Angelina Jolie at the 76th Annual Academy Awards in 2004
Sierra Boggess as Christine Daae
Rinko Kikuchi | ph. Marcus Mam
Hi it’s my birthday, I’m 21 and I pulled off the cute messy selfie look
Joan of Arc by Albert Lynch (1851-1912)
engraving from Figaro Illustre magazine, 1903
Johnnie Phelps, a woman sergeant in the army, thought, “There was a tolerance for lesbianism if they needed you. The battalion I was in was probably about ninety-seven percent lesbian.”
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’ “
“And he was kind of taken aback a bit. And then this women standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the General pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelp’s name may be second, but mine will be first.”
“Then I looked at him, and said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all the drivers-every woman in the WAC detachment-and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us-then I’ll be happy to make that list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancy. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious conduct.”
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’” —
The Gay Metropolis, page 47, Charles Kaiser (via bibliothekara)
Phelps tells this story herself in the excellent 1984 documentary Before Stonewall, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube (she’s at 19:30, but really, watch the whole thing).
Okay honestly though, Shakesqueer (Madhavi Menon, ed.) is still the best book ever. Like, it has actual academic essays and some of them make excellent points but then I also can’t stop laughing while reading it. Here are some gems from the essay on Richard II by Judith Brown:
- "[Richard’s] word-fondling tongue has also made him an object of some suspicion: as one mid-twentieth-century critic complained, he ‘calls out the latent homosexuality of critics’."
- "Pater […] claims that lyric poetry ‘preserves the unity of a single passionate ejaculation’."
- ”[…] it is Richard’s tongue as it shapes, forms, fondles, and luxuriates over the words that have, for centuries, excited his critics. […] The tongue is queer.”
- [On Richard’s speech at 5.5.37 f., “Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke / And straight am nothing”:] “And if straight he is nothing, he leaves room for a queer something.”
- "[Richard] is the king of glam."