25 7 / 2014
"Johnnie Phelps, a woman sergeant in the army, thought, “There was a tolerance for lesbianism if they needed you. The battalion I was in was probably about ninety-seven percent lesbian.”
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’ “
“And he was kind of taken aback a bit. And then this women standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the General pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelp’s name may be second, but mine will be first.”
“Then I looked at him, and said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all the drivers-every woman in the WAC detachment-and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us-then I’ll be happy to make that list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancy. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious conduct.”
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’”"
The Gay Metropolis, page 47, Charles Kaiser (via bibliothekara)
Phelps tells this story herself in the excellent 1984 documentary Before Stonewall, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube (she’s at 19:30, but really, watch the whole thing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX7AxQd82H8
24 7 / 2014
i think we all have that one piece of media we like that’s basically “i love this thing, but i dont think everyone should watch this thing and would not categorically recommend it to other people i know, this thing has a lot of problems and i am the first person you should ask if you want to know a long list of criticisms, but i REALLY ENJOY THIS THING” its like holding up a can of trash to everyone else and saying ”you are a reasonable person and you would not enjoy touching this garbage and i value that about you” and then pouring it out on the ground and rolling around in it yourself
23 7 / 2014
"Your voice sounds completely different in different languages. It alters your personality somehow. I don’t think people get the same feeling from you. The rhythm changes. Because the rhythm of the language is different, it changes your inner rhythm and that changes how you process everything.
When I hear myself speak French, I look at myself differently. Certain aspects will feel closer to the way I feel or the way I am and others won’t. I like that—to tour different sides of yourself. I often find when looking at people who are comfortable in many languages, they’re more comfortable talking about emotional stuff in a certain language or political stuff in another and that’s really interesting, how people relate to those languages."