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Sadownick-BlogStatement2010

Sadownick-BlogStatement2010

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Published by gaypsychepolitics

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Published by: gaypsychepolitics on Apr 25, 2010
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01/22/2013

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 www.gaypsychepolitics.blogspot.com
So What if I Screamed?Responding to Karen Ocamb’s Blog, Don Kilhefner’s Lies,and My Own Provoked Shame and Rage, as an Act of Gay-Centered Psychological Activism
 by Douglas Sadownick 
Preamble
This blog entry intends to reply to some nasty things being said about me and somefriends of mine, and about gay organizing endeavors we are involved with, in the courseof which statement, I am going to dish some serious dirt on some important activists of the modern gay liberation movement, in what I hope will amount not to mere gossip orrevenge, but to a helpful meditation on the status of homosexual psychological ethics (orlack thereof) in Los Angeles and in overall gay community life nowadays. While thisanalysis may prove arcane to some, perhaps to those not from L.A. or thosedisinterested in matters of intra-homosexual politics related to Gay Spirit orpsychological self-awareness (or the necessary interrelationship of the two), I hope toclarify how key points raised in this preliminary psycho-history might possess someobjective helpfulness towards better undertaking an epic new kind of organizationaleffort increasingly challenging all same-sex-loving activists to momentously consider,the landmark effort of carrying gay liberation into its next, psychological stage.By attempting a truly thoughtful exposition into importantly subjective matters, Ishould point out that it is all the more incumbent on me to consequently appreciate themanner in which the following meditations will inevitably be arising from and thuscontaminated by, as all writings are, my own psychological reality and its limitationsfrom, among other things, growing up gay in a heterosexist world. In line with thatacknowledgement, then, I’d like to balance the discussion I am about to undertakethrough owning what Jungian thought considers the “problem of the shadow” in my gay psyche and how that may be involved with my argument. As well is it relevant here tonote, of course, that I am certainly no bystanding observer to the matters at hand, butam indeed passionately, although I hope not blindly, involved. In that regard, then,perhaps my not-insignificant relevant experience and knowledgeability concerning thetopics we will here be delving into further, which assets have been garnered through twodecades of gay-centered inner work, scholarship, activism and teaching (such as, morerecently, through my role as inaugural Director of the innovative LGBT Specialization inClinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles, the first such graduate trainingprogram in the country, and also through my efforts as a founding member of theInstitute for Contemporary Uranian Psychoanalysis in West Hollywood, the firsteducational and training facility devoted to analytically understanding homosexualindividuation as a deeply valuable, even sacred path of estimable self-realization for gay people and for all human beings), will prove helpful in navigating my way through the
 
 
2 various challenges entailed in the following journey with a full measure of authentichonesty, fairness and accuracy.Since I hope, in the course of my narrative, to try to attend to when and how my ownshadow complexes may be becoming activated, I will begin here, at the start, with thesubjective fact hitting me now, that I find it quite difficult to clearly write in a gay-centered and coherent way at all, due both to the manner in which my traumatized early psychology takes me into literary “car wrecks” on a regular basis when I try, as well as tohow my emotional impulsivity and narcissistic neediness attempt to obfuscate my betterobjectivity and a fair Gay Spirit orientation in formulating what I am going to say in thefirst place. The power plays I am trying to expose in our community mirror power playsgoing on in my inner object relations, my subjective dynamic themes, I am sure.Likewise, the brooding civil war between psychological mindfulness and mindlessallegiance to insidious psychological violence erupts in my lived experience (which isthat of a gay man attempting a proudly gay-centering existence in a contemporary human world increasingly driven toward madness by unbridled heterosexism and itsattendant symptomology of extroversion, commercialism, numbing assimilation and soon) when I contemplate how to construct this hopefully-dialectical essay in a well-donefashion to then reactively face a rising affective tide of internal doubt and corrosive self-criticism which proceeds to flood me with potentially-crippling toxic shame,accompanying images of terrible self-loathing and the desperate need to escape.Part I of this blog details the historical and situational context of an ACT-UP styledprotest that I and some activist friends held on February 15, 2009, focusing in particularon the ongoing deceptions being spun by Los Angeles gay community “elder” DonKilhefner that were part of the catalyst for this demonstration.Part II concerns analysis of a defamatory blog commentary written by L.A. LGBT journalist Karen Ocamb in response to the demonstration that included her revisionist“take” on a relationship with a now-deceased friend she and I had shared many yearsago.In both of these parts, followed by a brief concluding summary of my entire statement, I will include my perspective on the presumed intent and possible reasoning behind bothDon’s and Karen’s distortions—and the implications thereof for the greater gay liberation movement itself, as we all decide if we are going to more so evolve as valuably same-sex-loving or instead procreatively stagnate homosexually to then regressively dissolve into assimilationist irrelevance.
 
 
3
Part I: The Radical Faerie DemonstrationSetting the Scene
In February of 2009, Los Angeles LGBT community journalist Karen Ocamb got herself into a truly nasty journalistic tizzy over a campy and well-received demonstrationapproximately 15-30 activist friends of mine and I had the relative audacity to hold infront of the parking lot entrance to the One National Gay and Lesbian Archives near theUniversity of Southern California campus one Sunday afternoon, where, for severalhours, we greeted people with protest signs, lively chants and informational materialsincluding an extensive explanatory statement about our protest (see “Wendell Jones’Protest Statement” in the March 2009 archive of this blog). We were demonstrating against a 30-year-retrospective on the founding of the RadicalFaerie movement that longtime gay community leaders Don Kilhefner and Mark Thompson were giving, which retrospective wound up being attended by well over 100people. Karen then wrote a biased report on the demonstration in the gay newsmagazine
 Frontiers in L.A.
, to which was attached a blog entry referral that led to some went-to-town dishing-the-dirt about the demonstrators and their intentions, in particular really taking me to task personally for some “water-under-the-bridge” stuff between her andme regarding the care of a dying singer named Michael Callen.The vocal but cheerful protest against Don and Mark’s presentation at the One Archivescentered around the fact/idea that the two men were engaging in a shady business of manipulative historical revisionism—with the seemingly uninformed support of variouspeople such as Karen. They were out to tout their warped and factually inaccurate version of how a movement little known by most gay and lesbian people today, butperhaps terribly important to our further same-sex-loving destiny, got started, and whatthen became of it: the Radical Faeries.The Faerie movement is historically important because it marks the first large-scaleeffort to organize gay-identified men on an indigenously-homosexual spiritual basis,unlike gay synagogues, churches, etc., thereby enunciating a freshly-profound degree of gay-centering interest—the notion of an endogenous Gay Spirit—that has not only crystallized what is now an ongoing tradition of homosexually-foregrounded spiritualliterature (e.g., de la Huerta, 1999; Johnson, 2000, 2003; Thompson, 1987/2005, 1994)and activities but, even more pertinently in regard to the issues at hand, has set thehistorical stage for a broader and currently more-controversial conversation, now takingplace, which concerns extending that pioneering Faerie sensibility into a gay-centering,psychological, grassroots therapeutics and activism.The visionary homosexual movement of the Radical Faeries was originated in the later1970s principally by three committed gay activists: Harry Hay (co-founder of theMattachine Society in 1950, the first lasting attempt to organize gays on a political basisin North America
1
), Don Kilhefner (co-founder of the Los Angeles Gay and LesbianCenter in 1971, the first institution of its kind) and Mitch Walker (the first “out” gay author to be published in a prominent Jungian journal in 1976). John Burnside, Harry’s

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