Gay History Month – October 2nd: A Gay Man Invents The “High-Five”, Rock Hudson, and Taxi Zum Klo (Taxi to the Toilet)

Rock Hudson


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.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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5 Responses

  1. For the record, I spent more time downstairs at the 9th Circle than I did upstairs, and I have never been classified as select “fair haired”.

  2. Will Kohler says:

    But Seth were you there when Rock was? When he was they liked to keep downstairs stocked with blonds.

  3. Will, I was there from 1984 until 90-91.

  4. Will Kohler says:

    Seth there was a typo in the post. It should have read late 70’s. Rock would drop by there in 78, 79 and 80.

  5. Just a little before my time. I miss that place. I miss those people. I miss the late Harry Rivera’s Margaritas. I miss the late Mychael Accavallo’s sarcasm and bleached hair.

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