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Clark Polak (October 13, 1937 – September 20, 1980)

Clark Philip Polak (October 13, 1937–c. September 20, 1980) was an American journalist and LGBT activist. He was known for creating and editing DRUM magazine, an early gay-interest periodical, and for his leadership role with the Philadelphia-based homophile organization, the Janus Society. (Picture: Clark Polak by Sylvia Shap, 1973 – Oil on Panel, 40" x 36", Artist's Collection)

Polack killed himself in Los Angeles in 1980.

Clark was the youngest son of Arthur Marcus Polak and Ann Polak and the brother of Marcus Roy Polak and Roberta Esther Polak Weber/Shilling. He lived in a home that overlooked Hollywood with his friends and had two St. Bernards named Bert and Ernie.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Polak
Phil Donahue vividly recalled his first show with a gay man, Clark Polak, a prominent gay leader from Philadelphia and a close ally of Frank Kameny. "I do remember featuring the first out of the closet: `right here, right now, yes, here he is, folks-Clark Polak."' It was the year before Stonewall: "the first gay Donahue show out of Dayton. "There was the phone number and here was this gay guy-you could actually call up a gay guy! It really was a sensation." Donahue readily admitted his original motivation for exploring this subject: "People didn't leave the barber shop-even when their haircut was over!" Although he felt uncomfortable the first time he interviewed a gay man, he was also extremely curious. "And I know they're going to watch this program. And, remember, that's what I'm paid to do: I'm paid to draw a crowd." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 2968-2973). Kindle Edition.
Further Readings:

City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves: Lesbian And Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 by Marc Stein
Paperback: 461 pages
Publisher: Temple Univ Pr (August 20, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1592131301
ISBN-13: 978-1592131303
Amazon: City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves: Lesbian And Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972

Marc Stein's "City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves" is refreshing for at least two reasons: it centers on a city that is not generally associated with a vibrant gay and lesbian culture, and it shows that a community was forming long before the Stonewall rebellion. In this lively and well received book, Marc Stein brings to life the neighborhood bars and clubs where people gathered and the political issues that rallied the community. He reminds us that Philadelphians were leaders in the national gay and lesbian movement and, in doing so, suggests that New York and San Francisco have for too long obscured the contributions of other cities to gay culture. Marc Stein is the former editor of Gay Community News in Boston and currently Associate Professor in the Department of History, York University.

Creating a Place For Ourselves: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community Histories by Brett Beemyn
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (April 9, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 041591390X
ISBN-13: 978-0415913904
Amazon: Creating a Place For Ourselves: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community Histories

Creating a Place For Ourselves is a groundbreaking collection of essays that examines gay life in the United States before Stonewall and the gay liberation movement. Along with examining areas with large gay communities such as New York, San Francisco and Fire Island, the contributors also consider the thriving gay populations in cities like Detroit, Buffalo, Washington, D.C., Birmingham and Flint, demonstrating that gay communities are truly everywhere.

Contributors: Brett Beemyn, Nan Alamilla Boyd, George Chauncey, Madeline Davis, Allen Drexel, John Howard, David Johnson, Liz Kennedy, Joan Nestle, Esther Newton, Tim Retzloff, Marc Stein, Roey Thorpe.

Stonewall [Illustrated] by Martin Bauml Duberman
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Plume; First Edition edition (May 1, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0452272068
ISBN-13: 978-0452272064
Amazon: Stonewall

On June 28th, 1969, the Stonewall, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, was raided. But instead of the routine compliance expected by the police, patrons and a growing crowd decided to fight back. The five days of rioting that ensued changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life. This book tells the story of what happened at Stonewall, recreating those nights in detail through the lives of six people who were drawn into the struggle for gay and lesbian rights. Their stories combine into a portrait of the repression that led up to the riots, which culminates when they triumphantly participate in the first gay rights march of 1970.

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Tags: activist: clark polak, gay classics, gay metropolis
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