In a little bit of TIME travel, this magazine jounrnalist from 1973 reports on a very unusual vigilante group called the Lavender Panthers:
Formed by the Rev. Ray, a Pentecostal Evangelist and known homosexual who himself was once beaten severely outside his gay mission center, the Panthers patrol the streets nightly with chains, billy clubs, whistles and cans of red spray paint (a substitute for forbidden Mace). Their purpose, as the Rev. Ray candidly puts it, is to strike terror in the hearts of “all those young punks who have been beating up my faggots.”
I dont know what I find more shocking: the constant use of the term ‘homosexuals’ as if they were an alien species, (‘San Francisco has long been known for having a permissive attitude to homosexuals’) or the fact that a reverend has set up a gang of gay thugs to beat up queer bashers.
Post Script: I originally thought this article was from 2010. I thought it was very weird. But still possible. I don’t know if that says more about my current state of mental health, immersed as I am in 1960’s France, or about the current state of homophobia panic in America. I am relieved it is from the 1970s though! Steezus Christ!