about the sexual nature of his son. If his son suffered from an “illness” for which there was no cure, he would allow his son to lead his life as before, but lead it with DIGNITY and caution. Mr. Phillips said to Paul:

Find yourself a friend you can trust and bring him …What you do in your own room is your own business.

Mr. Phillips feared for Paul’s welfare. He understood the dangers of clandestine meeting spots where those like his son found one another and sometimes the law waiting for them.

It took Paul sometime to find a congenial lover, but at college in Topeka, Kansas after becoming a lawyer in the mid 1920s, he met another black man, a musician who played the organ for churches near school and together they began a relationship of mutual affection providing a respite against an often hostile and prejudiced world.

Info From: The Other Side of Silence: Men’s Lives & Gay Identities-A Twentieth-Century History by John Loughery

I’m going to have to get the book. But what interests me more is how Paul’s father accepted his sons homosexuality as just a normal part of life.

Yet on the other hand we have NOM glorifying the black churches for helping their cause.

3 thoughts on “A find forwarded

  1. I have an idea, and you might be able to help me shape it into something. Suppose that all the people who worked so diligently to kill same-sex marriage in Rhode Island could be held accountable for their opposition?

    We all know that fifty years from now those who opposed GBLT rights will be held in the same low regard as those who owned slaves or joined the KKK. Most families in the north would run off a cliff rather than admit that grand pa was a hood wearing racist.

    But fifty years from now is a long time, and opponents og same-sex marriage need to be shamed here and now. So, let’s build a small monument, well made so that it will last throughout the ages, similar to those monuments that you see at sites of historical significance that otherwise would be forgotten. “here camped General Rochambeau” and “here an elephant was shot” kind of things.

    Only our monument will list those state legislators to cowardly or too bigoted to extend the rights of marriage to all. Their names will be enshrined for all to see, forever. Their children and grandchildren will be forced to disown the memory of their parents, because this monument will stand forever as a testament to their bigotry.

    What do you think?

    Email me.

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