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.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Richard Blanco

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced that Richard Blanco, a partnered Latino gay immigrant, will read an original poem at President Obama's inauguration on January 21. Blanco, age 44, will be the nation's fifth inaugural poet and as such will augment a group that includes Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. John F. Kennedy was the frst president to name an inaugural poet.

Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles living in Spain, was raised and educated in Miami. He will be the youngest-ever inaugural poet, the first Latino, and the first LGBT person to read a poem at a presidential inauguration. His reading will be part of the swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Blanco lives in Maine with his partner, Mark, and we may presume that Richard is dealing well with the challenge of writing a poem for the ceremony (no pressure!). He intends to write three poems from which the inaugural team may select the one for him to read during the ceremony.

Blanco’s latest collection of poetry, “Looking for the Gulf Motel” (2012) deals with his life as a gay man in conservative Cuban culture. Richard has worked for years as a structural engineer and only recently devoted himself to writing poetry full-time.

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