Category: LGBTQ Cultural History

Liberace - Five Gay Actors in Mid-Century Hollywood

by David Ehrenstein

Now that gay actors like Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons, Victor Garber, Jonathan Groff, and Neil Patrick Harris are “out of the closet” and on the rise, it’s hard to imagine just how different things were in the relatively recent past. Not only was the notion of being openly gay and having a viable career unimaginable, but gayness itself was also a concept polite society couldn’t countenance. “Homosexuals” subsisted on society’s margins, mentioned only in whispered gossip, fearsome psychiatric studies, and Conservative diatribes decrying perversion.

Hiding In Plain Sight

Still, in spite of it all, gay men managed to make their way to very top of the acting profession in the gilded closets of Hollywood. In this covert context, bigtime careers and personal lives proceeded with a calculated risk that can fascinate us today. Here are five of the most noteworthy examples of gay actors in the 20th Century.

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Walter Film: Items Of LGBTQ Cultural History

Since the Stonewall Riot in June of 1969, there has been a growing interest in LGBTQ social history as is describe here in the Queer History Social Media Project of the Society of American Archivists.

          The Queer History Social Media Project is an initiative aimed at bringing the skills and insights of professional archivists, librarians, historians, and other social scientists involved in the study of LGBTQ history to bear in the improvement and enrichment of Wikipedia articles on topics, individuals, and organizations related to the LGBTQ experience throughout history.

And so, in 2011 – forty-two years after Stonewall –  Walter Reuben Inc. made its first sale  to a major institutional library of relevant items of LGBTQ cultural history, which includes: vintage original star photographs, film and theater posters, lobby cards, film and play scripts, newspaper articles, rare books and advertising or marketing collectibles and LGBTQ memorabilia. The sales continued to be made to an ever growing number of institutions and now Walter Reuben Inc. is an essential resource for material related to LGBTQ Cultural History and Memorabilia.

To view the material we have on our website please click: WalterFilm LGBTQ

LGBTQ items from our 2018 and 2019 Catalogs.


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