EPISODE 16: THE UNITED STATES BEFORE STONEWALL
Robert C. Steele served as a reporter and producer at various radio and television stations in Colorado and Arizona. He was a broadcaster at the Italian National Broadcasting Company (RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana) in Naples, Italy; was a reporter for Armed Forces Radio and Television along the coast of Vietnam, the Asian Western Pacific and Vicenza, Italy; and was a volunteer activist in the early gay liberation movement with two weekly gay radio shows in Colorado. Later, as a federal government public affairs officer, he served as a government spokesperson and managed media relations with reporters who worked for media outlets from across the USA and around the world.
Be transported back 70 years. This is the true story of a 15-year-old gay runaway who finds himself in the 1950s Los Angeles underground world of homosexuals and early queer culture. Experience Jim Foshee's bold free spirit hitchhiking 800 miles away from his home in a small Idaho town. Jim lives on the edge. Throughout his adventures and misadventures, he finds himself among kind-hearted strangers, kindred souls and drag queens as well as con artists, liars and ruthless cops.
At a young age, Jim is institutionalized:
placed in an orphanage by his mother;
sentenced to a reform school because he runs away so much; and
committed to a mental hospital for diagnosed "sexual deviation and sociopathic personality."
Jim just wants to break away and live a simple gay life, but his destiny first includes run-ins with authorities, incarcerations, and toiling on a prison chain gang. Be ready for a unique and personal journey you won't soon forget. Jim's vivid remembrances paint a first-hand intimate portrait of times now passed—times of McCarthyism, government hunts for homosexuals and routine firings; but also times of the beats, the hippies and liberation protests.
Experience this exciting part of history seen through the eyes of this gay American.