« December 2011 | Main | February 2012 »

January 2012

A Blog for Mature Gays: Call it GAY-RRP?

Lgbtsr_logoA gay blog that recently caught my attention is lgbtSR: "Aged to Perfection".  It is devoted to the interests, accomplishments and opinions of gay men and lesbians over the age of 50.  LgbtSR resonated with me because my ZeitGAYst blog appeals to gay baby boomers as well, with posts about cultural and historical milestones they've likely witnessed.  Now I have a site to go to for enhancing my life as I look to the future.


Mark_mcneaseThe focus of lgbtSr is health and wellness but it also touches upon relationships; food and travel; arts and entertainment; literature; and politics.  Its content is a mix of original posts and lifts of relevant posts from other sources.  The mission of publisher Mark McNease (pictured) is to provide a site that is more multi-dimensional than other sites targeting "mature" audiences which often offer little more than lists of resources with contact information.  


Gay_designIn addition to its editorial content lgbtSr features an assortment of video clips as well.  McNease also produces a weekly audio podcast in which he reviews relevant news of the week and conducts a live interview with a person he thinks will be of interest to his followers. (Yours truly was interviewed in mid-January). 


So if trolling Silver Daddies isn't your thing, check out lgbtSr for another perspective on the vibrant gay senior market.   

The Year in Gay History: 1991




Jan 23, 1991 - A massive  protest by ACT UP 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.

Jan 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.




Feb 7, 1991 - The first lesbian kiss in primetime is shown on NBC's hit drama LA Law (the lesbian character involved never makes another appearance.)

Feb 15, 1991 - Bette Midler appears on the cover of the March issue of Good Housekeeping.

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




May 11, 1991 - Madonna appears in a "Wayne's World" dream sequence on Saturday Night Live.

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

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 at Fire Island Pines in the house inherited by one of the women from her brother who died of AIDS. 

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.




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

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 Middlesex Hospital.




July 28, 1991 - Actor Paul Reubens (better known as Pee Wee Herman) is arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater in Florida.

Sept 18, 1991 - On Seinfeld, George has doubts about his sexual orientation after he felt his penis "move" during a massage by a male physical therapist.

Oct 20, 1991 - Primetime's first same-sex marriage takes place on the Fox sitcom Roc.




Nov 7, 1991 - The Finnish illustrator known as "Tom of Finland" (born as Touko Laaksonen) dies at the age of 71.

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

Nov 24, 1991 - Freddie Mercury of the group Queen dies of AIDS at the age of 45.




Dec 8, 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).


(To read about LGBT history from other years double click here.)

A Look Back at Gay History: 1990



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

March 7, 1990 - The TV movie Andre's Mother airs on PBS.  Its Emmy Award-winning screenplay was written by Terrence McNally.  

March 11, 1990 - Outweek Magazine outs billionaire Malcolm Forbes a few weeks after his death.




March 26, 1990 - Fashion designer Halston dies of AIDS at the age of 57.

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

April 28, 1990 - A Chorus Line ends its 14-year run.  

May 11, 1990 - Longtime Companion, the first wide-release movie to deal with AIDS, opens in theaters.





May 15, 1990 - Madonna's Vogue goes to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

July 3, 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 26, 1990 - President Bush signs the Americans With Disabilities Act which goes into effect on 7/26/92.

Sept 17, 1990General Motors issues an apology after one of its commercials refers to trucks made by foreign companies as “little faggot trucks.”

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




Oct 14, 1990 - Leonard Bernstein dies at the age of 72.

Nov 7, 1990 - Gay film archivist, Vito Russo, dies from AIDS at the age of 44.


(To read about LGBT history from other years double click here.)





A Look Back at LGBT History: 1989




Jan 31, 1989 - AIDS activists 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. 

Feb 23, 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.

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


May 24, 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 male lover had married a woman.

June 25, 1989 - Alabama's first Gay Pride parade takes place in Birmingham with 200 participating.

July 14, 1989 - Marlon Riggs' documentary Tongues Untied premieres at L.A.'s Outfest.


July 25, 1989 - Steve Rubell of Studio 54 fame dies from AIDS at the age of 45.

Sept 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.


Sept 14, 1989ACT UP disrupts the trading floor of the NYSE to protest the high price of AZT.

Oct 7, 1989 - Bette Davis dies at the age of 81.

Nov 9, 1989 - Two men are shown lying in bed together on the ABC drama thirtysomething, a first for network TV.


Dec 1, 1989 - Choreographer Alvin Ailey dies of AIDS at the age of 58.

Dec 10, 1989 - ACT UP holds a notorious demonstration inside New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral that disrupts Sunday Mass.


(To read about LGBT history from other years, double click here.)


The Year in Gay History: 1988


Feb 20, 1988 - Brian Boitano wins a gold medal for the U.S. in Men's Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

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

March 20, 1988 - 28-year-old B.D. Wong (pictured, right, with co-star John Lithgow) gains acclaim with his starring role in M. Butterfly, a drama which had its Broadway opening tonight .


March 25, 1988 - Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet, dies of AIDS at the age of 57.

April 11, 1988 - Cher wins the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck.

April 30, 1988 - Closing night at The Saint.

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


June 22, 1988 - Leonard Matlovich, who in 1975 appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in military uniform for the story "I Am A Homosexual", dies from AIDS at the age of 44.

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.

July 1, 1988 - During an appearance on David Letterman, Sandra Bernhard brings out "gal pal" Madonna and they proceed to act obnoxiously.

Sept 19, 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.


Oct 11, 1988 - Ventriloquist Waylon Flowers (creator of the character "Madam") dies from AIDS at the age of 58.

Oct 11, 1988 - The first National Coming Out Day is observed.

Dec 1, 1988 - The first World AIDS Day is observed.


Dec 14, 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.

Dec 16, 1988 - Beloved disco diva Sylvester succumbs to AIDS at the age of 40.  

Dec 20, 1988 - ABC news anchor Max Robinson dies from AIDS at the age of 49.


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

Gay & Lesbian History Timeline: 1987


Feb 4, 1987 - Liberace dies from AIDS complications at the age of 67.

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

Feb 23, 1987 - Bette Midler is the subject of this week's TIME Magazine cover story.



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

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.

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

April 17, 1987 - Fashion designer Willi Smith dies from AIDS at the age of 39.

April 21, 1987 - New York governor Mario Cuomo announces that companies doing business in the state cannot require employees to take an HIV test in order to get health insurance.

May 13, 1987Quentin Crisp makes a guest appearance on the CBS crime drama The Equalizer.

May 16, 1987 - Beginning today foreigners who are HIV-positive are barred from entering the U.S. by order of the U.S. Public Health Service.  

May 30, 1987 - Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank comes out in an article in the Boston Globe.

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




Aug 10, 1987 - Famed gay porn star Casey Donovan (Boys in the Sand) dies from AIDS at the age of 43. 

Sept 18, 1987 - The movie Maurice opens.

Sept 26, 1987 - The legendary Paradise Garage closes its doors after 11 years.



Oct 5, 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".

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




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

Nov 21, 1987 - Cher is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live

Dec 20, 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.


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

A Look Back at Gay History From 1967


Feb 20, 1967 - Rock Hudson appears on the cover of March's issue of GQ.



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

March 7, 1967 - The CBS documentary The Homosexuals airs.

March 18, 1967 - The Stonewall Inn bar opens on Christopher St. in Greenwich Village.

Aug 9, 1967 - 32-year old British playwright Joe Orton is murdered by longtime partner Kenneth Halliwell, who then commits suicide.




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

Sept 7, 1967 - Ethel Merman appears as herself on That Girl.

Oct 5, 1967 - Ethel Merman makes a guest appearance as "Lola Lasagne" on Batman

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

Dec 15, 1967 - The movie version of Valley of the Dolls, the best-selling novel by Jacqueline Suzanne, opens in theaters.




To read about LGBT history and pop culture from other years, double click here.

A Look Back at Gay History: 1986



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

Jan 12, 1986 - The song That's What Friends Are For, recorded to benefit AMFAR, begins the first of four weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Feb 19, 1986 - The AIDS drama Parting Glances opens in theaters.

March 24, 1986 - William Hurt is the first actor to win an Oscar for portraying a gay character, in Kiss of the Spider Woman

April 11, 1986 - The movie My Beautiful Laundrette opens in the U.S., featuring Daniel Day Lewis in his first major film role.


May 2, 1986 - Cher calls David Letterman an "asshole" on his NBC late night show.

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

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

May 30, 1986 - Fashion designer Perry Ellis dies of AIDS at the age of 46.


June 30, 1986 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Georgia's sodomy law, ruling that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

Aug 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.

Aug 16, 1986 - Madonna's Papa Don't Preach hits #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Sept 13, 1986 - Pee Wee's Playhouse debuts on CBS's Saturday AM Kids lineup.

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


Nov 2, 1986 - Liberace makes his final stage performance, at Radio City Music Hall. 

Nov 16, 1986 - Susan Sontag's AIDS-inspired short story The Way We Live Now is published in The New Yorker (issue date of 11/23).

Nov 28, 1986 - 27-year-old comic Ellen Degeneres makes her first appearance on The Tonight Show.

Dec 28, 1986 - Terry Dolan, a closeted anti-gay Republican operative, dies of AIDS at the age of 36.

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.)




TV Movie "Prayers for Bobby" Explores a Mother's Anguish After Son's Suicide (January 24, 2009)




Sigourney Weaver starred in the heartrending TV movie Prayers for Bobby, which aired on the Lifetime cable network on Jan. 24, 2009.  It told the true story of Mary Griffith, whose teenage gay son Bobby committed suicide, and how she channeled her deep regret at being unable to accept his orientation into something positive (she became a gay rights advocate).  It was based on the 1996 book Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Son by openly gay journalist Leroy F. Abrams.  (Abrams, founder of the Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association in 1990, died four years before the movie aired.)








When Prayers aired it had been six years since the last high-profile TV movie about gay issues aired (Angels in America on HBO).  And since Prayers, there have been no other such movies on network TV or cable.  Weaver joined an illustrious roster of actors who've appeared in previous gay-themed movies: