Anita Bryant January 1977: The Enactment of a Gay Rights Law in Miami-Dade County Mobilizes the Ex-Beauty Queen's Antigay Campaign-As Well as Gays Nationwide, Including San Franciscan Armistead Maupin. (Gods & Monsters)

By Maupin, Armistead | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), November 12, 2002 | Go to article overview

Anita Bryant January 1977: The Enactment of a Gay Rights Law in Miami-Dade County Mobilizes the Ex-Beauty Queen's Antigay Campaign-As Well as Gays Nationwide, Including San Franciscan Armistead Maupin. (Gods & Monsters)


Maupin, Armistead, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


I actually read about Anita Bryant's Save Our Children campaign to overturn Miami's gay rights law directly from the news wires. It was quite clear to me that this campaign was going to have a galvanizing effect on the gay movement. There's really nothing like a good villain to start a revolution, and Anita filled the bill perfectly.

I know what the battle did for me: It forced me to confront my own residual self-loathing and stare it down once and for all by coming out.

I was writing Tales of the City as a serial in-house at the San Francisco Chronicle, and I was able to respond to news of Bryant's campaign in a matter of 24 hours, concocting a letter from [gay character] Michael's mother about their efforts to save Florida from the homosexuals. By the strangest serendipity, I had already established Michael as the son of Florida orange growers. Within a matter of weeks, Michael was writing a reply to his mother in which he comes out. …

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Anita Bryant January 1977: The Enactment of a Gay Rights Law in Miami-Dade County Mobilizes the Ex-Beauty Queen's Antigay Campaign-As Well as Gays Nationwide, Including San Franciscan Armistead Maupin. (Gods & Monsters)
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