Starting on page 93…
When Tom didn’t bring dates to company functions, he said he hadn’t met his dream girl yet. The other men, their wives, and a couple of secretaries were constantly trying to set him up with potential dream girls. Fortunately for Tom, no one had a clue he was gay. Being outed in the early 1970’s was his greatest fear, for good reason.
Not far north of the Valley up Highway 101, San Francisco was already a global hub of free-thinking culture. Known for hippies and radicals, North Beach topless clubs, Finocchio’s riotous drag show, the Playboy Club, and great tolerance for diversity of all types, being gay in the 1970’s in The City was accepted and wide open. That was not the case in the Valley, just 50 miles south. Homophobia was entrenched and destroyed careers in 1972, even in the seemingly more liberal Valley.
One Friday evening, Ruthie was doing a poetry reading at City Lights Bookstore in The City and, Tom, her closeted gay friend from work, had come along to cheer her on.
Starting on page 265…
During Ruthie’s performance, Tom spotted Doyle walking past the bookstore holding hands and canoodling with a very handsome, red-headed young man. Ruthie didn’t notice but Tom did, catching a look at them through the open door as they strolled by. His eyes widened. This was Tom’s first clue that Doyle, notorious ‘ladies man’ and the biggest flirt at TransChip was, like Tom, gay.
Known for its libertine attitudes and where the U.S. Navy routinely jettisoned sailors dishonorably discharged for homosexuality, combined with the Beat culture of the 1950s, and the Summer of Love in 1967, San Francisco was the only city in America open and friendly to free love and the LGBTQ community in the early 1970s. The Castro District, an upscale urban area and nearby North Beach peppered with strip clubs and openly-gay bars, were popular cruising areas for the gay community, millions of tourists, and all sorts of curious and searching souls.
Starting on page 273…
Doyle brought his ‘nephew’ Randy to the company picnic. Tom recognized the young redhead he had seen holding hands with Doule and strolling past City Lights Bookstore. None of the women in the Plant believed Randy was his nephew, despite Randy’s obvious affection for his Uncle Doyle—but none of them suspected what was really going on. Most of them wouldn’t have cared anyway but it was a perilous move on Doyle’s part to flaunt his ‘nephew’ in front of executive management. The risk turned him on.