Outing the Stars of Yesteryear

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Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood
Curated by Bob Pranga and Steve Nycklemore
The Hollywood Museum

 

THE INTERSECTION of Hollywood and Highland is undoubtedly the center of tourism in Tinseltown. The Dolby Theater, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Wax Museum, and countless other destinations vie for the attention of visitors from all over the world. Just south of Hollywood Boulevard is the Max Factor building, a sprawling art deco structure where the makeup pioneer worked his magic. Now home to the Hollywood Museum, the building alone is worth the price of admission.

A current exhibition, Reel to Real: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood, occupies the entire third floor—and it is fascinating. Presented by the Hollywood Museum in partnership with L.A. City Council member Mitch O’Farrell and ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the exhibit covers nearly 120 years of queer Hollywood history, from an image in the 1895 short film commonly called “Gay Brothers,” which features two men dancing together, to artifacts from HBO’s The Normal Heart and a comprehensive display of the gay wedding from Days of Our Lives that aired last April.

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