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29
Dec
0
Posted by on in Gay History

 

I remember when I was growing up in the seventies talk of streaking; and given the penchant of pubescent boys of lying about physical (and sexual) exploits, several of my classmates claimed to have streaked. I'm pretty sure their only streaking may have been running wet and dripping from the shower to their bedrooms. 

But given my sheltered upbringing, I knew nothing of the legendary Robert Opel Academy Awards streaking incident, not that the Academy Awards was forbidden television viewing in a household which banned Maude because the character had an abortion. 

(Little did the Catholic household I grew up in know that streaking occurs in the Bible See Mark 14:50-52 for the famous naked youth in the Garden of Gethsemane; also go here for more information. Of course, the blog urges one to run from temptation. I would rather run toward it.) 

According to Leigh Rutledge in The Gay Decades

“April 2, 1974 Having inexplicably fascinated the nation for roughly six months, the fad of “streaking” reaches its apogee with gay photographer and former advertising executive Robert Opel, thirty-eight, plunges naked across the stage during a live broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Opel's “streak,” almost certainly the most witnessed stunt of its kind, occurs during the most popular part of the telecast, the announcement of the award for Best Picture, thus guaranteeing him an estimated audience of more than one billion television viewers worldwide.” 

 

Robert Opel streaking


Yes, this really happened; here's a link to the true story

But there's more, and it's even more shocking. 

Robert Opel was murdered by an intruder at his art gallery who demanded drugs and money in 1979. Opel was famous for publicizing the works of gay artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Tom of Finland. 

Opel was a well-known leatherman as well. 

 

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29
Dec
0

Vladimir Putin in a Negligee? You Think That's Scary? Read On!

Posted by on in Politics

 

If you've been following the LGBT media in particular, you've undoubtedly heard for some time about the Fascist-style scapegoating of LGBT persons in Russia by forbidding “gay propaganda” that supports “non-traditional sexual relations,” pretty much an excuse for police state tactics ranging from censorship to house searching to arbitrary arrests of protestors beaten up by homophobic thugs. 

Anti-Gay Thugs, Russia

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29
Dec
0
Posted by on in Gay Popular Culture

 

I remember watching The Trouble with Angels with gay icon Rosalind Russell of Auntie Mame fame playing the Mother Superior of a convent that ran a girl's school. Hayley Mills, a student at the school, was always in trouble with Reverend Mother for “scathingly brilliant ideas” that usually resulted in mayhem, such as trying to make putting bubble bath powder in the nun's tea. 


Now, at one point in the movie, Reverend Mother guilt-trips the girls into entertaining one day during the holiday season the residents of what appears to be a women-only old folks home with “refreshments, songs, and readings.” Hayley aka Mary Clancy and her partner in mayhem Rachel are actually cooperating for a change. 

Then Mary sees Mother Superior comforting an elderly woman who is weeping. Her family will not be able to come to see her for Christmas. The woman feels slighted, perhaps because she gave them everything when they were young (nothing was too much), why can't they come see her? I have gifts for them she laments. But it's not just that she is laying on selfish guilt. She feels unwanted, useless. Why? Because she can't give to them. 

 

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29
Dec
0
Posted by on in Gay Sexual History

 

Gay disco in the 1970s


I was in grade school and then high school for the last four years of the decade, pretty much insulated in the segregated Western suburbs of Chicago from the “big bad city” where undesirables (anyone not white, straight, or Catholic) preyed on young white Catholic school kids. 

Little did I know (and this is mostly anecdotal evidence) that guys in the burgeoning “gay ghettos” at that time were enjoying lots of sex, and not just inside, but outside. Now, they had been having public sex from some time, and the risks of arrest were still there, but … One person I know told me about several encounters between men that inevitably resulted in sex. A glance … a look at the crotch … constant cruising. My friend made it seem that these “quick tricks” were par for the course. I've heard stories about sex in and on trucks, sex in hardware stores, sex at the YMCA (all you needed to do was leave your door open) … was life really like a porn movie at that time? 

 

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18
Nov
0
Posted by on in Gay History

 

1955: a different world than today in so many respects. Eisenhower was president, the Cold War and the threat of communism and nuclear war hung heavy over the hearts and minds of Americans, and despite the tight sweaters, push up bras, beefcakes on the beach, and the new rock 'n roll music, sex was a dirty secret performed in a bedroom by a mommy and daddy who each slept on twin beds (that is, on television!). Homosexuality, in fact, any kind of sexual diversity, was taboo. Not only taboo, but illegal. 


Thus, in 1955, Mattachine Review, published by The Mattachine Society, was the only gay rights, or “homophile,” magazine in the country. In those days there existed physique magazines like Bob Mizer's Physique Pictorial, but these homoerotic publications had to “cover” as bodybuilding manuals to avoid censorship by the United States Post Office
 

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