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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vito Russo & Neil Tennant: Happy Birthday to Two Gay Icons

Today happens to be the birthday of two of my favorite out, gay icons: the late Vito Russo, film historian, author, LGBT activist and co-founder of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) best known for his landmark book about the representation of gay men and women in film, "The Celluloid Closet." And Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys!

Russo developed material for "Closet" following screenings of films shown as fundraisers for the 1970s organization, Gay Activists Alliance. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1990.

I very highly recommend the book and, also, the film documentary (1995) based on it. Talking heads in the movie include Lily Tomlin, Shirley MacLaine, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hanks. Fabulous film clips!

Neil Tennant formed Pet Shop Boys with band mate Chris Lowe. Their first smash hit was "West End Girls" (1984) and, for three decades, they have remained successful and relevant in the realms of pop, dance-music and electronica, their singles and albums continually charting on both radio and club charts.  I've always considered this erudite neo-disco gentleman, Neil, a hottie as well (

The Pet Shop Boys' new dance album, Electric, will be released in the US, on July 16, on their new label, Kobalt.

So, Happy Birthday, Neil! Happy Birthday, Vito! Both your cultural contributions will never be forgotten.

Below, the Pet Shop Boys' new single off the Electric album. Maybe not much on lyrics (the Boys are usually verbose) but get ready to dance again!

1 comment:

  1. 3 gay icons really! Tab Hunter's too!