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Early Gay Liberation Movement at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 1971-1978
Lambda Line

Two Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings

Des Moines Tribune, October 4, 1973

Historical ditties. Define "bachelor." Define "It." (as in "…'it' can be cured")

Howard Brown Comes Out, Sees no Cure for It

Praises Doctor—Admits Being A Homosexual

BELLE MEAD, N.J. (AP) -- The disclosure by a doctor and former New York City health official that he has been a homosexual for 30 years drew praise from fellow physicians.

Dr. Howard J. Brown, 49, received sustained applause Wednesday from about 600 medical men at a symposium here on human sexuality.

Dr. Gustav R. Schmiege, a Cherry Hill, N.J., psychiatrist, said it was refreshing to hear such a disclosure from "an intelligent person in a responsible position . . . who is not seeking publicity. It's a lot better than noisy demonstrators."

Brown, a bachelor, urged doctors to help patients accept rather than conceal homosexuality. He said medicine should forget the idea that homosexuality can be treated by psychotherapy, adding "there is very little indication that it can be treated."

Iowa State University Daily, October 1, 1973

This created a controversial stir when it was printed against the wishes of the author, who, by virtue of his fear, could do nothing about it:

Letter from an Older Closeted Gay Man to the Daily, Printed Without His Permission

Reader replies to gay issue

Editor's note -- The author of the following letter to the editor specifically requested that this letter not be printed. It was unsigned and normally such letters are not considered for publication under the present editorial policy.

But in this case we can make an exception. The staff felt the social import of his thoughts and frustrations necessitated its publication. If this gentleman's letter creates a greater understanding of how one homosexual thinks, we have accomplished out purpose in violating his confidence.


Thanks so much for your enlightened sympathetic treatment of the homosexual and his plight. I am a 60 year old bachelor, decidedly homosexual since adolescence, celibate the past 20 years due to health.

I know what it means, and nobody can imagine my life of suffering. I didn't choose or ask for it, yet people seem to be so ignorant and misinformed as to imagine we "different" ones can help it!? If we had our druthers we would be reinstated and happily married.

I sublimate a great deal and because of self control (inhibitions), abstinence, lack of opportunity, my sexual expression was very infrequent and limited to say the least.

I guess one can live without sex, but it's difficult.

We can go to the moon, but we still can't treat human beings with weaknesses and problems like brothers!! Why can't we "live and let live?" Don't we all have our shortcomings and quirks? Why are people in this modern era so bigoted, fearful, ignorant? We don't want pity and contempt.

There shouldn't be any need for "Liberation" if this were a humane society.

I'm deeply religious, but I blame the Church and the Bible for most of the cruel injustice and suffering heaped upon so many fine, superior, talented, creative citizens simply because of their complex sexuality identity -- beyond their control.

I have mixed feelings about the Gay Liberation movement. It seems to have done some good -- seems like a hopeless task.

I hope it can remove legislative restrictions. Apparently it has done something to fight discrimination. I was glad and surprised that we are considered like other minorities and cannot be fired from jobs because of it: Maybe there is hope for progress.

I have lived in a closet all my life and know better than to declare myself. That will be the day. Sad it should be so. I haven't hurt anyone. The whole stigma is so painful to me that in a way I don't like the Lib movement. I could never join it, but I admire and envy their courage and accomplishments. I cringe at the open expressions of hostility and ridicule and wish for the empathy of Jesus.

Sometimes I wish it were not so publicized. I would rather not hear about it. But I realize that there must be education and a change in public attitude. Seems to me self acceptance is the only solution, and that's hard enough. I envy those who can do it. I never could and suffered untold torture.

We have a right to expect some measure of understanding and tolerance in this pluralistic society.

I applaud your fairness.

Ames, Iowa

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