This is an introduction to a story tentatively titled 17 St. Phillip Street.
The central character is named Bobby.
Bobby is what I was called as a teen and is also the name of one of my alternates.
What makes this story different for me is that 17 St. Phillip Street is a Bobby story told in third person.
Bobby usually tells his stories in first person and the stories are based on real events.
The primary reason for this belated introduction is that I realized that Bobby lives in a different world from the world of the average 19 or 20 year-old in 2016.
Our culture is shaped by the Bobbys of the World and those who oppose them.
Bobby belonged to the youth culture of the 1960’s.
This was also known as the Counter-Culture.
Cannabis and mind altering drugs were a huge part of this culture as were the politics of the Civil Rights Movement and Feminism.
By 1972 Gay Liberation added a new dimension to what was acceptable for young people to explore.
It was a moment when nearly everyone under the age of thirty was a ‘little’ bi-sexual.
Bobby was a street kid as were many of the anonymous founding members of the Gay Liberation Front.
Street culture in 1972 consisted of kids of all classes, some of them were middle class kids who were slumming and some were like Bobby; looking for a way out.
The gay community of 1972 was also not a LGBTQ community.
Everyone on the wrong side of the sexual norm was a sexual outlaw and gay meant everyone.
These shades of differences didn’t emerge until gays became aware of the differences in the way the majority treated lesbians and gay men, gay men and transgender people, or men who are effeminate.
Bobby ‘came out’ in 1969 just before the Stonewall Riots.
The older men of the gay community in Charleston were more identified with gender stereotypes and the stereotypes of all gay men as effeminate.
It was typical for gay men who were ‘out’ to call each other she and sister.
In Bobby’s world sex had no consequences.
Venereal diseases were easy to treat.
There was no AIDS.
Women had contraceptives and the Youth Culture of 1971 practiced Free Love.
Bobby has struggles that are unique to him.
He does not know that he has a dissociative disorder.
He is privately confused about gender and sexual orientation.
And he loses time without knowing it.
I realized that before I could continue with the writing I needed to set and clarify the context of the story, for myself and for the reader.
17 St. Phillip Street Part one