How The Times Gave ‘Homosexual’ Its Personal Voice (Once More)

“Gay” was even making its way into headlines — “5 Gay Candidates Are in State Contests,” “Christopher Street: From Farm to Gay Center,” “Religious Order Founded Here By One-Year-Old Gay Church,” “Finally — Two Films Dealing With the Issues of Gay Lib,” “The Gay Life: Cartoon vs. Reality,” “The ‘Gay’ People Demand Their Rights,” “A Catholic on ‘Gay’ Life” and “Is Gay a ‘Security Risk’?”Just as the word “gay” was entering into mainstream conversation in the late 1960s and early ’70s, so its use seemed to be increasing organically at The Times — not necessarily encouraged, but not entirely resisted.
There were calls for Mr. Stock’s dismissal by other Times executives after the section appeared, but Mr. Frankel resisted them.
He ordered The Times to avoid the subject of gay life for a long time, Max Frankel, a former executive editor, wrote in his memoir, “The Times of My Life and My Life With The Times.” And he banned the word “gay,” Ms. Tifft and Mr. Jones wrote.
Advertisement Continue reading the main storyIn 1969, an essay in the Arts & Leisure section made plain that outlaw sex was only one facet of gay life.
PhotoIn fact, Mrs. Sulzberger was outraged, according to “The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times,” by Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones.

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