2 thoughts on “New Common Bond Website Under Development

  1. I recently sat down to review my history with Common Bond and the New Mexico Gay Community and here’s what came out:

    Jon Hull and the New Mexico Gay Community
    June 9, 2015

    We live our lives at the pleasure and for the comfort of our cells.

    1980 Before Common Bond. I was 36, divorced, and had been out for a year. I was a GS-11 civil servant, and a couple months into a security investigation for homosexuality. I had a Great Dane trailer to myself and essentially no work to do. I had access to an early DOS computer and an interest in DBASEII.

    At that time the New Mexico gay community was MCC and an organization named something like New Mexico Rainbow Cooperative Coalition(?). I needed support, and I was anxious to meet men with jobs so I went to a meeting.

    Maybe 3 ladies and 2 guys on beanbags in a filthy 6 x 8 Manzano Co-Op meeting room. They passed a mimeographed “membership list” with maybe 20 just first names and a very few phone numbers. The order of business included how “out” everyone should be, how much information the group should have on members, was it fair to charge for membership, etc. The group was funded by men with jobs, neutered by consensus, and basically dead.

    I learned that most on the list left the Co-op because of frustration with the group’s inaction. I was at once interested in hitting on these guys, and struck by the possibility for a new organization. I had named a gay classics concert “Common Bond”, and that would be the name of the new organization.

    1980 Common Bond. I made some phone calls (my first organizing! Richard Koteras, Steve Slusher, Dan Swearengin, Russell Gray, Buck Rhodes, Troy Channel). We met at Buck Rhodes’ across from the UNM law school. Everybody wanted a legally incorporated, president and board run, dues and pledge collecting, newsletter publishing, hugely visible homophile organization. Russell Gray produced the incorporation papers which legally defined the organization. While recruiting I met my partner, Alan Stringer (35 years now). I moved in with Alan in Nov ’79, and I’m sure this saved my life.

    In early years Common Bond hosted celebrities: Leonard Matlovich, Quintin Crisp, Blondie, and others. The software did everything: membership, donations and pledges, newsletter, and interest areas. The interest areas really did allow CB to track member interests and skills, and subgroups rapidly formed around these common skills and interests.

    1980 Common Bond INK. The first “Common Bond INK” is a one page invitation to the “First Annual Meeting and Dance” of Common Bond. It asked prospective members to choose from 15 or so interest areas or add their own. Common Bond INK was the glue that informed and unified the NM gay community through ’91 and beyond. A truly heroic achievement by Roy Reini.

    1982 Caught In The Act. My favorite interest area was theater. I got singers, drag, and local legit theater folks together for the 1st “Caught In The Act” to benefit Common Bond. We did it in “Numbers” on San Mateo (near Carlisle?) Friday, June 18, 1982. The show went well, we were hooked, Numbers closed, and we moved to the KiMo for the next 15 years. In all there were 17 performances of Caught in the Act from 1982 through 2002. Michael’s Song is my gay life story (we can fix the end in the video). I have recently completed a 35 year collection of my gay theater work including dozens of iconic clips from Caught In The Act.

    1982 New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus. The first Caught In The Act featured Common Bond’s “Brash Ensemble” in its debut performance. Audience and Ensemble members had huge fun and my partner, Alan, honcho’d the men’s chorus through thick and many thin years. I believe this group has contributed the most towards gay acceptance in New Mexico.

    1982 Common Bond Pride March Planning Committee. Common Bond managed Pride for a few years but it exploded into “Albuquerque Pride” with website and all! We have PJ Sedillo to thank for Albuquerque Pride.

    1988 New Mexico Aids. In 1988 Don Schmidt from San Francisco told me he was going to start “New Mexico Aids Service”. I could either give him Common Bond intact or give him access to our members for a new organization. I kept Common Bond, but gave him the Common Bond database. I also gave him Common Bond software which launched NMAS in Dec 1988.

    Other successful interest groups. A look at the Jan 1983 Common Bond Ink shows meetings of Light At The End Of The Tunnel, New Mexico Gay Rights Lobby, Parents and Friends of Gays, Lambda Law Group Auxiliary, Motorcycle Men of New Mexico, Gay and Lesbian Student Union, 12 week Anger seminar, Santa Fe gay folklore group, and a 10 week personal growth group. These groups invested Pride in our members, and some evolved to current organizations.

    2015 Today… Nowadays, we connect on smartphones and are on e-mailing lists and Facebook accounts. It’s awesome to have this much word-out capability at our finger tips. Common Bond has become a website (http://commonbondnm.org) and is exploring a community center! We really do have all the major bases covered here in New Mexico, and it has been my pleasure to play and work here for 35 wonderful years. But I can’t help but wish that we still had OUT! Magazine. Online, of course.

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