Hedy Lamarr. Actress. Mathematically talented, Lamarr also co-invented with composer George Antheilan early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.
A man wearing a suit and holding a trumpet rests against the chest of a woman who’s supporting his head.
This touching photograph was suggested by Wren, who wrote to say:This is one of the most evocative pictures capturing a moment of loving submission and caretaking that I have seen in a very long time. It just so happens to be of the legendary jazz trumpet player Chet Baker, taken by William Claxton in 1955. He’s simply beautiful, and their embrace is sublime. There is nothing quite as sexy as a beautiful, extraordinarily talented and young man in a suit…. Who can forget those chiseled features while listening to him play and sing “Almost Blue” live in Tokyo? There is a larger uncropped version of this picture, but this focus on Chet is my favorite.
Although this sort of picture isn’t particularly sexually charged, it is certainly heartwarming. Of course, while a heartwarming scene should be reason enough to depict masculine submission (submission unquestionably warms my heart), I’m more interested in Wren’s note that there “is nothing quite as sexy as a[n]…extraordinarily talented…man.”
Accoutrement like dress and age aside, competence is sexy. Though competence exists in myriad forms, only a one-sided slice of skills are acknowledged when it comes to sex. By and large, these skills are all of the so-called “active” ones; penetrating, flogging, binding—topping. Rarely are “receptive” skills—bottoming—actively considered. Perhaps this is because of the unfortunate misconception that bottoming is inherently a passive act.
Whatever the reason, and whatever the act, competency is gained through experience, practice, and questioning. It’s something that’s acquired not through some spontaneous or uncontrollable happenstance of luck and fate but by very deliberate efforts. In other words, you have to care about having it, or you won’t.
What do a ‘Communist draft-dodging homosexual sex-pervert’ and a ‘Civil Rights hero’ have in common?
Well, for starters, they’re sometimes the same person.
Bayard Rustin was an activist, teacher and administrator who played a key role in the Civil Rights movement — he acted as a secretary to Dr Martin Luther King, helped organise the Freedom Rides and bus integration protests, and was the key organiser for the 1963 March on Washington, at which King gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
So why have you never heard about Bayard Rustin in history class?
Because Bayard Rustin was gay.
In 1953, he was arrested in Pasadena, California for having consensual sex in a parked car with two male partners. He was initially charged with vagrancy and lewd conduct: the charges were later altered to a lesser count of ‘sex perversion’, to which he pleaded guilty. After his conviction, he was asked to leave the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the pacifist Civil Rights organisation that he worked for, and was later shunned or encouraged to take a behind-the-scenes role by many members of the movement (it’s important to remember that this may not have been completely due to the homophobia of the other civil rights leaders — they were acting under the fear of being smeared or blackmailed by right-wing opposition). Nevertheless, he managed to live through this stigma, and spent the rest of his life working for both African-American and gay civil rights.
Read more and find links to follow at the Secret Histories Project.
Character: Fem! Vincent Valentine
Series: Final Fantasy
Character: Red Riding Hood
Series:Little Red Riding Hood