Text crimes
The very long & contentious career of "Men loving boy loving men"

Bebout, Rick

Publisher:  http://www.rbebout.com
Date Written:  01/06/2003
Year Published:  2003  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20139

Rick Bebout on journalism and freedom and the Body Politic newspaper.


Words have power.

It can seem a cliché -- "The pen is mightier" and all that. And, as we'll see in this tale, words do not always have power in the moment: whatever thought they urge may not be taken up, or not much; whatever light they might cast can fall into darkness.

But we know, for sure, that words have power when the powers that be fear words; when censorious forces want to make sure no one will ever be free to hear them, see them, read them -- or even know they exist. Or ever did exist. Even words once freely circulated in public discourse risk being pushed back into oblivion.

Like the words here.

"Men loving boys loving men" first saw the light of day on November 21, 1977, release date of the December 1977 / January 1978 issue of a radical little gay mag called The Body Politic. The article, by Gerald Hannon, a longtime member of its governing collective, had in fact been written in the early summer. It got laid out soon after, ready to run.
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