This week I talked with author Boze Hadleigh about his new updated edition of Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster published by Riverdale Avenue Books. This is a rare collection of exclusive interviews with Hollywood icons from the Golden Age of movies and TV including Dame Judith Anderson, Barbara Stanwyck, Capucine, Ann B. Davis, Nancy Kulp, Sandy Dennis, Agnes Moorehead, Edith Head and Patsy Kelly among others. There’s also fabulous stories and insight about Jodie Foster, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, Jane Lynch, Ellen Page and more. Renowned entertainment journalist and historian Hadleigh goes straight to the source and opens the film world and television’s closet door of yesteryear and brings it full circle to today with new fabulous material. This is a fascinating exploration of our LGBTQ community’s depiction and survival in the entertainment industry over the past century to present day. I talked to Boze about his inspiration for revising Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Hadleigh stated:
The most important thing for the LGBTQ community is simply to be out, to be open because the more people that admit that they are gay the less that can be done against us simply from numbers; number are so important. It use to be thought back when everyone was in the closet that hardly anyone was gay. It was like one person out of a hundred or a thousand, you know one freak something like that as opposed to a legitimate minority like let’s say left-handed people where you don’t always know who they are. So just coming out is the most important thing and of course in the case of having a leader like this who was elected by the Electoral College and not by the people and the Electoral College is an anachronism and it does go back to a time when the founding fathers, only fathers, no mothers, were in charge and calling injustices involved. That should not exist anymore; that’s one of the things people need to push for the abolition of the Electoral College so as in a true democracy the people elect their leader. That’s one thing and also about resisting you know in other words write to your congress person, resist anything that is unfair that is put out by this administration which almost everything they put out is unfair. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done with the Supreme Court situation but again just being active because this is one thing that I’ve always believed that when you’re gay and that always includes of course LGBTQ, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no fence sitting. Either you’re helping moving forward simply by being out for instance and by writing a letter or making a phone call, sending an email or you’re in the closet or you never do anything about it or say ‘Well that’s a terrible antigay thing.’ But what are you going to do about it? Are you saying anything about it? So to be more active to first of all be out of course and be more active about it because it doesn’t take a lot of time especially in this electronic age. So just be out there.
Boze Hadleigh is the foremost writer on LGBTQ Hollywood. His 22 books have been translated into 14 languages and yielded 11 TV documentaries and three plays. He holds a master’s degree in journalism, speaks five languages, has visited over 60 countries and even won on Jeopardy! His titles also include Hollywood Gays, The Lavender Screen, Sing Out!, Broadway Babylon, Celebrity Lies!, Marilyn Forever and An Actor Succeeds to name a few. Hollywood Gays and Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo To Foster are available on Riverdale Avenue Books.