Singer, actress and filmmaker. Oscar winner, Tony recipient, great at the Grammys and excellent at the Emmys, there is no doubt that Barbra Streisand is the epitome of a Hollywood legend. The legendary entertainer turns 80 today on April 24 and to celebrate lets take a look at her most best performances and songs that truly makes Babs’ a gay icon.
Legendary golden age of gay porngraphy film director William Higgins best known for his works, A Married Man (1974), Pacific Coast Highway (1981), and Pizza Boy: He Delivers (1985) died from a heart attack in Prague on his way to hospital on early Saturday morning, December 21st.
Higgins started his career as gay porn director and producer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when sellers of pornographic movies at that time, including Falcon refused to mail them to customers in many southeastern states for legal reasons.
In an interview Higgins said that he got into the porngraphy business because gay porn movies were “so bad” in the mid 70’s that he decided to begin making them himself.
In 1978, Higgins had his premises raided and was arrested. Although the charges were later dropped, Higgins decided to go on a “world tour” looking for a better legal environment for his films.
First he went to Australia, and then on to Thailand, and while he was happy with the product, but didn’t see any future opportunities there.
Ultimately, Higgins ended up in Amsterdam and also Prague where his European distributor was located.
Photographer and Back2Stonewall reader David Jarrett:
He (Higgins) lived in an apartment at 50 Zborovska, Prague 5. Higgins opened Drake’s Club Prague in 1993 at 50 Zborovska. Prior to that, Michael Genger opened up American Club (or America) in 1989, which he sold to Higgins in 1993. Higgins changed the name. Drake’s is also listed in a 1996 gay guide at 5 Petrinska (same building), Around 2013, Higgins sold Drakes to Travers Davies. Higgins had a porn shop business in Amsterdam in the 1980’s, before he moved to Prague.
Drake’s has a variety of activities, including male hustlers, food and drink, dark rooms, glory holes, porn video cabins, porn video rooms, and an extensive dungeon and labyrinth in the basement for S&M activities.
Higgins also had a porn studio in the same building.
Higgin’s first film, “A Married Man” starring Jack Wrangler, was produced in 1974. He had since produced over 140 internationally distributed titles. His films have won several Grabby Awards and he is in the GayVN Awards Hall of Fame. Higgins was also the founder of the film production company Catalina Video.
Rest In Peace William Higgin’s your movies as well as yourself will be remembered.
WATCH: Excerpts from A Married Man (1974) below – EXTREMELY NSWF – ADULTS ONLY.
Frank Kameny was one of the most significant figures and iconic figures in the American gay rights movement.
In 1957, Frank Kameny was dismissed from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service in Washington, D.C. because of his homosexuality leading him to begin “a Herculean struggle with the American establishment that would transform the gay rights movement” and “spearhead a new period of homosexual rights movement of the early 1960’s.
Kameny appealed his firing through the judicial system, losing twice before seeking review from the United States Supreme Court, which turned down his petition for certiorari. After devoting himself to activism, Kameny never held a paid job again and was supported by friends and family for the rest of his life. Despite his outspoken activism, he rarely discussed his personal life and never had any long-term relationships with other men, stating merely that he had no time for them.
In August, 1961 Kameny and Jack Nichols co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington,[an organization that pressed aggressively for gay and lesbian civil rights. The goals of the Mattachine Society were “to unify, to educate, and to lead.”
Kameny and the Mattachine worked diligently for fair and equal treatment of gay employees in the federal government by fighting security clearance denials, employment restrictions and dismissals, and working with other groups to press for equality for gay citizens.
In 1963, Kameny also launched a campaign to overturn D.C. sodomy laws; he personally drafted a bill finally passed in 1993. He also worked to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association’s manual of mental disorders.
Kameny launched the first organized public protests by gays and lesbians with a picket line at the White House on April 17, 1965 and expanded the picketing to the Pentagon, the U.S. Civil Service Commission, and to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall for what became known as the Annual Reminder for gay rights.
In 1971, Kameny became the first openly gay candidate for the United States Congress when he ran in the District of Columbia’s first election for a non-voting Congressional delegate. Following his defeat by Democrat Walter E. Fauntroy, Kameny and his campaign organization created the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Washington, D.C., an organization which continues to lobby government and press the case for equal rights.
Kameny realized that the battle had to be fought on more than one front; that the negative images of homosexuals, which had even permeated the self-identity of gay and lesbian people themselves, also had to be challenged. In 1966, he coined the slogan, “Gay is Good.” Then in 1971, he demanded microphone time at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association where he challenged their speculative theories as being entirely unscientific and harmful to the psychological well-being of millions
He described the day – December 15, 1973, when the American Psychological Association finally removed homosexuality from its manual of mental disorders – as the day “we were cured en masse by the psychiatrists.”
Kameny suffered from heart disease in his last years, but maintained a full schedule of public appearances, his last being a speech to an LGBT group in Washington DC on September 30, 2011.
In 1975, he was appointed a Commissioner of the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, thereby becoming the first gay municipal appointee.
Frank Kameny was found dead in his Washington home of a heart attack on October 11th, 2011 National Coming Out Day.
Frank Kameny was and always will be one of the greatest gay american activists and heros that our movement will ever have. And many today would be well served to use him as a role model in our fight for equality.
Matt Bomer is soon to return to HBO in the premium cable network’s biopic “Monty Clift”.
Bomer, an openly gay man and heartrob to many men and women alike won critical praise for his work in HBO’s The Normal Heart. Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zachariasto to rewrite the script originally penned by Christopher Lovick that centers on the complicated life and hidden gay life of Clift (Bomer), who finds himself deeply involved with a young Elizabeth Taylor following the filming of A Place in the Sun.
“To see the kind of intense vulnerability and realism that he brought to his work at a time when that was not the style—it’s profound,” Bomer said in an interview last year. “He knew everything he was feeling inside—or if he didn’t, you wondered, why was he feeling that when the scene was this? To get to portray someone who was so formative to me as an artist would be terrifying and daunting and thrilling.
Clift’s performance in A Place in the Sun is regarded as one of his signature method acting performances. He worked extensively on his character and was again nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. For his character’s scenes in jail, Clift spent a night in a real state prison. He also refused to go along with director George Stevens’ suggestion that he do “something amazing” on his character’s walk to the electric chair. Instead, he walked to his death with a natural, depressed facial expression. Charlie Chaplin called the movie “the greatest movie made about America.” The film received added media attention due to the rumors that Clift and Taylor were “dating” in real life. They were billed as “the most beautiful couple in Hollywood.” Many critics still call Clift and Taylor “the most beautiful Hollywood movie couple of all time.”
On the evening of May 12, 1956, while filming Raintree County, Clift was involved in a serious auto accident when he smashed his car into a telephone pole after leaving a dinner party at the Beverly Hills home of his now close friend Elizabeth Taylor and her second husband, Michael Wilding. Alerted by friend Kevin McCarthy, who witnessed the accident, Taylor raced to Clift’s side, manually pulling a tooth out of his tongue as he had begun to choke on it. He suffered a broken jaw and nose, a fractured sinus, and several facial lacerations which required plastic surgery
Although the results of Clift’s plastic surgeries were remarkable for the time, there were noticeable differences in his appearance, particularly the right side of his face. The pain of the accident led him to rely on alcohol and pills for relief, as he had done after an earlier bout with dysentery left him with chronic intestinal problems. As a result, Clift’s health and physical appearance deteriorated considerably from then until his death.
Elizabeth Taylor was a significant figure in his life. He met her when she was supposed to be his date at the premiere for The Heiress. They appeared together in A Place in the Sun, where, in their romantic scenes, they received considerable acclaim for their naturalness and their appearance. Clift and Taylor appeared together again in Raintree County and Suddenly, Last Summer.
Clift never physically or emotionally recovered from his car accident. His post-accident career has been referred to as the “longest suicide in Hollywood history””. Because of his alleged subsequent abuse of painkillers and alcohol. He began to behave erratically in public, which embarrassed his friends, including Kevin McCarthy and Jack Larson. Nevertheless, Clift continued to work over the next ten years.
But despite earning a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for portraying Rudolph Peterson, a victim of forced sterilization at the hands of Nazi authorities in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg Monty was considered unemployable in the mid 1960s, Taylor put her salary for the film on the line as insurance, in order to have Clift cast as her co-star in Reflections in a Golden Eye.
Clift also had a relationship with legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins
Clift and Taylor remained good friends..
Montgomery Clift died on on July 22, 1966. The autopsy report cited the cause of death as a heart attack brought on by “occlusive coronary artery disease”
The late disco diva Sylvester James, a flamboyant and openly gay disco superstar from San Francisco died over 21 years ago at the age of 41 from complications due to AIDS Shortly before his death Sylvester had bequeathed his future royalties to local AIDS groups, but Sylvester died deeply in debt there was no money to distribute until the late 90s. Once his advances were repaid, his early-career label Fantasy Records then kept the money in an account until its proper recipient could be legally determined..
Last week that the AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand split a check from the drag performer’s estate totaling nearly $140,000. “When I came into this job seven and a half years ago, I inherited three bankers’ boxes filled with all of the early records from Sylvester’s estate. The documents were page after page of all the financial records of his estate, which clearly showed we had tremendous amounts of help with debt and a clear path to having them paid off,” said Mike Smith, executive director of the AIDS Emergency Fund. “AEF never expected this estate to pay out the way it just has.”
With he advent of iTunes and the recent usage of Sylvester’s music in movies means that more money will be coming. Project Open Hand reports that their 25% share of the first distribution will buy 13,000 meals for people with AIDS.
Sylvester would be estatic.