i grew up in this area, went to ALL the clubs mentioned here, and knew/know the writer- james rojas.
we even went to the paradise ballroom together.
his memory of those days is spot on-RC
From the Eastside to Hollywood: Chicano Queer Trailblazers in 1970s L.A
by- James Rojas
In order to find our identity, we had to leave the Eastside.
The Chicano Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Stonewall uprising had empowered queer Chicano youth like myself to embrace our newfound sexual freedom.
The Chicano student movement, especially,
had instilled in us a sense of pride. In the wake of these heady events, we had the confidence to access another Los Angeles, a city our parents couldn’t.
East Los Angeles during the mid-1970s offered few safe spaces for people like us. But Hollywood did.
From 1975 to 1982 were the explosive, underground disco years in L.A., and for the first time in the city’s history predominantly gay and straight Chicano youth flooded Hollywood’s dance floors.
Being “out” back than was to learn how to negotiate the physical and social landscape in order to find safety – unlike today where people come “out” to their families, friends, coworkers, or even in cyberspace. To meet the demands of LA’s queer youth, 18-and-over dance bars opened up in underutilized retail stores fronts, mini-malls, or warehouses in commercial zones. Many of these places were small – on the order of 3,000 square feet – which created an intimate, social atmosphere.