Behavior: The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood

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THE BLATANT HOMOSEXUAL. Chaucer's Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales had a voice "small as a goat's. He had no beard nor ever would have, his face was as smooth as if lately shaven; I trow he were a mare or a gelding." This is the eunuch-like caricature of" femininity that most people associate with homosexuality. In the 1960s he may be the catty hairdresser or the lisping, limp-wristed interior decorator. His lesbian counterpart is the "butch," the girl who is aggressively masculine to the point of trying to look like a man. Blatants also include "leather boys," who advertise their sadomasochism by wearing leather jackets and chains, and certain transvestites, or "Tvs." (Other transvestites are not homosexuals at all and, while they enjoy dressing in female clothing, may also have women as sex partners.)

Actually, such stereotype "queers" are a distinct minority. Paul Gebhard, director of Alfred Kinsey's Institute for Sex Research, estimates that only around 10% of all homosexuals are immediately recognizable. Blatants often draw sneers from other homosexuals, and in fact many of them are only going through a phase. Having recently "come out"—admitted their condition and joined the homosexual world—they feel insecure in their new roles and try to re-create their personalities from scratch. Behaving the way they think gay people are supposed to behave, they too temporarily fall victim to the myth.

THE SECRET LIFER. The other 90% of the nation's committed inverts are hidden from all but their friends, lovers, and occasionally, psychiatrists. Their wrists are rigid, their "s's" well formed; they prefer subdued clothes and close-cropped hair, and these days may dress more conservatively than flamboyant straights. Many wear wedding rings and have wives, children and employers who never know. They range across all classes, all races, all occupations. To lead their double lives these full or part-time homosexuals must "pass" as straight, and most are extremely skilled at camouflage. They can cynically tell —or at least smile at—jokes about "queers"; they fake enjoyment when their boss throws a stag party with nude movies.

THE DESPERATE. Members of this group are likely to haunt public toilets ("tearooms") or Turkish baths. They may be pathologically driven to sex but emotionally unable to face the slightest strains of sustaining a serious human relationship, or they may be married men who hope to conceal their need by making their contacts as anonymous as possible.

THE ADJUSTED. By contrast, they lead relatively conventional lives. They have a regular circle of friends and hold jobs, much like Los Angeles Businessman "Charles Eliott" or Manhattan Secretary "Rachel Porter," described on page 62. Their social lives generally begin at the gay bars or in rounds of private parties. Often they try to settle down with a regular lover, and although these liaisons are generally short-lived among men, some develop into so-called "gay marriages," like the 14-year union between Poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.

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