Events This Weekend: Pride Bergen, Norway; Boston LGBT Film Festival, Boston, MA; BeachBear Weekend, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Houston Splash, Houston, TX; BigHorn Rodeo, Las Vegas, NV; Pride Maspalomas, Gran Canaria; Pride Mykolayiv, Ukraine; AIDS Walk Ogunquit, ME.
Tom of Finland: 1920. Born Touko Laaksonen, Tom of Finland was famous for his stylized homoerotic and fetish art. Over a forty year career, he produced some 3,500 drawings in his unique exaggerated style. If Barbie dolls proportions represent an anatomically impossible ideal for women, Tom of Finland’s hypermasculine characters were portrayed in similarly fantastical idealization of manly men. His style was partly influenced by “beefcake” and “physique” magazines which skirted on the edge of U.S. censorship codes in the 1950s and 1960s. But as the codes were struck down in the 1960s over First Amendment issues, his drawings became more explicit and more overtly sexual. His drawings became the definitive style guide for leathermen through his portrayal of policemen, lumberjacks, sailors and bikers. Several examples of his “dirty drawings ” — his unabashed term for his artwork — have been acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He died of a stroke brought on by emphysema on November 7, 1991.
Darren Hayes: 1972. The singer-songwriter was the front man of Savage Garden. Their 1987 album by the same name peaked at #1 in Australia, #2 in the U.K., #3 in the U.S. Their biggest American hit was “Truly Madly Deeply.” Their follow-up album yielded another #1 hit in the U.S. with “I Knew I Loved You.” In 2002, he launched his solo career, and by 2005 it was clear that Savage Garden was through.
Darren married his “childhood sweetheart” in 1997. They divorced in 2000 after he told her that he was gay. After years of public speculation about his sexuality, Hayes came out on July 18, 2006, when he announced that he had married (via civil partnership) his boyfriend a month earlier. In April, 2007, he told The Advocate, “First of all, it took me a long time to even accept that I was gay. And then it took me a long time to be happy that I was gay.” That summer he headlined London’s Gay Pride at Trafalgar Square. You can see his video for “It Gets Better” here. His fourth solo album, Secret Codes and Battleships, was released in 2011.
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?