Gay History Month – October 2nd: A Gay Man Invents The “High-Five”, Rock Hudson, and Taxi Zum Klo (Taxi to the Toilet)
Did you know that on October 2nd:
1977: Glenn Burke, the first openly gay man to play in Major League Baseball invented the high five in front of 46,000 fans at Dodger Stadium. Despite misconceptions that Jason Collins was the first openly gay player in a major pro sport, Burke was reportedly “comfortably out to his teammates and friends” — the press just wasn’t ready for it at the time. They still might not be.
1981: The German film Taxi zum Clo (“Taxi to the Toilet”) opens at the New York Film Festival. The Village Voice hailed the movie as ‘the first masterpiece about the mainstream of male gay life’. The film follows the life of a gay schoolteacher and constant sex cruiser and shows the contrasts between his public and private lives, the film documents gay culture in West Berlin. It is like the perfect Woody Allen movie, only with water-sports and a graphic gay sex. Its also a gay movie classic and a must see.
1985: Rock Hudson, a leading Hollywood actor, became the major first celebrity to dies of AIDS-related complications. A friend of Ronald Reagan, Hudson’s death proved to be a catalyst that changed public perception surrounding the AIDS epidemic and the individuals affected by it. Until the actor’s death, the mainstream media had largely ignored the AIDS crisis, with it existing in the realm of public consciousness as the “gay plague.”
In the late 70’s Hudson was known to visit the Ninth Circle, a in gay bar in New York City where they made private the downstairs bar and only select “fair haired” boys were allowed to go downstairs.
1999: California Governor Gray Davis signed three pro-gay bills into legislation. One of these bills was titled the “The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000,” which sought to legally incorporate LGBT-inclusive education into public schools.