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Gay History – Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: The Life of William Haines, Hollywood Golden Age’s First Out Actor – Video

What price Hollywood?

Well it was the title of an early George Cukor film, but it is a question every closeted movie star has probably asked himself.

In 1930, the top box office star was a gay man.

Actor Billy Haines lived with his lover, Jimmie Shields, and never posed on the red carpet with a beard on his arm. By 1933, he was washed up in show business; and by 1936, he had become hugely successful in an entirely new line of work-interior decorator. Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: the Life of William Haines details the extraordinary life of Billy Haines, the only matinee idol who ever decided that Hollywood’s price was too high and walked away from film stardom.

This is the story of Hollywood’s first real gay out actor and close friend of Joan Crawford who didn’t give a damn who knew, chose love over money and persevered despite it all.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. 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 on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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