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GayToday's Editor
Earns 'Public Service Award'

Presented by The Society for the
Scientific Study of Sexuality

'A Pioneering Organizer
of the Gay & Lesbian Community'

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday
From The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Los Angeles—At the Joint Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists held this weekend, GayToday's editor, Jack Nichols, has been made a recipient of The Society's Public Service Award. The award is being accepted in absentia on behalf of Nichols by John O'Brien, director of the International Gay & Lesbian Archives. nichols.jpg - 77.16 K GayToday Editor Jack Nichols

Howard J. Ruppel, Jr. Ed.D, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Society, in announcing the prestigious award, wrote GayToday's editor:

nicholsaward.jpg - 35.87 K "Congratulations on being designated a recipient of the 'Public Service Award' of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality for 1998…On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Society I would like to extend our good wishes to you, and to express our appreciation to you for your efforts on behalf of the gay and lesbian movement in the United States.

"This award which is based on career achievement, is given to individuals whose services has had a major impact upon society. It is given for outstanding achievement or major impact in such areas as public awareness of sexual issues, public advocacy, professional practice by educators or health specialists and legislation or public policy formation. Your pioneering and ground breaking efforts in organizing the gay and lesbian community provides the basis for this much deserved recognition by The Society.

The awards will be presented to you, and others involved in this important work, during the 1998 Joint Annual Meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, November 11-15 in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Vern Bullough has informed me that you will be unable to join us for the award presentation. Your award will be presented in absentia, and John O'Brien will accept the award on your behalf."

Recent works about gay and lesbian history have detailed Nichols' early activist and journalistic endeavors. In 1961, he co-founded, with another Public Service Award recipient, Dr. Franklin E. Kameny, the nation's first militant gay and lesbian civil liberties and social rights activist organization, The Mattachine Society of Washington. nichkameny.jpg - 36.86 K Jack Nichols and Franklin Kameny at a 1997 reunion

In The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America Since World War II by Charles Kaiser, both Nichols and Kameny are identified as: "the two men who did more than anyone else to infuse the gay movement with the spirit of the sixties."

Dr. Rodger Streitmatter, a Professor of Journalism at the American University (Washington, D.C.) assesses Nichols' early work as a journalist in his definitive history, Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America:

"Jack Nichols' intense passion and graceful writing style combine to create rousing messages reminiscent of the inspirational words written by Thomas Paine two centuries ago."

Dr. James T. Sears, of the University of South Carolina and author of Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life, writes:

"Influential across three generations of gay activists, Nichols is truly the movement's poet-anarchist, its political Pinnochio…Influenced by the poetry of Walt Whitman and the philosophies of the East, Jack Nichols, more than any other Southerner of the homophile era, helped energize the gay movement."

In 1972, St. Martin's Press published I Have More Fun With You Than Anybody, which Nichols co-authored with his lover, the late Lige Clarke. The book was the first non-fiction memoir by a male couple. Clarke was gunned down at a mysterious roadblock in 1975.

nichols67.gif - 24.72 K GayToday's Editor in 1962, shortly after the founding of The Mattachine Society of Washington Nichols' major philosophic work was Men's Liberation: A New Definition of Masculinity, dedicated to Clarke and published by Penguin Books shortly after Clarke's death. Nichols' most recent book is The Gay Agenda: Talking Back to the Fundamentalists, published in October, 1996 by Prometheus Books.

With Lige Clarke, GayToday's editor co-edited the original GAY which began publishing in 1969 and which was America's first gay weekly newspaper.

© 1997-98 BEI