“I think to be the Devil you have to be an Angel.”

Udo Kier illustration by Troy Wise

Born October 14, 1944

Udo Kier, an openly gay actor who has starred in over 250 films, was born in Cologne, Germany on October 14, 1944. In the 1960s, Kier started as a hustler in Frankfurt with his lover director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He has since built his career as a cult film star working alongside Keanu Reeves, Madonna, Bjork, Pamela Anderson, Jim Carrey and Rob Zombie, and collaborating with filmmakers and directors like Gus van Sant, Werner Herzog and Dario Argento. …

“Clear the house of all the men / It’s time for the women to get on in!”

Claire Waldoff illustration by Troy Wise

Born October 21, 1884

Cabaret singer Claire Waldoff was born on October 21, 1884 in Gelsenkirchen, Westphalia in the German Empire. Brash and infectiously comical, Waldoff’s vocal style is distinctively rough. She won over audiences with her ironic renditions of folk songs, street music and operettas, and often played on lesbian themes and double entendres. Throughout her career, the flamboyantly red-headed Waldorf confronted female stereotypes by smoking and cursing onstage while wearing men’s clothes.

Born Clara Wortmann, she was the eleventh child of a tavern owner. Waldoff wanted to be a doctor, but her parents’ divorce made…

“I don’t want to be labeled as either a pansy or a heterosexual. Labeling is so self-limiting. We are what we do — not what we say we are.”

Montgomery Clift illustration by Troy Wise

Born October 17, 1920

Actor Montgomery Clift, who was nominated for four Academy Awards, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 17, 1920. Clift often played the role of the sensitive, brooding young man of the post-World War II generation.

He worked alongside Hollywood’s best, including his friend Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Katharine Hepburn. Clift also appeared in plays by Tennessee Williams and Thornton Wilder, and movies by Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston and George Stevens.

Professionally, he was a method actor who put exhaustive development into his characterisations, and influenced the work of his friends…

“I am not a genuine woman, but I am not interested in genuineness.”

Candy Darling illustration by Troy Wise

Born November 24, 1944

Actress, model, Superstar of Andy Warhol’s Factory and transgender icon, Candy Darling was born on November 24, 1944. Raised on a diet of television and Hollywood movies as a child, Darling adopted actors Joan Bennett and Kim Novak as her role models. She lived her brief life teetering between glamour and artistic underground edge.

Darling was born in Forest Hills, Queens in New York. Her parents, James and Theresa Slattery, divorced while Darling was a child. Afterwards she moved to Long Island with her mother.

“A grief shared is half a grief, A joy…

“Self pity becomes your oxygen. But you learned to breathe it without a gasp. So, nobody even notices you’re hurting.”

Paul Monette illustration by Troy Wise

Born October 16, 1945

Poet, author and LGBT activist Paul Monette, known for his writing on gay relationships, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on October 16, 1945. Monette was educated at Yale University, it was in 1974 when Paul met lawyer Roger Horwitz that he accepted his sexuality.

After several years teaching literature at Milton Academy and Pine Manor College, he moved with Horwitz to Los Angeles in 1978 and became involved in the gay rights movement. …

The Relevant Queer

Troy Wise and Rick Guzman uncover overlooked stories of queer contributions to our world.

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