Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Author & Gay Icon Gore Vidal Dies

Our LGBT community has lost one of our most important voices. Gore Vidal died Tuesday at age 86. His nephew Burr Steers said Vidal died at his home in the Hollywood Hills of complications from pneumonia. Vidal had been living alone & had been sick for "quite a while," Steers said. Vidal’s partner of 55 years Howard Austen passed away in 2003. Vidal wrote of their relationship, "It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part & impossible, I have observed, when it does." They lived in Ravello, Italy, for more than 30 years. When I visited Ravello years ago their home was something I wanted to see being a big admirer of Vidal’s work. He wrote the first American novel "City and the Pillar" (1948), that dealt with homosexuality in a positive way. Of course he was viciously criticized for it but this attracted the notoriety that he savored for the rest of his life. One of his best-known novels was "Myra Breckinridge" a satire that dealt with transexuality & pornography & was considered shocking when it was published in 1970. It was turned into a movie with Rex Reed & Raquel Welch. It was slammed by critics when it was released but rent it if you haven’t seen it. It’s a must-see for our LGBT community. Vidal spent his life on the A List & was associated with every celebrity that was worth knowing. His second memoir, "Point to Point Navigation" (2006), is a Who's Who's list of celebrities including JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, Federico Fellini, Rudolph Nureyev, Elia Kazan & Francis Ford Coppola to name a few. He was always outspoken & represented our community with dignity & intelligence. He will be missed.

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