Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, April 21, 2024


UPDATE: Rex died in late March, 2024, in Amsterdam.

When the artist known as Rex began working in New York City in the mid 1960s, his erotic pointillist style drawings gained immediate notoriety. At the time, photographic erotica was still illegal, but drawings and stories were protected by U.S. Supreme Court Free Speech rulings. His art was showcased in various gay magazines, such as Drummer, Straight to Hell, Honcho and The Advocate, and for a brief time his work illustrated S&M and leather-themed paperback erotic novels.

In addition to his hardcore illustrations, Rex produced poster art for gay venues in NYC and San Francisco. A famous series of iconic posters, calendars and T-shirt designs were commissioned by the legendary New York sex club, The Mineshaft. However, it was his depraved, hardcore fetish drawings in a series of self-published portfolios circulated underground that cemented his reputation as a leading artist of homoerotica. Rex was to illustration what Mapplethorpe was to photography.

A numbered limited edition hard cover portfolio of his drawings was published in Paris in 1986, and Rex Verboten, a retrospective hardcover volume on his work, was distributed by the German publishing house Bruno Gmünder.

As a creator of hyper-masculine, sexually perverse and psychologically disturbing imagery, his subject matter fell victim to the political correctness and self-censorship that intimidated gay media during the Reagan era. For this reason, Rex relocated to Europe, where he lived and worked (Amsterdam) until his death last month (March, 2024).
Among his contemporaries, Rex’s work stands out for its challenging content. His art continues to be confrontational and controversial as he dares to produce images of marginal and perverse sexual urges that many of his viewers may not ever want to admit to but nevertheless find savagely erotic.

Because this blog does not contain hardcore adult content, it was difficult to find examples to illustrate this post. Enter "Rexwerk" into a search engine, however, and mind-blowing examples of his art will sear into your mind. Amazing, singular stuff.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chad Griffin

Chad Griffin was president (2012-2019) of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.

Since joining HRC as president in 2012, Griffin steered the organization into a fervent era of the fight for equality. He spearheaded investment in the 2012 elections that enabled victories from coast to coast and led advocacy around the Supreme Court’s rulings striking down Proposition 8 (which in 2008 barred recognition of same-sex marriages in California) and the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. He also sat on the board of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation New Orleans, which builds houses for those who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina.

At age 19 Griffin became the youngest-ever member of a presidential staff while working for Bill Clinton. He dropped out of college to take the job. After leaving the White House, Griffin graduated from Georgetown University and went on to forge a career in political strategy. At a private dinner with LGBT donors in 2012, Griffin asked Joe Biden the question, “What do you feel about us?” The dinner was held at the home of a gay male couple and their two children, and  Biden answered, “I wish every American could see the look of love that those kids had in their eyes for you guys. Then they wouldn’t have any doubt what this is about.” President Obama announced his own support for same sex marriage a few days later, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so. 

Griffin is passionate about extending HRC’s work to millions more, especially to young people in states like Arkansas, where Griffin (now age 43) was born and raised. He was named one of The Advocate’s people of the year, and has been regularly featured on Out magazine’s Out 100 and Power 50 lists of influential LGBTQ Americans. The Washington Post named Griffin one of the most influential "out Washingtonians".

Chad began dating longtime friend Charlie Joughin in 2015, and the couple walked the red carpet together at the September 2016 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, DC. For five years Joughin served as national press secretary for HRC.  As of this posting, the two are still very much an LGBTQ "power couple".

Primary source – HRC web site

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Felix Felixovich Yusupov


At age 16 Prince Felix posed for the painter Valentin Serov in 1903. That portrait, above, is now on display at the St. Petersburg Museum.


Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov (1887-1967) was an immensely wealthy* Russian aristocrat, prince and count best known for masterminding the assassination of Rasputin and marrying the niece of Czar Nicholas II. He was exceptionally handsome and participated in homosexual affairs throughout his married life. His wife put up with it, so long as she was “the only woman”. It was reported that Felix liked to dress up in drag as a teenager, until his parents found out and put a stop to it.

*The Yusupov family was far wealthier than the Romanoffs; they had four palaces in St. Petersburg and three in Moscow, out of a total of nearly forty residences located throughout Russia and eastern Europe.


Below: the Baroque Theatre inside the Yusupov "Moika" palace in St. Petersburg.


In December 1916 Felix and several co-conspirators lured Rasputin to Felix’s St. Petersburg “Moika” palace, poisoned him, shot him and threw him off a bridge into the Malaya Nevka River. Felix and his cronies were not charged with the murder. The prince, exiled during the revolution, lived out his life in Paris, where he died at age 80.

In her 2017 book*, Princess Olga Andreevna Romanov wrote that Prince Felix was bisexual, and that he and Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich (a Romanoff) were lovers for a time. The Grand Duke was a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (British Queen Elizabeth II’s consort). The Grand Duke was also one of Felix’s co-conspirators in the assassination of Rasputin.

*"Princess Olga: A Wild and Barefoot Romanov" 2017. 200 pages, hardcover only.