Q & A in 1952

A meeting held a long time ago, put together by the Mattachine Society, had the distinction of being among the first times homosexual literature was publicly and sympathetically discussed. Held in 1952 or 1953, the meeting focused on the topic, “What is the greatest problem facing the homosexual novelist at this time?”

In 1952 they had a problem finding homosexual novelists who would indeed admit that they were gay. Sanford Friedman was one of the writers who agreed to appear. Another of the volunteers was Paul Goodman.

The meeting began, and the moderator posed the question, “What do you feel is the biggest problem facing the homosexual writer today?” He turned to Goodman. “Mr. Goodman, what do you have to say?”

Goodman answered, “I believe the biggest problem facing the homosexual novelist today is the hydrogen bomb.”

–Samuel R. Delaney, “Panel: Politics of Identity,” in Anne Waldman and Lisa Birman, Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action

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