2003 Favorite Photos Hub




Gay Iconography: Is Marilyn Monroe One Of the Ultimate Gay Icons?

Marilynmonroe

There’s no doubt that Marilyn Monroe is all sorts of an icon. She’s an icon of femininity, an icon of sexuality, the iconic blonde bombshell. From her tumultuous and ultimately tragic history to her struggle with identity and hyper-sexual persona, she’s also been hailed as one of the ultimate gay icons.

Yes, there’s the pout, the fluttering eyelashes, the image of the wanton woman who wore only Chanel No. 5 to bed. All that is part of the big persona that continues to be a cultural touchstone, recognizable decades after her death. However, like Judy Garland, what’s made her such an enduring legend among gay fans lies in the more tragic aspects of her story. Marilyn’s fight against her dumb blonde image, her troubles with men and her crippling insecurity, made her a relatable presence for many who struggle with their sexuality, coming out and finding acceptance.

Born Norma Jeane, Marilyn overcame a troubled childhood, including growing up with her mentally ill mother, bouncing around foster care and suffering sexual abuse. She was married and divorced three times, and allegedly had an affair with Pres. John F. Kennedy. She made about 30 films before her death at age 36 from an overdose of barbituates.

During her too-short life, Marilyn often displayed a candor, wit and charm that belied the dumb blonde persona she became most famous for on screen. She also had some pretty progressive views for the time. She famously fought for Ella Fitzgerald to play a nightclub in Los Angeles by promising to sit front row every night. And she was ahead of her time on LGBT issues as well.

"When two people love each other, who cares what color or flavor or religion they are?” she said to the lesbian president of her fan club, Jane Lawrence, according to a recent biography. “It's two human beings. It's beautiful. Love is beautiful. It's that simple."

Spend some time with some of our favorite clips of Marilyn and her fans, AFTER THE JUMP

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Obama Attacks Romney By Praising Romneycare: VIDEO

Romneycare

It was inevitable. One of President Obama's most effective lines of attack in the upcoming race against Mitt Romney was always bound to be praise -- praise for the Massachusetts health care legislation known as "Romneycare," coupled with a wounded bewilderment that Romney, having declared Romneycare a viable model for national health care reform, would turn his back on his own good work after the Tea Party rebranded the legislation as a Trojan horse for Stalitroskymaoism. And here it is, the Obama campaign's first Romneycare-centered ad. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Westboro Baptist Church To Picket 'The Laramie Project." Again.

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Fred Phelps and the rest of his band of wacky members from the Westboro Baptist Church plan to show up at the Lake Tahoe Community College in California later this month to protest a production of “The Laramie Project." The Church notes the planned protest on it's Website and refers to the play, which they have picketed countless times before, as a "god-awful pail of pig slop." The school is preparing for the group's arrival and even the local police are offering this advice to those who get offended by their protests: "Don't get physical with them, period. If they create a disturbance and we're not there, call us.”

An Associated Student Council member of the school adds: “Every time I hear about someone protesting their protest, I don't encourage that because it stoops down to their level. The best way to get back at them is have many people show up and not say anything but walk in with their heads held high.”

One interesting (and sad) thing of note: the Westboro Baptist Church has participated in 42,821 hateful demonstrations times since 1991.


Tom

Los Angeles/Tom

This is probably the nicest photo I took all year, maybe ever. All the right elements came together — a beautiful guy, light, color, composition. If you're familiar with my site you've seen this series before, and you can find the rest of the photos here. I think many gay men have a fascination with identical twins and this series allows each of its subjects to have a twin for a moment. July 5, 2003.


Sex

Los Angeles/IMG_1475

We were doing a "sex" issue at the magazine I worked for last year, and just for fun I wanted to try something a little racier with the editor's photo, so I asked my friend Manuel if he would agree to shoot some photos. Well it turns out we had a little chemistry, so the shoot was basically an excuse to goof around. We ended up going with a photo that was a bit more conservative than this one, but this was my favorite. Deep inside, there's an exhibitionist just waiting to get out. May 22, 2003.


Eyes

Los Angeles/IMG_1594

Every now and then you meet someone who makes you look at yourself in a different way, who makes you want to be a better person in all ways. I met Dan at the end of May. A beautiful soul. I love his eyes and his smile, but most of all his sarcastic wit. I took this picture of him at a reception for an author in the penthouse of the Chateau Marmont in the early evening on June 7, 2003. We haven't spoken in awhile, but I still think about him a lot.


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