2021-10-19 20:16:55 UTC
Martin's the one with white hair, btw.
By Grace Anderson.
...In the collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, a rolodex that once belonged to the couple is packed with contacts collected over their decades working together. The rotating file, filled with index cards scribbled with notes, home addresses and phone numbers, resides among a host of other items donated by Martin’s daughter, Kendra Mon.
Katherine Ott, a curator at the museum, explains that this relic of a pre-internet past is “chock-full of all of the era’s important queers.” The rolodex is only a glimpse into their long history of organizing around queer and women’s rights, which began with the formation of DOB.
Starting an organization by lesbians, for lesbians, in 1955 carried its share of risks. The McCarthy-era moral panic surrounding sexuality was ablaze in the form of Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, which barred queer people from working for government agencies. The Lavender Scare, named for a derogatory term used by Senator Everett Dirksen, became a kind of witch-hunt as the federal government used abusive tactics to discover and root out gay people—some 10,000 civil servants would lose their jobs. Queer people were described as perverts and sexual deviants. A 1955 film entitled Boys Beware, shown in high schools, warned young boys of homosexual predators who would try and take advantage of their unsuspecting innocence....