SIR: 1969! Stonewall Inn Riots!

Rainbow clenched fist: power!

Introduction:

June 28, 1969, is a date that has become chiseled in stone for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) people worldwide due to SIR (Stonewall Inn Riots). What happened on that night first erupted and shortly exploded into a global movement for dignity, equality and respect for GLBTQ+ persons specifically and in general, everyone. The Stonewall Inn Riots were an unplanned reaction to centuries of abuse, discrimination, intimidation, oppression and violence waged against people considered as “homosexual” (man sexuals). This protest served as a flame that quickly ignited into raging fires worldwide.

The Stonewall Inn, circa 1969!

Background:

The robust and spirited social settings in the 1920’s post-Great War (World War I) era often overshadowed the climate of hatred and ridicule of the then “homosexual” (same gender loving) community. For the most part, they were largely publicly ignored. However, disdain and discrimination didn’t cease or end. It was simply temporarily replaced by the emerging “good times.”

The economic crisis and worldwide depression of the 1930’s prolonged the disregard that society held for all “homosexuals” no matter their gender. Everyone was focused on survival and the source of their next meal. Few, if any, had any curiosity, interest or time to devote to social deviants.

World War II followed the global financial situation and suddenly “homosexuality” again temporarily lost notoriety. What better way to rid humanity of this disgusting condition than to send “homosexuals” off to fight and die for freedom? The need for bodies to sacrifice trumped denying “homosexuals” the right to serve their country.

After World War II, the Cold War/Iron Curtain mentality emerged and harsh judgments on all persons and things viewed as abnormal abounded. “Homosexuals” soon became as notorious as communists as enemies of the state. Government, law enforcement, the press and society were quick to label “homosexuals” as misfits, outcasts, pariahs and perverts.

“The door of the Stonewall had wrought-iron bars across this little peephole, a little wooden thing that slid open. And the man inside would look at you and, if you looked like you belonged there, he would let you in.”

Chris Babick, describing the entrance to the Stonewall Inn, 1969

The Stonewall Inn (it was never a hotel) opened as a bar catering to the “homosexual” community in 1967. Prior to that, it had been a stable (for horses), a French bakery, a tearoom and lastly, a restaurant that had burned out of business. It opened as a bar under Mafia-affiliated management and was very connected to organized crime. The establishment consisted of two main rooms, each with its own dance floor. The front room was popular with the older clientele and the back room attracted the younger ones.

At the time of the Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR), it was unlawful for “homosexuals” to gather together in public and same gender intimacy was illegal in every state in the USA except Illinois. Same gender loving persons could and were fired from their jobs without any legal recourse. They were ridiculed and attacked publicly often without any consequence. Simply being a “homosexual” was considered an antisocial and criminal act. Everyone was required, by law, to wear clothing appropriate to their birth gender. The only exception allowed was for Halloween.

Belligerent stance!

The Raid and Ensuing Riot:

Friday evening, June 27, 1969, was a hot and humid start to a weekend. Most of the patrons gathered inside the Stonewall Inn were looking forward to a night of dancing, partying with friends, relaxing with cocktails and enjoying a summer’s night in New York City. They had no idea that they were about to witness a historical event that would change their lives – and the “homosexual” world – forever.

Both the dance floors at Stonewall Inn were full of dancing “homosexual” couples. It was now after midnight and June 28, 1969, was now in its infancy. Suddenly, the surging music stopped. The lights that were dimmed to enhance the atmosphere came back on in a bight glare that caught everyone by surprise. Almost at once, the realization dawned on the festive crowd: the police were raiding the bar.

The New York City Police Department was long familiar with conducting raids on gay and lesbian bars. It was a frequent occurrence and standards rarely varied in all boroughs throughout the city. Their process was fairly routine and all officers recognized “homosexuals” as a relatively compliant and passive population. For this reason, only one police transport vehicle (paddy wagon) and one marked police squad car were involved in the raid on the Stonewall Inn. Less than a dozen officers were assigned the tasks of managing and segregating the patrons, confiscating all the alcohol and arresting the Stonewall Inn employees.

“The police weren’t letting us dance. If there’s one place in the world where you can dance and feel yourself fully as a person and that’s threatened with being taken away, those are fighting words.”

Tommy Lanigen-Schmidt, Stonewall Inn patron and riot participant

The arrival of the police raiding force caused pandemonium to erupt inside the Stonewall Inn. Customers searched in vain for an escape route or for a place to hide. Law enforcement immediately began confiscating both beer and liquor as evidence against the establishment and segregating the crowd: bar employees, cross-dressers (transgender persons) and then the “regular homosexuals.” The bar employees and the cross-dressers were to be arrested for their violating the law. The “regular homosexuals,” once they showed officers their proper identifications, were to be given citations and then permitted to leave.

The Stonewall Riots: actual photographs!

The year, 1969, was at the end of a decade that had witnessed massive social unrests. The African-American struggles and protests for civil rights, the birth of the feminist and women’s rights movements, the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations and the equal pay marches for primarily Latino immigrant farm workers were underway during this time. The “homosexuals” who had participated in some of these public unrests were energized and many wondered when their time for equality would happen. Little did they, and the police raiding the Stonewall Inn, realize that particular moment was actually upon them.

As the police began checking the identities of those inside the Stonewall Inn, those with proper credentials were released and herded outside the bar. Only this time, instead of simply leaving the premises, they congregated on the sidewalks and at a nearby park. Once law enforcement attempted to disperse them, they grew confrontational and belligerent.

The police, completely unaccustomed to “homosexual” defiance, continued to press the order to vacate the area. The crowd, emboldened by their frustration with being treated as “deviants” and second-class citizens, began to chant and to empty trash cans and hurl the garbage at the officers.

By this time, passers-by, curious as to what was happening, joined the vocal and upset “homosexuals” to express their dissatisfaction with the raid. The crowd outside the Stonewall Inn began to grow in number, anger and frustration. Once the word of what had transpired inside the bar began to spread, even more “homosexuals” started to descend into the neighborhood and amass in the bar’s vicinity.

“There was no gay pride before Stonewall. Only gay fear and gay isolation and gay distrust and gay self-hatred.”

Edmund White, gay author

Law enforcement, confused and distracted over the reaction to the raid, soon had a very sobering moment. The gathering outside the bar had them surrounded inside the bar with little, if any, relief in sight. Those “homosexuals” who were kept inside were fast becoming as bellicose as were those gathered outside.

By now, the police trapped inside the facility understood that the situation had gotten beyond their control. They tried to call for reinforcements but were unable to reach any source for assistance. They had secured the bar but were trapped inside and the crowd outside was swelling in both fury and size. A few hundred patrons had now grown to an angry mob of several thousand and more were joining by the minute.

Stonewall Inn and sidewalk at night!

“You could hear screaming outside, a lot of noise from the protesters, and it was a good sound. It was a real good sound that, you know, you had a lot of people out there pulling for you.”

Raymond Castro, a Stonewall Inn customer being detained inside the bar during its siege

No one in the New York City Police Department had anticipated the “homosexuals,” always perceived as being meek and mild, to fight back. The years of abuse, oppression and ridicule had taken its toll and the frustration now became revolution, and the time for retribution was at hand. Unfortunately for the police, the pent-up anger at law enforcement was now being released and returned in kind. The officers were now prisoners inside the Stonewall Inn.

Slightly over two hours after the raid had started, the police and their detainees were trapped in the Stonewall Inn and no relief was in sight. The two-way communication devices between the raiding party and their office weren’t working inside the bar and the only commercial phone in the facility couldn’t connect with any local police stations. The passive “homosexuals” had finally achieved a “first” in their spontaneous riot: the raiders were contained, surrounded and all very nervous. By this time, the crowd outside the Greenwich Village bar now numbered several thousand with a full-fledged riot underway.

In an effort to relieve the inflammatory predicament, the trapped police decided to send the detainees and half the officers in the two police vehicles to the closest local precinct. There, the detainees would be formally charged with arrest and the officers could make arrangements for a police riot force to assemble and rescue the remaining law enforcement personnel. This relief effort finally returned to the bar and eventually dispersed the angry crowd of “homosexuals” and curious onlookers several hours later.

Despite damage to the Stonewall Inn and the loss of the license to sell alcoholic beverages, the bar opened for business (dancing) the following night. By Saturday evening, word of the incident had spread throughout the city’s closeted “homosexual” community (primarily by word-of-mouth). A larger than usual crowd gathered both inside and outside the Greenwich Village establishment. Most didn’t expect a repeat of the raid the night before and a significant number of those present mainly wanted to inspect the damage.

The police, however, had different ideas. They were strictly outside the bar in full force with a large number in riot gear. They had learned their lesson and were determined to remain in full control should the patrons become unruly again.

Pride!

The “homosexuals” had been empowered by the riot the previous evening and weren’t about to be bullied into submission again. As the large police presence attempted to disperse those gathered outside the Stonewall Inn the second night, they were confronted by verbal assaults and an array of street-savvy tactics that saw law enforcement chase off onlookers, only to have them run around the city block and return again. Silent obedience to uniformed policemen was no longer a fact of life for New York’s “homosexuals.” They were tired of suffering abuse, disrespect, ridicule and treatment as second-class citizens.

The second night of the Stonewall congregation wasn’t as disruptive as the one before. No further damage was done to the bar facility. However, an awakening consciousness was raised within the municipal “homosexual” community that would change the way society viewed them and – most importantly – the way they perceived themselves.

For the first time, the often assumed passive community stood up for their rights and demonstrated that they, as a full community, had “had enough!”

Happy Stonewall Inn Riot day!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Thursday, June 30, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bottoms-Up! June, 2022”

Reference Sources:

Ann Bausman: Breaking Out for Gay Rights

Martin P. Duberman: Stonewall: A History

Image Sources:

Historic photographs: Google Images

April Appeal: Nakations!

Nakation stroll: clothing optional resort!

A combination of two fun-filled words that afford us with desires and dreams and a variety of memories. In the English language, naked is joined with the word vacation and the result is: nakation! A bare practitioner’s imaginative excursion into paradise! There is no established timeline; a nakation can be one day in duration, one week or an entire month. The nakationer (nude enthusiast on vacation) makes the decisions!

The choices are unlimited and can be as complex or as simple as the amount of free time and the financial resources permit. Uncertain of what’s available? Online is accessible to offer suggestions that satisfy most needs and requirements. Acquaintances and friends can make recommendations and give advice on what to do and what to avoid. Careful thinking and common sense are also valuable tools!

“Man designs fashions. Man makes clothes. Man makes mistakes! The measure of a man isn’t based on the clothes he wears. The true measure of a man is determined by the clothes he is not wearing. Bare is the perfection of the human body without the mistakes.” ~ Roger Poladopoulos ~

Nakation relaxation!

For someone who is a newcomer to the body and clothes freedom life, the prospect may seem overpowering. Do not despair! Even with a severely limited financial status, a basic nakation can involve little more than selecting a relatively secluded location, packing food and water (or other beverage) and getting outside to spend a free afternoon in nature. Being natural in nature doesn’t necessarily require time consuming planning and preparation. Reading material (to occupy your time mentally) and ample sunscreen are strongly encouraged for everyone (no matter their ethnicity or race)!

A convenient clothing optional resort involves both money and reservations – especially during the late Spring, Summer and early Autumn times of the year. When making inquiries at the facility, always ask for any policies or restrictions specific to that particular resort. Some destinations actually prohibit same gender loving relationships from even being on the property. It is always a good idea to ask about the clothing optional status of the on-site dining room/restaurant. There are numerous clothing optional establishments that cater especially to the bare practitioner community. At these locations, a person’s sexual identity is rarely a concern or issue.

Nakation comfort: no need to “dress to impress!”

“Bare practitioners are natural inspirations!” ~ Roger Poladopoulos ~ January 6, 2022

A recent trend that is increasing in popularity are clothing/textile restrictive resorts. These places severely limit the areas and times that clothing may be worn. Some of the more stringent facilities mandate that clothing must be removed in the parking area before entry into the actual property. Be advised to question the specifics regarding these regulations. There is no need to be textile if it isn’t necessary!

Nakation together!

GLBTQ+ Friendly:

As discussed in last Monday’s April Appeal: Social Nudity (click link for connection), there is an ever-growing number of locations and resorts promoting (advertising, marketing) themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) accepting, friendly and welcoming. This attention is partly the result of discrimination endured by bare practitioners in the past and partly the result of an increasing number of bare practitioners specifically seeking such accommodations. The end result is a “win-win” situation for both the same gender loving (SGL) vacationers and the commercial establishments.

When visiting a GLBTQ+ friendly facility we don’t need to be as concerned and discreet about our status. However, as each property has different management and procedures, it is highly advised that guests inquire regarding protocols and meal-time dressing codes. Awareness and knowledge are allies in comfort and relaxation!

Cautionary note:

Regardless of the best intentions and precautions of destination management, facilities that publicly announce their GLBTQ+ acceptance sometimes attract the undesirable. There are some who stereotype our community as particularly vulnerable and weak. These individuals may not be guests on the property but they possibly monitor the entrance and exit of the establishment. It is recommended to take note of the surroundings and constantly practice vigilance.

Sunbathing!

Supplies:

Whether on nakation alone, as a couple or with companions, there are two essentials necessary: condoms and sunscreen. Keep in mind the cost of these items are usually higher at the destination rather than a local shop or store near where you reside. Condoms reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A reminder to all that condoms are strongly urged for everyone involved in PrEP.

Sunscreen generally has a shelf life of at least two years. Check the container for the expiration date before departure! Sunburn on the first day of nakation can ruin the remainder of your “play-time.” Better to be safe than sorry!

Sunglasses? A good idea is to always carry an extra pair with you. Better to see than suffer from too much sunlight!

“Often, in jest or in ridicule, the textile ask of bare practitioners, ‘How’s it hanging?’ Perhaps we should respond with an inquiry of our own: ‘How does it feel, to always hide and conceal?'” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos ~ April 18, 2022

Weather Suggestions:

Perfect weather conditions for a nakation cannot be guaranteed. A suggestion is to carry along a few tools to reduce boredom risks in the event storms appear. A deck of playing cards isn’t bulky and easily fits inside an empty shoe. Another idea is a small (3 x 5 inch or 7.62 x 12.7 cm) memo notebook and a couple of pencils or pens. These can be used for a game of charades, etc. These items aren’t cumbersome nor expensive and offer unpleasant weather options.

A Gentle Reminder Notation:

As I have mentioned throughout this post entry, experiencing a nakation isn’t solely based on the destination and/or the location. The freedom, the joy and the relaxation are major aspects of the nakation opportunity. Equally important and satisfying is the enrichment of our clothes free lives. A successful nakation is the comfort enjoyed from nakedness as determined by the nakationer!

Home alone!

A nakation can be pleasurable and relaxing alone at home. It doesn’t have to involve extensive travel or endless nightmares. Whatever suits the individual is best!

Take care and stay bare!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, April 22, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Holy Easter/Martyr’s Day!”

April Appeal: Social Nudity!

The image above clearly shows the necessity of social nudity!

Opening Photo Justification:

In the introductory photograph (above), our actual bare practitioner brother, adult film-star Phoenix Fellington, aptly represents the theme of this particular post here on ReNude Pride but also, along with his fellow same gender loving (SGL) adult actors, the importance and necessity that social nudity provides our bare practitioner culture. Phoenix introduces two roles in the above illustration. First, he is the only African American featured – an automatic minority. Secondly, he is likewise the only subject completely and totally naked – another automatic minority.

Mr. Fellington and his co-performing colleagues graphically depict bare practitioner reality and truth. Every one of us, every day of our lives, constitute a “double minority.” Independent of our individual race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, education, or ability, we’re all SGL. Our first minority status. Our second minority status is our naturist/nudist proclivity. Please bear in mind that our minority status may vary and reverse itself depending on each individual. Number one can become number two and vice-versa.

Thus, this one picture shows our peculiar bare practitioner perspective. Two extra “burdens” simply because of who we are. Our representational responsibilities in addition to our respective individual considerations. This image conveys the significance of social nudity to us all as bare practitioners.

Thank you, Phoenix Fellington and your fellow SGL film performers for your awareness education of our dilemma. Please inform your associates they can now strip off the clothing items they’re wearing and get comfortable!

Flexing their arms while naked together!

“Being a bare practitioner in no way adequately defines us yet it is indeed a fun way to accurately describe us!” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos

Social Nudity:

“The extent or level of our bare involvement is frequently immaterial. The overwhelming majority of naturists/nudists engage in social nudity whether they recognize the action as such or not. We are human and we are a social being. The simple acknowledgement of another’s nakedness constitutes social nudity.” ~Roger Poladopoulos ~ April 11, 2022

Introduction:

Fortunately, social nudity has only two simple qualifications. First, of course, is very basic: our nakedness. The second is almost as simple as the first: it includes at least two nude individuals interacting with one another. That’s it! Basic. Plain. Simple.

There’s no restriction on the type of interaction that happens. We can read together, play cards, perform tasks for pleasure, play tennis, go jogging, skinny-dip, lay in the sun, paint or engage in board games or sew. We can walk or skydive. We can even just sit and converse with one another. As long as we’re bare, casual, relaxed and together (social). Quantity is unimportant and familiarity isn’t a prerequisite.

Social nudity allows us to introduce ourselves and to become acquainted. We can transition from acquaintances into friends. We can evolve and grow from friendship into a relationship and beyond.

There are no stringent guidelines and the possibilities are endless!

Siblings proud to be socially naked together!

“Social nudity is the exotic exuberance of an excellent fashion extravaganza: our nakedness!” ~ Roger Peterson-Poladopoulos April 11, 2022

Ramifications:

Bare practitioners are a friendly, happy, helpful and quite often marginalized group of people. Hence, our “double minority” status. General society, primarily textile (clothes wearing) and judgmental, regard us with both disdain and disgust. Far too often, we are misjudged as nothing more than perverted individuals because of our preference for the clothes free lifestyle – our being naked together is determined as positive proof that sexual pleasure is the only reason that we are collectively nude. All that we supposedly desire is unlimited sexual license!

The above scenario is a common myth transmitted among the fashion-obsessed majority to ensure their continued dominance in society. True, there are some naturist/nudist people who enjoy clothes freedom mainly for sexual engagement but the overwhelming number of us bare practitioners simply prefer being without the burden of garment wearing. Our bodies are us and we relish being free and natural!

A basic truth!

We, as humans, are generally a very congenial, social species. We like being around interacting with others we perceive as being similar to ourselves: bare or clothed. As a bare practitioner, I am comfortable and relaxed while in the company of other bare practitioners. As a Deaf man, I am completely at ease in the presence of others who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). This is based on human nature and is a fact shared by all of us, regardless of our clothes choice (naked or textile).

Naturists or nudists are humans, first, who readily accept and identify themselves as a comity (group) of like-minded individuals who appreciate their uniqueness in the broader world. As humans, we are we are content and willing to interact and socialize with those who share our inclination. It is easier to establish compatibility and trust with persons who are most like ourselves. Once again, human nature prevails.

Flexibility:

The only essential or basic requirement for social nudity to transpire is that body and clothes freedom must be shared. Therefore, the minimum number of people involved must be two. After all, company determines interaction. Yet flexibility reigns supreme and there is no limitation on the maximum number involved. The quantity of the crowd is endless and is solely restricted by the amount of space available. The often repeated folk adage: “the more the merrier” is entirely applicable in the case of social nudity. Naked together is the guideline!

To be perfectly honest, mandatory and/or obligatory nakedness is not an essential standard in order for social nudity to occur. As long as the textile people present accept, appreciate, respect and understand that the freedom from clothing prevails then the social nudity affixation is both earned and justified.

The optimal belief and premise that covering our bodies or hiding beneath clothes is totally unnecessary!

Naked truth!

As bare practitioners, most of us are employed in a workplace that embraces, and requires, the wearing of clothing – if not a uniform! We accept this reality. However, away from our job we are on our own in fulfilling our lives and circumstances. Body and clothes freedom – our choice, our life, our time – is one aspect we need not compromise. Social nudity (voluntary association with our “own kind”) is both a need and a relief from the stress of everyday living in a distinctly different reality from the acceptable “normalcy” of the vast majority. Our own special haven (heaven) in an otherwise chaotic and fashion-focused world!

In addition to our endorsement of social nudity, as bare practitioners there is another major reason for our encouragement and support of clothes freedom. Not only are we judged by our nakedness by the textile world, within our own naturist/nudist community we are also deemed unacceptable and unwanted by fellow clothes free people due to our same gender loving – bisexual or gay – status. This homophobia isn’t as prevalent or pronounced as it was perhaps twenty years ago, but it still exists and remains within our natural collective. This is one aspect of why we use the term “bare practitioner” instead of “bisexual naturist” or “gay nudist.” For many, the words bisexual and/or gay imply sexuality over attraction.

Social nudity: all together!

There is a growing number of body and clothes freedom establishments and resorts that are now promoting (advertising) themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) accepting, friendly and welcoming. This marketing strategy is underway in order to create more tolerant environments for their guests as well as to ensure the quality of business and it appears to be operable.

There are a few misconceptions regarding the heading: social nudity. A large number of people, no matter there clothing choice, think only in terms of a “party-like” atmosphere exclusively. Actually, social nudity encompasses much more than that. Discussion groups, reading and/or book clubs, athletics, dramatic clubs, hiking groups, garden clubs, etc., all qualify as pertinent to social nudity.

Skinny-dipping!

There are a countless number of SGL naturist/nudist participants who limit their engagement to social nudity activities only. When alone, they aren’t concerned whether they are bare or clothed. They are just as comfortable wearing garments as they are without. It appears as though they only indulge with nudity when they are with others who have no strong bonds or feelings with nakedness unless it is in a total party environment.

My spouse, Aaron, and I sometimes chuckle among ourselves over this seemingly oblivious indifference towards body and clothes freedom. Our humour over the matter possibly derives from our obsession with the state of our nakedness and their apparent lack of concern. Another clear example of the variances of human nature. What may be of paramount importance to one is relatively insignificant to another.

The bottom line being yet another folk adage: “to each one, his/her own!”

A Point To Ponder:

Naked and not quite naked!

The above image begs a question that very few seem to have an answer. Social nudity is widely considered to be a situation where everyone is nude and interacting. However, what if the case is different. If one of the persons is bare and the other is partially or totally textile. Does social nudity still apply? The naked individual is being social through his interaction with the other, who happens to be clothed. It isn’t a completely nude situation, but is the label applicable in a mixed situation? A final thought to ponder today!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, April 15, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Our Paths Crossed…!”

Bare Black History, Part 1!

A nature man!

Vintage Photographs and Brief History

Today represents a look back in time in order to gain a sense of the bare practices of African-American men from available images. The above image depicts our subject alone leaning against a tree. Judging from his hair style, this was probably around the middle to late 1960’s timeframe.

Another natural man in a natural setting!

Again based solely on the hairstyle, the image directly above is just a little earlier than the first one. Perhaps the late 1950’s to early 1960’s.

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Freedom and the Access to Cameras:

The official demise of slavery upon the end of the US civil war (1860’s) introduced the policy of segregation (separation of the races – aparthied ) throughout the USA. The adoption of “Jim Crow laws” (second class citizenship) ensured an even greater divide between the African-American, Caucasian and Indigenous (Native-American) people. This practice prevailed until Dr. King’s era and the civil rights movement gained acceptance during the late 1950’s to the assassinations of Malcolm X in the 1960’s and Dr. King in 1968.

This reality fueled the popular myth (untruth) of African-American disinterest in and indifference to the growing emergence of the naturist/nudist community within the Caucasian culture. The three racial groups were denied social interaction and restricted to totally different locations. Therefore, their naked/nudist attractions and practices were nonexistent (invisible) to one another. This lack of contact and common occurrence perpetuates this myth even today. Unfortunately, it is common in all the racial cultures.

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A segregated public shower!

Once again, relying only on hair characteristics, the communal shower picture above could be middle to late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Segregation remained in practice in almost the entire country.

The same holds true for the above!

The communal shower scene and the participants are the match for the previous image. The timeframe will be identical.

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Racial and social inaccessibility are the major factors for the prevalence of this fiction within the body freedom and clothes freedom communities. Economics and “Jim Crow legalities” are strong secondary reasons for the continuance of these false delusions. The widespread oppression of the Black communities in this country and the practice of assigning to them the status of second-class – or lower/worse – citizenship ensured their economic depravity and financial insecurity. The growing fascination with the “camera” phenomenon and the obsession with the cult of photography made these novel “toys” financially inaccessible to the overwhelming majority of African-Americans. Segregation was so ingrained in society that photographers of one race couldn’t justify taking pictures of people of a different racial classification.

Black-focused logo!
Bare trio: comfortable and up-close and interpersonal!

Twentieth Century, the Great War, the Modern Era :

The arrival of the 20th Century witnessed an extraordinary and remarkable first on the American social scene. Following generations of subjugation, Blacks were abandoning rural isolation and intimidation – and worst – and migrating to the rapidly growing industrial cities of northern and western USA and beginning to earn money! Not necessarily large fortunes but enough to support themselves and to send some to less fortunate extended family members. The Great War (1914 – 1918) saw African-Americans enter the armed forces in record numbers and see action and meet people in western Europe. New societies, new practices, less restrictive! The 1920’s brought the USA into a period of prosperity and popular culture introduced a large number of Caucasian Americans (and their incomes) to the uniqueness and the pleasures of Black life and living.

Segregation remained, enforceable and legal, but the new decade’s outlook brought a relaxation of some restrictions and African-Americans entered an age of some limited accomplishment and cautious respect. Black homosexuality (same gender loving) earned some lukewarm acceptance and segregated color-oriented body and clothes freedom facilities began to appear and to prosper.

Simple message!

Gradual development of a Black-oriented financial infrastructure followed. Soon, items that were formerly considered unattainable luxuries became common and affordable. Cameras, photography and other modern conveniences began to evolve from dreams into reality. The twentieth century finally discovered Black America!

The 1920’s progress in financial resources and social gains was halted by the Great Depression that reached this country’s shores in the early 1930’s. The stoppage, though devastating, was only temporary as the election of Franklin Roosevelt as president, his wife, Eleanor, as first-lady and the New Deal as political fuel eventually brought the depression mindset to an end. The delayed entry of this country into World War II with the attack on Pearl Harbor rapidly converted the nation into an industrialized super-power.

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Bare practitioners: no doubt about it!

The vintage picture posted above leaves us with no question: they’re early bare practitioners! Arm-in-arm, they prepare to exchange a kiss. Their hairstyles are from the late 1940’s to early 1950’s.

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World War II ended in 1945 and an unsettling peace encompassed the globe. The “Cold War” era between the communist countries and the western allies was about to erupt. The economy continued to grow although no longer on a wartime frenzy. Segregation and the Jim Crow laws still managed to hinder and prevent equality. However, the need for a change was an attitude that fast covered the land.

A few years following the surrender of Italy, Germany and Japan – in 1947 – President Harry Truman signed a presidential executive order that ended the official policy of segregation throughout the U.S. air force, military and navy only. Enlisting (joining) the armed forces no longer guaranteed a single-race encounter. At least in theory, discrimination was now banned in all combat services. One positive “big step” forward on the journey towards equal rights.

In military life, discipline is the “rule of the day.” No argument, no discussion, no voting. If ordered to do something, it simply must be done. Truman’s executive order didn’t erase all military overnight, but it did represent a new direction in official policies and procedures.

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Open arms, open legs, no shame!

The couple published above hair dates from the middle 1950’s. Their open arms and legs indicate comfort with being photographed bare together publicly.

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Soon, another historical change rose on the horizon. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the segregation inspired Jim Crow law of mandating “separate-but-equal” public school (education) systems throughout the country unconstitutional. The only legal quality this law contained was “separate.” The best, newest equipment and facilities were assigned to Caucasian students. The older, used and dilapidated (poorer quality) equipment was assigned to the African-American or Indigenous (native) American students or to Hispanic students. Separate? Yes! Equal? Unlikely!

This landmark judicial decision led to integration (coming together or mixing together) replacing segregation as the standard quality of the U.S. public school systems. The court ruling didn’t automatically end segregation overnight but it did lead towards a more accountable and equitable type of public school that continues to be sought today.

An integrated men’s changing room!

Following the Brown vs. Board of Education verdict by the Supreme Court, the civil (equal) rights movement gained momentum with the arrival “on the scene” (forefront) of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Their leadership strategy was nonviolence (first and foremost) and involvement (engagement). This tactic quickly brought both national and international attention to the equality protest movement and highlighted the inequality and unfairness of life in the USA (the supposed symbol of freedom).

The growth of Black financial resources and services now gave the community to now have absolute proof (documentation) of existence. Cameras and photography provided evidence that justifies the reality of bare practitioners (same gender loving and naked/nude) in the African-American world. We can all admire and salute the bravery and commitment to a freer life for all Americans. We are grateful for their dreams and their efforts!

The reluctant acceptance and welcome offered to bare practitioners of one racial heritage when visiting the traditional site of a different racial group has caused problems within the same gender loving and body and clothes freedom communities. Both sides of the conflict have received negative reactions from all sides of the spectrum. The resolution of these concerns remains an unsolved issue within the larger bare practitioner community.

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The basic bare truth!

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As dedicated bare practitioners, my spouse, Aaron, and I know from our shared experience that we encounter both judgment and ridicule based on our sexual orientation, marital status and our racial category (interracial). Our clothes freedom preference is another source of discomfort for many outside our community. We understand that any difference we can create today offers hope for a better tomorrow for us all!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, February 21, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “S’Naked Virgin!”

Official: Exonerated!

Dancing in celebration #1!

Background:

This posting references to a previous entry published here entitled “Professional Integrity.” Please click onto the link listed below to be connected.

Professional Integrity

A bubbly bouncing pair of buttocks celebrating!

One of the many reasons for my inadvertent disaster with my keys this past Thursday, December 2, was the emergency meeting of my department at my university. Completely unaware of the agenda of the unscheduled conference, upon my arrival, I discovered the primary topic was: me! The justification? The subject of the earlier post entry, “Professional Integrity.”

As examined in my ReNude Pride posting, I was disappointed and upset concerning the obvious “double standard” of guidelines and rules that have become ever more apparent at my jobsite. There seems to be the widespread belief that there exists a specific set of practices for the university administration and another set of practices for the academic faculty. The two appear to be incompatible and totally unrelated.

Dancing in celebration #2!

As I entered my departmental conference room for our meeting, I immediately laid eyes on the presence of one of our university’s vice-chancellors – the one who supposedly presided over the investigation of my “questionable” conduct. The two of us aren’t particularly fond of one another and we have personalities that are quite the opposite. Once I recognized him, dread overcame me and the others in the room.

Upon the arrival of everyone, my department head convened the meeting and introduced the vice-chancellor – after three years in his current position, he still needed to be introduced to all of us as well as reminding us of his official capacity. A very personable and commendable influence!

He rose and then openly passed to me a sealed envelop as he announced to everyone present that despite the gossip and rumors regarding both the investigation and myself, he was publicly exonerating me of any blame or guilt. He then added that his presence for this was specifically ordered by the university chancellor himself.

He never offered to shake my hand or even acknowledge me.

My colleagues did follow the lead of my department chairman and wave their hands in a gesture of support and symbolic congratulations. Our chairman then dismissed the meeting – all of fifteen minutes of official business!

Upon leaving my office to return to the subway, I noticed a memorandum to all faculty and staff at the university. It contained the announcement of the immediate resignation of this very unremarkable vice-chancellor.

No wonder I left my keys and memory device at work!

Naked hugs!

Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride

Author’s Note: The next post entry planned for here is Friday, December 10, 2021, and the proposed topic is “Sharing: A Bare View!”

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today is the official celebration of the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – an internationally recognized pacifist, civil rights activist and a noteworthy humanitarian. Dr. King’s birthday is a nationally recognized holiday, the very first to honor an African-American, and the very first one to honor a renown man committed to the philosophy of peace. He is also a respected leader in the movement for racial equality.

Continue reading Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Photo-blog: GLBTQ Bare History Month Friday #3

As those of you who follow ReNude Pride or who visit here regularly already know, I could not allow this observation of GLBTQ Bare History Month pass without posting pictures of one of the most popular naked past-times, skinny-dipping (swimming nude). The man in the above image is bottom’s up in an indoor pool. Judging by his hair style, it is probably the late 1950’s to early 1960’s, before The Beatles became famous.

Continue reading Photo-blog: GLBTQ Bare History Month Friday #3

Richmond: GLBTQ History Walking Tour

In my Reflections: End of September, 2019, published here on Friday, September 27, 2019, I shared that Aaron (my spouse) and I plus Alex, my identical twin brother and his significant other, were visiting Richmond, Virginia (where Twin and I grew up) for their GLBTQ Pride Festival on Saturday, September 28. While enjoying the event, I visited the booth sponsored by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and picked up a map for a walking tour of GLBTQ sites in the downtown city area.

Continue reading Richmond: GLBTQ History Walking Tour

The Stonewall Inn Riots: 50th Anniversary

It was exactly 50 years ago today, on June 28, 1969, that the Stonewall Inn riots occurred in New York City, USA. This spontaneous uprising happened as a result of police harassment of the local gay, lesbian. bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) patrons at the Stonewall Inn and fortunately, the world has changed quite a bit since then. Here in the USA, such behavior by law enforcement today would initiate not only condemnation and civil lawsuits but other legal ramifications as well. I need to insert here that 50 years ago, the GLBTQ community was known by an entirely different label: homosexual. That label wasn’t always complimentary.

Continue reading The Stonewall Inn Riots: 50th Anniversary

Bare Beach Play!

Now that the First Day of Summer, 2019, has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere (11:54 a.m. EST, Friday, June 21, 2019) there is no better way to honor the occasion than to offer a beach posting here on ReNude Pride. With the same gender loving (gay) and bare practitioner (naturist or nudist) themes featured here, it is only appropriate that this entry celebrate that dual purpose both visually and in writing.

Continue reading Bare Beach Play!