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January 19, 2011



Love it.

Charles Francis

Screenwriter Black needs to discuss where this Eastwood-directed script is going with J. Edgar Hoover and gays. This subject is too serious for games or winks. So many people were ruined. DiCaprio and Black met with Frank Kameny, age 85, yesterday at Kameny's home in Washington, D.C., with no one else in the living room. Hoover was a monster...especially toward gay Americans from FDR to Truman to Eisenhower to Kennedy to LBJ. Where is Dustin Lance Black going with this screenplay? Where will Eastwood take it? It is a real question. This is pure dynamite. Are gay Americans going to get a fair shake, or will homosexuality be treated as a perved-shadowy moment in a film that is "balanced" or "complex" about Hoover?

David Ehrenstein

Clint isn't interested in games or winks. He's become a deeply serious filmmaker.

Michael Bedwell

In addition to agreeing with the concerns of Charles Francis [lots of "deeply serious filmmakers" have treated gays abysmally in their work, and, Oscar notwithstanding, Black's grasp of historical gay truth has already been proven lacking], I respectfully challenge the statement that Tolson was Hoover's "longtime partner" in the romantic/sexual sense. I happen to BELIEVE he was, but I've yet to see any documentation, and this is not the kind of "a priori truth" that serves us well. Recently, a well-known gay activist who is a hero to me wrote on his blog that the two are "buried side-by-side" which is a myth no less true for its popularity.

There is an amusing incontrovertible gay connection to their graves. Anti gay military ban pioneer Leonard Matlovich [Kameny was the inspiration and mentor for his challenge to the Air Force] chose the location for his own grave in Washington's Congressional Cemetery in the same row as Tolson and Hoover. Hoover is several yards down in a small, fenced-in family plot while Tolson is only four graves from Leonard's iconic gravesite. Tolson's is identified by the pink [!] stone in the photo at: http://tinyurl.com/4dcvcea.

It was but one of the reasons Leonard chose Congressional over Arlington [Peter Doyle, Walt Whitman's great love, is also buried in the former], but he often laughed imagining the outrage of various FBI Troglodytes when, in their pilgrimage to Hoover's and Tolson's graves, they read Leonard's epitaph: "A Gay Vietnam Veteran - When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."

In any case, while Frank is likely only to have been able to repeat hearsay about Hoover and Tolson, it's marvelous that a star of DiCaprio's standing wanted to hear directly the great man's own encounters with the FBI.

PS: an article about the at least BFFs in a 1953 edition of "ONE" is thought to have led to the magazine's first trouble with the Postal Service, which in turn led to a precedent-setting Supreme Court free speech ruling. The following is an excerpt of an interview with the late Jim Kepner in "Making History" by Eric Marcus:

"That article attracted the interest of the FBI. Much later, through the Freedom of Information Act, we found a note from Hoover to Tolson, which I have a copy of somewhere in storage, saying, 'We've got to get these bastards'. There was also a note to the post office from Hoover urging them to check into ONE.

At the same time as the seizure, the FBI showed up at ONE's office wanting to know who had written the article about Hoover. They also came to visit me a couple of times and visited most members of the staff. One of the FBI agents sat right there in that chair. I was nervous; it was a tense situation. They asked me if a couple of members of the staff were Communists, and I hooted and said that they were very conservative. They were. I probably shouldn't have even told them that. I did say that I had been a member of the Communist party and that I had been kicked out for being gay. They wanted me to name people I had known in the Party and what they did. I owed no thanks to the Party for kicking me out, but I would not give information about individuals who were in the Party, whom I still respected."

- Michael Bedwell

Michael Bedwell

The URL to the photo of Tolson's grave near Leonard's doesn't seem to be working. Let's try:


David Ehrenstein

What would constitute "documentation" for you? Pictures? Love letters? A blue cum-stained dress from the GAP?

Dean Van de Motter

Wow, Stephen! Awesome guesswork. Can't wait to see how right you were.


Justin Bieber Shoes

Love those! I enjoy following your posts on facebook and rss!

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