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Walter Jenkins was a top advisor and chief of staff to President Lyndon Johnson until he was arrested for homosexual acts in a YMCA in 1964. A major scandal erupted and Jenkins resigned. Johnson was unable to replace Jenkins, and instead divided his responsibilities among several staff members.

“A great deal of the president’s difficulties can be traced to the fact that Walter had to leave,” Johnson’s press secretary, George Reedy, once told an interviewer. “All of history might have been different if it hadn’t been for that episode.” Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark suggested that Jenkins’ resignation “deprived the president of the single most effective and trusted aide that he had. The results would be enormous when the president came into his hard times. Walter’s counsel on Vietnam might have been extremely helpful.”

Jenkins was born in Jolly, Texas, and spent his childhood in Wichita Falls, Texas. There he attended Hardin Junior College and then spent two years at the University of Texas, though he did not earn a degree. In 1945, following his discharge from the Army, he converted to Roman Catholicism and married Helen Marjorie Whitehill. Jenkins and his wife had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. They separated in the early 1970s but never divorced. She died in 1987.

Jenkins resigned from the Air Force Reserve in February 1965. After leaving Washington, Jenkins returned to Texas and lived the rest of his life in Austin, where he worked as a Certified Public Accountant and management consultant and ran a construction company. He died in 1985, at the age of 67, a few months after suffering a stroke. A made-for-television film, Vanished, loosely based on the Jenkins resignation, aired in 1971.

Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 6690-6696). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

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Eric Marcus is an American non-fiction writer.

His works are primarily of LGBT interest, including Breaking the Surface, the autobiography of gay Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, which became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990, which won the Stonewall Book Award. Other topics he's addressed in his writing include suicide and pessimistic humor.

Eric Marcus received his A.B. from Vassar College in 1980 where he majored in Urban Studies. He earned his Masters degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1984 and a Master's degree in real estate development in 2003, also from Columbia University.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Marcus

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When researching for these bios sometime I stumble upon some extraordinary lives, like the one of Patrick Dennis. Could you imagine the author who had 3 books on the New York Times Bestseller list at the same time in the '60, being a butler in the '70 without his employers even knowing who they were hiring?

Patrick Dennis (May 18, 1921 – November 6, 1976) was an American author. His novel Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (1955) was one of the bestselling American books of the 20th century. In chronological vignettes "Patrick" recalls his adventures growing up under the wing of his madcap aunt, Mame Dennis. Dennis wrote a sequel, Around the World with Auntie Mame, in 1958.

"I write in the first person, but it is all fictional. The public assumes that what seems fictional is fact; so the way for me to be inventive is to seem factual but be fictional." All of Dennis's novels employ to some degree the traditional comic devices of masks, subterfuge and deception.

Patrick Dennis was born Edward Everett Tanner III in Evanston, Illinois. His father nicknamed him "Pat" before he was born, after the Irish heavyweight boxer Pat Sweeney, "a dirty fighter known for kicking his opponents." When he was old enough to say so, he let it be known that he liked "Pat" better than "Edward," and so Pat he became. Pat attended Evanston Township High School where he was popular and excelled in writing and theater.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Dennis
Little Me: Patrick Dennis. Grab an LGBT friend or friends, make some room on your schedule, read this book aloud together, and be prepared to laugh your gd heads off at the social climbing/grace falling exploits of one Belle Poitrine and her arch nemesis Maria Montezuma. That's what I did years ago w/ my friend Jon. (By the same author who wrote Auntie Mame.) --Aaron Fricke
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k.d. lang was a hit as a country & western singer before she publicly came out as lesbian. Now she’s an even bigger star as a torch singer and has four Grammies under her belt buckle.

Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (born November 2, 1961), known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress.

Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine". She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has teamed with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray and Jane Siberry. Lang is also known for being a vegan as well as an animal rights, gay rights, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.

Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes.

She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. Her cover of Cole Porter's "So in Love" (from the Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate), appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990 (a tribute to Cole Porter to benefit AIDS research and relief). Her 2010 Greatest Hits album, Recollection, also includes this cover of "So in Love". Lang also recorded the song "Fado Hilario," singing in Portuguese, for the 1999 Red Hot AIDS benefit album "Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon," a traditional fado from Portugal.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K.d._lang

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Stanley Posthorn was twenty-six in 1941; he enlisted eight months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. "I wanted to go in," said Posthorn, who grew up in Cincinnati and settled in Manhattan when the war was over. "You had real villains, and if you were Jewish, they were sizable villains. And you had heroes. Roosevelt was a great man. And Churchill was a great man. Also, it was the experience of my generation. And I wanted to get away from home. It was a big deal to get away: a big adventure.

"I remember a man who did get out while I was still in basic training," Posthorn continued. "A man from Cincinnati, who got out based on family need. He said, `Sure I want to avenge Pearl Harbor.' But he wanted out. He was not gay; he was a straight man who was a coward, who wanted to make money, and who didn't want to be in the army. I thought he was awful."
Posthorn had been in love with a man named Alan for four years before he went into the army: "There was no one ever more beautiful in my whole life. Ever! I always felt very lucky to have attracted that man. He was Nijinsky and I was Diaghilev. I was very lucky to have that leaper." After Posthorn enlisted, he and Alan got together one more time when Posthorn came home to Cincinnati for a twelve-day leave.

"We spent three days in a hotel room-a rather seedy hotel-and I couldn't leave because if I were seen, I would be in terrible trouble with my folks, who didn't know I was home yet. So I stayed in there with my clothes off for three days, and he'd go down and sneak a sandwich. It was just heaven! It was like being enslaved to this thing we were doing constantly. It was a total cure.
"The war was on now: it was 1942. I think there was a radio in the room, but I don't think we listened. We had so much to talk about. We were very idealistic. You know, it was Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart time-Casablanca. We're going off, and we might never see each other again."

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Source: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE6DE143AF93AA15752C1A96F9C8B63

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Benjamin Sumner Welles (October 14, 1892 - September 24, 1961) was an American government official and diplomat in the Foreign Service. He was a major foreign policy adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served as Under Secretary of State from 1937 to 1943, during FDR's presidency.

Benjamin Sumner Welles was born in New York City, the son of Benjamin J. Welles (1857–1935) and Frances Wyeth Swan (1863–1911). He preferred to be called Sumner after his famous relative Charles Sumner, a leading Senator from Massachusetts during the Civil War and Reconstruction. His family was wealthy and connected to the era's most prominent families. He was a grandnephew of Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, known as "the Mrs. Astor". Among his ancestors were Thomas Welles, a colonial Governor of Connecticut, and Increase Sumner, Governor of Massachusetts from 1797 to 1799.

The Welles family was also connected to the Roosevelts. A cousin of Sumner Welles married James "Rosy" Roosevelt, Jr., half brother of future President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). At the age of 10, Welles was entered in Miss Kearny's Day School for Boys in New York City. In September 1904, he entered Groton School in Massachusetts, where he remained for six years. There he roomed with the brother of Eleanor Roosevelt. He served as a page at Franklin D. Roosevelt's wedding to Eleanor in March 1905 at the age of 12.

Welles attended Harvard College where he studied "economics, Iberian literature and culture," and graduated after 3 years in 1914.

Sumner Welles married Esther "Hope" Slater of Boston, the sister of a Harvard roommate on April 14, 1915, in Webster, Massachusetts. She came from a similarly prominent family that owned a textile empire based in Massachusetts. An heiress, she was descended from industrialist Samuel Slater and granddaughter of the Boston painter William Morris Hunt. Sumner and his wife had two sons, Benjamin Welles (1916–2002), a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, later his father's biographer, and Arnold Welles (1918–2002). Mrs. Esther Slater Welles obtained a divorce from Sumner Welles in Paris in 1923 "on grounds of abandonment and refusal to live with his wife."

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumner_Welles

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Clark Philip Polak (October 13, 1937–c. September 20, 1980) was an American journalist and LGBT activist. He was known for creating and editing DRUM magazine, an early gay-interest periodical, and for his leadership role with the Philadelphia-based homophile organization, the Janus Society. (Picture: Clark Polak by Sylvia Shap, 1973 – Oil on Panel, 40" x 36", Artist's Collection)

Polack killed himself in Los Angeles in 1980.

Clark was the youngest son of Arthur Marcus Polak and Ann Polak and the brother of Marcus Roy Polak and Roberta Esther Polak Weber/Shilling. He lived in a home that overlooked Hollywood with his friends and had two St. Bernards named Bert and Ernie.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Polak
Phil Donahue vividly recalled his first show with a gay man, Clark Polak, a prominent gay leader from Philadelphia and a close ally of Frank Kameny. "I do remember featuring the first out of the closet: `right here, right now, yes, here he is, folks-Clark Polak."' It was the year before Stonewall: "the first gay Donahue show out of Dayton. "There was the phone number and here was this gay guy-you could actually call up a gay guy! It really was a sensation." Donahue readily admitted his original motivation for exploring this subject: "People didn't leave the barber shop-even when their haircut was over!" Although he felt uncomfortable the first time he interviewed a gay man, he was also extremely curious. "And I know they're going to watch this program. And, remember, that's what I'm paid to do: I'm paid to draw a crowd." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 2968-2973). Kindle Edition.
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Joseph Wright Alsop V (October 10, 1910 – August 28, 1989) was an American journalist and syndicated newspaper columnist from the 1930s through the 1970s.

Alsop was born in Avon, Connecticut, to the socially prominent old Yankee family of Joseph Wright Alsop IV (1876–1953) and his wife Corinne Douglas Robinson (1886–1971). His mother was the niece of Theodore Roosevelt and was also related to President James Monroe. Both his parents were active in Republican politics. His father sought the governorship of Connecticut several times, his mother founded the Connecticut League of Republican Women in 1917, and both served in the Connecticut General Assembly.

Alsop graduated from the Groton School in 1928, and from Harvard University in 1932.

After college, Alsop became a reporter, then an unusual career for someone with an Ivy League diploma. He began his career with the New York Herald Tribune and in a short time he established a substantial reputation as a journalist, particularly by his comprehensive reportage of the Bruno Hauptmann trial in 1934.

Because of his family ties to the Roosevelts, Alsop soon became well-connected in Franklin Roosevelt's Washington. By 1936 the Saturday Evening Post had awarded him a contract to write about politics with fellow journalist Turner Catledge. Two years later, the North American News Alliance (NANA) contracted Alsop and Robert E. Kintner to write a nationally-syndicated column on a daily basis. His first book The 168 Days (1938), covering Roosevelt's unsuccessful campaign to enlarge the Supreme Court, became a bestseller. In 1940, Alsop and Kintner moved from NANA to the New York Herald Tribune.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Alsop

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Leonard Frey (September 4, 1938 – August 24, 1988) was an American actor.

Frey was born in Brooklyn, New York. After college, where he studied art with designs on being a painter, he studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sanford Meisner, and pursued a career in theater instead. In 1968, he received critical acclaim for his performance as Harold, a bitter, pockmarked gay man who dreads his birthday in off-Broadway's The Boys in the Band. This landmark play introduced mainstream audiences to the culture of gay men who supported each other, providing friendship, family and, when necessary, reality checks.

Frey, along with the rest of the original cast, appeared in the 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin.

Frey was nominated for a 1975 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The National Health. Other stage credits include revivals of The Time of Your Life (1969), Beggar on Horseback (1970), Twelfth Night (1972) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1980). Frey earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Motel the tailor in the film Fiddler on the Roof. (He had appeared in the original Broadway production as Mendel, the rabbi's son.) He played Clare Quilty in the Alan Jay Lerner musical Lolita, My Love which closed, before reaching Broadway, in 1974.

Frey's television credits included appearances on Hallmark Hall of Fame, Medical Center, Mission Impossible, Eight is Enough, Quincy, M.E., Hart to Hart, Barney Miller, Moonlighting, and Murder, She Wrote, as well as a co-starring role as the villainous Parker Tillman on the short-lived ABC western comedy Best of the West.


The cast of ‘Boys in the Band’ with playwright Mart Crowley, left. Next to him are Laurence Luckinbill as Hank, the late Frederick Combs as Donald, the late Robert La Tourneaux as 'Cowboy,' the late Kenneth Nelson as Michael, the late Leonard Frey as Harold, the late Cliff Gorman as Emory, the late Keith Prentice as Larry, Peter White as Alan and Reuben Greene as Bernard. (Photo courtesy of the Karpel Group)

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Frey

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Robert Allan "Laud" Humphreys, (October 16, 1930–August 23, 1988) was an American sociologist and author.

Robert Allen Humphreys was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to Ira Denver Humphreys and Stella Bernice Humphreys. "Laud" was chosen as his first name when he was baptized again upon entering the Episcopal Church. He graduated from the Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary in 1955, and served as an Episcopal priest. He earned his Ph.D from Washington University in St. Louis in 1968. Due to the perceived dishonesty of his research methods, there was a failed attempt by some faculty members at Washington University to rescind his PhD. He served as professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California from 1972–1986 and died of lung cancer in 1988.

Humphreys was married to a woman from 1960 to 1980 and eventually came out as a gay man. Humphreys was a founder of the Sociologists' Gay Caucus, established in 1974.

His biography was published in 2004, under the title Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology.

Humphreys is best known for his published Ph.D. dissertation, Tearoom Trade (1970), an ethnographic study of anonymous male-male sexual encounters in public toilets (a practice known as "tea-rooming" in U.S. gay slang and "cottaging" in British English). Humphreys asserted that the men participating in such activity came from diverse social backgrounds, had differing personal motives for seeking homosexual contact in such venues, and variously self-perceived as "straight," "bisexual," or "gay."

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laud_Humphreys

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Roy Marcus Cohn (February 20, 1927 – August 2, 1986) was an American attorney who became famous during Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations into Communist activity in the United States during the Second Red Scare. Cohn gained special prominence during the Army–McCarthy hearings. He was also an important member of the U.S. Department of Justice's prosecution team at the espionage trials of Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Roy Cohn allegedly spent several decades living a discreet life as a closeted gay man. When he brought on Schine as chief consultant, speculation arose that Schine and Cohn had a sexual relationship, although some historians have more recently concluded the friendship was platonic. During the Army–McCarthy hearings, Cohn denied having any "special interest" in Schine or being bound to him "closer than to the ordinary friend." Joseph Welch, the Army's attorney in the hearings, made an apparent reference to Cohn's homosexuality. After asking a witness if a photo entered as evidence "came from a pixie," he defined "pixie" for McCarthy as "a close relative of a fairy." Fairy was, and is, a derogatory term for a gay man. Pixie was also a brand name for a line of cheap cameras. The people at the hearing recognized the allusion and found it amusing; Cohn later called the remark "malicious," "wicked," and "indecent." Cohn and McCarthy targeted many government officials and cultural figures not only for suspected Communist sympathies, but also for alleged homosexuality.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn

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Paul Goodman (September 9, 1911 – August 2, 1972) was a novelist, playwright, poet and psychotherapist, although now best known as a social critic, anarchist philosopher, and public intellectual. Though often thought of as a sociologist, he vehemently denied being one in a presentation in the Experimental College at San Francisco State in 1964, and in fact said he could not read sociology because it was too often lifeless. The author of dozens of books including Growing Up Absurd and The Community of Scholars, Goodman was an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and a frequently cited inspiration to the student movement of that decade. A lay therapist for a number of years, he was a co-founder of Gestalt Therapy in the 1940s and '50s.

Goodman was born in New York City to Barnett and Augusta Goodman, both immigrants. He had a Hebrew school education, and graduated first in his class at Townsend Harris High School. His brother Percival Goodman, with whom Paul frequently worked, was an architect especially noted for his many synagogue designs.

As a child, Goodman freely roamed the streets and public libraries of his native New York City, experiences which later inspired his radical concept of "the educative city". He graduated from The City College of New York in 1932 and completed his Ph.D. work at the University of Chicago in 1939. (He was not officially awarded his Ph.D. until 1953, for a dissertation which was later published by the University of Chicago Press as The Structure of Literature.)

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Goodman_(writer)

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Marty Henry Biddle Paul (1890 - Jul. 27, 1942) wrote under the pen names "Dolly Madison", "Polly Stuyvesant", "Billy Benedick", and "Cholly Knickerbocker". Paul's coy approach and adeptness at personal badgering combined with a change in society standards produced a circulation-building type of journalism for Hearst. He was the Hearstling society columnist in New York. (Picture: The original "Cholly Knickerbocker," Maury Paul who coined the term "Cafe Society," being served his breakfast in bed)

Cholly Knickerbocker, house pseudonym, owned by the Hearst newspaper chain, of a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American, which was published from 1937 to 1966. The columns were distributed by King Features Syndicate.

Maury Paul was the first Journal-American journalist to write under the byline of Cholly Knickerbocker (1937–42), as society editor and writer of a syndicated daily gossip column. He chronicled the social life of the “Four Hundred”—members of the New York Social Register, a directory of the social elite, who were considered to be the traditional arbitrers of American society. He also wrote about “cafe society” (a phrase he coined), which consisted of people in the arts, politics, and business whom he designated as up-and-coming but who were not members of the social elite.


Society scribe Lucius Beebe and Maury Paul clubbing
Maury Paul was the first Journal-American journalist to write under the byline of Cholly Knickerbocker (1937–42), as society editor and writer of a syndicated daily gossip column. He chronicled the social life of the “Four Hundred”—members of the New York Social Register, a directory of the social elite, who were considered to be the traditional arbitrers of American society. He also wrote about “cafe society” (a phrase he coined), which consisted of people in the arts, politics, and business.

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Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1701708/Maury-Paul

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Steve Rubell (December 2, 1943 - July 25, 1989) was an American entrepreneur and co-owner of the New York disco Studio 54.

Rubell and his brother Don spent their childhoods with their parents in Brooklyn. His father worked for the U.S. Postal Service and later became a tennis pro. Rubell attended Wingate High School, and was also an avid tennis player, but decided against playing professionally.

Entering Syracuse University, Rubell had the intention of becoming a dentist, but failed his courses and switched majors, studying finance and history. Rubell was reportedly not a good student but managed to complete his studies, going on to complete a Master's degree in Finance. While attending college Rubell met Ian Schrager, who became a lifelong friend and business partner.

Rubell joined the National Guard, returning to New York after a tour of duty in the military intelligence unit, he worked at a brokerage firm after his return. Rubell then decided to start his own business and opened two Steak Lofts restaurants: one in Queens, New York, and the other in New Haven, Connecticut.

Rubell and Schrager opened two clubs, one in Boston with John Addison from La Jardin, the other, called The Enchanted Garden, in Queens in 1975. In April 1977, they opened Studio 54 in an old television studio on West 54th Street. Rubell became a familiar face in front of the building, turning people down at the door and only letting in those who met his specific standards. Rubell also dealt with the club's celebrity patrons, ensuring that they were thrown lavish parties. His tactics worked, and the club made $7 million during its first year.


Steve Rubell (December 2, 1943 - July 25, 1989) was an entrepreneur and owner of the New York disco Studio54. While attending college Steve Rubell, co-owner of the New York disco Studio 54, met Ian Schrager, who became a lifelong friend and business partner. In 1985, after discovering he had contracted AIDS, Rubell (who was closeted for most of his life) began taking AZT, but his illness was furthered by his continued drug usage and drinking, which affected his already compromised immune system.


AIDS Quilt

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Rubell

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Roberta Achtenberg (born July 20, 1950) is an American politician. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, becoming the first openly lesbian or gay public official in the United States whose appointment to a federal position was confirmed by the United States Senate.

Before becoming a public official, Achtenberg worked for more than 15 years as a civil rights attorney, nonprofit director and legal educator. Her activity included co-founding the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Achtenberg unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the California State Assembly in 1988. She was elected as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1990 and resigned in 1993 when she was appointed Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Bill Clinton. Achtenberg left the post in 1995 to run for mayor of San Francisco. She served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce until January 2005. In 2000, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of California State University by Governor Gray Davis, becoming chair of the Board in May 2006.

On January 26, 2011, President Barack Obama named Achtenberg to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.



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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Achtenberg
The Democratic National Convention in New York City marked a coming of age for the movement, with 133 lesbian and gay delegates and alternates inside Madison Square Garden—and a winning candidate supporting their cause. In another testament to the establishmenfs new commitment to equal rights, the president of CNN, the executive editor of The Los Angeles Times, and the
publisher of The New York Times all served as honorary cohosts of a reception held by the National Lesbian and Gay Iournalists Association on the eve of the convention.
Roberta Achtenberg, a former head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who had become a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors- and an early Clinton supporter—and Bob Hattoy, a gay environmental lobbyist suffering from AIDS, both addressed the convention. When Hattoy exhorted the hall to “`vote this year as if our lives depended on it,” there were tears in the eyes of many delegates. And after a last minute intervention by the gay adviser David Mixner, Clinton included gays in his list of those groups deemed outcasts in the politics of division.
Outside of the military, Bill Clinton completed the decades-long process of prohibiting discrimination against gay people in every other federal agency. He also appointed nearly a hundred open lesbians and gay men to his administration, including Roberta Achtenberg,
who became an assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Despite lesse Helms’s attacks on her as a “damn lesbian,” she was easily confirmed by the Senate by a vote of fifty-eight to thirty-one. --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser.
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Sir Arthur John Evans (8 July 1851 – 11 July 1941) was a British archaeologist most famous for unearthing the palace of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete and for developing the concept of Minoan civilization from the structures and artifacts found there and elsewhere throughout eastern Mediterranean. Evans was the first to define Cretan scripts Linear A and Linear B, as well as an earlier pictographic writing. (in the picture: Arthur Evans by Sir William Richmond, 1907, (Ashmolean Museum WA 1907.2))

Along with Heinrich Schliemann, Evans was a pioneer in the study of Aegean civilization in the Bronze Age. The two men knew of each other and Evans visited Schliemann's sites. Schliemann had planned to excavate at Knossos, but died before fulfilling that dream. Evans bought the site and stepped in to take charge of the project that was then still in its infancy. He continued Schliemann's concept of Mycenaean civilization but soon found that he needed to distinguish it from his own concept - the Minoan.

Arthur Evans was born in Nash Mills, England, the first child of John Evans and Harriet Ann Dickinson. John Evans came from a family of men who were both educated and intellectually active; his father, Arthur's grandfather, had been headmaster of Market Bosworth Grammar School. John knew Latin and could quote the classical authors. In 1840, instead of going to college, he started work at a paper mill owned by his maternal uncle John Dickinson. He married his cousin and employer's daughter, Harriet, and in 1851 was made a full partner in the family business. Profits from the mill would eventually help fund Arthur's excavations and restorations at Knossos and resulting publications.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Evans

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Walter Clemons, a book critic and writer who was on the staff of Newsweek in the 1970's and 80's, died on July 6, 1994, in his house in Long Island City, Queens. He was 64.

The cause was complications from diabetes, said Bernard X. Wolff, a friend, who found Mr. Clemons's body.

Mr. Clemons was with Newsweek from 1971-82 and from 1983-88. In those years, he was an editor, a book critic and a senior writer; he also occasionally wrote criticism of ballet. He wrote a number of cover stories, most of them about authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, Saul Bellow and John Cheever. After 1988, he continued to write reviews for the magazine from time to time.

He also wrote criticism for The New York Times, where he was an editor of The Book Review from 1968-71, and for other publications.

"His gift as a critic was that he had an enormous and easy access to the tradition of literature, and he could call on it without pedantry and without strain," the author Mary Gordon said of Mr. Clemons. "And he could attach his great sensitivity and appreciation for contemporary literature to this sense of the past that was very lively."

Mr. Clemons was born in Houston, graduated from high school there. He received an A.B. with highest honors in English from Princeton in 1951 and a master's degree with first-class honors in English in 1953 from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/07/obituaries/walter-clemons-literary-critic-and-editor-64.html

WALTER CLEMONS was a brilliant young writer in 1959, full of promise. That year he published a collection of short stories called The Poison Tree. Mostly drawn from his Texas childhood, they were written in a spare and elegant style. When they brought him the Prix de Rome, he had established himself as a writer to be reckoned with. Clemons had grown up in Houston, the son of a father who was "sort of a village atheist" and a mother who was a "strict puritan" and a Methodist but who never went to church after she was married. Clemons's early experiences with Catholicism, and his subsequent uprising against it, are typical of the way many rebels embrace, and then replace, early ecstatic experiences. There is a certain kind of iconoclast in whom Catholicism invariably induces a ferocious atheism after an initial period of piety. Clemons was that kind of Catholic.
To placate his paternal grandmother, young Walter was sent to a Catholic elementary school, and his grandmother picked him up every Sunday to take him to Mass. But his parents never went with him. "They were lolling around the house reading the Sunday Times. I had to uphold the religious honor of the family."
Clemons's churchgoing created an immediate crisis: "About the first thing you're taught is that if you don't go to Mass on Sunday, you go to hell," Clemons remembered. "I was under the belief that I was going to go to heaven and I was going to be orphaned while my parents burned in hell. So I used to sob in school. I went through the third grade, and the oppression got worse and worse, and I was taken to a Catholic child psychologist who couldn't get my secret out of me-about hell. He was a good Irish Catholic, Dr. Joe Malloy. He said, `I don't know. Something is scaring the hell out of that little kid in the Catholic school, I think you ought to take him out of the parochial school and let him go to public school.'
"I went through various religious stages. I was very devout in early elementary school, and I became very, very devout in adolescence. I can time it exactly because I can remember the embarrassment of being in Mass on Sunday where you kneel down and stand up and kneel down. It was at that age when you never know when you're going to get a hard-on, and you just don't know what to do about it. I think I was afflicted by some sort of religious grief that has to do with a hard-on, of being in a Catholic Mass and being deeply depressed by the music, and getting teary. So I was very religious during my initial erection stage, when I was ten or eleven. It was very much connected with sexuality. Of course, if I become very devout at the moment I'm having erections in Mass, there will be some guilt.
"I remember that as soon as I became active sexually I totally lost interest in Catholicism because I found that I could not go to confession and say I was sorry. I became a hardened sinner." He also became an atheist. "I think the religiosity was a substitute for sex. It's a fervent emotional experience, and then I didn't need that anymore."
In high school, Clemons read Freud. He had the classic experience of young gay people all over America from the fifties through the eighties. "I read that it was an immature phase in sexual development, so I thought if I could just hang on, the grown-up stuff would start. I knew it was a bad thing.
"My picture was in the Houston paper because I won some kind of an essay contest when I was in high school and I got an anonymous telephone call from a guy who'd seen my picture in the paper and had read about the award. We chatted for a while, and then he asked, 'Are you gay?' I don't even think I was aware of the term gay until some years after that. He must have thought that since I was an essay writer, I must have been an incipient fag. I sensed what he was talking about, but I said, 'I don't know what that is.' But I did know. I told people at school that I'd had this peculiar phone call, and that he said, 'Are you gay?' I told them I didn't know what to say, so I said, 'Oh yeah, I have a good time.' And made a schoolyard anecdote out of it. I should have kept my mouth shut."
Until he read James M. Cain's Serenade as a teenager, Clemons encountered nothing gay in the culture, although he was aware that he was attracted to male movie stars, like Dana Andrews and Errol Flynn.
"I had also a very vivid childhood nightmare that I blush to even remember. It was a dream about nighttime at a deserted circus ring, and there's a group of elephants, one of whom filled his trunk with water and stuck it in my behind. If that's not a sexual dream, I don't know."
A student two classes ahead of him at Lamar High School was thrown out after the rumor went around that he'd been caught doing something in the shower. "He went and finished at San Jacinto High and then came back to receive his diploma at Lamar. He walked out on the stage and was met with thunderous applause - a generous ovation. It was very brave of him to come back, and everyone was sorry it had ever happened. This was in June 1945.
"I remember when I first got laid [with a girl], at sixteen, and somehow the word got around. I remember a football player friend of mine with whom I worked as a lifeguard said something to the effect of, 'Gee, I've always been kind of shy around you because I never knew you would do anything like that. I feel a lot more comfortable with you now.' And I was crazy about him. I just thought, Well, how sweet. I've made the grade! I'm with the guys now."
Clemons got his first short story published in Scholastic magazine while he was still in high school. He chose to go on to Princeton "because of Scott Fitzgerald and Edmund Wilson and wanting to write songs for the Triangle Show." His dream came true: "I was the musical director of the Triangle Show." He was a tall, blond, good-looking Texan, but he went through college without ever having sex with a man. Then he won a Rhodes Scholarship, and he didn't have sex at Magdalen College in Oxford, either. "There was all sorts of activity at Magdalen. Sort of everywhere but nowhere. I don't know if anybody was actually doing anything, but there was a lot of affection and flirting and all that. I was in no position to know if anybody was getting it on. But surely they were. I would have been so racked with guilt if I'd done anything, and I'm sure they were doing it all without worrying about it. I'm sure many of those people went through what I had read about: they did it and then it was a passing phase. They went on and got married. I have often thought that if I had had a passage of homosexual activity in my teens I might have been much more comfortbale. Who knows?"
The Korean Was was on and, after Oxford, Clemons would have been vulnerable to the draft. But during his final six months abroad he was diagnosed with diabetes. He took a job as an ordinary seaman on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico which was surveying the gulf's bottom for oil-well drilling.
"I had some very close friends among those men, and a particular friendship with one of the most wonderful guys I ever knew, perfectly straight, very affectionate and physical. His name was L.D. Harris.
“L.D. was my age. He was draped around me at all times, and, to my horror, one of the older guys said, `There are two guys that ought to just fuck each other and get it over with!’
“I just froze. And my friend hugged me, and said to this guy, ‘Oh, toilet—mouth, you'd say anything!’ He didn’t have the slightest worry about it. That was really one of the happiest moments of my life.”
L,D. was a particular kind of male heterosexual cherished by gay men everywhere: someone so confident of his orientation that he never feels threatened by the homosexuality of anyone else. "He was, therefore, very affectionate with me," said Clemons. "He was a terrific fellow. He was tirelessly heterosexual and a very cute country boy.”
Most of the crew on Clemons’s boat came from one little Texas town north of Dallas called Quenlin, The total population was six hundred. “They would fix me up with girls, and I would fuck one of the local girls and I was one of the gang,” he said.
Finally, on a trip home to Houston, Clemons had his first gay sexual experience. “I was doing some work in the public library, and there was a men’s room at the bottom of the public library where I discovered that guys were exhibiting themselves and tempting the passersby, and I simply went down there and picked somebody up and went back with him to his room at the Y, where I fucked him and he fucked me. And I said that I had never done this before, and he didn’t believe me. I said, ‘No, I’m telling the truth. I’ve just imagined it.’ And he said, `Well, you’ve got same imaginationI’ He was a very nice man and I never saw him again, although I often think of him as some sort of lucky first encounter.
"After this first experience, I went over to my girlfriend’s house, just dazed. But my thought was, I’ve done this once and if you don’t do it again it will just be an experiment”—another typical reaction to an initial encounter. “I abstained for a solid year after that. I continued with this girl, with whom I became impotent with guilt. I think I was so full of conflict that the relationship began to fall to pieces, And then I didn’t want to fuck her anymore.
“It was no longer possible for me to continue the fantasy that I would outgrow this. It didn’t seem possible for me to continue a relationship with a woman with whom I would probably be unfaithful. And so I gradually just withdrew from it.”
After a year at sea, Clemons had accumulated enough money to go to Europe, so he lived in London and Paris for a couple of years before moving to New York in 1958. In London, he was cruised on the streets of Chelsea. He began to think “that queers had funny eyes, I was afraid that I would get to look like that. And I only gradually worked out what it was. It’s the cautious homosexuals that looked at you without moving their face. In order not to be caught looking, you’re suddenly aware that you’re being looked at by a face that’s frankly not looking at you at all. So the eyes look very peculiar. It’s a kind of snake-eyed look."
His short stories were published in Harpefs Bazaar and Ludies’ Home laurnal, among other periodicals. There was nothing gay about any of Clemons’s fiction, and many of his straight friends were unaware of his orientation. He was an elegant man, with the understated air of a patrician from Texas. He had great confidence in his own intelligence, but he was never boastful, After he moved to New York in the sixties, he escorted many of the city’s most elegant women. He did have one long-term relationship with a man he adored, but many of his closest friends never met his companion; like so many members of his generation, Clemons would always lead a compartmentalized life. But while he remained very discreet, by the time he was thirty, all of his inhibitions about having sex with men had disappeared.
For more than thirty years after World War II, beginning with the widespread availability of penicillin and other antibiotics, sexually active Americans enjoyed a kind of liberty that was without precedent in modern times: an almost total freedom from fear of sexually transmitted diseases. For the first time in many centuries, syphilis and gonorrhea became inconveniences instead of catastrophes. Eventually, medical advances would contribute to a dramatic change in the way Americans of all persuasions thought about sex. But because of the sexual taboos of the fifties, many heterosexual New Yorkers had to wait for the arrival of the Pill—and a whole new set of sixties attitudes—before their sexual revolution began.
Gay New Yorkers did not have to wait. “It was vividly exciting to sneak around and be in a black tie at a party and make connection with somebody’s eye across the room and meet later after we dumped our dates," said Clemons. And although the scene was much more furtive than it would be two decades later, on any given night in the fifties it could be just as wild as it would be seven nights a week in the seventies.
Clemons was never concerned about catching anything. “Nobody worried about it a bit. You never had a tremor: if you saw somebody you wanted, you went for it. I went to the baths. I went to the Everhard. It cost something like six dollars. I always went at night, and I often stayed all night.
“If you got a locker, you put your clothes in the locker. If you took a cubicle, you hung your clothes up in your cubicle. Then you had a little knee-length white gown to wrap yourself in, which you usually wore loose with your cock hanging out. The stomach-downs wanted to be fucked. I guess you could have sex with as many as a dozen people. There were group scenes. There was a very impressive steam-bath room down in the lower level, as well as a swimming pool and a big sort of cathedral-like sauna room. It was very steamy and you could hardly see. You could stumble into multiple combinations.”
Once he picked up a man at the baths who was “just hot as a firecracker but clearly under pressure, I went off to the bathroom and came back to the cubicle and he had dressed and vanished, I was quite hurt. Then I saw his picture in the paper the next day.” He had been arrested for hit—and-run driving.
Clemons also went to a bathhouse on West 58th Street near Columbus Circle. “Once in the afternoon, Truman Capote entered and I quickly left. I didn`t know Truman Capote, but I didn`t want to be in the same baths with him. Nureyev used to hang out there, and so did Lincoln Kirstein, but I never saw either of them. But the word was around, There was a rather friendly guy at the front desk who I was sort of chatty with, and he would say, `You don’t have any luck, Nureyev was here last night and you missed him again. The best legs I’ve ever seen!`"
After Clemons’s collection of short stories was published in 1959, he made extra money playing the piano in Manhattan nightclubs like the RSVP, where Mabel Mercer was a regular performer. Downtown on West 9th Street, Clemons frequented a popular gay restaurant called the Lion, where he first heard an unseasoned woman singer from Brooklyn.
“It was before I went off to Rome. When her first record came out and we began to hear about her in Rome, somebody brought me the record and I looked at that face and realized it was a much»glamorized photo of this awful girl that I had heard in the Lion [in 1960]. She was hostile and terribly nervous. She had no contact with the audience and was hunched over the microphone and made something that was supposed to be patter, but was so convoluted and interior that all you felt was this hostility and terrible resentment from this ugly girl. I remember her singing ‘Cry Me a River.’ It was a very muffled act. It must have been one of her very first appearances because she was so tense, It was memorable not because we saw a great star, but because we saw this awful girl.” Despite the way Clemons remembered her, Barbra Streisand won the amateur talent competition at the Lion four weekends in a row.
Streisand was “discovered” three years later by Arthur Laurents, when he directed her in I Cun Get It for You Wholesale on Broadway in 1962, "One day this girl came in [wearing] these bizarre thrift-shop clothes,” Laurents recalled. “She was nineteen. She started to sing, and I thought, My God, I’ve never heard anything like this." But the show’s producer, David Merrick, agreed with Walter Clemons. Merrick kept saying, “She’s so unattractive,” and he tried to get Laurents to fire her “every night of rehearsal and out of town.” But Streisand “knew she was going to be a star right then and there,” said Laurents. “And she made sure you knew.”
[...]
During A. M. Rosenthal’s tenure, gay employees were treated just as capriciously as gay issues at The New York Times.
After his first collection of short stories was published to general acclaim, Walter Clemons stopped writing fiction. Three decades later, he said he had been concerned that if he continued, he might reveal his sexual orientation. “That’s really why I gave up writing fiction.
In explaining things, I thought it would show. It sort of dried me up as a fiction writer because I exhausted my safely writable experiences." Whether that was the real reason for his writing block is probably less important than the fact that Clemons believed it was real. Until the 1980s, most gay writers assumed that public identification as a homosexual could quickly end their careers. “Any writer suspected of being homosexual would be immediately attacked by . . . something like ninety percent of the press,” said Vidal. “And the other ten percent would be very edgy in praise, for fear that the writer might be thought to be sexually degenerate.”
After he had stopped writing fiction, Clemons became an editor at McGraw-Hill in Manhattan. One day in 1968 he received a call from a friend at The New Yurk Times Book Review, offering him an editorship. After he had accepted, but before he had started the new job, Clemons went home to Houston to visit his parents.
"My mother was planning to have a party the night before I flew back to New York, and the morning of the party I was up very early with my father. He went into the bedroom and came out sort of white, and said, ‘I think she`s gone} My mother had simply died in her sleep. So after the funeral and all the production, I went back to New York and I had bitten the hell out of my fingernails. I had to go for a physical at the Times, and the doctor looked at my hands and asked if I had been under some sort of nervous strain. I explained that my mother had just died and it was a shock, He asked, `Were you very close to your mother?’ And I said, ‘Not espe-
cially.` Then he asked if I had had any homosexual experiences, and I said, ‘Well, yes.' It never occurred to me to lie. Ask me a simple question and I`ll give you a straightforward answer. So he said that I’d better see the psychiatrist. They sent me off to a doctor. I wish I could remember his name because he was absolutely angelic.
“He asked me about my homosexual experience and when I came out and this and that. Then he asked if I was promiscuous, and I said, ‘No, I’m not now. But I have been. When I first came to New York I was on the streets and in the bars at every opportunity. But I lead a quieter life now.' At the end of the interview, he said, ‘I’m going to recommend that they hire you because you had several chances to lie and you didn’t. I think you have good values and you’re a good person.’”
Clemons was baffled: "Well, what did I do right?” he asked. The doctor replied, “When I asked you if you were promiscuous, you could have easily said, ‘Oh no, never.’ It’s perfectly natural that coming from Texas to New York you would have had sort of a wild first few years here, and you were perfectly frank about that. I like the way you talked to me." Clemons ontinued, “That`s why I wish I could remember his name. Who could be nicer?”
Clemons`s first years at the Times were pleasant ones. “I was sort of unconscious of homophobia at the Times because I did what I think a lot of sort of polite, button-down homosexuals did in those days: I thought I was invisible.”
At the Times, Clemons “didn’t really think so much about whether people were thinking about me because I thought, Nobody can see me.” But he turned out to be mistaken.
Two years after he arrived on West 43d Street, Clemons was asked to apply for the prestigious position of daily book reviewer. He was widely regarded as the most qualified candidate for the job, but it went to Anatole Broyard instead. Clemons was horrified when he learned from his colleague, John Leonard, that top editors at the paper had launched an investigation of Clemons’s sexual orientation during his tryout. And Clemons was furious when he learned that three of his colleagues—including Christopher Lehmann—Haupt, already a daily book critic—had told his bosses that he was gay, “I was outraged and hurt, and thought, What has this got to do with anything?” Clemons remembered.
Shortly after Clemons had been passed over for the job as daily reviewer, Jack Kroll lured him over to Newsweek, where he had a distinguished career as one of the magazine’s senior book critics. “Writing for Walter was definitely a moral act," said Kroll. “He was my favorite among the Times critics. He was too good a man to fall in love with himself. It’s so wonderful to deal with talent and sensibility.” The admiration was entirely mutual: “Jack’s the best editor imaginable," Clemons said.
Kroll had no suspicion that Clemons was homosexual. "I always assumed that he and [arts patron] Mimi Kilgore had some sort of thing. I used to think, That lucky fuck, he even got Mimi. I remember a dinner he had with me and a couple of other people at which it soon became clear that he wanted to tell us this. It was very straight and very sweet. The details have been overwhelmed by my failure to spot this—straight guys like to think they can spot this. The word I always used to describe his writing was masculine. And maybe I liked him too much. If you like a guy too much and you’re straight, there’s something that prevents you from making that connection.”
Clemons confirmed the identity of one of his accusers at the Times several years later, after another Times editor, Charles Simmons, wrote a novel in which he recounted the incident. When the novel was published, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt telephoned Clemons to arrange a meeting over drinks at the Four Seasons restaurant.
“I had never gotten over this even five years later, and I was foolish enough to think they had finally caught on about needing to get rid of Anatole Broyard and they wanted to sound me out about coming back as daily book reviewer,“ Clemons recalled. His fleeting optimism was understandable because nearly everyone in the world of books considered Clemons’s criticism far superior to the work of Broyard or Lehmann—Haupt.
Clemons’s failure to become the daily critic at the Times had "made a grievous imprint" on him. "It was the first rejection I had ever had, I had never even asked for a job before. People came to me, and asked, Would you like to do this, would you like to do that? So when I really wanted that job and didn’t get it, I was deeply crushed, So I met Chris and we made chitchat for a while, and he finally said, ‘I’ll tell you the reason I called. I wanted to talk to you about Charlie Simmons's book.'
“I hadn’t even seen it. So I said that I wished he had told me because I thought he was looking for someone to review it. But he said, `Let me read you a passage ’:
The first person he knew with a hyphenated name, a young attractive bachelor, took him up as a confidant and reported regularly on progress in finding a suitable girlfriend. He was unhappily married at the time and envied the bachelor’s single life until one day the bachelor said, ‘I haven’t had sex in two years, not since I broke up with the dancer friend.’ ‘What happened to her?’ he asked the bachelor. ‘Him,` the bachelor said, and he realized sexual confessions contain propositions. The second man he knew with a hyphenated name, who affected intricate designs with facial hair, who was both boyish and avuncular and who was liked by everyone for a while, prevented a colleague from getting an influential job by telling the employer that the colleague was homosexual. The colleague, over drinks in a bar one evening, said to him, `He didn’t even ask me if I was.` And then after a pause, ‘You know what’s the matter with him? He wants to be a good guy but just can’t.’
“So Chris read me this passage, and I said, `Yes, I did say something like that.’ And he said, ‘Since Charlie has published this, I have always wanted a chance to explain to you, I was too shy to open up the subject and this gives me an opportunity. I have always felt bad about this. You see, the reason I did that was that it’s a very demanding job, and writing reviews can be very personal and under the pressure of the job, I thought that it’“ — Clemons’s homosexuality — “`might come out in your reviews.’
“He thought it was better to prevent this disaster. I thought the explanation was worse than the original events.”
Clemons was too stunned to reply, “Yes. I just had a friendly drink with Chris and we went on to other subjects, I went home and told my friend, and he said, ‘What! Weren’t you furious? Didn’t you say anything? And I said, ‘No. I couldn’t think of anything much to say.’ I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time, and I brought this up the following week, and he said, ‘You sat still for that?’ So we had a discussion about not being able to express anger.”
Lehmann-Haupt’s recollection of this conversation does not differ markedly from Clemons’s account. Although Lehmann-Haupt denied that his motivation was to prevent Clemons from being hired as his fellow critic, he called Clemons’s description of their drink at the Four Seasons "certainly a way of putting it... I mean that’s the way he saw it,” He also confirmed that after “four, or five, or six hours” of drinking Scotch with Rosenthal in the managing editor’s private office, he told Rosenthal that Clemons was gay.
Lehmann-Haupt said he confided to Rosenthal “personally and privately" that he thought Clemons was blocked as a fiction writer “because he doesn’t accept his sexual orientation.
“And Abe nodded, and said, ‘Well, that’s very interesting.' And that was, again I say, we took a number of people over similar indiscreet . . .” the critic’s voice trailed off.
A quarter century after the event, Lehmann-Haupt admitted that it had been a mistake to confirm to Rosenthal that Clemons was a homosexual. Lehmann—Haupt also agreed that Clemons was “absolutely" a better critic than Anatole Broyard. Rosenthal said he had “absolutely no recollection either that Walter Clemons was gay or that I ever discussed it“ with Lehmann-Haupt. He also denied that he had ever discriminated against any employee because he was gay.
Lehmann-Haupt recalled that during their drink at the Four Seasons, “Walter was not giving me an inch. The more I went, the more he sort of looked at me. He wouldn’t even nod. He wouldn’t say, ‘Look, I understand this was tough for you’—or anything that would have given me any kind of relief. And I was stumbling around trying to explain what had happened. I probably didn`t perform very well. I mean, it was certainly one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever been through, and it got worse by the minute."
While Clemons had been working at the Book Review, its editor, Francis Brown, had put him up for membership in the Century Club, a Manhattan institution housed in a Stanford White palace, which counts many of the city’s most accomplished writers and artists among its members. “I had gone to Newsweek in 1971, and at the fall dinner with the new members I ran into Abe Rosenthal—who I had beat in by a couple of years—in his little tux. We found ourselves drinks, and he was very flustered, and said, ‘You’ve gone somewhere, haven’t you?` And I said, ‘Yes, I’m the book reviewer for Newsweek now.’ And he said, `I didn`t mean to say that! I didn’t mean to say that!’ It was the weirdest thing. He was deeply embarrassed and flustered. All I can think is that he was so flustered by running into this fag that he had denied a job to, on the august occasion of his induction, he just lost his head."

Source: Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Murray Gitlin, a dancer and stage manager, died on June 22, 1994, at St. Clare's Hospital due to AIDS complications. He was 67 and lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Gitlin, who was born in West Hartford, Conn., studied with Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Martha Graham and Jose Limon, and danced with the New York City Opera, the companies of Mr. Nikolais and Pearl Lang, and in such musicals as "The King and I," "The Golden Apple," "Can-Can" and "Irma la Douce."

He was stage manager for Off Broadway revivals of "On the Town," "The Boys From Syracuse" and "Private Lives," and was production stage manager for "The Boys in the Band" from its first workshop production throughout its initial Off Broadway run and first national tour. He was also production stage manager for the Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" with Richard Chamberlain, and for touring productions of "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "Death Trap" and Brian Bedford's one-man show, "Poets, Lunatics and Lovers."
I knew Murray when I first moved to NY to study at Juilliard. He was warm and charismatic, welcoming to a very young, naive gay man trying to figure out how the culture worked. It was 1973, New York was scary, rough, and Murray was a friendly face who clearly knew the ropes. I'll never forget him. --Gilbert Cole

A class photo at the Henry Street Playhouse taken in 1949. Identified persons are, on left standing: Luke Bragg, Sheldon Ossosky, and Murray Louis; front seated: Anita Lynn, Phyllis Lamhut, ***, Nancy Robb (front), Martha Howe (rear), Murray Gitlin, and ***; on right: Alwin Nikolais and Gladys Bailin.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/25/obituaries/murray-gitlin-67-a-former-dancer.html
Instead of office buildings, Third Avenue was lined with brownstones, and it was dominated by the Elevated. The nooks and shadows created by this shaft down the center of the avenue played a significant role in gay life in New York before the war: they offered a multitude of discreetly darkened meeting places right in the heart of the metropolis. "It was a little bit spooky," said Murray Gitlin, a Broadway dancer who remembered Third Avenue as "one of the only cruisy places" in the 1940s. "It was like being under palm trees on a summer night," Franklin Macfie quipped. "You could very easily feel you were in Rio!"
[...]
"Malingerers" were those who pretended to be gay to avoid duty at the front; "reverse malingerers"-a term invented by military psychiatrists-described gay recruits who pretended to be heterosexual so they could perform their patriotic duty. By 1943 doctors had devised the Cornell Selectee Index, which used "occupational choice" questions to screen out dancers, window dressers, and interior decorators because they would have difficulty with their "acceptance of the male pattern." The media periodically spread this new official prejudice. The Washington Star noted that navy psychiatrists would "be on the lookout for any number of mental illnesses or deficiencies that would make the recruit a misfit," including homosexuality, and Time reported that "How do you get along with girls?" was one of the questions "machine-gunned" at the inductee during his physical. These press reports produced all kinds of unlikely fears. When Murray Gitlin enlisted in the navy, he was "very afraid that they would undress me during the physical examination, and they'd know, looking at me, that I was gay. That's how innocent I was. Well they didn't-and they couldn't have cared less."
[...]
MURRAY GITLIN was working in the terminal cancer ward of the Brooklyn Naval Hospital and dreaming about becoming a dancer when he got out of the navy. "On nights off I would come into Manhattan. Servicemen-all of us in uniform-were treated like royalty. You were given tickets to movies and concerts." When he was eighteen he went to Radio City Music Hall "alone, in my uniform. I wasn't what you'd call a hot sailor. I was too fat. Anyway, I sat there, and this tall blond man came-not old-and sat next to me. "I felt something and I began to tremble. And he put his hand on my thigh, and I thought to myself, Well, I've got to do something. So he kept fooling around. In the orchestra of the Music Hall! I believe the movie was Abe Lincoln in Illinois. So he asked me if I would like to come to his hotel room, and I said yes. It was called the Hotel America, on 47th, between Sixth and Seventh. It was like a hotel that Tennessee Williams would have stayed in, in New Orleans-louvered doors and very rinky-dink. I was as nervous as a cat. And when we got to the hotel, he said, `You wait down here for a few minutes and I'll go up.' He told me the room number, and then he said, `You can come up and I'll let you in.' I said, `Great.' And then I went up and I knocked on his door and he opened the louvers and we hugged one another and kissed. And I said, `I love you!' He turned out to be a cocktail pianist from Asbury Park. There was nothing unusual about him. He was very corn-fed and very middle of the road. For me it was a great release and a great experience. And we saw one another several times after."
[...]
Thousands of gay Americans fell in love with West Side Story when they were children in the fifties. And for legions of kids of all persuasions, the show provided them with their first concrete notion of romantic love. To many gay adults coming of age in the sixties, the romance, violence, danger, and mystery so audible on the original cast album all felt like integral parts of the gay life they had embraced. The lyrics of "Somewhere" in particular seemed to speak directly to the gay experience before the age of liberation. In 1996, it was one of the songs chosen for the first mass gay wedding of two hundred couples in San Francisco, presided over by the city's mayor, Willie Brown. But none of the collaborators (or their 1950S contemporaries) ever suspected there was anything gay about their very heterosexual love story. (Coincidentally, Larry Kert, who starred as Tony, was also gay.) "It was never an issue that we talked about," said Murray Gitlin, who fell in love with the show when it opened. "I never thought about it as gay."
[...]
MURRAY GITLIN had black hair and a long, attractive Semitic face. His low, warm, carefully modulated voice and precise diction made him sound almost British. His close friend Stanley Posthorn remarked that Gitlin was so charming that he could convert anyone he met into a friend. In 1949 Gitlin moved back to New York. His first temporary residence was the elegant apartment belonging to his uncle Aaron and aunt Helen on the Grand Concourse, still a magnificent Bronx boulevard right after the war. He didn't have time to look for his own place because he "just had to become a dancer," Gitlin explained. "I was a late starter, and I didn't have time to waste. I was twenty-two." His aunt Helen was a "very powerful woman" who was seeing a psychiatrist because she was having terrible abdominal pain that her doctor thought was psychosomatic. One night after dinner, she said, "`You know, Murray, Aaron and I know that among male dancers, there are many who are homosexual.' She was suspicious of me. `And we wonder, since you're a dancer now, what your relationship is to those men.' "I thought she had balls. You know: 1950. And I said, `Well, Helen, I am.' And Aaron was there. She said, `Oh.' I said, `Oh yes.' And I said, `I've accepted it, and I think I understand it.' And she said, `Well!' "She insisted I go to her psychiatrist and have a preliminary consultation with him. And then we'd see." Gitlin went to the psychiatrist, but it had no effect. "I think there was never any choice for me, which is, you know, par for the course. And as far as I know, as far as I can remember, there was never another way for me. I felt confident because I'd thought it through." Soon he found a magnificent cold-water flat at 426 West 56th Street with a bathtub in the kitchen and the bathroom in the hall. The rent was $16 a month. During the next forty-four years, Gitlin would never leave the neighborhood, although he did move once to another apartment six blocks away. He was very good-looking, but too chubby to think of himself as really attractive. His first job was in the chorus of The King and I. "I was very happy to be in that show-it was a very glamorous thing to be in. It was just beautiful. I've directed it since and played roles in it since, but that was the most important." In the chorus line, Gitlin replaced Otis Bigelow-the best-looking man in Manhattan in 1940, the one who had chosen a beautiful sailor over a suntanned millionaire. A year earlier at Martha Graham's dancing school in Vermont, Gitlin spotted a "tall beautiful young man, who looked like a swimmer-which he was. I'll never forget my first impression of him. After class, I asked Martha if she would introduce me to him, and she did. He was very shy. And I said I was living in New York. I said when you come to New York-and I knew he would-look me up if you want to. I'd be very happy to see you. One day Gitlin was leaving the St James Theatre, where The King and I was playing, and he recognized the same young man. "He was sitting out there just waiting for me. And he said, `Hi. Remember me?' In a small voice. I said, `Yes, I do remember you.' And that's when our friendship really began." The young man was Paul Taylor, who became one of Manhattan's most famous modern dancers and choreographers, as well as the founder of his own dance company, which is still flourishing. Gitlin found him an apartment in his building, and soon Taylor was bringing over a painter friend named Bob Rauschenberg. "Rauschenberg used to come over and he would go to the bathroom," Gitlin remembered. "And I would keep painting that bathroom-to cheer it up a little bit. And I painted it red and orange and it would peel almost immediately. And one day, I'll never forget, Rauschenberg went to the bathroom, and he came in, and said, `When I become famous'-not if, but `when I become famous'-that bathroom is going to be part of the exhibit I have. Because I think it's so beautiful the way the paint's peeling off so delicately."' Another frequent visitor was Jerome Robbins, whom Gitlin knew slightly because Robbins had choreographed The King and I. A couple of years later, Robbins would choose a photograph of Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence standing in front of Gitlin's West Side apartment building to illustrate the cast album of his most spectacular musical. "Jerry used to come over and visit and we'd laugh," said Gitlin. "But he was always weird. We always got along in those days. I don't know; something happened. He does this to people. He turns people off. Something snaps. Somewhere along the line, something must have happened between him and nie. I mean we really liked one another. And in some of my early days on Fire Island, he was out there. He loved the island as much as I did. He loved games and I loved games. And we played with some of the ballet people who were out there. And it was so much fun. He loved to have fun."
[...]
The Penn Post baths across the street from Penn Station were popular at lunchtime and with the commuter crowd in the late afternoon. Murray Gitlin remembered "a room with a lot of double bunks and a steam room slippery with slime. I was lying on the upper bunk at the end of Penn Post, and I heard this very erudite conversation, and I looked down and it was Lincoln Kirstein."
[...]
Victim never got into general release in America. Always alert to the dangerous connections between culture and politics, the Catholic-dominated censorship office in Hollywood refused to give Victim its seal of approval. According to the film historian Vito Russo, the first objection was to the use of the words homosexual and homosexuality, "which had never before been uttered on screen." A spokesman for the Production Code Administration explained that the film was unacceptable because of its "candid and clinical discussion of homosexuality" and its "overtly expressed plea for social acceptance of the homosexual, to the extent that he be made socially tolerable." A handful of art houses in big cities did exhibit Victim, despite the absence of censorship office endorsement. Murray Gitlin went to see the film in Chicago with an actor friend. "We came out, and Woody said to me, `Well, our secret is out!"' Gitlin remembered. "This is, like, sixty-two. And that may have been the beginning of an awareness that had not been around before. A very important moment."
[...]
The Boys in the Band was the first "uncloseted" look at gay life inside a New York closet-with all the brittle intelligence, bitter humor and exaggerated pathos on which white, male, middle-class gay life thrived in this era. Crowley took his title from A Star Is Born, in which James Mason tells Judy Garland, "Relax, it's three A.M. at the Downbeat Club, and you're singing for yourself and the boys in the band." The title worked. The action takes place in a single evening, at a birthday party hosted by Michael, a profligate writer who is briefly on the wagon. Leonard Frey gave a brilliant performance as Harold, the guest of honor whose introduction of himself at the beginning of the second act immediately became famous: "What I am, Michael, is a thirty-two-year-old, ugly, pock-marked Jew fairy-and if it takes me a while to pull myself together and if I smoke a little grass before I can get up the nerve to show my face to the world, it's nobody's goddamn business but my own.... And how are you this evening?" When Crowley first showed the script to his agent, she was so embarrassed that she couldn't even look him in the eye. She whispered, "I can't send this out with my name on it. Why, it's like a weekend on Fire Island!" But the agent hadn't absorbed the changes already wrought by an amazing decade, while Crowley had perfect timing and perfect pitch. Twenty-four hours after leaving his agent's office he was in Richard Barr's apartment; Barr and Charles Woodward, Jr., agreed to produce his new play on the spot.* Then Crowley sat down with the director Bob Moore, whom he had known at Catholic University in Washington, and together they cut the script in half. "It worked as a play when Bob and Mart together trimmed it down to a workable size," said Murray Gitlin, the former Broadway chorus boy who stage-managed the first workshop production of Boys on Vandam Street.
[...]
Harold's birthday present in the play is a laconic $20-a-night hustler whom Harold immediately nicknames Tex. Murray Gitlin had asked Robert La Tourneaux to audition for the part after he met him at the Westside YMCA. "He was one of the most beautiful young men," Gitlin recalled. La Tourneaux hesitated at first because he thought it was demeaning to play a hustler. But after the play became a hit, he repeated the role in London and Los Angeles, and again for the film. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.
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Merle Miller (May 17, 1919 - June 10, 1986) was an American writer, novelist, and best-selling author who came out of the closet in an article in the New York Times Magazine on January 17, 1971, titled "What It Means To Be a Homosexual." Due to the response of over 2,000 letters to the article (more than ever received by that newspaper) the article, with additional material was published later that year as a book. Miller became a spokesmen for the gay movement.
"It is one thing to confess to political unorthodoxy but quite another to admit to sexual unorthodoxy." -MERLE MILLER, 1971
Merle Miller was born in Montour, Iowa. He grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa and the London School of Economics. Before World War II, he was a Washington correspondent for the late Philadelphia Record. During the war he served both in the Pacific and in Europe as a war correspondent and editor for Yank, The Army Weekly.

Following his discharge from the Army he was editor of both Harper's and Time Magazines. He also worked as a book reviewer for The Saturday Review of Literature and as a contributing editor for The Nation. His work appeared frequently in the New York Times Magazine.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merle_Miller

But the article that drew by far the most attention was published in Harper's just fifteen months after Stonewall. Written by the Chicago academic (and future neoconservative) Joseph Epstein, the story offered vivid confirmation of Ethan Geto's observation that liberal Jews were often "the most terrified and the most disdainful" whenever the "homosexual question" was discussed.
[...]
THE MOST WIDELY read reply to Epstein's article appeared four months later in an unlikely venue: The New York Times Magazine. Abe Rosenthal, who had commissioned the big front-page piece on the "growth" of homosexuality in 1963, had continued to consolidate his power over the daily news department: by now he was managing editor. But in 1971, there were still two separate New York Timeses-the daily paper, which reported to Rosenthal; and the Sunday sections, whose editors reported to Sunday editor Daniel Schwarz. Because of this division, there was real diversity within the news pages, and the Sunday paper often expressed distinctly different points of view from the daily-especially on the subject of homosexuality. (Rosenthal gained control of both the Sunday and the daily news departments in 1977.)
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The mother of a gay son who wrote to Merle Miller put it best a few months later: "Being a nice human being, people everywhere accept [my son]. Above all, as he grows older he knows his family loves him always. ... Families of gay young men should not treat them as `sick.' Different, yes, but not sick. I think we'd have less suicides and better adjusted 'different males' if the family unit stayed close to these boys.... The whole problem in our generation is that we worry so much about what our neighbors think. Thank God this young generation doesn't give a damn." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.

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Edward Sagarin (September 18, 1913 – June 10, 1986), also known by his pen name Donald Webster Cory, was an American professor of sociology and criminology at the City University of New York, and a writer. His book The Homosexual in America: A Subjective Approach, published in 1951, was considered "one of the most influential works in the history of the gay rights movement," and inspired compassion in others by highlighting the difficulties faced by homosexuals.

He was titled "father of the homophile movement" for asserting that gay men and lesbians deserved civil rights as members of a large, unrecognised minority. However, Vern L. Bullough believes the title is undeserved as Sagarin did not actively participate in resistance and did not join any homophile organisations until 1962, a time when he was seeking a topic to analyse in his thesis.

Sagarin was born in Schenectady, New York to Russian Jewish parents. Sagarin was born with scoliosis, which produced a hump on his back. He attended high school, and after graduating, spent a year in France where he met André Gide. Upon his return to New York, he enrolled at City College of New York, but was forced to drop out of college due to the Great Depression.

In 1934, Sagarin met Gertrude Liphshitz, a woman who shared his left-wing political interests. They married in 1936 and soon after, Gertrude gave birth to a boy. Sagarin established himself in the perfume and cosmetics industry, becoming knowledgeable about the chemistry of perfumes, and publishing The Science and Art of Perfumery in 1945.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Sagarin

The “mysterious bond” between gay men resulted in large part from their participation in the gay subculture and consequent knowledge of its codes and tactics, both almost wholly unfamiliar to the doctors. It resulted as well from their simple attentiveness to the signals that might identify like-minded men; most other city residents were preoccupied with other matters or remained deliberately oblivious to the surfeit of stimuli on the streets. Involvement in the gay world familiarized men with the styles of clothing and grooming, mannerisms, and conventions of speech that had become fashionable in that world but were not stereotypically associated with fairies. Those fashions served as signs, “neither masculine nor feminine, but specifically and peculiarly homosexual,” observed the writer and gay activist Donald Webster Cory in the early 1950s; these were “difficult for [outsiders] to pinpoint,” but enabled men to recognize one another even as they concealed their identities from others.
[...]
The various gay magazines published in the 1950s periodically published articles with titles such as “Can Homosexuals Be Recognized?” One particularly insightful article by that title, although written by Donald Webster Cory twenty-five years after the period under discussion here, noted several of the same signs used by gay men a generation earlier, and it was wryly, but appropriately, illustrated with pictures of men staring into each other’s eyes, men walking in peculiar ways, and articles of clothing and adornment fashionable among gay men: certain kinds of shoes and sandals, large rings, scarves, and the like. (“Can Homosexuals Be Recognized?” ONE Magazine 1 [September 1953]: 7-11.) --Chauncey, George (1995-05-18). Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (Kindle Locations 3702-3708). BASIC. Kindle Edition.

Many gay historians have claimed a connection between homosexual orientation and artistic avocation. However, Edward Sagarin, the first American historian of gay life in the fifties, argued that homosexuals are hardly confined to the arts. He suggested that artists were simply more likely to leave behind hints about their sexuality than "scientists, businessmen, [and] political lead- ers"-men and women who "not only leave no such evidence," but are forced to engage in "vehement denial and deliberate misinformation."
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In October 1968, twelve gay worshippers met at the home of the Reverand Troy D. Perry in Los Angeles. Sixteen months later the tiny group had become the Metropolitan Community Church with 348 members, the first congregation in the country to identify itself publicly as a gay church. As Edward Sagarin had written seventeen years earlier, "Homosexuality is not an anti-religious force, although religion is anti-homosexual." The truth of that statement would become clear as hundreds of gay churches and synagogues of every denomination were founded throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties.
At the same time, the church had lost its direct power over Hollywood after the film censorship office was finally abolished in 1968. It was replaced by the G, R, and X ratings system, which is still administered by the Motion Picture Association of America. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.

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Harvey Forbes Fierstein (born June 6, 1952) is an American actor and playwright, noted for the distinction of winning Tony Awards for both writing and originating the lead role in his long-running play Torch Song Trilogy, about a gay drag-performer and his quest for true love and family, as well as writing the award-winning book to the musical La Cage aux Folles. He has since become a champion for gay civil rights.

Fierstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jacqueline Harriet (née Gilbert), a school librarian, and Irving Fierstein, a handkerchief manufacturer. Raised Jewish, Fierstein is now an atheist.

Fierstein occasionally writes columns about gay issues. He was openly gay at a time when very few celebrities were. His careers as a stand-up comic and female impersonator are mostly behind him. Fierstein resides in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

The gravel-voiced actor is perhaps best known for the play and film Torch Song Trilogy, which he wrote and starred in both Off-Broadway (with the young Matthew Broderick) and on Broadway (with Estelle Getty and Fisher Stevens). The 1982 Broadway production won him two Tony Awards, for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play, two Drama Desk Awards, for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play, and the Theatre World Award, and the film adaptation earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Male Lead.

Fierstein also wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles (1983), winning another Tony Award, this time for Best Book of a Musical, and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Book. Legs Diamond, his 1988 collaboration with Peter Allen, was a critical and commercial failure, closing after 72 previews and 64 performances. His other playwriting credits include Safe Sex, Spookhouse, and Forget Him.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Fierstein

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Larry Kert (December 5, 1930 - June 5, 1991) was an American actor, singer, and dancer. He is best known for creating the role of Tony in the original Broadway version of West Side Story. Kert's last stage appearance came in a touring company of La Cage aux Folles but he missed performances because of illness. Kert died, aged 60, in New York City from complications of AIDS in 1991. Kert's partner at the time of his death was Ron Pullen. In a video he made for the 2011 World AIDS Day, Ron Pullen defines the phrase, "I’m still here.": diagnosed with his partner in the 1980s, he’s survived decades with HIV. He talks about his experiences, and his frustrations with new infections among young people. (http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=features&sc=worldaidsday2011)

Born as Frederick Lawrence Kert in Los Angeles, California, Kert graduated from Hollywood High School. His first professional credit was as a member of a theatrical troupe called the "Bill Norvas and the Upstarts" in the 1950 Broadway revue Tickets, Please!. After a seven-month run, he worked sporadically in Off-Broadway and ballet productions as a dancer until 1957, when he was cast in West Side Story.

In 1955, while dancing in the chorus in the Sammy Davis, Jr. show Mr. Wonderful, Kert was recommended by his fellow dancer and friend Chita Rivera, who eventually won the role of Anita in West Side Story, to audition as a dancer for Gangway during the earliest Broadway pre-production of the Arthur Laurents-Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical later titled West Side Story, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set on the west side of mid-town Manhattan in the 1950s. Years later while singing at the White House, Kert remembered he was the 18th out of 150 hopefuls to audition, but he was the first one to be cut. A few months later, while he was working for Esquire in an advertising show, Stephen Sondheim approached him after seeing him perform and set up an audition for the part of Tony. Kert was reluctant to accept the offer, but a few weeks later, he was informed that he had the role.


AIDS Quilt

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Kert
Thousands of gay Americans fell in love with West Side Story when they were children in the fifties. And for legions of kids of all persuasions, the show provided them with their first concrete notion of romantic love. To many gay adults coming of age in the sixties, the romance, violence, danger, and mystery so audible on the original cast album all felt like integral parts of the gay life they had embraced. The lyrics of "Somewhere" in particular seemed to speak directly to the gay experience before the age of liberation. In 1996, it was one of the songs chosen for the first mass gay wedding of two hundred couples in San Francisco, presided over by the city's mayor, Willie Brown. But none of the collaborators (or their 1950S contemporaries) ever suspected there was anything gay about their very heterosexual love story. (Coincidentally, Larry Kert, who starred as Tony, was also gay.) "It was never an issue that we talked about," said Murray Gitlin, who fell in love with the show when it opened. "I never thought about it as gay." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 1384-1389). Kindle Edition.
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William Tatem Tilden II (February 10, 1893 - June 5, 1953), nicknamed "Big Bill," was an American tennis player. He is often considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Tilden was the World No. 1 player for seven years, he won 14 Majors including ten Grand Slams and four Pro Slams. Bill Tilden dominated the world of international tennis in the first half of the 1920s. During his 18 year amateur period of 1912-30, he won 138 of 192 tournaments, and had a match record of 907-62, a winning percentage of 93.6 percent.

Tilden was born into a wealthy Philadelphia family bereaved by the death of three older siblings. He lost his semi-invalid mother when he was 18 and, even though his father was still alive and maintained a large house staffed with servants, was sent a few houses away to live with a maiden aunt. The loss at 22 of his father and older brother marked him deeply. After several months of deep depression, and with encouragement from his aunt, tennis, which he had taken up starting at age five, became his primary means of recovery. According to his biographer, Frank Deford, because of his early family losses Tilden spent all of his adult life attempting to create a father-son relationship with a long succession of ball boys and youthful tennis protégés, of whom Vinnie Richards was the most noted. In spite of his worldwide travels, Tilden lived at his aunt's house until 1941 when he was 48 years old.

Tilden was a graduate of Peirce College in Philadelphia.



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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tatem_Tilden_II
IN 1947, AMERICA was shocked by a contradiction of one of its most strongly held prejudices-the idea that great athletes could never be homosexuals. William "Big Bill" Tilden was a national hero, a larger-than-life tennis player who had been the American champion from 1920 to 1925 and a three-time winner at Wimbledon. Along with Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Johnny Weissmuller, Jack Dempsey and Bobby Jones, he was one of the giants of the golden era of American sports. But at the age of fifty-three Tilden was sentenced to five years probation in Los Angeles after pleading guilty to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a fourteen-year-old boy. "You have been the idol of youngsters all over the world," said the sentencing judge. "It has been a great shock to sports fans to read about your troubles." Later his probation was revoked when the police found him with a seventeen-year-old boy, and Tilden was forced to serve seven and a half months in jail. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 831-836). Kindle Edition.
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Robert La Tourneaux (1945 – 3 June 1986) was an American actor best known for his role of Cowboy, the good-natured but dim hustler hired as a birthday present for a gay man, in the original Off-Broadway production and 1970 film version of The Boys in the Band.

La Tourneaux made his Broadway theatre debut in the 1967 musical Illya Darling. In 1968, he was part of the ensemble for Mart Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band, which opened on April 14, 1968 at Theater Four in New York City. The advertisement for the film version used head shots of Leonard Frey and La Tourneaux, with La Tourneaux identified as the "present" for Frey’s birthday-celebrating character. Many newspapers refused to run the advertisement.

La Tourneaux’s career stalled after the film version of The Boys in the Band was released. His only other film performances were a supporting part in the Roger Corman film Von Richthofen and Brown (1971) and the independent film Pilgrimage. He also had a small role in a 1974 made-for-television version of the Maxim Gorky play Enemies.

On stage, La Tourneaux appeared in a small role in a Broadway revival of The Merchant of Venice; he was slated to appear in the 1977 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carré, but was dropped from the cast prior to the show’s opening.

The openly gay La Tourneaux initially blamed his being typecast as a gay hustler for his inability to receive worthwhile roles, stating in a 1973 interview, "Boys was the kiss of death for me.” In the 1978 anthology Quentin Crisp’s Book of Quotations, La Tourneaux compared his career to another gay actor by saying, "Charles Laughton played every kind of part, but never a homosexual. People knew he was gay, but his public image [which included a wife] never betrayed his public reality. So he was safe. I wasn’t safe."


La Tourneaux in After Dark magazine, 1969

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_La_Tourneaux
Harold's birthday present in the play is a laconic $20-a-night hustler whom Harold immediately nicknames Tex. Murray Gitlin had asked Robert La Tourneaux to audition for the part after he met him at the Westside YMCA. "He was one of the most beautiful young men," Gitlin recalled. La Tourneaux hesitated at first because he thought it was demeaning to play a hustler. But after the play became a hit, he repeated the role in London and Los Angeles, and again for the film. La Tourneaux complained during the seventies that he never got any more good roles because he "was typecast as a gay hustler, and it was an image I couldn't shake." By 1978, he was working in a male porno theater in Manhattan, doing a one-man cabaret act. Then life imitated art altogether: La Tourneaux became a hustler. "He tried to extort money from someone who was supposedly a friend-probably a john," said Githn. La Tourneaux was arrested and sent to the New York City prison on Rikers Island. There he tried to kill himself. Finally he was hospitalized at Bellevue where Gitlin went to visit him: "He was in a private room with leg shackles. And the guard guarding twenty-four hours a day, wearing a gown and mask. It was just awful. And Bob just kept getting sicker and sicker. It was just such a waste: he was so sweet and so beautiful and had so much going for him. I saw him a couple of weeks before he died. He was in Metropolitan Hospital, he was out of prison. And the nurse who was assigned to him had seen The Boys in the Bandon television the night before. And he died in her arms. And to her, he was a star." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 2783-2793). Kindle Edition.
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Magnus Hirschfeld (May 14, 1868 – May 14, 1935) was a German physician and sexologist. An outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which Dustin Goltz called "the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights."

Hirschfeld was born in Kolberg (now Kołobrzeg, Poland) in a Jewish family, the son of a highly regarded physician and 'Medizinalrat' Hermann Hirschfeld. In 1887-1888 he studied philosophy and philology in Breslau, then from 1888-1892 medicine in Strasbourg, Munich, Heidelberg, and Berlin. In 1892 he took his doctoral degree. After his studies, he traveled through the United States for eight months, visiting the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and living from the proceeds of his writing for German journals. Then he started a naturopathic practice in Magdeburg; in 1896 be moved his practice to Berlin-Charlottenburg.

Magnus Hirschfeld's career successfully found a balance between medicine and writing. After several years as a general practitioner in Magdeburg, in 1896 he issued a pamphlet Sappho and Socrates, on homosexual love (under the pseudonym Th. Ramien). In 1897, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee with the publisher Max Spohr, the lawyer Eduard Oberg, and the writer Max von Bülow. The group aimed to undertake research to defend the rights of homosexuals and to repeal Paragraph 175, the section of the German penal code that since 1871 had criminalized homosexuality. They argued that the law encouraged blackmail, and the motto of the Committee, "Justice through science", reflected Hirschfeld's belief that a better scientific understanding of homosexuality would eliminate hostility toward homosexuals.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Hirschfeld

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Paul Graham Popham was an American gay rights activist who served as the president of the Gay Men's Health Crisis from 1981 until 1985. He also helped found and was chairman of the AIDS Action Council, a lobbying organization in Washington. He was the basis for the character of Bruce Niles in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which was one of the first plays to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Born in Emmett, Idaho, and graduated from from Portland (Oregon) State College.

He was a Vietnam War veteran, who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 1966, serving as a first lieutenant in the Fifth Air Cavalry. He retired in 1969 as a Special Forces major in the Army Reserve.

From 1969 until 1980, Mr. Popham worked for the Irving Trust Company, leaving as a vice president. Thereafter, he joined McGraw-Hill Inc.

He remained active in the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization and in the lobbying group until his illness, diagnosed in February 1985, became too severe. He died of AIDS related complications. His longtime companion was Richard Dulong.


AIDS Quilt

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Popham
Because Larry Kramer was so lacking in any ability to get along with his colleagues, much less his adversaries, no one ever considered him for GMHC's presidency. That job went to Paul Popham, a beautiful, closeted ex-Green Beret, who worried that his mailman would realize that he was gay if he saw an invitation for a fund-raiser with Gay Men's Health Crisis at the return address. Popham constantly battled with Kramer about tactics and substance. Later, Kramer admitted that he had been somewhat in love with Popham.
One of the first arguments between Kramer and Popham was over whether GMHC should tell its members to stop having sex altogether, or reduce the number of their sexual partners. Kramer was adamant that they should be warned, but Popham and rest of the board opposed the idea. What if it was determined that there was no infectious agent? Popham asked. Then GMHC would look ridiculous.
The infighting came to a head in April 1983, after Kramer had repeteadly accused Mayor Edward I. Koch of an inadequate response to the health crisis. After months of violent attacks from Kramer, the mayor had finally agreed to a meeting about AIDS with ten representatives of gay groups around the city. But the GMHC board refuses to send Kramer as one of its two envoys. Paul Popham was terrified of how Kramer might behave in a small meeting with the mayor. Kramer was stunned - and promptly resigned from the board. After that, GMHC rebuffed all of his subsequent efforts to rejoin the organization.
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In the program notes for one of GMHC's earliest benefits, Paul Popham wrote, "I think the most impressive thing I've seen over the last year and a half is how affectionate men have grown. We are finding out who we are, what we can do under pressure. And that we're not alone... Although we're paying a terrible price, we're finding in ourselves much greater strength than we dreamed we had." --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
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As journalist, activist, actor, and minister, he made his mark on Chicago’s gay and lesbian community. A subject of Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War’ and of the video documentary ‘Before Stonewall’, he was a WW II Marine veteran (discharged from a later Navy chaplaincy for being gay). He was a civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activist in the 1960s. Born in 1924, he died in 2000.

George S. Buse, journalist, activist, actor, and minister, George Buse had made his mark on Chicago's gay and lesbian community. A subject of Studs Terkel's The Good War and one of three Chicagoans prominently featured in the video documentary Before Stonewall, Buse was also a candid and experienced commentator on gay men and lesbians in the military.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1924, Buse enlisted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, attaining the rank of corporal. From 1955 to 1963 he served as a commissioned officer and U.S. Navy chaplain, principally on the West Coast and in Asia. He received an "other than honorable" discharge (later upgraded), or, as Buse put it, "I was kicked out for being gay."

In the 1960s Buse was active in the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. He went to Chicago in 1964, was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality at the Northside Freedom Center, and, as a member of an ad hoc group of members of the clergy, worked to ameliorate the brutality of confrontations during the 1968 Democratic national convention.

For 13 years he was part-time pastor of St. James United Presbyterian Church in Rogers Park and active in community theaters, becoming a member of Actors Equity Association. Closeted as both minister and actor, he chose to "come out" doing something useful. Having served as a journalist with the Roman Catholic publishing house of J. S. Paluch Company, managing a Protestant monthly magazine, Buse offered his writing and editorial talents to GayLife in 1979 and later to Windy City Times. He served both publications as reporter, feature writer, and occasional theater critic.

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Source: http://www.glhalloffame.org/index.pl?item=52&todo=view_item

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Laura Nyro (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved considerable critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry, and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs. Her style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, show tunes, rock and soul.

Between 1968 and 1970 a number of artists had significant hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with "Blowing Away", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", "Save The Country" and "Black Patch"; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul & Mary with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson with "Eli's Coming"; and Streisand with "Stoney End", "Time and Love", and "Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)". Nyro's best-selling single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof."

On December 7, 2011, it was announced that Laura Nyro would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the April 14, 2012 induction ceremony.

Nyro was born Laura Nigro in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Gilda Mirsky Nigro, a bookkeeper, and Louis Nigro, a piano tuner and jazz trumpeter. Laura has a brother, Jan Nigro. Laura was of Russian Jewish and Italian ancestry. As a child, she taught herself piano, read poetry, and listened to her mother's records by Leontyne Price, Billie Holiday and classical composers such as Ravel and Debussy. She composed her first songs at the age of eight. With her family, she spent summers in the Catskill Mountains, where her father played the trumpet at resorts. She credited the Sunday school at the New York Society for Ethical Culture with providing the basis of her education; she also attended Manhattan's High School of Music and Art.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Nyro

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Bella Savitsky Abzug (July 24, 1920 – March 31, 1998) was an American lawyer, Congresswoman, social activist and a leader of the Women's Movement. In 1971, Abzug joined other leading feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan to found the National Women's Political Caucus. She notably declared "This woman’s place is in the House—the House of Representatives" in her successful 1970 campaign to join that body. She was later appointed to chair the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year and to plan the 1977 National Women's Conference by President Gerald Ford and led President Jimmy Carter's commission on women. Abzug was also the first Jewish woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Bella Savitsky was born on July 24, 1920, in New York City. Both of her parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. Her mother, Esther, was a homemaker and her father, Emanuel ran the Live and Let Live Meat Market.

When her father died, Abzug, then 13, was disallowed to say the Mourner's Kaddish for her father in synagogue, where that privilege was reserved for sons of the deceased. However, she did so as one of her first feminist actions because her father had no son.

Abzug graduated from Walton High School in New York City, where she was class president, and went on to Hunter College of the City University of New York, later earning a law degree from Columbia University in 1947. She then went on to do further post-graduate work at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Abzug was admitted to the New York Bar in 1947, and started practicing in New York City at the firm of Pressman, Witt & Cammer, particularly in matters of labor law. She became an attorney in the 1940s, a time when very few women practiced law. During this time, she began wearing wide-brimmed hats to work to ensure that she wasn't mistaken for a secretary. The hats became her trademark.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bella_Abzug

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Allan Ronald Bérubé (December 3, 1946 – December 11, 2007) was an American historian, activist, independent scholar, self-described "community-based" researcher and college drop-out, and award-winning author, best known for his research and writing about homosexual members of the American Armed Forces during World War II. He also wrote essays about the intersection of class and race in gay culture, and about growing up in a poor, working class family, his French-Canadian roots, and about his experience of anti-AIDS activism.

Among Bérubé's published works was the 1990 book Coming Out Under Fire, which examined the stories of gay men and women in the U.S. military between 1941 and 1945. The book used interviews with gay veterans, government documents, and other sources to discuss the social and political issues that faced over 9,000 servicemen and women during World War II. The book earned Bérubé the Lambda Literary Award for outstanding Gay Men's Nonfiction book of 1990 and was later adapted as a film in 1994, narrated by Salome Jens and Max Cole, with a screenplay by Bérubé and the film's director, Arthur Dong. The film received a Peabody Award for excellence in documentary media in 1995. Bérubé received a MacArthur Fellowship (often called the "genius grant") from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1996. He received a Rockefeller grant from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in 1994 to research a book on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, and he was working on this book at the time of his death.


Allan Bérubé with John D'Emilio

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"I do my work now in the borderlands between social classes, between the university and the community, between heterosexual and homosexual, between educated speech and down-to-earth talk, between Franco-American and Québécois, between my family and the gay community."
"None of us can do our best work until we believe that the life of the mind really does belong to us."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_B%C3%A9rub%C3%A9
Coming Out Under Fire, by Allan Berube is a non-fiction book, history, really, but so much of it reads like a good detective novel. For gays and lesbians this is just such a good, enlightening and yes, empowering story. It’s also very instructive, as Berube tells us about the coastal origins of what we know today as the American gay community. Today I watched a YouTube video of American soldiers in Afghanistan dancing together to a Lady Gaga song – it’s somehow comforting to know that queer soldiers were doing the equivalent all throughout WWII, and probably long before that! This book was also invaluable research for a WWII period movie script I wrote called “Me and Mamie O’Rourke.” --Jim Arnold
In Coming Out Under Fire, a super study of homosexuals who served in the American military during the Second World War, Allan Bérubé reports that the psychiatric establishment used an economic argument to convince the War Department of the need for psychiatric screenings. The government had spent more than $1 million caring for psychiatric casualties of World War I; in 1940, these victims still occupied more than half the beds in veteran's hospitals.
[...]
Unfortunately, as Bérubé explains, Sullivan and his colleagues "had carved out the territory on which others would build an antihomosexual barrier and the rationale for using it". Sullivan's belief in the relative insignificance of "sexual aberrations" in establishing mental illness was undermined as his plan was digested by the Washington bureaucracy. By the middle of 1941, the army and the Selective Service both included "homosexual proclivities" in their lists of disqualifying "deviations". --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
A final reason we have failed to see the gay subculture that existed before World War II is that it has been obscured by the dramatic growth of the gay subculture after the war. As the groundbreaking work of Allan Bérubé and John D'Emilio has shown, the war "created something of a nationwide coming out experience". By freeing men from the supervision of their families and small-town neighborhoods and placing them in a single-sex environment, military mobilization increased the chances that they would meet gay men and explore their homosexual interests. Many recruits saw the sort of gay life they could lead in large cities and chose to stay in those cities after the war. Some women who joined the military, as well as those on the homefront who shared housing and worked in defense industries with other women, had similar experiences. As a result, the war made it possible for gay bars and restaurants to proliferate and for many new gay social networks to form. --Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey
Millions of young women and men, many of whom may never have heard the words "fairy", "invert", "homosexual", or "lesbian" and may not yet have discovered all aspects of their sexual desires, had enlisted. Being thrown together with so many different people of the same sex gave them an opportunity to understand their lives in new, radical ways. Bérubé weaves a broad, textured tapestry of the lives of same-sex desiring service members during the war. Many speak of erotic, affectional, and sexual relationships with their fellow enlistees. Some of these relationships began before the war and lasted for decades. Others occured during the war, ending when the partners reentered civilian life. Many were brief sexual encounters, similar to heterosexual liaisons on the home front. Many women and men enjoyed same-sex romantic and physical relationship during the war, but for the reminder of their lives engaged in different-sex relationships. --A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
Allan Bérubé, 1994, by Robert Giard )

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Murray Gitlin, a dancer and stage manager, died on June 22, 1994, at St. Clare's Hospital due to AIDS complications. He was 67 and lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Gitlin, who was born in West Hartford, Conn., studied with Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Martha Graham and Jose Limon, and danced with the New York City Opera, the companies of Mr. Nikolais and Pearl Lang, and in such musicals as "The King and I," "The Golden Apple," "Can-Can" and "Irma la Douce."

He was stage manager for Off Broadway revivals of "On the Town," "The Boys From Syracuse" and "Private Lives," and was production stage manager for "The Boys in the Band" from its first workshop production throughout its initial Off Broadway run and first national tour. He was also production stage manager for the Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" with Richard Chamberlain, and for touring productions of "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "Death Trap" and Brian Bedford's one-man show, "Poets, Lunatics and Lovers."


A class photo at the Henry Street Playhouse taken in 1949. Identified persons are, on left standing: Luke Bragg, Sheldon Ossosky, and Murray Louis; front seated: Anita Lynn, Phyllis Lamhut, ***, Nancy Robb (front), Martha Howe (rear), Murray Gitlin, and ***; on right: Alwin Nikolais and Gladys Bailin.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/25/obituaries/murray-gitlin-67-a-former-dancer.html
Instead of office buildings, Third Avenue was lined with brownstones, and it was dominated by the Elevated. The nooks and shadows created by this shaft down the center of the avenue played a significant role in gay life in New York before the war: they offered a multitude of discreetly darkened meeting places right in the heart of the metropolis. "It was a little bit spooky," said Murray Gitlin, a Broadway dancer who remembered Third Avenue as "one of the only cruisy places" in the 1940s. "It was like being under palm trees on a summer night," Franklin Macfie quipped. "You could very easily feel you were in Rio!"
[...]
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Harold's birthday present in the play is a laconic $20-a-night hustler whom Harold immediately nicknames Tex. Murray Gitlin had asked Robert La Tourneaux to audition for the part after he met him at the Westside YMCA. "He was one of the most beautiful young men," Gitlin recalled. La Tourneaux hesitated at first because he thought it was demeaning to play a hustler. But after the play became a hit, he repeated the role in London and Los Angeles, and again for the film. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.
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