Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Parade

For years now, New Orleans has been having a gay-related social event called the Easter Parade. But this has nothing to do with that.  This is all about The Judy.   In more closeted times, gays used the term "friend of Dorothy" to refer to themselves in mixed company, in homage to Garland's role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Today, Garland isn't as well known among the younger gay generation, but she still holds a special place in the hearts of many. 

Judy Garland was hugely popular among gays during her lifetime. Her concerts were major gay meeting places, and in her later years, she made money singing at gay piano bars. Garland's father was gay, as were her studio-executive mentor and two of her five husbands. She had many gay friends and went to parties where she joked that she was the only woman present. But her appeal was based on more than her own acceptance of gays. 

Both onscreen and off, Garland projected a unique combination of vulnerability and strength. She sang of intense loneliness, followed by songs describing delirious love. She had legendary stage fright but declared her greatest happiness came from performing. These conflicts mirrored the lives of oppressed, closeted gay men in the 1950s and 1960s. They identified with the paradox and duplicity in Garland's life. Severe laws and prejudice against homosexuality forced gays to lead double lives and hide their true selves. 

As Dorothy, Judy Garland portrayed a misunderstood kid from a small town who has an amazing adventure in a Technicolor world. The central message of The Wizard of Oz is that you will find what you're looking for inside yourself. That message resonated with gays of the era who yearned to come out into a colorful world and live what was inside of them. 
While prejudice against gays is still common, the public is generally more tolerant these days. Homosexuals aren't as strictly closeted as in Garland's day, and her image doesn't strike such a deep chord. But her plucky strength and sweetness continue to win admirers among people of all orientations.
MGM, 1948, Color, 104 minutes

Produced by: Arthur Freed
Directed by: Charles Walters
Screen Play by: Sidney Sheldon, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Lyrics and Music by: Irving Berlin
Musical Numbers Staged and Directed by: Robert Alton
Music Direction: Johnny Green
Orchestration: Conrad Salinger, Van Cleave, Leo Arnaud
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Women's Costumes by: Irene
Men's Costumes by: Valles

Color by Technicolor

Judy Garland (Hannah Brown),
Fred Astaire (Don Hewes),
Peter Lawford (Jonathan Harrow III),
Ann Miller (Nadine Gale),
Jules Munshin (Francois, the Head Waiter)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More Ivan

He doesn't have a monster-sized cock which proves a point--regular guys are always hot when they are just being themselves.  Ivan could easily have been any number of men that most folks encounter in their everyday lives, and that's probably at least partly why he remains so darn popular.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ivan Prescott

Sandy blond hair and a thick bush between his legs.  Mr. Prescott was a model that photographer J Brian immortalized for a generation of young gay men. Part of his appeal is that the blue eyed guy (fresh out of a stint in the U.S. Navy) has remained a mystery without a lot known about his personal life.  Ivan dropped his pants for the photographer, displayed his physique with that thick manhood and dangling ball sack, and then appears to have moved on with his life.  J Brian certainly knew how to capture the natural beauty of a naked man.  In 1964, Brian began to publish some of the first fully-nude male pictures sold in porn shops.  His mail order catalog of male nudes became an object of lustful desire in and of itself, tantalizing potential customers with images (typically black and white) of men such as Ivan Prescott..  According to the J Brian catalog, Ivan was a Navy serviceman and gymnast who became an art model.  
Please stay tuned for more photos of Ivan

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Normal Heart

Nightmares sadly can become real, as evidenced in The Normal Heart, which is a largely autobiographical play written by Larry Kramer, looking at the rise of the AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984.  In 2000, the Royal National Theatre named The Normal Heart one of the 100 greatest plays of the 20th century. Making it into a movie was not easy.  Barbra Streisand held the film rights to Larry Kramer's original play for a decade, but was unable to get financing for a feature film, and HBO (at the time) was unwilling to meet Kramer's asking price for the screenplay. Finally released in 2014, the all-star film includes Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, and Julia Roberts.  It's reported that some of the cast insisted on acting in the film despite the objections that it would not be good for their careers.  Bravo to them.

This important film is not easy for many to watch because of the horrific subject matter, which is probably why it did not receive the success that it deserved. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine praised the film: "Written, directed and acted with a passion that radiates off the screen, The Normal Heart is drama at its most incendiary, a blunt instrument that is also poetic and profound. As gay men in crisis, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Joe Mantello (who also played Ned onstage) all excel. But it's Kramer, still raging over what's not being done, who tears at your heart."  For the Rolling Stone review, please follow here.

In the film, Tommy Boatwright (Jim Parsons) pulls a card from his Rolodex and puts it along with a bunch of other cards tied with a rubber band, which was based on what David Geffen used to do during those those days as the AIDS disease was becoming a reality in lives of American gay men. On November 18th 1992, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) gave Geffen the Commitment To Life Award at the Universal Amphitheater. During his acceptance speech he said: "When the first person I knew died, I couldn't bring myself to throw his Rolodex card away, so I saved it. I now have a rubber band around 341 cards."

Saturday, March 5, 2016

1972 Euro Cosmo Man

Back in 1972, Frenchman Paul du Feu posed nude for the European version of Cosmopolitan magazine, becoming their first centerfold nude. It's reported that the magazine had briefly considered having Paul as their centerfold for the American version but nixed the idea.  A writer and cartoonist, Paul was renowned for being passionate about things he believed in. Previously married to activist and author Germaine Greer, in 1973, Angelou married him. This was to be Angelou’s longest marriage.