In 1983, Buffalonian Bobby Uplinger and his lawyer, Bill Gardner, took Bobby’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bobby had been arrested for making a sexual invitation to an undercover cop, and he and Bill were intent on showing that this case–and the many others like it around the U.S.–was a violation of a gay man’s constitutional rights. In this episode, Averill and Sarah introduce an oral history the History Buffs collected from Bill Gardner about this case. Tune in to learn how Bill and Bobby’s story turned out.
Show Notes & Further Reading
William Gardner, Oral History Interview. Conducted by Averill Earls and Elizabeth Garner Masarik on behalf of the Buffalo Oral History Project, 22 November 2015, in the home of William Gardner.
Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky and Madeline D. Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. New York: Routledge, 1993.
In August of 1916, Roger Casement was executed for his role in the Easter Rising in Ireland. Before his trial, however, the British government leaked documents to the press and politicians. These were identified as Casement’s diaries and ledgers, which chronicled a series of homosexual encounters. Though many immediately denounced the Black Diaries (read excerpts of the diaries transcribed by Angus Mitchell here) as forgeries, asserting that the British government was trying to tarnish the name of a hero to circumvent public outcry against his execution – which, certainly, the British government was seeking to do – the damage was resounding. The question of forged or not forged has been asked again and again for decades. Why? After his death, it was assumed and reiterated by the Irish public and Casement’s friends that he could not be both homosexual and a nationalist. Dan and Averill return to the question of Irish identity in this special episode for the 1916 Easter Rising centenary, contemplating who counts, who doesn’t, and why.
Each year since 1990, the Irish-American Gay and Lesbian Organization of New York City has requested to march in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Each year the parade organizers have refused the request. In 1993, NYC Human Rights Commission mandated that the IGLO had to be included in the parade, a mandate that was overturned as “unconstitutional” by a Federal judge. The court case was predicated on free speech, asserting that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which had organized the parade for 150 years, had the right to decide what was said in their parade, and what was not said. That legal precedent has had far deeper consequences. Underlying this battle over a quintessential celebration of Irish-Americanness, there was a question of what Irish-(American)ness is, and who gets to define that identity. Join Averill and Marissa for some of the history of the New York City and Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parades, the fight for inclusion and exclusion, and the shaping of Irish-American identities.
David Beriss, “Introduction: ‘If you’re gay and Irish, your parents must be English,” in Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power v2 i3 (Taylor and Francis Online, 1996), 189-196.
Elisabeth George, PhD Candidate in History at the University at Buffalo, talks about the founding of AIDS Project of the Ozarks (APO), an AIDS service organization that operates out of Springfield, MO and was incorporated in 1985.
2012 AIDS Quilt, Ryan White and Pedro Zamora (Ted Eytan/Flickr|BY-SA)
Show Notes and Further Reading.
There is lots on the AIDS crisis and disease in the United States. See, for example:
Brier, Jennifer. Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses from the AIDS Crisis. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
Cohen, Cathy. The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Farmer, Paul. AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, Updated Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Lekus, Ian. “Health Care, the AIDS Crisis, and the Politics of Community: The North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project, 1982-1996” in Modern American Queer History, edited by Allida M. Black (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001): 227-252.
Shilts, Randy. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007.
Verghese, Abraham. My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.
Ramirez-Valles, Jesus. Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.
Here are a couple of interesting related links about AIDS service organizations, political movements, and efforts to increase understanding and awareness of AIDS in the US: