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The Gay Book of Lists
By LEIGH W. RUTLEDGE
alyson booksCopyright © 2003 Leigh W. Rutledge
All right reserved.
Chapter OneUNUSUAL OBJECTS REMOVED FROM MEN'S RECTUMS IN HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS
NOTE: According to an article by Dr. David W. Munter of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, "The use of foreign bodies for anal eroticism is apparently increasing, resulting in increased numbers of patients with retained rectal foreign bodies." Twenty-eight times as many males as females are seen in emergency rooms with rectal foreign bodies.
PROVOCATIVELY NAMED PLACES
TAKEN FROM MAINSTREAM MOVIES
1. "Feminine touches in your son's clothing. Soft, clingy fabrics and pale girlish colors are definite warning signs."
2. "A boy who hangs out indoors and reads.... If your son is reading something romantic, like Gone With the Wind, he's probably teetering on the verge of homosexuality."
3. "If your son is bringing home `buddies' who wear earrings, tight T-shirts, or heavy perfumes. And, of course, if he's hanging out with male flight attendants."
4. "If your kid doesn't like sports or chooses hobbies like knitting or flower arranging."
5. "Listening to classical pieces [of music] or recordings of Liberace."
6. "If your son usually hangs out with guys and avoids dating."
NOTE: Dr. Packer, a South African sociologist, has said, "I never thought my boy was in danger until I took a close look at him and realized he was listening to classical music.... My son denied it, but I knew he was heading toward a strange love life and a future as a hairdresser or ballet dancer. Luckily, I caught it in time."
SOURCE: "How to Tell If Your Son Is Gay" by Dorothy Steele, Weekly World News, December 8, 1992
1. HOME ECONOMICS CLASS
In 1974 two Baptist ministers in Milford, Conn., became enraged when the local school board made home economics a required course for sixth-grade boys. "By having a young boy cook or sew, wearing aprons, we're pushing a boy into homosexuality," complained one of the ministers. Said the other: "My son doesn't want the course, and I don't want him to be a sissy." The two men fought unsuccessfully to have the course deleted from the sixth-grade curriculum.
In 1979, then-U.S. senator S.I. Hayakawa (R-Calif.) claimed that the widespread use of marijuana was responsible for a "huge increase" in homosexuality in American society. Seven years later, Reagan-appointed federal drug policy adviser Carlton Turner claimed that 40% of the young men in drug treatment centers had engaged in homosexual acts. "It seems to be something that follows along from their marijuana use," Turner told the press.
3. LOUD DISCO MUSIC
A 1979 study at Aegean University in Turkey alleged that male mice continually exposed to loud disco music eventually became exclusively homosexual. The university claimed to have discovered that "high-level noise, such as that frequently found in discos, causes homosexuality in mice and deafness among pigs."
4. RECTAL ITCH
One 13th-century hypothesis suggested that homosexual desires were ignited by "excessive itchiness in the buttock region." It recommended the daily application of soothing ointments to the rectum to extinguish homosexual impulses.
5. UNCUT MEAT
An aboriginal society in New Guinea believes that men will become homosexuals if they eat the meat of uncircumcised pigs.
6. CAR ACCIDENTS
In 1976 a Detroit jury awarded more than $200,000 in damages to a man who contended he was "turned into" a homosexual by an automobile accident. The man's car had been rear-ended by another vehicle.
7. ASTROLOGICAL INFLUENCES
The 1933 book Strange Loves by Dr. La Forest Potter devoted an entire chapter to the question "Are astrological factors in any way accountable for perversion?" "There may be something more than mere coincidence," Dr. Potter concluded, "in the fact that many persons born under certain auspices seem to develop sexual abnormalities. In this respect one born under the sign Libra-the balances-seems to be more than usually vulnerable."
8. HARD-CORE PORNOGRAPHY
In his 1970 book Changing Homosexuality in the Male, New York psychiatrist Lawrence Hatterer denounced what he called the "homosexualization" of America and put much of the blame on the burgeoning "hard-core homosexual pornography industry." Hatterer suggested that the stimulating nature of such films pushed otherwise "healthy" young heterosexual males "over the line" into homosexuality.
During the Victorian era, masturbation was commonly thought to lead to homosexuality. "Typical" young male masturbators were often portrayed in medical literature as having effeminate mannerisms and developing "morbid attachments" to other boys and men.
British medical researchers reported in 1981 the case of a 32-year-old married man who claimed to have become exclusively homosexual after undergoing a vasectomy. The man asserted that he had had no homosexual experiences prior to the operation.
11. TOO MANY WOMEN TEACHERS
One early-20th-century theory suggested that young boys whose grade school teachers were women were more likely to become homosexuals.
1. FIRST PRISONER INCARCERATED AT ALCATRAZ
The desolate rocky island off the coast of San Francisco became a maximum security federal prison on July 1, 1934. The first person to be incarcerated there, Federal Prisoner #1, was Frank Bolt, a young Army prisoner serving a five-year sentence for having committed homosexual acts in the military.
2. FIRST STATE TO DECRIMINALIZE HOMOSEXUAL ACTS
Illinois, in 1961. It took another 10 years before a second state followed suit: Connecticut, in 1971.
3. FIRST JOCKSTRAP
The modern jockstrap was invented by a Finnish athlete, Parvo Nakacheker, between 1895 and 1900. According to one source, Nakacheker "devoted much time to the study of pure anatomy and the special demands of such an item."
4. FIRST JOHN WATERS MOVIE
Although he made several 8-millimeter shorts early in his career-notably, Eat Your Makeup and Hag in a Black Leather Jacket-his first feature-length film was Mondo Trasho in 1969, when he was 22. The film-which had no dialogue, only a musical soundtrack-had a budget of $2,000, and featured Divine (in gold capri pants and six-inch heels) driving a red 1959 Cadillac convertible and running over the film's young heroine, Mary Vivian Pearce. Waters's mother, after attending the film's premiere in Baltimore, fled in tears and later told her son, "You are going to end up in a mental institution, die from an overdose of drugs, or commit suicide."
5. FIRST YMCA
The first YMCA in the United States was founded in Boston in 1851. The use of YMCAs as a meeting and cruising place for gay men has been documented since 1914.
6. FIRST USE OF THE WORD HOMOSEXUALITY
The word homosexuality was coined by a Hungarian physician, Karoly Maria Benkert, in 1869, in an open letter to the Prussian minister of justice. The letter called for the repeal of laws persecuting homosexuals.
7. FIRST MOVIE TO USE THE WORD HOMOSEXUAL ON-SCREEN
Victim, in 1961. The film starred Dirk Bogarde as a gay lawyer who confronts a gang of blackmailers.
8. FIRST ISSUE OF THE ADVOCATE
The first issue of The Advocate was published in September 1967. It was 12 pages long and cost 25 cents.
9. FIRST TRIAL OF OSCAR WILDE
Wilde was actually tried twice on charges of having committed acts of gross indecency. The first trial ended in a hung jury. Although he was given every opportunity and encouragement to jump bail and flee to Paris, he remained in England, partly under pressure from his mother, who wanted him to stand up for his honor; he was retried three weeks later. At the end of the second trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labor.
10. FIRST AIDS WARD IN A U.S. HOSPITAL
On July 26, 1983, San Francisco General Hospital opened the first U.S. hospital ward specifically devoted to the needs of people with AIDS. The initial capacity for the ward was 12 to 15 beds.
11. FIRST USE OF THE WORD HOMOPHOBIA
The word homophobia was coined by author Wainwright Churchill in his 1967 book Homosexual Behavior Among Males.
12. FIRST STATE TO PASS A STATEWIDE GAY RIGHTS BILL
Wisconsin, in 1981.
13. FIRST SONG ON BROADWAY TO CELEBRATE ANAL SEX
"Sodomy," from the musical Hair, in 1967. The song was a 50-second paean to sodomy, fellatio, pederasty, and masturbation.
14. FIRST OPENLY GAY CANDIDATE ELECTED TO PUBLIC OFFICE IN THE U.S.
Kathy Kozachenko, to the Ann Arbor, Mich., city council, in April 1974.
15. FIRST USE OF THE WORD HETEROSEXUAL
The word heterosexual first appeared in the 1890s in U.S. medical journals. It originally referred to individuals sexually attracted to both sexes.
16. FIRST MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT ON AIDS
In an article on the as-yet-unnamed syndrome, the July 3, 1981, New York Times reported the outbreak of a rare form of cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, among 41 previously healthy gay men. Dr. Alvin Friedman-Kien of New York University Medical Center said that at least nine of the men had "severe defects in their immunological systems."
17. FIRST GAY BAR IN THE UNITED STATES
Although there is some contention on the issue, many authorities believe that the first gay bar in the United States opened its doors in San Francisco in 1908.
18. FIRST OPENLY GAY PERFORMER ON A NETWORK TELEVISION SHOW
Terry Sweeney, who joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live in the fall of 1985. Sweeney quickly gained national attention for his acidly funny drag impersonations of then-first lady Nancy Reagan.
19. FIRST MAINSTREAM MOVIE TO ACKNOWLEDGE NAZI PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS
Mel Brooks's To Be or Not To Be, in 1983. One of the main characters is a gay theatrical dresser forced to wear a pink triangle; he is later arrested and condemned to deportation to a concentration camp, but is saved at the last minute.
20. FIRST U.S. CONGRESSMAN TO DIE OF AIDS
Stewart McKinney, a moderate Republican from Connecticut, in May 1987. He was 56.
21. FIRST PUBLIC DISPLAY OF THE AIDS QUILT
The AIDS Memorial Quilt was first publicly unfurled on October 11, 1987, in Washington, D.C., as part of a gay rights and AIDS-related protest march on the nation's capital. At that time, the quilt had slightly fewer than 2,000 memorial panels.
GAY CELEBRITIES AND HOW THEY MADE A LIVING BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS
1. BRUCE VILANCH (b. 1948), U.S. writer Child model for Lane Bryant
2. RUPERT EVERETT (b. 1959), British actor Prostitute
3. PAUL LYNDE (1926-1982), U.S. comic actor Killed and plucked chickens at a meatpacking plant
4. NATHAN LANE (b. 1956), U.S. actor Singing messenger
5. BOY GEORGE (b. 1961), British pop star Clothing store manager
6. DAVID GEFFEN (b. 1943), U.S. entertainment mogul Busboy at a resort in the Catskills
7. STEPHEN SONDHEIM (b. 1930), U.S. composer and lyricist Scriptwriter for the 1950s TV series Topper
8. ARMISTEAD MAUPIN (b. 1944), U.S. writer Aide to Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina
9. STEVE KMETKO (b. 1953), U.S. television anchorman Sewer pipe salesman
10. QUENTIN CRISP (1908-1999), British writer Model
11. TERRENCE MCNALLY (b. 1939), U.S. playwright Private tutor to John Steinbeck's son
12. J. EDGAR HOOVER (1895-1972), FBI director Librarian
13. WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS (1914-1997), U.S. writer Pest exterminator
Excerpted from The Gay Book of Lists by LEIGH W. RUTLEDGE Copyright © 2003 by Leigh W. Rutledge
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.