Upfront Newspaper
Houston, Texas
1978 - 1980

 

This section of this site will feature the late 70's Houston gay newspaper "Upfront," founded by
Gary Van Ooteghem. As scanning several years of a newspaper is a huge project, additions
will appear as I have time, and they will be downloadable (and searchable) PDF files.
Below each cover scan will be listed some of the major stories and people in that issue. By issue
#15 ads had greatly increased, and to minimize file size, I often did not scan some of the full-page ads.
Access to the Upfront collection courtesy of Gulf Coast Archive & Museum.

Also see Upfront Photos, from 1978-79

GARY VAN OOTEGHEM

From "Houston We Have History: The Banner Project"

Born February 2, 1942, Gary van Ooteghem moved to Houston in 1975 to serve as Comptroller of the Treasury and Harris County Assistant Treasurer. Inspired by Leonard Matlovich, a U.S. soldier resisting a discharge from the military resulting from his admitted homosexuality, Gary informed his boss that he intended to appear before the County Commissioners Court at their August 1, 1975 meeting and propose they adopt a regulation protecting the civil rights of homosexuals.

His boss insisted that he sign a letter acknowledging awareness that he was not to participate in political activities during business hours. He refused to sign and was consequently dismissed from his job. He filed against the county for job discrimination and after many years eventually won his suit in 1986.

Reaction from Van Ooteghem was one of wanting his job back, not the money. He told TWT NEWS/Houston that he would give the money to charity since it was a victory for the community. "I did not win the reinstatement I had sought and so I really did not win my particular battle. However, the community did get a 'win' situation out of all of this in that Harris County has been effectively held accountable in a high court of law for the illegal act of firing a person simply because he was gay."

The publicity surrounding Ooteghem's activism in 1975 caught the attention of a group of LGBT Houstonians as
they were initially founding the Houston Gay Political Caucus. At their invitation, Gary became the caucus' first president in February of 1976. He was also known for his role in the organization of the Anita Bryant march, founding the Montrose Activity Center, was at the first meeting of the Gay Rights National Lobby (Human Rights Campaign), published "Upfront" magazine for three years and took part in founding Executive and Professional Association of Houston (EPAH). He died in 2000 at the age of 57 during surgery.



Volume 1-1
4/7/78, PDF

First issue, GPC new President & endorsements, Steve Shiflett, EPAH start,
Coors boycott,
Cuddles bar

Volume 1-2
4/28/78, PDF

Town Meeting I, Pride events announced, Ray Hill, Steve Shiflett, Charles Law, Women's concert

Volume 1-3
5/12/78, PDF

Town Meeting I (TMI), GPC, Human Rights Foundation, MCCR, gays meet Mayor McConn

Volume 1-4
5/26/78, PDF

TMI, Lesberadas, election results, New Ways Ministry, Montrose Sports Association (MSA)


Volume 1-5
6/9/78, PDF

TMI, Montrose Activity Center, Sissy Farenthold, Mickey Leland, GPC, Integrity/Houston


Volume 1-6
6/23/78, PDF

TMI, Ginny Apuzzo, Briggs Amendment, Dallas Texas Gay Conference 5, Gay Chicano Caucus, MSA, Larry Bagneris

Volume 1-7
7/7/78, PDF

TMI, Gay Speakers Bureau, Steve Shiflett Interview, NGTF

 

Volume 1-8
7/21/78, PDF

TMI Photos Stolen by Radical Feminists, EPAH formed, Ray Hill, Steve Shiflett

Volume 1-9
8/4/78, PDF

HPD Crime Study, Metro Referendum, Matlovich film, Montrose Activity Center (MAC)


Volume 1-10
8/18/78, PDF

Texas Gay Task Force, Midge Costanza, March on Washington announced, Bagneris new GPC head, Gay Bob doll


Volume 1-11
9/1/78, PDF

GPC voter registration, Dignity/Houston, book and theatre reviews, vice squad raids, MAC



Volume 1-12
9/15/78, PDF

GPC anniversary, Chemical Bank, Richmond Ave, MAC, Matlovich, Boys in the Band


Volume 1-14
9/29/78, PDF

Texas Democratic Convention, Prop 6, Judson Robinson, Del Martin, GRNL, UU Church, film Word Is Out
[there was no vol. 13]


Volume 1-15
10/13/78, PDF

Van Ooteghem lawsuit, Prop 6 event w/ Martin, Matlovich, Kopay,
Troy Perry, 21.06,
NGTF, EPAH election


Volume 1-16
10/27/78, PDF

Prop 6 event photos, MAC, John Hill, NGTF,
Tea for 2000,
GPC endorsements
[now up to 20 pages,
lots of ads]


Volume 1-17
11/10/78, PDF


Prop 6 defeat, GPC, Steve Shiflett, election results, Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL), MAC sells Upfront, NGTF, book review "Loving Someone Gay"


Volume 1-18
11/24/78, PDF


Local gays on TV, Pointblank, UU Church, GPC, book review, secret HPD vice report
(and, Vol 1 is complete
in only 9 months..:)


Volume 2-1
12/8/78, PDF

Van Ooteghem vs Harris County, Montrose murder, Harvey Milk death, MAC benefit, local MCCR LP, Mr Club Houston



Volume 2-2
12/22/78, PDF

Van Ooteghem lawsuit, another Montrose murder, Ray Hill lawsuit,
GPC forum,
MAC tree trimming,
March on Wash plans,
Tea for 2000, GRNL

Volume 2-3
1/12/79, PDF

NGTF, Harvey Britt, March on Washington, Mary Watkins LP, MCCR, book review "Dancer from the Dance," Abortion

Volume 2-4
1/26/79, PDF

March on Washington date set, Patricia Nell Warren appearance, Women's Music, Mardi Gras Houston, Rev Larson new MCCR minister


Volume 2-5
2/9/79, PDF

Ray Hill & Charles Law on the radio, Tea for 2000, Harry Britt interview,
Gay Resource Services
at U of H


Volume 2-6
2/23/79, PDF

GPC elections, Tower Theatre renovation, Texas Gay Task Force, Annella Harrison at U of H, NGTF fundraiser, Dignity meeting, Fanny Farmer

 


Volume 2-7
3/16/79, PDF

March on DC plans, early PFLAG, new home for MCCR, Integrity/Houston 9th anniversary, new NGTF co-director


Volume 2-8
4/04/79, PDF

This issue devoted heavily to photos, and now costs 25¢.

Volume 2-9
4/18/79, PDF

Public meeting with Police Chief, Phyllis Frye interview, MAC story, City Hall rally, MAC Marching Band, 24 pages

Volume 2-10
5/2/79, PDF

Westheimer Arts Festival, disension among Nat'l groups re DC March, Sweat Tea Dance


Volume 2-11
5/16/79, PDF

National Women's Music Festival, Pride Parade plans, Galveston, Larry Bagneris, Kathy Whitmire

Volume 2-12
5/30/79, PDF

Pride Week plans, Westmoreland Festival, Larry Bagneris, How to build a float, Wilde 'N' Stein bookstore, Village People
at the Summit

 

 

Was there a Volume 2-13?

No, the Upfront offices were the
victim of malicious burglary on 6/8/79, with $8700 worth of phototypesetting equipment stolen. So, this issue had
to be cancelled. See article on this
on page 4 of the next issue.

Volume 2-14
6/27/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

Pride Week schedule, Upfront office robbed, film festival, Off the Wall Productions, U of H, Ray Hill on Police Chief Caldwell.
36 pages, in two parts

Volume 2-15
7/11/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

Packed full of photos from Pride Week, including a few from other cities. 32 pages, with most
full-page ads omitted



Volume 2-16
7/25/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

MAC foreclosure threat, DC March conference held in Houston,
Los Angeles Pride photos,
anti-gay violence, Ron Paul interview, Weingarten dispute

Volume 2-17 (36 pages)
8/15/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

GPC man appointed to Dem Party post, MAC troubles, 79 March Freedom Train, play Women Behind Bars, Vecchio photos

Volume 2-18
8/29/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

Patricia O'Kane named to Police Advisory Board, 6th annual Texas Gay Conference, 10-page Castro Street Fair photo spread, Larry Kramer visit, MAC

Volume 2-19
9/14/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

March on Washington planning continues, with bus to DC, new women's group The Family of Sisters, PAFOG March plans, MAC follow-up, Gay Fest '79


Volume 2-20
9/28/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

more March on Washington planning, (of course), Montrose Marching Band, MCCR Festival. Note, once again a free publication


Volume 2-21
10/12
/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

last issue before MOW, GPC endorsements, Houston Police Chief problems, Montrose Day at Astroworld, gay Hispanics, more Montrose Marching Band

Volume 2-22
10/26/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

Finally, the March, with Phyllis Frye on the cover, this issue includes extensive photos from the weekend, also as it was election time, lots of political ads

Volume 2-23
11/9/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

more MOW and election
follow-ups, Westheimer Arts Fest, women's music performer Lee McCormick (of More Joy),
Ruth Ravis, Andy Mills


Volume 2-24
11/23/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

MAC vs Family Center, city election follow-up and run-off, Lance Laylor, MCCR building dedication, Eleanor Tinsley, letters to the editor


Volume 3-1 (32 pages)
12/7/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

21.06 challenge starts, Don Baker, election wrap-up, xmas tree caper, Westheimer Colony Assn, Pacifica Radio, Rainbow Society of the Deaf, letters to the editor


Volume 3-2
12/21/79, PDF#1   PDF#2

Don Baker Story, 21.06,
Meg Christian in Houston, Integrity/Houston,
letters, GPC party

Upfront America
January marked the start of a new direction, an attempt at Upfront becoming a national publication, one that, alas, would only last a year.
You could notice the change in focus over the previous few months of 1979. A San Francisco office had opened, with distribution there,
and much of the content was split between San Francisco and Houston, and more National news. Personally, as this page of my site exists
for enabling the research into Houston history, Upfront trying to compete with The Advocate was not the content I wanted. Therefore, after
Vol 1-1 I only scanned the pages relevant to Houston news, along with selected other articles

Volume 1-1
1/4/80, PDF#1   PDF#2

comprehensive look back at 1979, in other words, Lots of photos
from the last year, MAC/Family schism update

Volume 1-2 (24 pages)
1/18/80, PDF

Meg Christian concert, Gay Hispanic Caucus

Volume 1-3
2/1/80, PDF

Steve Shiflett plans, MAC, GPC meets with Mayor

Volume 1-4
2/15/80, PDF

MAC, GPC election: Shifflet vs Bagneris


Volume 1-5
2/29/80, PDF

Montrose Patrol, Steve Shifflet wins GPC election


Volume 1-6
3/14/80, PDF

Pride Week plans, Shiflett unity efforts, Montrose murder and suicide

 

Volume 1-7
3/28/80, PDF

MAC remodeling, Rainbow Society of the Deaf, FCC ruling

Volume 1-8
4/11/80, PDF

Don Baker & 21.06, GPC resignations & endorsements, Steve Shiflett resigns, Troy Perry in Houston

Volume 1-9
4/25/80, PDF

Lambda Club dissolves, Westheimer Arts Fest,
city election ads

Volume 1-10
05/09/80, PDF

Harry Britt interview, city election results, Van Ooteghem on his job discrimination, Pride poster


Volume 1-11
05/23/80, PDF

essentially no
local content


Volume 1-12
06/05/80, PDF

Publisher Van Ooteghem resigns, Montrose shooting, Pride Week calendar, PFLAG panel

Volume 1-13
06/20/80, PDF

new publisher is J Hardy Williams, Annella Harrison article (PFLAG), Pride Week plans, Lee Harrington new GPC Pres

Volume 1-14 (16 pages)
07/04/80, PDF

Fred Paez killing, 61 arrested in Mary's raid,
Gay Pride photos

 


Volume 1-15
07/18/80, PDF

Mary's raid, Paez killing follow-up, Austin Women's Festival

Volume 1-16
08/29/80, PDF

Fred Paez task force, Ray Hill sues police, Tea for 2000 - the Bushes

[6-week gap]

Volume 1-17
09/12/80, PDF

GPC pres Harrington streamlines policies, Bushes party recap


Volume 1-18
09/26/80, PDF

discrimination in bars, Mickey Leland stand, Matlovich win,
GPC endorsements

Volume 1-19
10/10/80, PDF

Montrose hate crime victim first person account

Volume 1-20
10/24/80, PDF

Montrose Counseling Center extensive article, Danberg ad

Volume 1-21
11/7/80, PDF

MAC building for sale,
Van Ooteghem wins county lawsuit, GRNL update, Lee Harrington meets Jimmy Carter

Volume 1-22
11/21/80, PDF

BWMT Conference in Houston, photo article on Houston bars,
Neon Woman review


Volume 1-23
12/05/80, PDF

GPC screening process, letters to the editor, Ratshole bar

Volume 1-24
12/19/80, PDF

The Tumblebugs:
cross-dressing history, combatting crime in Montrose

Volume 2-1 (12 pages)
1/2/81, PDF

GPC 6th anniversary, Integrity/Houston,
letters to the editor
Mary's patio, naturally


Volume 2-2 (16 pages)
1/16/81, PDF

Citizens for Human Equaltiy (CHE) forms, GRNL, Upfront America relocates, Colt 45s

 

Were there more issues of Upfront America?
Or, was January 16, 1981 the last? I could
easily believe it was the last, as the number
of pages were diminishing and they just
moved to a smaller office. They also stopped
listing a San Francisco sales office phone
number at the end of August, so distribution
there may have also stopped.

If you know please let me know
and if there were more and you can
provide access definitely let me know
Thanks