American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 3 of 3 and Danny Garvin
Oh, yes, slowly. Oh, yes, well, the owner of Oscar Wilde was a good friend of mine, great. So if you tell me about the why you go and tell me if you wanted the bookshops and why? Why did I go? Let me think about that. Well, it was the only one. Well, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, which was open, I believe, in 1967 by my friend Craig Rodwell. It was a one-of-its-kind thing.
It was a gay bookshop. It was in Manhattan, and Craig ran it, Craig Rodwell. And it was a little bit of a hangout for a bunch of us. And it was one of the few places where you could get news and updates, and where they'd get information about what it was going on. But there was very little going on. The only thing basically going on before Stone Long was Manishing. And a lot of us were very put off by Manishing, the whole concept of Manishing, the whole way. They everything about it. It didn't fit a proud gay person's idea of themselves, and what I felt it should be. Now, what would it be, if it didn't fit the code, and maybe just known a 20 seconds of quiet, I know about that. Okay, a little bit more on that.
All right. Yep. You know, the form of groups, they were the black panthers. They were, you know, they were facing men and all these women's women's women's leaders. What? And without getting into the specific to the group, you've got something over there. There you go. Hi, Quentin. Hey, um, you know, I mean, so the people watching this, oh, yeah, that meeting was connected somehow to, you know, like, you know, I know, I know.
Well, you see, GLF, the first organization that I founded, we were part of the movement. We made ourselves part of the movement. We marched in anti-war demonstrations as a gay group. We became part of that counterculture movement declaring our rights and demanding our rights and standing up for them. We were part of that whole movement of the 60s. Why is that important? Why have it the GLA and GLF and all that? Why was it important to learn this way and even march and figure it was like general lunching? Well, I think what we lacked was clout. And I think that we gained clout in numbers and in what's sort of looking for a voicing or a...
More important? No, we gained our clout by standing up for ourselves. We gained our clout by taking pride in what we were and what we were as people and not accepting the definition that society had given to us. Clout was important because in these kind of societies, we live in, unless you have clout, you're a victim. You know, and we were tired of being victims and we showed that we had some strength and we got clout. I mean, one last thing, at the first gay march, you couldn't get a politician to march in that march with us. If you had bribed them and believed me, that's saying a lot. You couldn't have gotten a politician to come there
and being with us no matter what we did. Today, you can't keep them away. They're everywhere. I guess we got some clout. Excellent. All right. Great. I don't know. Get down town with you, but get the tail edge of the meeting at the center, though. What time is it going to take us? I was born and raised here in Manhattan. We didn't say maybe when I was 17. And of course, they said you'll see the world, but I got stationed in Brooklyn. And it was there that I discovered that I was gay. And almost sexuality was a dishonorable discharge in those days. And you couldn't get a job afterwards. So I had a hard time trying to cope with that. Childhood friend I had grown up with, this girl had died. And being in conflict, being gay, my family lived in Ireland. I didn't know what to do.
So I attempted suicide. And then after the Navy put me, I went into Bellevue, and the Navy got me. And I went in the St. Albans Naval Hospital. Got discharged by 18. And it was the perfect time they hit the streets in New York. OK. Just going to hit on a couple of my kids. Make sure that I'm in my team clear. Going straight to keeping it where you're born, in case you can. Sure. When were you in the Navy and what were the rules? OK. I'm trying to think of the year now. Oh, no, I'm sorry. OK. OK. I was in the Navy when I was 17. The rules were, if you were gay, with automatically disomplished charge. And you wouldn't really be able to get a job when you came out because it was on your record. When you went for a job interview, they would ask, what type of discharge do you have?
So I would be the son of a discharge of a being gay. And that would, my whole life would have been destroyed. And how did that lead you to actually have your life on what you're doing? Well, I wouldn't come out and tell them I was gay. So to cover that up, I was like, I attempt to suicide. It was some way to get me out and not be under the pressure of the government throwing me out. It was the only option I had to be out. So I got out, they gave me an honorable discharge as long as I didn't blame the government for any problems. I tried it by attempting suicide. And of course, when I was in group therapy and everything, I wouldn't talk about it in the Navy. So they said, OK, we'll give you an awful discharge. You don't say the Navy had any problems to do with this. It's that way they wouldn't have to pay me a pension for the rest of my life. So it was a fair thing during my time in the Navy I attempted suicide. I guess during my time in the Navy, I
attempted suicide to try to get out because it was my only option outside of the song of this church. So what did you do as I wasn't as fair as the way to get out? It was a combination of things. I mean, I was discovering I was gay. I didn't know how to deal with that. There were no services really that I was aware of for me as a gay person. The option of the life I had hit me was nothing that I wanted. It meant 42nd Street movie theaters or T-rooms. There was no way for me to actually know the positive aspects or do good things in gay life. Did you do my tape pills? I attempted cutting my wrist. I went to five razor blades. And got scratches on my wrist. Well, it's kind of funny to go to five razor blades. Yeah. I was going to find it later. I was going to find it later.
When I took five razor blades to cut myself. I was like, just come with people. I'm just going to find it later. Thank you. It was blue blade, too. That's a double edge. To try to get out of the Navy, I attempted suicide by cutting my wrist. It felt it was the only option that I had at the time because otherwise it would have gotten a dishonable discharge. And I would never have been able to get a job and function in society. Is that it? Yeah. I don't know what else you got. There's something that's kind of missing. And I don't know if this is very much. What I'm here to say, how did you do the up? I was in the Navy. And then I'd come up up to get out of the Navy. It was a little bit wide. I don't know if you said why you were in the Navy to begin with. And what in it, the relationship?
I went into the Navy as 17 because my father had left America to go live in Ireland. And it was in this process that I discovered that I was gay. I started discovering myself being gay. And I couldn't deal with this. I got stationed in Brooklyn. So I lived here in Manhattan. So any option of being seen as gay, my whole family would have known it. My friends would have known it. There was no going from one place to another place. I was here. I was forced to come out at home. Why were you being in the Navy when I was a freshman? Could be because you were going to be clothed in the outside where I had clothed. Because what I had to function in the outside where I'm liable to get a job. And then of course, when you went for a job and if you either asked for your draft status or if you were discharged. And I was discharged and would have been a disarmable discharge for being gay. I was not bringing this stuff in there. Oh, yes. Yes. That's the way for care. So that's what I'm missing.
You being in the Navy, I was in what we were doing. I was afraid of being discovered that I was gay. I was hard enough for me to accept it. And I didn't want to have to go to the rest of my life with that stamp on me and not being able to get a job. In the Navy, but how did you feel about keeping the fact that you were gay and quiet? It was hard enough even telling it to myself. I couldn't even accept that fully at myself. I first started playing in the bisexual card. I would play that for a while. Because that was safer than I didn't have to face entirely that yes, I was gay. So I would play that for a bit for myself. I guess I really didn't fully understand gain as until a few years later. You have to go through the acceptance of yourself first. And that's hard when all of the society and everyone is telling you, no, I'm just washing like a bug. And would it have been definitely that if it weren't discovered in the Navy
that you were gay, what would it have been? If they found out I was gay, I would have immediately got a dissonal discharge. I knew gay sailors who were followed by the seat trope and followed them into gay bars. Follow them, so I'm going to gay bar and you got discharged or am I a dissonable discharge? Oh, that's the rest of your life here. You're doing the stamp. You go for a job interview. They ask you a draft status. If you don't have a draft status, you have to have a discharge. What was your discharge? It's a catch-22. Great. Two a second. You had one way or the other to get out. There was no other option to get out of the service. It was almost like don't ask, don't tell, except this was when you go on a job interview, and don't ask, no life, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, what did you get here, you say? It sounded like when you enlisted, you didn't know you were gay or true. I wasn't sure.
There was some care time of week, months, years, you hadn't discovered this while being a baby. And then that led to this girl. Well, to make it simple? OK. When you're a 17-year-old sailor, and you stand across the street from the base in Brooklyn, you're definitely going to get a car ride in Manhattan. And that car ride usually entailed someone giving you a blowjob. And that felt great at 17. I didn't care if it was a man or a woman, as long as a warm mouth. I mean, I'm been honest here. And it was of course I had a girlfriend, Diane, who died, she fell off a cliff in the Bronx. And I didn't know how to cope with her death being a 17. I had got drunk. I went to the one person who I didn't know was gay. I went to their house. They said, get out of here. You're under age, you're 18. You're able, because they didn't make back to the base. And they said, and I could be arrested. But that's true. I really just haven't you in here. You never mind that you're a government property.
And I had no place to go. And then I went back to the Navy. They were throwing me into the brig to be an able. And I want to be thrown in jail. And I didn't know how to deal with that. I didn't know how to deal with the gay aspect that was coming up in my life. And I was so confused as a kid that the only option I felt I could do was I cut my wrist to get some kind of help. And it was more of a cry for help. Took five razor blades, ripped a page out of the L pages, went to a psychiatrist and said, so get yourself in the Bellevue, quit yourself, the Navy has to take care of you. So I went to Bellevue, stayed there for three days. Navy came and got me, and threw me a little bit of it out. And that was March 17th. And then following down into the storm, would have been open at night, March 18th. OK, I mean, if you wanted to. No, that's great. I mean, I'm not going to say it at all. OK, great. Did you just find it? No, I couldn't, sir. So did the Navy ever find out that you would get?
No. Yeah. No. OK. OK. Cool. OK.
- American Experience
- Stonewall Uprising
- Producing Organization
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Contributing Organization
- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
- Raw Footage Description
- In this interview, Jerry Hoose talks about being gay in the 1950's, the Mafia, Greenwich Village, the trucks, Stonewall, raids, and arrests. Interview with Danny Garvin appended at the end.
- Copyright 2011 WGBH Educational Foundation
- Media type
- Moving Image
Interviewee: Hoose, Jerry
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 042 (WGBH Item ID)
Format: DVCPRO: 50
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- Chicago: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 3 of 3 and Danny Garvin,” 2011-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-57np75qf.
- MLA: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 3 of 3 and Danny Garvin.” 2011-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-57np75qf>.
- APA: American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Jerry Hoose, 3 of 3 and Danny Garvin. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-57np75qf