"Queer as Folk" Debuts ... and Pittsburgh Cringes (December 3, 2000)
"Angels in America" Airs on HBO (December 7, 2003)

Highlights of Gay History During the 1940s



Nov 14, 1943 - 25-year-old Leonard Bernstein becomes the first American to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jan 11, 1944 - Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, starring Tallulah Bankhead, opens in theaters.

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.




Feb 12, 1947 - 22-year-old Christian Dior shows his first collection, dubbed by the fashion press as the "New Look."

Jan 3, 1948 - Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male is published and reports that 10% of American males surveyed were "more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.  It also introduces the public to the Kinsey Scale, whereby a rating of zero indicates someone exclusively heterosexual while a '6' was assigned to those exclusively homosexual.




Sept 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 (below, left) and John Dall, were also gay.




Nov 20, 1948 - Tallulah Bankhead appears on the cover of this week's TIME Magazine.

July 29, 1949 - 3-year-old Liza Minnelli makes her screen debut in the closing moments of her mother's movie In the Good Old Summertime, which opened today.




Oct 10, 1949Newsweek publishes an article titled “Queer People” in which the writer opines that all homosexuals are perverts

Dec 8, 1949 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes opens on Broadway and makes 26-year-old Carol Channing a star.




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


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