Pretty, and Witty, and Gay: Or, 2 out of 3 (on a good day) Ain't Bad

This Wednesday, the Current's annual LGBT issue (or is it GLBT?) hits the stands and the 'Net, and I couldn't be happier... except that I ain't in it. Not that I'm gay, come to think of it (a girl can't have everything), but the GLBT community is one I love and respect. Like most people, I have GLBT family members, GLBT friends...and iTunes Genius seems to think I have certain...tendencies.

Plus! I was raring to go with a story about the legendary GLBT Historical Archives, a treasure trove of personal effects, art and media dating from the 1960s til today, and maintained by artist/raconteur/activist Gene Elder. Elder's the creator of the Wedding Cake Liberation Front, founder of the MUD Underground, and director of the HAPPY Foundation, named for the late visionary Arthur "Hap" Veltman. Hap Veltman pioneered the Bonham and Blue Star and many other great things for his hometown, and he passed away from complications of AIDS in 1988. In the words of his friend Debbie Maltz, "he was hysterical, he was brilliant, he was fun, he was edgy, and I miss him all the time."

I was particularly interested to tell this story since GLBT life isn't all pageants, parties and Bravo...the local GLBT community has a his(n' her-)story as long and complex as San Anto herself. Unfortunately, schedule complications didn't permit me to get in to scour the GLBT Archive on time for this week's issue... Editor Elaine Wolff and I even attempted to stalk Gene Elder, skulking around outside his apartment and outside the Bonham, where the archives are kept. (Note to cops: we did not break in anywhere.)

Gene got back to us, though, and has graciously allowed me to take a good look at the Archives soon, and to interview him. His, and the Archives' story is an important one, and the Current has both postponed and expanded this story--it'll be a cover feature at the end of November, closer to the 20th anniversary of Hap Veltman's passing.

So, San Anto, GLBT and otherwise...did you know Hap Veltman? Do you have fond memories of the Bonham or its predecesor, "The San Antonio Country"? Have you any experience with the GLBT Archives? If you do, get in touch with me at [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you.


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