Tag Archives: LGBT History

NEVADA: Pentagon Cancels Drag Show at Nellis AFB.

NEVADA: Pentagon Cancels Drag Show at Nellis AFB.

No 101 pound of fun from Honey Bun at Nellis AFB!

A drag show scheduled for Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, to celebrate PRIDE month has been canceled by the Pentagon according to defense officials.

The Pride Month celebration was approved by Air Force leaders, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Air Force it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases.

When Milley was informed about the event this week, he was visibly angry about the decision to host the event on base, a U.S. official and a defense official said.

“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.

Nellis AFB hosted a Pride Month drag show in June 2021, named “Drag-u-Nellis.” A spokesperson for the base said in a statement that it was intended to promote inclusivity and diversity. 

If General Miley knew his Armed Forces/Military history he would know that drag is nothing new in military installations.

In early in World War II, the National Theater Conference lobbied to authorize soldier shows as “a necessity, not a frill.” By early 1942, approval was granted by leadership in Washington for the Special Services in concert with the United Service Organization (USO) and American Red Cross to begin soldier show productions to entertain the troops both on the homefront and abroad.

The Army Special Services produced, published and distributed handbooks for soldier shows. These publications, known as Blueprint Specials, contained everything you would need to put on an approved and pre-scripted soldier show. Blueprint Specials for soldier shows even included dress-making patterns and suggestions for material procurement. “Girly” show choreography was outlined in the publications to ensure that the GIs looked good in their highly choreographed “pony ballet” numbers. A pony ballet is one where groups of masculine-looking GIs dress in tutus and perform ballet routines often wearing their army-issued boots.

So sashay away Gen. Mark Milley and go learn your history!

You can read more about Military Drag Shows HERE.

*Above photos: This Is the Army. Army Signal Corps photographs, courtesy of the National Archives.

Gay History - May 31, 2012: The U.S Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as Unconstitutional.

Gay History – May 31, 2012: The U.S Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as Unconstitutional.

On May 31, 2012, a significant milestone in the fight for LGBT+ rights in the United States was achieved when the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. This decision marked a turning point in the legal recognition of same-sex marriages and represented a triumph for equal rights.

Enacted in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act defined marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman at the federal level. DOMA aimed to deny same-sex couples access to federal marriage benefits and allow states to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. However, the act faced mounting criticism for its discriminatory nature and infringement upon the rights of same-sex couples.

In the case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court argued that by excluding same-sex couples from federal marriage benefits, DOMA created a “demeaning and stigmatizing” distinction between married heterosexual couples and married same-sex couples.

The court further held that the federal government lacked a legitimate interest in denying same-sex couples the financial and legal advantages afforded to opposite-sex couples. It emphasized that the exclusion of same-sex couples from federal benefits undermined the rights of those couples who were legally married under state laws.

The 1st Circuit’s decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional had far-reaching implications. It was the first time a federal appellate court had declared a key provision of DOMA invalid. This ruling set an important precedent and served as a catalyst for subsequent legal challenges to DOMA and similar discriminatory laws.

Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the issue in the landmark case of United States v. Windsor in 2013. The Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor built upon the 1st Circuit’s ruling, striking down Section 3 of DOMA as a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. This decision paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

The 1st Circuit’s ruling marked a significant step forward in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. It challenged the notion that the federal government could discriminate against same-sex couples and helped establish marriage equality as a fundamental right. The decision energized advocates and provided hope for those striving for equal treatment under the law. Which has never materialized.

The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional played a pivotal role in the trajectory toward marriage equality in the United States. By recognizing the inherent discrimination within DOMA, the court contributed to the growing movement for LGBT rights, ultimately leading to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. This historic ruling marked a significant victory for equality and represented progress toward a more inclusive and just society.

#OTD - Remembering The White Night Riots of San Francisco: May 21, 1979

#OTD – Remembering The White Night Riots of San Francisco: May 21, 1979

On May 21, 1979, San Francisco witnessed a pivotal moment in the history of gay and lesbian rights —the White Night Riots. These riots erupted in response to the lenient sentence given to Dan White, a former city supervisor, for the murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. The events of that night not only showcased the anger and frustration of the gay community but also marked a turning point in the fight for equality and sparked a renewed determination for change.

To understand the significance of the White Night Riots, it is important to understand the context leading up to that fateful day. Harvey Milk, a prominent gay rights activist, had become the first openly gay elected official in California. His election symbolized hope and progress for the gay community, which had long suffered from discrimination, violence, and police brutality. However, their hopes were shattered when Milk and Mayor George Moscone were brutally assassinated by Dan White, a former police officer and colleague.

The trial of Dan White gripped the nation, as it brought to light the inequality faced by the gay and lesbian population at the time. However, the outcome of the trial was met with widespread outrage and disappointment. White was charged with voluntary manslaughter rather than first-degree murder, a decision that many believed downplayed the severity of the crime and used the infamous “Twinkie defense”. The lenient sentence handed down—a mere seven years and eight months—sparked fury among the community and their allies as a blatant miscarriage of justice.

On the evening of May 21, 1979, thousands of protesters gathered at City Hall in response to the verdict. Initially, the demonstration was peaceful, with people holding candles and mourning the loss of their leaders. However, as the night wore on, frustration turned to anger, and the situation escalated. The crowd vented their outrage by breaking windows, setting police cars on fire, and engaging in confrontations with law enforcement. The rioters’ display of anger and frustration forced society to confront the systemic biases that had allowed for the lenient treatment of Dan White. It galvanized support for gay rights and fueled a wave of activism that reverberated far beyond the borders of San Francisco.

The White Night Riots of May 21, 1979, will forever be remembered as a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement. These riots were born out of frustration, outrage, and a deep desire for justice. They served as a wake-up call to a nation grappling with inequality and discrimination.

The riots should serve as a history lesson to a new generation of activists highlighting the importance of perseverance in the pursuit of equality for all. The legacy of the White Night Riots continues to remind us of the ongoing struggle for justice and the necessity of collective action to create a more inclusive world.

May 20, 1996 - Romer v. Evans: A Landmark Supreme Court Decision Defending LGBT Rights.

May 20, 1996 – Romer v. Evans: A Landmark Supreme Court Decision Defending LGBT Rights.

On May 20, 1996, the United States Supreme Court delivered a momentous verdict in Romer v. Evans, a case that challenged a discriminatory Colorado constitutional amendment known as Amendment 2. This landmark decision marked a significant step forward in the protection of LGBT+ rights and set a precedent for future legal battles. In this article, we will explore the background, arguments, and implications of Romer v. Evans.

Background and Legal Challenge

Amendment 2, enacted in 1992, sought to deny protected status to individuals based on their sexual orientation by prohibiting any legislation that would grant protected status to homosexual and bisexual individuals. It prevented any city, town, or county in Colorado from enacting anti-discrimination laws or policies to protect LGBT+ individuals from discrimination. This exclusionary amendment was met with widespread criticism and legal challenges.

The case was brought before the Supreme Court by Richard G. Evans, a gay man who served as a Denver city employee. Evans argued that Amendment 2 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens.

Supreme Court Ruling

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Richard Evans and struck down Amendment 2 as unconstitutional. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, argued that Amendment 2 lacked a rational basis and was grounded in animosity towards LGBT+ individuals rather than any legitimate governmental interest. The Court concluded that the amendment classified a group of citizens based on their sexual orientation and denied them the protection and benefits granted to others, infringing upon their fundamental rights.

Implications and Legacy

Romer v. Evans represented a significant victory for LGBT+ rights, as the Supreme Court declared that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation were subject to the same constitutional scrutiny as laws discriminating on the basis of race or gender. The decision undermined the notion that sexual orientation could be used as a basis for unequal treatment under the law.

The ruling in Romer v. Evans set an important precedent for subsequent LGBTQ+ rights cases, including Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and United States v. Windsor (2013), which ultimately led to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). It marked a turning point in the fight against discrimination and laid the foundation for greater legal protections for LGBT+ individuals.

Romer v. Evans also had broader implications beyond LGBT+ rights. The decision reaffirmed the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law and highlighted the importance of combating discrimination in all forms. It underscored the judiciary’s role in safeguarding the rights of marginalized groups and promoting equality and justice for all.


Romer v. Evans was a watershed moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, as the Supreme Court struck down a discriminatory amendment and reaffirmed the principle of equal protection under the law. The decision paved the way for subsequent legal victories and marked a significant step forward in the recognition and protection of LGBT+ individuals’ rights. Romer v. Evans serves as a reminder of the power of the judiciary to combat discrimination and uphold the principles of equality and justice for all.

1975 - California decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults. Assembly member Willie Brown  and state Senator George Moscone (who will later in his career be assassinated along with LGBT civil rights great Harvey Milk in San Francisco)  co-sponsor AB 489, the “Consenting Adults Bill,” which decriminalizes sexual activity between consenting adults.

Gay History – May 12, 1975: California Legalizes Same-Sex Acts Between Consenting Adults, But Not Sodomy.

May 12, 1975 – California decriminalizes same-sex acts between consenting adults. Assembly member Willie Brown  and state Senator George Moscone (who will later in his be assassinated along with gay civil rights leaders Harvey Milk in San Francisco)  co-sponsor AB 489, the “Consenting Adults Bill,” which decriminalizes sexual activity between consenting adults. But not between persons of the same sex.

Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law on May 12, 1975, and it goes into effect January 1, 1976.

Prior to 2003, sodomy was not legal in California. And could not be made so while it was illegal on the Federal level. The monumental Supreme Court case, Lawrence v Texas, ruled that systematically criminalizing sodomy is unconstitutional. The case serves as a precedent, and most U.S. states responded by decriminalizing gay sex.

In 2014, California became the first state in the U.S. to officially ban the use of gay panic and transgender panic defenses in murder trials.[ Public schools are also required to teach about the history of the LGBT community and transgender students are allowed to choose the appropriate restroom or sports team that match their gender identity.

California is seen as one of the most liberal states in the U.S. in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights, which have received nationwide recognition since the 1970’s

Gay History - May 9, 1970: 9/11 Hero Mark Bingham Born.

Gay History – May 9, 1970: 9/11 Hero Mark Bingham Born.

Openly hay man Mark Bingham leaves a lasting legacy 20+ years after United Flight 93 Crash.

Mark Bingham was an American public relations executive, entrepreneur, and athlete, born on May 22, 1970, in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he played rugby and graduated in 1993.

Bingham had recently opened a satellite office of his public relations firm in New York City and was spending more time on the East Coast. An athlete at 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) and 225 pounds (102 kg),He discussed plans with his friend Scott Glaessgen to form a New York City rugby team, the Gotham Knights.

On September 11, 2001, Bingham who was the last to arrive was on board United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked by terrorists as part of the coordinated 9/11 attacks. Along with several other passengers, including Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett, and Jeremy Glick, Bingham is believed to have played a key role in resisting the hijackers and fighting back, ultimately forcing the plane to crash in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, instead of its intended target in Washington, D.C.

Bingham’s actions on that day have been celebrated as an act of heroism, and he is considered one of the “brave 40” passengers and crew members who gave their lives to prevent further loss of life on the ground. His mother Alice Hoglan became an outspoken advocate for increased airport security and anti-terrorism measures after the attacks.

Mark Bingham was openly gay and an advocate for LGBT rights, and his bravery and sacrifice have been celebrated as an example of the diversity and unity that characterized the response to the 9/11 attacks. He was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2002 ESPY Awards, and his legacy continues to inspire many today.

The 2013 feature-length documentary The Rugby Player focuses on Bingham and the bond he had with his mother, Alice Hoagland, a former United Airlines flight attendant who, following his death, became an authority on airline safety and a champion of LGBT rights.

Mark Bingham was a a true gay American gay hero.

The Rugby Player from scott gracheff on Vimeo.

Gay History: May 5, 1914: Bisexual Screen Legend Tyrone Power Born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Gay History: May 5, 1914: Bisexual Screen Legend Tyrone Power Born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tyrone Power was a prominent American actor born on May 5, 1914, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the third generation of his family to enter show business, as his grandfather, father, and two uncles were all actors. Power attended Hollywood High School and later Pomona College, but he dropped out to pursue an acting career.

Power began his career on stage in 1931, appearing in a small role in John Drinkwater’s “Abraham Lincoln” in Los Angeles. In 1932, he landed his first film role in “Tom Brown of Culver,” a movie about a military school that also starred Ginger Rogers. He quickly rose to stardom, appearing in films such as “Lloyds of London” (1936), “Marie Antoinette” (1938), and “The Mark of Zorro” (1940), which cemented his status as a leading man.

Power was known for his good looks, athletic ability, and charm. He was often cast in romantic roles, playing opposite some of Hollywood’s leading ladies, including Lana Turner, Gene Tierney, and Susan Hayward. However, he was also versatile, and he showed his range by playing everything from swashbuckling heroes to tortured, complex characters. (Nightmare Circus)

Power was also married three times, and he had several high-profile affairs with both men and women. Power was bisexual, but he was never publicly out during his lifetime. He lived during a time when homosexuality was not accepted in society, and he feared that if anyone found out it would damage his career. However, he was known to be discreet, and he managed to maintain a successful career despite his private life. According to the “gossip” of the era Powell’s group of gay friends included director George Cukor and actors Clifton Webb, Lon McCallister (and his lover William Eythe), Cary Grant, Reginald Gardner, Van Johnson and bi-sexual billionaire Howard Hughes. Books and articles written about Power relate that the great “gay love” of Power’s life was a lowly technician at 20th Century Fox

In August 1942, Power enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, then Officer’s Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant on June 2, 1943. As he had already logged 180 solo hours as a pilot before enlisting, he was able to do a short, intense flight training program at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. The pass earned him his wings and a promotion to first lieutenant. The Marine Corps considered Power over the age limit for active combat flying, so he volunteered for piloting cargo planes that he felt would get him into active combat zones

Next was a movie that Power had to fight hard to make, the film noir Nightmare Alley (1947). Darryl F. Zanuck was reluctant for Power to make the movie because his handsome appearance and charming manner had been marketable assets for the studio for many years. Zanuck feared that the dark role might damage Power’s image. Zanuck eventually agreed, giving Power A-list production values for what normally would be a B film. The movie was directed by Edmund Goulding, and though it was a failure at the box-office, it was one of Power’s favorite roles for which he received some of the best reviews of his career

In the 1950s, Power’s career began to decline. He had a few box office failures, and he struggled to find roles that challenged him. However, he continued to work in the film industry, and he remained a beloved figure to many fans. He died on November 15, 1958, at the age of 44, after suffering a heart attack while filming a movie in Spain.

Tyrone Power was an extremely handsome and talented actor who left an indelible mark on Hollywood. He was a trailblazer in many ways, and his legacy continues to inspire actors today. Despite the challenges he faced in his personal life, Power was a true professional who always gave his best on screen.

You can watch Tyrone Power’s powerhouse performance in the original Nightmare Alley posted below.

*Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. 

Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

Keith Haring (1958-1990) was a prominent gay American artist and social activist known for his vibrant and dynamic style of art. Haring’s artwork primarily focused on issues of social justice, AIDS awareness, and LGBT rights, and his legacy continues to inspire artists and activists around the world.

Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. As a child, he showed a talent for art and began drawing cartoons at an early age. Haring’s interest in art continued throughout his school years, and he went on to study at the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh.

After completing his studies moved to New York City in 1978, where he quickly became immersed in the city’s vibrant art scene. He began creating street art, drawing images on empty subway advertisement spaces using white chalk. These drawings quickly gained attention, and Haring became a well-known figure in the city’s street art scene.

Haring’s art was heavily influenced by the cultural and political climate of the 1980s. He was deeply involved in the AIDS activism movement and used his art to raise awareness about the disease. His artwork often featured bold, stylized figures, many of which were interlocked in various sexual positions. These images were meant to challenge societal norms and promote greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community.

Haring’s art was not limited to the street; he also created numerous murals, sculptures, and paintings. In 1986, he collaborated with the artist Jenny Holzer to create a large-scale mural in New York City’s Battery Park. The mural, entitled “Spectres of the State,” was a commentary on the political tensions of the time.

Continue reading Gay History: The Life and Art of Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)
Gay History - April 24, 1965: The Protests and Sit-In at Dewey's Restaurant in Philadelphia.

Gay History – April 24, 1965: The Protests and Sit-In at Dewey’s Restaurant in Philadelphia.

The two historic protests and sit-ins at Dewey’s Restaurant in Philadelphia in 1965 was a pivotal moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement in the United States. At a time when discrimination against members of the LGBT community was widespread and often went unchallenged, a group of activists decided to take a stand and demand equal treatment under the law.

The sit-ins were organized by members of the East Coast Homophile Organizations (ECHO) and the Janus Society because of Dewey’s discriminatory denials of service to “homosexuals,” “masculine women,” “feminine men,” and “persons wearing non-conformist clothing.”

The first sit-in of April 25, 1965, a group of about 150 ECHO members gathered at Dewey’s Restaurant, a popular lunch spot in downtown Philadelphia that was known to discriminate against gay customers. Over the next five days, Janus Society activists and their supporters, led by Robert L. Sitko, demonstrated outside the restaurant and distributed 1500 fliers to passersby.

At he second protest on May 2nd, protesters, many of whom were dressed in their Sunday best, entered the restaurant and attempted to order food. When they were told that they would not be served, they sat down and refused to leave. Some of the protesters brought signs and placards that read “We are your sons and daughters” and “We demand our rights.” They sang songs and chanted slogans, drawing attention from passersby and media outlets.

The sit-in lasted for hours, with the protesters refusing to budge even as police officers arrived on the scene. The officers initially attempted to disperse the crowd, but when they realized the size and determination of the group, they decided to let the protesters stay.

The Janus Society focused on four objectives in particular, which they believe were accomplished after the second sit-in on May 2nd: “(1) to bring about an immediate cessation to all indiscriminate denials of service, (2) to prevent additional arrests, (3) to assure the homosexual community that (a) we were concerned with the day-to-day problems and (b) we were prepared to intercede in helping to solve these problems, (4) to create publicity for the organization and our objectives.”

The Dewey Restaurant protest and sit-ins did not come without some criticism from within the LGBT community itself due to the involvement of DRUM magazine., a sexually explicit, gay magazine that was controversial at the time, some in the LGBT community that DRUMS participation and support cast negative light on the Dewey’s sit-ins and provided “ammunition for enemies of the LGBT movement.”

Additionally, the sit-in was notable for its peaceful and nonviolent nature. The protesters did not engage in any acts of violence or destruction, despite being met with hostility and aggression from some members of the public. This helped to dispel the myth that LGBT people were inherently violent or unstable, and demonstrated that they were capable of organizing and protesting peacefully.

Perhaps most importantly, the sit-in at Dewey’s Restaurant helped to change attitudes toward LGBT people in Philadelphia and beyond. Many people who had previously been indifferent or hostile to the LGBT community began to see them as real people with real struggles and concerns. This helped to pave the way for the eventual repeal of discriminatory laws.

Although lesser known than the later, large-scale riots at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, and the preceding the Cooper Do-nuts Riot of 1959, the Dewey’s sit-ins became iconic stepping stones in the fight for LGBT rights. Drum Magazine (of which Clark Polak was the editor) deemed it “the first sit-in of its kind in the history of the United States.”

The Dewey’s Restaurant protests and sit-ins of 1965 was a watershed moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement. The protesters who participated in the sit-in were brave and determined, and their actions helped to raise awareness of the discrimination and inequality faced by LGBT people across the country. The sit-in inspired others to take action, and ultimately helped to change attitudes toward LGBT people and bring about significant progress in the struggle for equal rights.

Gay History - April 20, 1492: Pietro Aretino Renaissance Writer, Poet, and Gay Libertine Born.

Gay History – April 20, 1492: Pietro Aretino Renaissance Writer, Poet, and Gay Libertine Born.

Pietro Aretino (1492-1556) was an Renaissance writer, poet, and playwright who was known for his wit, irreverence, and controversial works. He is considered one of the most important literary figures of the Italian Renaissance, and his works had a significant impact on European literature and culture.

Aretino was born in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy in 1492. He grew up in a relatively poor family and had limited access to education. However, he was a quick learner and taught himself to read and write. At a young age, he moved to Perugia, where he worked as a servant and began to write poetry. In 1517, he moved to Rome, where he became part of the literary circle surrounding the Medici family. It was here that he began to write his most famous works .

While Aretino’s early works were mainly religious and moralistic in themes his later works were in nature bawdy and pornographic, at least by the standards of the 15th century. 

His patrons were to include Popes Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici) and Clement VII, King François I and Emperor Charles V, and much of the nobility of Renaissance Europe, many of whom he blackmailed with threats to publish satires against them.

Aretino was a gay libertine in the larger-than-life mode of Renaissance Italy, so outspoken as to be beyond any counterattacks. Gay themes are scattered throughout his poems in one of which he declares himself to have been a sodomite from birth.

Aretino’s works were not without controversy, and he often found himself in trouble with the authorities. He was arrested several times and was forced to flee from city to city to avoid persecution. However, his popularity continued to grow, and he became known as the “Scourge of Princes” for his biting satire aimed at the powerful and wealthy.

Aretino was also a prolific letter writer and wrote to many of the important figures of his time, including Michelangelo, Titian, and Martin Luther. His letters were often witty and irreverent and showed his deep knowledge of contemporary culture and politics.

In a letter to Giovann de’ Medici written in 1524 Aretino encloses a satirical poem saying that due to a sudden aberration he has fallen in love with a female cook and temporarily switched from boys to girls; but he concludes his letter with a reaffirmation of the sodomites’ credo: “My Illustrious Lord, be absolutely certain that we all return to the ancient great mother, and if I escape with my honour from this madness, will bugger as much as much and as much for me as for my friends.”

Aretino is said to have died in 1556 of a stroke while laughing at a dirty joke. In reality though the exact cause of his death is not known, as there are conflicting accounts of his final moments. Some sources suggest that he died of a stroke or heart attack, while others claim that he was poisoned.