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Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Part 3)

Hey everyone, welcome to the podcast. This week’s episode closes out a 3-episode arc covering Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We’re going to cover the eventual repeal of the policy, and uncover some of the societal attitudes—particularly how they’ve shifted over the years. The underlying justifications for DADT have been subjected to increasing suspicion and outright rejection by the early 21st century. Mounting evidence obtained from the integration efforts of foreign militaries, surveys of U.S....


Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Part 2)

Hey everyone; welcome to the podcast. If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, I encourage you to do so—we cover the rise of the government’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in the U.S. military. In this week’s episode, we’ll be covering the intense judicial, social and legislative debate over the policy. It’s the 2nd episode in a 3 episode arc. Following the July 1999 murder of Army Pfc. Barry Winchell, apparently motivated by anti-gay bias, President Clinton issued an executive order...


Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Part 1)

Just a brief note to let you know that this week we’re going to be covering Don’t Ask, Don’t tell, the first of a three-part episode arc. In this episode, we’ll be delving into what it was all about, the origin and history of the policy, and the legal challenges that it faced as it evolved. The second episode will be about the intense social and legislative debate that existed in the politically charged social-issues climate surrounding the era, with the third episode diving into details...


Tom of Finland

This week, we’re going to be covering Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland. He was born on May 8th, 1920, and was a Finnish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. He was named Touko due to the fact that the Finnish word for the month of May is “Toukokuu,” so his parents shortened it. He has been called quote "the most influential creator of gay pornographic images" by cultural historian Joseph W....


Matthew Shepard

This week, 19 years ago, the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard shocked the world. We decided to cover his story this week, as he eventually died while in the hospital on Oct. 12th, 1998. It’s important to remember his story. I remember hearing the news about his death, and it hit me very hard at the time—Matt and I were born around the same time, so I paid particular attention to his awful death—I cannot believe it’s almost been 20 years. Matthew Shepard Matthew Wayne Shepard, born December...


Leelah Alcorn

This week, we’re covering Leelah Alcorn who was an American transgender girl whose suicide attracted international attention. She was born on November 15th, 1997. Alcorn had posted a suicide note to her Tumblr blog, writing about societal standards affecting transgender people and expressing the hope in that blog posting that her death would create a dialogue about discrimination, abuse and lack of support for transgender people. I distinctly remembered this post when it hit social media,...


Daughters of Bilitis

This week, we’ll be taking a look at the esteemed Daughters of Bilitis. In concert with the Mattachine Society, this group led the birth of the modern queer rights movement. The Daughters of Bilitis, also called the DOB or the Daughters, was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States. The organization, formed in San Francisco in 1955, was conceived as a social alternative to lesbian bars, which were subject to frequent raids and ongoing police harassment....


Leonard Matlovich

Memorial plaque outside of Matlovich's former apartment building. Hi guys; welcome to the podcast. This week, we’ll be covering Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich who was born on July 6, 1943. He was a Vietnam War veteran in the Air Force, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Matlovich was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight their ban on gays, and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the...


Paris is Burning

This week, we’ll be investigating a documentary released in 1990 called Paris Is Burning, directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.


Brandon Teena

This week, we’ll be taking a look at Brandon Teena, including his life, his death, and his overall cultural and legal significance. Brandon Teena was born Teena Renae Brandon on December 12, 1972. Brandon was born a genetic female, and later became a trans man, so for the purposes of this story, we’ll be referring to him by his preferred pronoun, and his chosen name Brandon. Brandon’s life and death, including his eventual rape and murder, was the subject of the Academy Award-winning 1999...


Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift's Performance as Tom in the Glass MenagerieEarly Life In this week’s episode, we’ll explore the life and times of one of Hollywood’s earliest gay stars—Montgomery Clift. Edward Montgomery "Monty" Clift was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was William Clift and his mother was Ethel, nicknamed "Sunny". They had married in 1914. Clift actually had a twin sister, also named Ethel, and a brother, William. Clift’s ancestry was English, Dutch and Scottish....


Compton's Cafeteria Riot

In this episode of the Mattachine Podcast, we’ll be looking at the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, which occurred in San Francisco, in the late summer of 1966. We’ll investigate the riot’s significance, and how it set the tone for gay rights moving forward—particularly within the scope of rapid social civil rights advancements in the tumultuous 60s. The Compton's Cafeteria Riot occurred in August 1966 in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This incident was one of the first recorded...


The Mattachine Society

In this inaugural episode of the Mattachine podcast, we’ll be exploring the podcast’s namesake origin: the Mattachine Society. We’ll explore the rise, social acceptance, and eventual downfall of the society.