The homosexual in our society (Part 1 of 2)

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Program Title:
The homosexual in our society (Part 1 of 2)
PRA Archive #: 

This recording from 1958 - the earliest known radio recording to overtly discuss homosexuality - features Public Affairs Director of KPFA Elsa Knight Thompson interviewing Hal Call, the editor of the Mattachine Society's newsletter, the Mattachine Review; Dr. Blanche Baker, a psychologist noted for her then-rarely-shared belief that homosexuality was not an abnormality nor an illness; and Leah Gailey, the mother of a gay man. Gailey recounts her shock at first learning her son was gay and her eventual embrace of her son's sexuality. Call asserts that "every tenth predominantly homosexual". Topics discussed include the conflict of the society versus the individual, whether the root of homosexuality is a product of biology or environment, flamboyant individuals, and elimination of effeminate gestures that distinguish homosexuals versus educating public that these mannerisms are not significant.

Received California State Fair Press, Radio, and TV award, 1959.

KPFA Folio note, November 23-December 6, 1958, (Volume 9, number 18), p.4
Monday, November 24
The Homosexual In Our Society: The program is composed of two parts. The first one deals chiefly with the problems faced by the individual who is homosexual; the second part attempts to deal with the role society should play in relation to such individuals. The speakers in the first discussion are Harold Call, editor of the Mattachine Review; Mrs. Leah Gailey, housewife; and Dr. Blanche Baker, psychiatrist. Speakers in the second discussion are Dr. Karl Bowman, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, U.C., and former Head of the Langley Porter Clinic; Dr. Frank A. Beach, Jr., Professor of Psychology, U.C.; Morris Lowenthal, San Francisco attorney; and Dr. David H. Wilson, Dept. of Criminology, U.C. Both discussions are moderated by Elsa Knight Thompson. This program, which attempts to deal constructively with an especially difficult social problem, should be listened to in its entirety.

Date Recorded on: 
2 May 1958
Date Broadcast on: 
KPFA, 1958-11-24
Item duration: 
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Related recordings: 
Los Angeles : Pacifica Radio Archive, 1958.
Rights Summary: 
RESTRICTED. Permissions, licensing requests, Curriculum Initiative, Campus Campaign and all other inquiries should be directed to: Mark Torres, Archives Director, 800-735-0230,
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