Thursday, April 30, 2015


In the 1930s and 1940s gay men referred to themselves as "temperamental," according to Harry Hay, legendary Gay Rights Activist.  Coded terms were a necessity at a time when being gay or lesbian could get you arrested.

Current data suggests that anywhere from 5% to 10% of of the US male population is gay. Until we all come out of the closet, no one will ever know for sure.

Before gays and lesbians started living out of closet, we were only known as shady criminals; written up in newspaper articles about a gay bar raids. Coming out has been the most effective political tool of the Gay Rights Movement. Almost everyone now knows an openly gay co-worker, cousin, brother, aunt, friend or neighbor. It's much easier to sympathize with someone that you know; which is why support for gay marriage has skyrocketed in the last 12 years.

We still use coded terms and make veiled references to our "gayness," but these days it's more of a joke than a necessity. The next time you call someone "a friend of Dorothy," just remember that those who came before you used these terms to avoid going to jail, not just for fun.

According to The New York Time, "...for every 20 percentage points of support for gay marriage about one-and-a-half times as many men from that state will identify openly as gay on Facebook."  Just think how much it would increase support for gay marriage if we all openly identified as gay on Facebook!

These vintage photos represent just a small fragment of our LGBT history; unfortunately so much of it has purposely been destroyed. Since the men in these photos are unknown, it's pretty much impossible to tell if they were a gay couple or just "good friends." Most photographs of gay couples were eventually destroyed by horrified family members. For every photo that I may have mistakenly identified as gay, thousands more were burned or torn into pieces to keep a family secret.

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For photos of Vintage Lesbians, please check out some of our other posts including:

Jeffrey Gent 

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