Voice Over: In 1969 Don Jackson read a book.
Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto. He got kinda obsessed by its depiction of an
independent state run for gays by gays, and wanted to make an actual independent gay state.
He looked around a bit and found that Alpine Country, a remote middle of nowhere place
in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, had only 384 residents, and that residency requirements
for votes had been reduced from 1 year to 90 days. All he’d need to do is convince
385 gays to move there and they could outvote the locals and vote in their own local government.
They could have gay sheriffs, gay judges, and gay postmen, and make some kind of gay
utopia away from the prejudices of America. Morris Knight, nominal leader of San Francisco’s
Gay Liberation Front, heard about this plan. Morris Knight: That’s a good idea.
Voice Over: He said to Jackson, thinking to himself that it would be some great media
coverage for the gay movement, which was largely ignored.
Morris Knight: To some friends. Alpine is freezing. It’s no place where anyone gay
would want to live. But we’ll pretend to be serious.
Morris Knight: To some reporters. The Gay Libberation Front has unanimously voted to
take over Alpine County. All it’s farms, ranches, and crafts shops! They’ll be a
university where we’ll teach gay and lesbian studies. It’ll be a city of intellectual
and activist activity. Voice Over: The news outlets loved it. NBC
Television News sent a crew to Alpine County. Reporter: We’re standing on land bought
by the Gay Liberation Front, and here’s they’re going to build their homes.
Reporter 2: I’m here to interview about the Alpine County affair.
Knight: We’re doing what Governor Reagan and Richard Nixon told us to do. Hehe. If
you’re unhappy with the system, use your vote. It’s the American way.
We already have applications from over 1000 homosexuals. Our goal is to have 600 located
in the county by June 28. Voice Over: Even the gays bought it, wearing
Alpine or Bust badges to show their excitement for the move. An old man even came to the
Gay Liberation Front meetings with knitting needles, saying
Old man: It’s going to be cold in Alpine County. We’ll need blankets to keep our
brothers and sisters warm. Reporter: Mr Bruns, we understand you’re
a farmer here. How do you feel about the planned gay take over?
Mr Bruns: We have a real nice county here. We don’t know what we’re going to do if
they succeed. We’ll try anything. Reporter 2: Mr Helfin, we understand you’re
a gay spokesman. What are your plans for the take over of Alpine County in regards to residents
concerns? Helfin: We plan to do this as peacefully as
possible. But if there is vigilante action, we will defend ourselves in any way necessary.
Reporter 2: To camera. Remember folks, a district attorney, sherif, and judge elected by a gay
majority could determine which laws would be enforced.
Reporter: Mr Knight, what is your purpose here?
Knight: Oh, don’t you know? We’re a scouting party for the gay invasion.
Voice Over: It was the most media attention the gay movement had got up to that point.
Words like gay, as well as the threat of gay take overs, and ideas of gay power, reached
tiny towns accross America who would have never heard of such things before.
Knight: Hey. I just wanted to let you know that whilst we are still considering a takeover
of Alpine, we’re now also considering buying an entire Southern California town and seven
Sacramento River villages. In fact, homosexuals are already there. They have moved quietly
into those villages in considerable numbers and are gradually colonizing them.
Voice Over: Whoo. End of video. There should be some more floating here if you want to
click on one. Thanks. Bye.