1. says

    Some may think that stunt was funny, but it sure didn’t help our cause. The “homosexuals” only succeeded in turning a mean women into a sympathetic victim figure.

  2. alguien says

    not only has she been in & out of bankruptcy courts but she has also left a number of employees unpaid and broke through her reckless business ventures.

  3. JAYDUB says

    Sure it might not have helped, but it felt good. And sometimes, you simply want to throw a pie.

  4. says

    Thanks for the remind. Many gays don’t even know who she is/was and how long we’ve been fighting this fight (albeit hopefully with more maturity than throwing pies).

    I have to give it to Anita for her quick wit. “At least it was a fruit pie” was brilliant.

  5. Disgusted American says

    looking at Bryant – its like looking at PALIN but with a different hair-do…..anyone else notice? Tehy’re about the same age..huh….SCAREY! “SEND PALIN BACK TO ALASKA”

  6. patrick nyc says

    Actually it did help, Bryant lost her job as a spokeswoman for the Florida Orange Juice growers over her stance.

  7. Tweety says

    I know we are supposed to rise above this type of behavior but DAMN, that felt good to watch!

  8. Michael Bedwell says

    Having worked in the office of the anti-Anita side in the last month of that historic 1977 campaign, I vividly remember those days. AND the fact that while it technically was only about a job protection ordinance applicable to Miami, many gays across the country realized its symbolic importance and sent all they could to help fund it. I remember opening donation evelopes with only a few coins inside. The largest gay fundraiser then-to-date was held at the Hollywood Bowl, starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. The night we were defeated, there were angry/heartbroken demonstrations in San Francisco, LA, and other cities. Gays in New York City marched to Congresswoman Bella Abzug’s house, getting her out of bed to express their rage and hurt to the woman who introduced the first gay rights bill into Congress. Later, demonstrations sprung up at Anita concerts in DC and New Orleans. The gay Mormon group, Affirmation, arose out of a conference the following weekend, and the affirmation of what Anita called “normal values” politicized countless others for the first time.

    So I am one of those all the more speechless at the lack of a sense of urgency among so many in relation to Prop 8, the anti marriage initiative in California, most shockingly in California itself.

    While Andy Towle hasn’t lived in California for a couple of years now, he has repeatedly urged donations and activism here on Towleroad. Bruce Bastian, among others from other states, has contributed over $1 million. There are many dedicated, hard working, sacrificing people across California fighting to defeat 8, but the larger apathy and silence remains deafening. Over twice as many donors to the pro 8 side? Only 30,000 or so pro gay donations in a state where there must be at least one million adult gays?

    Even in the Castro one sees few No On 8 signs, despite the fact that the campaign’s SF HQ is there. To the best of my knowledge, multimillionairess Ellen, selected by “Advocate” readers as the greatest LGBT hero of the last 40 years, has still thrown only a few words at 8 while throwing a huge million dollar fundraiser at her Bel Air estate for Prop 2 which would provide more leg room for cows and chickens.

    Multimillionairess Rosie, who told Gavin Newsom the day that she and Kelli were married in SF in 2004 that she would always be there when needed, has apparently given nothing.

    Only an hour’s flight away, Elton is selling tickets to his Las Vegas show starting at $100 a piece. What’s he doing on his nights off?

    Ad nauseum.

    The success of Anita’s bigots in Miami in 1977 directly led to defeats of similar gay rights ordinances in other cities, and gave birth to the antigay industry nationwide. If Prop 8 wins in our most liberal state, the deformed progeny it will bear will set us back decades.

  9. FunMe says

    Guess what, Anita is still around even at age 68 splling out anti-gay hate:

    “She now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, and says she does charity work for various youth organizations while heading Anita Bryant Ministries International.
    Anita Bryant appears to have resumed the anti-gay stance, however, in that Anita Bryant Ministries International presently features just two articles, both championing her long-standing opposition to the purported “homosexual agenda”.[4]”

    Once a bigot, always a bigot.

  10. Andalusian Dog says

    Sure, there are better ways to move the gay rights movement forward, like being classy and dignified. But a good pie-in-the-face gag? C’mon. That’s just comedy gold.

    And, might I add: at least it wasn’t a bullet. As Chet Baker reminds us, “Look for the silver lining.”

  11. says

    How did these people just happen to have pie around?

    And am I the only one whose immediate reaction is, “Did they just keep pie handy in those days?”

    Inquiring minds…

  12. djork says

    History has a very short memory. Hitting Anita Bryant in the face with a pie neither turned her into a sympathetic victim nor did it set back gay rights (California Proposition 8, which would have banned “homosexuals” from teaching in public schools, was soundly defeated). The act of throwing a pie in her face was a wonderful anarchic act meant to harmlessly humiliate a very destructive, divisive woman–whose husband CAME OUT several years later. Ahhh, I miss the good ol’ days when being gay was, in itself, a political act. And because we have no choice, vote for Obama.

  13. resurrect says

    once more, let’s give it up to Minneapolis! not to play the victim but honestly – pie throwing as a potential setback to the cause? gimme a break. everyone assumes we’ll just take it and complain – here there’s an actual confrontation. and – it’s done in one of the most theatrical and in some ways, traditional – means of interrupting a hate filled speaker.

    go back and re-read the history of the civil rights movement. or perhaps what ACT UP and other activists did to advance action on AIDS. then sit back, be nice, and continue to wait for someone w/ privilege to care.

  14. says

    In May of 1977, I outed myself nationally, when I created the “ANITA BRYANT’S HUSBAND IS A HOMO-SAPIEN!” T-shirt. The story was featured on the United Press Wires. A few weeks later,
    I gave one to Jane Fonda at a S.F. gay fund raiser to help fight Bryant’s anti-gay Dade County vote, to overturn a a gay rights ordinance.

    On the night of the election,June 6,1977-when the reults of that election showed that she had helped to change the law… Many gays came to Market and Castro St. (now called Harvey Milk Plaza) to vent their anger. Harvey came with a bullhorn and started an impropmptu march by yelling ‘OUT OF THE BARS AND INTO THE STREETS”… and over a thousand marched pass City Hall, and downtown to Union Square. I was a freelance photographer and took a picture of Harvey Milk, as he spoke to a large crowd. The bullhorn in one hand and a candle in the other and a “SAVE OUR RIGHTS” in the background. I took the photo to the Associated Press, and they ran it. Introducing Harvey Milk nationally 5 months before he was elected to office. Harvey said, that a anti-gay victory in Dade County was an anti-gay victory everywhere… and we had to unite. This was a defining moment in gay history. Ironically, in the movie “Milk”, they said the results of 6/7/77 anti-gay event was in Wichita, not Dade County Florida… that is wrong. Wichita came almost a year later. Looking back, the anti-gay stance by Anita Bryant in the media, helped to bring many non-gays into the gay movement…that helped to defeat the Brigg’s Initiative, Prop 6 in California. For a great web-site about that era and Harvey…visit

  15. says

    Glad that SOMEONE brought up the ACT UP actions- which by the way, moved our community further politically and socially than standing around and playing nice guy would ever have done.

    We would be lucky to have people today who are willing to stand up and throw a pie in a bigot’s face. It makes a point, it’s not life threatening and it’s just plain funny.

    Too often I think that the gay community traded in it’s sense of humor for some ridiculous illusion of acceptance.

  16. CK says

    We still need ACT UP and similar people…. all those that think we are so sublimely assimilated into society are just fooling themselves and have watched WAY too many Will & Grace episodes! Prop 8 in California is absolutely evidence of this.

    Thanks Andy, for highlighting this. I live in NJ but absolutely see the value of defeating this disgusting proposition in CA. We KNOW we have an enemy in the Governator (I don’t care HOW many times he tries to say he is not… liar, liar!) and we need to make sure the populace of CA does something to squash the bigoted and menaspirited and hateful proposition.

    So, people… DO something. Call someone. Email someone. Sign a petition… but DO something, please. ALL our future rights depend on it.

    (Thanks to Michael Bedwell for such an eloquent account of the times of the hateful Anita Bryant’s come-uppance! She sooo deserved that pie… and another… and another!)

  17. AngryFag says

    How much longer before the bombings and burnings? As a child of the 60s and 70s I remember the S.L.A., Black Panthers, and others . Is it time to bash back my queer brothers and sisters? How much more can our LGBT citizens take before going “Muslim” on the Mormons, Catholics, Christians. How much further can we as American LGBT citizens be marginalized.

  18. Charlie Bradley says

    Having been born 2 years after the dismal discrimination if 1977 I had only heard of Anita Bryant–both as an entertainer and as a bigot–Its only after seeing Milk that I have come to fully understand how dangerous she was and still is. She got exactly what she deserved in 1977 and I hope she never forgets that!

  19. says

    Having only heard of Anita Bryant prior to the release of Milk, I wasn’t fully aware of the extent of her role in hindering the progress of Our Rights. Having heard of her through Milk, and through my own research I can say she got everything she deserved and is lucky that her just desserts weren’t much worse than a pie in the face.

    She single-handedly destroyed her career through the course of her actions against Us.

    She also has to realize that this is the information age. Gay men like myself who weren’t around at the time of her bigotry parade are going to research her using the full capabilities of the internet and are going to have negative things to say about her, and TO her, regarding what we find. If she can’t deal with that, then it becomes her problem. She should have kept her mouth shut, or at least made sure there weren’t cameras or tape recorders around to preserve her hatred for all posterity.

  20. Lynne says

    While I never agreed with or condoned Bryant’s stance on homosexuality all those years ago, I do think she was pressured into saying what she did.

    She and her first husband, Bob Green, attended a fundamentalist Baptist church in Miami. Green was some years older than Bryant, and seems to have been a control freak. He made Anita wear conservative clothing, and wouldn’t allow her to travel alone. In a series of books they co-authored in the 1970’s, Bryant said that she submitted to her husband’s authority, citing Biblical references. Green admitted he had a hot temper, sometimes unleashing it on their household staff.

    Their fundamentalist church would have hated homosexuality, and I believe they used Bryant as a means to spread their message. She was very famous then. Sadly, there was no way to retract her words, once spoken. I know not everyone will agree, but maybe things got out of control back then. By the time Bryant realized what she had done, it was too late.

  21. says

    What many of you fail to realize is that while some old gospel singing nobody was spouting values that have not really changed in 31 years, and if anything, the pie throwing only made religiously motivated homophobia worse, the AIDS virus was just starting to kill people — and here we are today — millions of gay men dead. Maybe the old biddy had a point and maybe if even one gay man stopped going to the San Fran or New York baths like they were told and didn’t deny that AIDS was, at the time, a GAY disease, there would be a few less dead. Anyway, to the guy who calls himself, “angry fag” — you call out the Christians, Catholics and Mormons but you leave out the Jewish faith which considers homosexuality as a crime against nature — and let’s not forget the lovely Muslims. If you posted ANYTHING in an Islamic country — you would be beheaded. Who was the last Christian to beheaded a gay person out on the public street – in the light of day?

  22. says

    To Damien — If you live on this side of the pond (e.g., in the USA), you can post to your heart’s content in the Muslim countries, and insult the living daylights out of Mohammad and Islam, citing facts that indict them hugely — such as thos MORONIC “Honor killings” of theirs — and do so with impunity! All you have to do is go into the Usenet newsgroups and post to the Middle-Eastern and Islamic groups. I’ve been doing that for years! Very happily!! And my head’s still on my shoulders. Those ignorant losers are nothing but CLOWNS.

  23. JeanClaude Petersville says

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