Eddie Nash Forms Unlikely Alliance With Gay Liberation Front (GLF)
Still here folks, still here! This post was from the FB page a while back, just sharing it on the blog now.
My Dad beat throat cancer. What a tough old guy. I have been taking care of him since he did not want a day nurse in his house. I really lost focus, quit my job and had been sitting around all day, staying sober and watching Discovery ID channel. Mom’s doing well again. God bless you all who have lost a parent.
Patrick, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on this post, read the book “Gay L.A.” by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons.
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From my book:
The year was 1970 – the prevailing homophobia in Los Angeles, as with other parts of the country, was still riding high. Gay nightclubs were constantly being raided and their patrons being jailed, mostly for touching, cavorting and doing the bump-n-grind.
By 1970, Eddie Nash already owned a half-dozen gay-oriented clubs in West L.A. As a person, he did not care what other people did with their lives; the world was too big for him to judge anyway, especially if he could make money off it. But, as a businessman, Nash would not allow anything that would jeopardize his livelihood – or have any of his various business licenses revoked. Fire marshals or police could also raid an establishment that seemed to be too overcrowded – due to occupancy level ordinances, and thus shut it down. Anti-gay sentiment was a powerful force in the Los Angeles political community at this time, and their way to hold back certain emerging social change, such as gay rights, was to shut down the businesses where it thrived or found refuge – Problem solved.
The Farm was a West Hollywood bar owned by Eddie Nash. The club had a capacity to hold about 500 patrons, mostly frequented by gay people – it became very popular and was a big moneymaker for Nash. He tried to enforce the “no touching” rule, not so much that he was against gays having fun, as he was about keeping his club from being raided or shut down. He was in fact, a savvy businessman who saw dollar signs – not rainbows. When a leading gay rights figure set up a meeting with Eddie Nash and his manager to discuss the no-touching policy, the activist was quickly told “You don’t know who you are dealing with!” and the manager quickly put his thumb down on the table, as if he was squishing an ant to death. Frightened but angry, the gay activist shouted “You don’t know who you are dealing with – we will bomb your bars!”. The Nash had now pissed off and threatened the gay community. It was on now.
That September in 1970, hundreds of gay rights activists marched on The Farm. Armed with fliers and signs, they picketed on the weekends for over a month, much to the dismay of one Eddie Nash. After a month of these loud demonstrations, Nash bowed to the pressure and met with the gay rights leader, Morris Kight, to discuss a compromise. An unlikely alliance had been formed between the gay community and Eddie Nash. He even allowed them to hang a sign in front of the bar: “GAY PEOPLE’S VICTORY! THE FARM IS LIBERATED!”