Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I hope I can find (and trust) some historical archive – the Gay Lesbian Historical Society, or the Gay section of the San Francisco Library?) – that would esteem and want to preserve this collage: It is from the first ever showing of the AIDS quilt – at the Moscone Center.

Click on this if you want to see it closer:

I think the photos are arranged well, but, most important, the sad child gives the human touch to the collage. One of the quilts is for someone I knew, Morgan Pinney, who was a one-man Gay Liberation before there was a Gay Liberation. He was a professor at San Francisco State who early on addressed State-wide teachers conferences with the announcement that he was gay. He was also the man who doled out union funds for those who were involved in the San Francsco State Strike of 1969. As with so many gay people, his family’s rejection of him for being a gay man had an embittering effect, but did not keep him from fighting for equal rights. His executor, James Hicks, if he reads this, might want to add more information, but one great irony is that James knew that Morgan would want to respond to gays in Moscow who needed a Xerox machine for their leaflets – at a time when the Russians overturned the old system, and that Xerox machine helped them to spread the word of their new revolution.

I will have to send the Robert Helps Archives at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa a letter that Bob sent when he was granted a residency at the MacDowell Colony so that he could concentrate on composing, away from performing as a concert pianist or teaching half-years at the Boston Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Click on the image of the letter if you want to read it:

No comments: