Pride: Lavender Marriages

For many actors during the 20th century, identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual was against the rules if one sought a thriving career on the big screen. It was important for their images to appeal to the opposite sex. Actors speculated to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual had to sign a contract with a moral clause indicating that they would not reveal their sexual identity if they identified in those three categories. If an actor came out to the public, they were released from their contract. As a result, Lavender Marriages were created by Universal Film Company. These were façade marriages between man and woman.

One example of this marriage was the union of Rudolph Valentino and Jean Acker.

The couple later divorced. These forced unions went on for decades and included actors such as Rock Hudson, Danny Kaye, Barbara Stanwyck, and Vicente Minelli, to name a few. Some actors chose to live openly gay, like actor Williams Haines, said to be the first openly gay Hollywood actor. 

While some individuals can openly share about themselves and how they identify, there are still people today in various work environments, communities, and countries who live in silence and or fear for their safety and well-being.

On June 28, 1969, nine New York Police found themselves in a riot at a bar in Greenwich Village.

The patrons at Stonewall, a gay club in New York City, were arrested, which sparked days of riots and protest, thus sparking notoriety and activism worldwide. In many states, being gay meant being subject to detention, fines, and even mortal harm, which is still an occurrence. Suicide is reported as the second leading cause of death among young people. Those who identify as LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) are four times more likely to seriously consider suicide (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018; Kann et al.,2018; Johns et al., 2019), yet there are still efforts to out and silence individuals instead building a space for dialogue or support systems. 

The first Pride event was held on June 27, 1970, the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

The Solano Pride Center is located in Fairfield, CA, and was founded by the Committee for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in 1988. The Solano Pride organization holds a variety of events along with support services and networking. The organization is holding a summer festival on June 3rd at Andrews Park in Vacaville, CA, from 12-4 PM.

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” Mahatma Gandhi