The 1960s have clearly seen a renaissance of late. It seems everyone is going mad over Mad Men along with a whole cornucopia of 60's themed media (A Single Man, Pride, A Cloud Over England, Howl). And with this retrospection on the radical age with its sexual revolutions et al., it serves as a good reminder to remember the state of queer rights in the 60s. Mad Men's Sal got the boot last season after coming up against his homosexuality. While painful to watch as a fan of the character it is certainly a wake up call to consider just how closeted a society America was and in some ways continues to be.
Cartoonist and blogger Sam Henderson digs up this pretty in pink treasure titled "My Son, the Daughter." He writes:
This was a book published in 1966, back when the idea of someone being gay was funny in and of itself. I don't know for sure, but Mort Drucker's probably embarrassed by it now.The same publisher also did a couple books of “Fannie Hillman” illustrated by Sergio Aragones to cash in on the Jewish mother schtick of the time. It's weird how the people behind Jewish jokebooks were most likely Jewish while the gay jokebooks were written by people who probably never even met a homosexual.On one hand My Son, the Daughter is steeped in the running homophobic joke of reviling the sissy. But at the same time, it is in some ways a relief to see the ways in which gay men's lives were open enough to receive this level of layered satire. I'm ambivalent as to hating on the author because in some strange way, I find the book liberating in a strange sense. Check out the full scans at Henderson's blog, The Magic Whistle.