Tag Archives: Allen Ginsberg


Gay History – June 3: 18th. Century Lesbians, William Haines Hollywood Gay-Bashing, Allen Ginsberg, and MORE.

June 3rd

1708 – Anne Horton and Alice Pickford were married in England. They were one of two female couples whose marriages were registered in the parish of Taxal,  Except for the notation in the records no other information is available on the Sapphic couple.

1926Birth date of poet Allen Ginsberg one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s.  Ginsberg vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism, and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl”, in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.

In 1957, “Howl” attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial, as it depicted heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every U.S. state. “Howl” reflected Ginsberg’s homosexuality and his relationships with several men, including Peter Orlovsky, his lifelong partner.  Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that “Howl” was not obscene, adding, “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms? (Yes the straight judge said “vapid”.)

Ginsberg was also present at the Stonewall Riots.

Allen Ginsberg passed away on April 5, 1997.

1930American fantasy novelist Marion Zimmer Bradley was born on this date. Early in her career, writing as Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, she produced several works outside the speculative fiction genre, including some gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels.

1936William Haines and his lover James Shield were severely beaten by members of the White Legion, a Los Angeles racist organization.

In 1930 William Haines was Hollywood’s number-one box-office draw–talented, handsome, and a romantic lead.  Off-screen however Haines was openly gay and refused to compromise or hide his sexuality which ultimately led him to being booted out of the movie business by Louis B. Mayer. Forced to give up acting, Haines went on to become a top interior designer to the stars, and by his side through it all was his lover, Jimmie Shields;  But on June 1st, 1936 members of a white supremacists group dragged both Haines and Sheilds from their El Porto, Manhattan Beach home and beat them, mercilessly because a neighbor had accused the two of propositioning his son.  The incident was widely reported at the time but Manhattan Beach police never brought charges against the couple’s attackers. The child molestation accusations against Haines and Shields were unfounded and the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

The couple finally settled in the Hollywood community of Brentwood and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s, except for a brief interruption when Haines served in World War II. Their clients included Betsy Bloomingdale, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s “Sunnylands” estate

Haines and Shields remained together until Haines died in 1973.  Their fifty-year relationship led their best friend, Joan Crawford, to call them the “happiest married couple in Hollywood.”

1967 Birth date of  Anderson Cooper.  WHOOP.

1969Police entered Greenwich Village in New York with fifteen paddy wagons and arrested anyone they suspected of being gay.  Police harassment is commonplace in the Village and tensions are on the rise and will continue to be until the end of the month when the Stonewall Riots occur

1980In California, gay rights measures were defeated in Davis, San Jose, and Santa Clara in referendum elections.

1981A Maryland court upheld the state sodomy law, including prohibitions against heterosexual sodomy. The written decision included quotes from Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Exodus.

1984Harvey Fierstein won his third Tony Award for best book of a Musical for “La Cage Aux Folles”.

1989The United States postal service issues the first “Lesbian and Gay Pride” postage stamp.

Gay Postmark Drew Outrage in the '80s - Philadelphia Gay News

1998United Methodists in Central Texas voted to reject a proposal to break ties with church leaders who support same-sex unions and the ordination of homosexuals.

2007 – Several hundred gays marched in the Latvian capital city of Riga under the watchful eyes of police who in 2006 were accused of doing nothing while gays were attacked by anti-gay fascists.

Gay History - March 12: Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac the Bisexual King of the Beat Generation

Gay History – March 12: Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac the Bisexual King of the Beat Generation

“The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.” – Jack Kerouac

JACK KEROUAC, (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kéroua) was an American writer, novelist, poet and artist. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is among the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation.

Kerouac was never labeled homosexual, nor he did publicly self-identify as one. However it is believed that he had homosexual encounters although they were occasional. Kerouac in his letters exchanged with Allen Ginsberg questions his sexual identity, but at the same time he was not in a great favor of homosexuals. Kerouac, in his novel cites several instances of his road companion Neal Cassady’s bisexuality, and it is difficult to hide his attraction towards him. About Neal Cassady, he wrote: “With the coming of Neal there really began for me that part of my life you could call my life on the road…”

Kerouac had three wives in his life and preferred heterosexual relationships with female partners, but many of the letters shows that he had occasional homosexual encounters whether there were a intercourse or not. The famous story of Jack Kerouac had an intercourse with Gore Vidal, which insists Vidal, is an widely known story, although according to William Burroughs it is not true since Vidal was a ‘liar.’(Paul Maher Jr., , 2007).

Kerouac is recognized for his style of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as his Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

Jack Kerouac and his literary works had a major impact on the popular rock music of the 1960s. Artists including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, The Grateful Dead, and The Doors all credit Kerouac as a signifi cant influence on their music and lifestyles. This is especially so with members of the band The Doors, Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek who quote Jack Kerouac and his novel On the Road as one of the band’s greatest influences.

In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since his death, Kerouac’s literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published.


SWAGDAY! – Enter To WIN A “Kill Your Darlings” Prize Pack! (T-Shirt, Notebook and Pen)

Enter to win a Kill Your Darlings Prize Pack!


Kill Your Darlings poster

Back2Stonewall in co-operation with the Karpel Group and Sony Picture Classics are giving away (4) FOUR – Kill Your Darlings Prize Packs: each includes one Kill Your Darlings t-shirt,  one Kill Your Darlings notebook, and one Kill Your Darlings pen.

So end an email to will@back2stonewall.com to be entered for a chance to win for this great Kill Your Darlings prize pack giveaway! (Contest closes on Friday October 19th.)


Sony Pictures Classics presents

Kill Your Darlings 

A true story of obsession and murder.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen and Kyra Sedgewyck

Directed by John Krokidas. Co-written by John Krokidas and Austin Bunn.

A true story of friendship, love and murder, Kill Your Darlings recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen Ginsberg’s life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.

Kill Your Darlings opens in select theaters October 16. Check your local listings for more information.


First Look Film Review: Kill Your Darlings by Lisa Derrick

Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings, the directorial debut from John Krokidas, swiftly draws us into the creation of the Beat movement and the murder which thrust Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac onto the path of literary and cultural revolution. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, whose freshman year at Columbia begins as his mother’s fragile mental health deteriorates.

While the film takes some liberties with the libertine set’s involvement in the murder of David Kammerer, a compatriot of Burrough’s who was enamored with Ginsberg’s friend/crush Lucien Carr, the taut, painful coming age story lays bare the era’s anti-Semitism and homophobia, blowing apart the stultifying academic and social mores that the Beats–who originally dubbed themselves the New Vision–sought to overthrow. (It is worth noting that many cultural forces that cause change have sprung from the death of one of a specific circle: Stu Sutcliffe and Brian Jones come to mind–the energies unleashed postmortem propel societal change forward. Freaky? Makes me go all Golden Bough/Wicker Man). And Kammerer’s  murder was the explosion that thrust the Beats into their creative maelstrom.

Still, despite the shift of certain facts and chronologies, Kill Your Darlings–which takes its title from a quote attributed to William Faulkner, who repurposed it from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s On the Art of Writing (1916)

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–whole-heartedly–and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings

–seduces and inspires with language, camera, production design, and the force of the actors’ talent. The ecstatic scenes in a jazz club, Ginsberg’s fevered writings and yearnings for Carr, a library break-in, Kerouac’s home life, and the collision of sex, death and drugs at the film’s climax, all unfurl in a passionate vision .

At the start, and throughout the film, Carr’s murder of Kammerer weighs heavily. Kammerer is in love with Carr, and Carr is dependent on him to write his papers for school, as well as possibly for his life force. Perhaps Carr has drained Kammerer of his own originality and taken the older man’s ideas of literary revolution as his own, that concept is left bubbling beneath the surface. Carr is a tortured young man with ideas he cannot express and he turns to Ginsberg to help him shatter the prison walls of convention (and he hopes, prison).  Carr seeks new sensations, new words, new worlds, constantly pushing and luring Ginsberg to more and more dangerous adventures, then cajoling and manipulating him into writing his defense statement.

Played by Dane DeHaan, Lucien Carr is a young, half-formed Lucifer, damned forever, capable of getting others to do for him close to,  but never perfectly, what he wants, and is unable to do himself. (In real life, Carr served 18 months  in a reformatory after claiming an “honor killing,” that is, the mid-20th century heterosexual self defense against an obsessed homosexual, to use the terms of that time; he spent the rest of his life as an editor at UPI, an appropriate end).

The characters of Kill Your Darlings embrace sex, drugs, thrills, and emotional, psychological and physical violence as means to liberation, to break the circle. Breaking the circle, disrupting the cycle of life, is a theme that recurs throughout Kill Your Darlings, drawn from Carr’s fascination with William Butler Yeats’ essays in automatic writing,  A Vision (thus the name of Carr’s nascent literary movement, New Vision) And with Kammerer’s murder, Lucien Carr did break the circle, the circle of friends, the cycle of life. The New Vision circle  reformed as the Beats, fiercely birthing the counterculture, and within that restructured shape shattered the literary and societal norms through to this day.

While director/producer and co-writer (with Austin Bunn) John Krokidas told the Hollywood Reporter:

I want young audiences to know that the world is theirs and they can make their stamp. It’s time for them to start their own revolution

Hopefully it will come without circle-shattering traumas like that which ended Kammerer’s tormented life.

Kill Your Darlings, rated R, opens October 18. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg; Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr; Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer;  Ben Foster as William Burroughs; Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac; David Cross as Lewis Ginsberg; Jennifer Jason Leigh as Naomi Ginsberg; Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker; Kyra Sedgwick as Marian Carr.

Kill Your Darlings is scheduled to release on October 18th nationwide.


Reprinted with the permission of the lovely and talented Lisa Derrick of LaFiga

WATCH James Franco and Jon Hamm in the "Official" HOWL Trailer

“HOWL” is drama centered on the obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg, (played by my dream freak geek James Franco ) faced after the publication of his poem, Howl and how the young poet’s work broke down societal barriers in the face of an infamous public obscenity trial. In his famously confessional style, Ginsberg — poet, counter-culture icon, and chronicler of the Beat Generation — recounts the road trips, love affairs, and search for personal liberation that led to HOWL, the most timeless work of his career. HOWL interweaves three stories: the unfolding of the landmark 1957 obscenity trial; an imaginative animated ride through the prophetic masterpiece; and a unique portrait of a man who found new ways to express himself, and in doing so, changed his own life and galvanized a generation.

HOWL is written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman HOWL also stars, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Treat Williams, with Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels.