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Title: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000. Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Herzenberg, Joseph A., interviewee
Interview conducted by McGinnis, Chris
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 168 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-11-14, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000. Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0196)
Author: Chris McGinnis
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000. Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0196)
Author: Joseph A. Herzenberg
Description: 133 Mb
Description: 46 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 1, 2000, by Chris McGinnis; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Chris McGinnis.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 1, 2000.
Interview K-0196. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Herzenberg, Joseph A., interviewee


Interview Participants

    JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG, interviewee
    CHRIS McGINNIS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Hello, this is Chris McGinnis. I am interviewing Joe Herzenberg at my house today on 700 Bolinwood Drive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Today is Wednesday, November the first and the time of this interview is 5:00 pm. This tape is being used for an independent study, a History 91, which is an oral history class, which focuses on the history of gays in Chapel Hill over the twentieth century. This tape will be stored in the Southern Oral History Collection, or actually, the Southern Historical Collection, which is located in Wilson Library on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. The number of this tape is 11.01.00-JH.1. Here we go. All right Joe, actually, we have already, I have listened to the interview that you did in 1995 with Joe Mosnier.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It's five years already.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes, it has been five years.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Right up the street.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yep.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
On Hillsborough Street.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh okay, one moment, I'm sorry, this is— [interruption] There we go, it was on reverb. Yeah, it was at Joe [Mosnier's] house I guess? So, I got a lot of that information and definitely the political background, but I guess, just in the beginning, with the political history and where you were born, and so forth, so I don't want to concentrate a lot on that, on this tape, because it has already been recorded, but I guess, if you could just give me a little bit about where you are from, where you were born, and so forth, just to begin the tape. I believe that it was in New Jersey.

Page 2
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I am from a small mining town in the hills of Northwestern New Jersey—Franklin, there was a big zinc mine there, and when I was a kid, the mine ran out of ore and the town was pretty depressed for quite a long time. My parents and grandparents all lived there and I went off to college at Yale and I stayed there for a fifth year and got an MA—and then I went to Mississippi in 1964 and taught at a black college, Tougaloo College, for five years before coming here.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And you came here in 1969?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, on the first of September.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, and you—where did you do you undergraduate, that was at Yale?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, and I have an MA from there as well.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, great. Let me see here, so tell me a little bit about the political positions that you have held in this town over the years, in Chapel Hill, when you first started—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I first ran for office in 1979, I didn't win, I ran for the town—a seat on the town council. The only thing that I have ever run for. And I didn't win, but there was a vacancy on the council, and I was appointed to that vacancy. And I served for two years and I ran to keep my seat, I was defeated, I ran a couple of more times, almost gave up on it, and then in 1987 I ran and won and served for the next six years, eight years all together.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, when do you first remember interacting with another gay person in terms of meeting a gay person in your childhood?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh—

Page 3
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Someone in your community perhaps, or someone in your town.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
My father's older brother was interested in the arts, in particular in theater, he and his wife were. And there was a summer stock theater near my uncle and aunt's home. And they had friends who were connecting with the running of that theater, including a gay male couple. I would have met them—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What date was that, roughly?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
In the middle 1950s—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
You know, when my parents and my brothers and I would go to my uncle and aunt's house, sometimes they would be there. I mean, I don't even remember their names.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So your family was pretty accepting of them as homosexual males?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, mainly yes. My father—they were very flamboyant, these two guys. [Laughter] And my father didn't like that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I see.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And I didn't either to tell the truth. But, you know, my father was Jewish, my mother was not Jewish, so we generally weren't terribly bigoted about people.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, great, so when did you yourself come out; publicly, privately, to yourself?

Page 4
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I certainly knew that I was different from other people, you know, when I was in junior high school, but back then, you know, what could you do about it? That is to say, in today's language, "There were no positive role models." The role models were pretty negative. Even this couple from the theater, they may have been good at their work, but their style, their social style wasn't very positive as far as I was concerned, so I don't really come out until—to myself—what was your question?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, when people come out, often, I know that I experienced this and other gay people have told me this—that you recognize you are gay yourself, maybe early on in life and later on you come out to people in general, and you know, whether it is family, friends, to everyone, you talk about being openly gay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I know that your political coming out was another part of it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That happened in the mid '80s or early '80s.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I don't come out to anybody really until, oh brother, well for a few minor exceptions until I am in Chapel Hill. In the early '70s.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
With my family, there was this peculiar thing, I have a gay brother.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Is he younger or older?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He is five years younger. And he came out to his draft board, because he did not want to be drafted. And I cannot remember exactly when

Page 5
that was; it was in the early '70s. So, since two of my mother's cousins were on the draft board, even though she and my father were away when my brother came out, they learned about it pretty quickly.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And so that is also when I came out to my parents.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I see, so you came out at the same time when your brother did basically?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
A little later, yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, how did they take that? Two sons at once couldn't be easy.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I think that my mother in particular wanted grandchildren, and she saw that as some sort of a setback. But, basically, our parents always supported their sons, you know, and so I don't ever remember hearing a negative word about it. Except for the unlikelihood that the two of us would produce any grandchildren.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, that was the only minus.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
We had another brother who eventually produced grandchildren. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, to carry on the line. So you did not ever necessarily experience any discrimination from your parents because of your orientation?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, no. I don't ever really remember being discriminated against by anybody, tell the truth.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really? Wow.

Page 6
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I think the only kind of discrimination I suffered was sort of my own, you know, internalized homophobia. That is the only kind. You know, I am sure that I have forgotten about something, but I do not consider myself a persecuted person.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So when you came to Chapel Hill, did you consider it a gay friendly town? Was there, I guess, '69, early '70s, did you see a very out gay community? Did you know many gay people?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, the thing that you have to understand is that when I came here, it was my intention to stay here as short a time as possible, I was hoping that in three or four years, I would be out of here, and back to Mississippi in a job that I liked. So, I almost deliberately did not pay attention to what was going on in Chapel Hill. It wasn't until I had been here three years until I got sort of sucked into the McGovern campaign, that I began forming, you know, attachments that would eventually become sort of permanent. So I didn't really pay much attention. I was aware of some things that were going on, because I read about them in the newspaper, or I had heard about them, or read them. But, you know, when I arrived in '69, only a few months later, Chapel Hill had elected a black mayor—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, Howard Lee.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
They used to have the elections in May, instead of November—and I knew about the reputation of the town, and so I just, I don't know—I just sort of assumed that the general level of tolerance would extend to gay people as well.

Page 7
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So you did not see any acts of discrimination, there wasn't anything—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
—In terms of people—I don' t mean to harp on discrimination issues—it has come up twice.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, if there was, I was oblivious to it; I was just not paying attention. I walked from my apartment to Wilson Library and back home.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So you worked in Wilson Library, or you just studied there?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I just did research.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, I see.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
So, I didn't pay any attention to what was going on.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, so I guess, in 19—so did you know any—I was going to say 1975, of course, was when Carolina Gay Association was formed.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, and I read about that in the newspaper, but since I wasn't generally speaking, out, I didn't pay much attention to it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think that it was a good sign, but that's about it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right, well, I remember later on the—when I was involved in the CGA [Carolina Gay Association], CGLA [Carolina Gay and Lesbian Association] and then B-GLAD [Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity] it became B-GLAD the year that I joined, myself, and I remember you, I think you had

Page 8
come and given a talk, in fact, that is when I adopted your political theory of coming out. In terms of politics—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Was that the beginning of the academic year?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You know, I just remember that you spoke.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What year was that?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It was probably 1992.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh well yes, while I was in office, every year, I think, every year I spoke at the first CGA or whatever meeting of the year.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It was in the Great Hall then, in the Student Union—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yep, yep.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So you had started doing that, when did you start doing that? Probably—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, you see, I wasn't out when I was first in the council in '79 and '80, but beginning in '88, I would have done that for several years.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, so when do you first remember meeting and getting to know other gay people when you started putting down roots and deciding that you might stick around Chapel Hill?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I think fairly early, but since I wasn't thinking about this in any structured way, I am not sure that I knew any other gay people here until '75.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That might sound like a long time to you.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No.

Page 9
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But all of the first gay people that I knew, there may have been an exception; I knew them, because of politics. That is, for example, I knew this guy who was a graduate student in library science. He was a friend of a friend. I did not know him very well, but it was clear that he was gay, and I knew that he was active in CGA, and—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Do you remember his name?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I could look it up somewhere.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And when a friend of mine ran for mayor in 1975, you see CGA was then was almost brand new.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, it was actually formed in Professor Unks', in Professor Unks' living room I found out.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Is that what he said?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is what John Short said and then Professor Unks confirmed it. [Laughter] That is, they were writing the charter and doing all of that.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I never heard that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That is only what I have heard, of course I wasn't here, so.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It's possible.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you hear something to the contrary?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, but I had never—no. In any case, I lost my train of thought.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I'm sorry.

Page 10
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, I asked this guy whether they had any process for endorsing political candidates, since I wanted support for my friend that was running for mayor, and I believe that they endorsed him. I am not positive about that, it is so long ago, it was 25 years ago, and frankly, I cannot remember any specific contact with another gay person, over some gay matter. That is, I knew gay people already before then that were gay, but we didn't talk about it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, you just didn't discuss it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That's right, not before then.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, interesting.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And then I began figuring out, one way or another, that a fair bunch of people, most of them men, no lesbians at that time, who were active in local politics, were gay.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But it definitely existed—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Not a lot of people, maybe 8 or 10.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
—as it does today, and a lot of people that I know of aren't necessarily open. So, you could, you didn't know much about it, but your general perception was that, I mean, did you ever hear of anybody in town in the '70s talking about gays or the formation of CGA—was this something that was discussed in the mainstream? Was that still a time when issues like that weren't really discussed?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, they may have been discussed, but I don't think I can recall any discussions of them.

Page 11
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right. Now, were you ever involved, or ever went—because I know—over the years, I have gotten this from John, there have been different gay bars around Chapel Hill.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I know you have gone to coffee houses and so forth, did you ever go—there was one that—it is a place that they call Hell now. [Laughter] It was a place called The Cave, Pegasus was there, there was something below.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, that's not where it was.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh really?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No there were two gay bars in town early on, and I never went to either of them, but I know where they were.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, well, tell me.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And they weren't where Hell is, that building was not even built then.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
One was Pegasus, and the other one was, oh boy. Well, they were both downstairs, and they were both in businesses that were not gay during the daytime. They only became gay like at 9:00 at night. One was right within the one hundred block of Chapel Hill, what is that restaurant—is it called? [pause] It's under Baree Station. Do you know where Baree Station is?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It is a remaindered clothing store.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, yeah, yeah okay, so it was under that?

Page 12
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, there is a bar down there—it has food too.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, I know exactly where you are talking about.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, that's one and the other one is a bar that is called The Cave. On West Franklin.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, okay, I thought that The Cave had become Hell, but it is still The Cave.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I don't frequent straight bars ever, so I just knew generally where it was. So those are the only two gay bars that you knew of? There was one—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, and they weren't at the same time either, I think that one replaced the other. There was a fire at the one on East Franklin and it closed. It closed for quite a while, I believe, and then the one on West Franklin developed. But I never went to them. The person who can tell you a lot about that sort of thing is Dan Leonard.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Dan Leonard.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He lives in Carrboro, he is, in my view, the senior gay activist in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really? I have never heard of this guy.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He [Dan Leonard] is—for years. He came to Carolina as an undergraduate and I think he wanted to be a medical student and something didn't work out right, but he worked in the medical school for years. He finally retired a couple of years ago and he became a nurse, and he either works in Durham or Alamance County, I can't remember which, but he can tell you a great deal

Page 13
about this early stuff that I don't know anything about. Or what little I do know, is from him. I remember going to one of these, you know beginning in the middle '70s there were these Southeastern Gay and Lesbian Conferences . Do you know about those things?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, Professor Leloudis mentioned that to me and a few other people.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, they started here in Chapel Hill; I didn't go to the first few. I was a little too—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
They were called the Southeastern—?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Gay and Lesbian Conferences.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Gay and Lesbian Conferences, okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think that the first one is about 197—It is only a year or so after CGA is founded that they—that these things started.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So roughly in 1976 or '77?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, and they went on for about ten years, and they just sort of, there was no need for them anymore. They mainly met on college campuses around the Southeast. Well, at one of these conferences, like in the early '80s, when I did go, Dan Leonard had a workshop on local gay history. And he had all of these big sheets of paper, you know on an easel, and he put them all over the wall in this room in the Student Union, you know there was one for "social circles," "bars"—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So this was a history?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, just this kind of thing that you were interested in.

Page 14
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Now, whatever he did with those big pieces of paper, it would have been wonderful if he had kept them.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Definitely.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Because, his own memory was very good, but in this case there were about fifteen other people there, another person who knows about this sort of thing is Charlie Delmar. D-E-L-M-A-R. He know lives in Durham, he is a textbook salesman, so he is sometimes difficult to get up with because he is traveling around the South selling books. He was one of the founders of something called Friendly Castle. Have you heard of that?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, founder of Friendly Castle.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Friendly Castle was a house, a small house, on Friendly Lane, which was for a long time—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The Castle Parties, I remember those.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That's right.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I went to the very last one, it was '92, '93, when Doug Ferguson did it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That's right, well, that's right, well, Charlie was one of the founders of that, I believe.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, very good, great.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And even though, he may have been—excuse me—he may have been too old to be a student. I can't remember what he was doing here in

Page 15
the early days, before he became a textbook salesman, he is quite a good—maybe it is a little exaggerated—memory of those things and it is worth your while calling him.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, sounds like a great idea.
So, you, the first one you, the first Southeastern Gay and Lesbian Conference that you attended was roughly in the 1980s, was it, did people just meet in general—how long did it last?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
A weekend usually, you know it would begin on a Friday night, or maybe even a Thursday and go until Sunday morning, or Sunday afternoon.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did a lot of faculty come in?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it mainly just students and activists?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No it's mainly student activists and some people were older, like me. Even though I was still a graduate student, I suppose—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
It is easy to be old in this town. [Laughter] I am already feeling old at 26. So, I mean, did they just discuss strategies for activism?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, they discussed everything under the sun.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did they have little groups that split up?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, they would have big speakers who would speak to the whole gathering, they would have whole workshops, there would be meals, there would be religious services, it almost always ended with some sort of vaguely Protestant, ecumenical service, when I was in Chapel Hill. I never—did I ever—I did go to Raleigh, it was at [N.C.] State one year.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh.

Page 16
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But, when it was held here, usually there was a vaguely protestant religious service was held in the Forest Theater, you know, on a Sunday morning.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
The vaguely protestant. [Laughter] Okay, well great, so it was a really good way for—I mean you see these kind of events happening in the Mattachine Society for instance when it was formed, did things similar in terms of this—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I think they did something—an Atlantic Conference I think it was called, NACHO or something like that. [Laughter] And they all met and exchanged those ideas. It is interesting, because I didn't know exactly what the purpose of this was.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Whether it was just social, or was if it was activist oriented, they had a lot of different things?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I think that it had every purpose under the sun. You know, some people just went to pick up somebody.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, just to meet people.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Other people went because they wanted to overthrow the existing society. I mean, really [Laughter] and everything in between.
Unfortunately, the person who most knows about that is dead. A great guy named Lee Mullis. M-U-L-L-I-S, L-E-E, Mullis, who also knew more about CGA in the early days than anybody else who was still left in Chapel Hill. Most of the founders of CGA, well,

Page 17
none of them live anywhere near here, as far as I know. They live in New York and Atlanta, the ones that I know of.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But Lee stayed here. I don't what he did with all of his papers. He was a very organized person. You might check in the Southern Historical Collection to see whether he gave them his stuff. Or he might have given them to Duke, I don't really know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, I looked in the references, and I am always wondering if I am looking in the wrong places, but so far, I haven't run across anything. I have found CGA's old archived Newsletter, The Lambda—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
In the North Carolina Collection?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, well, he was probably the person who gave it to them. Because he was really very organized. It wasn't that they weren't interested.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Although there probably was a point when they weren't interested. [pause]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Apparently, you had studied, or had started a few organizations such as OLGA? The Orange Lesbian and Gay Association?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, not me just by myself. I never started anything by myself.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, okay, well, these organizations, they mentioned, there was a whole flurry of organizations that came off toward the end of your tape in 1995.

Page 18
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
OLGA was one of them—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It still sort of exists, well not—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What did OLGA do?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
OLGA does what it has to do. [Laughter] The Orange Lesbian and Gay Association, it must be—used to endorse candidates for local office, in Orange County, for Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Orange County. I think there hasn't been a need to do that in the last few years, so we haven't done it. That is to say, you know, we elected people to Chapel Hill and Carrboro town boards and Gloria Faley to the school board [pause] and the elected officials are doing okay without our help. The most recent example, and it made me very happy, I was out of the country for three weeks almost and I come back and find out that the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously voted to encourage the United Way not to give money to groups that discriminate. And as far as I know, no gay person asked them to do that. But, they did it anyway. So, I think that the political culture of this county—I don't mean to say that things are safe, in that we don't need to be vigilant—but by and large, people who get elected to office, or most offices in this county, are sensitive enough to gay things so that they won't do something bad, and in fact they will do good things even without being encouraged.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And that is why OLGA has not done anything lately, because there has not been the need to do anything.

Page 19
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I may get the name of this wrong, but apparently at one time you were involved in something, they were called the Stonewall Dinners, is that correct?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Would you tell me about that?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
They started in 82 or 83, I mean, I have all of their records at home. No, the idea was that there would be an annual supper for our community and it started in a small restaurant in Carrboro—it has been out of business for years, in what's the old train station in Carrboro—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
We had it there for a couple of years.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Spring Garden, is that what it was?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, Spring Garden is across the street from the train station.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, I thought that was the train station.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, the train station is the persian carpet place that is there now.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And we had about twenty-five or thirty people there the first couple of years, and then, beginning in 84, I think, we thought we should turn it into a fundraiser, and so we started having them. The first year it was held at the Community Church, from then on it was held at Binkley Baptist Church, because their

Page 20
church hall was air conditioned and we would get about 300 people together, we would—Gloria Faley was in charge of the food—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Just to confirm, is Gloria Faley the lesbian—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
On the school board—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
—On the school board who has children?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
She and Susan have two sons.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
She cooked this pasta supper and people—we asked people to give contributions, we didn't ask for anything specific—we said $5 if you could afford it or something like that, and then we gave the money to gay or lesbian groups that needed it. And we eventually were raising about $2,000.00 a year, you know, it wasn't a big deal, but it was nice. And we did it until about five years ago and then we were just worn out.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So it ended roughly in '95?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Something like that, we did it for about 15 years, 14 years maybe. '82 to '96, something like that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great, what was the breakdown there in terms of gender? Was it—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, it started out being—having somewhat of a male—in fact one year only one lesbian came. I remember that very well.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
First year, one lesbian came?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Bless her heart [Laughter] and we worked on it, and so by the third or forth year it was pretty close to 50/50. And although it was

Page 21
Chapel Hill and Carrboro, there were always a fair number of women from Durham who came. Even a few men from Durham, so you may have heard, there are some interest in reviving it—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes, probably to do with perhaps with Pride 2001.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Whatever [Laughter] but, we might, we might.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Or you may be doing it independently.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It was fun anyway, while it lasted.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, it sounds like something that would be worthwhile to renew if at all possible.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think we might make some changes, but we will try.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, great.
Well, did you ever see, I mean, I know, for instance, I am someone who goes to bars, but I don't necessarily like the bars, and I like dinners and dinner parties and that kind of thing, did you ever see, when you became more acquainted with the gay culture in this area, did you see any different groups of gays, different types? I mean, of course there is every kind of gay under the sun, as many as different kinds of people, but did you see factions, if you will, in the gay community?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't think factions is the right word, because that suggests that these groups were at odds with each other somehow.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I would just call them social circles. And I think that there were lots of them. And I think that Gerry Unks or Dan Leonard, or what's his

Page 22
name—Charlie Delmar, they can all tell you about some of those. I was never really a member of any of those, or almost not a member; there is one, for example that I still go to. These two guys, they live in Durham, but they have an annual New Years Party, usually, like the 10th of January or something like that, and they invite the same men, it's about 30, I would guess, from Chapel and Durham, to go. Now, I don't think that we are really a social circle, but we are sort of like one. I mean, we have gotten to know each other. But, I have a feeling that there are lots of them. I don't mean to say there are, you know hundreds, but dozens of them. And I am really ignorant of the lesbian ones; I am just not that kind of a social person, for better or for worse. So, I think the further back you go, the more there were, for example, somebody just died. I think his name was Jack Fulilove. I may be mispronouncing his last name—F-U-L-I-L-O-V-E. He was old, 80ish and his partner, I believed died before him. But I have a friend, a straight man, who is his nephew, or maybe his cousin, I don't know, he is related. And he told me that this guy Fulilove and his partner, they had this rich social life—and see, I didn't even know that they existed.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I think that I have heard of this gentleman, in fact, in fact I was hoping to interview him, he was in his 80s and he died just within the year.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I think maybe six months ago, fairly recently. So, I think that there were a lot of these things. Another person who would know about these is David Jones. David, would know about them because his dead lover, Alan Burman, went to college and law school here and was part of some of those things, or Lee Culpepper. Lee is a lawyer, he works for the University. I mean, there are other people who know those—I wouldn't say far better than me, because I don't know

Page 23
anything about them really. There was a group called the Mary Renault Society, it was started by a guy named Hoagie H-O-A-G-I-E, Gaskins, G-A-S-K-I-N-S. Who lives in the Friendly Castle.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That was Mary Renault?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, R-E-N-A-U-L-T. She is a South African novelist who wrote about gay people in Ancient Greece. I believe Hoagie, who by the way, as far as I know, the first person in North Carolina to die of AIDS, he died around 1983, he owned—he was a student here and later owned a little book store on University Square. A Little Professor Book Store, you know it is not a chain, it is like a franchise. He worked there and he bought it from the older couple that started it. And I believe that Hoagie started this thing called the Mary Renault Society, which may still exist by the way, it was a book reading group, and that group met I think once a month on a Sunday evening, and they talked about a book, or they had a—sometimes they had a guest speaker and the guest speaker would give a talk about something and there would be a discussion, but what was posing, that's a lay word, the façade was that it was a book club, but it really was a social network, you know, I went to it for a while. Trying to make them more political. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Get them involved politically. So, you mentioned AIDS and HIV and this person, the first person that you knew of, or probably one of the earlier people who died of AIDS, Hoagie Gaskins. How did you see HIV and AIDS affecting the community? I mean, I am sure that there were many people who died in the Chapel Hill area. I mean, did it really affect social circles? I mean, did it change? I seem to have—from what I have heard from other people, there was somewhat of an integration

Page 24
between the gays that lived in Chapel Hill that did not necessarily go to the University and a connection with the student population. And that seems to have changed at that time when people started dying, but I don't know if you saw anything like that?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Or any effects that you saw of HIV and AIDS on the community. In terms of changes—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I am sure that it had an effect, but what effect it had beyond that people lost friends, I don't know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm sorry.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, no, that's all right.
Did you ever know, or have you heard of any places where gay men tended to meet each other on campus or anything of that nature?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, of course, not me! [Laughter] But let's—well, I was aware of a few such places, the one that I was most aware of was the basement of Wilson Library.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
You see I worked, either doing my own research or I even had a part time job once in the Southern Historical Collection, which was in the basement, and there used to be a kind of smoking lounge down there outside of the men's room, and that was clearly one such place, and I believe, I mean, it wasn't a matter of me going there, but I had to walk through it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.

Page 25
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
—A couple of times a day.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And I think that there was also one in some men's room in Bingham Hall. But the most famous one would have been Carroll Hall.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Would that have been in the basement as well?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't really know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you ever hear anything about Murphy Hall?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Nope.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Great. So did you ever—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I know that the one in Carroll Hall was in International Guide Books [Laughter] The Spartacus Guide.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you ever know of anything that you ever knew of in terms of campus police cracking down on those places? Did people ever get into trouble—you know for cruising in those places? Was there any ruckus on campus that you saw as a result of the cruising?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, but I was aware that some people thought there was. That is to say, since I didn't really participate in it, and I don't mean to say that I never did that, but I was so uninvolved with that sort of phenomenon. I had friends who were, and they would say that at certain times University Police were more interested than others. The university administration even got interested at one point. I am trying to remember when that was, it was after Sitterson Hall was built. Sitterson Hall had a lot of very expensive computer equipment in it and the University was concerned about theft or even damage to that equipment and I remember a meeting that I

Page 26
went to—I don't have any idea why they asked me to go to it, because I wasn't even really a student anymore, I think—In the university attorney's office, in South Building. Susan Ehringhaus had a meeting, the leaders of CGA were there for example, to talk about what she called, "trysting."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Trysting?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And this was the word for cruising?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But gay male bathroom sex. [Laughter] And she somehow thought, I mean, I don't want to be critical of her, because she acknowledged that straight people did the same thing, they did it in other places, however, and they were right then concerned with Sitterson Hall and nearby buildings, and Carroll Hall was right next to Sitterson.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What was her name again?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Her name still is Susan Ehringhaus.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
She is the legal advisor to the chancellor.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Ah, I have spoken to her before.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And she somehow thought that this group of gay and lesbian leaders—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] Would be able to talk to them—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Would be able to do something about this, I think. The student body president was also there, it was a strange meeting. We drank a lot of

Page 27
coffee. [Laughter] In an office that is much smaller than this room. Anyway, by and large, I think the University Police were not too interested in this.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
They were not too concerned. So, you never, to your knowledge, you never saw a write up in the DTH, or anything of that nature.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, no, I would be surprised if there was. I mean, there could have been, but I don't think so.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, great, great.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Now, Dan Leonard will tell you that when he came here as an undergraduate, now he is about my age, or maybe even a year older, that he was warned by some uncle that behind every bush on campus there would be hiding either a Communist or homosexual. And I don't know about the Communist, but I think that the homosexual part was true. [Laughter] There is, in fact, a book, which I don't recommend, except you are writing about this, so you might look at it, called Blood on the Old Well. Have you heard of this book?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It is an awful book, I don't mean by awful, I don't mean that it is wrong, or anything like that, although it is wrong. It was written by a woman—her name may come to me. It was published around 1966 something like that, a woman whose husband was denied tenure in the philosophy department. And she argued that the university in Chapel Hill was run by this secret cabal of Jews, Communists, and homosexuals. You would have to read the whole book, it is not very long, maybe a couple hundred pages, to figure out that is what she is getting at, because she is not a very good writer.

Page 28
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I wonder if that would be in the North Carolina Collection?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, I am sure they will have it. Even used bookstores still have copies of it. And they gay part in this book is based on what I suspect were a couple of cases of gay students who killed themselves. And she says that what happened to these guys was that they were killed because they weren't participating—they weren't cooperating with this secret group who was running things. You know, they were blabbing or something and so they were rubbed out.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] The gay mafia got them.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, or the gay, Communist, Jewish Mafia. But, I mean, she doesn't say as much about homosexuals as she does about Communists and Jews, because when she wrote the book it wasn't so fashionable to be writing about gay people, but we are there. And I think we even—to the extent that this book has any plot, we help provide some plot because one of her really big bad guys was the chief of campus police, who was the amiable Brooklynite name Arthur Beaumont, he was just a very kind-hearted Yankee, who how he got to be head of the University Police, I don't know, but she sort of accuses him of covering up these murders. Which, if they were—I don't even know if anybody died, but if they did die, I suspect that they were suicides and not murders.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right. When you came to Chapel Hill, it was still definitely a majority male. As things, you know, as things progressed and it became a majority female eventually, which it is today, I wonder if you would, I wonder if you would have any commentary of that, I mean, you might not necessarily see how it effected the gay community, but if you saw any general—if you know if it effect the gay

Page 29
community it would be great, but any general changes that happened in the town, as a result of this majority transfer.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, remember I was long out of college when this happened, so what I am going to say is not so much based on direct personal experience as what I have heard from other people or what I know has happened in other places. No, I went to a college [Yale] where there were 4,000 male undergraduates, and where there was an incredible amount of homophobia. I don't remember ever having a conversation that dealt with homosexuality, for the four years that I was in college. Even to this day, almost forty years later, of the thousand men who were in my class, only about four of us have come out.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wow. Did any of them ever say that they had been sexually active in that all male environment?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No. There was even a gay bar in New Haven that I used to go to and didn't—I mean, it was like these ones in Chapel Hill that became gay bars after nine or ten o'clock at night.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I went there for its rice pudding and didn't even know until years later that it was a gay bar late at night. So anyway, my point is that when Yale went co-educational, the presence of women and, you know, in a few years, a large number of women, made it much easier for gay men to be out. I don't quite know how that works.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Interesting.

Page 30
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But I do believe very strongly that it does work. It may simply be that women are less homophobic than men, I don't know. And I believe that the presence of large numbers of women certainly helped the undergraduate gay organization. That is, they were—because women were very important members of CGA, CGLA, whatever increasingly as women became more numerous. There was even for a while a sort of separatist lesbian organization—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
At UNC?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, it wasn't called that, it was just a women's organization.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
[Laughter] A separatist lesbian organization. I never heard of that.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But it was dominated by lesbians, I would guess, for four or five years. My God, but what it was called I don't know. After all of these years.

Page 31
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
All right, this is the second side of the interview with Joe Herzenberg. This is tape. 11.01.00-JH.2. All right Joe, you were talking about another lesbian organization that was—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I mean, it drained women out of CGA, or CGLA, and it was—they weren't interested, they weren't as interested in politics as CGA or CGLA was.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it more of a social organization?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, they were probably would say that they were interested in politics; it was a kind of feminist politics of sort of— [pause]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Special interest rather than direct involvement.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, more involving—I'm not very good at describing it, am I? I don't know, anyway.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But it was definitely a separatist lesbian organization.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, it was a women's organization, there were no male members. And I believe that it was primarily lesbian, yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, okay, that will be interesting to learn more about.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I am sorry that I can't remember what it was called.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No problem.
Did you ever know a lot about—traditionally in closeted societies and even today, a lot of the gay male population is [pause] well not a

Page 32
lot now, but there is definitely a component, are married. They are posing, that would probably be a good way to put it. Did you see a lot of that? And do you still see that?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I think that I effectively cut myself off from that by being too out, so those people were reluctant to—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Associate.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, I don't. I am trying to think of anybody. I am sure that if I thought about it I could come up with a few names of people who were in that category, but. And you know, there always were people who were relatively conservative, I don't mean in terms of supporting Ronald Reagan conservative, I mean, they were personally more conservative and their style was more conservative. I remember once going to a small supper party at a gay faculty member's house, a student had asked me to come with him to that party and the reason was that there was a conservative gay man there, at this party who was a scientist, I forget—a biologist I think of some kind, who has been dead—who died not too long after this supper—who he wanted gay organizations to take gay out of their names. I think what he was working on was the gay and lesbian health project in Durham. He wanted them to—and he said that he could get them a lot more money for their work if, if they called themselves something else. And I said, "Well, that may be, but they are not going to change their name, it is a waste of time to bother them."
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I mean, the whole point of that organization is to have that name.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.

Page 33
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He didn't really appreciate that, I think. So—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He didn't happen to be married or anything like that, did he?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I just mentioned that as another, another—and conservative is not quite the right word, just a more closeted approach to things.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, there was definitely a trend in gay history—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh sure.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Especially, you know, when you are experiencing something like McCarthyism or something.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, of course.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You want to be mainstream—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, and there was good reason for it. No, I wouldn't criticize those people necessarily. I just think that just as we have to try to understand why they were that way, it's important to point out that they didn't understand what other people were in another way. That is, this guy just could not understand why the Gay and Lesbian Health Project wouldn't want to change its name. [Laughter] It made no sense to him. Because all he could think about was helping them in their work by getting them more money, by getting them grants, you know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And he thought that if they said homosexual or—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I don't think that he wanted that either.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He didn't want anything.

Page 34
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, maybe "Alternative Health Project," or something, I don't know what he wanted to call it. But, I knew those people in Durham, they were not going to change that for anything.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
The whole point of that organization was to be out there.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So people who were gay and lesbian could get there.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That's right. It does strike me that even today, in the year 2000, there are remarkably few UNC faculty who are out.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Which that is a—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Because there is a fairly large gay and lesbian contingent as well. I mean I know of six, seven, eight people—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Why that is, I don't quite understand it.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, interesting. Great, well, another thing that I was going ask. I was just reading this book Lonely Hunters by Dr. Sears and there was a particular area in it about the black civil rights movement and there were three gentlemen, Pat Cusick, Quinton Baker, who was an African American, and he just went by an alias, John, who was a Morehead Scholar. And they were here, Quinton, actually, I found, actually I found according to this article still—he lives in Hillsborough now, and is in his 70s. Do you know these gentlemen?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, as in 1997 he lived in Hillsborough.

Page 35
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I don't know if he still does.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He does.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He does? So, do you know them?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. John Dunne is dead.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I know Quinton fairly well. I don't see him very much anymore, but I have met what's his name, from Alabama—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Quinton Baker?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, Quinton—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Pat Cusick?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Pat, I've met Pat a couple of times, he lives in Massachusetts, he lives in Boston.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Ah, okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But I have never talked with them very much about what awareness there was in 1963 and 64, that is when the stuff he's—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And I can't remember who Sears has talked to, so why he knows that, I don't remember, do you know?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Why he knows what, I'm sorry.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That the three of them were gay.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, how he knew that the three of them were gay?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.

Page 36
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I have no idea, apparently, I mean throughout the article, they talked about Cusick was struggling with it and John Dunne and Quinton Baker were actually lovers.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I don't—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And so I don't know how. Apparently it was rumored and apparently a lot of people in the movement knew, they just didn't ask them about it. In fact, the NAACP repeatedly questioned Quinton about his orientation and he denied it. Well, he didn't deny it, he just said, "My private life is my private life, and I am not going to—"
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That is what Sears says.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That's what Sears says.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I don't know if any of that is true.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Really?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. Maybe, but I don't know that it is. And—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, basically, he would know, because it was kind of known, in fact there was a Reverend LaVert? L-A-V-E-R-T who was.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
LaVert is the first name.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Oh, LaVert is the first name?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And he was involved in some of this, and it is kind of a humorous story he asked Pat Cusick when they were driving down for a meeting in South Carolina with Martin Luther King if he was gay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.

Page 37
CHRIS McGINNIS:
And Pat Cusick said, "Well, yes, I am a homosexual, but I have never acted on it." And he said, "Well, how did you know?" and he was like, "Well, I read it on the bathroom wall of the Carolina Coffee Shop." [Laughter]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
LaVert Taylor.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Taylor was his last name.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I am not saying that none of that is true.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I was just curious if you knew them, and what you knew of them. Because I think that Quinton Baker would especially be someone that I think would be interesting and worthwhile to interview even if he was just, you know, active and went to N.C. Central I believe. And, you know, it would be interesting to get his perspective, of the gay community because apparently he was somewhat involved in it in that period of time.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, I have never talked to him about that.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
How do you know Quinton Baker?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
[pause] Well I know him because he was active in the civil rights movement and then he actually, after he left here, he was basically, kicked out of North Carolina, the state, and he went to Wisconsin in an effort to finish his college education, and I had a couple of gay friends in Mississippi who met him in Wisconsin. So that is how I first sort of knew of him, other than there is a book about the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, which focuses on those three men. [pause]

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CHRIS McGINNIS:
Simultaneously, a bit of irony, bizarrity to the entire story is that one of the main conservative columnists in the DTH was one Armistead Maupin.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Who later did, you remember, I don't know if he was around, he may have gone to San Francisco by that time. Did you ever run into Armistead?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, well, he would come back every once in a while.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What was your impression, was he a particularly conservative person when he came out?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, well—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Initially he was.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't much about Armistead's coming out, but you know, I know a bunch about growing up, and you know his family was very conservative and he used to say that Jesse Helms gave him his first job.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That sort of thing. But somewhere along the line he changed, so you know, I don't know when that happened.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah, very interesting. I guess that was in the early 70s when he was writing this book [the book by Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City], so you know, in ten years so much had changed. Great, well, is there anything else that you think would be interesting that you would like to add, did I miss anything, in terms of the gay community, gay life? Other important gays of Chapel Hill over the years?

Page 39
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I think that the biggest thing that I am ignorant about is lesbians in the early days.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And I think that when you speak with, if you do, with Gerry Unks, or Dan Leonard or Charlie Delmar for example, that you try to figure out if there was a lesbian presence here.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
In this paper I am going to focus on gay men.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Okay, well that makes it easier. Yeah, because I think that is a more difficult subject to get at.
But, there is no doubt that what Dan Leonard's uncle or whoever it was said about the Communists and the homosexuals was sort of true about the homosexuals, that is, and I think, historically speaking that state university towns like Chapel Hill, in the South, I am talking about, probably were places where there was some concentration of gay activity, gay social activity, I think you could probably find something similar in Athens, Georgia, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Charlottesville, Virginia, because college towns are more liberal, more tolerant. Chapel Hill, because it wasn't just a place where people from North Carolina came, it was a place where people came from all over the South, much more than those other places that I just mentioned, so it had a wider drawing and so, you know, there might be gay people from Mississippi, or Tennessee or whatever who ended up here, because they thought that they could be more open, maybe not very open, but more open about being gay and still be in the South. They didn't have to go to New York, or San Francisco. They could just come to Chapel Hill. And they were right.

Page 40
I don't know what you. We haven't talked about the so-called Chapel Hill gay rights ordinance, but in September 1975, 25 years ago, when those students from CGA went to the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen, and asked them to include gay people in the non-discrimination section of that ordinance, there was no discussion of it, they just said, "oh sure" and they, the ones that I have talked to, and it was not recently, they were sort of surprised, but—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That it passed so quickly?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Pardon?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
That it passed so easily, with no problems—
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
There was never even a vote on it, they just wrote it in.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I remember the discussion in the interview with Joe [Mosnier] about that. That is pretty phenomenal
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I just think that they all knew that, you know, they all knew a few gay people. I am beginning to think by the way of some of those married people— [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, well, you always wonder are those people going to be allies or enemies and often they could be either.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I don't know any who could be enemies. The ones that I know, they haven't been very active supporters, but they have been sort of passive supporters.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
In terms of votes they can make.

Page 41
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Or, you know, yeah. So, and mainly, maybe, it is because there has never been a moment of crisis for the gay community in Chapel Hill, there has never been a time when the gay people felt that they had their backs up against the wall.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
As a group.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, there—I will give you one example which is political in a sense, but not—In 1984 when Hunt and Helms were running for Helms' Senate seat there was a higher level of political homophobia than usual in North Carolina. And one day I got a call from my friend, Lightning Brown he was walking to work, dental school, or where ever he worked at then. He was working for a program dealing with autistic children. And this woman he knew in the library science school had stopped him in a parking lot somewhere on campus and shown him this letter, it was an anonymous letter that was sent to about 25 or 30 members of the faculty. They were not named. The letter was sent. Obviously the envelopes had somebody's name on them. But the Xeroxed letter that was inside, it had a list of things like, "Assistant Professor of Romance Languages," "Full Professor of Physics," you know things like that, "Assistant Dean of this," "Associate Professor of that." These people who were identified only by their rank, were presumed all to be gay. And they were told to resign before they were exposed. And this woman in library science told Lightning that the man in library science, who had received this letter and given it to her, was frightened by this letter. So, Lightning said he couldn't do anything about it, he had a busy day to work, he said, "do something about it." Well, I don't really respond very well to things like that, I was in bed when he called, it took me a while to get up. So, what was I going to do? In the

Page 42
meantime, he had brought a copy of this letter to my house, so that afternoon, I went down to Bill Friday's office. He was still the president at the university system. I don't know who was the chancellor, but I didn't know the chancellor, I did know Bill Friday, he was a voter in my precinct. And so I got there and his secretary, Azona Norwood, was somebody that I also knew, she was on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, and I told her that I had this really important thing, I just wanted to talk to him for a few minutes. And she sort of, I think I was really nervous about this. I had never talked to Bill Friday about anything gay before in my life. I mean, he knew I was gay, but that was a private matter. I think that she could tell that I was a little anxious about this. So, she went into see him and she said, "He'll be finished with what he is doing in about 10 minutes and then he will see you." So, I went in and I showed him the letter. He had already seen it, he was almost shaking with anger about this letter. Because, what he saw was an effort to threaten his faculty.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wonderful.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And he even, and this seemed to me at the time, and still today, sixteen years later, seemed to be kind of odd, this was not on the Mosnier tape? I didn't tell this story?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What he told me was that he regarded this as a violation of the university's sexual harassment policy. Well, I think that this is a very creative use of the sexual harassment policy—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yeah.

Page 43
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But that is fine with me, if it is okay with him. He told me he had already called the SBI [State Bureau of Investigation] about this and, and he assured me that he would do whatever had to be done to find out who sent this letter and he sent a memo to the departments where these people were since he couldn't tell who they were, assuring them that he had done something about it. So I really felt great, you know, and I went home. But that is sort of what you want, or you think probably won't happen, but it did. And, of course, there was actually another letter a little later in which, it was typed on the same typewriter, you know, the same kind of type, where it talked about gay and lesbian books in the library, the should be gotten rid of. [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did they ever find out who this individual was?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Nope, nope. No, it was mailed from wherever it was mailed.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
They didn't put a return address. [Laughter]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
There was no return address, there was nothing like that, but I think, you know that is what in theory, that is what you expect people to do, when something threatening happens, now that woman told Lightning that this colleague of hers was afraid and that is what I told Friday. You know, I don't even know who this colleague was. I just heard secondhand that somebody in library science was afraid. And I thought that that was enough to bring it to the attention of him. And he thought so too, so that was nice.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Wonderful, yeah.

Page 44
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But that is the kind of place that I would like to think this town and university are. Whether they are or not, I don't know.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Whether they are staying there is the bigger issue.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, well I think that, as I told you, just last week the town council passed this motion to let the United Way know that they did not want the United Way to have discriminatory groups receiving United Way money.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Which, the Boy Scouts are under the United Way, aren't they?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah, that's what they meant.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, it was a direct thing with that. Interesting, interesting. As an Eagle Scout myself I am aware of a few homosexuals within the Boy Scouts.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, somebody told me that the first gay man—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Doug Ferguson was an Eagle Scout, too.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Lightning's most valued possession was his merit badge sash.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Yes.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I wonder who got that when he died. [pause] But, somebody told me that the first gay person that they ever met was in the Boy Scouts. I actually read this part of the book [Joe is holding Lonely Hunters and is referring to the chapter entitled "The Father, Son and Holy Ghost"] when it first came out, but that is awhile ago.

Page 45
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, Lonely Hunters. We just picked it up because of the "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" Chapter that was dealing with that [the black civil rights movement in Chapel Hill]. And Joe Mosnier, who specializes in oral history of the civil rights movement.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He wasn't aware that those three individuals were homosexuals.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, except for this book, nobody has ever mentioned that. Now, I have never, I mean I know that Quinton is, and I know that Pat Cusick is it's hard. [pause] Do you know Perry, that's somebody else you might talk to. Well, he—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Is he somebody closeted?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, no, no, no, no; quite the contrary. Perry, Perry Deane D-E-A-N-E Young. His name doesn't ring a bell, I guess?
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, not at all.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He lives in the basement of the Women's Center at 210 Henderson Street. He is a fairly prominent gay journalist, who is in kind of semi-retirement here in Chapel Hill.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He is also about 60. He was a UNC student who dropped out to become a reporter and came back here to finish his degree several years ago. He wrote this book about the National Football League's only, so far as I know, gay

Page 46
player, The Dave Kopay Story, K-O-P-A-Y. And he wrote a book called God's Bullies about fundamentalists.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I have heard of that, I have heard of that.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And some other things too. But he was here early on.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well that sounds like a good person. This interview has been spectacular, but these names are even more exciting, to be able to speak to them.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes. Now I will say in general, I am suspicious of people's memories, even my own. But, whether it is Gerry Unks or Charlie Delmar, or Dan Leonard, or Perry Young, all of who I have recommended to you.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, I am already interviewing Gerry Unks.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I know what memory does to people, or what people do to their memories, how they make them fancier, and that is just what people are like. And sometimes, you begin to lose the ability to discriminate between what you want to believe and what really happened. That is a serious problem with oral history. [pause]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Well, thank you so much, I think this worked out very well.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I hope so, I wish I knew more things about what you are really interested in.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
No, well actually, you covered a lot of them.
END OF INTERVIEW