The writer also recounted moments of triumph when he and the queer community successfully fought society’s ills. During the 1970s, the U.S. government tried to blackmail him, using a gay “honey trap” to snap photos of Mixner having sex with another man. Afraid the pictures could not only ruin his life, but also derail the anti-Vietnam War peace movement, he came close to suicide. In moment of inspiration, the protest organizer realized that the Nixon administration wouldn’t want the public to know it had hired a male prostitute to entrap him, so he called the government’s bluff -- and won. Another achievement was during the fear-fueled 1980’s, when legislation requiring all gay men be tattooed as potential AIDS carriers was defeated in Congress by a mere 4 votes -- a close call, but a victory nonetheless.
Mixner continued his 90-minutes talk (mixed in with original songs performed by composer Josh Zuckerman and singer Holly Holcomb) by reminiscing about the history behind “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Candidate Bill Clinton had campaigned on the promise to allow lesbian and gay men serve in the military, but backtracked in favor of the DADT compromise after winning the presidential election when anti-gay protesters flooded Congress with phone calls. The LGBT community refused to “accept the unacceptable” and has been rewarded now that the policy now is in repeal.
Concluding with the advice that we must “live our values and principles,” Mixner left the stage to thunderous applause after sharing the sentiment he has learned through his efforts working in HIV prevention in Africa: “One People, One Heart.”
From the Front Porch: An Evening with David Mixner
Written and Performed by David Mixner
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Produced by Tim Ranney
Original Music & Lyrics by Josh Zuckerman
Vocalist Holly Holcomb
Monday, July 18th at 7:30 PM
161A Chrystie Street New York, NY 10002
Tel: 212 219-0736
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $50 reserved, priority seating