Today In Gay History: October 24th.
44 B.C.: Marcus Tullius Cicero; Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist when talking about his relationship with Mark Antony when he was younger, insinuated that he ‘established him (Mark Antony) in a fixed and stable marriage, as if he had given you a stola.’ A stola is the traditional garment of a married Roman woman. ‘Although Cicero’s sexual implications are clear, the point of the passage is to cast Anthony in the submissive role in the relationship and to impugn his manhood in various ways. Please don’t tell Cleo.
1926: The New York Times prints a book review of Dr. Joseph Collins’ “The Doctor Looks at Love and Life.” Dr. Collins countered the claim that homosexual love is pathological and that homosexuals are psychopaths or neurotic, saying that he knew many well-balanced homosexuals of both sexes who have distinguished themselves in various fields from arms to the pulpit. He also stated that “Genuine homosexuality is not a vice, it is an endowment.”
1937: Legendary composer and songwriter Cole Porter’s legs are crushed when the horse he was riding while out in the Hamptons falls on top of him.
1966: Paul Lynde makes his first appearance on the game show Hollywood Squares and it becomes the gayest show on television without knowing it. Or maybe they did.!
1969 : Just a mere 4 months after the riots at the Stonewall Inn TIME Magazine’s weekly cover story is “The Homosexual in America.”
It was not kind.
The article stated:
Homosexuals are present in every walk of life, on any social level, often anxiously camouflaged; the camouflage will sometimes even include a wife and children, and psychoanalysts are busy treating wives who have suddenly discovered a husband’s homosexuality. But increasingly, deviates are out in the open, particularly in fashion and the arts. Women and homosexual men work together designing, marketing, retailing, and wrapping it all up in the fashion magazines. The interior decorator and the stockbroker’s wife conspire over curtains. And the symbiosis is not limited to working hours. For many a woman with a busy or absent husband, the presentable homosexual is in demand as an escort –witty, pretty, catty, and no problem to keep at arm’s length. Rich dowagers often have a permanent traveling court of charming international types who exert influence over what pictures and houses their patronesses buy, what decorators they use, and where they spend which season.
The once widespread view that homosexuality is caused by heredity, or by some derangement of hormones, has been generally discarded. The consensus is that it is caused psychically, through a disabling fear of the opposite sex. The origins of this fear lie in the homosexual’s parents. The mother–either domineering and contemptuous of the father, or feeling rejected by him–makes her son a substitute for her husband, with a close-binding, overprotective relationship. Thus, she unconsciously demasculinizes him. If at the same time the father is weakly submissive to his wife or aloof and unconsciously competitive with his son, he reinforces the process. To attain normal sexual development, according to current psychoanalytic theory, a boy should be able to identify with his father’s masculine role.
Lack of procreation or of marriage vows is not the issue; even Roman Catholic authorities hold that an illicit hetero sexual affair has a degree of “authentication,” while a homosexual relationship involves only “negation.” Roman Catholic thought generally agrees that homosexuality is of and in itself wrong because, as New York’s Msgr. Thomas McGovern says, it is “inordinate, having no direction toward a proper aim.” Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty and, in the words of one Catholic educator, of “human construction.
Even in purely nonreligious terms, homosexuality represents a misuse of the sexual faculty and, in the words of one Catholic educator, of “human construction.” It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste—and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.”
Ten years later Time would publish another gay-themed cover story, this one titled “How Gay is Gay”, which offered a more positive and accurate portrayal.
1978: Diana Ross stars as Dorothy in the movie version of The Wiz, which opens in theaters. It’s not nearly successful as the Broadway musical.
1981: The first National Conference on Lesbian and Gay Aging took place in California. Sponsored by the National Association For Gay and Lesbian Gerontology, it sought to “dispel myths about older lesbians and gay men, advance research, establish programs and services for lesbian and gay elders, and encourage and provide support for lesbian and gay gerontologists.”
1987: Elizabeth Kirby Lewallen was named the new president of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays at the organization’s Sixth International convention in Washington DC.
1992: Thirty-five religious leaders in northwest Vermont joined to condemn two acts of hate-motivated violence, one anti-gay and one anti-Semitic.