Revisiting the Archive: Shirley Willer


And at that time was considered criminal. Thanked I remember being picked up by the front of my shirt back and forth by a policeman because I was on the streets at eleven o'clock in a head on slacks women's slacks and sports shirt policemen policemen. I was walking down the street trying to find a gay bar that I'd heard of women on and women's slacks but obviously made us Taylor as possible trailer clothing. Means what Brooks present. Now that I'm not talking about a man I'm talking about a woman's I had massive muscles here Made rebuild the top here. They costs fortune. I think cost me all one hundred twenty dollars to have tailored the policemen say anything that would he was hitting you too and he called me. Names Dan Pervert you acquire Uso me and so forth and you couldn't call the police. Could you didn't call. The police was a policeman but in fact I finally did find the bar and I'm not sure but what might still be. There was a seven seas where this the first bar you went to. So you got you got slapped around the first time you're on your way salmon and we're doing bar stupid question here. Was that frightening and was frightened. I was angry. Why were you had no right to do that to me? And that's been my attitude on. I might have done right you. How did you find the bars? How did you know about this all started out as most people do thinking I was the only one then? I realized there had to be more out. There wouldn't be any kind of books and it wouldn't be any definition but of course I didn't know how to war ended always Cormon came back. These nurses Miller came back in the navy and the army and then of course when they were working in the hospital we met each other and most of them were pretty flaming Queens. When you say these guys were flaming. Can you describe for me? What what that means. They will call it being extremely swish. The mannerisms were very limp-wristed. Even at work they would emphasize terminent characteristics. Thank goodness city. Hospital was simply didn't seem to pay much attention to it. They did the right to do the job right. That's all that matters at that time. Big Events in Chicago with the Halloween balls era gun Huge ballrooms one on the north side. When southside every Halloween all bars were off and everybody went in cost and all of us would get Tuxedos and over all the women and dressing are bushiest silos and we all go to balls The air gun was on the north side of Chan. Southside these particular big events where again run by the Mafia and We'd hired them scenes. You see and get a police escort through the crowds in order to get inside and one year gay people one year that people could be gay and it was the only visible sign that they're literally were thousands and thousands of gay people in the city. Where was the first time you went to this? And the nineteen forties was short short. We have to gotTA service because I remember. They dressed me how address you enter. Tuxedo and tied my and put makeup on me. I never worn makeup in my life wore dresses. When did you become aware that there was any kind of organized? There wasn't much unorganized organized movement The Oni organized group that I could find out about was one which was more literary and this is already by nineteen fifty early nineteen fifties and ten so what happened during the during the nineteen four. Then it was pretty much on our own volition that we would so many young women that were being thrown out of their homes so we started our own little informal groups and we take in all the kids. I take it out in the street and we would he pushing them to stop trying to hide it. be themselves. I believe that you should stand up becomes dangerous for most people. It's always dangerous for anyone who doesn't have any money in the bank. We weren't many of them endangered. Losing their jobs depend on the job. They would take no majority of wouldn't take jobs where they were endangered. They would go for the Dirty jobs rough jobs running elevator. I remember one in particular very bright girl but the only governor she could get was running an elevator because she wouldn't wear threats so are we didn't call ourselves any particular group.

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