The Association of (Gay) Suburban People


It’s easy to associate gay culture with urban life, as if the two are inextricably linked and always would be. But this fascinating work of social history offers an illuminating perspective on organised gay suburban life in the 1970s and 1980s:

The name was carefully chosen: it emphasized the group’s goal of challenging the sexual conformity of suburban society and also invoked the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble — yet avoided any reference to either homosexuality or Detroit. As Rogalski notes, “It was politically expedient to pick a name … that wasn’t threatening.” Before long the group was promoting itself on the local radio show, Gayly Speaking. “Gay people in Oakland and western Wayne County no longer have to feel isolated in the desert of suburbia,” said Herbert “Bo” Taylor, the group’s first chairman, in an interview with host David Krumroy, another ASP founder. “We saw a need to organize not only for social reasons but for political reasons, for reasons of self-protection.” ASP was, he said, sparking “a new consciousness” and raising “a new awareness of the numbers of gay people in the suburbs.”

Categories: Rethinking The World

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