Show July 25, 2016
The following is scheduled:
Opening, general discussion
When Ray Hill got out of Prison in March 1975, he was not sure if he could do anything to advance the cause of GLBTQ equality, a cause he had helped begin in 1966 before my prison years. Ray first attended a meeting of Integrity Houston at the encouragement of Carl Hays but Pokey Anderson, Hugh Crell and Jerry Mays told me to leave and threatened to have me arrested for trespassing if he came back. He had just completed a 160 year sentence in Texas prison (by reforming my sentence to 8 years and being a trusty) so a couple nights in jail for trespassing wasn't too daunting but he complied anyway. Ray was more welcome at MCC the newly forming gay friendly church. Virginia Galloway and the first pastor, Bob Falls welcomed me into that fold. He found the welcome mat at U of H Gay Activist Alliance disinterested in my sordid past as well. The problem was whether He was welcome or not each of these groups met weekly or bi-weekly with only a handful of people in attendance.
There were thousands of GLBTQ people in Houston most of whom would sneak into a few dark bars to interact anonymously with each other driven by the compulsion driven by their own denial. I had access to a radio station, KPFT 90.1 fm (www.kpft.org), which he had helped found in 1968 before going to prison.
Ray thought he would go on radio from which could reach people in their closets so he began Wilde N Stein (after Oscar and Gertrude). Soon he had an audience and while the groups were drawing 25-30 people to every meeting, he was reaching hundreds or thousands with every broadcast. That was how our community was built in Houston in those early years. KPFT is still there and on late nights Saturday, AfterHours is broadcast and Monday nights Queer Voices is still there. Ray would go on to be the first openly gay (and ex-convict) General Manager of a licensed Broadcast station, KPFT (we had to change FCC rules to make that possible)
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