Friday, September 21, 2018

Happy Birthday to Actress and Author Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg was born today, September 21, (in 1944) in Birmingham, AL. She is an American actress, comedian and author. She is best known as a semi-regular panelist on the 1973–82 versions of the game show Match Game and for the 1987 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which was adapted into the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay adaptation.

In the late 70's, Flagg had a relationship with American writer, Rita Mae Brown, whom she met at a party hosted by Marlo Thomas. The couple briefly shared a house together in Charlottesville, VA. Judging from the clip below, though, she may be bisexual.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Today In 2011, US Military Repeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell

CNN Photo
"Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) was the official United States policy on military service by gays, bisexuals, and lesbians, instituted by the Bill Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994, when Department of Defense Directive 1304.26 issued on December 21, 1993, took effect, lasting until September 20, 2011.

The act prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. The act specified that service members who disclose that they are homosexual or engage in homosexual conduct should be separated (discharged) except when a service member's conduct was "for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service" or when it "would not be in the best interest of the armed forces". 

Since DADT ended in 2011, persons who are openly homosexual and bisexual have been able to serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Today In 1988, Greg Louganis Hits Head, Still Wins Gold

At the 1988 Seoul Olympics on this day, September 19, Greg Louganis's head struck the springboard during the preliminary rounds, leading to a concussion. He completed the preliminaries despite his injury. He then earned the highest single score of the qualifying round for his next dive and repeated the dive during the finals (the next day), earning the gold medal by a margin of 25 points. In the 10m finals, he won the gold medal, performing a 3.4 difficulty dive in his last attempt, earning 86.70 points for a total of 638.61, surpassing silver medalist Xiong Ni by only 1.14 points. His comeback earned him the title of ABC's Wide World of Sports "Athlete of the Year" for 1988.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Born Today In 1905, Screen Legend Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo was born today, September 18, in 1905. She was a Swedish-born American film actress during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Garbo fifth on their list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.

Garbo's films include Anna Christie in 1930. MGM marketers enticed the public with the catch-phrase "Garbo talks!" That same year she starred in Romance. For her performances in these films she received the first of three Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. In 1932, her popularity allowed her to dictate the terms of her contract and she became increasingly selective about her roles. Her success continued in films such as Mata Hari (1931) and Grand Hotel (1932). Many critics and film historians consider her performance as the doomed courtesan Marguerite Gautier in Camille (1936) to be her finest. The role gained her a second Academy Award nomination. Garbo's career soon declined, however, and she was one of the many stars labeled "Box Office Poison" in 1938. Her career revived upon her turn to comedy in Ninotchka (1939), which earned her a third Academy Award nomination, but after the failure of Two-Faced Woman (1941), she retired from the screen, at the age of 35, after acting in 28 films. From then on, Garbo declined all opportunities to return to the screen. Shunning publicity, she began a private life.

Garbo never married, had no children, and lived alone as an adult. Her most famous romance was with her frequent co-star, John Gilbert, with whom she lived intermittently in 1926 and 1927. Soon after their romance began, Gilbert began helping her acting on the set, teaching her how to behave like a star, how to socialize at parties, and how to deal with studio bosses. They costarred again in three more hits, Love (1927), A Woman of Affairs (1928), and Queen Christina(1933). Gilbert allegedly proposed to her numerous times, with Garbo agreeing but backing out at the last minute. "I was in love with him," she said. "But I froze. I was afraid he would tell me what to do and boss me. I always wanted to be the boss."

Recent biographers and others believe that Garbo was bisexual or lesbian, that she had intimate relationships with women as well as with men. In 1927, Garbo was introduced to stage and screen actress Lilyan Tashman and they may have had an affair, according to some writers. Silent film star Louise Brooks stated that she and Garbo had a brief liaison the following year.

In 1931, Garbo befriended the writer and acknowledged lesbian Mercedes de Acosta, introduced to her by her close friend, Salka Viertel, and, according to Garbo's and de Acosta's biographers, began a sporadic and volatile romance. The two remained friends—with ups and downs—for almost 30 years, during which time Garbo wrote de Acosta 181 letters, cards, and telegrams, now at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia. Garbo's family, which controls her estate, has made only 87 of these items publicly available.

Greta Garbo died on April 15, 1990, aged 84, in the hospital, as a result of pneumonia and renal failure.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to 'Drag Race' Alum Tammie Brown

Tammie Brown is the stage name of Keith Glen Schubert, who was born today, September 15, in 1980. He is an American drag performer and recording artist. Brown was a fixture in the Southern California Drag scene, before appearing on the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race and RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.

Schubert was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He first started dressing in drag during high school, in theatre productions of Grease as Cha Cha and Into the Woods as Cinderella's Stepmother.

Tammie Brown first appeared on The Surreal Life with Tammy Faye Messner. Out of drag, Schubert has appeared on How Clean Is Your House? and acted in commercials for McDonald's and UPS. Brown also performed in the Los Angeles Auditions of season 2 of America's Got Talent.

Brown was announced as one of nine contestants for the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race on February 2, 2009. He was eliminated in the second episode, placing eighth.

Tammie Brown was amongst 12 past contestants who were brought back for RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars in 2012. Brown was paired with first-season castmate Nina Flowers to form Team Brown Flowers and was eliminated in the second episode "RuPaul's Gaff-In." "Responsitrannity," the runway theme song for All Stars, was inspired by RuPaul's first season fight with Tammie Brown. Brown, along with All Stars contestants Manila Luzon, Raven, and Latrice Royale, appeared in a television commercial for travel website Orbitz's new portal for LGBT leisure travel.

Outside of Drag Race, Brown released his debut album Popcorn on March 18, 2009.

In 2011, Brown and fellow RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Ongina were honorary trail guides for the Saddle Up LA AIDS Benefit Trail Ride.

In 2012, Brown was featured in an Allstate ad. Brown was also photographed for Gorgeous, a project that involved Armen Ra, Candis Cayne, and Miss Fame.

Brown is a member of the band the Rollz Royces with Kelly Mantle and Michael Catti. Mantle and Catti have appeared in Tammie Brown's Christmas show Holiday Sparkle at Fubar in West Hollywood, California.

Brown was the only season one contestant to not appear at the season 10 grand finale, due to being the warm up act for Trixie Mattel's tour in August 2018.

Schubert has been openly gay since high school. He frequently volunteers at the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Center.

Schubert has described his drag style as bohemian. He cites the movies What's Love Got To Do With It? and Tootsie as major inspirations for his drag.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Born Today In 1885, English Author D. H. Lawrence

David Herbert Lawrence was born today, September 11, in 1885. He was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic, and painter. Some of the issues Lawrence explored were sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct. Among his notable works are Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley's Lover.

While writing Women in Love, Lawrence developed a possibly romantic relationship with a Cornish farmer named William Henry Hocking. Although it is not clear if their relationship was sexual, his wife, Frieda Weekley, said she believed it was. Lawrence's fascination with the theme of homosexuality, which is overtly manifested in Women in Love, could be related to his own sexual orientation.

In a letter written during 1913, he wrote, "I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not ..." He is also quoted as saying, "I believe the nearest I've come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16." However, given his enduring and robust relationship with Frieda it is likely that he was primarily bicurious, and whether he actually ever had homosexual relations remains an open question.