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Topic: Who Knew Liberace was Gay!!! (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 December 2014 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 1  

This morning, checking birthdays on the IMDb, I noticed a sidebar showing a list of "Gay actors." I clicked on it, to see if there were any surprises. There weren't.

What struck me as interesting, tho, is how far the Gay community has come in just a few decades. Once upon a time, being openly Gay was basically the kiss of death, and performers especially -- yes, even Liberace -- would sue newspapers and magazines that said they were, even if they were!*

The list was interesting, in that it pretty thoroughly shattered the persistent stereotype of Gay men being effeminate. Oh, sure, some on the list very much fell into the "Well, duh!" category, but many more were big, studly, masculine figures. Gosh, could it be that homosexuals inhabit many different physical types, just like everybody else?

There were one or two "unconfirmed sightings" that sort of belonged to the "They're Famous So We Claim Them" category, but mostly I felt the whole thing was a positive. "We're Queer and we're here!" Bravo!

Next step, of course, will be when it doesn't matter, either way. THEN we'll finally see homosexuals, male and female, achieve true equality. Looking forward to that day!

__________

* Liberace famously sued a London columinst who called himsefl "Casandra," after the Greek heroine who could predict the future but not be believed. Liberace won his case, and a substantial settlement. When Liberace's homosexuality was confirmed, decades later, "Casandra" asked "Can I have my money back, now?"

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 10 December 2014 at 9:35am | IP Logged | 2  

I was a kid when Liberace was a big deal and my family were all immigrants without much thought to popular American culture -- work work work! study study study! -- so, what do you think about this notion that people didn't know Liberace was gay?
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 15 December 2014 at 10:07pm | IP Logged | 3  

Slight tangent but perhaps relevant to this thread.

Does your appreciation for a performance change if you
discover the actor was as far removed from the character
as possible?

Some people will dismiss an actor as "simply playing
himself." I disagree with this POV because even if I
were starring in THE STEPHEN ROBINSON STORY, it's not so
easy to just "play myself" and effectively convey
emotions on cue.

But back to the subject of this thread, if Sylvester
Stallone were to "come out" as an "effeminate" gay man
in real life, would that change how we viewed his
performances in ROCKY or RAMBO? And should it?
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 1:33am | IP Logged | 4  

...would that change how we viewed his performances in ROCKY or RAMBO? And should it?
--


Maybe it would for some, but it shouldn't. After all, he's not a war machine in real life! Movies are about make-believe. Many straight actors have played guy characters and vice versa. It's what's up on the screen that matters.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 2:22am | IP Logged | 5  

I will forever be amused by Freddie Mercury. How we never twigged is, in retrospect, an interesting thing with regards to how homosexuality was viewed in the '70's.

There were so many images around us but we just never saw them as such. Morcolme and Wise sharing a bed in their sketchers being another example. I don't remember the discussions starting until the '80's. Or maybe I was so young that it just didn't seem relevant to the joke.
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David Miller
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 9:04am | IP Logged | 6  

I remember watching Culture Club:Behind the Music in 1992 and being shocked to find out Boy George is gay. I tired to explain to my (gay) roommate that most transvestites aren't gay, but he thought I was a fool.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 7  

I think Freddie got away with it because of the times,especially in the U.K. in the early to late 70`s `Glam` was all the rage,being camp and effeminate was part of the look,it was later when he cut his hair and wore the porn star tache that we twigged! Look at Queen live circa 74/75 and the rest of the band looked equally camp.Take a band like The Sweet,maculine bruisers in satin and make-up!
As for Liberace,my mom has often told of how,in the 60`s my grandad refused to believe he was gay despite the evidence!
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 11:18am | IP Logged | 8  

If Richard Simmons ever came out, would anyone be
shocked? It's his business and all of course, but if he is
actually gay, I'm surprised that he wouldn't have come out
by now, since his career is focused on helping people, and
it certainly would not affect his career one iota. So it makes
me wonder if perhaps he really isn't!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 12:40pm | IP Logged | 9  

Freddie is an interesting case. No one did seem to twig while he was alive, though there is some revisionist thinking that has gone on with friends I know who claim that it was well known at the time.




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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 10  

People like Freddy Mercury and even Liberace were so over the top the assumption was that it was all part of the act.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 1:28pm | IP Logged | 11  

The only actor/famous person who eventually came out as gay that was truly surprising to me was Rock Hudson.  
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Jason Schulman
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 12  

I've read that Liberace had a reputation for being a womanizer. (I know, I know, I know, how could anyone believe...well, "gay-dar" was not yet a "thing" back in ye olden days, was it? When I was a kid I thought Boy George just liked to play dress-up.)

As for Freddie Mercury, all I'll say is that I thought "Queen" was merely a British reference.

It's true that most crossdressers are heterosexual men who get a thrill from the act. (I think the scientific term is "autogynephilia.") Drag queens are a whole 'nother thing -- they're performers (actors), usually gay.


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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 13  

"When I was a kid I thought Boy George just liked to play
dress-up."

I'm pretty sure that I thought that Boy George was a
woman!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 3:14pm | IP Logged | 14  

I'm pretty sure that I thought that Boy George was a woman!

I did! Especially when my stepdaughter adopted the same look!

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 3:42pm | IP Logged | 15  

I remember Boy George's first appearance on UK tv on Top of the Pops, we had no idea what gender he was, especially as his voice had a feminine quality to it! J.B. may be interested in the fact he lived in Walsall prior to his pop stardom.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 4:31pm | IP Logged | 16  

...if Sylvester Stallone were to "come out" as an "effeminate" gay man
in real life, would that change how we viewed his
performances in ROCKY or RAMBO? And should it?

Have you seen ROCKY III? 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 5:15pm | IP Logged | 17  

When I was about 12 or 13 there was a girl in my class who was very fond of George Michael, and I would rib her that he was clearly gay because the cover of the Faith album so clearly used homosexual imagery (I'd recently seen a documentary on the BBC arts programme Arena about a photographer who's thing was such imagery, otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue). Here's the thing -- though there was some reasoning behind my claims, I didn't really believe it at all and was just winding her up. 

Then lo, many years later it turned out it was true... 

But looking back, y'now, come on!!




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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 6:02pm | IP Logged | 18  

Didn't coming out pretty much kill George Michael's
career, though?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 6:19pm | IP Logged | 19  

J.B. may be interested in the fact he lived in Walsall prior to his pop stardom.

I lived in Walsall for the first 2.5 days of my life. I am a West Bromwich lad!!!

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 7:40pm | IP Logged | 20  

 Peter Martin wrote:
...Freddie is an interesting case. No one did seem to twig while he was alive, though there is some revisionist thinking that has gone on with friends I know who claim that it was well known at the time...


The rumor was there, nearly from the beginning. No revisionism here, when I was a youngster my friend told me the band was called "Queen" because they were gay. Now, he said all of the members was gay which isn't the case, but he told me this back in the late 1970s'. So, it wasn't an open thing with Freddie Mercury, but there was talk about his sexual orientation from nearly the get-go.

Same with George Michael, too.

And, yep, I knew people who thought Boy George really was a woman, as well.

All great performers whose work I enjoy. I don't care one way or another about who they sleep with or what they dress like.

Edited to add: I understand Liberace had a huge female following in his day. Not just because of his music, either.


Edited by Matt Hawes on 16 December 2014 at 7:44pm
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Gene Best
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 7:57pm | IP Logged | 21  

You're right, Matt.  I can remember Freddie's sexuality being debated by readers in Circus magazine around '75-'77 - as you say, citing the band's name and Freddie's flamboyance. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 8:41pm | IP Logged | 22  

According to Brian May, he had no idea that Freddie was gay for years, since
he only saw him take women back to his room and just assumed the
flamboyance was part of the act.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 9:23pm | IP Logged | 23  

Doris Day was probably shocked about Rock Hudson, too.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 24  

Florence Henderson claimed she knew Robert Reed was gay because of his apprehension about filming affectionate scenes with her while filming "The Brady Bunch".
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Jason Schulman
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Posted: 16 December 2014 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 25  

I'm told that Mercury played for both teams. It would explain bringing women back to his room.

If I'd had any idea what a "leather queen" was when I was a wee lad I'd have seen right through Rob Halford of the metal band Judas Priest.

In 1984, Boy George accepted a Grammy Award for Culture Club by quipping that America "knows a good drag queen" when it sees one. First time I'd heard the term. I had no real clue what it meant.
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