Tag Archives: Andy Warhol

Gay History - February 22: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Andy Warhol Dies, and Roy Cohn's Birthday at Studio 54

Gay History – February 22: Edna St. Vincent Millay, Andy Warhol Dies, and Roy Cohn’s Birthday at Studio 54

February 22nd.

1892: Popular openly bisexual poet Edna St. Vincent Millay is born. Milay received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

Millay’s 1920 collection A Few Figs From Thistles drew controversy for its exploration of female sexuality and feminism. In 1919, she wrote the anti-war play Aria da Capo, which starred her sister Norma Millay at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City. -Weaver”; she was the third woman to win a Pulitzer.

What wasn’t widely publicized is that Milay also identified herself as bisexual, having many affairs with both women and men before her marriage.

During her years at Vassar, she was said to have begun her exploration into relationships with women, some of which were deeply passionate. This included English actress Edith Wynne Matthison, who was twice her age.

They wrote to each other. In one of the letters, Millay wrote: “You wrote me a beautiful letter. I wonder if you meant it to be as beautiful as it was. I think you did; for somehow I know that your feeling for me, however slight it is, is the nature of love.”

“When you tell me to come, I will come, by the next train, just as I am. This is now meekness, be assured; I do not come naturally by meekness know that it is a proud surrender to You,” she added.

When she got married in 1923, Millay and Eugen Boissevain, her husband, had an agreement that their marriage would be sexually “open.”

Millay once claimed her husband allowed her personal freedom, and that they lived like two bachelors.

Learn more about Edna St. Vincent Millay HERE

1979: Studio 54 throws a gala fifty-second birthday party for the despicable closeted gay attorney and former McCarthyite Roy Cohn. The event draws several hundreds of the city’s luminaries – including Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, members of both Democratic and Republican parties and most of the city’s elected officials.

If you’re indicted, you’re invited!’ comedian Joey Adams joked. ‘Cohn invited 150 guests. Three thousand to four thousand showed up,’ said Steve Rubell, owner of Studio 54 and a principal client of Roy Cohn’s.(Cohn defended Rubell after the raids at Studio 54) His exclusive guest list included all his influential clients and the powerful people that had open accounts in his ‘favor bank.’ 

The evening unraveled like most debauched nights under the legendary disco ball. Rubell commissioned a custom birthday cake that bore the image of Roy crowned with a halo.

7 years later Roy Cohn would be dead of AIDS denying he was gay to his very last breath.

Learn more about the most hated and feared closeted gay man in America Roy Cohn by clicking HERE

1987: Andy Warhol dies at the age of 58.

Lesbian anarchist and man-hater Valerie Solanas entered Andy Warhol’s sixth-floor office at 33 Union Square West on June 3, 1968, carrying two guns and a massive, paranoid grudge, and shot Warhol. No one would have guessed it would kill him 19 years later.

Two bullets from Solanas’ gun tore through Warhol’s stomach, liver, spleen, esophagus and both lungs. He was briefly declared dead at one point, but doctors were able to revive him. He spent two months in the hospital recuperating from various surgeries, and would be forced to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life to hold his organs in place.

The shooting had a major impact on Wahol’s life and work, even beyond the considerable physical scars it left. He became much more guarded, abandoning much of his filmmaking and more controversial art and focusing more on business, founding what became Interview magazine in 1969.

The shooting intensified Warhol’s fear and loathing of hospitals, though he embraced alternative health treatments like healing crystals. This reticence produced fatal results on February 21, 1987, when Warhol died of cardiac arrest suffered after gallbladder surgery, a procedure that he had delayed for several years due to his fear of hospitals. 

Learn more about the shooting of Andy Warhol by Valerie Solanas by clicking HERE

Gay History – October 12th: Matthew Shepard Dies On This Day In 1998

 

Gay/LGBT History Month - October 12th: The National Coalition of Black Gays, Andy Warhol and Matthew Shepard Dies and the World Mourns.

October 12th.

1774Adolph Jans van Oldeberkoop of Frisia Netherlands, a fifty year old customs officer, was convicted of seduction to sodomy and banished for two years.

1971The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs recommended the repeal of a law prohibiting homosexuals from working in or frequenting bars. This occurs 2 and a half years AFTER the Stonewall Riots.

1979The National Coalition of Black Gays sponsored a conference in Washington DC, The First Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference.  It was one of the first organizations to initiate HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the black community, including pamphlets that used coded terms familiar in the black community with men who would never identify with the gay community. The group fades from existence by 1986.

1985 Andy Warhol appears on The Love Boat. REALLY!  Warhol made a guest appearance on now the Pacific Princess naturally playing himself. The plot of the episode concerns a Midwestern housewife played by Marion Ross (yes, Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days), who is startled to find Warhol on board since she doesn’t want her husband, played by Tom Bosley (aka Mr. Cunningham) to know that in her dark and misty past she hung out at Warhol’s Factory in New York. A sample bit of dialogue: Warhol wanders the deck with a camera, and Isaac the bartender quips, “When did Andy Warhol become the ship’s photographer?” Cue laugh track.

1998 – College student Matthew Shepard dies five days after being beaten and tied to a fence post in Laramie, Wyoming by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson 

Media reports contained the graphic account of the pistol-whipping and his fractured skull which shocked the nation. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears.

Matthew  suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brainstem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate his heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. While he lay in intensive care, and in the days following the attack, candlelight vigils were held around the world.

Shepard was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 21 years old and the world still mourns for him.