|Me at Penn Manor Apartments Pennsauken, NJ - 1964 - Bill's apartment|
With the historic Supreme Court decision yesterday to not hear the appeals of five states that wanted to continue to legalize discrimination against LGBT couples, legalized discrimination against the gays is over. Of course there will always be holdouts like the Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alioto. That fact will never change until they are gone. But they have lost and they know it. Even Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin said "The Battle is Over."
Back in the bad old days when it was against the law just to be a homosexual (the word used to describe "the gays" pre-Stonewall), never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would be legally married to Bill.
The photo at the beginning of this post is of me in 1964, the summer that I met Bill and would spend weekends at his apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey. We led a clandestine life in those days. Very secretive.
Bill could not even hint that a man was living with him because if he did he would risk losing his job at RCA. Only straight men worked at RCA, later GE. If it was known that Bill was a HOMOSEXUAL, how long do you think his employment would last? Nada. Gone.
|Bill Kelly, RCA employee and closeted gay - 1964|
That attack particularly caught my interest because several times while I lived in Philadelphia I was attacked (not injured, got away) while just walking the street to or from a gay bar. I and many other gay men were often physically attacked by back in the Sixties and Seventies those assaults didn't make the news because we were gay and thus disposable.
I was even threatened in those two bastions of Gaydom, Provincetown and Rehoboth Beach. Folks, homophobia exists everywhere, even today and be forewarned my fellow gays, always try to be with someone if you're walking after dark in a known gay area. My problem was I was always by myself (Bill didn't like to go out to gay bars). Being by myself I was an easy target.
|Me at our center city Philadelphia home 1969|
Looking at this picture of me from those days I have to admit I probably "looked gay" because I was slim and neat. I remember when this picture was taken, New Year's Day 1969 - I was cooking eggs to balance my hangover from celebrating New Year's Eve the previous evening. Oh those were the days.
You know what folks? I'm just glad I lived long enough to see the day when so many of my gay brothers and sisters can now get married and enjoy a life without the yoke of legalized discrimination and second class citizenship.