Arlene Krantz was born on September 5, 1939, into a Jewish family in Philadelphia. Her mother was a passionate reader, a trait that Arlene inherited and which ultimately reached fruition when Arlene published “The Business Within YOU: Transform Your Business and Life.” As an entrepreneur, author, women’s business coach, bisexual activist, mother of two, and grandmother of six, Arlene has worn many hats and lived many adventures along the way.

At nine years old, Arlene noticed her attraction to girls. But in the 1940s, exploring her feelings toward the same gender didn’t even feel like an option. Even more unthinkable and un-sayable was the notion of being attracted to both genders. It would take a long time for Arlene to discover that this was her truth. She started out by marrying a man. 19 years later, Arlene and her husband were living in San Francisco when he pointed out an ad for a women’s bisexual support group in the local newspaper -- and encouraged Arlene to go. Within months, Arlene had her first sexual experience with a woman -- an event that Arlene remembers as “the most natural thing” that ever happened to her.

From that point forward, Arlene found her voice as an activist fighting for bisexual visibility. In an era when gay men and lesbians routinely dissed the notion of bisexuality (“Why don’t they just make up their minds?”), Arlene co-founded BiPOL, the first and oldest bisexual political organization. Arlene also devoted huge amounts of time and energy to the broader battle for women’s rights and to helping women entrepreneurs advance their careers through business coaching. In that vein, Arlene founded “Amazing Women in Action,” a platform that seeks to interview women who are breaking barriers in their field. 

At a deeply personal level, Arlene also found herself at one point in a relationship with a man who came out as transgender. Figuring that if she needed this support group, someone else must too, Arlene founded a support group for significant others of transgender people. From her perspective, no one in this world needs to be alone -- unless they prefer to be.

In person, Arlene Krantz is funny, spicy, and outspoken. Beyond her impact on increasing bisexual visibility and empowering women to acheive their career goals, Arlene’s stories reflect broad care and compassion for others and a generosity of spirit that comes as a breath of fresh air to all who enter her lively, well-lived universe.
Mason Funk: [00:00:00] So do me a favor, just start off and tell us your name, first and last name and spell the whole thing out.
Arlene Krantz: My name is Arlene A. R. L. E. N. E. Krantz K. R. A. N. T. Z.
Mason Funk: Okie dokie. And when possible, just take my question and kind of fold into your answer. So for example, when I say, When and where were you born?, don't say, Philadelphia, 1940. I was born in ... , and make it a complete sentence. Okay. So when and where were you born?
Arlene Krantz: [00:00:30] Well, I was the first born in my family. My mom, it took her seven years. So finally I came along and I was born in Philadelphia in 1939, September.
Mason Funk: And into what sort of a family were you born?
Arlene Krantz: That's an interesting question. What kind of ... Well, my mom was one of six children, six siblings, three boys and three girls, three men and three women.
Arlene Krantz: [00:01:00] And my grandparents came from the old country of Russia and they had a trunk store when I was growing up. They had, they would make, my grandfather used to be in the basement with sheets of black metal and they would make trunks and it would go and I would take the trolley car, Philadelphia. In those days we had trolley cars. So I'd take the trolley car to my grandparents every week by myself cause it was a straight ride. Those days nobody worried about what kids did.
Arlene Krantz: [00:01:30] And I grew up in Phillips center city, Philadelphia and it was called then as got, as I got older, it became Society Hill. But it was cool but said it was a cool place to grow up. I went to West Philadelphia high school in center city, Philadelphia. We had South street, I don't know if you know the old song South Street, that was in my neighborhood two blocks away and we on fourth street they would have fourth and South. They would have all these carts selling pickles and or food and all kinds of stuff as you'd walk down the street.
Arlene Krantz: [00:02:00] It was, it was a fun time, I have to say in those days. And then my high, my junior high school was around the corner, you know, the luncheonette on the corner. We all grew up together. It was a really neighborhood kind of neighbor place. It was really fun, fun growing up there.
Mason Funk: And were there, did you have other siblings? Was it,
Arlene Krantz: I have two sisters. They're both younger. I'm the oldest.
Mason Funk: Okay. So let me scroll to that side.
Arlene Krantz: You're going to hear a lot of sirens on.
Arlene Krantz: [00:02:30] Even with them close, you hear it. It's just, there's a lot of sirens in this neighborhood.
Mason Funk: We'll just do pauses. Okay. So what, like, you know, was your family loud and boisterous, would they quiet and academic?
Arlene Krantz: Listen, what are you talking about? We're Jewish. We,ll sit at the table, you'll talk over each other. That's what we grew up with. My parents weren't, my mom was an avid reader. I used to she, we'd sit together and I could knock out five books a week.
Arlene Krantz: [00:03:00] I love to read and we, you know, share each other's books and stuff like that was funny, used to read doctor books all the time and that was always great. I love doing that. And they weren't. I never went to a museum until, God, maybe 20 years ago, 30 years. My parents weren't that type of people. My mom played cards. I play cards with my, we had a mother daughter card game every other Thursday night, play poker.
Arlene Krantz: [00:03:30] So I grew up with theater, my parents playing cards and that kind of thing. It wasn't that they went to col- neither of them ever went to college. I never went to college. It wasn't something that was expected of us. So
Mason Funk: and was it a primarily Jewish neighborhood?
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, the Denis was next store of the year, the [inaudible] guy was across the street, the GP was down the street, the hospitals around the corner. It was that kind of, yeah, it was a great neighborhood. It was a fun neighborhood, I have to say.
Mason Funk: [00:04:00] Just out of curiosity, the war happened, obviously World War II, you know, just when you were a young girl. Do you have any memories from that period?
Arlene Krantz: The only thing I remember is that my,
Mason Funk: do me a favor, say the only thing I remember from world war II,
Arlene Krantz: The only thing I remember from World War II, which I didn't know it was the only thing I remember from world war two, which I really didn't remember. No, it was world war II because I was young, is that my uncle was in the Philippines and he came back and he showed us like a Japanese flag in his room
Arlene Krantz: [00:04:30] and he had taken a piece of an airplane and made me a bracelet. And that's all. And my uncle and my other uncle was in the Navy and he came home with all his withes on and everything. But that's about all I know. We weren't, we didn't say anything like that. My father was never in the service, so we weren't really part of what was going on where we lived. I didn't know anybody whose family was in the service.
Mason Funk: [00:05:00] So how did you make your way? eventually I know you ended up in San Francisco, married. How did that happen in sort of a relatively short version
Arlene Krantz: I'll try. I got married in Philadelphia. My husband had a moving company and he had a problem, big problem with a moving company, but the people that work for him and he was so disgusted, he says, that's it. We're moving to Africa. I said, Africa, like where? Rhodesia, excuse me, where was that?
Arlene Krantz: [00:05:30] So I had to go to the library and look up what is Rhodesia? People are saying, what are lions going to be walking down the street? I never even heard of it, but he found out from an, actually a neighbor from Costco for my mom that he was buying Teakwood from Africa and he was telling my husband about it and he said, Oh, that sounds like something. We should go there. So we packed up the kids, two kids and we moved to first South Africa and then into Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.
Arlene Krantz: [00:06:00] And then when we left there, because I didn't like their policy, I'm not that type of person. Everybody should be able to live their life with, who cares what they look like. So from there we went to London and I'll never forget, I'm going to, I'm doing my laundry. Right. And some guy says to me, where were you bloody yanks during the war. And I'm like, I don't know why I got, I don't even know what you mean, talking about. And I said, that's it. We gotta get out of here because we Americans were not loved. And people wouldn't even wait on me because they heard my speaking,
Arlene Krantz: [00:06:30] my English accent, my heavy duty Philadelphia accent. They wouldn't wait on us. And it was like, that's it. I'm outta here. So from there we moved to San Francisco.
Mason Funk: Wow. What year is this, roughly?
Arlene Krantz: Had to be in the eighties you know, a good question probably. Let's see. My daughter, I don't know, 61 71 probably late seventies.
Mason Funk: Okay. So along the way, tell us about the fact that you got a couple of kids.
Arlene Krantz: [00:07:00] Yeah, I had, I was married, I was 20 years old and I got married, I was 20 in September, got married in December, and I had my first daughter a year and a half later. And then I had my second daughter two years and nine months after that. So yeah. You know, they moved to Africa and they had to learn the accent. All of a sudden they were speaking with an African or accident. And because we lived in South Africa for a little bit in Cape town and then we moved back to Rhodesia
Arlene Krantz: [00:07:30] and then they had to wear uniforms and they went to school. So it was like they, they just blended right in. And I ended up learning to play bridge and because, and women didn't work. So what do we do? We had dinner parties and play bridge and living that kind of lifestyle, which is kind of interesting, but their policy was so against my grain, I just didn't like that. You know, I experienced being Jewish growing up, there's a lot of anti-semitism
Arlene Krantz: [00:08:00] and also seeing a lot of black people had a lot of issues. And I remember in high in elementary school, we were all lined up to go in the class and the teacher was in the front making us go in and he said something and I was like, I think it was the first time I realized that an element she's going like this is not nice. So I've always been aware and we even moved in a neighborhood in Philadelphia and we talked about and some, a black family moved in and I told my kids, they are no different than you,
[00:08:30] you know, and you're to treat them nicely. There's a family that doesn't make any difference. But you know, and throughout the years, my many years with antisemitism and all this stuff that's going on is pretty bad. And that's why can't we all live together and leave each other alone, let us be bisexual, with nobody bothering us. So,
Mason Funk: uh, yeah, you've dealt with sounds like a progression of,
Arlene Krantz: yeah. I mean,
Arlene Krantz: When I got out of high school, I went to get a job at the, I think it was the electric company or gas company
Arlene Krantz: [00:09:00] and I couldn't get the job because they already got their quota of Jews. So I've experienced that for all my life. You know, it's no different now. Things in fact have gotten worse but,
Mason Funk: huh? How so? And let me know what you're talking about.
Arlene Krantz: No, as I said, well it sort of feels like, it feels like in the fifties which is when I grew up we were kind of young and innocent and I think that now people are not younger than her son anymore.
Arlene Krantz: [00:09:30] You know, we didn't know from any, you know, we didn't know what was going on. We just lived our life until we'd won and had our friends and my high school and my elementary school was like 95% Italian. Cause in South Philadelphia it was all Italian neighborhood. Then when I went to high school it was like half Jew and half black. So you know, we got up, everybody got along, nobody bothered anybody. We all had friends. And now it's a, we try for it, but I think it's harder these days. I think social media is,
Arlene Krantz: [00:10:00] it's a wonderful thing. And then that's the most amazing thing ever invented if you think about it, amongst other things. But it's really hurt a lot of people and yeah.
Mason Funk: How, how would you say the internet has caught? What about the internet has caused maybe this deeper polarization?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I think that first of all, people are not communicating. They're always on the phone. Kids are always on their phone. When I'm with my grandkids, I put the phone down, no phone. When you're with me,
Arlene Krantz: [00:10:30] we go into a restaurant and you see the couple of weeks ago, the nice, these women went for lunch in her sitting ramp and each one individually not showing photos and saying, look, I took these pictures, each one individually. And if I said there's no communication here, why did they get together if they're not going to talk? So it's hard. Kids don't know how to talk. They only know how to talk with the cell phones. So I feel sorry for the kids these days. It's a lot of pressure on them. Anyhow.
Mason Funk: [00:11:00] I agree. Okay, so that's a big topic, but we'll shift back. So now you're in San Francisco, you've landed there with your husband and your couple of kids.
Arlene Krantz: Right.
Mason Funk: So, how does the status of your marriage begin to change? What, what causes there to be a shift? I mean, I'm guessing that there was,
Arlene Krantz: I was 19 years and after I was married, 19 years when I got divorced and I went down to see my mom after I was married,
Arlene Krantz: [00:11:30] probably three years and said I want out. But in those days, you did not get divorced. My mom said, I said, mom, I'm not happy. You have children, you have to stay in the marriage. And so I stayed in my marriage 19 years and my dream was that when both the kids were out of the house going to college, I'm out. But he beat me to the punch and met this and she said, why are you in that relationship? And he kind of said, I'm leaving. And then I went berserk.
Arlene Krantz: [00:12:00] And for one month I totally, I really lost it because what I had planned didn't happen. You have that plan. Something comes along, it's like, whoops, you don't get it. And I went to, I was smart enough and I had enough sense about myself. So I called up the Jewish family service. I said I need help. So I went for one month and he said, she said, it's not you, it's him. That was good. But it was a hard time.
Mason Funk: [00:12:30] Now prior to your husband leaving you,
Mason Funk: uh,
Mason Funk: sexually speaking, he had expressed interest in perhaps having other partners. Right? So tell me about that.
Arlene Krantz: He guys, okay. I think I inhaled a fly.
Mason Funk: Do you have some water? Let me go get some.
Arlene Krantz: Honest to God, I think I inhaled one of these little flies. All of a sudden I'm like, yeah, there's glass over there. I put some water there for you guys.
Mason Funk: [00:13:00] Kate do you want some water while were at it?
Arlene Krantz: It's nice. Filtered water, good water, all these filtered water. Cause God knows.
Mason Funk: So your husband had some, in some way had expressed interest.
Arlene Krantz: My husband had wanted us to have a threesome and then those days that's what guys were talking about. And I really didn't want that, but being the good wife that I was, sure, let's do that.
Arlene Krantz: [00:13:30] So that's when I saw the bisexual thing in a paper and he said, you should go. And I said, okay, I'll go. But once I did that, I was not interested in bringing him into the picture at all.
Mason Funk: Yeah. So slow down and break this down for me. When you say the bisexual thing, I'm not going to know what you mean. Remember that everything we talked about is not on camera. So slow it down a little bit and tell me to kind of, unfold the story.
Arlene Krantz: [00:14:00] There was an ad in the paper, local paper in San Francisco and it said women only from the bisexual center are getting together at a bar. And he pointed that out to me and I said, well, okay, sure. I'll go. And I went, I was freaking out because it's the first time I'm ever doing anything like this and, and, but I realized that I was going to go the bisexual center. I know, I'm like,
Arlene Krantz: [00:14:30] alright, if I have to, Ill put a lozenge in because sometimes my throat, if I'm talking I can start to lose my throat. In fact, can I go do that? Just grab that little thing
Mason Funk: at the at the bisexual center, this women's group. And you basically left?
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, it was at a bar and I hung, like sitting by myself because God forbid I should talk to anybody. I don't want to talk to anybody.
Arlene Krantz: [00:15:00] I felt really weird. But then I saw it was a bisexual center. I said, I think I'm going to go find out what that's about.
Mason Funk: Uh, right. So your, your interest in women had that, had that been something that you had experienced earlier?
Arlene Krantz: That was from the time I was nine years old. I was nine years old and we were, I had two best friends and we're growing boobs like, you know, nine years old. And one of them said, look, and I went like this.
Arlene Krantz: [00:15:30] And up beside the magic E T moment, it was like, Oh my God, I liked that, but I didn't say anything. And I, and as I kept getting older, I said, you know, I've thought about women, but in those days what I thought about women that looked like men and it's like I couldn't imagine where, what would I do? Where would I go? So I stayed in the path of being straight, you know, getting married, having kids. Cause I just didn't,
Arlene Krantz: [00:16:00] I didn't see where was I going to find this yearning I had inside of me that I knew that I liked women, you know?
Mason Funk: so you, so like I probably can relate to you and that I was, I was, I was not likely to like, it took me a while to break out of the sort of, the expectations, like what, what was expected for me. Was that kind of like your case as well. You just, you tended to sort of stay within the boundaries,
Arlene Krantz: stay within the boundaries. And my first time I was ever with a woman, I was 40 years old.
Mason Funk: [00:16:30] Okay, so, so you, what was that like?
Arlene Krantz: That's the most natural thing that ever happened.
Mason Funk: Who was she and how did it happen?
Arlene Krantz: We met and I told her, I had never been with a woman before. And I told her that she's, Oh, well, let's go. And I said, okay. And it was like, no problem. It was like wonderful and felt great
Arlene Krantz: [00:17:00] and I knew that's what I wanted. But then again, I was still in this place of being married with kids and what was I going to do? So it wasn't it. So it wasnt until my husband and I broke up, that's when I really got involved in the bisexual center.
Mason Funk: Okay. So how did you conceive, begin to conceive of yourself as bisexual as opposed to saying,
Mason Funk: [00:17:30] Oh, I, I've preferred women all along. That was just a detour. Like how did it come to you that you were bisexual?
Arlene Krantz: I was turned on to men and women. It didn't matter what they were, who they were.
Mason Funk: Sorry, Just hold for one second. Its loud..
Arlene Krantz: I know, its a pain in the ass.
Mason Funk: It happens everywhere.
Arlene Krantz: [00:18:00] I mean, if you want, you can close the windows, but believe me, it's going to only do a little bit. Yeah.
Mason Funk: Yeah. And it all happens time. So it sounds like for like you're saying, from, from early on you were not interested in defining yourself as a lesbian.
Arlene Krantz: [00:18:30] I didn't know what a lesbian was. I never heard the words, didnt heard the word bisexual. Didn't hear the word lesbian. All I knew was I like women. I like men. I like women, it didn't matter. In fact the word lesbian was kind of more of a turnoff because it sounded like in a lesbian with somebody that looked like a guy. So I didn't even, but I don't even remember hearing words like that. A gay, I think gay was what I heard more than anything.
Arlene Krantz: [00:19:00] Faggot, gay, stuff like that. Because in Philadelphia, it was very funny. On Thursday nights was gay night, don't, I don't know where that came from. But every Thursday night the gay people came out and there were clubs not far from where I live, but I didnt go to them cause I was too young. But that's what I've heard every Thursday night, gay people came in. So kind of weird.
Mason Funk: And what did you think at that time of gay people when you hear this term gay people?
Arlene Krantz: [00:19:30] I didn't think anything. I didn't, I didn't relate it to any words. I didn't relate to Oh my God, am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I lesbian? I didn't relate to any of that because the words were never spoken with anybody I've ever talked to. And you know, there's nobody that I knew that I, I'm sure it must've been a gay person, but I didn't know anybody and grew up being all around straight people. There was nothing to, nobody talked about it. My father, my parents used to go every year, there was a group that would come to Philadelphia and they were like,
Arlene Krantz: [00:20:00] I can't remember what they were called, but it was like 10 guys dressed as girls and one woman dressed as a guy, like a drag show. And every year they would go see this drag show. So that's all I ever knew. And then one Halloween and a big hole that was a couple blocks from my, where I grew up that they had a big Halloween party and I walked in there and they went, Oh my God, look at all these gorgeous women while they were all guys, I didn't even know.
Arlene Krantz: [00:20:30] I didn't know any of this stuff cause it wasn't, I wasn't exposed to it. So what would make me know wasn't papers. It's not like today you see everything. So, and I remember walking in and go, wow, look at those gowns and it was hair and makeup and it's like they're all guys. I'm like, are you kidding me? That was kind of cool.
Mason Funk: So when you, so you figured out that you were bisexual and what was, I'm not sure if I have the chronology right, but what was Bi-Pole or Bi-Polar?
Arlene Krantz: [00:21:00] Yeah, Bi-Politics.
Mason Funk: Right. So, but there was an organization?
Arlene Krantz: We met, we formed that organization. We were, the Democratic Convention was coming to San Francisco and I was talking about it. What year does the Democratic Convention come to San Francisco?
Ted: I think it was 84.
Arlene Krantz: Was it? Okay. That's why I needed Ted here.
Arlene Krantz: [00:21:30] Yeah, they were coming to San Francisco in 1980 and 1984 and 1984 the Democrats were having the convention in San Francisco and we decided to form this group Bi-Pole. Now, Alan Rockway had come from Florida with the, what's her name? The orange, the orange juice one, Anita Bryant. So he came from Florida with already the experience of being political in Florida
Arlene Krantz: [00:22:00] and he came to us, the bi group. I said, okay, let's form a group that now we're going to see if we can get Lani on the platform at the Democratic Convention because we wanted her to stand up and speak for minorities, for, for everybody, but to get on there. So we started this whole thing of being Bi-Pole. That's what we became. It was the most fun I ever had in my life.
Mason Funk: What was fun about it?
Arlene Krantz: [00:22:30] It was fun because I had never done anything like that before going, we actually went to the police. We went to the convention with, you know, with the having people sign up, we want to get locked. Sure, no problem. I'll say, well, these people that worked at Democratic Convention signing up so she could get on the platform. Then we went to the Democratic Convention headquarters and they said, you don't have enough signatures, which was a bunch of bull because we did, they just didn't want us on there. And then what we did to have the bisexual name out there
Arlene Krantz: [00:23:00] because the gay community and the lesbian community really didn't want to have much to do with us. So we had to get ourselves visible. We had at, so when they started the March in the Castro to come down to the downtown, to the convention center and as they came into the, to the, I guess it was a huge parking lot or something. That was empty. As they came there, there was this big booth. Bi-Pole
Arlene Krantz: [00:23:30] buy your drinks here, get your cause it was a hot day and that's how we came, people saw us and we became more visible that way. We also, when what gay pride, one year we rented a convertible and we were very active because they would say no, get off the fence. Who do you think you are? Refused to hear this constantly. It was, you know, it's like, no we're not on the fence, but they would, everybody would knock us down. And this year we had Mayor,
Arlene Krantz: [00:24:00] Diane Feinstein was, I mean everything about bi. So we did it and it was cute, we had the convertible and we actually won an award, which was like a put us out there. But we have been fighting for so long for people to acknowledge bisexual. It's still going on today. And we had also, we would go around, Jerry Falwell was there for the Democratic Convention, so we would picket in front of the hotel. We would sprinkle fairy dust in front of the hotel,
Arlene Krantz: [00:24:30] and I do that on my lunch hour. I was working at Macy's and I'd shoot over lunch hour to go do all the stuff. So it was fun. It was so much fun. And Bi-Pole, it was really cool that we did that. It was really great. We had a great time. We meet every week, a couple of days or every day planning this. What are we going to do? Let's go do the, let's go to, you go to this hotel, you go to this hotel, you know, to get the signatures. And we just had a blast. It was just really, for me, it was just a blast. And we all loved it.
Arlene Krantz: [00:25:00] I mean, Lani could tell you, we have a lot of fun to do that. And it was hard, but we put ourselves out there wherever we went. We were out there, we never held back on who we were. We always had our bisexual signs. We marched as a bisexual unit, at every year at the parade. And we would get such crap from everybody, you know, and we had no problem with it. But everybody else seemed to have a problem with it. And it was interesting cause when I came to San Francisco, I mean Los Angeles,
Arlene Krantz: [00:25:30] I got the same crap here . So what I did is David Laurier had passed and I have, there's a plaque with David Lauriers name at the, at the gate now it's GLBT center, but then it wasn't, and it was like, when are you going to say bisexual? Lori Jean who runs the center when you're going to say it, when you're going to say it. And finally the March in Washington, she finally stood there and said, because she has people, siblings in a family that are bisexual.
Arlene Krantz: [00:26:00] But even when we went to the March in Washington, we went to a famous singer, don't ask me her name, but we went to this hotel room where she was singing and we said sexual, they wanted to kick us out. I mean it was really hard. What we did at the March in Washington, which had to be the funniest thing ever. Lani and I, with all our buttons and our sashes and our bisexual when science and everything,
Arlene Krantz: [00:26:30] we go and we said, let's go and watch everybody go. And when our group comes, we'll just jump in. So were there, and everybody's given us like we love you sign and all this kind of stuff. And yeah, we like you. Nobody gave us crap. It was because everybody was so happy to be there and we were cheering them on and all of a sudden it's the end of the parade and the march and I looked at her and she looked at me and I said, what happened to our group? It never came because they split it. So our,
Arlene Krantz: [00:27:00] the bisexual contingent went one way. We're over here watching the March. We literally peed in our pants. We could not stop laughing. We couldn't believe that happened because we were like upfront people there. But I think we did better by being on the sideline as everybody went by. ACT UP came by, you know, a lot of the big groups. So I think we did more exposing ourself as a bisexual group by being on the sideline instead of watching the parade
Arlene Krantz: [00:27:30] cause marching the parade, nobody was seeing us. So ended up being, you know - but it's been a struggle for years as still as a struggle. People don't understand bisexual. But when I was at the bisexual center or anywhere that I went, I talk to gay guys and I say, Oh, you know, I said, well I'm bisexual out loud and proud, I'm bisexual. And they say Oh really? I said, yeah. I said, and they said, well if I ever met a woman,
Arlene Krantz: [00:28:00] I might consider getting married. I mean, it's interesting what people would say to me. Nine out of 10 times, somebody would say something, but they would never say bisexual because then they felt they were losing their community. You know the lesbians, No I'm in the lesbian community. I can't say bisexual cause then they would kick me out. They wouldn't want me and the gay community as well. They would want us, cause now I'm, they don't know which way we're going. It's like, do we have to have a way, you know,
Arlene Krantz: [00:28:30] can't we just be who we want to be with? So it's, but we had some fun times and Bi-Pole was great. And then when that happened, after the convention, then we were no longer Bi-Pole at that point. We were done. But it was fun. It was great times.
Mason Funk: In a weird way. I want to ask whether it's, whether the criticism and the judgment and the stereotyping, et cetera of bisexuals is worse coming from within the LGBT community or from the so-called outside committee.
Arlene Krantz: [00:29:00] I never got it from the outside community. I was always in the LGBT community and the gay, lesbian and those days. And it was like, so it was like, we got constantly beat up for it constantly and we never gave up. We never gave up. We said we're going to go March again. What did we do this year? What do we do this year? It's just people would go. I mean, you'd walk and you'd hear, why can't you make up your mind, get off the fence, get off the fence. Just make up your mind already.
Arlene Krantz: [00:29:30] You don't, what's it going to be. It's like, we would look at them well we don't have a fence really. You know? But they didn't understand it because again, I think a lot of it is because they didn't want to lose their community. And I know there were bi. I know there were women that were having affairs with guys, lesbians, but they would never in a million years ever say anything. Cause then they would lose their community. Theyd lose their tribe. And that's really, I think, I believe what that's all about.
Mason Funk: [00:30:00] Yeah. Lani certainly talked about that. You know how her, she, she said that she told us, she told us how she would say lesbian identified bisexual. Like that was her safety to say lesbian identified bisexual. So the lesbian community wouldn't ostracize her cause she was afraid to just say bisexual for fear that she'd be kicked out of her community.
Arlene Krantz: Well, a lot of the women came from the lesbian community. I didn't, so I didn't have any of that. I just was bisexual period. You know, at one point I had a relationship with a guy and with a girl the same time,
Arlene Krantz: [00:30:30] you know, I was bisexual, didn't matter to me what the, who, what they have between their race. I was only interested in the person and who they were as a person. But yeah, there was a lot of women that would not do that. But a lot of women came from the bisexual community. So the bisexual center was a safe place for them to come to because I went, once I got into the bisexual center, it was all about, I started the women only rap group. So we would talk about it. And the first time,
Arlene Krantz: [00:31:00] I think there must've been 50 women that showed up because they had no place to talk. Where was anybody going to talk about it? That they were accepted? The only other place was he actually was the leather community because there was a lot of bisexual people in the leather community. You know, they had a group, it was called SFSI. I don't know. It's San Francisco sex information hotline and we were, it was a, you took this course to desensitize you about
Arlene Krantz: [00:31:30] if anybody asks you about anything about sex and it was a hotline we get on the phone at kids would call and adults would call all kinds of questions, but that community was a lot of bisexual community. That was it. I'd say that was the, besides the bisexual community, I'd say that was another big part of a bisexual community was the leather crowd. You know, the more sexually active crowd. So
Mason Funk: interesting. Yeah. When and how and what happened when you told your kids about your newfound status?
Arlene Krantz: [00:32:00] I told them that I already was living by myself and I brought my kids to my place and I sat them down and I said, I want to tell you something. Whatever. And I told them, you know what, I didn't get into huge detail because they can only take so much. You don't want to overload their brain. And I just said, if you ever have any questions, just ask me. And then I didn't ever talk about it again because to me it was more important to live my life as
Arlene Krantz: [00:32:30] who I am than to make a big deal about it. And I never made a big deal. We never talked about it. When my daughter got married, I was with my wife at the time and I said, you know, how do you feel about us together? She says, no, mom, don't even worry about it. You know, my grandkids have always seen me with Francis because they, from the time my oldest grandchild was a little kid, so they, they never brought it up. Okay. Here's the story I found out from my daughter
Arlene Krantz: [00:33:00] that my granddaughter must've been maybe six, seven years old and they're playing, a couple of kids are playing and they said something about like a boy and a girl and a girl can get married and a boy and a boy can get married. And, and my granddaughter said, well, you know, so what's the big deal about that? But they never related it to me because they never saw anything different. That's all they knew was I live with Francis. They came to my home, they loved her, they loved me. They didn't care.
Arlene Krantz: [00:33:30] We never ever, it wasn't, it was not the topic of conversation. If they ever wanted to talk about it, I'd be happy to. But I came out to my mom and dad when that article came out. Newsweek.
Mason Funk: So let's foster, let's back up and say like, again, we don't know what your article is. So first of all, tell me about the article, why should, let me, we'll get back to your mom and dad, but I want to take two steps back. Tell me about the AIDS crisis, the AIDS epidemic, and how that affected people's perceptions of bisexual people during the AIDS epidemic.
Arlene Krantz: [00:34:00] Well, it was that time that everybody was pretty, I don't know what time. When did the AIDS, when did was the first notice of
Mason Funk: Early eighties yeah,
Arlene Krantz: Earlier. Okay. It was the early eighties I don't remember the year, early eighties and I didn't know anything about it. And I was driving. I never heard about the AIDS, really didn't know anything about AIDS.
Arlene Krantz: [00:34:30] And I was driving to my job and I heard on the radio, it's the first time I ever heard about AIDS and AIDS epidemic. I'm like, what? I mean I was like in shock that this is going on. I really didn't because I wasn't that active in the gay community, only in the bisexual community and having kids, you know, I was like doing that part. I wasn't out there in the trenches, basically. So I heard about that. And then when I came back I said, what is this going on?
Arlene Krantz: [00:35:00] And that was the first time I heard about AIDS. And then it was like everybody stopped what they were doing. Cause we used to have hot tub parties. Oh my God. Don't even ask. What we did was a lot of fun. But everything stopped. Even women and women, everybody was afraid. Nobody wanted to do anything. So we all backed off and had our relationships and werent into the big scene,
Arlene Krantz: [00:35:30] like it was before AIDS. And then Alan got AIDS. Alan Brockway got AIDS and we were with him almost until he died. And I remember we went to, we took his ashes. There were four of us, we were his support group and we took his ashes to the park in San Francisco and we through them out there and they came right back at us. It's like, Oh my God, we got Allen all over us.
Arlene Krantz: [00:36:00] And here the stuck comes to you Allen. I mean, it was, you had a laugh because otherwise it would tear you apart. And then when David got AIDS, that was like the worst. And I was one of his main, one of the main support people with David and... ...a lot of memories.
Arlene Krantz: [00:36:30] He and I used to play spite malice. I don't know if you know that cad game. It's like, and we would yell at each other. You jerk. Don't you know what you're doing? And wed scream at each other. One time somebody called the cops because we were so bad, but he was very special. He died in my arms. That was hard. But I wasn't out there in that whole community. So many people lost so many people and I didn't because I didn't really, I didn't hang out in there. But
Mason Funk: [00:37:00] and what, how were bisexual people like additionally stigmatized at the height of the AIDS epidemic? What happened with, what did people say? What, just walk me through what people, how they the role that people thought in general society and bisexuals were playing. What did you hear about this?
Arlene Krantz: [00:37:30] They, then we would just, we were all, everybody's hurting. People didn't say, we weren't acknowledged that we were also hurting. It was always the gay community and then the lesbian community. But no one ever talked about the bisexual community. We're always ignored, were still ignored today. That's, people just don't talk about us where they don't get it. People just plain don't get it. It's like a lot of people don't understand the transgender community.
Arlene Krantz: [00:38:00] They don't understand what that is. And I've spoken to people and I'm like shocked. The educated people that just don't know. So the bisexual community, we were just never acknowledged. We were hurting and we were going through the same thing and David and other people in the community. But people never, they just didn't even, we're always left down so we weren't acknowledged for, and again, we're still not, we're trying, but it's really hard.
Mason Funk: [00:38:30] So what was the Newsweek article? Tell me about that.
Arlene Krantz: Well, I got a phone call from Newsweek because Allen Rockway had gotten a phone call because he was out there and they called me up and they said, we're going through this article on bisexuality and AIDS. Would you like to be in it? Sure, I'd be happy to be in it. You know, why not? Why not be in Newsweek? That's a big deal. And they said, well, can we use your name? And I'm like, Oh, you want to use my name? Okay, you're going to be out. You might as well be out.
Arlene Krantz: [00:39:00] Then they talked to me and they said, well, can we have a photographer take your picture? And I'm like, Oh my God, I'm going to be in Newsweek magazine with my picture because first thing I go into my kids, they're going to see this. What are they going to think? And then I said, you know what, if I'm going to be out, I'm going to be out. The closet is for my clothes. It's not for me. I am not interested. So I said, yes, I do it. And that was, and it was interesting because using that article, that article came out and my dad had just come home from having a,
Arlene Krantz: [00:39:30] not a bypass, something that an aneurysm or something with his heart or whatever. I don't remember. And he'd just come home and I said, I can't have him look at that, that I don't tell him ahead of time. So that's how I came out to him. I said, dad, if there's going to be article coming out and it's about bisexuality and I'm in the article and Mike pictures in there and he didn't know what to say about it. I barely even say too much to support me or otherwise, but I said I just needed to let you know.
Mason Funk: [00:40:00] So you never, did you ever get any reaction from him whatsoever? Any conversations or
Arlene Krantz: never conversations. What was there to talk about, I never felt that it was a conversation there. It's not, they didn't understand it. And then when my mother, I had went to tell my mother, I felt I was already living in San Francisco and I flew to Philadelphia,
Arlene Krantz: [00:40:30] she's living in Philadelphia. I said, that's it. I'm coming out to my mother. And there was an article that the Oakland Trib, that article about Maggie Rubenstein and I about bisexuality and had a big picture of us in the article and I brought that with me and I couldn't bring myself to tell her until the day I was leaving. So I said, that's it. I have to tell her. So I sat down, I showed her the article and I said, see, mom it says bisexual activist. She says, that's the part I don't like.
Arlene Krantz: [00:41:00] Okay, what can I say? I said, well, that's who I am. And I left it. So there was never conversation.
Mason Funk: Uh huh. It just strikes me because I think in some families there'd be yelling, there'd be screaming, there's tears, there would be whatever your family just generally, they just sounds like there wasn't a lot of like with your kids, your parents.
Arlene Krantz: No, not a lot of conversation because I really truly believe that you live your life as you're living your life, the way you're living it. And it's not a big deal.
Arlene Krantz: [00:41:30] I always thought it's not a big deal, but one time I made an anniversary party for my parents in Philadelphia. We had the Ritz call and we had a separate room and, and my aunt, my father's sister, his sister was sitting next to me, my aunt. I said, aunt Jeannie, I got something to tell you. She said, what? I said, I'm living with a woman. She said, isnt said that nice. I couldnt believe she said that. . I mean, I wanted my mother to say, isn't that nice, wanted my father to say I didn't get that from them? And she said, isn't that nice?
Arlene Krantz: [00:42:00] And again, my cousin saw that article, Newsweek never called them. He never said anything and nobody said anything. It was like in those days it was not conversation. People didn't want to talk about being gay. They didn't want to talk about nothing. It was hard, but San Francisco and I said something to them at my mother about San Francisco. She says, yeah, since you went to San Francisco, it changed you so much.
Arlene Krantz: [00:42:30] And I said, isn't that just wonderful mom? Oh, thank God for San Francisco. Because that really was my coming up. And then there was a time that I had this girlfriend and I had my own apartment and she came and she was staying with me overnight. And my daughter shows up with a couple of her friends to my apartment. And Im like, without calling me. And she told me years later and it was no big deal because she told me, years later she said, well, you know,
Arlene Krantz: [00:43:00] you had this woman staying with you. And I came with my friends. I said, first of all, why would they think anything other than your mother has a friend that's staying over? They weren't, the brains would not go there because it wasn't something they would think about. You know, what Robins mothers gay or whatever, never would enter their minds. So I said, you know, what's your issue? But I had a lot of things that she was exposed to. I had a boyfriend that went through a sex change,
Arlene Krantz: [00:43:30] became a woman. So that was another, I went through a lot of things that was also an interesting time of my life.
Mason Funk: Tell me more about that.
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, that was interesting. I had met this guy, really a nice guy and I saw there was something going on. I just picked up, there's something going on with the guy and we talk about it. And I said, well, you know, just do it. Just start it. So he started taking hormones and you know, had his apple shaved. And I actually went with, his mother and myself went
Arlene Krantz: [00:44:00] when he actually had the, she had the sex change and it was one of the founders, Beiber, I think his name was in Colorado. I think this is where he was. So we went while she had the sex change.
Mason Funk: Did you guys have any friends afterwards?
Arlene Krantz: No.
Arlene Krantz: No. I moved here and it was, it was okay.
Mason Funk: Okay. Yeah, just one second for that.
Arlene Krantz: [00:44:30] But also when I was involved in the transgender community, I started the cause, I figure I need it, somebody else needs it. So I started the rap group for significant others and we supported each other and helped each other. So it's cause I'm a type of person if I need it, somebody else does it. So I like to start these things. Huh.
Mason Funk: Yeah. So you started a support group for significant others of transgender? Where's that? Here in Los Angeles?
Arlene Krantz: No, Everything was in San Francisco.
Mason Funk: [00:45:00] Okay. Okay. So you say, when you tell me, tell me more about that. When you, when you, when you see something that you might need, you figure other people might need it as well.
Arlene Krantz: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Mason Funk: So how did you start that group? What did you do?
Arlene Krantz: Oh, I was going to their parties and to their meetings and I just said, that's it. I'm starting a support group because I needed to talk to other people about my issues of this person going through this change. So that was good.
Arlene Krantz: [00:45:30] We helped each other out and we had, you know, got together and we'd have meetings and we'd talk about it and it helped a lot. You know, you have to, you can't do things on your own. You need support groups to help you when problems come up. And we're not alone in this world. Only if we want to be. There's always a reason to have to get together with people who have the same things going on and it's very helpful.
Mason Funk: Oh, interesting. I want to make sure that we, that we covered some of the points.
Mason Funk: [00:46:00] You had mentioned the gay pride parade was the one you mentioned in San Francisco when you guys won an award. Okay. Okay. Whenever you're ready. Okay. So tell me about this.
Arlene Krantz: Well, I wanted to learn how to get on television. So I took this guy's program on how to get on television. And we came up with this gimmick, if you want to call it a gimmick, maybe not. But it was like, why would they want me to go on television? What am I going to talk about? So I came, we came up with, and I said, well, I'm bisexual.
Arlene Krantz: [00:46:30] Oh, that's it. You're going to be the bisexual grandmother, youre gonna talk about coming out. And it wasn't a time, that was a couple years ago. So it was a good time to do this. And I went on television, I was in Las Vegas, San Diego, Albuquerque, a couple other places, and I was on a segment in the morning show, and I would come on there and talk about coming out. It was just fun, you know? And it was like, and we, and I remember in Las Vegas, you know we were laughing cause I said, she said, well you know what things would you want to tell her?
Arlene Krantz: [00:47:00] I said, number one, never tell your parents, never tell your mother until she's had food in her stomach. Cause you never want to tell them anything. So we were laughing and then she said, you know I have, she said it's fun that we're laughing about it but its serious. I said, of course it is because you go through life who wants to not tell, share what's going on in your life with your family. If you can't share it, then you're always, you have to watch what you say. And if they come to your house, you have to hide things. I know my neighbor was like,
Arlene Krantz: [00:47:30] every time he had a friend come to want to stay with him, he shipped his boyfriend somewhere else. It's like, who wants to live like that? You know? So, so it was, that's what I did. And then I had an ebook, it's called Dare to Come Out, which I thought was a great title. And then I, and then I didn't do it anymore. Then I was done with that move on.
Mason Funk: How come you didn't do any anymore?
Arlene Krantz: Because I didn't want to be known as a bisexual grandmother. That's not how I want to go in this world. That's not my legacy. I have other things that I'm working on. So that's not one of them.
Mason Funk: [00:48:00] Right. Okay. Let me go back to our list of questions. We're doing good.
Arlene Krantz: I put my bisexual button on. I have all my buttons. I have a home. I couldn't believe I had them still.
Mason Funk: So I want to go back to the gay community, cause I certainly heard it last summer. So as I launched OUTWORDS, I would tell people, well, I'm interviewing people, lesbians, gay, bisexuals,
Mason Funk: [00:48:30] as I'm going out of my way to hear bisexuals. And I heard the comments, people would say, Oh, why don't they just make up their mind literally from within, from within the community. Why? Do you have any theories as to, I mean you mentioned people are nervous because they're afraid of losing their own identity, but I just want to kind of talk about that a bit more. In terms of the internal discrimination. Why is it so hard for us to embrace the B?
Arlene Krantz: They just don't want to accept that you can be bisexual, you have to be either straight,
Arlene Krantz: [00:49:00] or you have to be gay, which is shocking coming from a community that's coming, why can't they accept us? But they just don't. They don't. And the thing is about the bisexual community. You can, I can never be with a guy. I mean I could say I'm never going to be with the guy, but I might have fantasies about them. There was a study done at what it was, I forgot what the study was. It's not black and white. There's all these gray
Arlene Krantz: [00:49:30] and you could have fantasies about being with the guy, but you may never want to be with one. You may have fantasies about being with a woman, but you may never want to be with one. So this is, it's a huge range. It's not black and white. And what happens in the gay community, they make us black or white. You're either gay or you're straight. You can't be in the middle. Well, why? Because you just can't. You just make up your mind. Get off the damn fence already, you know? And they just don't understand it.
Mason Funk: [00:50:00] And what do you think, I know we're kind of going over this over and over again, but it's good stuff. What do you think it is that your average say gay or lesbian person? What don't they get about you?
Arlene Krantz: They don't understand that you can have that. You have feelings. I'll go with feelings for either man, a man or a woman. They think that because that all they know is that their feelings is for one thing,
Arlene Krantz: [00:50:30] lesbians for a woman or a gay guy for a guy, but they don't hear what I hear when I talked to gay people and lesbians and not so much lesbians. They're not, they don't open up as much about that. They've had, little affairs with guys. They really don't do. But the guys would tell me all the time, all the time. Oh yeah. If I found the woman I would, I get married and have kids and I could see myself, Oh, I was bisexual. Sure I had relationships with women,
Arlene Krantz: [00:51:00] but their community is what they don't want to break away from and that's why they can't accept. I believe that they can't accept who we are because we're too much of a threat to their community. It's too, they don't understand it and maybe if they understand that they don't want to accept it, they don't want to hear it. They don't want to accept it. When I came here,
Arlene Krantz: [00:51:30] I got active in the gay lesbian community in this gay, lesbian committed service center. I was very active in it. I was with another woman. We ran these silent auctions at the women's thing, but always, always identified myself as bisexual and I never had a problem. If I wanted a girlfriend, they didn't care. Truthfully. I tell them, look, I'm only with women, but I'm bisexual. I never, ever, ever, ever not said that, but it's just a threat to them.
Arlene Krantz: [00:52:00] They just can't, It's almost like, Oh my God, you were with a guy. You can't be in this room because we've not been with guys. Yeah, you've been with a man, I don't want you. Basically. So the women that have had their little affairs, they never talk about it. It's their secret. It's a big secret in the lesbian community, probably more than the gay community. But in the lesbian, its a big secret that they,
Arlene Krantz: [00:52:30] they've had these little affairs, but they would never in a million years, ever tell anybody.
Mason Funk: So how does it feel to be perceived as a threat within your own community?
Arlene Krantz: I didn't give a damn. Tell you the truth. I don't care what people's opinions are. I know who I am and what's important to me. And I'll fight for my rights. And if they don't accept me, oh well. you know. I did everything I was out there.
Arlene Krantz: [00:53:00] I'm still, anybody asks me, even even with my relationship for 25 years, being monogamous in this relationship, it was like, Oh, lesbian no, no, no, I'm bisexual. I'm always bisexual. I'm never a lesbian. I can't even relate to being. So why are you lesbians? Why aren't you bisexual?
Mason Funk: [00:53:30] Okay, let's talk about some people, or actually a couple of Lani questions she said I should ask you about. One was running a gay phone sex business.
Arlene Krantz: That Lani. I'm going to kill her. . It's my secret. I don't talk about it much, but
Mason Funk: Well you don't have to. But she said, I should ask you.
Arlene Krantz: I was working in retail in Macy's and I quit
Arlene Krantz: [00:54:00] and I happened to be in my apartment, North Beach, first time ever living alone in my life. And I was walking out to go look for a job in retail. And I heard on the radio about the phone sex. I said, well, I could do that because I was already involved in the San Francisco sex information hotline. So sex was no big deal. You know, what's the big deal? Sex. I was desensitized. So I thought, Oh, this will be cool. So I started and I had to get money and I did all these things to make it happen.
Mason Funk: [00:54:30] Like what kinds of things?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I also had, I found a couple of friends and I put together tapes for women. That was, what's the name of, I can't remember what my tapes were. So we did cassette tapes and we'd go to a studio and I sit with Autumn and we do a two girls sex tape. Just sit there, you know, with the mix and whatever and do that. Then I do a little SM one by myself,
Arlene Krantz: [00:55:00] then I get this one to come in and do it. So then we got guys, and then I do it for guys. I do women. I actually, I do women for women and women for men. I can't remember what it's called. It's killing me. So I did that and I went to a women's film, not the film for the music festival, selling my tapes. And they would say, Oh, I'm not interested. And they said, don't you have sex? What's like, what's the big deal?
Arlene Krantz: [00:55:30] It's the only country in the world where were like this instead of being open about sex, kind of interesting. But then it became bigger and I got involved in 800 from eight, nine, seven, six. And I take the guys to the studio and I'd be behind the screen, behind the glass and Id, okay, this is what I want. And I, with my hands, tell them what I want, which I'm not going to do at the moment and we would make these tapes.
Arlene Krantz: [00:56:00] In those days it was all recorded. So I sit there and I edit them and it was no big deal to me. Sex is sex, what the hell? It's a God given gift and why do we make such a big deal out of it? Perfect.
Mason Funk: So you grew this into a pretty successful big business. How big?
Arlene Krantz: It was a multimillion dollar business, They enjoyed the fruits of my labor. But I even got an, and you know it's interesting,
Arlene Krantz: [00:56:30] I gave a talk two years ago at the West Hollywood women's conference and I said something about that I had a business. I didn't say what it was, I didn't want to get into it. And at the end they sent me questions and a woman said what was your business? I went, Oh, I guess I have to say it. So I said, she said you helped my friends a lot because a lot of women could sit home while they're with their family cooking dinner and with the kids and talk dirty and they got paid. They didn't have to go out, it helped women make money
Arlene Krantz: [00:57:00] and it kept men off the streets as far as I'm concerned. So I felt I was doing I was doing a good thing. I never thought of it as bad. We never, we didn't talk about kids, we didn't get there, you know, but certain things that were taboo, but I figured what the hell, why not?
Mason Funk: I had a friend who moved to San Francisco like in the mid eighties and that's how she supported herself.
Arlene Krantz: Yeah. A lot of people did and I got my friends in the beginning, come on, I'm going to do this phone sex business. And I got this woman that lived in the South Bay,
Arlene Krantz: [00:57:30] you know, Fremont. Okay, come on. And I tell her what to say and we plan it out and then we got, you know, and then I wanted to do the gay one. So we started out with 976-ROD-RODS was my first one.. 976-ROD-RODS. And I would go around and I would make matches with it on there and I travel around and I would give out cards and I went to Chicago and New York and LA, doing all this stuff and it was fun.
Mason Funk: [00:58:00] Wow. That's awesome.
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, it was a fun thing and it was, you know, it was a good time. It was fun. I was a pioneer in that. So I look at myself as a pioneer, as a pioneer. I was one of the first people in the phone sex industry, and then there was the first one. And Bi-Pole was a pioneer in the bisexual community. So it's why not? Yeah, it's a lot of, if I look back at people say you should write a book.
Arlene Krantz: [00:58:30] I'm like, Oh my God, if I had to write a book, I worked three days a week to make money and four days a week to write a business plan and I went to a bank, I went to the bank with my business plan and she said, what do you know? She says, Oh, I love your business plan. I said, you know, and she said, well, I would get,
Mason Funk: Sorry, hold that thought. Don't lose that. I just, it got too loud.
Arlene Krantz: That's why he came to LA.
Mason Funk: [00:59:00] I'm going to have you back up. I'm gonna have you say, I wrote a business plan, but just hold that thought.
Arlene Krantz: So when I did, because I needed money. I had no money, I had nothing. I had a boyfriend would help pay for my rent. I would get credit cards just in the nick of time that I needed money. I would eat popcorn for dinner. I would call up my friends and say, Hey Ted, you want to take me out to dinner because I have no money. Sure, I'd invite people over for the spaghetti.
Arlene Krantz: [00:59:30] Cause I couldn't afford the meatballs and maybe I would have the garlic bread with it. But that was it. I had no money. I was, but I had a job. I was determined to do this. And I call him uncle Kenny, lent me $5,000 I found some guy in San Jose, cause I asked around, anybody know anybody that has money? So they show me this guy. I brought him to San Francisco, I took him to Broadway and I took him to strip joints and I said this is what my business is.
Arlene Krantz: [01:00:00] Do you have a problem with that? I said, no, heres the check. And I think because we were bisexual, I think that we were more open to our sexuality because of all the crap that we got from everybody else. We were not, I'm not saying everybody's like that, but we were those days, that particular time people were more open to it and it was great because
Arlene Krantz: [01:00:30] San Francisco sex information hotline was in the, it's, I think it's still happening. It's amazing organization because they would take each subject, bisexual, gay, lesbian, SM, whatever. And they go through all the subjects and they would have a panel of, people would talk about it. Then they would show you videos of what was going on to desensitize you and then you would meet in groups and talk about it.
Arlene Krantz: [01:01:00] And that helped me with my own sexuality and about loving my body because I didn't love it so much in those days, you know, with being married and not feeling good about myself at times. But it kind of opened me up and I'll never forget, they did a thing of how they must have had about, Oh my God, probably about 30 cameras lined up showing porn to desensitize you, right? At first you're like, Oh my God, look at that. Look at that.
Arlene Krantz: [01:01:30] Oh wow, look what they're all doing. And then you're like, Oh, okay. Well I like what that one then isn't it over yet. And that's how they'd be desensitized. You sit across from each other and say the worst words you can think of to desensitize you. So it was great. And I think that community helped us a lot for those of us in the bisexual community, because again, as I mentioned, most of the people in there were bisexual and if they weren't, we were accepted anyhow. So it was, it was a good community to be involved in. Yeah.
Mason Funk: [01:02:00] So take us back to the bank where you took your business plan.
Arlene Krantz: So I'm sitting there writing this business plan. I'm like, I went to a lawyer, I go to thankful a lot. I'm writing this business plan. I read to NOLA press has a thing on how to do a business plan. And I did my MBA and I'm doing all my research and I've done all this things 10 years out of my butt, whatever. And I went to a bank and I walked in the bank,
Arlene Krantz: [01:02:30] it was a woman that was the manager. So I sat down with her, I said I have this business planner, this is what it is. I said, it's up and coming industry, it's going to be very big, very business like. Cause I was already in the business world, in retail. And she said to me, well do you have any assets? I said, no I don't have anything. She said I would give you the money if you had some. She says I would give it to you but you have nothing. If something doesn't, you know, we lose our money. What are we going to get from you?
Arlene Krantz: [01:03:00] I'm nothing. So I didn't get it but I went, I did it. I tried, it's interesting cause I would go up to a friend and I say, can you lend me a thousand dollars I'll give you 20% interest and people say 20% I said, I don't care what the thousand dollars I said and I will, and I wrote out a note that said, if I don't have the the whole thousand dollars I will continue to pay you interest. So that's what I did.
Arlene Krantz: [01:03:30] I got a thousand here to here, whatever I needed to keep it going and to get the money to make this business.
Mason Funk: So how did that cause you to move to Los Angeles?
Arlene Krantz: Well, what happened is that they started an 800 business, became one 800 and 800 I came to LA because I signed up with this company and the guy that ran the company had a boyfriend and she said, Oh, you two should meet and start the business together.
Arlene Krantz: [01:04:00] So I was, I had no intentions to move in to LA. I was not an LA person. I was a San Francisco girl. So when he sat and they said, and I realized what happened is that I lived in the fourth floor walkup in North beach. It was the best 10 years of my life. I had no television. Of course I knew when I left my husband, if I had, television that would kill me. I'd never leave. I got involved in the blues community, I go to blues things and it was really my coming out. I'd never go to a restaurant by myself,
Arlene Krantz: [01:04:30] never went to a movie by myself. So it was my coming out as Arlene, not just the bisexual, but Arlene as a person. So we went to, I forgot what I was, what was I saying?
Mason Funk: You were talking about eventually. Oh, that's fine.
Arlene Krantz: Moment there. Just went away. Knock that out of here. So I talked to this guy and I flew to LA and we chatted
Arlene Krantz: [01:05:00] and all of a sudden I was living in this fabulous fourth floor walk off with the most fabulous place. And my landlady wanted to take over my unit cause she had the one next to me. I live right on the cable car line. It was the most wonderful 10 years of my life and I had to move and I started going with my daughter, looking around, looking at the place, she says, mom she keeps saying, you have to move to LA. I said, well, I guess I have to move to LA. So I moved to LA. I had no money. I brought my bed and boxes,
Arlene Krantz: [01:05:30] that's all I could afford. And I got a cheapy little apartment and then the business took off. So that's, I moved here for the business. I then moved here because I wanted to, I moved here for the business.
Mason Funk: Why did you have to move to LA?
Arlene Krantz: Because we were setting it up here and the company that we were involved with was here and he lived here and I said, let's just go and do it. And so that's why I moved to LA and then I got involved in the gay community because it wasn't really a bisexual community here.
Mason Funk: [01:06:00] What year was that again when you moved here? LA?
Arlene Krantz: I think I moved in LA in 89, 88 something like around there.
Mason Funk: Now. Radical change of topic here. But another question Lani had told me I had to ask you about was related to your rabbi saying the words gay, lesbian, bisexual out loud.
Arlene Krantz: Okay. I'll tell you this story, the way Sally met Ted. We were,
Arlene Krantz: [01:06:30] it was a Castro Street Fair, it was a Castro street, had this fair and we decided that we were setting up a bisexual booth, a table with our signs and everything. And a couple tables away from us was a gay synagogue. So we start, David and I, who's Jewish and I was Jewish. And we went over and started chatting with him and tell us about it. And they said, well, we meet here. And I said, David, let's go. And we told them we were at the bisexual, bisexual and whatever,
Arlene Krantz: [01:07:00] and we went to synagogue on a Friday night and we sat in the back way in the back because we were like too nervous, I think to move up front. We all bisexuals sat in the back. It was David, myself and David's wife and maybe a couple other people. We sat in the back row and because we had told them we were bisexual, the rabbi got up and said something like and gay, lesbian and bisexual and we almost fall off a chair. So we became active in this synagogue. Wherever people accepted us, we became active
Arlene Krantz: [01:07:30] and we did a lot in the synagogue. I mean David and I did a lot and it was great and nobody ever looked at us any different. We were just part of the community. We didn't have to explain who we were, we were just part of it and they put and bisexual on there. Yeah.
Mason Funk: So it was the simple fact that he said gay, lesbian, bisexual, that
Arlene Krantz: e felt accepted cause normally nobody was doing that and they
Mason Funk: I just want to say something.
Mason Funk: [01:08:00] Sure.
Speaker 3: Oh okay. Because I was active in that synagogue and basically it was put into the board and to the bylaws in terms of recognizing,it was voted. Yeah.
Mason Funk: Okay sir. Thank you for that.
Arlene Krantz: I'll say that, so what happened that we came up to him and said, thank you so much. This is great, we would like to be part of this. And because of that they put us in the bylaws that now became the gay,
Arlene Krantz: [01:08:30] lesbian, bisexual synagogue and that was a big thing for us and we were very active with it. We would have, I started the Passover dinners, we still listen to Passover. We did chicken, was it a real meals on wheels? There was project chicken soup. So we were very active in it cause once we were accepted, why wouldn't we want to be part of it? But we never told them. I mean again we were just there, we were part of everything.
Mason Funk: [01:09:00] You know, I have this strange theory not being a Jew myself that for some reason the Jew, Jews in general are more relaxed about sex. It's a generalization on myths.
Arlene Krantz: I don't know who you're talking to.
Mason Funk: One of my super like uptight white, straight up, white women friends from Arkansas is engaged to a Jewish guy and she said his family is so much, this is a total tangent, but she just said that his family is so much more down to earth about sex. They're not all uptight. She comes from the super uptight Christian family where you didn't even dare to say the word.
Mason Funk: [01:09:30] Is that just so that that doesn't resonate with you? Okay. I think it depends. It depends. It's just like everything else. Okay. Scratch that. Scratch that. I was hoping that I'd struck, nevermind. All right. Back to my list of questions. The other question, I guess I've heard that too, including my friend. That's a whole other story. But how like in a weird way,
Mason Funk: [01:10:00] did being bisexual and getting comfortable with that, you know, for yourself, did that affect your sense of your identification with the Jewish religion, your name or your identity? No. Okay.
Arlene Krantz: No, I'm kind of a different kind of person I think from probably from a lot of your interviews about that. I just figure I am who I am and I do what I can to be out there to support, you know, our groups I went to,
Arlene Krantz: [01:10:30] was it last year or two years ago? We went to Washington that they had this, I don't know if Lani told you, we had this thing in Washington that Obama had us, if we were a hundred of us, the bisexual community that talked about what the white house was going to do to help us. That was wonderful to go do that. But since I find that I just lived my life, you know, I'll be interesting cause now I'm single.
Arlene Krantz: [01:11:00] There's no, I'm not looking at the bisexual community. I figured whoever comes along comes along and if they, if they like me, it doesn't matter what I am, but I always identify as bisexual. I will never, not till the day I die.
Mason Funk: Let's talk about some people that you had listed for me. One of them of course is David, but talk about him in terms of what he represented to you as a pioneer. How did you meet him and where was he in his life and how did he act as a role model for you? David Laurier,
Arlene Krantz: [01:11:30] I met him when I first went to the bisexual center. David Laurier ran the bisexual center on San Francisco and I went to a meeting. I went there to see what it was about. And he and I met and we just major connection, both Jewish, both from Philadelphia, spoke the same language, it was really wonderful. We would go, he would have parties at his house, he lived upstairs and the bisexual center was downstairs.
Arlene Krantz: [01:12:00] So that's, you know, we had all kinds of things and he just, he was out there too and the community and he opened up, it opened up a world for me that that's really how I came out in the bisexual community. That was my coming out.
Mason Funk: And was he older than you or your peers?
Arlene Krantz: No, hes younger than me.
Mason Funk: Oh really? Oh wow. Yeah,
Arlene Krantz: Not that much. Maybe 10 years or 15 years, but that's not a lot.
Mason Funk: [01:12:30] Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I don't know if for some reason I thought since he's your mentor.
Arlene Krantz: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. But we just had a huge connection.
Mason Funk: And so how had he worked out his own bisexuality? Like how had he come to the place where he knew he was, where he was comfortable being openly bisexual?
Arlene Krantz: I think David had always been comfortable being open about his sexuality. He was just that kind of guy, you know, he was active all over the place and he was the most loved person.
Arlene Krantz: [01:13:00] There was something about him that people were drawn to him, gay, straight, Bi. It didn't matter. They were drawn to him. He just had that kind of personality. And he was a teacher. He taught little kids and people loved him. He was that. And people were, everybody was drawn to David, no matter who they were. He was a wonderful person, you know, and he opened up a lot of doors for the bisexual community cause out there. And he went on television
Arlene Krantz: [01:13:30] and he was interviewed and he was all over the place. And so he would always go speak about being bisexual. So he was one of the major pioneers because also Maggie Rubenstein, David and Maggie and a couple other people, they were the ones that really were started that whole bisexual movement in San Francisco.
Mason Funk: Great. Now let's talk about Lani. Who was Lani Ka'ahumanu and start and say her full name please.
Arlene Krantz: [01:14:00] Lani Ka'ahumanu took me forever to learn to say her name, Ka'ahumanu. Finally I got it. But she was part, you know, got involved, came to the bisexual center and then it was involved. Let's do this. Then Alan came and then the Bi-Pole. I think the Bi-Pole was really the start of my really getting to know Lani before that. It was a little bit, but not really that much because she was having a relationship with the guy.
Arlene Krantz: [01:14:30] So a bisexual center was perfect for her, but I met her really through Bi-Pole. That's where we got involved and with all our meetings and to get togethers, let's do this, let's do that. And that that was really, and it wasn't for a long time, but it was for a great time. It was great.
Mason Funk: And how would you describe her to someone who doesn't know Lani?
Arlene Krantz: How do I describe her? She's a wonderful person. Lani's a wonderful person.
Arlene Krantz: [01:15:00] She comes from her heart, which is important. She'll fight for her rights. No, she's a big activist. As I mentioned about when we were doing this thing about the Bohemian Grove that the Bohemian Grove, for people that don't know is a place where, it's this huge place in the woods, you don't even know it's there.
Arlene Krantz: [01:15:30] And heads of states and heads of corporations and they go there every year and they plan our future. They plan what we're going to be doing, what's going to happen in our world. And what they would do is bring prostitutes there. And we went there. It was my first political thing I ever did in my life. And I said, okay, I'm going to go do this. And we went to Russian River and we were picketing in front and their cars could go through to say, this wasn't right to treat women this way. That's the part we were upset about.
Arlene Krantz: [01:16:00] We didn't know how much was going on behind there, the doors, but we thought that wasn't a good thing to do to bring in prostitutes there. So that's really another way that I had met Lani and learned about her and she was one of the people that got arrested. So she stood up for, she stands up for her rights and she always has all the time. I've known her and she's a really terrific person.
Mason Funk: Yeah, I agree. She's been super helpful.
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, and we had t-shirts, Lani Ka'ahumanu for vice-president.
Arlene Krantz: [01:16:30] That was, that was so much fun, you know, getting her out there and trying to get her on the platform.
Mason Funk: What does it mean that you've been saying to try together on the platform for someone who doesn't know how a convention operates, explain to me what it meant that you were trying to get Lani on the platform. So say at the Democratic National Convention in 1984 okay.
Arlene Krantz: At the Democratic Convention in 1984 we wanted to get Lani Ka'ahumanu on this stage to talk about diversity,
Arlene Krantz: [01:17:00] whether it was bi sex or sexuality. She was part Hawaiian. It was talking about just diversity and the only way you could get somebody to get on the platform is if you gathered enough signatures from the delegates from the Democratic Convention. So that's what we did. We took around, we had tons of sheets of paper, we got everybody, hardly anybody said no. As we were walking through the hallways after the Democratic convention at the hotels,
Arlene Krantz: [01:17:30] wherever we could find anybody, and they signed it and we had enough. But when we went to the Democratic headquarters, they said, Oh no, you didn't have enough. And we were sitting there going through and counting them out to say, yes, we did, but we didn't get it. So it was a big disappointment. We wanted her on that platform and she was the perfect person.
Mason Funk: Huh. Okay, great. Tell me about Autumn Courtney.
Arlene Krantz: Well, Autumn is also one of the founders of Bi-Pole. She was also active.
Arlene Krantz: [01:18:00] Autumn Courtney was met her through the bisexual center. Everybody we met was through the bisexual center. It was like that. The place that we would go to, was a to to place. And Autumn also came along and it was like, well, let's get Autumn, myself, Lani's boyfriend, forgot his name at the moment, Lani, Alan Brockway and his friend, I forgot to say. So there was six of us that became Bi-Pole and Autumn was one of us.
Arlene Krantz: [01:18:30] And Autumn was also active in the lesbian community as a bisexual that she would get on panels and they would interview her. So she also came from that place, but she also married a guy she ended up marrying and she moved to some state, I don't know, I forget where the heck she is, but, so she was very active too. We were all active. The bisexual community, Lani, myself,
Arlene Krantz: [01:19:00] Allen, Autumn, we were all out there working to get ourselves out there. You can't do that sound.
Mason Funk: Can you hear it? No worries. What was Autumn like as a person?
Arlene Krantz: Oh, we loved her. I mean, we all were in love with each other. We all, because we were all coming from that same place. I can't say anything bad about anybody. Nothing.
Arlene Krantz: [01:19:30] We all came from, we're all different. I was very corporate. I was coming from working in retail. I was almost one step from being a buyer at Macy's. So I was in that corporate world and I was very, let's make money. Let's have that booth when they come through, you know, walking down at the Democratic Convention as they come up and here's the bisexual booth selling, waters and sodas and popcorn or whatever we were selling. So I was that kind of person. I was like looking, how can we make money to help,
Arlene Krantz: [01:20:00] you know? Autumn was all about social justice. And so as Lani and Alan came from a place of already doing this political stuff, so we all were different, but we all have the same goal in line. So we came together. It was really good.
Mason Funk: Gotcha. Great. Okay. We're actually getting close to being done. What, where do you think we're at now with regard to bisexual visibility and acceptance?
Arlene Krantz: [01:20:30] We're so, I mean, the bisexual community is still out there trying to get rights, trying to be visible. And I really have to truthfully say it doesn't change much. Even when we get together, we talk, it's still really tough. People just don't get it. Leaders of the bisexual community are married. How can you be bisexual?
Arlene Krantz: [01:21:00] You have a husband and a kid, you know? It's like, well, what does that have to do with where our head is? It's our head, in our heart. It's always a struggle. I don't, I have to say, I don't know if it'll ever really change that much. It's like one person at a time, but there's still so much resistance, you know? And even though bisexual was, even though bisexual,
Arlene Krantz: [01:21:30] the center here is gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgender and queer and whatever, there's still like, people can get queer, people can get transgender, people can get gay and lesbian. They still don't get bisexual. They just don't get it. And I don't know how you get them to, to maybe if they have friends that are more bisexual that come out as bisexual, then they're more understanding of it. And now that a lot of stars are coming out,
Arlene Krantz: [01:22:00] movie stars are coming out. Well I'm bisexual. It's like, Oh bisexual. And all of a sudden more people are coming out, but it doesn't change. I don't believe that it changes how they feel about it. I just don't believe it. You know? It's like, Oh, she came out, you know, Lady Gaga, I don't know if it wasn't, it just came out bisexual. Somebody came in. Well she'll change her mind. She'll become a lesbian or she'll become straight.
Arlene Krantz: [01:22:30] She'll never stay where she is because where is she? She's in the middle and they look at it as kind of no man's land. No, you have to be either way. And they don't get, and I say they, the copulation, the gay community, the lesbian community and the straight community. I think that, I think the straight men probably get it more than anybody because all they think about us having threesomes. Most of them, which involves two women and a guy
Arlene Krantz: [01:23:00] so they could get the bisexual. But the gay community, it's a fight. It's always a battle.
Mason Funk: Do you ever at times wonder why they even have the B in the LGBTQ acronym for that? So in your opinion, even if you're not really recognized as you'd want to be and don't have the visibility, you would still rather have it be there than not have it?
Arlene Krantz: [01:23:30] Oh hell yeah. Yeah, because you also see now if you look at the, they send out a CA magazine, they just got it. It tells you what's going on with rap groups, I think. And now it's for lesbian and gay women. So they're pointing, they're doing a lot to get it out there. But when you talk to people one on one, that's where you hear the stuff that they don't accept that a hundred percent. They see it, but then they, there's always, so youre bisexual. I don't know about that.
Arlene Krantz: [01:24:00] What does that mean? Well, you know, the truth of it is we don't, for me, I don't look at if it's a male or female, I just look at it. If somebody comes in my life that I love or perform love with a girl or guy, that doesn't matter to me. And it's hard for them to understand that.
Speaker 5: Hmm.
Arlene Krantz: I mean, right now I'm more into women. I'm not into guys right now. So women will tend to think,
Arlene Krantz: [01:24:30] Oh, you've become a lesbian. No, I'm still bisexual. That's what I choose to label myself as, you know. But they'll look at me as like, Oh, she's a lesbian. She's just not telling us.
Mason Funk: Do you have any regrets?
Arlene Krantz: Nope. I think, well, I take that back. I think my only regret is that
Arlene Krantz: [01:25:00] I didn't do it earlier. And I think one of the things that, I don't say it's a regret, but I would have loved to been more active politically. You know, I was so much in San Francisco and I think about all the years before and stuff, and I wish I had done that. But it's not, it's certainly not a regret. No, I don't, I don't, there's nothing I would have done differently. Maybe be more active or whatever. But we were very active.
Mason Funk: [01:25:30] Kate you do you have any questions?
Kate Kunath: No, I don't. Okay.
Arlene Krantz: Get me why I'm here.
Kate Kunath: I have a lot, but it's its own documentary, complete documentary, which maybe well revisit someday.
Arlene Krantz: I'd be thrilled to.
Mason Funk: Okay. Alright. So I have a final four questions. I ask every interview.
Mason Funk: [01:26:00] And interestingly, about a year ago I was working on a TV show and one of my co-producers who really was like 25, 46, she came up to me and she very quietly came out to me as bisexual. Wonderful. o my question to you is, for someone who is contemplating coming out to their family or to their coworkers, whoever it might be, what advice do you give someone who's read on that on the precedent?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I'll give you advice that I did on television. Number one, don't make a big deal out of it.
Arlene Krantz: [01:26:30] Don't make it a Elton John production. You don't need that. You just need to find a quiet place that you feel comfortable in. Don't ever tell your parents until they've had some to eat and you can laugh at that, but it's very true. You don't, especially women, you never tell a woman your mother, your grandma, until they've had food in their belly. Then they can listen. Otherwise, all they think about is I want to eat. And you don't need to do something like what Ellen DeGeneres did.
Arlene Krantz: [01:27:00] Ellen DeGeneres came out in front of thousands of, millions of people. You don't need to do that. You need to find a place that's quiet, that you feel comfortable and that you feel good about yourself and you should come out because you want to feel good about yourself. You just don't come out just to make the announcement is to come out and say, this is who I am and this is who I've always been and I want to share my life with you and let me know
Arlene Krantz: [01:27:30] if you're okay about hearing things. Some people already have a relationship. I just want you to know that I have a relationship. Be as a woman with a, with a woman, and just to let you know that this is going on and I don't want to hide it from you cause you're my parents. You're my family, my sibling, whatever. And I don't want to keep my life a secret and you have to let me know if you're okay about it. That's why you want to pick a place that, their house,
Arlene Krantz: [01:28:00] your house, no restaurants. Please don't go to a restaurant cause you don't know how they're going to act. You don't know what the response is going to be. So you have to be in a place that's quiet and picket that place. And it's important to do it that way. You know? And then whatever happens and be accepting and I should say, be understanding. They may not accept you, but you came out and you don't need to bring it up again. If they're not accepting
Arlene Krantz: [01:28:30] that you did it for yourself, not for them. It has nothing to do with them. It has to do for yourself that you came out and you said, this is who I am. Instead of being in a closet and never talking about who you are, if you don't have a voice and who you are, I mean your parents, you are from the time you were little, they took care of you and you grew up and then you became this person and you're an adult now, don't you think your family wants to know about you,
Arlene Krantz: [01:29:00] but again they're not always going to be accepting. It could be that I don't want to hear it. Like my mother said, that's the part I don't like bisexual activists so we never talked about it again. But I came out so I could be who I am. If I brought somebody that home, I am my father. I said, Dad stop joking around with her now, because he got a little obnoxious there.
Arlene Krantz: [01:29:30] But you know what? They accepted her. They loved her and I just never brought it up again. But who wants to go through your whole life in a closet and never talking about yourself? You have to worry, you know, who wants to be like my neighbor, who wants to have somebody in your life and your parents come and you have to tell your boyfriend and your girlfriend, hey, you have to go somewhere else. You can't be here. Cause my parents are, I don't mind anybody who wants to live like that and it's painful. It's very painful.
Arlene Krantz: [01:30:00] I don't want to be in pain about that. I'll be in pain about all the things, but certainly not about that. So it's important that if you're going to take that jump, take the jump into it, you won't be sorry you did it. You may not be happy with the results, but it doesn't matter. And then again, you could be like my aunt, my aunt Jean who said, isn't that wonderful? When I told her I was living with a woman. So you don't know.
Arlene Krantz: [01:30:30] And it's interesting from people that I know, that have come out, the grandparents have been more accepting than the parents, which is kind of wild. You would think, Oh my God, they would never be accepting. But oh my grandmother, she doesn't care. She's so happy that I'm a happy person, but my mother, I can't talk about it to her. So you don't know how someone's going to act. So be prepared and do it in a way that is gentle.
Arlene Krantz: [01:31:00] Be gentle with them, you know? And again, it may not be what you want, but you do it for yourself. This is not about them. This is about you.
Mason Funk: Great. Great. Okay. What is your hope for the future?
Arlene Krantz: What is my hope for the future around the bisexual community?
Mason Funk: Uh, whatever you want.
Arlene Krantz: Well, I always wanted somebody in my family to be gay, but that would be the coolest thing.
Arlene Krantz: [01:31:30] Didn't happen. Even though I have a cousin that she tells me she's not, she is. But I would just, the future, I would love to see people accepting of everybody. It doesn't matter what color you are, what your sexual orientation is, your age, your anything, what you look like, anything. It'd be so nice if people could just accept everybody then there wouldn't be wars. You know, it's a very sad time right now because going backwards
Arlene Krantz: [01:32:00] and all the rights that the gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgender community has fought for is being taken away from us right now. So it's a very, very sad time. And if we don't stand up and speak for ourselves and demand what we deserve, it's a very sad time. So my hope is that it changes and people will be understanding. I don't know. I don't know.
Arlene Krantz: [01:32:30] It's kind of, it's really sad, a lot of us are sad. No. Look where we came to. Gay marriage has accepted, people are getting married, they're having children adopting kids and you know, being accepted and why these countries, Spain, Catholic country, you can get married in Spain, you can get married in, a lot of countries are here but here man, I don't know what it is. And we are such an open country,
Arlene Krantz: [01:33:00] come to America, the home of the free, really free in chains. So I, my hope is that people will unite to change what's going on right now because if we don't unite, I don't know what to say. What's going to happen and I don't want to get into politics by a couple of things. You don't talk about religion and politics. Stay away from that.
Mason Funk: [01:33:30] Why is it important to you personally to tell your story? She was telling me to not say it.
Arlene Krantz: Yeah, you can't say uhms and the,
Mason Funk: Why is it important for you to tell your story? Just hold for the plane. But my question is why is it important for you to tell your story? [inaudible]
Arlene Krantz: [01:34:00] I still have my lipstick on? So about my lipstick. And it's funny because my father's sister passed away and my cousin told me that when she was in a coffin they had all her tubes of lipstick with her, that she was never without lipstick. I said, now I know who I take after. She would, even in the hospital, always had her lipstick with her. That's funny. Never know it.
Mason Funk: [01:34:30] Okay. So why is it important to you to tell your story?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I think we have to leave a legacy behind. It's not just Arlene Krantz mom, grandma, mom. I mean we have histories, things that we've done and isn't it fun, and isn't it exciting to share the things that we've done? I mean,
Arlene Krantz: [01:35:00] I have a lot of years behind me here and I have a lot of years ahead of me. So to me it's important that someday my grandkids would look at this and say, I didn't realize that grandma was like that. They might be totally shocked. It's okay. So I have a story to tell. We all have stories to tell and if we don't tell our stories, how is anybody ever going to know who we are? We're just a person standing there with,
Arlene Krantz: [01:35:30] how do you know? So stories are important and this is a good story. This is good that you're doing this, especially for those of us from the beginning of the bisexual movement and for all the years that we've been out there, the stories are very important. I mean, in my business it's about women telling their stories because if you don't tell your story, then no one ever knows who you are. They don't know what goes on in your brain, what goes on in your heart,
Arlene Krantz: [01:36:00] what goes on in your soul, if you don't tell your stories. And I think it's becoming big right now. People are realizing they have to tell the story cause I'm a mentor business mentor. And why would anybody would hire me if they don't know where I came from? It was like how did they relate to you? How can people relate to you if they don't know your story? Because they can say, Oh my God, I was that person. I went through exactly what she went through.
Arlene Krantz: [01:36:30] I'm so glad I'm not alone. And that's another thing a story does. It says that you're not alone. Somebody else has gone through what you've gone through. So stories are very important.
Mason Funk: That's great. That's great. And my last question is kind of going to be a little bit of a retread of that one, but it's specifically about OUTWORDS and what in your opinion is the importance of a project like OUTWORDS?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I think OUTWORDS is our history.
Arlene Krantz: [01:37:00] When I went to Washington, there were a few of us that have history. Most of them were young. They had no idea where we came from and we've talked about it a little bit. They were like, Oh my God. The one of the people that were out there in the beginning, the beginning of the bisexual movement, and that's what this OUTWORDS is doing. It's saying that we have history because if you lose your history, then what have you got?
Arlene Krantz: [01:37:30] You need to know where people have come from to where they are now, so if it shows that the bisexual community started here and we fought for all these years, I'd like it that these young people would say, wow, isn't that amazing that that's what they did then. I felt we were just starting this now and they can go back and say, wow, there's a history book. The same thing when you, and it's a history of our sexuality,
Arlene Krantz: [01:38:00] which is always big out there. We're always talking about our sexualities gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender is become the thing. Everyone's talking in a transgender and and not even having a sexuality and being this, and everybody's coming out with all these new ways that they identify with so they can go back. It's there for them to go back and say, why don't you go back and look at the beginning and see what happened.
Arlene Krantz: [01:38:30] So that to me was why this was interesting. It's like the same thing as like the Holocaust. They're going back to tell stories. If you don't tell stories, you lose that. There's nobody to say. I mean if there's nobody to say, this is what happened in the bisexual movement, how is anybody going to ever know? So that's why this is important that you're doing this work. Anything that does this to look at history.
Arlene Krantz: [01:39:00] And so now you have it. You have video. Because video has become so big now. Everything is on video, right? So you have video and it, and people can go, Oh my God, look what I can't believe she did that. Wow. She came out to her family like that or however, whatever they're going to think about it. Imagine at the democratic convention, getting delegates to sign so that Lani could go and say, wow, I didn't know that they did that. I thought it was just us now doing this. So history is important,
Arlene Krantz: [01:39:30] especially for movements. The history of movements is really important so people can understand where we came from. So that's why I'm so happy that you're here and I can get to be part of it.
Mason Funk: That's fantastic. That's great. Anything that we haven't covered that you, I mean, I know
Arlene Krantz: I got 77 years of thinking what you haven't covered. Let me think a minute here. Oh yeah. Yay.
Mason Funk: I mean, I think we've covered a lot, so I feel pretty good about it.
Arlene Krantz: [01:40:00] Yeah, I don't, I don't know.
Mason Funk: And anything from your perspective that, that you know about Arlene that we haven't talked about,
you sound inspired. I said it sounds very inspired, you know, maybe that's a question. Like what inspires? Yeah, what do you -
Arlene Krantz: ...really, let's do it. Camera roll on there. Alright.
Mason Funk: [01:40:30] I was curious to know. Yeah. What inspires you or who would you say has inspired you?
Arlene Krantz: Well, I'd like to say I'd like to be an inspiration. I like to be an inspiration for my grandkids. I'd like to be an inspiration for my daughters. I like to be an inspiration for all the people, all these young people that are coming up in the world. No, it's important to be an inspiration. You know, who inspires you in your life to get out there?
Arlene Krantz: [01:41:00] Who do you, who inspires you? Oprah inspires women, look where she came from. Look where she is now. You know, you have so many people out there, Mother Teresa. Well, why not Arlene Krantz as an inspiration. Right.
Mason Funk: Awesome. That's a great way to finish. Why not
Arlene Krantz: I'm up there with Mother Teresa. What the hell?
Mason Funk: [01:41:30] Let this record, we're going to record what's called room tone, which is the sound of this room. Okay.
Arlene Krantz: How was the sound? Okay. Except for all that nonsense.
Mason Funk: So we'll record just for a couple of 30 seconds.
Arlene Krantz: Okay. It's quiet now. Where's my button? Oh, put my button on it.
Mason Funk: Okay. Room tone. Okay.
Arlene Krantz: What does that mean? That means we have to be quiet for a few minutes here.
Mason Funk [01:42:00] Yeah. Okay.
Speaker It's interesting about the synagogue because I was going to bring that up.
Arlene Krantz: [01:42:30] I forgot that they did that.

Interviewed by: Mason Funk
Camera: Kate Kunath
Date: April 03, 2017
Location: Home of Arlene Krantz, West Hollywood, CA