1950's Feed

Learning About Gay Life Before Stonewall

SageSAGE is a social welfare organization that looks after the needs of elderly gay men and lesbians.  In the summer of 1985, when I was 28, I volunteered for its Friendly Visitor program, which matches volunteers with a SAGE client for weekly visits - to talk, do light errands or have a meal together.  My client was 75-year-old Jim Chesbro, who lived on East 21st St.  He grew up in Albany and was in the Merchant Marines where he was involved in resettling European refugees after World War II.  Like Sammy Davis Jr., he lost an eye in a car accident when he was in his 20s.  His voice reminded me somewhat of Truman Capote's.  Every other week I'd visit with Jim after work for an hour or so.  Besides being gay we were also both Mets fans.  

 

My visits proved beneficial for both of us.  Over a cocktail or a glass of wine he'd tell me stories about his life in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, and I enjoyed getting a first-hand history lesson about what gay life was like back then.  In some respects Jim was the grandfather (s) I never had.  He told me that in Albany everyone in his gay circle had an assigned woman's name (his was Laura) and he'd go to house parties where everyone changed into drag upon arriving.  And in Cherry Grove of the 1950s there was no electricity so dinner parties were held by candlelight and guests often wore tuxes.

 

Albany.ny

 

Occasionally we'd eat at his favorite Chinese restaurant, and he insisted on paying.  He also gave me cash gifts at Christmas, Easter and on my birthday - which was against SAGE regulations.  For Thanksgiving 1985 I made a pumpkin pie for him and we went to dinner at The Old Forge on 3rd Ave. and 17th Street.  And while Jim was always a gentleman, during one visit he said that he'd like to see me in a sailor's suit and have me pretend that I was "rough trade"!  

 

Tom.of.finland.sailor

 

It seemed that most of Jim's gay experiences were with hustlers or furtive moments with straight sailors.  However, he did tell me of one long-term romance.  In the 1930s, before joining the Merchant Marine, he was a teacher and librarian at a prison near Albany, where he carried on a 7-year relationship with a prisoner.  He was able to pull some strings and get him an early parole and they moved to Jacksonville, Florida.  However, it turned out the fellow was more or less straight, so Jim moved out after five months.

 

Usmerchantmarine  

 

Jim's mobility was severely impaired by arthritis, which forced him to curtail traveling, something he used to love to do.  The few times we ventured out he'd use a cane and hold on to me.  It was quite a challenge crossing the street with him before the light changed.  Because of his frail condition Jim wanted me to accompany him to the Jersey shore for a vacation and to Fire Island, where a friend owned a home.  In fact, a weekend visit out to the Pines was planned during the summer of 1986, but Jim took ill and it was postponed. 

 

Jim was a client for little more than a year when he died of a heart attack at the end of July 1986.  I got a call at work from one of the friends he often spoke about, Bill Funck.  Later that day I went down to Jim's apartment and met Bill and a few of the friends he mentioned as well as his sister, Mae, who still lived in Albany.  Bill was the friend of Jim's with the house in the Pines and he invited me out a few weekends later.  (He also owned one of the liquor stores in the harbor.)  His house was on Driftwood Walk, and when I took a share in the Pines ten years later my house was on the same walk.

 

RedWagons.FireIsland

 

After Jim's death, Arlene, the manager of the Friendly Visitor program sent me a note expressing her condolences and encouraging me to call her if I needed to talk.  She also hoped I would continue with the program, but I didn't because I didn't want to experience another client's decline and death.  Also, I had heard from other Friendly Visitors how high maintenance some of the clients could be and I realized how easy I had it with Jim.

 

What struck me as I listened to Jim's stories was that despite the  homophobic times Jim lived in he had fun and interesting experiences, even while living a closeted life.  Nowadays I wonder if gay men in their 20s and 30s think living in the 1970s and '80s was also somewhat of a Dark Ages for acceptance for gay men of my generation.

 

Villagepeople.anorak.uk     

 

 


Favorite Musical Numbers from Hollywood Movies

MoviemusicalsAsking a gay man to choose his favorite musical numbers from movies is like asking a woman to open her closet and pick out her favorite shoes (of course, it might be a challenge for a gay man as well).  It's fun and agonizing all at the same time.  And no matter how dreadful the movies themselves are, the musical numbers from musicals of the 1930s, '40s and '50s are immensely entertaining.  They tend to be inane and over the top, filled with thousands of frenetic singers and dancers.  Some have extravagant sets, others feature great dance routines, but all revolve around a wonderful song, often with delightfully zany lyrics.

 

I've divided the numbers I selected into two groups - those from the "golden era" and those of more recent vintage (post 1975).  Each performance has a link to a You Tube clip.

 

THE GOLDEN YEARS

I Only Have Eyes for You (Dames/1934) - Mesmerizing and yet a bit creepy, this is one of hundreds of dazzling productions staged by the legendary Busby Berkeley.  In this clip the rather mousey Ruby Keeler is the object of Dick Powell's affection/obsession.  The New York subway system also plays a prominent role.

 

Ruby.keeler

 

A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody (The Great Ziegfeld/1936).  This is one wild number.  It was shot on a huge revolving sound stage.  I'm still stunned at the end of the number when the camera pulls back to show the enormity of the set.  I would have loved to have been there to watch it being filmed.

 

Great.ziegfeld 

 

Waiting for the Robert E. Lee/Babes on Broadway (Babes on Broadway/1941) - This number comes in the final minutes of the movie and is part of a 15-minute number titled "Minstrel Show".  The men in blackface is a bit jarring; even Judy Garland's skin was darkened (but not blackened).  I love the catchy lyrics of Babes in Broadway, and the line "We're milking applause instead of milking a cow" always amuses me. 

 

Babes.on.broadway2

 

You Stepped Out of a Dream (Ziegfeld Girl/1941) - The handsome and debonair Tony Martin sings to the likes of Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr and Judy Garland, among other Ziegfeld Girls.  (The clip, from TCM, is frustrating because the audio doesn't play and it's the only clip available.)

 

You.steeped.out.of.a.dream 

 

Pass the Peace Pipe (Good News/1947) - Halfway into the number it becomes a dance extravaganza done to Indian drums.  Broadway star Joan McCracken (who was married to Bob Fosse in the 1950s) is the featured dancer.

 

Pass.the.peacepipe

 

New York, New York (On the Town/1949). This number perfectly captures the bustling energy of the city it pays tribute to.  And Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin, as Chip, Gabey and Ozzie look snazzy in their sailor suits.  One of the all-time great song lyrics is "The Bronx is up, the Battery's down. The people ride in a hole in the ground."  In a big change the number was filmed on location rather than on a Hollywood set.

 

Newyork.newyork.onthetown

 

Good Morning (Singing in the Rain/1952).  This is an incredible dance performance by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor.

 

Goodmorning.singingintherain

 

Triplets (The Band Wagon/1953).  Yet another number with just three performers.  It has clever lines such as "MGM has got a Leo, but Ma-ma has got a trio."  One of the triplets is Fred Astaire.

 

Triplets.bandwagon 

 

Sing Hallelujah (Hit the Deck/1957) - This is the movie's closing number with Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell and .... Ann Miller dancing up a storm on a battleship.

 

Singhallelujah.annmiller

 

Stereophonic Sound (Silk Stockings/1957).  Compared to earlier choices with a cast of thousands, this routine used just two people.  And one of the two is Fred Astaire

 

Stereophonic.sound.silkstockings

 

POST GOLDEN ERA

The Time Warp (Rocky Horror Picture Show/1975) - We're not in the "Golden Era" any longer!  Wild, orgiastic energy ... and tap dancing!

 

Thetimewarp.rockyhorror

 

Summer Nights (Grease/1978) - This has got to be one of the most carefree numbers of any musical.  Many years later I was in heaven when I went to see Singalong Grease at the Ziegfeld Theater and eagerly participated in the singing of this number.

 

Summernights.grease

 

Xanadu (Xanadu/1980) - This is easily the worst musical of all that I've chosen, but its closing number is wonderfully cheesy.  When Olivia Newton John appears in her goddess regalia (pictured below) she looks embarrassed to be seen in it.  And at the beginning of the clip Gene Kelly is on roller skates at a roller disco!  Whenever this video came on at Splash the crowd would squeal with delight.

 

Xanadu.onj

 

Love is Good for Anything That Ails You (Pennies from Heaven/1981) - All of the music in this dark musical is from the 1930s and the numbers were lip-snyched.  This seems particularly odd since one of the stars of the film was Bernadette Peters.  This glitzy number, all in sparkling white and silver, begins and ends in a dreary school room during the Depression.

 

Bernadette.peters.penniesfromheaven

 

Hindi Sad Diamonds (Moulin Rouge/2001) - From one of my all-time favorite movies, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.  I saw it at least half a dozen times during the summer of 2001.

 

Moulinrouge.nicolekidman

 

Happy Working Song (Enchanted/2007) - Amy Adams already had one of her three Oscar nominations when she appeared in this Disney musical.  This number, which she sings to rats, mice, pigeons, flies and cockroaches was nominated for an Oscar.  Adams sang it on the telecast - but not dressed as Cinderella.

 

Happyworkingsong.enchanted

 

Without Love (Hairspray/2007) - A sweet song that builds to a nice climax.  I got a kick when the photo of Tracy Turnblad came to life whenever Link (played by Zac Efron, below) sang to it.

 

Without.love.hairspray

 

Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire/2008) - This selection is unique in that it was shown interspersed with the closing credits.  Also, the dancers didn't sing, they just danced over the recorded track.  It was filmed on the platform of Mumbai's main train station with a cast of hundreds.  At the Academy Awards the movie won for Best Picture and this song for Best Song.

 

Jai.ho.slumdog

 

Cinema Italiano (Nine/2009) - This long delayed movie version of the Broadway musical starred Daniel Day Lewis in a singing role.  This particular number was written exclusively for the movie and features Kate Hudson.  With a cool '60s/La Dolce Vita vibe, it managed to temporarily rouse me from the stupor I fell into during this dull movie.

 

Cinema.italiano.nine

 

With thousands of other numbers to choose from, I'd like to hear which are your favorites ...

 

 

 


Rock Hudson Marries (November 9, 1955)

Rock_hudson_and_wife A week before he turned 30, strapping movie star Rock Hudson married his agent's secretary, Phyllis Gates.  The wedding took place on November 9, 1955. In Hollywood circles it was understood that this was a marriage of convenience, arranged in order to thwart tabloids such as Confidential Magazine from revealing his homosexuality.  The marriage produced no children and the couple divorced three years later.

 

Of course any discussion about Rock Hudson wouldn't be complete without mentioning the movie Pillow Talk (the second highest grossing movie of the 1950's).  Here's his racy (by the standards of 1959) split-screen bathtub scene with Doris Day:

 

 

 Young_liberace At around the same time Liberace was battling similar gay rumors with the print media as Hudson, but rather than marry he sued for libel and won cases in the UK (Daily Mirror newspaper) and the US (Confidential).   


"The Wizard of Oz" Makes Its TV Debut (November 3, 1956)

Wizard_of_oz CBS aired the Wizard of Oz on TV for the first time on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 3, 1956.  Unlike the theatrical release, which magically switched from black and white to color when Dorothy opened the door of her house after it landed in Oz, the TV telecast was shown totally in b/w.  Three years later the broadcast of the movie became a cherished annual event (when it began airing on Sunday).  In 1999 the movie was acquired by Turner Entertainment where it has aired on its various cable networks ever since. 

 

Wizardofoz_tornado Although I was well acquainted with the plot, during every viewing I held out hope that Dorothy might make it to the storm cellar in time.  And while many other little boys with gay leanings may have been fascinated by the ruby slippers I found myself enthralled by the tornado and hoped that one day one would strike my neighborhood (perhaps its phallic shape also had a subliminal effect).  Thus began my fascination with meteorology, which almost lead me to get a degree in it (instead I switched my major to Advertising upon determining I wasn't cut out for countless courses in Physics).   

 

 

 

 

Another beloved movie classic from 1939, Gone With the Wind, wouldn't air on network TV until 1976.


LGBTQ History Timeline: The Newsworthy, the Frivolous & the FABULOUS

Rainbow2ZeitGAYst's history timeline lists nearly 900 events that speak to the lives of LGBT individuals.  These noteworthy events run the gamut, from campy to deadly serious, encompassing politics, entertainment, AIDS, disco music, scandals/controversies and career highlights of gay icons.  A date that is hyperlinked indicates that an article has been written in ZeitGAYst about the event.  (If you'd like to see these events arranged by year, double click here.)

 

JANUARY 1

Jan 1, 1962 - Illinois is the first state to repeal its sodomy laws.

1979 - Ethel Merman's infamous disco album is released two weeks shy of her 71st birthday.

 

Ethel_merman_disco

 

1994 - David Sedaris' first book of essays, Barrel Fever, is published.

2013 - The first same-sex marriages take place in Maryland.

2019 - Minutes into the new year, the year marking the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall riot, Madonna, the ambassador of the Stonewall celebration, made a surprise appearance with one of her sons at the Stonewall Inn and performed Like a Prayer.   

 

JANUARY 3

1882 - 27-year-old Oscar Wilde arrives in the US for a one-year lecture tour.

Jan 3, 1948 - The Kinsey Report on Male Sexuality is published. 

 

JANUARY 5

1970 - Lily Tomlin makes her first appearance on Laugh In.

 

Ernestine

 

2005 - Nelson Mandela puts a face on the AIDS crisis in Africa by announcing that his eldest son died from the disease.

 

JANUARY 6

1974 - Front Runners, a newly formed gay running group, holds its first "fun run" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Jan 6, 1979 - The Village People perform YMCA on American Bandstand.    

Jan 6, 1986 - "Growing Up Gay" is the cover story of this week's issue of Newsweek.

1993 - Ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev dies from AIDS complications at the age of 54.

 

Nureyev_warhol_visualphotos

 

2001 - Diane Whipple, a lesbian lacrosse coach, is mauled to death in front of her partner by a neighbor's dogs in the hallway of their apartment building in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood.

 

JANUARY 8

1992 - On Seinfeld Elaine gets stuck on the subway on her way to a lesbian wedding where she was to be the "best man".

 

JANUARY 10

Jan 10, 1994 - Tales of the City airs over three nights on PBS stations.

2009 - Patti LuPone stops in the middle of her performance in Gypsy and has an audience member thrown out for taking photos.

 

JANUARY 11

1944 - Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, starring Tallulah Bankhead, opens in theaters. 

1993 - Inspired by Rudolf Nureyev's death, Newsweek publishes a cover story titled "AIDS and the Arts".

Jan 11, 1970 - Carol Channing performs during halftime at Super Bowl IV.

Jan 11, 1973 - An American Family, PBS's pioneering reality series about the Loud family of California, debuts and includes a gay family member, son Lance (standing, far right).

 

The_loud_family

JANUARY 12

1964 - Ethel Merman is a guest on Judy Garland's variety show.

1980 - Dan Hartman's classic Vertigo/Relight My Fire begins its first of six weeks atop Billboard's dance chart.

1986 - That's What Friends Are For, recorded to benefit AMFAR, begins the first of four weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

1999 - Gay figure skater Rudy Galindo guest stars on Will & Grace in an episode titled "Will on Ice."

2011 - The U.S.'s first gay history museum opens in San Francisco.

 

JANUARY 13

1958 - The U.S. Supreme Court issues its first pro-gay decision, ruling that homosexuals have a First Amendment right to send magazines published for them through the U.S. mail. 

1973 - On the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda goes on a date with landlady Phyllis' brother, who turns out to be gay.  Phyllis is greatly relieved by this news because she feared the prospect of Rhoda becoming part of her family.   

2013 - At the Golden Globes Jodie Foster kinda/sorta comes out while accepting a lifetime achievement award.

 

Jodie_foster_golden_globes

 

JANUARY 14

Jan 14, 1984 - Madonna performs Holiday on American Bandstand.

 

JANUARY 15

1983 - The gender bending singer known as Boy George gains mainstream popularity as his group Culture Club's first single, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, enters the Top-40.  

2006 - Johnny Weir wins the U.S. Men's Figure Skating Championship for the third year in a row.

2013 - 80-year-old actor/singer Jim Nabors, most famous for playing the title role in the 1960's CBS sitcom, Gomer Pyle, marries his partner of 38 years in Seattle.

2019 - Parents Magazine publishes the first issue in its 93-year history featuring a same-sex couple on the cover,  fitness guru Shaun T and husband Scott Blokker along with with their twin sons.

 

Parents magazine gay fathers

 

JANUARY 16

1964 - Hello, Dolly! opens on Broadway, starring Carol Channing.

 

Hello_dolly_carol_channing

 

1993 - Madonna is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and performs two numbers from her Erotica album, Bad Girl and Fever.

 

JANUARY 17

2005 - Oprah's interior design guru, Nate Berkus, recounts his harrowing experience during the catastrophic Christmas tsunami of 2004, which took the life of his partner, Fernando, in Sri Lanka (his body was never recovered). 

2018 - The limited series The Assassination of Gianni Versace premieres on FX, starring Edgar Ramirez as Versace; Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan; Ricky Martin as Versace's lover; and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.

 

Versace in pool

 

JANUARY 18

1982 - The first episode of the mini-series Brideshead Revisited airs on PBS.

Jan 18, 1996 - On Friends, Ross' ex-wife and her girlfriend get married.  

Jan 18, 2004 - The L Word debuts on Showtime.

 

The_l_word

 

JANUARY 19

1962 - Yves Saint Laurent introduces his first collection for his newly opened House of Laurent.

Jan 19, 1997 - Madonna wins a Golden Globe for her role as Eva Peron in Evita

1999 - Bill Clinton is the first president to mention LGBT issues in a State of the Union Address.

2014 - The gay-themed dramedy Looking, somewhat of an updated version of Queer as Folk that takes place in San Francisco, debuts on HBO.

 

JANUARY 20

1993 - Rock singer Melissa Etheridge comes out as a lesbian during the Triangle Ball, a LGBT-sponsored party to celebrate Bill Clinton's inauguration.  

Jan 20, 1996 - Rudy Galindo becomes the first openly gay winner of the U.S. Men's Figure Skating Championship.

 

Rudy_galindo 

 

JANUARY 21

1978 - 25-year-old French songwriter/record producer Cerrone's Eurodisco hit Supernature tops Billboard's Dance chart.

2005 - The anti-gay group Focus on the Family alleges that popular cartoon character Spongebob Square Pants promotes homosexuality.

 

Spong_bob

 

2013 - In his second Inaugural address, President Obama makes a reference to Stonewall and then becomes the first president to mention LGBT rights in an Inaugural address.

 

JANUARY 22

Jan 22, 1984 - Barry Manilow sings the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

 

JANUARY 23

1991 - A massive ACT UP protest disrupts the evening commute at NYC's Grand Central Station; a banner reading "One AIDS Death Every Eight Minutes" is hung over the arrivals board.

 

Act_up_grand_central

 

JANUARY 24

1991 - The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announces that AIDS is now the second leading cause of death among men between the ages of 25 and 44.

Jan 24, 2009 - The TV movie Prayers for Bobby airs on Lifetime, starring Sigourney Weaver.

2016 - Openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon (who came out in Oct. 2016) wins the Men's US National championship.

 

Adam rippon - us figure skater 

 

JANUARY 25

2005 - Famed architect Philip Johnson dies at the age of 98.  Besides his professional legacy he also has the distinction of being the oldest gay icon.

 

Philip.johnson

 

JANUARY 27

1995 - During a radio interview Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey calls Barney Frank, "Barney Fag", and later apologizes, saying that he simply mispronounced his name.

 

JANUARY 29

Jan 29, 1993 - President Clinton announces his intention to lift the ban on gay soldiers in the military.

 

JANUARY 30

1933 - Noel Coward is on the cover of this week's issue of TIME Magazine.

1958 - 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent introduces his first collection as head designer for Christian Dior.

 

Yves_saint_laurent

 

JANUARY 31

1989 - AIDS activists in San Francisco block morning rush hour traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge for a few hours to protest the low amount of federal funding for AIDS research. 

1999 - Cher sings the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

2002 - Rosie O'Donnell guest stars on Will & Grace as a lesbian mother. 

 

FEBRUARY 1

2007 - The Sarah Silverman Program debuts on Comedy Central.  Two of the sitcom's characters, Brian and Steve, are a gay couple who are the antithesis of the Chelsea boy stereotype.

 

Sarahsilverman

 

FEBRUARY 2

1985 - Brian Boitano wins the first of his four U.S. Men's Figure Skating National Championships.

2021 - Former presidential candidate (as well as former mayor of South Bend, Indiana), Pete Buttigieg, becomes the first openly gay person to serve in the cabinet of a US President after being confirmed by the US Senate as Secretary of Transportation.

 

FEBRUARY 3

1979 - The Village People's YMCA peaks at #2 on Billboard's Hot 100.

 

Ymca

 

2010 - On Ugly Betty villainess Wihelmina (played by Vanessa Williams) is furious to discover she has a drag impersonator.  RuPaul makes a guest appearance. 

2013 - Beefy, gay, Hungarian porn star Arpad Miklos is found dead in his Manhattan apartment, apparently by his own hand.  He was just 45 years old.

 

FEBRUARY 4

Feb 4, 1985 - The TV movie Consenting Adult, starring Marlo Thomas and Martin Sheen, airs

1987 - Liberace dies from AIDS complications at the age of 67.

 

FEBRUARY 5

1981 - 305 men are arrested in a raid on four bathhouses in Toronto, the largest mass arrest of civilians in Canadian history.

1982 - The lesbian-themed movie Personal Best, starring Mariel Hemingway, opens in theaters.

2012 - Madonna crosses off "Performing during halftime at the Super Bowl" from her bucket list.

 

FEBRUARY 6

Feb 6, 1995 - The TV movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story airs on NBC.  

2002 - The Boy Scouts of America adopts a resolution declaring that gay men and atheists are unsuitable role models to lead scout youth.  

2007 - Snickers causes a mini-controversy with its ad during the Super Bowl showing two blue collar types who inadvertently kiss each other on the mouth while eating a Snickers Bar.

 

Snickers_ad

 

FEBRUARY 7

1977 - The first LGBT film festival is held in San Francisco (now called the Frameline Festival.)

1977 - The U.S. State Department lifts its ban on the employment of homosexuals.

1991 - The first lesbian kiss in primetime is shown on NBC's hit drama LA Law (the lesbian character involved never makes another appearance.)

 

Lesbiankiss_la_law

 

2018 - Bermuda becomes the first country to repeal same-sex marriage after legalizing it (in 2017). 

2018 - A revival of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007), now simply called Queer Eye, premieres on Netflix.

 

FEBRUARY 8

1980 - The controversial film Cruising, starring Al Pacino, opens.

 

FEBRUARY 9

Feb 9, 1971 - On tonight's episode of All in the Family Archie discovers that one of his bar buddies, an ex-football player, is gay. 

1999 - The Reverend Jerry Falwell claims that the purple-colored Teletubby named Tinky-Wink is gay because he carries a purse.

 

FEBRUARY 10

1976 - The comic strip Doonsebury introduces the gay character, Andy Lippincott.

 

FEBRUARY 11

1895 - The neighborhood of Georgetown becomes part of Washington, D.C.

 

Georgetown

 

Feb 11, 1993 - On Seinfeld Jerry and George are mistaken as gay lovers.

2010 - Celebrated British fashion designer Alexander McQueen commits suicide at the age of 40.

2016 - SiriusXM Satellite Radio pulls the plug on its LGBT radio network, OutQ, after 12 years on the air. 

 

FEBRUARY 12

1947 - 22-year-old Christian Dior shows his first collection, which the fashion dubs the "New Look."

Feb 12, 1975 - Elton John and Bette Midler join Cher on her CBS special.

Feb 12, 1982 - The movie Making Love opens in theaters. 

Feb 12, 2010 - The movie Valentine's Day, which opens this weekend, features a largely unsung gay subplot about a closeted NFL star (played by Eric Dane) and his frustrated boyfriend (Bradley Cooper).

 

Bradleycooper_ericdane_valentinesday  

 

FEBRUARY 13

1886 - Painter Thomas Eakins resigns from the Philadelphia Academy of Art because of an uproar created by his use of male nudes in a coed art class.

1972 - The movie version of Cabaret opens and makes 25-year-old Liza Minnelli a star.

 

FEBRUARY 14

1965 – The Denver Post begins a six-part series about the problems homosexuality poses to society.

1995 - Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! opens on Broadway.

 

Love_valour_compassion 

 

FEBRUARY 15

Feb 15, 1970 - The Supremes perform on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time without Diana Ross.

 

FEBRUARY 16

1985 - Bronski Beat, a British group fronted by openly gay Jimmy Somerville, has the week's #1 club hit, Smalltown Boy, on Billboard's dance chart.

Feb 16, 1990 - Famed graffiti artist Keith Haring dies from AIDS at the age of 31.

1997 - Tonight's episode of The Simpsons, titled "Homer's Phobia", finds Homer trying to disassociate himself from a new acquaintance (voiced by John Waters) when he learns he is gay.

 

Homers_phobia_simpsons

 

FEBRUARY 17

1965 - 31-year-old Joan Rivers makes her first appearance on the Tonight Show. 

1994 - Writer Randy Shilts dies from AIDS at the age of 42.

 

FEBRUARY 18

1978 - Let's All Chant sits atop Billboard's dance chart.

 

Lets_all_chant

 

2010 - The USA's Evan Lysacek wins the gold medal in Men's Figure Skating at the Vancouver Olympics.  Johnny Weir finishes sixth. 

 

FEBRUARY 19

1986 - The AIDS drama Parting Glances opens in theaters.

 

FEBRUARY 20

Feb 20, 1966 - Nancy Sinatra's song Boots, which later becomes a camp classic because of its kitschy video, begins the first of four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

Boots_nancysinatra

 

1967 - Rock Hudson appears on the cover of March's issue of GQ.

1974 - Cher files for separation from Sonny Bono.

1982 - The British medical journal The Lancet reports that amyl nitrate ("poppers") damages the immune system and might be a cause of AIDS.

 

Rush

1988 - Brian Boitano wins a gold medal in Men's Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

1991 - Bette Midler appears on the cover of the March issue of Good Housekeeping.

Feb 20, 2005 - On The Simpsons Marge's sister Patty reveals she's a lesbian and gets married to her partner by Homer.

Feb 20, 2013 - In a new TV commercial for the Amazon Kindle, a woman reading at the beach informs a man, whom she thinks is flirting with her, that her husband is at the bar getting her a drink.  The fellow then replies that his husband is at the bar as well!

 

Amazon_kindle_gay_ad

 

FEBRUARY 21

1972 - Liza Minnelli is the cover subject of this week's TIME Magazine.

2019 - Openly gay actor Jussie Smollett, who portrays a gay singer in the Fox show Empire, was arrested by Chicago police for arranging and reporting a fake hate crime against himself in late January.

 

Jussie smollett
 

 

FEBRUARY 22

Feb 22, 1987 - Andy Warhol dies unexpectedly at the age of 58 from complications after gallbladder surgery.

Feb 22, 1995 - Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis reveals he's HIV+.

 

Louganis_people_mag

 

Feb 22, 2004 - The final episode of Sex & the City airs.

2007 - The Graham Norton Show premieres in the UK on BBC Two, a follow-up to his previous two chat shows, V Graham Norton and So Graham Norton

 

FEBRUARY 23

1933 - Less than a month after Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, the Nazi Party outlaws all homosexual rights organizations and clubs.

Feb 23, 1967 - Fortune & Men's Eyes opens at Actors Playhouse in NYC.

1987 - Bette Midler is the subject of this week's TIME Magazine cover story.

1989 - Republican Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, who supported anti-gay legislation, is outed by AIDS activist Michael Petrelis.  This is thought to be the first outing of a person of note.

2014 - Jason Collins becomes the first openly gay player to play in a NBA game when he takes the court for the Brooklyn Nets in a game against the LA Lakers.

 

Jason-Collins-brooklyn.nets

 

FEBRUARY 24

1998 - Elton John is knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Feb 24, 1999 - 27-year-old Ricky Martin causes a sensation during his performance at the Grammy Awards.

 

Ricky_martin_grammyawards

 

2004 - President Bush announces his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

2013 - The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles appears very briefly during the opening of tonight's Academy Awards telecast, joining host Seth MacFarlane in a song called I Saw Your Boobs.

 

FEBRUARY 25

Feb 25, 1962 - An acclaimed Judy Garland TV special with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin airs on CBS.

 

Judygarland_franksinatra_deanmartin

 

1982 - Wisconsin becomes the first state to pass legislation banning anti-gay discrimination.

1983 - Playwright Tennessee Williams dies at the age of 72 in his hotel room in midtown Manhattan.  The exact cause of his death is still a mystery, but legend has it that he choked on the cap from a bottle of poppers which he had opened with his teeth.

2007 - Financial expert and frequent Oprah guest, Suze Ornan, comes out in the New York Times.

2013 - Gay divorce is the cover story of this week's issue of New York Magazine (cover date 3/4).

2014 - The day after Uganda's president enacted a harsh anti-gay law the Red Pepper tabloid published on its front page a list of what it called the country's top 200 homosexuals.  It ran under the headline "EXPOSED". 

2015 - A passionate same-sex kiss between two male characters on The Walking Dead creates somewhat of a negative stir on social media.

 

Gaykiss.walkingdead

 

FEBRUARY 26

2009 - Dustin Lance Black wins the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Milk; Sean Penn wins for Best Actor for the same picture.

 

Dustin_lance_black_oscar

 

2017 - The gay-themed movie Moonlight wins Best Picture after it was mistakenly given to La La Land at first.  The film also won Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

MARCH 1

1971 - The film version of Thomas Mann's 1912 novel "Death in Venice" opens in US theaters.

March 1, 1994 - On tonight's episode of Roseanne, Roseanne accompanies her lesbian friend Nancy (played by Sandra Bernhard) to a lesbian bar and is unnerved when Nancy's girlfriend (Mariel Hemingway) plants an open-mouthed kiss on her. 

 

MARCH 2

March 2, 1965 - The Sound of Music, oozing with gay undertones, opens in theaters.

 

Sound_of_music

 

1999 - Cher's comeback song Believe tops the Billboard Hot 100, making her, at age 52, the oldest female artist with a Number 1 song.

 

MARCH 3

March 3, 2000 - The movie The Next Best Thing, starring Madonna and Rupert Everett, opens and is a bomb.

 

MARCH 4

March 4, 1969 - Cher gives birth to a daughter that she and husband Sonny Bono name Chastity.

 

Chastity-bono-sonny_and_cher

 

1973 - Betty Friedan accuses "man-hating lesbians" of trying to take over the National Organization of Women (NOW).

1979 - Gloria Gaynor's gay anthem I Will Survive tops the Billboard Hot 100. 

1998 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal even if it occurs between members of the same sex.

 

Sexual_harassment_book

 

March 4, 2001 - Glenn Hughes, the original leatherman from the Village People, dies from lung cancer at the age of 50.

2010 - After legislation was passed on Dec. 29, 2009, the first same-sex marriages are performed in Mexico City.

2015 - Billionaire entertainment executive David Geffen donates $100 million to the renovation of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, which will be renamed after him. 

2018 - James Ivory wins the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name.

 

JamesIvory Oscar winner
  

 

MARCH 5

2006 - Ang Lee wins the Oscar for Best Director for Brokeback Mountain, but the movie failed to win Best Picture.

2006 - Philip Seymour Hoffman wins the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Truman Capote in the film Capote.

2013 - Mexico's Supreme Court rules that anti-gay expressions like 'maricon' are not protected under the constitution's Freedom of Expression.

 

MARCH 7

1967 - The CBS documentary The Homosexuals airs.

 

CBS_TheHomosexuals 

 

March 7, 1988 - John Waters' famed drag actress, Divine, dies from a heart condition at the age of 42.

March 7, 1990 - The TV movie Andre's Mother airs on PBS.  It was based on a screenplay by Terrence McNally.

 

MARCH 8

1996 - The movie The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, opens and becomes a big hit.  It's also the only movie in which Gene Hackman appears in drag.

 

Gene_hackman_birdcage

 

2003 - The movie Testosterone, starring former Calvin Klein hunk Antonio Sabato, Jr. as a mysterious gay Argentinian, opens in limited release.

 

MARCH 9

March 9, 1989 - Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe dies from AIDS at the age of 42.

1996 - Jonathan Schmitz, a recent guest on The Jenny Jones Show, murders another male guest from the show who had revealed he had a crush on Schmitz.

 

MARCH 10

1985 - The AIDS drama As Is opens off-Broadway, six weeks before The Normal Heart has its premiere.

2007 - The iconic Roxy dance club on West 18th St. in Chelsea closes after 29 years.

 

MARCH 11

1973 - The first formal meeting of a gay support group comprised of parents and their lesbian and gay children, now known as PFLAG, takes place in the basement of a church in Greenwich Village.  Approximately 20 people attended.

March 11, 1975 - A classic TIME Magazine cover shows Cher posing in a shear Bob Mackie gown.

 

Cher_timemagazine

 

March 11, 1993 - Outweek Magazine outs billionaire Malcolm Forbes a few weeks after his death. 

2015 - Gay fashion-design duo Dolce & Gabbana cause a furor after they are quoted in an Italian magazine saying that children born via in-vitro fertilization are not real in the traditional sense ("The only family is the traditional one.  No chemical offsprings and rented uterus.")  One of the persons expressing outrage, Elton John, once sang at homophobe Rush Limbaugh's wedding in 2005.

 

MARCH 12

1993 - Janet Reno is sworn in as the nation's first female U.S. Attorney General.

1994 - Rather than allow the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston to march, as ordered by Massachusetts' Supreme Court, organizers canceled Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade (the 2nd largest St. Paddy's parade in the U.S.).

 

MARCH 13

2014 - The Centers for Disease Control reports the first case of direct transmission of HIV from lesbian sex.

 

MARCH 14

March 14, 2002 - On the ABC primetime news program Primetime Live, Rosie O'Donnell officially comes out in order to offer support to a gay male couple trying to adopt in Florida. 

 

MARCH 15

2013 - In a blow to the Republican party's anti-gay platform, Republican senator Rob Portman of Ohio reverses his stand against same-sex marriage in support of his gay son.

 

MARCH 16

March 16, 1992 - The TV movie Doing Time on Maple Drive airs on Fox.

2002 - Liza Minnelli marries David Gest in NYC amidst much hoopla.

2002 - Kylie Minogue is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live

2015 - Football player Michael Sam becomes the third gay contestant on Dancing with the Stars, joining Lance Bass and Carson Kressley.

2018 - The gay teen romance Love, Simon opens in theaters and becomes the eleventh highest grossing film with a gay theme or prominent gay character, taking in $41 million at the domestic box office.

 

Love  simon

 

MARCH 17

1972 - John Waters' outrageous movie Pink Flamingos opens in theaters, introduces the world to Divine.

1993 - New York mayor David Dinkins boycotts the City's St. Patrick's Day parade to protest its exclusion of a gay Irish contingent of marchers.

2014 - New York's new mayor, Bill DeBlasio, becomes the second NYC mayor to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade due to organizers' continued refusal to allow gay marchers.

2015 - The largest Presbyterian denomination (1.8 million members) votes to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage. 

 

MARCH 18

1967 - The Stonewall Inn bar opens on Christopher St. in Greenwich Village. 

March 18, 2001 - Paris elects a gay mayor, 50-year-old Bertrand Delanoe.

 

MARCH 20

March 20, 1972 - Burt Reynolds causes a sensation by appearing as Cosmopolitan's first nude male centerfold.

1976 - Vicki Sue Robinson's Turn the Beat Around begins four weeks atop Billboard's Dance chart.

 

Vickie_sue_robinson

 

March 20, 1987 - The FDA approves the use of AZT to combat AIDS.

1988 - 28-year-old B.D. Wong gains acclaim with his starring role in M. Butterfly, a drama which had its Broadway opening tonight (pictured, right, with co-star John Lithgow).

 

Bdwong

 

March 20, 2000 - Madonna is on the cover of the April issue of Good Housekeeping.

 

MARCH 21

1994 - Tom Hanks wins the Oscar for Best Actor in the AIDS drama Philadelphia, and Bruce Springsteen wins the Oscar for Best Song for Streets of Philadelphia.  During his acceptance speech Hanks thanks his gay drama teacher from high school. 

 

MARCH 22

March 22, 1962 - Barbra Streisand makes her Broadway debut in I Can Get It For You Wholesale.

1994 - Disco producer Dan Hartman dies from AIDS at the age of 43.

1999 - The cover story of this week's New York Magazine is "Gay Wall St."

 

  NewYork_GayWallSt

 

2007 - On Ugly Betty, Betty agrees to play the role of gay co-worker Marc St. James' girlfriend when his mother comes to town (he was played by Michael Urie, mom was played by Patti LuPone).  However, when mom makes disparaging remarks about Betty's flamboyant 14-year-old nephew, Marc lashes out and comes out to her.

 

MARCH 23

1992 - The TV movie Twilight of the Golds airs on PBS.

2003 - Susan Morabito is the first female DJ to spin at New York's Black Party.

 

MARCH 24

1979 - Sister Sledge has the new #1 dance record on Billboard's dance chart with He's the Greatest Dancer

1986 - William Hurt is the first actor to win an Oscar for portraying a gay character, in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

 

MARCH 25

1985 - The Times of Harvey Milk wins the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

 

Times_of_harvey_milk

 

1988 - Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet, dies of AIDS at the age of 57.

2009 - Grindr, a "hook-up" app for men seeking other men in their neighborhoods for sex, is introduced.

2018 - 25 years after its first Broadway run, a revival of Tony Kushner's AIDS drama Angels in America opens.

 

MARCH 26

March 26, 1964 - Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand, has its Broadway opening.

March 26, 1977 - Gay activists meet for the first time in the White House.

1979 - Donna Summer appears on the cover of Newsweek for its cover story titled 'Disco Takes Over'.

 

Newsweek.discotakesover

 

1990 - Fashion designer Halston dies of AIDS at the age of 57.

March 26, 1997 - The TV movie Breaking the Surface, starring Mario Lopez as Greg Louganis, airs on USA Network.

 

Mario_lopez_greg_louganis

 

2000 - Hilary Swank wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Boys Don't Cry while gay director Pedro Almodovar's movie Talk to Her wins for Best Foreign Film.

2015 - The governor of Indiana (future Vice President Mike Pence) signs into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which makes it legal for business owners, because of their religious beliefs, to refuse service to gay customers.  

 

MARCH 27

1987 - ACT-UP stages its first major action, a "die-in" on Wall St. with hundreds of participants demanding access to experimental anti-viral drugs.

2015 - A massive fire in the wee hours of the morning destroys half of Cherry Grove's famed Ice Palace bar/disco/lodging complex.  This was three-and-a-half years after a fire destroyed the Pavilion in the Pines.

 

Fire.icepalace

 

MARCH 28

1998Naked Boys Singing opens at the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles.

 

MARCH 29

March 29, 1990 - President Bush urges an audience of business executives not to fire employees or discriminate against any who are infected with AIDS.   

1994 - IKEA airs a commercial in East Coast markets depicting a gay male couple shopping for a dining room table.

 

Gay_ikea_ad

 

2009 - Zurich, Switzerland elects a lesbian as mayor, 48-year-old Corine Mauch. 

2009 - The Oscar Wilde Bookstore in Greenwich Village closes its doors after 42 years (37 of those years were spent on Christopher St.)

 

MARCH 30

March 30, 1966 - Color Me Barbra is the follow-up TV special to Barbra Streisand's first acclaimed special My Name Is Barbra.

1981 - The Village People's movie, Can't Stop the Music, has the dubious distinction of winning the first Golden Raspberry Award, as worst movie of 1980.

2003 - Actor Michael Jeter dies from AIDS at the age of 50.

 

MARCH 31

1980 - 30-year-old Richard Gere appears shirtless on the cover of People Magazine (April 7 cover date).  It was very similar to Gere's cover in After Dark back in 1978.

 

Richard_gere_people_mag

Richard_gere_after_dark

 

1994 - Madonna makes an expletive-filled appearance on the Letterman show.

 

Madonna_letterman 

 

APRIL 1

April 1, 1985 - The Harvey Milk School opens in New York, the first publicly funded school for LGBT youth in the U.S.

1994 - The first issue of POZ Magazine is published, with a cover story about the HIV-positive grandson of former Arizona senator Barry Goldwater.

April 1, 2001 - The Netherlands is the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

 

Netherlands_gaymarriage

APRIL 2

2019 - The city of Chicago elects Lori Lightfoot as its first lesbian mayor.  She's also the first black woman to hold the office.

 

Lori lightfoot_mayor of chicago

 

APRIL 3

April 3, 1977 - Dancing Queen becomes ABBA's only #1 hit in the U.S.

2016 - After 27 years, 'Smithers' finally comes out on The Simpsons.  To help him celebrate Homer and Marge throw him a coming out party, using Grindr to create the guest list.

 

Waylon.smithers

 

APRIL 5

April 5, 1961 - Barbra Streisand makes her 1st TV appearance, on The Jack Parr Show.

1994 - Documentary filmmaker Marlon Riggs dies of AIDS at the age of 37.

2007 - The TV character Devon Banks (played by Will Arnett) makes his first appearance as Jack Donaghey's gay nemesis on 30 Rock.  (Donaghey was played by Alec Baldwin).

 

30 rock devon banks and jack donaghey

 

2012 - Despite tepid reviews Ricky Martin is a big draw in the Broadway revival of Evita in his role as the narrator Che.

 

APRIL 6

1972 - An appellate court overturns a 1971 ruling (Diaz v Pan Am) that allowed airlines to discriminate against men when hiring flight attendants.  As a result of this ruling, men began entering the occupation in much greater numbers.

2013 - Liza Minnelli makes a guest appearance as herself on tonight's episode of NBC's drama Smash.

 

APRIL 7

1979 - Electronica music producer Gino Soccio has his first chart topper on Billboard's dance chart with Dancer.  It stays at the top of the chart for six weeks.

 

Gino_soccio_dancer

 

April 7, 1997 - Ellen Degeneres comes out in this week's issue of TIME Magazine with the now-famous cover headline of "Yep, I'm Gay".   

2015 - Long in the works, Larry Kramer's 800-page novel, An American People, is published.

 

APRIL 8

1987 - Princess Diana gains worldwide attention when she shakes the hand of an AIDS patient during a visit to the AIDS ward at London's Middlesex Hospital.

 

Princess_diana_aids_patients

 

1992 - The first "Broadway Bares" begins humbly with seven dancers at the new bar, Splash.

1998 - Singer George Michael is arrested for "public lewdness" in a public restroom in a park in Beverly Hills.

2008 - A singer who goes by the name of Lady Gaga releases her first single, Just Dance.  Nine months later it reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

Lady_gaga_just_dance

 

APRIL 11

April 11, 1983 - This week's Newsweek cover story is "AIDS Epidemic - Search for a Cure."  

1986 - The movie My Beautiful Laundrette opens in the U.S., featuring Daniel Day Lewis in his first major film role.

1988 - Cher wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck.

 

Cher_moonstruck

 

APRIL 12

April 12, 1979 - The Village People appear on the cover of this week's issue of Rolling Stone.

 

APRIL 13

April 13, 1983 - On Dynasty, Krystle & Alexis fall into a swimming pool during a catfight.

 

Krystle_and_alexis

APRIL 14

April 14, 1968 - The Boys in the Band opens on Broadway.

1972 - The first Dinah Shore Golf Tournament is held in Rancho Mirage, CA (thru 4/16).

 

APRIL 15

1979 - The Liberace Museum opens in Las Vegas.

1994 - John Curry, who won the gold medal in figure skating for England at the 1976 Winter Olympics, dies of AIDS complications at the age of 44.

 

APRIL 16

1973 - Stephen Sondheim appears on the cover of this week's issue of Newsweek (cover date 4/23).

April 16, 1979 - "How Gay is Gay?" is the title of this week's TIME Magazine cover story.

 

Timemagazine_howgayisgay1101790423_400

 

April 16, 2004 - On Oprah, life "on the down-low" (or, "the DL") among black men is discussed. 

 

APRIL 17

April 17, 1965 - The first official protest outside of the White House by a gay rights group takes place, organized by the Mattachine Society.

1987 - Fashion designer Willi Smith dies from AIDS at the age of 39.

 

Willli_smith

 

2013 - New Zealand becomes the 13th nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

 

APRIL 19

2009 - At the Miss USA beauty pageant, Miss California creates a controversy when, during the Q&A portion of the pageant, she declares her opposition to same-sex marriage.

2011 - A revival of Larry Kramer's 1985 off-Broadway drama The Normal Heart opens on Broadway.

 

APRIL 20

1997 - The TV movie In the Gloaming, directed by Christopher Reeve, airs on PBS.

2003 – On tonight’s episode of Six Feet Under, David and Keith participate in a gay paintball competition between gay cops and the gay chorus and end up having a threesome with “Sarge”.

2017 - A revival of Hello, Dolly, starring Bette Midler, opens on Broadway, and the 71-year-old Divine Miss M gets gushing reviews.

 

Bette midler hello dolly

 

APRIL 21

1966 - Four gay right activists, accompanied by five newspaper reporters, stage a “sip in” at Julius’s bar in Greenwich Village to challenge the New York State Liquor Authority’s regulation prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving homosexuals on the grounds that they were "disorderly".

1974Tommy Tune wins the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Seesaw.  It is the first of nine Tonys he’d win in his career (encompassing acting, choreography and directing).

1985 - Larry Kramer's semi-biographical AIDS drama The Normal Heart opens at the Public Theater.

 

Normal_heart

 

1987 - New York governor Mario Cuomo announces that companies doing business in the state are barred from requiring employees to take an HIV test in order to get health insurance.

 

APRIL 23

April 23, 1961 - Judy Garland gives an acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall.

1984 - U.S. Secretary of Health Margaret Heckler announces the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS.

2006 - The British play History Boys opens on Broadway and wins the Tony for Best Play seven weeks later.

 

APRIL 24

2003 - Madonna makes her primetime acting debut on Will & Grace.

2015 - During a televised interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, former Olympian Bruce Jenner discusses his transition from male to female.  The telecast is viewed by nearly 17 million.

 

Brucejenner.dianesawyer

 

APRIL 25

1997 - 32-year-old Alan Cumming has his first American movie role in the comedy Romy & Michele's High School, which opens in theaters today.  He plays the nerd who became successful and fabulously wealthy as an adult.  

2005 - Spain legalizes same-sex marriage.

 

APRIL 26

April 26, 1970 - Stephen Sondheim's Company opens on Broadway, featuring Elaine Strich's classic number, The Ladies Who Lunch.

1977 - Studio 54 opens.

 

54

 

APRIL 27

2009 - The first same-sex marriages take place in Iowa.

 

APRIL 28

April 28, 1965 - Barbra Streisand stars in her first TV special, My Name is Barbra.

1990 - A Chorus Line ends its 14-year run.  

 

APRIL 29

2013 - NBA veteran Jason Collins becomes the first active player of one of the Big Four sports leagues to come out.  He did it in an interview in Sports Illustrated, which hit newsstands today.

 

Jason_collins_sportsillustrated 

 

APRIL 30

April 30, 1988 - Closing night at The Saint.

April 30, 1997 - The coming-out episode on Ellen, a lightning rod for controversy, draws a large audience.

2009 - The off-Broadway play The Temperamentals opens, a drama about the founding of The Mattachine Society in the early 1950s. 

 

MAY 1

1981 - Billie Jean King's longtime female secretary files a palimony suit, making their relationship public.  

1992 - Singer Sharon Redd (In the Name of Love) dies from AIDS at the age of 46.

 

MAY 2

May 2, 1994 - On Northern Exposure, Rick and Erick are married.

 

Ron_erick_marry_on_northern_exposure 

 

2004 - On tonight's episode of The Sopranos, one of Tony Soprano's henchmen, Vito Spatafore, is revealed to be gay, spotted going down on a security guard at a construction site.

2013 - Rhode Island becomes the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

 

MAY 3

May 3, 1988 - Madonna makes her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Speed the Plow.

 

MAY 4

May 4, 1986 - The Pet Shop Boys' first single, West End Girls, tops the Billboard Hot 100.

May 4, 1993 - Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches opens on Broadway.

2011 - "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty", a wildly popular retrospective of the late fashion designer's work (he committed suicide in 2010), opens at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

 

MAY 5

1952 - The "Vitavitavegamin" episode airs on I Love Lucy

1968 - Ethel Merman sings There's No Business Like Show Business on The Ed Sullivan Show.

 

Ethel_merman

 

2011 - On Grey's Anatomy lesbian surgeons Callie and Arizona are married. 

 

MAY 6

1994 - Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford take out a full-page ad in the Times of London dispelling rumors of a divorce and to also proclaim that they are both heterosexual and monogamous.

 

MAY 7

1977 - Grace Jones sits atop the Billboard Dance chart with her international hit I Need a Man.

 

Gracejones_portfolio

 

2002 - Famed make-up artist Kevin Aucoin dies from complications due to a rare pituitary tumor at the age of 40.

2013 - Famed club DJ and music producer, Peter Rauhofer, dies from a brain tumor at the age of 48.

2013 - Less than a week after Rhode Island legalized same-sex marriage, Delaware does the same - the eleventh state to do so (in addition to Washington, DC). 

 

MAY 9

May 9, 1992 - The final episode of The Golden Girls airs. 

2012 - President Obama announces his support of same-sex marriage.

 

MAY 10

May 10, 1991 - Madonna's documentary Truth or Dare opens.

1994 - Serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men in his Chicago home between 1972-1978, is executed.

2013 - Despite sporting the Ryan Murphy pedigree, his NBC sitcom about gay parenting, The New Normal, is cancelled after one season.

2014 - Three months after coming out 24-year-old Michael Sam becomes the first openly gay football player to be drafted by the NFL when the St. Louis Rams choose him.  News coverage shows him joyfully kissing and embracing his boyfriend (right) upon getting the phone call from the Rams.

 

Michaelsam_boyfriend

 

MAY 11

1983 - Grace Jones appears on the cover of this week's issue of Jet Magazine.

 

Grace_jones_jetmagazine

 

1990 - Longtime Companion, the first movie in wide-release to deal with AIDS, opens in theaters.

 

Longtime_companion

 

1991 - Madonna appears in a "Wayne's World" dream sequence on Saturday Night Live.

2008 - On ABC's Sunday drama Brothers & Sisters, Kevin (one of the "brothers") and his boyfriend Scotty get married. 

 

MAY 12

1956 - Actor Montgomery Clift is seriously injured in a car accident after leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor's Hollywood home.

 

Montgomery_clift_car_crash

 

May 12, 1992 - Actor Robert Reed, best known as Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch, died from AIDS at the age of 59. 

 

MAY 13

1987 – Gay bon vivant, Quentin Crisp, makes a guest appearance on the CBS crime drama The Equalizer.

1994 - Opening weekend of the Andy Warhol Museum in Warhol's hometown of Pittsburgh.

 

Andy_warhol_museum

MAY 14

2013 - Minnesota becomes the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage, the third state to do so this month, joining Rhode Island and Delaware.

2014 - The CDC announces its support of using the AIDS drug Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for sexually active men, making it the first government approved HIV prevention pill.

 

MAY 15

1990 - Madonna's song Vogue goes to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2008 - California's Supreme Court overturns the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

2012 – Gay gossip-blogger Perez Hilton has a cameo on tonight’s episode of Glee, appearing as a judge at the Nationals competition for accapella groups.

2015 - Luxembourg's openly gay prime minister, Xavier Bettel (pictured, right), marries his partner, Gauthier Destinay, making them the world's first openly gay "first couple."

 

GayPM.Luxembourg.MarriesPartner_Advocate

 

MAY 16

1987 - By order of the U.S. Public Health Service foreigners who are HIV-positive are barred from entering the U.S.

 

MAY 17

May 17, 2004 - The nation's first legally sanctioned same-sex marriages are performed in Massachusetts.

May 17, 2012 - Donna Summer dies from cancer at the age of 63.

 

Donna_halfmoon

 

2012 - The off-Broadway play Cock opens.  Newspaper ads for the showrequire its title to be listed as C**k or Cockfight Play.

2013 - Michael Musto, the Village Voice's iconic entertainment and gossip columnist for nearly 30 years, is let go by the paper.

2016 - 47-year-old Eric Fanning is confirmed as the first openly gay Secretary of the Army.

 

Eric.fanning

 

2019 - Taiwan's legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage, the first country in Asia to do so. 

 

MAY 18 

May 18, 1986 GMHC holds its first AIDS Walkathon in New York City.

1992 - Record executive David Geffen donates $1 million to New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis.

1994 - On Fox's Melrose Place, the network gets cold feet and decides against showing Matt kissing his male date.  Instead the camera cuts away as their faces came together.

2013 - France becomes the 14th nation to legalize same-sex marriage.  With a population of 65 million, it passes South Africa as the most populous country where same-sex couples can marry.

2013 - On Saturday Night Live, a parody TV commercial airs for "Zanax for Gay Summer Weddings", formulated for heterosexuals attending gay weddings who feel insecure because of how perfect these weddings are.

 

MAY 19

May 19, 1962 - Marilyn Monroe sings a sultry "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to JFK at a fund raiser at Madison Square Garden.

1979 - The Village People's In the Navy peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

May 19, 1991 - Julie Andrews, Ann-Margret and Hugh Grant star in the TV movie Our Sons.

May 19, 2009 - A preview episode of Glee airs after American Idol.

2011 - Sports-talk radio host Jared Max comes out on-air during his popular morning drive-time show at New York radio station ESPN 1050.

 

MAY 20

1979 - David Gloss of San Francisco wins the first International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago.

 

Mr_leather_chicago

 

1981 - March of the Falsettos opens off-Broadway.

1985 - Madonna is on the cover of this week's issue of TIME Magazine, with the headline "Why She's Hot".  

1996 - The US Supreme Court overturns Colorado's referendum that prohibited LGBT residents from attempting to overturn anti-gay leglislation.

2008 - Portland, Oregon elects a gay mayor, 44-year-old Sam Adams.

 

Sam_adams

 

2009 - Cutie Kris Allen upsets gay glam rocker, Adam Lambert, to win American Idol.

 

MAY 21

1979 - The "White Night" riot breaks out in San Francisco in response to the light sentence given to Dan White, convicted murderer of Harvey Milk and SF mayor George Moscone.

 

Sf_white_night_riot  

 

2014 - Pennsylvania's governor declines to contest the state's Supreme Court's decision overturning its ban on same-sex marriage, thus making gay marriage legal in all nine states of the Northeast. 

2014 Season Five of Modern Family ends with the wedding of Cam and Mitchell.

 

Cam.mitch.married

 

2018 - Although he didn't win a medal in the Men's Singles Figure Skating competition at the '18 Winter Olympics, openly gay US figure skater Adam Rippon won Dancing with the Stars: Athletes.

 

MAY 22

1966 - Joan Rivers makes her first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1986 - Cher makes her first appearance on the David Letterman's Late Night show, and when asked why she waited so long to appear on his show, she replies that it was because she thought he was an "asshole".

May 22, 2002 - New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza calls a press conference to deny rumors that he is gay.

 

Mike_piazza_not_gay

 

2007 - Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter Mary gives birth to a boy.

 

MAY 23

1969 - In an editorial in Screw Magazine, the word "homophobia" is used for the first time, referring to straight men who fear others might think they are gay.

2013 - The Boy Scouts of America vote to allow openly gay youths as members, while continuing its policy of excluding openly gay adult leaders.

2015 - Ireland becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

 

MAY 24

1966 - The musical Mame, starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur opens on Broadway.

1976 - Armistead Maupin's newspaper column "Tales of the City" first appears in the San Francisco Chronicle.  It is later published in book form and then produced as a TV mini-series on PBS in 1994.

1989 - News reports suggest that an explosion aboard the USS Iowa in April, that killed 43 sailors, may have been an act of sabotage, carried out by a sailor who was incensed that his homosexual lover had married a woman.

1993 - The US Senate confirms openly gay Roberta Achtenberg to be a top federal housing official.

2000 - In a first for a primetime TV show, two men are shown kissing each other, on WB's Dawson's Creek.

 

Gaykiss_dawsonscreek

 

2005 – 17-year-old singer Rihanna releases her first single, Pon de Replay.  It will top Billboard's Dance & Club chart and peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2017 - Taiwan becomes the first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage.  (It would go into effect in 2019 after a two-year waiting period for any amendments to the law.)

 

MAY 25

May 25, 1895 - English playwright Oscar Wilde is convicted of morals charges.

May 25, 1977 - A fire at New York's Everard Baths kills nine patrons.

2007 - Rosie O'Donnell's turbulent tenure on The View ends after she has one last on-screen outburst.

2014 - A movie version of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart airs on HBO.

 

MAY 26

2013 - The TV movie, Behind the Candelabra, airs on HBO.  It looks at the relationship of Liberace (played by Michael Douglas) and his much younger lover, Scott Thorson (played by Matt Damon).

 

MAY 27

2010 - The second Sex & the City movie opens and moviegoers are subjected to a cringe-worthy performance of Single Ladies by Liza Minnelli at Stanford and Anthony's wedding.

 

Liza_sexincity2

 

2014 - The medical drama Nightshift debuts on NBC as a summer replacement series.  One of the show's characters, played by Brendan Fehr, plays a closeted doctor whose boyfriend (Luke MacFarlane from Brothers & Sisters) is fighting in Afghanistan.

 

MAY 28

1991 - Terrence McNally's off-Broadway play Lips Together, Teeth Apart opens.  It tells the story of two straight couples spending 4th of July weekend out at Fire Island Pines in the house inherited by one of the women from her brother who died of AIDS. 

 

MAY 29

1957 - Openly gay movie director James Whale (1931's Frankenstein) commits suicide by drowning himself in his swimming pool in Hollywood.  He was 67.  The acclaimed 1998 movie Gods & Monsters, starring Ian McKellen (who received an Oscar nomination for his role), was about the later years of Whale's life.

1993 - Vienna holds its first "Life Ball", which becomes Europe's premier AIDS charity event.

2000 - TIME Magazine publishes a cover story titled, "What Ecstasy Does to Your Brain."  

 

MAY 30

1958 - 23-year-old Van Cliburn makes his Carnegie Hall debut.

 

Time.mag.vanclliburn

 

1985 - Former L.A. Dodgers baseball player Glenn Burke, whose career was derailed because he was gay, dies of AIDS at the age of 42.

1986 - Fashion designer Perry Ellis dies of AIDS at the age of 46.

1987 - Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank comes out in an article in the Boston Globe. 

2003 - Actor Richard Chamberlain comes out in his autobiography Shattered Love, published today.

 

Richard.chamberlain.book.shattered.love

 

2008 - The first Sex & the City movie opens, four years after the show's last season on HBO.

 

MAY 31

1959 - A fire destroys the original "Botel" in the harbor of Fire Island Pines

2001 - The Pet Shop Boys' musical Closer to Heaven opens in London's East End.

 

Closer_to_heaven

 

2018 - 50 years after its original run on Broadway, a revival of The Boys in the Band opens.  Seven of its characters are played by openly gay actors.

2019 - The movie Rocketman, a bio-pic about Elton John, opens in theaters.

 

Rocketman poster
 

JUNE 1

1991 - The first "Gay Day" at Disney World is held.

 

JUNE 2

1991 - The red ribbon for AIDS awareness makes its debut at the Tony Awards.

 

Aids_ribbon  

 

2004 - Philadelphia is the first destination in the world to air a gay-themed TV commercial promoting LGBT tourism, using the tagline "Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay™.  The ad began airing tonight on various cable networks.

 

JUNE 3

2001 - Six Feet Under debuts on HBO.  One of the couples portrayed is David and Mark, an interracial male couple in a tempestuous relationship.

2013 - The Fosters, a drama about a lesbian couple raising their family of inter-racial children, debuts on ABC Family.

 

JUNE 4

2006 - The animated series Queer Duck (which aired after episodes of Queer as Folk) has its premiere as a feature-length movie.

2018 - In a 7-2 vote, the US Supreme Court ruled that a baker in Lakewood, Colorado could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

 

Gay wedding cake

 

JUNE 5

1983 - In his acceptance speech at the Tony's for Torch Song Trilogy winning for Best Play, producer John Glines becomes the first person ever to acknowledge a same-sex partner on a major televised awards show.

 

John_glines 

 

June 5, 2010 - Elton John is paid $1 million to perform at homophobic, rightwing gasbag Rush Limbaugh's 4th wedding.

2010 - Portugal becomes the eighth nation where same sex marriage is legal.

 

JUNE 6

1998 - Sex & the City premieres on HBO.

 

JUNE 7

1954 - Brilliant British mathematician, Alan Turing, who was responsible for breaking the Nazi's secret code during WWII, takes his life by swallowing cyanide.  In 1952 he had been convicted of gross indecency for being a homosexual.  He was 42 at the time of his death.  

1974 – The first performance of Beach Blanket Babylon takes place at the Savoy Tivoli restaurant in San Francisco.

1977 - Behind the homophobic zealotry of orange juice queen Anita Bryant, Dade County's referendum banning anti-gay discrimination is repealed by voters.

 

Anitabryant_newsweek

 

2005 - Three players from the Boston Red Sox are subjects of makeovers on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

2009 - Neil Patrick Harris hosts the Tony Awards for the first time (he also hosts in 2011 and 2012).

 

Nph_2009_tony

 

2012 - Moscow's City Court upholds a lower court's ruling banning all gay pride events in the city for the next hundred years. 

2015 - The musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's novel about growing up as a lesbian in rural Pennsylvania and the relationship she had with her closeted father, wins the Tony Award for Best Musical. 

 

JUNE 8

June 8, 1993 - RuPaul's debut CD, Supermodel of the World, is released. 

2006 - Alison Bechdel's comics-style memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, is published.  

 

JUNE 9

1959 - Headline of a story in the NY Daily News: "I'm No Homo, Says Suing Liberace."

1992 - In The Life, a 30-minute public affairs program about LGBT life and issues airs its first episode on six public TV stations.

1993– In the movie Orlando, which opens today, Quentin Crisp plays Elizabeth I, Tilda Swinton plays a man for the 1st half of the film and Jimmy Somerville plays an angel.

 

Crisp_swinton_orlando

 

June 9 - In the HBO documentary, Remembering the Artist: Robert de Niro, Sr., Robert de Niro discusses his late father's homosexuality.

 

JUNE 10

1982 - Five months after it opened off-Broadway, Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy moves to Broadway.

June 10, 1991 - The premiere issue of Martha Stewart Living hits newsstands.

2001 - Beginning of a three-episode arc on Sex & the City in which Samantha has a lesbian affair with a Brazilian artist from Charlotte's gallery (played by Sonia Braga).

 

JUNE 11

2009 - At the age of 40, Chastity Bono announces that she plans to undergo sex reassignment surgery and go by the name Chaz.

 

JUNE 12

2015 - This week's issue of Entertainment Weekly (dated 6/19) has a cover story about the "The 50 Gay TV & Movie Characters We Love The Most".

2016 - A gunman mows down patrons at the gay club 'Pulse' in Orlando, FL shortly before closing, killing 49 patrons and wounding many others.  At the time it is the worst mass shooting in US history.

 

JUNE 14

14-15, 2006 - Rufus Wainwright performs Judy Garland's acclaimed 1961 Carnegie Hall concert at Carnegie Hall.

 

Rufus_judy_carnegiehall 

 

2017 - 38-year-old Leo Varadkar is named Ireland's first openly gay prime minister.

 

Leo varadkar irish prime minister

 

JUNE 15

1945 - 23-year-old Judy Garland marries closeted movie director Vincente Minnelli, nineteen years her senior.  It's her second marriage and it would last six years.  

1997 - The first Folsom Street East festival is held in New York, sponsored by the Gay Male S&M Activists.

2020 - The US Supreme Court rules that the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

JUNE 16

2001 - Berlin elects a gay mayor, 47-year-old Klaus Wowereit.

2015 - The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, 33-year-old Navy veteran Pete Buttigieg, reveals he is gay in a column in the morning paper.

 

JUNE 17

1961 - Acclaimed Kirov Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects in Paris.

1966 - Angela Lansbury appears on the cover of LIFE Magazine, touting her starrring role on Broadway in Mame

 

JUNE 18

1992 - Australian entertainer Peter Allen (one of Liza Minnelli's ex-husbands) dies of AIDS at the age of 48.

 

Peter_allen 

 

June 18-25, 1994 - New York City hosts Gay Games IV.

 

JUNE 19

2014 - The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church votes to change the definition of marriage from "a man and a woman" to "two people," and to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages where it is legal.

 

JUNE 20

1980 - After 18 months of wild mainstream success, the Village People "jump the shark" with the opening of their movie Can't Stop the Music.  It was so bad that it was the inspiration for the first Razzie Awards.

1997 - My Best Friend's Wedding opens in theaters, co-starring Rupert Everett as Julia Roberts' gay best friend. 

2013 - Exodus International, a ministry that claimed people could change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual through reparative therapy, announces it will shut down after 37 years of operation.  Its president also issues a profuse apology.

 

JUNE 21

June 21, 1993 - This week's Newsweek cover story is titled "Lesbians".

 

JUNE 22

June 22, 1969 - Judy Garland dies in London at the age of 47.

 

Judy_Garland_Death_NYTimes

 

1988 - Leonard Matlovich, who appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in military uniform in 1975 for the story "I Am A Homosexual", dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

 

JUNE 24

1973 – 32 mostly gay and lesbian patrons die in an arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans, a disaster met largely with indifference by city residents.

1978 - Australia's version of the Stonewall Riot erupts on Oxford Street in Sydney.

1979 - The Village People perform at Madison Square Garden in the first of two concerts.

 

Village_people_madsquaregdn

 

1984 - French philosopher Michel Foucault becomes the first public figure in France to die of AIDS.  He was 57 years old.

June 24, 1992 - The BBC produced TV movie The Lost Language of Cranes airs on PBS.

1992 - The free, weekly New York City gay entertainment magazine, Next, publishes its first issue.

2011 - Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in New York state is passed and signed by governor Andrew Cuomo.

2012 - Gad Beck, the last known gay Holocaust survivor, dies one week before his 89th birthday.

2016 - President Obama declares Greenwich's Stonewall Inn, site of 1969's Stonewall riots, a national monument, the country’s first LGBT site to receive such an honor.

 

Stonewall inn

 

JUNE 25

1962 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that male physique magazines aren’t pornographic and can be sent through the mail.

1989 - Alabama's first Gay Pride parade takes place in Birmingham and 200 participated.

2005 - A 20-year-old student from the Netherlands wins the first Mr. Gay Europe competition, held in Oslo.

 

JUNE 26

1982 - New York Front Runners holds its first 5K Gay Pride Run in Central Park.

 

Gaypriderun

 

June 26, 1988 - 20-year-old Kylie Minogue's first single, I Should Be So Lucky, enters the top-40 on Billboard's Hot 100.

June 26, 2003 - The U.S. Supreme overturns Texas' same-sex sodomy law, thus voiding the sodomy laws in twelve other states as well.

2013 - In two landmark decisions, the Supreme Court overturns DOMA and also upholds an earlier federal appeals court ruling that invalidated Prop 8 in California, thus restoring same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous states.

2015 - The Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.

2016 - During an interview Pope Frances says that Christians owe apologies to gays and others who have been offended or exploited by the church: "The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times." 

 

JUNE 27

1978 - The rainbow flag is flown for the first time, during San Francisco's Gay Pride parade.

June 27, 1983 - "AIDS Hysteria" is the subject of this week's TIME Magazine cover story.

 

JUNE 28

1969 - The Stonewall riot in New York's Greenwich Village marks the beginning of the gay liberation movement.

1970 - 2,000 participate in New York's first Gay Pride parade.  It started in Greenwich Village and ended in Central Park.

 

First_gaypride_parade

 

2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Boy Scouts of America can bar gay members from being troop leaders. (In 2013 the Scouts voted to allow gay members.)

 

JUNE 29

June 29, 1984 - Rupert Everett stars in the movie Another Country, his first gay role.

June 29, 1984 - Grace Jones was a guest and Joan Rivers the guest host on the Tonight Show

 

JUNE 30

1919 - The German film Different from the Others opens in Germany.  It showed how society mistreats homosexuals and is considered by many to be the first movie with a gay theme.

1975 - 25-year-old Elton John is featured on the cover of this week's issue of TIME Magazine with the headline, "Rock's Captain Fantastic."

1986 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Georgia's sodomy law, ruling that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults in the privacy of their homes.

1999 - 66-year-old James Hormel is sworn in as the first openly gay US ambassador (to Luxembourg) after a two-year confirmation battle led by conservative Republicans (who referred to him as a "homosexual poster boy".)  He was joined at the ceremony by his partner and his ex-wife and their children.

June 30, 2005 - MTV Networks launches its gay-themed cable network, LOGO

2013 - In honor of Gay Pride Day and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington state, the Seattle Mariners become the first Major League Baseball team to fly the rainbow flag at a game.

 

Rainbow_flag_safeco_field

 

2013 - Russian president, Vladimir Putin, signs into law legislation that bans gay "propaganda".

2016 - The Pentagon lifts its ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

 

JULY 1

1934 - The Hays Code, a laundry list of guidelines to ensure "decency" in movies, goes into effect.  One of the guidelines strongly discourages any depictions of homosexuality (falling under the category of "sex perversions").

1988 - During an appearance on David Letterman, Sandra Bernhard brings out "gal pal" Madonna and they proceed to gang up on Dave and act obnoxiously.

 

Madonna_bernhard_letterman

 

2013 - This week's issue of the New Yorker celebrates week's Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage by showing Bert & Ernie on its cover snuggling in front of the TV.  

 

JULY 2

1966 - Billie Jean King wins her first Women's Singles title at Wimbledon.

July 2, 1987 - Broadway choreographer and director Michael Bennett dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

 

Michael_Bennett2

 

July 2, 2012 - CNN's Anderson Cooper finally comes out.

 

JULY 3

July 3, 1981 - A front page article in the New York Times reports on "Rare Cancer Seen in Homosexuals."

1990 - Former Major League Baseball umpire Dave Pallone, who was fired after being outed, publishes his story in Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball.

 

Dave_pallone_ gay_umpire

JULY 4

July 4, 1976 - The first "invasion" of the Pines by drag queens from Cherry Grove takes place.

 

JULY 6

1979 - Sydney, Australia holds its first Gay Mardis Gras.

 

JULY 7

1978 - Martina Navratilova wins her first Women's Singles title at Wimbledon.

2012 - Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank becomes the first member of Congress to marry a same-sex partner when he and Jim Ready tie the knot in Newton, Massachusetts.

 

Barneyfrank_jimready

 

JULY 9

1993 - The U.S. military's  much maligned "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is introduced by President Clinton as a way to address the presence of LGBT soldiers..

2007 - The Advocate announces that it will send its magazine through the mail without a plastic overwrap, unless requested by a subscriber.

2018 - After a previous rainbow sculpture celebrating gay pride in Warsaw (the capital of Poland) was repeatedly vandalized, a new one was unveiled that is "unbreakable" - a hologram projected on a curtain of water, making it resistant to most forms of defacement.

 

Warsaw rainbow

 

JULY 10

1985 - Playboy publishes full frontal nude photos of Madonna in its August issue.

July 10, 2009 - Hx Magazine, one of New York's two weekly gay entertainment guides, publishes its last issue after being purchased by rival publisher, Next Media.

 

Hx_logo

JULY 11

1977 - The Village People's self-titled first album is released.

1999 - On Sex & the City Charlotte considers becoming a lesbian, but her new "power lesbian" friends lose patience with her reticence and reject her.

2013 - Orange is the New Black, a drama set in a women's prison, debuts on Netflix.

 

Orangeisnewblack.netflix

JULY 12

July 12, 1997 - Prison drama Oz debuts on HBO.

 

JULY 14

1989 - Marlon Riggs' documentary Tongues Untied premieres at L.A.'s Outfest.

 

JULY 15

1965 - Joan Rivers marries Edgar Rosenberg.

1982 - 26-year-old Nathan Lane makes his Broadway debut in the Noel Coward play Present Laughter.

1993 - The cover of Vanity Fair's August issue shows supermodel Cindy Crawford shaving lesbian singer kd lang.  

July 15, 1997 - Fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot to death outside his South Beach mansion.

 

Gianni_versace

 

July 15, 2003 - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy debuts on Bravo.

2010 - Argentina is the first South American country to legalize same sex marriage.

July 15, 2012 - On the mini-series Political Animals, the Secretary of State (played by Sigourney Weaver) has a drugged out gay son.

 

JULY 17

1991 - While on a visit to London, First Lady Barbara Bush asks Princess Diana to give her a tour of the AIDS ward at London's Middlesex Hospital.

 

Barbarabush_princessdiana

 

2013 - With Queen Elizabeth giving her royal stamp of approval to Parliament's legislation, England legalizes same-sex marriage.

 

JULY 19

2006 - With not much of a career left to jeopardize, former N-Sync singer Lance Bass comes out in the pages of People.  His is perhaps the first case of an entertainer using coming out as a career move. 

 

JULY 20

July 20, 1971 - In the comic strip "Peanuts" Marcie addresses Peppermint Patty as "sir" for the first time.

1983 - Massachusetts Democrat Gerry Studds becomes the first openly gay member of Congress when he comes out on the floor of the House after being censured for having sex with a Congressional page.

July 20, 2005 - Canada becomes the fourth country to legalize same-sex marriage.

2018 - Eight years after his suicide, at the age of 30, a documentary about fashion designer Alexander McQueen opens in theaters.

 

JULY 21

1983 - Diana Ross gets soaked by a thunderstorm during her free concert in Central Park in front of 450,000 fans.  After being postponed it is held the following day in sunny and dry conditions.

 

Dianaross_centralpark1 

 

2016 - The NBA announces that it will not hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a reaction to state legislation passed earlier in the year that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

 

JULY 22

1999 - The off-Broadway show Naked Boys Singing! opens at Actors Playhouse in the West Village.

 

Nakedboyssinging

 

2016 - In the new Star Trek movie, which opened in theaters today, Mr. Sulu is gay, which is subtly revealed when he's shown embracing his male partner and their daughter upon arriving home from a mission.  (In the original 1960s TV series Sulu was played by George Takei, who came out years later).

 

Gay mr sulu

 

JULY 23

1599 - Italian artist Caravaggio receives his first public commission.

July 23, 1966 - Tormented, closeted actor Montgomery Clift dies in New York at the age of 45. 

2012 - Former astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman to be launched into space, dies at the age of 61.  Upon her death it is revealed that she was a lesbian with a partner for many years.  

 

JULY 24

July 24, 1994 - The BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous debuts in the U.S. on Comedy Central.

1998 - Three months before the debut of Will & Grace, Sean Hayes stars as another gay character in the movie Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, which opens today in limited release.

2005 - The 16th GLAAD Media Awards are the first to be televised (on cable network LOGO).

 

JULY 25

1966 - Poet, writer and art critic Frank O'Hara dies one day after being hit by a dune buggy on the beach at Fire Island.  He was 40.

1989 - Steve Rubell of Studio 54 fame dies from AIDS at the age of 45.

2018 - The Kennedy Center announced that Cher will be one of the recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

 

JULY 26

1990 - President Bush signs the Americans With Disabilities Act, which goet into effect on July 26, 1992.

 

Prez_bush_american_disabilities_act

 

2017 - 13 months after the Pentagon approved of transgender persons serving in the US military, President Trump, without consulting the Pentagon, tweeted that they would be banned.

 

JULY 27

1982 - The mysterious "gay cancer" is officially named AIDS.

July 27, 1983 - Madonna's self-titled debut album is released.

1985 - The first AIDS Walk is held in L.A.

2001 - The movie Hot Wet American Summer opens.  And although it is a huge flop at the box office (grossing less than $300,000), the movie is notable for a gay make-out session between Bradley Cooper (in his first film role) and Michael Ian Black.  (The movie has since developed a cult following.) 

2004 – The group Scissor Sisters, fronted by openly gay singer Jake Shears,  releases its first CD, simply called Scissor Sisters.

 

Scissor_sisters

 

2015 - The Boy Scouts of America lifts its ban on adult scout leaders who are gay.

 

JULY 28

1991 - Actor Paul Reubens (better known as Pee Wee Herman) is arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater in Florida.

1993 - Wedding bible Brides Magazine runs a one-page article about same-sex weddings.

2013 - Asked by reporters about gay priests, Pope Francis gives a surprisingly compassionate reply, saying that "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" It is also notable that he uses the term "gay" rather than "homosexual".

 

JULY 29

1949 - 3-year-old Liza Minnelli makes her screen debut during the closing moments of her mother's movie In the Good Old Summertime, which opens today. 

1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.

2003 - Reality show Boy Meets Boy joins Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Bravo's Tuesday night lineup.

 

Boy_meets_boy

 

2006 - One week after Gay Games 7 ended in Chicago the first World Gay Games opened in Montreal with nearly twice as many as participants.

 

JULY 30

2018 - Land O'Lakes Inc. named Beth Ford as its CEO, making her the first openly gay woman to head a Fortune 500 company.

 

Land o lakes

 

JULY 31

2012 - Author, pundit and political gadfly Gore Vidal dies at the age of 85. 

 

AUGUST 1

Aug 1, 1983 - This week's Newsweek gay-themed cover story is titled "Sex, Politics & the Impact of AIDS." 

 

Newsweek_GayAmerica 

 

AUGUST 2

1986 - Closeted attorney Roy Cohn, who would be cast as a self-loathing villain in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, dies from AIDS at the age of 59.

2013 - Secretary of State John Kerry announces that effectively immediately the US will treat visa applications of married same-sex couples in the same manner as opposite-sex spouses. 

 

AUGUST 4

1996 - Amsterdam holds its first Gay Pride Parade.

 

AUGUST 5

Aug 5, 1962 - Marilyn Monroe dies from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.

1985 - This week's TIME Magazine cover story is titled, "AIDS: The Growing Threat and What's Being Done."

1995 - The first DRA Fire Island Dance Festival is held in the Pines, overlooking Long Island's Great South Bay.

 

AUGUST 8

1973 – In Houston, the murders of 28 teen boys, who went missing over the course of three years, are discovered.  The ringleader, Dean Corll, was shot dead by one of his accomplices, who then reported the murders to police.

1974 - Two years before it was picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, Armistead Maupin's serial, Tales of the City, is first published today in the Bay Area by The Pacific Sun.

2006 - Washington D.C.'s Gay Men's Chorus is the first gay chorus to perform at a professional sporting event when they sing the National Anthem at the start of this evening's Washington Nationals baseball game.

 

Washington_gay_mens_chorus

 

AUGUST 9

1967 - 32-year-old British playwright, Joe Orton, is murdered by longtime partner, Kenneth Halliwell, who then commits suicide.

1976 - Cherry Grove and the Pines are buffeted by Hurricane Belle, which makes landfall on Jones Beach shortly after midnight.  Since the storm's approach was on Sunday, weekend activities were impacted due to a mandatory evacuation.

Aug 9, 2007 - Democratic presidential hopefuls debate LGBT issues on LOGO.

Aug 9, 2010 - After having an on-board altercation with a passenger shortly after landing at JFK, a gay JetBlue flight attendant has a meltdown and exits the plane, using one of its emergency slides.

2014 - The Ninth Gay Games begin in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

Gaygames.cleveland

 

AUGUST 10

1987 - Famed gay porn star, Casey Donovan, (Boys in the Sand) dies from AIDS at the age of 43. 

1994 - The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert opens in theaters.

 

Priscilla

 

AUGUST 11

1995 - Unzipped, a documentary about out fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, opens in limited release.

2013 - Chelsea's popular bar Splash closes after nearly 22 years, unable to staunch the flow of patrons to bars and clubs in Hell's Kitchen.

 

AUGUST 12

1970 - 25-year-old Bette Midler gets her first national exposure when she appears on The Tonight Show.

Aug 12, 2004 - New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey steps down after revealing he's gay and had been carrying on an adulterous affair with a male staff member.

 

Mcgreevey_news_conference

 

2009 - Harvey Milk is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

 

AUGUST 15

Aug 15, 1911 - Crisco shortening, used by many gay men in the 1970s/80s for non-baking purposes, is introduced.

2019 - The Log Cabin Republicans endorse President Trump for a second term.  The endorsement was published in the Washington Post.  (The group did not endorse Trump during his first presidential run.) 

 

AUGUST 16

1985 - Madonna weds actor Sean Penn on her 27th birthday.

1986 - Madonna's Papa Don't Preach hits #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

 

AUGUST 17

Aug 17, 1992 - Gay porn icon Al Parker dies from AIDS at the age of 40.

 

Alparker

 

2007 - Disney Channel's wildly popular High School Movie 2 premieres to record ratings and features perhaps the gayest musical number ever devoted to baseball (I Don't Dance).

 

AUGUST 18

1975 - Released today, the album art of Hall & Oates second album (silver cover) has a homoerotic look to it.

1995 - The movie version of Paul Rudnick's play Jeffrey opens in theaters.

 

AUGUST 19

Aug 19, 1936 - Famed Spanish writer and poet, Francisco Garcia Lorca, is executed in the initial weeks of the Spanish Civil War.  He was 38.

 

AUGUST 21

1983 - Opening night for the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, featuring George Hearn's show-stopping anthem I Am What I Am.

 

George_hearn_la_cage 

 

1994 - Choreographer Michael Peters (Michael Jackson's Beat It video) dies from AIDS at the age of 46.  In addition to his fame from the Beat It video, he also won a Tony Award for Dreamgirls.

Aug 21, 2000 - Ellen Degeneres and Anne Heche split after three years together.

Aug 21, 2008 - Hallmark introduces a line of wedding cards celebrating same-sex marriage.

 

AUGUST 22

1972 - A man robs a bank in Brooklyn (and takes hostages) to pay for his boyfriend's gender reassignment surgery, an incident that the 1975 movie Dog Day Afternoon is based upon. 

Aug 22, 2008 - In a major upset at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Australia's openly gay diver, Matt Mitcham, wins a gold medal in the 10-meter diving competition.

 

Matt_mitcham_2008olympics

 

AUGUST 23

Aug 23, 2000 - Gay nudist Richard Hatch is the winner of the first season of Survivor.  

 

AUGUST 25

Aug 25, 1939 - The Wizard of Oz opens in theaters.

1984 - Writer Truman Capote dies one month shy of his 60th birthday.

2010 - Joe Miller, a gay philanthropist from Indianapolis, and owner of the company that produces the well-known line of Rush and Jungle Juice "poppers", commits suicide.  His age was uncertain, but he was thought to be around 60.

2015 - The Manhattan headquarters of digital gay escort service, RentBoy.com is raided by federal agents and six employees are arrested, including its CEO.

 

Rentboy

 

AUGUST 26

1976 - Transexual Renee Richards is barred from competing in the U.S. Open as a woman.

 

AUGUST 28

Aug 28, 1982 - The first Gay Games is held in San Francisco.

1985 - The lesbian-themed romantic drama, Desert Hearts, opens in theaters.

1994 - The city of Tokyo holds its first Gay Pride Parade.

2003 - Madonna and Britney Spears cause a sensation when they French kiss on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.

2013 - The Internal Revenue Service announces that all same-sex couples who are legally married will be recognized as such for federal tax purposes, even if the state where they live doesn't recognize their union.

 

AUGUST 31

1982 - Rainer Werner Fassbinder's last film, Querelle, has it premiere at the Venice Film Festival, two months after his death at the age of 37.

 

Querelle

 

Aug 31, 1997 - Princess Diana dies in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36.

 

SEPTEMBER 1

1939 - The movie The Women opens in theaters, one week after The Wizard of Oz had its opening.

 

The_women_1939

 

1964 - Susan Sontag's essay Notes on Camp is published in the Fall issue of Partisan Review.

1968 - The gay-friendly entertainment magazine, After Dark, publishes its first issue.

1977 - The first meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans is held.

Sept 1, 2002 - The New York Times publishes it first announcement of a same-sex union.

 

SEPTEMBER 2

Sept 2, 1967 - The Advocate publishes its first issue.

1971 - Liberace wears red, white & blue sequined hot pants during a performance in Minneapolis.

 

Liberace_hotpants

 

2013 - In her fifth attempt, 64-year-old lesbian swimmer, Diana Nyad, successfully swam for 53 hours between Havana, Cuba and Key West - without a shark cage.

 

SEPTEMBER 3

1972 - The first Southern Decadence party is held in New Orleans. 

1975 - This week's TIME Magazine cover story is titled "I Am a Homosexual" and tells the story of gay serviceman Lieutenant Leonard Matlovich.

 

Matlovich

 

Sept 3, 1977 - The Village People's debut album begins its first of seven weeks at the top of Billboard's dance chart. 

 

SEPTEMBER 4

1979 - Liza plays Carnegie Hall for the first time.

 

SEPTEMBER 5

Sept 5, 2002 - Take Me Out, a drama about the impact an openly gay baseball player has on his teammates, opens at the Public Theater.

 

SEPTEMBER 6

1975 - Martina Navratilova requests political asylum in the U.S. while competing in the U.S. Open. 

1999 - The New York Times ran a Page One article about baseball player Billy Bean, who came out after retiring during the 1995 season.

 

Billy.bean.gaybaseballplayer

 

SEPTEMBER 7

1930 - The movie Whoopie opens, introducing moviegoers to Busby Berkeley's grand geometry-inspired production numbers. 

1962 - Leonard Bernstein appears on the cover of Newsweek (cover date: 9/14).

 

Newsweek_leonard bernstein sept 1962

 

1967 - Ethel Merman appears as herself on That Girl.

 

SEPTEMBER 8

1292 - John de Wettre is put to death for committing sodomy in the Belgian city of Ghent, the earliest known case in Western Europe of an execution for this act.

Sept 8, 1504 - Michelangelo unveils his staute "David" in Florence.

 

Davids_eye

 

Sept 8, 1966 - The sitcom That Girl debuts on ABC, starring Marlo Thomas. 

2003 - Ellen Degeneres' daytime talk show debuts.

2008 - The Rachel Maddow Show debuts on MSNBC.

 

SEPTEMBER 9

1999 - On Sex & the City Samantha gets an offer to have a threesome with two curious gay male friends, but it doesn't go very well for her.

 

SEPTEMBER 10

2007Gay judge David Young’s syndicated TV show debuts.  It’s tagline is “Justice with a snap”.  Despite the gay angle (plaintiffs/defendants were of all sexual orientations) the show was unable to make headway against the glut of judge shows already on the air and was cancelled after two seasons.

 

SEPTEMBER 11

1989 - Liza's ninth studio album, Results, is released.  Produced by the Pet Shop Boys, its most popular track is a dance remake of Losing My Mind from the 1970 Sondheim musical Follies.

 

Liza_minnelli_results

 

Sept 11, 1993 - The acclaimed AIDS drama And the Band Played On airs on HBO.

2001 - At least nine passengers on board the planes that struck the WTC or Pentagon, or crashed in PA, were gay or lesbian.  And at least fifteen died at the WTC or Pentagon.  Among the passengers on the first plane to crash into the WTC, American Airlines Flight 191, was a gay male couple and their adopted 3-year-old son.

Sept 11, 2011 - On Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry is captivated by his girlfriend's innocently flamboyant 7-year old "pre-gay" son and buys him a showing machine for his birthday.

2016 - Erin O'Flaherty, Miss Missouri, is the first openly gay contestant in the 95-year history of the Miss America pageant.  (However, she is not selected as one of the 15 semi-finalists.)

 

SEPTEMBER 12

1992 - Actor Anthony Perkins (Psycho) dies from AIDS at the age of 60.

2016 - Two months after the NBA announced it would not play the 2017 All Star Game in Charlotte as planned, the NCAA announces that it will move championship games for seven different sports from North Carolina in protest of the state's anti-gay legislation passed earlier in the year.  

2017 - Edie Windsor, the lead plaintiff in the 2013 US Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and was considered a landmark legal victory for the same-sex marriage movement in the United States., dies at the age of 88.

 

EdieWindsor

 

SEPTEMBER 13

1977 - Billy Crystal portrays gay character Jodie Dallas on ABC's new envelope-pushing sitcom, Soap.

 

Billycrystal_soap

 

1986 - Pee Wee's Playhouse debuts on CBS's Saturday Morning Kids lineup.

2011 - The sitcom Husbands, which tells the story of a married gay male couple, debuts online.  The first season's episodes are two minutes in length. 

 

SEPTEMBER 14

1984 - Madonna becomes a star after her performance at the MTV Music Video Awards where she rolled around on the stage in a wedding dress while singing Like a Virgin.

1989ACT UP disrupts the trading floor of the NYSE to protest the high price of AZT.

 

SEPTEMBER 15

1952 - Lucy & Ethel run into trouble on the assembly line at the candy factory on tonight's episode of I Love Lucy.

Sept 15, 1973 - Sue Ann Nivens (played by Betty White) is introduced on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

 

SEPTEMBER 16

1972 - The persona of Greenwich Village's legendary 'Rollerena' is born when 24-year-old Stephen Kroninger buys his signature hat and gown from an antiques store on Christopher St.

 

Rollerena

 

1977 - Soprano Maria Callas dies at the age of 53.

1979 - The newly formed New York City Gay Men's Chorus holds its first auditions.

1990General Motors issues an apology after one of its commercials refers to trucks made by foreign companies as “little faggot trucks.”

1996 - The ABC sitcom Spin City debuts and features the first openly gay character played by a person of color as actor Michael Boatman portrays Carter Heyward, the mayor's minority affairs liaison.

 

Michael_boatman_spincity

 

SEPTEMBER 17

1985 - While answering a question at a press conference about the federal budget for 1986, President Reagan says the word "AIDS" for the first time in his presidency.

Sept 17, 2009 - On Parks & Recreation the Deputy of Parks (played by Amy Poehler) unknowingly marries two male penguins at the town zoo and becomes a hero of the town's gay population.  

 

SEPTEMBER 18

1987 - The movie Maurice opens.

 

Maurice_movie_poster

 

1991 - On Seinfeld, George has doubts about his sexual orientation after he feels his penis "move" during a massage by a male physical therapist.

2018 - Sesame Workshop, the education organization behind the children’s program Sesame Street, issued a press release stating that the beloved characters Bert & Ernie “do not have a sexual orientation.”

 

SEPTEMBER 19

Sept 19, 1981 - Mommie Dearest opens. 

1988 - U.S. diver Greg Louganis hits his head on the diving board while competing at the Summer Olympics in South Korea and still wins a gold medal.

1997 - The comedy In & Out, about a teacher (played by Kevin Kline) who's unaware of his sexual orientation until he's outed on national TV, opens in theaters.  Tom Selleck plays a gay TV news reporter. 

2000 - The comedy Best in Show opens in theaters and among its cast of characters is a gay male couple and, in her breakout movie role, Jane Lynch plays a lesbian dog trainer .

2006 - The temperature of the already homoerotic Nip/Tuck heats up a few more degrees in tonight's episode, which features Mario Lopez showing off his beautiful butt cheeks during an exquisite shower scene.

 

Mario_lopez_niptuck

 

2011 - Chaz Bono competes as a man on Dancing With the Stars.

 

Chazbono_dancingwiththestars 

 

SEPTEMBER 20

1973 - Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes", televised in primetime from the Astrodome.

Sept 20, 1980 - Opening night at "The Saint", New York's premier gay dance club of the 1980's.

 

Thesaint

 

1980 - Love Sensation by Loleatta Holloway goes to #1 on Billboard's dance chart.

2010 - At a political rally in Portland, Maine Lady Gaga gives a fiery speech demanding the end of the US military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

 

Lady_gaga_political_rally 

 

2011 - After 18 years the U.S. military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is no longer in effect.   

 

SEPTEMBER 21

1327 - Henry II is murdered in his prison cell supposedly after having a red hot iron thrust up his rectum (in reaction to his homosexuality).

1994 - On Roseanne, husband Dan is embarrassed when his buddies discover he shaved his armpits when he had a cyst treated. 

Sept 21, 1996 - President Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law.

Sept 21, 1998 - Will & Grace debuts on NBC's Monday night schedule.

 

SEPTEMBER 22

2013 - For the third time in the past four years openly gay actor Jim Parsons wins the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Sitcom for his portrayal of lovable nerd Sheldon on CBS's The Big Bang Theory.

 

SEPTEMBER 23

Sept 23, 2009 - ABC's new sitcom Modern Family debuts.  It features three couples, one of which is gay daddies Cameron and Mitchell.

 

Cameron_mitchell_lily

 

SEPTEMBER 24

1924 - Leopold and Loeb, both 19-year-old college students from wealthy Chicago families, receive life sentences for the "thrill kill" murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks four months earlier.  Their motivation was to commit the perfect crime.  They were thought to have had a homosexual relationship with one another.  The case was the inspiration for the films Rope (1948) and Swoon (1992).

1978 - Former California governor Ronald Reagan announces that he does not support the state's Briggs Initiative (aka Proposition 6), which, if approved by voters, would fire teachers who are gay, or those who speak favorably of homosexuality - in or out of the classroom.

 

SEPTEMBER 25

Sept 25, 1979 - Evita opens on Broadway and makes Patti Lupone a star. 

Sept 25, 1990 - Chelsea bar/club, Splash, opens.

2014 - In the premiere episode of ABC's drama How to Get Away With Murder, one gay character rims another - and there was no viewer uproar.

 

SEPTEMBER 26

Sept 26, 1957 - West Side Story opens on Broadway, with quite the gay pedigree: Leonard Bernstein (Music); Stephen Sondheim (Lyrics); Arthur Laurents (Book); and Jerome Robbins (Choreography).

1975 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show opens in theaters.

1985 - Lily Tomlin's one-woman show Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe opens on Broadway.  It was written by her longtime partner Jane Wagner.

 

Lily_tomlin_signs_of_intelligent

 

1987 - The legendary Paradise Garage closes its doors after 11 years.

2013 - In its 11th season, CBS's hit sitcom Two and a Half Men replaces its "half man" with the lesbian daughter of one of the Two Men.

 

SEPTEMBER 27

1962 - Silent Spring, marine biologist Rachel Carson's controversial and acclaimed book warning about the dire consequences of pesticide use is published.

1977 - Prison movie Short Eyes airs on CBS. 

1985 - The roof of Calvin Klein's summer home in the Pines is blown off by Hurricane Gloria.

2014 - California becomes the first state to ban "gay/trans panic" legal defenses in murder cases.

2017 - The CDC releases a letter saying that persons who are HIV-positive who take their medications daily "and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the HIV virus to an HIV-negative partner."

 

SEPTEMBER 28

Sept 28, 1961 - Dr. Kildare, starring Richard Chamberlain, debuts on NBC.

2007 - Harry Potter author JC Rowland reveals that Hogwarts' chief wizard, Dumbledore, was gay.

 

Dumbledore_gay

 

2017 - The groundbreaking sitcom, Will & Grace, returns to NBC's primetime schedule 11 years after its original eight-year run ended. 

 

SEPTEMBER 29

1948 - Rope, an Alfred Hitchcock film with a gay subtext, opens in theaters.  The screenplay was written by Arthur Laurents and two of the actors, Farley Granger and John Dall, were also gay. 

1963 - Judy Garland's variety show debuts Sunday on CBS.

1992 - Music producer Paul Jabara (Last Dance) dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

2006 - Closeted Republican congressman Mark Foley (from Florida) resigns after IMs of a sexual nature between him and a male Congressional page are revealed.

2012 - California becomes the first state to ban reparative therapy on minors to "cure" them of their homosexuality.

 

SEPTEMBER 30

1955 - Actor James Dean is killed in a car crash at the age of 24, one month before Rebel Without a Cause is released.

1984 - San Francisco's BDSM and leather communities organize the first Folsom Street Fair.

 

Folsom

 

1984 - 21-year-old George Michael begins his ascent to stardom in the US as his group Wham!'s single Wake Me Up Before You Go Go enters the top 40 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

2010 - Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumps to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate shows a video of him online kissing a man in their dorm room.

 

OCTOBER 1

2012 - Three months after receiving FDA approval, the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test goes on sale over-the-counter.  Priced at $40, it provides results in 20-40 minutes.

 

OCTOBER 2

1981 - The German film Taxi zum Clo ("Taxi to the Toilet") opens at the New York Film Festival.

Oct 2, 1985 - Rock Hudson becomes the first public figure to die from AIDS.  He was 59.

 

Rockhudson_lifemagazine

 

OCTOBER 3

1872 - Bloomingdale's department store opens in Manhattan.

2003 - Roy of "Siegfried & Roy" is mauled by one of his tigers during their Vegas show.

2004 - Desperate Housewives, created by openly gay showrunner, Marc Cherry, debuts on ABC's Sunday night schedule.

2005 - This week's TIME cover story is titled "The Battle Over Gay Teens".

2013 - Seven years after Will & Grace, Sean Hayes returns to NBC in the sitcom Sean Saves the World, in which he plays a gay man raising a teen daughter (cancelled after one season).

 

OCTOBER 4

1974 - John Waters' follow-up to Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, opens in theaters.

 

Female_trouble

 

2009 - On Saturday Night Live, Lady Gaga and Madonna appear in a skit together in which they have a catfight.

 

OCTOBER 5

1961 - The movie Breakfast at Tiffany's opens in theaters.

1967 - Ethel Merman makes a guest appearance as "Lola Lasagne" on Batman

Oct 5, 1969 - Peggy Lee's camp classic Is That All There Is? enters the top-40 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.  

1969 - The Washington Blade, DC's weekly gay newspaper (originally called The Gay Blade), publishes its first issue. 

1987 - The CBS sitcom Designing Women tackles the subject of AIDS and the public's intolerance of those infected with an episode titled "Killing All the Right People".

 

OCTOBER 6

Oct 6, 1963 - Judy Garland sings with Barbra Streisand on Judy's variety show, their only performance together. 

1997 - Annie Proulx's short story Brokeback Mountain is published in this week's issue of The New Yorker.

2006 - After 18 years as weatherman at New York's WABC, Sam Champion moves to Good Morning America.

 

Sam_champion_gma 

 

2014 - In a decision that catches many by surprise, the US Supreme Court let all the circuit court decisions stand that had struck down same-sex marriage bans in five states: Virginia, Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

 

OCTOBER 7

1955 - The first public reading of Allen Ginsberg's seminal poem Howl takes place in San Francisco.

Oct 7, 1959 - Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson, opens in theaters and becomes the 2nd highest grossing film of the 1950's.

1989 - Bette Davis dies at the age of 81.

 

OCTOBER 8

Oct 8, 1974 - Marcus Welby, MD airs a controversial episode about a high school boy who is raped by one of his teachers. 

1975 - The movie Mahogany opens in theaters, starring Diana Ross in the title role.  It features the song Mahogany's Theme (Do You Know Where You're Going To?), which was nominated for an Oscar (but lost to I'm Easy from Nashville).

 

OCTOBER 9

1957 - 22-year-old Johnny Mathis sings Chances Are on American Bandstand.

 

Johnny_mathis_young

 

1977 - In an episode of All in the Family titled "Cousin Liz", Edith discovers that her deceased cousin was a lesbian who had a longtime partner.

2002 - Lesbian serial killer Aileen Wournos (seven murders in one year) is executed in Florida.

 

OCTOBER 11

Oct 11, 1987 - The AIDS Memorial Quilt is unveiled for the first time at the 2nd Gay & Lesbian March on Washington, D.C.

 

Aids_quilt_dc_1987

 

1988 - Ventriloquist Waylon Flowers (creator of the character "Madam") dies from AIDS at the age of 58.

1988 - The first National Coming Out Day is observed.

2009 - On tonight's episode of Mad Men, closeted art director Sal (played by out actor Bryan Bratt) is fired after rebuffing the advances of the agency's biggest client.  (This is Sal's last appearance on the series.) 

2011 - Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny dies in Washington, D.C. at the age of 86.

 

Frank_kameny

 

OCTOBER 12

1972 - Lady Sings the Blues opens in theaters, marking Diana Ross' film debut.  Her role as Billie Holiday would garner her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

1985 - Andy Warhol appears on The Love Boat.

1998 - College student Matthew Shepard dies five days after being beaten and tied to a fence post in Laramie, Wyoming.

 

Matthew_shepard

 

OCTOBER 13

1950 - All About Eve opens in theaters.

 

OCTOBER 14

1930 - 21-year-old Ethel Merman makes a name for herself after belting out I've Got Rhythm in the Broadway musical Girl Crazy.

1979 - The first National March on Washington for Gay & Lesbian Rights is held.

1990 - Leonard Bernstein dies at the age of 72.

 

Leonard_bernstein2

 

1996 - Madonna gives birth to her first child, Lourdes Ciccone Leon.  The father, Carlos Leon, a personal trainer, is eight years younger than Madonna.

 

OCTOBER 15

1951 - I Love Lucy premieres on CBS.

Oct 15, 1967 - Vikki Carr's camp classic It Must Be Him enters the top-10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. 

1974 - An arson fire destroys the Firehouse, New York's first gay community center (and headquarters for the Gay Activist Alliance).  It was located in SoHo.

 

OCTOBER 16

2003 - The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, opens on Broadway.

 

OCTOBER 17

Oct 17, 2010 - The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas closes after 31 years.

 

Liberace_musuem

 

OCTOBER 19

1975 - A Chorus Line opens.

Oct 19, 2005 - Noah's Arc debuts on the LOGO cable network.

 

OCTOBER 20

1958 - Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's is published in the November issue of Esquire Magazine.

1991 - Primetime's first same-sex marriage takes place on the Fox sitcom Roc.

 

Roc_tvshow

 

2002 - Cher appears on the cover of November's issue of Good Housekeeping.

 

OCTOBER 21

1985Dan White, who in 1978 shot to death Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

1992 - Madonna's controversial book Sex goes on sale.

Oct 21, 1993 - Twilight of the Golds opens on Broadway.

2013 - The first same-sex marriages take place in New Jersey, the 14th state to legalize them. 

 

OCTOBER 22

Oct 22, 1986 - U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop calls for the use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission.

 

C_everett_koop

 

OCTOBER 24

Oct 24, 1937 - Cole Porter's legs are crushed when the horse he was riding while out in the Hamptons falls on top of him.

1966 - Paul Lynde makes his first appearance on the game show Hollywood Squares.

Oct 24, 1969 - This week's TIME Magazine cover story is "The Homosexual in America."

 

Time_HomosexualInAmerica

 

1978 - Diana Ross stars as Dorothy in the movie version of The Wiz, which opens in theaters. It's not nearly successful as the Broadway musical. 

2002 - Pioneering gay rights activist Harry Hay (Mattachine Society; Radical Faeries) dies at the age of 90.

 

OCTOBER 25

2006 - On the NBC sitcom 30 Rock heterosexual Liz (played by Tina Fey) is set up on a blind date with a lesbian.  And although Liz develops a platonic crush on her, the lesbian refuses to play the game of chasing after a straight girl.

 

Liz_lemon_lesbian_crush

 

2013 - The lesbian drama, and winner of the Palme de Or at Cannes, Blue is the Warmest Color, opens in US theaters.  Much attention is given to the NC-17-rated movie's explicit 7-minute sex scene.

 

OCTOBER 26

1974 - Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor is the first #1 song on Billboard's new Dance Chart.

 

OCTOBER 27

1964 - 18-year-old Cheryl Sarkisian (aka "Cher") wears bell bottoms at her wedding to Sonny Bono.

 

OCTOBER 30

130 AD - Antinous, Roman emperor Hadrian's 19-year-old consort, drowns in the Nile River.  Hadrian later had him deified and named an Egyptian city after him.

1992 - The issue of Entertainment Weekly that hit newsstands today, showing Madonna hitch-hiking nude, is one of the magazine's most notorious.  It coincides with the publication of her book Sex (which featured this photo).

 

EW_nov61992_143_m

 

2014 - Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to come out willingly.  He does so in an op-ed on Bloomberg Businesweek's website.

2017 - After years of being coy about his sexual orientation, actor Kevin Spacey comes out in response to allegations by Anthony Rapp of sexual misconduct by Spacey when Rapp was 14 (in 1987).

 

OCTOBER 31

1962 - Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, opens in theaters. 

1979 - Fire Island Pines' beloved disco, the Sandpiper, closes its doors after tonight's Halloween party.

1981 - Producer Patrick Cowley's techno composition, Menergy, is the new #1 song on Billboard's dance chart.

 

Patrick_cowley

 

NOVEMBER 1

1934 - Lillian Hellman's lesbian-themed drama The Children's Hour opens on Broadway.

Nov 1, 1972 - The landmark TV movie That Certain Summer airs, starring Hal Holbrooke and Martin Sheen as a gay couple who reveal their relationship to Holbrooke's teen son.

 

NOVEMBER 2

Nov 2, 1986 - Liberace makes his final stage performance, at Radio City Music Hall.  He succumbs to AIDS in February 1987.

2003 - The Episcopal church ordains its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.     

 

NOVEMBER 3

Nov 3, 1956 - The Wizard of Oz airs on TV for the first time.

1977 - 47-year-old Harvey Milk becomes one of the nation's highest profile individuals who is openly gay when he's elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. 

1984 - Jack Haber, former editor-in-chief at GQ from 1969-1983, dies from AIDS complications at the age of 45.  He brought a gay sensibility to the publication which future publishers sought to downplay in order to attract advertising from Detroit automakers.

1998 - Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay candidate elected to the House of Representatives. 

2006 - Actor Neil Patrick Harris reveals that he's gay.

 

Neil_patrick_harris

 

2006 - Ted Haggard, founder of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs steps down from his evangelical ministry after a male escort/masseur/personal trainer revealed a 3-year affair with him.  

2011 - Conan O'Brien officiates the same-sex wedding of one his staff members on his late night show on TBS.

2015 - Salt Lake City elects a lesbian mayor, 49-year-old Jackie Biskupski while in Palm Springs, Robert Moon was elected as the city's third gay mayor.

 

NOVEMBER 4

1998 - The movie Gods and Monsters, starring Ian McKellen as gay film director James Whale, opens in theaters.  McKellen received an Oscar nomination for his role and the movie won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

Gods_monsters

 

2001 – Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Emmys (delayed by the 9-11 attacks), and to open the telecast walks on stage wearing a swan costume, similar to that worn by Bjork at this year's Academy Awards.

Nov 4, 2003 - Ron Oden becomes the first openly gay African American elected mayor of a U.S. city, Palm Springs, CA.

2008 - By a narrow margin, voters in California overturn the state's Supreme Court ruling that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, thus putting somewhat of a damper on Barack Obama's election as president.

 

NOVEMBER 5

1974 - Lesbian Elaine Noble wins election to Massachusetts' House of Representative, the first openly gay person to be elected to a statewide office. 

1980 - The Fifth of a July opens on Broadway.

Nov 5, 1987 - Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods has its Broadway opening.

 

Into_the_woods

 

2013 - Openly gay Washington state senator Ed Murray is elected mayor of Seattle and delivers his acceptance speech with his husband at his side.

 

NOVEMBER 6

2018 - 43-year-old Jared Polis became the first openly gay person elected governor of a US state (Colorado).

Jared polis_GettyImages_984835512.0

NOVEMBER 7

1972 - Bette Midler's debut album, The Divine Miss M, is released.

1978 - California's Briggs Initiative, which would bar LGBT individuals from teaching in public schools, is defeated by voters.

Nov 7, 1989 - Two men are shown lying in bed together on the ABC drama thirtysomething, a first for network TV.

1990 - Gay film archivist, Vito Russo, dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

 

Vito_russo 

 

1991 - The Finnish illustrator known as "Tom of Finland" (born as Touko Laaksonen) dies at the age of 71.

2000 - Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.

2012 - A momentous election day for LGBT Americans as voters in three states - Maine, Maryland and Washington - vote in favor of allowing same-sex marriage.  Additionally, Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay candidate elected to the U.S. Senate. 

 

NOVEMBER 8

1997 - Bill Clinton delivers the keynote address at HRC's annual dinner, the first sitting president to speak before a LGBT organization.

2012 - The new James Bond movie Skyfall, which opens today, begins with a homoerotic exchange between Bond and gay villain Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem.

 

Javierbardem_danielcraig

 

NOVEMBER 9

Nov 9, 1955 - Rock Hudson marries his agent's secretary to squelch rumors about his sexual orientation.

1979 - Bette Midler's first movie, The Rose, opens in theaters and leads to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for the Divine Miss M.   

Nov 9, 1985 - Madonna is guest host of Saturday Night Live's season premiere (seen here in a skit as Princess Diana).

 

Madonna_as_princess_diana  

 

2010 - On tonight's episode of Glee, Kurt (played by Chris Colfer) confronts a football player who's been bullying him, and in the heat of the confrontation the jock gives Kurt a passionate kiss.  In the same episode Kurt meets Blaine.

 

NOVEMBER 10

1984 - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, fronted by openly gay lead vocalist Holly Johnson, perform their controversial hit Relax on Saturday Night Live. 

Nov 10, 1992 - On Roseanne, Sandra Bernhard plays the first recurring lesbian character on a sitcom.

 

NOVEMBER 11

1950 - Five men in Los Angeles attend the first meeting of the pioneering gay organization known as The Mattachine Society.

1974 - The New Yorker publishes its first gay-themed short story, "Minor Heroism", by Allan Gurganus.

1985 - An Early Frost is the first TV movie about AIDS.

Nov 11, 1994 - Pedro Zamora, cast member of MTV's Real World: Miami, dies from AIDS at the age of 22.

 

Pedro_zamora-aids

NOVEMBER 12

1992 - Techno music producer Patrick Cowley dies from AIDS at the age of 32.

 

NOVEMBER 13

Nov 13, 1976 - Carol Burnett's contribution to the "camp" Hall of Fame airs tonight on her show with the Gone With the Wind parody Went With the Wind!  

 

NOVEMBER 14

1943 - 25-year-old Leonard Bernstein becomes the first American to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Young_bernstein

 

2006 - South Africa becomes the first country in Africa to legalize same-sex marriage.

2006 - The most memorable image of the year is provide by actor Daniel Craig.  Starring as the new James Bond in Casino Royale, which opens this weekend, he walks out of the surf in a jaw-dropping sky blue square cut swim suit. 

2011 - An intense nighttime fire destroys the Pavilion dance club in the Pines.

 

Pavilion_fire

 

2012 - On Modern Family, Matthew Broderick makes a guest appearance as a gay man who meets metrosexual Phil at the gym and thinks Phil's invitation to watch football at his home while the family is away is a date. 

2014 - Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) becomes the first openly gay athlete of a Division I college to play a men's basketball game.

2017 - Nearly 62% of Australians vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage as part of a national postal survey.

 

NOVEMBER 15

Nov 15, 1991 - Music producer Jacques Morali, creator of The Village People and Ritchie Family, dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

2008 - Beyonce performs a hilarious Single Ladies skit on Saturday Night Live, with three men as her backup dancers, one of whom is Justin Timberlake.

 

Beyonce_snl

 

NOVEMBER 16

1964 - At London's Palladium, Judy Garland and her 18-year-old daughter Liza perform together on stage for the first time.

1966 - Evening Primrose, a musical written for TV, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim,airs on ABC's Stage 67.

1981 - Olivia Newton John's single, Physical, begins its first of ten weeks at the top of the charts.  The song's video has a gay twist at the end.

1986 - Susan Sontag's AIDS-inspired short story, The Way We Live Now, is published in The New Yorker (issue date of 11/23).

2000 - On Will & Grace, Jack's idol, Cher, makes an appearance at the end of tonight's episode, and he thinks she's a drag performer.

 

NOVEMBER 17

Nov 17, 1963 - In their first professional pairing Judy Garland and daughter Liza perform on Judy's CBS variety show.

 

Judy_and_liza_1963

 

1978 - Larry Kramer's best-selling novel Faggots is published.

1998 - A judge in Ontario, Canada rejects figure skater Brian Orser's request to ban public access to details of a palimony lawsuit filed by a former boyfriend.  Orser was winner of the silver medal at the 1984 and 1988 Winter Olympics.

 

NOVEMBER 18

1922 - Closeted French novelist, Marcel Proust, dies of pneumonia in Paris at the age of 51.

2003 - Massachusetts' Supreme Court rules that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

 

NOVEMBER 20

1948 - Tallulah Bankhead appears on the cover of this week's TIME Magazine.

2012 - Kevin Clash, the voice of beloved Sesame Street character Elmo, resigns in the midst of a sex scandal involving two young men he had relationships with when they were teens.

 

Kevin_clash_elmo  

 

2013 - Illinois joins 15 other states and DC in legalizing same-sex marriage.

 

NOVEMBER 21

1987 - Cher is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live

 

NOVEMBER 22

2002 - The movie Far From Heaven opens.  It stars Julianne Moore as a 1950s housewife who discovers her husband, played by Dennis Quaid, is a closeted homosexual.

2013 - The movie Philomena opens.  It tells the true story of Philomena Lee, who searched for her son, Michael, 50 years after she gave him up for adoption.  In the course of her search she discovers that he was gay and died of AIDS.

 

NOVEMBER 23

1970 - A research scientist's career is imperiled on CBS's medical drama Medical Center when his homosexuality makes him the target of a smear campaign.  Despite the inclinations of some doctors to fire him, tolerant series star Joe Gannon (portrayed by hunky Chad Everett, pictured below) prevails and the man keeps his job.

 

Chad.everett

 

NOVEMBER 24

Nov 24, 1980 - Skeptical eyebrows are raised as Ron Regan Jr. gets married.

1991 - Freddie Mercury of the group Queen dies of AIDS at the age of 45.

 

NOVEMBER 25

1992 - The gender bending move The Crying Game opens.

 

NOVEMBER 26

Nov 26, 1978 - A Question of Love, starring Gena Rowlands & Jane Alexander, is the first lesbian-themed movie on network TV.

 

Question_of_love

 

2008 - The movie Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, opens in theaters.

 

NOVEMBER 27

1970 - Marty Robinson and Arthur Evans of New York's Gay Activist Alliance are guests on ABC's Dick Cavett Show.

 

Dickcavettshow

 

Nov 27, 1978 - Openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone are shot to death inside City Hall by a disgruntled former officeholder.  

2008 - A giant helium balloon honoring graffiti artist Keith Haring makes its first appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

 

Keith_haring_macys_balloon

 

NOVEMBER 28

1986 - 27-year-old comedian Ellen Degeneres makes her first appearance on The Tonight Show.

1994 - Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is beaten to death in prison, six months after the execution of John Wayne Gacy.

 

NOVEMBER 29

Nov 29, 1984 - West Hollywood is incorporated as an independent, gay-friendly city.

Nov 29, 2005 - The Vatican issues an edict barring admission of gay men into seminaries.

 

NOVEMBER 30

2008 - On a segment of 60 Minutes Anderson Cooper challenges Olympic swimming phenom Michael Phelps to a race, but disappoints by wearing dorky swim trunks instead of a slinky Speedo like Phelps.

 

DECEMBER 1

Dec 1, 1988 - The first World AIDS Day is observed.

 

World_aids_day

 

1989 - Choreographer Alvin Ailey dies of AIDS at the age of 58.

2004 - Project Runway debuts on Bravo and introduces viewers to avuncular judge Tim Gunn and his catchphrase, "Make it work!"

 

Tim_gunn

 

2012 - West Point's military chapel hosts its first same-sex wedding.

 

DECEMBER 2

1979 - The grim WWII drama Bent opens on Broadway, starring 30-year-old Richard Gere.

 

DECEMBER 3

1937 - Thoroughbreds Don't Cry is the first movie Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney appear in together.

1957 - Tallulah Bankhead makes a guest appearance on the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Dec 3, 2000 - Queer As Folk debuts on Showtime.

 

Qaf  

 

DECEMBER 6

1979 - Famed gay dance club, Heaven, opens in London.

1998 - Michael Huffington, Arianna's multi-millionaire ex-husband, comes out in an interview in January's issue of Esquire Magazine.  They had divorced in 1997 after eleven years of marriage.

 

DECEMBER 7

1995 - The FDA approves the first protease inhibitor, a new class of drug that is very effective in fighting the AIDS virus. 

Dec 7, 2003 - Angels in America airs on HBO.

2010 - Kurt and Blaine sing a saucy duet of Baby It's Cold Outside in a Christmas-themed episode of Glee.

 

DECEMBER 8

1949 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opens on Broadway and makes 26-year-old Carol Channing a star.

1981 - The NYC Gay Men's Chorus holds its Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall for the first time (and would do so for the next 27 years). 

1991 - 23-year-old Kimberly Bergalas dies from AIDS, one of six patients apparently infected by a gay HIV+ dentist in Florida (who died of AIDS in 1990).

2002 - Washington's Gay Men's Chorus performs a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor at the Kennedy Center Honors (which airs on CBS at the end of the month).

 

DECEMBER 9

1975 - Former NFL player Dave Kopay comes out in an interview in the Washington Star, one of the first pro athletes to do so.

1985 - In response to the AIDS crisis, the St. Marks Baths is closed by order of New York City's Department of Health.

Dec 9, 2005 - The movie Brokeback Mountain opens in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

 

Brokeback

 

DECEMBER 10

1983 - For the first time The New York Times mentions a same-sex partner in an obituary - for 53-year-old actor David Rounds.

Dec 10, 1989 - ACT UP holds a notorious demonstration inside New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral during Sunday mass.

2013 - India's Supreme Court declares homosexual sex illegal, reversing a ruling four years ago that had struck down the ban.  

 

DECEMBER 12

Dec 12, 1968 - Tallulah Bankhead dies at the age of 65.

1993 - Bette Midler stars in a made-for-TV version of the musical Gypsy.

1995 - Roseanne's gay boss (played by Martin Mull) has a commitment ceremony with his partner on tonight's episode of Roseanne.

2009 - Houston becomes the largest city in the U.S. with a gay mayor when it elects lesbian Annise Parker to the office.

 

Annise_parker

 

DECEMBER 13

2019 - The Hallmark Channel pulls four ads from the Zola wedding planning website showing two lesbian brides kissing after receiving pressure from the conservative group One Million Moms.  In response Zola pulls all of its ads.

Hallmark Channel Homophobic

DECEMBER 14

Dec 14, 1974 - New York's first exclusively gay disco, Flamingo, opens its doors. 

1988 - 6-1/2 years after opening on Broadway, the movie version of Torch Song Trilogy opens in theaters, with Matthew Broderick playing the role of Harvey Fierstein's young lover.

 

DECEMBER 15

1928 - Radclyffe Hall's lesbian novel, The Well of Loneliness, is published in the U.S. on the same day that a court in England rules that all copies of it be destroyed.

 

Well_of_Loneliness_1928

 

1952 - George Jorgenseon has a sex change operation and becomes Christine.

1967 - The movie version of Valley of the Dolls, the best-selling novel by Jacqueline Suzanne, opens in theaters.

Dec 15, 1973 - The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders.

 

DECEMBER 16

Dec 16, 1988 - Beloved disco icon, Sylvester, succumbs to AIDS at the age of 40.  

 

DECEMBER 17

1963 - A front page story in today's New York Times carries the headline, "Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern."

 

Nytimes_overt_growth_of_homosexuality 

 

DECEMBER 18

1892 - Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker premieres in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, less than a year before his death.

Dec 18, 1969 - Coco, starring Katharine Hepburn, opens on Broadway. 

Dec 18, 1984 - Like a Virgin is Madonna's first #1 song.

1985 - The movie version of Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple opens in theaters.  Many fans of the book are distressed that director Steven Spielberg chose to largely ignore the lesbian relationship between Celie and Shug, showing just one discreet kiss.    

2010 - Congress votes to repeal the U.S. military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

2012 - Nate Silver, the gay stats guru who accurately predicted the outcome of the presidential election in a regular column in the New York Times, is named Out Magazine's Person of the Year.  

 

DECEMBER 19

1961 - The movie version of The Children's Hour opens in theaters, starring Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn.

 

Childrens_hour

 

2013 - To absolutely no one's surprise, figure skating great Brian Boitano, who won a gold medal for the US at the 1988 Winter Olympics, finally came out.  This came two months after he turned 50.

2013 - New Mexico's Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, the sixth state to legalize it in 2013 and seventeenth state overall (and DC).

 

DECEMBER 20

1972 - 26-year-old Liza Minnelli appears on the cover of January's issue of Good Housekeeping.

 

Liza_goodhousekeeping

 

1978 - The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, the world's first openly gay chorus, holds its first concert.

1979 - Angela Lansbury appears on the cover of January's issue of After Dark.

1987 - The Pet Shop Boys' collaboration with Dusty Springfield, What Have I Done to Deserve This? enters the top-40 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

 

Petshopboys_dustyspringfield

 

Dec 20, 1981 - Dreamgirls opens on Broadway.

1988 - ABC news anchor Max Robinson dies from AIDS at the age of 49.

2006 - A nasty (and idiotic) feud between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump begins.

 

DECEMBER 21

1932 - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers appear in their first movie together, Flying Down to Rio

1969 - The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) is formed in New York City by dissatisfied members of the Gay Liberation Front and it would thrive in the first half of the 1970s.

1969 - Diana Ross makes her final TV appearance with The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show.

 

Supremes_lastperformance 

 

DECEMBER 22

Dec 22, 2000 - Madonna marries British film director Guy Ritchie, her second marriage.

2001 - Lance Loud, gay son of the family depicted on PBS's landmark reality series, An American Family, dies from hepatitis-C at the age of 50. 

 

DECEMBER 23

1992 - David Sedaris makes his first appearance on NPR's Morning Edition, reading his essay "Santaland Diaries'.  

2014 - The FDA announces it is lifting the ban on gay men donating blood.  However, since the ban will continue for men who have had sex with a man in the past 12 months most gay men will still be prohibited from donating.

 

DECEMBER 24

1993 - The AIDS drama Philadelphia opens in theaters, starring Tom Hanks.

1994 - Author John Boswell dies from AIDS at the age of 47.

 

DECEMBER 25

1982 - It's Raining Men, by the Weather Girls, tops this week's Billboard dance chart.

2016 - Singer George Michael dies unexpectedly at the age of 53.

 

George michael

 

DECEMBER 27

1958 - The movie Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell, opens in theaters.

 

Mame

 

1964 - The Supremes appear on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.

 

DECEMBER 28

Dec 28, 1986 - Terry Dolan, a closeted anti-gay Republican operative, dies of AIDS at the age of 36.

2004 - Famed writer/essayist Susan Sontag dies at the age of 71.  Her death creates some controversy because her obituary in the New York Times doesn't mention her long term relationship with photographer Annie Leibowitz.

 

DECEMBER 31

2007 - Comic Kathy Griffin and CNN reporter Anderson Cooper bring in the New Year together on CNN for the first time.

 

Kathygriffin_andersoncooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doris Day & Rock Hudson Star in "Pillow Talk" (October 7, 1959)

Pillowtalk The romantic comedy Pillow Talk, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson, it opened the weekend of October 7, 1959.  It would become the second highest grossing film of the 1950s, behind another movie from 1959, Ben Hur.  The movie also co-starred Tony Randall as a supercilious skirt chaser and Thelma Ritter as as a drunken housekeeper.  Day and Ritter both received Oscar nominations.

 

Pillowtalk  

 

Rockhudson_dorisday_pillowtalk Doris plays Jan Morrow a successful interior decorator and Hudson plays Brad Allen a womanizing Broadway composer.  Jan quite dislikes Brad because they share a telephone "party line" and whenever she tries to make a call he's on it talking to a different women.  When Jan and Brad meet face-to-face they fall for each other - but Jan doesn't know it's Brad because he tells her that he's Rex Stetson from Texas.

 

Pillowtalk2 

 

Dorisday_rockhudson When Jan later brags to Brad about Rex during yet another party line interruption Brad plays with Jan by planting the seed that Rex is a mama's boy and maybe a bit "light in the loafers" (ah, the irony!).  Surprise, surprise it all works out and in the end boy gets girl.  The movie is perhaps most famous for the split-screen bathtub scene in which Day and Hudson's characters chat flirtatiously on the phone while each is taking a bubblebath.  Considered risque by standards of the bland 1950s, even today it's kinda hot.  It most surely had gay men back then in a tizzy. 

 

 

 

There's also a delightfully corny scene in a restaurant around a piano where Doris sings a silly song titled Roly Poly.  Crowd participation ensues along with inane hand clapping between Day and Hudson.

 

 

 

Rockhudson_dorisday_aids At the time Doris was 35 and Rock was one month away from his 34th birthday.  This was the first of three movies they'd do together.  And she was there at his side offering support to Rock during his final months in 1985 when he was battling AIDS.


The Powerhouse of Gay Talent Behind "West Side Story" (September 26, 1957)

Westside.story.1957In the 1920s the New York Yankees baseball team had a lineup that was referred to as "Murderer's Row" because of its hitting talent.  The same moniker could be applied to the gay talent behind West Side StoryLeonard Bernstein wrote the music; Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics; Arthur Laurents wrote the book; and Jerome Robbins was choreographer.  When the show opened on Sept. 26, 1957, Laurents, at age 40, was the "old man" of the group while 27-year-old Sondheim was the "baby". 

 

Although the show was a hit it would lose the Tony for Best Musical to The Music Man, a show that was more critically embraced and that ran nearly twice as long as West Side Story (1375 performances vs. 732).  It also won the first Grammy for cast album.

 

Four_gay_guys_westside_story
Pictured from L to R: Sondheim; Laurents; Hal Prince (producer); Robert Griffiths (producer); Bernstein; Robbins

  

 

 


The Death of Tormented Actor Montgomery Clift (July 23, 1966)

Montgomery clift smiling Montgomery_clift2The vast majority of troubled entertainers who have died prematurely, many of whom are gay icons, have been women, e.g., Marilyn, Judy, Billie and Dinah.  One of the few men on this list is actor Montgomery Clift.  He was found dead in bed in his New York apartment the morning of July 23, 1966; he was 45.  The cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but a major contributing factor was the cumulative effect of pain killers and liquor.

 

 

 

Montgomery. clift 

 

During the first half of the 1950s Clift was considered one of Hollywood's finest actors, but his life went into a tailspin after he was seriously injured in a car accident in 1956.  He made eighteen movies during his career and was nominated for an Oscar four times - but never took a statue home (Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton were each nominated seven times without winning).  The movies were:

  • The Search (1948)
  • A Place in the Sun (1951)
  • From Here to Eternity (1953)
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

 

Montgomeryclift_elizabethtaylorLong before his accident, Clift abused pills and booze.  Additionally, he was a closeted homosexual in the habit of picking up strangers and male hustlers, often finding himself in trouble that had to be cleaned up by his agent or movie studio.  He was moody, insecure and an outsider to Hollywood's A-list.  However, he counted Elizabeth Taylor as a close friend (they appeared together in A Place in the Sun; Suddenly Last Summer; and Raintree Country

 

 

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A Hit Song from the 1950s with a Gay Subtext (May 13, 1958)

Jimmie_rodgersWe've probably all seen the TV infomercials for Time-Life Records' various music compilations, e.g. "Love Songs", "Groovy 60s", "Mellow Moods", etc.  I've bought a number of them, and am glad I did, because they introduced me to some great songs.  One in particuar was Secretly by Jimmie Rodgers.  It entered Billboard's Top 40 today in 1958 and became a #3 hit.  (Rodgers is best known for the song Honeycomb which topped the charts for four weeks the year before.)  It's a pleasant tune, typical of so many songs from this vanilla decade, but what got my attention was its gender-neutral lyrics.  In my interpretation the song tells the story of two men who, due to the mores of the 1950s, must conduct their romance "secretly".  Here's the chorus:

 

"Wish we didn't have to meet, secretly

Wish we didn't have to kiss, secretly

Wish we didn't have to be afraid to show the world that we're in love

'Til we have the right to meet openly

'Til we have the right to kiss openly

We'll just have to be content to be in love secretly." 

 

Two_men_1950s

 

Of course, these lyrics could also apply to a West Side Story situation between a boy and girl of different races or ethnicities.  Still, I thought the hidden message was a bit daring for the conformist 1950s.  (Reminds me of the secret delight I got when I first listened to the Village People's innuendo laden songs.)  I'm curious whether the song was popular with homosexuals at the time. 

 

 

Menswims2  

 

Of course, there have been other gender neutral songs such as Secret Love by Doris Day and the Beatles' Do You Want to Know a Secret? but their lyrics don't have an air of illicitness to them.  One that does, however, is the disco classic by Madleen Kane, Forbidden Love, from 1979.  In the song's opening line Kane sings, "How can you stop a trembling hand, reaching for another hand, even though it is forbidden love?"

 

Here's a wonderful video/photo montage from a website called "GayTwoGether" that has been set to the very song discussed here:  

 

 

  

     


Joan Crawford Marries Pepsi President Alfred Steele (May 10, 1955)

Joancrawford_alfredsteeleJoan_crawford_pepsiAlfred Steele was Joan Crawford's fourth, and last, husband (it was his first marriage).  She was 50, he 54 when they married in Las Vegas on May 10, 1955.  Steele died of a heart attack four years later.  (Interestingly, all of Crawford's marriages lasted four years.)  Besides being Alfred's spouse, Joan also served as a tireless worldwide ambassador for the soft drink.  (At the time of their marriage Crawford's adopted daughter Christina was 15.)   

 

Mommie_dearest_bearing_wallMommiedearest_pepsiCrawford's marriage to Steele was portrayed in the movie Mommie Dearest, which resulted in two classic scenes.  In the first, Crawford (played by Faye Dunaway) is overseeing the renovation of her and Steele's Manhattan apartment and orders the builders to "Tear down that bitch of a bearing wall and put a window where it ought to be!".  Then, when the Pepsi board of directors tries to remove her from the board after Steele's death, Joan has one of the most memorable lines of the entire movie:  "Don't fuck with me fellas, this ain't my first time at the rodeo!"