Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Dying Game: To Save Their Careers, Gay and Lesbian Celebrities Stayed Mum to the End. but in the End, It Didn't Matter

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Dying Game: To Save Their Careers, Gay and Lesbian Celebrities Stayed Mum to the End. but in the End, It Didn't Matter

Article excerpt

TO SAVE THEIR CAREERS, GAY AND LESBIAN CELEBRITIES STAYED MUM TO THE END. BUT IN THE END, IT DIDN'T MATTER

Montgomery Clift: Beautiful Loser (Barney Hoskyns, Grove Weidenfeld, 1992)

Originally published in Great Britain, this book doesn't mince words. At one point in his unflinching rendering of the tormented star, Hoskyns writes, "In the summer of 1954...Monty rented a house up in Ogunquit, a Maine equivalent of Long Island's gay enclave Fire Island, and gave himself up to bouts of sadomasochistic sex with boys he picked up on the beach."

Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance (Jennifer Dunning, Addison Wesley Longman, 1996)

Written by Dunning, a reporter and dance critic for The New York Times, this biography chronicles in excruciating detail the life and death (from AIDS-related complications at age 58 in 1989) of master dancer-choreographer Ailey. Its author never shies away from depicting her superbly talented subject's self-destructive excesses and dizzying self-deception. "At first I was not treating AIDS, only auxiliary problems," Dunning quotes private-duty nurse Anne McKnight as saying. `That was the dance we played.... He was furious I was trying to get him well. He was in such denial about his illness. But you see, I wanted him to live."

Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964 (Edited by Martha Freeman, Beacon Press, 1995)

The enduring, intimate correspondence between lauded author Carson (The Sea Around Us, Silent Spring) and her Maine summer neighbor Freeman was compiled by the latter's granddaughter. The sum is a tale of friendship for those who skim the surface, a love story for those willing to read between the lines. "What can I say to you tonight that has not been said before? Or that is not already in your heart? What new words are there to describe this beautiful experience we are sharing?" writes Carson in a Christmas Eve missive. "We both know that no new words are necessary--that the three simple words that were first said a trifle shyly in a pre-Christmas letter in 1953 still say all that need be said.... I love you, Rachel."

Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Susan E. Cayleff, University of Illinois Press, 1995)

The androgynous Olympian may not have fessed up about her lesbianism in her 1955 autobiography, This Life I've Led, but Babe's lover, fellow pro golfer Betty Dodd--who actually shared a Tampa, Fla., home with Babe and her husband, George Zaharias, near the end of Babe's life--goes on the record with Cayleff here. "I never wanted to be away from her even when she was dying of cancer," Dodd says. "I loved her. I would have done anything for her."

Barbara Jordan: The Biography (Austin Teutsch, Golden Touch Press, 1997)

"Neither of them realized at the time that their meeting would escalate into a relationship that would last almost twenty years," writes Teutsch in his reverent if perhaps overly imaginative biography of celebrated African-American politician Jordan, who died in 1996, and her life partner. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.