In the 70s and 80s, gay men from Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Baltimore would vacation on Delaware’s beaches. Rehoboth, with gay-accented bars like The Renegade and an entire section of its beach unofficially claimed by queer vacationers, quickly became a favorite. Men danced disco until the wee hours of the morning, experienced the tragedy of HIV/AIDS, and mobilized around a hate crime in the 1990s to fight for legal protections.
In this week’s piece – you’ll hear the voices of Steve Elkins, Max Dick, and Bob Hoffer from CAMP Rehoboth – which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The CAMP stands for Create a More Positive Rehoboth.
The three men, each with his own experience, represent different facets of the gay, male Rehoboth experience. Elkins was a staffer at the Carter White House — “sort of closeted” at meetings and on Capitol Hill— whereas Hoffer taught school in a rural town in Pennsylvania and constantly worried that his identity would be discovered and that he could lose his job.