TV Movie "Prayers for Bobby" Explores a Mother's Anguish After Son's Suicide (January 24, 2009)
A Look Back at Gay History: 1986

Gay History Timeline: 1985



Feb 2, 1985 - Brian Boitano wins the first of his four U.S. Men's Figure Skating National Championships.

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

Feb 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.





March 10, 1985 - The AIDS drama As Is opens off-Broadway, six weeks before The Normal Heart had its premiere.

March 25, 1985 - The Times of Harvey Milk wins the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

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




April 21, 1985 - Larry Kramer's semi-biographical AIDS drama The Normal Heart opens at the Public Theater.

May 20, 1985 - Madonna is on the cover of this week's issue of TIME Magazine, which carries the headline "Why She's Hot".




May 30, 1985 - Former L.A. Dodger baseball player Glenn Burke, whose career was derailed because he was gay, dies of AIDS at the age of 42.

July 10, 1985 - Playboy publishes nude photos of Madonna, taken before her rise to stardom,in its August issue. 

July 27, 1985 - The first AIDS Walk is held in Los Angeles.




Aug 5, 1985 - This week's TIME Magazine cover story is titled "AIDS: The Growing Threat and What's Being Done."

Aug 16, 1985 - Madonna weds actor Sean Penn on her 27th birthday.

Aug 28, 1985 - The lesbian-themed romantic drama Desert Hearts opens in theaters.




Sept 17, 1985 - During a press conference in which the federal budget for 1986 is discussed, President Reagan says the word "AIDS" for the first time in his presidency.

Sept 26, 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.

Sept 27, 1985 - The roof of Calvin Klein's summer home in the Pines is blown off when Hurricane Gloria strikes Long Island.

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




Oct 12, 1985 - Andy Warhol appears on The Love Boat.

Oct 21, 1985Dan White, who in 1978 shot to death Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, commits suicide.

Nov 9, 1985 - Madonna is guest host of Saturday Night Live's season premiere.  In one skit she portrays Princess Diana visiting the Reagans at the White House.

Nov 11, 1985 - An Early Frost is the first TV movie about AIDS.

Dec 9, 1985 - In response to the AIDS crisis the St. Marks Baths is closed by order of New York City's Department of Health.




Dec 18, 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.    


(To read about gay milestones from other years, double click here.)





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