Wednesday, July 3, 2013

before stonewall after 1899 part 8[continued] mattichine society[continued]

Okay, back to the trial. So, Jennings plead not guilty and confessed to being a homosexual in court but he also insisted that his not guilty plea was just that! He was not guilty of the charges. The jury deadlocked and the Mattichine declared a win. After the trial the Mattichine's membership grew and so did meeting attendance.
    In a 1976 interview Henry Hay was asked about the origin of the name ''Mattichine.'' This is a direct quote: ''One masque group was known as the Societe Mattichine. these societies, lifelong secret fraternities of unmarried townsmen who never performed in public unmasked, were dedicated to going out into the countryside and conducting dances and rituals during the feast of fools , at the Vernal Equinox. Sometimes these dance rituals, or masques, were peasant protest against oppression-with the maskers, in the people's name, receiving the brunt of a given lord's vicious retaliation. So we took the name Mattichine because we felt that we 1950's gays were also a masked people, unknown and anonymous, who might become engaged in morale building and helping ourselves and others, though struggle, to move toward total redress and change.''
          -Jonathan Katz[interviewer],  Gay American History. Cromwell Publishers, 1974
    The Mattichine Society was one national organization based in LA until it moved to San Francisco in the mid 1950's. Chapters popped up all over the country in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and other cities. But any group is hard to keep together and in-fighting caused these Mattichine Society chapters to split into small independent groups by the early 60's. One of these off-shoots occurred in the early 50's and became One Inc., which went on to create One magazine, which I talk about in my post entitled Before Stonewall After 1899 part 5 One Magazine posted on 05-25-13. Anyhow, these off-shoot groups maintained a strong and viable independence throughout he 1960's. But toward the end of the 60's, and especially after the stonewall riots in 1969, they were seen as old school and behind the times. A whole new crop of groups and organizations popped up by the 1970's and the Mattichine and all it's off-shoots became apart of LGBT history.

No comments:

Post a Comment