Category Archives: Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd: Gettin’ Kinda Jazzy!

Malcolm_Boyd-Social_Vagrant[1] White Crane friend, advisorand
all round mensch
Malcolm Boyd, will give a concert reading of his prayer-poems
accompanied by a jazz trio at the
2010 Sausalito
International  Film Festival
on August
14. Musicians appearing with Boyd are guitarist Johnnie Valentino, composer
Scott Page
-Payter on keyboards and percussionist
Marino Bambino.

Boyd's words are combined with musical themes by the late legendary
jazz musician Vince
 "The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi," a new film in
which Boyd appears, will be screened at the festival. Over four weeks in 1966 a
remarkable series of performances at the hungry i
nightclub in San Francisco's North Beach captured the imagination of hip
audiences and resonated around the world. Dick Gregory gave the stage to
Guaraldi and Episcopal priest-author Boyd.  Prayers, Beat poetry and jazz
fused.  Though covered by global media the performances were never
recorded.  Very few had an opportunity to experience this happening. Until
now. The prayer-poems are from Boyd's bestselling classic "Are You
Running with Me, Jesus?"

White Crane Books offers two other titles by Boyd Take Off The Masks, his classic spiritual biography and coming out story and A Prophet in His
Own Land: The Malcolm Boyd Reader
,  collected writings
from five decades.

Gay Historian Stuart Timmons Recovering, Will Help with Harry Hay Tribute

You may remember Stuart Timmons as the co-author with Lillian
Faderman of the book Gay LA. As members of this listserv, you may also recall that about two and a half years ago, Stuart suffered a
massive stroke that left him at death's door for what seemed like a very long
time. White Crane was involved in raising the funds necessary for the additional therapy Stuart was going to need. We knew then it was going to be a long hard road to recovery.

So it is with no small amount of pride and joy we report that with the attention and loving care of his family, especially his
sister, Gay, and friends like as Mark Thompson – he's really made a remarkable
recovery! So much so that it looks like he's going to help with the
celebration of what would have been Harry Hay's 100th birthday. Nice to get
some good news!

Thompson, a member of the White Crane Advisory Board, and former editor at The
, sent this wonderful news about historian Stuart Timmons:

Stuart Timmons

friends of author and community activist Stuart Timmons gathered last week
to celebrate his remarkable recovery from a major stroke two-and-a-half
years ago. Timmons, 53, is still wheelchair bound, but is now fully
mentally alert and with the ability to speak and move about with assistance.
He is expecting a return to his research and writing about GLBT
history and is especially delighted with the invitation
to participate in Centennial celebrations honoring the life and
work of gay movement founder Harry Hay.

two-day conference at City University New York and a major exhibition at the
San Francisco Public Library are in the planning stages, with other
cities soon to be included. Stuart wrote the award-winning biography on the
legendary gay rights leader, The
Trouble With Harry Hay
, in 1990.  Harry Hay was born on Easter
Sunday, April 7, 1912, in Worthing, England, although he lived many decades
of his life in Los Angeles.

Lee Mentley added:

is doing amazing well…, had a great lunch at “The Coffee Table” and he was
alert with full memory correcting us on our history and although speaking
slowly was participating in the conversation. Well on his way to full
recovery! He spoke with Joey Cain on the phone and will be on the planning
committee for the 100 Year Celebration for Harry Hay in San Francisco and
New York City. It was a joy to be with him!

of you gave support for Stuart's recovery, so we wanted to let you know
that it was money well spent. Stuart Timmons is a walking library of
GLBT history and of Harry Hay and John Burnside in particular. We need
him and we need his genius.

in the photo are: (left to right) Mark Thompson, Stuart Timmons, Robert
Croonquist and HRH Lee Mentley.

Rise Up and Shout!

RISEUP_FILM_POSTER_Small Got some good news in the morning email (almost called it "the post" which has a whole new meaning now) from psychotherapist and filmmaker, Brian Gleason, who works so hard in Los Angeles.

Some of you may be familiar with the Rise Up & Shout! project with which White Crane has been associated. It started in Los Angeles, with people like Brian, Malcolm Boyd, Don Kilhefner, Mark Thompson (I'm leaving out many, may other names of people…this kind of thing takes dozens of people…just don't have them in front of me as I write. I'll find them and include them later, promise) working with young GLBT people in L.A. to produce a talent show showcasing their various and sundry talents.

More importantly, it offered young GLBT people a chance to come in contact with elder GLBT people and let the intergenerational transfer of wisdom and experience mingle with the exuberance and freshness of youth. The first Rise Up & Shout, was a live stage production at the Barnsdall Park theater, directed by award-winning Broadway director, Jim Pentacost, and benefited White Crane, among others. And it was filmed by Brian Gleason.

That film will now receive the wider audience it deserves when it is aired on the Sundance Channel, later this month. The schedule is:

Mon 06/22/09 9:00PM       Sat 06/27/09 3:35PM       Sun 06/28/09 06:40AM

This is MUST SEE TELEVISION folks! Stirring, inspiring, touching. Worth getting cable for, even.

Check your local listings, as they say, for airtimes in your area.


The Rainbow Key Awards

Mark and Malcolm at home 3  

The Rainbow Key Award was created to recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts have significantly benefited the Lesbian and Gay community, and since 1993, has been bestowed upon more than 70 artists, educators, activists, civic leaders, and community organizations. The Award is presented by the City Council on the recommendation of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Nominations may be made by anyone, and nominees may labor in any area of endeavor; eligibility is not restricted by geography or sexual orientation.

The 2009 Rainbow Key Award for significantly benefiting the Lesbian and Gay community will be presented to White Crane friends and advisors Canon Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson by the City of West Hollywood at a civic event on June 17. The Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board of West Hollywood cites the couple for "showing by example that Gay, intergenerational partnerships can be stable, loving and long-lasting." This year marks the couple's twenty-fifth anniversary.

It couldn't happen to two nicer people.

A Victory in California

Episcopal_church Once again, the courts have dealt a blow of constitutional reality to religious bigots.

Word from California has been, at best, mixed, lately. But yesterday, we got word from our friend Mark Thompson, confirmed today in the NY Times, that the California State Supreme Court ruled that three parishes that left the Episcopal Church over its ordination of Gay ministers cannot retain ownership of their buildings and property…no small loss. And it was a unnanimous decision. We can only imagine it's only a matter of time before this gets kicked up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The full details are at the NY Times site, but the parishes are located in some high rent districts in Southern California: Newport Beach, Long Beach, and North Hollywood.

I guess the bigots are just going to have to move to some old abandoned drive-in.

Jesse’s Journal — In Praise of Books

I recently saw Mark Doty accept the National Book Award in Poetry for his book Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (Harper Collins).  During his acceptance speech Doty thanked his husband Paul; they Doty Fire to Fire were recently married in Massachusetts. Like Augusten Burroughs’s memoirs, and David Sedaris’s humor, Mark Doty’s poetry appeals to all readers regardless of sexual orientation. Needless to say, it is a great distinction for an out Gay poet to be honored, not as an "American Gay poet," but as an American poet, period. Doty’s honor was well-deserved. (He is, by the way, also the judge for the 2008 White Crane James White Poetry Prize, the winner of which will be announced in the spring issue of White Crane.)
Doty and dog Doty’s NBA acceptance speech was one of the most inspirational I have seen or heard in quite a while. Unfortunately, I had to go to the National Book Awards Web sit to see and hear Doty’s acceptance speech, and those of the other NBA winners. That is because, unlike awards ceremonies honoring movies, recorded music, television or theater, literary awards are never televised, except perhaps on C-SPAN (which, as the saying goes, “nobody watches”). The fact that literary awards are almost never televised is an indication of literature’s low standing in modern American society, gay or straight. While the major networks know that broadcasting the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys or the Tonys will win them large audiences, televising the National Book Awards would almost certainly be a ratings disaster and, even worse, drive away the advertisers.
There was a time, before recorded music, movies, radio and television, when literature was our culture’s most popular art form. Great writers like Voltaire, Goethe, Scott, Byron, Hugo, Dickens, Zola, Tolstoy and Mark Twain were celebrities in their own right, and their lives and loves enthralled the public the way that the antics of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan do today. Today, of course, we have a wide variety of media to give books and their authors stiff competition.  Books have to compete with movies, television and recorded music for the public’s time, money and interest, and books generally lose. Only a few writers dominate bestseller lists and make fortunes from their works. J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), TV preacher and homophobe Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) and, of course, Barack Obama are just four names in an all-too short list of popular and successful writers.
Xie - the MOMA Library 46-50 - oil on canvas For generations of Gay men, Lesbian women, bisexuals and transgender people, books were an important part of the coming out process. Books like Malcolm Boyd's Take Off the Masks, Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness, Donald Webster Cory's The Homosexual In America, Christine Jorgensen’s Personal Autobiography, Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle or Patricia Nell Warren's The Front Runner, helped many of us come to terms with our own sexual or gender identity. 
Sadly, interest in books and writers is not what it used to be, not even in the GLBT community. For many years GLBT bookstores served as de facto community centers. Today, there is only one GLBT bookstore left in Florida, Lambda Passages in Miami. Wilton Manors, Florida’s leading “gayborhood,” has many types of stores on Wilton Drive, but no book store. And while book reviews are still a major part of such publications as White Crane, the Lambda Book Report, the Gay & Lesbian Review and the online Books to Watch Out For, most mainstream GLBT publications have dropped their book columns altogether for lack of interest. (Most mainstream journals, Gay or straight, have done the same.)
At their best, books are an important part of our lives: they educate us, they entertain us, they enlighten us, they inspire us. Unlike most media, books do not require expensive equipment (unless you consider reading glasses to be “equipment”). Long before other media deigned to notice us, books spoke to us and about our lives as GLBT people. And books will continue to do so (I hope) when the other media are long gone. So I urge you to support good Gay books, writers, literary journals, book stores and book clubs, for they give us so much in return.
Jesse Monteagudo is a South-Florida based freelance writer and Gay book buff.  Write him and express your views at

WC78 – Malcolm Boyd – Community of 2

A Community of Two
By Malcolm Boyd

My hefty unabridged Webster’s New International Dictionary (1960) defines community:

“A body of people having common organization or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations.” 

The same dictionary defines relationship as “the state or character of being related or interrelated; a connection by way of relation…kinship; consanguinity; affinity—a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings.”

It seems as Gays we’ve come a long way since 1960 with both words. In Gay parlance, a “relationship” has come particularly to mean a partnership of two men as lovers or partners, living together, often constituting an extended family. At the same time “community” in common Gay experience is the Gay “world” or “neighborhood” or “culture” surrounding one’s self; an environment identified by Gay folk, institutions, bars, restaurants, publications, unofficial rules and styles.

As a Gay elder who has lived comfortably in a close Gay relationship with another man for more than 20 years, I find authentic connections between “community,” the exterior of Gay life, and “relationship” which anchors the interior.

For example, Mark, my partner, once said to me: “If I can’t tell you about it, whom can I tell?” Precisely. Yet this approach holds meaning for one’s participation in community as well as in relationship. It’s about honesty and honest communication, essential for the well-being of both. Over and over again we’ve seen a community fall apart when chaos replaced structure.  God knows, the same has held true for numberless relationships.

Relationship is two persons, not one.  By the same token, community is a group of persons, not one. Both move toward self-destruction whenever one person tries to establish either one-man rule or the equivalent of the Hollywood star system (with himself as star). 

A key lesson for a relationship is that it is not possession. No one “owns” it or is “in charge.”  Neither is any genuine, healthy community a possession that “belongs” to a dominant personality in the guise of a benevolent despot.

Gravitas enters with the emergence of serious problems. Pain and loss evoke response. This is where balance in a relationship or community can make all the difference. 

“Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans,” John Lennon wrote. Exactly. This is where commitment enters into our story. Don’t be too busy making other plans to engage life, to enable relationship, to support community and help it continue to live. But commitment is neither facile nor easy.
Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet is a startling and profound example showing us how to serve other people’s needs and work for peace and justice. In other words, how to make a commitment. Clearly, religious and spiritual communities must make a choice: either to stay locked inside stained-glass museums or else move into the mainstream, risking prestige and respectability in order to be a part of life that happens.

I ran headlong into such a choice in Los Angeles in June, 1990. The powerful County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesdays in their downtown quarters. They had not provided needed funds and services to deal with AIDS. This, despite the fact countless more lives were threatened, especially in the African-American and Latino communities. At this point the Los Angeles Coalition for Compassion asked clergy to engage in a “kneel-in” act of civil disobedience at a Supervisors meeting. This was designed to pinpoint the need and bring it forcefully to the attention of authorities and the general public. Five clergy responded positively.

I did partly from a remembrance of the significance of civil disobedience in the civil rights and peace movements. I was jailed in both northern and southern U.S. jails in the 60s, heeding the Macedonian call of Martin Luther King, Jr. and twice in Washington, D.C. for participating in peace masses inside the Pentagon. 

On the morning of June 12, 1990, our group who were prepared to be arrested entered the Supervisors Building. Following the invocation and pledge of allegiance to the flag, we moved forward and read a prayer. It said, in part: “We pray that these Supervisors may this day be moved to hear the cries o the 112,000 persons with HIV disease in this community, whose lives are in their hands.” Then we knelt and sang “Singing for Our Lives.” One by one, we were placed under arrest and taken to jail.

I never “wanted” to take such a risk, subject myself to the overwhelming scrutiny of the combined media, or put up with the utter inconvenience and pain of a jail experience. Yet I responded, from way down in my conscience, to the role models of Gandhi and King. And to the sheer human need represented. 

I thought about many things during my eleven-hour incarceration in jail, including four hours when I was chained to a bench while also handcuffed to another prisoner. The hours grew longer and longer, approaching midnight. I felt pain and discouragement. I meditated. I prayed. I acknowledged my total absence of any control. I asked for help because I felt helpless. And I received help—a centering, a trust—and an awareness problems are not insurmountable but solvable. Instead of being overwhelmed, we can take a leaf from A.A. and approach “The Big Picture” a step at a time. And believe. And work at it. Giving up the illusion of control, we can ask God to enable us to serve the cause of peace and justice in the world.

For me this was a great lesson about the meaning of community. I was not there as an individual. I belonged to a community. A community under duress. A community in peril and pain. This reminded me of these words by Thomas Merton about prayer: “Prayer and Love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart has turned to stone.” Tough words. Accurate words. No sentimentality or Hallmark sweetness here. This is about when the climb grows very hard, there is no sun in the sky, one has run out of easy energy, and faith is real. At this moment commitment becomes a stark reality. 

In either a community or a relationship, a sense of humor is salvific. Always retain a quality of freshness and surprise; “Getting to Know You” is equally valid after many years. Don’t try to change people, especially in a nagging or superior way. Nothing is more damaging. Be accepting. Do your part in dividing tasks. In a community this includes showing up for meetings, avoid coming late, do the paperwork and pay dues. In a relationship this can mean take out the garbage, make the bed, see that bills are paid on time and buying milk if it’s needed.
Don’t forget, in a relationship or a community, to have fun. In a relationship sustain magic and romance, get flowers, make snuggle room. In a community remember birthdays, exchange personal stories in the mailroom, arrange some outings. 

Imagination is often sorely missing in the lives of both communities and relationships. A fresh start; a renewed vision. For years I’ve immensely enjoyed these words by Murray D. Lincoln in his 1960 book Vice President in Charge of Revolution: “Because any organization, once it becomes successful, is apt to lose its original drive and vision, I’ve suggested that we have a ‘vice president in charge of revolution.’ He’d be one man not responsible for any operation. He’d stand to one side, with whatever staff he needed, to pick holes in whatever we were doing and remind us of our basic philosophy, our fundamental concepts. His job would be to stir up everything and everybody, to criticize and challenge everything being done—objectives, methods, programs, results. He’d keep us so disconnected with the status quo there’d never be any doubt of our desire to seek new ways to meet people’s needs. He’d keep us on the right track.”

The secret of either a successful relationship or a working community is shared experience. Good times, bad times, ups and downs; it all comes out in the wash. Consciously create your own memories to last a lifetime. Be a good guy. Help him be a good guy. Assist your fellow workers in community to be good guys. Honesty is the best solution. The tape of your life, and his, and everybody’s is rolling. Let it happen.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd began his career in the production company of Mary Pickford and was the first president of the Television Producers Association of Hollywood. He is now, of course, Poet/writer-In-Residence of the Los Angeles Episcopal Archdiocese and an advisor to White Crane Institute. Last spring White Crane Books released a compendium of Boyd’s writing in The Malcolm Boyd Reader.


Helping A Brother in Need

Fundraiser to Benefit Writer Stuart Timmons

Saturday, November 15th 3 to 5 p.m. at the

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
909 West Adams Blvd – Los Angeles, California


Renowned Gay writers and artists will gather on Saturday, November 15, to honor celebrated author Stuart Timmons who suffered a major stroke last January. Malcolm Boyd, Chris Freeman, Trebor Healey, Michael Kearns, Felice Picano, Derek Ringold, Terry Wolverton, and others will read and perform from 3 to 5 p.m. at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. The fundraiser target is $20,000 to help pay for much needed (and very expensive) medical support in Timmons' ongoing recovery.

Timmons wrote the biography of Gay movement founder Harry Hay, The Trouble with Harry Hay and most recently co-authored the best-selling history book, Gay L.A. In addition to his writing, Timmons is a longtime community organizer, active in ACT-UP LA, the Coors beer boycott, the labor movement through his recent work at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and as former director of ONE, the world's largest LGBT library.

After complaining to a friend of troubling neurological symptoms, Stuart was taken to Kaiser Hospital in Los Stuart_timmons2Angeles where the stroke was diagnosed and he received life-saving surgery. Stuart is 51 years old. Timmons, who has been unable to speak or move during the past eight months, has been under the careful watch of doctors, concerned family and friends. Recent improvements in his physical condition have been encouraging, says his sister, Gay Timmons, but his recovery will be a long one.

The benefit afternoon will raise funds to provide much-needed (and did we mention very expensive and not covered by insurance?) hours of physical therapy and other medical necessities beyond what routine insurance can allow. "The more additional hours of therapy Stuart receives, the sooner he can return to a functional life," says Gay. "The signs for recovery are good, but now is a critical time for the community to step up and lend its support."


Contributions can be made in person at the door or sent to:

The Stuart Craig Timmons Irrevocable Trust
c/o Gay Timmons
P.O. Box 472
Los Gatos, CA 95031.

You can also make a contribution online by Credit Card via Paypal.
Just use this link and you will be redirected to a benefit page where you can link to Paypal.

Copies of Timmons' books and works by some of the presenting authors will also be on sale.

The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is located at 909 West Adams Blvd., near the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. Parking is available behind the Archives building, located three blocks west of Figueroa Ave. at Scarff St., as well as in the immediate neighborhood.

Reservations are requested at (213) 741-0094.

The event is being sponsored by the ONE Archives, Lambda Literary Foundation, Monette/Horwitz Trust, White Crane Institute and the Drk/rm photo lab, which will be contributing rare photographic prints. Other artwork will also be available for purchase to further assist in the fundraising effort.