Tag Archives: Liberace

Gay History – June 17: Liberace: ‘I’M NOT GAY!’, Barry Manilow, Walter Mondale, and NYC Funeral Homes Refuse to Embalm AIDS Victims

June 17:

1883 – Birth date of Mauritz Stiller, the Finnish film director. Stiller was Greta Garbo’s discoverer, mentor, and friend. Tall, lean, gay, with a shock of hair and long expressive hands,  Stiller, was not only gay but a flamboyant man about town…One of Stiller’s most important relationships was with Nils Asther, the Danish actor.  Stiller was in demand in the film industry and his price to come to Hollywood was a contract for the then pudgy Greta Gustafsson.

1943 – Birth date of Barry Manilow, American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, entertainer, and performer.  Manilow stayed in the closet for many years, but his sexual orientation was an open secret in the music industry and among the Friends of Dorothy.  When Barry Manilow finally did come out in 2017 at the age of 73,  it really didn’t really matter and was a shock to no one.  

1948 – Anthropologist Ruth Benedict who advocated cross-cultural and racial equality died on this date. She is best remembered for her works on the national character of various cultures including several Native American tribes, and her most famous work on Japan, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.   Benedict was a sometimes lover and lifelong friend of fellow anthropologist Margaret Mead.

Benedict held the post of President of the American Anthropological Association and was also a prominent member of the American Folklore Society. She became the first woman to be recognized as a prominent leader of a learned profession.

After Benedict passed away Margaret Mead kept the legacy of her lovers work going by supervising projects that Benedict would have looked after, and editing and publishing notes from studies that Benedict had collected throughout her life

1959 – On this date a London court awarded pianist Liberace $22,400 in damages against the “London Daily Mirror” for implying that the flamboyant entertainer was a homosexual by referring to him as a “mincing ice-covered heap of mother love.” The case went to trial, and when Liberace was asked by his own counsel whether he was gay. Liberace said no, saying: “My feelings are the same as anybody else’s.  I am against the practice because it offends convention and offends society.”

Our only guess to how Liberace won the lawsuit is that the jury was both blind and deaf. 

1976 – In Toronto, the Coalition for Gay Rights in Ontario presents a brief “The Homosexual Minority in Ontario” to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

1977 – Vice President Walter Mondale angrily left a San Francisco Democratic fund raising event when his speech on human rights in South America was interrupted by a man who demanded to know when he would speak in favor of gay rights. Members of the newly formed San Francisco Gay Democratic Club held up signs demanding a statement on human rights in the United States. The club was created by Harvey Milk.

1981 – Sen. Roger Jepson (R-IA) introduced the Family Protection Act in Congress. It specified that anyone who was homosexual or openly supportive of homosexuals could not receive student aid, social security, or veterans’ benefits; and regulated what public school textbooks could say about human sexuality. It never passed, and Jepson lost his bid for re-election when it was revealed he had a membership at a brothel.

1983 – New York State Funeral Directors Association announced its members would not embalm the bodies of those who had died of AIDS.

From The New York Times: “The state’s largest such group, urged its members yesterday not to embalm victims of AIDS until the government issues guidelines for safe handling of such cases. Governor Cuomo characterized the action as “unfortunate.” He said he had asked state officials to investigate all legal remedies “to insure that the civil rights and human dignities of AIDS victims’ families are not compromised.”

It was HELL.

1985 – Johnny Greene was fired from his job with McDermott International Inc. after writing an article for PEOPLE magazine about his own suspected case of AIDS. “They just walked in and said, ‘Get the hell out,’  Green said. “I hope they were acting out of panic or confusion, not belligerence or homophobia.”

Immediately after being fired, PEOPLE magazine hired Greene and put him under contract to report on the AIDS epidemic.

1989 – Jessie Portis Helm, a columnist for Gentleman’s Quarterly, died 

1990 – Twelve US marines attacked three gay men outside The Remington bar(pg.4) on Capitol Hill, leaving two of them unconscious. Two of the marines were fined $400 and confined to their barracks for 30 days. Despite witness accounts that several of the marines chanted,Kill the fags,” Marine officials ruled that it was not a gay bashing but a bar brawl.

1990 – Mayor P.J. Morgan of Omaha, Nebraska declared the week of June 17 as “Understanding Our Differences, Respect All People Week.” Though in coincided with gay pride week, he received criticism for not mentioning gays and lesbians in the proclamation.

2005 – On this date the U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops agreed to a five-year extension on their unprecedented policy of permanently barring sexually abusive clergy from church work.  They did not take the opportunity to stop scapegoating gay clergy for the institutional church’s misdeeds. – Obviously the barring of sexually abusive clergy did not work. 

2006 – An estimated 2.4 million people took to the streets of Sao Paulo to celebrate the Brazilian city’s 10th annual Gay Pride parade.The record attendance — the largest in the world, according to organizers — topped 2005’s official crowd count of 1.8 million, and was a far cry from the 2,000 people who took part when Sao Paulo’s first Pride was held a decade ago. Some revelers dressed up as Batman, Elvis Presley, Cinderella or Marie Antoinette; others as gay cowboy lovers Jake and Heath from “Brokeback Mountain”.

Change text alignment Displays more block tools Gay History - February 4: Maria Schneider Swings, Closeted GOP Congressman BUSTED, and Liberace Tinkles The Keys One Last Time

Gay History – February 4: Maria Schneider Swings, Closeted GOP Congressman BUSTED, & Liberace Tinkles The Keys One Last Time

1973: Twenty year old French actress and star of the The Last Tango in ParisMaria Schneider, admits to the New York Times that she is bisexual, stating “I’ve had quite a few lovers for my age. More men than women . . . women I love more for beauty than for sex.  Men I love for grace and intelligence.”

In early 1976, Schneider abandoned the film set of Caligula and checked herself into a mental hospital in Rome for several days to be with her lover, photographer Joan Townsend.] This, coupled with her refusal to perform nude, led to Schneider’s dismissal and she was replaced by Teresa Ann Savoy.

Maria Schneider died from cancer on February 3, 2011 at age 58.

1981: Jon Hinson (R-Mississippi) an extremely conservative congressman is arrested for performing an act of “oral sodomy” with a twenty-eight-year-old man in the rest room of a House of Representatives office building.  He was taken into custody along with a male employee of the Library of Congress.

He pleads no contest and is given a thirty-day suspended sentence.  He resigns two months later.

It also becomes known that Hinson also survived a 1977 fire that killed nine people at the Cinema Follies, a Washington theater that catered to a gay clientele. while he was an aide for then Republican Thad Cochran. He was rescued from under a pile of bodies — one of only four men who survived.

After his resignation he publicly acknowledged his homosexuality and became active in gay political issues. Hinson fought against the ban on homosexuals in the military and was a founder of the Fairfax Lesbian and Gay Citizens Association in Fairfax County, VA before his death from respiratory failure resulting from AIDS in July 1995

1987: Liberace dies at the age of 62 in Palm Springs from AIDS.  Just two weeks earlier his publicists had denied a Las Vegas Sun story which claimed he had the disease. He is buried in Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Cemetery.

What can I say about the old queen that has not already been said in Behind The Candelabra.

2004: The Massachusetts high court rules that only full, equal marriage rights for gay couples, not civil unions, would be constitutional. “The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal,” an advisory opinion from the four justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage stated. A bill creating only civil unions, not full marriage rights, would be “unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples.”

Gay History Month – October 17: Happy Birthday Montgomery Clift, The Black Lesbian Conference and Liberace

 

October 17th.

1920:  Actor Montgomery Clift is born in Omaha Nebraska. Clift often played outsiders and “victim-heroes” examples include the social climber in George Stevens’s A Place in the Sun, the anguished Catholic priest in Hitchcock’s I Confess, the doomed regular soldier Robert E. Lee Prewitt in Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity, and the Jewish GI bullied by antisemites in Edward Dmytryk’s The Young Lions.

Clift’s performance in 1951’s 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.

Clift was notoriously picky with his projects.  According to Elizabeth Taylor  “Monty could’ve been the biggest star in the world if he did more movies.” Clift reportedly turned down the starring role in East of Eden just as he had for Sunset Boulevard.

On the evening of May 12, 1956, while filming Raintree County, Clift was involved in a serious auto accident when he apparently fell asleep while driving and smashed his car into a telephone pole minutes after leaving a dinner party at the Beverly Hills home of his close friend and co-star, 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 Wisconsin plastic surgeon

In 1961, with the scars still visible and the left side of his face immobilized from the car crash, Clift gave a stunning portrayal of Rudolph Peterson, an emotionally unstable and physically tortured concentration camp victim in the Stanley Kramer film Judgment at Nuremberg,” earning Clift a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  

Clift became addicted to alcohol and prescription drug abuse, and became erratic. Nevertheless, he continued his acting career, playing such parts as “the reckless, alcoholic, mother-fixated rodeo performer” in John Huston’s The Misfits, the title role in Huston’s Freud.

Montgomery Clift died of a heart attack brought on by “occlusive coronary artery disease” at the age of 46.

During his life Montgomery Clift’s homosexuality was carefully guarded from fans but there were few on the business side of Hollywood  who did not know about it.

Following a 15-minute ceremony at St. James’ Church attended by 150 guests, including Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Walker.

Montgomery Clift was buried in the Friends [Quaker] Cemetery ,Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City.  Elizabeth Taylor, who was in Paris and was a close friend of Monty’s sent flowers, as did Roddy McDowall, Myrna Loy and Lew Wasserman.

Rest in Peace Monty.

1980: The first Black Lesbian Conference took place in San Francisco, California. A development stemming from the first National Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference held in Washington, D.C., the previous year, over 200 women were in attendance. One of the conference goals was reportedly to address the wide spectrum of needs for black lesbians and “to provide the courage and strength necessary to make those needs felt in places where it becomes necessary.” Angela Davis gave the conference’s keynote address.

1995: The Advocate published a ground-breaking interview with Barney Frank, Steve Gunderson and Gerry Studds — the three openly gay members of congress at that time. Barney Frank has consistently remained one of the most outspoken and influential gay politicians to this date. That was when of course the Advocate was a legitimate and serious source of news .

1998: The National Gay and Lesbian Law Association appointed Melinda Whiteway as co-chair of the organization, making her the first openly transgender person to hold the position. This is reportedly the only queer law association to be affiliated with the American Bar Association.

 2010: The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas closed after 31 years.

The Liberace Museum closed “indefinitely, but not forever” according to Liberace Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Jeffrey Koep. The closure was announced due to economic downturn and a decline in the number of visitors. The museum’s board of directors is continuing to seek a new home for the museum on Las Vegas strip, but the efforts have thus far been unsuccessful.

On the day of the closing, Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Doug Elfman noted that several overly enthusiastic fans attempted to remove some of the small mirrors decorating Liberace’s Rolls-Royce, and another tried to steal a hood ornament from a car on display.

That old gal Lee, would not have been happy.

Happy HomoDays! – WATCH: The Liberace Christmas Special (1954) – VIDEO

There really isn’t much written about this Liberace television show episode other than the fact that its called: Liberace Christmas. 

But it’s oh so festive and very very very GAY! (Even though Liberace was claiming to be “straight” at the time.)

You just know that Lee the old gal, was probably decking his halls with the balls of a few stage hands.

Fa la la la la la la la la la!

Enjoy! 

 

Back2Stonewall’s Happy HomoDays!: Sonja Henie and Tico Tico! – Now THATS Christmas! – Video

You can learn more about Sonia Henie and how she won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater and was one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood (Not to mention her ties to Liberace and Hitler which might actually be the same thing) by CLICKING HERE

The 31 Days of HOMO-ween – Day 3: Have Dinner With Liberace’s Ghost At Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens!

Carluccis

 

Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens is an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas Nevada who was designed and owned by non-other than Liberace. The restaurant is located adjacent to the (now closed) Liberace Museum that he opened in 1979, just 8 years before his death due to complications related to AIDS

The Ghost of who else but Liberace is said to haunt the Tivoli Gardens. His image can sometimes be seen peaking into the banquet room in the back of the restaurant from outside through the windows. There have been continued sightings of moving shadows, sudden electrical surges and flying wine bottles. Doors in the ladies toilets continually lock and unlock themselves. (You’d think he’s be in the Men’s Room)

There is a story that a one night all of the power in the restaurant suddenly turned off, but the power in the businesses nearby were all still working. When one of the waitresses remembered that it was Liberace’s birthday and the employees sang happy birthday to him, the power was restored.

One night someone said something about Liberace’s sexual orientation  and a large tree in a planet near the bar fell over. It took five men to get the tree righted.  Still in the closet it seems.

So next time you re Vegas head on over to Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens and have dinner with Lee.  Just watch what you say about him or a flying candelabra might be headed your way.

She may be dead but she still knows how to put on a show!

 

 

Jesus vs. Liberace: The People’s Choice Award Joins The Culture Wars

Jesus vs. Liberace

This years People’s Choice Awards  which first aired in 1975 and “recognizes the people and the work of popular culture” by popular vote will step into the 21st century culture wars  this year  when a miniseries based on the Bible will go up against a movie about the last ten years in the life of the colorful and conflicted gay entertainer Liberace.

In the “Favorite TV Movie/Miniseries” category, the History Channel miniseries “The Bible”  not only will be going head to head with HBO’s “Behind The Candelabra” but also FX’s “American Horror Story:Coven ,” the B-movie sensation “Sharknado” from SyFy, and “The White Queen” (how did that get there?) miniseries from STARZ.

So how will Jesus fare against witches, flying sharks, powerful medieval women and and the most sparking queen of the 20th century?  Who knows.  But “Behind the Candelabra” did win several Primetime Emmy Awards and beat out “The Bible” for the Outstanding Miniseries or Movie honor back in June.

The People’s Choice Awards airs January 8th on CBS.  It should be fabulous! 

The REAL Behind The Candelabra – Liberace’s Las Vegas Entrance 1981 w/ Scott Thorson – Video

The REAL Behind The Candelabra

Now that everyone is hopefully recovered from viewing Behind the Candelabra last night on HBO.  Here is a Liberace “Music Video” which includes his entrance to one of his Vegas Shows from 1981 which includes Scott Thorson.

The REAL Scott Thorson met Liberace in 1976, when he was 17, (not 40 like Matt Damon) through his friendship with Hollywood film producer Ray Arnett but Scott’s story gets even stranger after Liberace dies.

Last night when Liberace was watching the porn movie starring John Holmes it was actually a nod to Thorson’s future.

In In 1989, Thorson emerged as a pivotal witness in the prosecution of gangster Eddie Nash in the 1981 quadruple murders of the Wonderland Gang which was retaliation for a robbery of Nash’s home perpetrated two days earlier by three to five men. A key player in the incident, porn performer John C. Holmes,   Thorson was at Nash’s house the day before murders occurred and heard Nash threaten to kill  the Wonderland gang while beating the shit out of Holmes for helping them with the robbery.

For his testimony, he was placed in the federal witness protection program but n 1990, he was shot five times when drug dealers broke into his hotel room in Jacksonville, Florida.

Oh and for the end card when it states that the now 54 year old Thorson currently resides in Reno, Nevada.

He does indeed, at Washoe County Jail.

 

Matt Damon On Gay Rumors And Upcoming Liberace Film Role

There are a multitude of rumors everyday about the scandals and secrets behind Hollywood’s golden doors. But Matt Damon, star of The Talented Mr. Ripley The Borne Trilogy and Good Will Hunting feels that he lives his life as authentically as possible. That’s why he’s so passionate about his role in the upcoming bipoic of Liberace in the HBO film”Behind the Candelabra

First Damon addressed why he’s never addressed the rumors that he may be gay:

I never denied those rumors,Because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay, as if being gay were some kind of fucking disease. It put me in a weird position in that sense.” 

When discussing the relationship portrayed in the film, Damon felt that the relationship is real and honest storytelling:

“These two men were deeply in love and in a real relationship – a marriage – long before there was gay marriage. That’s not an insignificant thing,Their conversations when they’re dressing or undressing or having a spat or getting ready for bed? That’s every marriage.” 

“It feels like you’re witnessing something really intimate you would normally see with a man and a woman, but instead it’s two men, which was thrilling. There’s stuff I think will make people uncomfortable. Great. It’s HBO – they can change the channel.” 

Damon is also sure to give his costar Michael Douglas praise for his performance and noted that both actors have many gay friends so they did not want to mess up their intimate scenes or “bullshit it”:

“Michael was a wonderful kisser. Normally I’d say no to nudity, but I just did a lot of it. … I mean, it’s tastefully done,. But this movie’s not going to be for everyone.” 

The release date for the upcoming biopic is still tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2013.