Titanic – The Untold Gay Story (via Xtra.ca)


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On April 10, 1912 the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England to New York. It sank in the North Atlantic Ocean four days later. Among the passengers there were the wealthy, the famous and the gays.

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“Clearly there were just as many queer people a century ago as there are today,” says Hugh Brewster, the author of RMS Titanic, Gilded Lives on a Fatal Voyage.

Brewster’s book enlists Frank Millet, a gay man, as the protagonist in his account of the events on the ill-fated voyage. Brewster devotes an entire chapter, “Queer Lot of People,” to the Titanic’s gay and lesbian passengers.

Brewster has written several books about the Titanic. He also worked with Robert D. Ballard on The Discovery of the Titanic and oversaw the creation of Titanic: An Illustrated History, which provided the inspiration for James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Titanic.

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Unsinkable Love: One Of The Titanic’s Heroes And His Rarely Acknowledged Relationship

By Richard Davenport-Hines

When the Titanic sank, Maj. Archibald Butt, a military adviser to President William Howard Taft and former aide-de-camp to his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, was among the heroes of the hour. Amid the disaster on the night of April 14-15, 1912, Butt fulfilled all the archetypes of manly courage, escorting women from their cabins to lifeboats, standing back to let them live and facing death with selflessness. One of the women he helped to save — he had known her when she gave music lessons to the Roosevelt children in the White House — later testified that after he helped her into the lifeboat, he tucked a blanket around her with careful nonchalance, as if she was going for a breezy ride in an open car.

Taft wept when it was confirmed that Butt was lost in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. Much of Washington grieved. In the press rooms of the White House and the War, State and Navy buildings, as one reporter wrote at the time, “the name of Maj. Archie Butt, once synonymous of laughter and jest, now symbolic of heroism, was repeated while eyes blurred and voices became queerly strained.” Ever since 1912, writers have depicted Butt as an archetypal Southerner and military officer. They have not noticed, or have shrunk from mentioning, that his was also love story, a story involving another man, Frank Millet.


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  1. As a Titanic historian and lecturer, I confess to being a bit disappointed that it’s taken 100 years for the stories of these brave men to come out (if you’ll pardon the pun). Be that as it may, I am enormously pleased and proud that they have. The legend of the great ship and its people is only enhanced and magnified by the bravery and heroism of these fine men. Gay or straight, they are an inspiration to us all. May they rest in peace.

  2. Best comment so far CSPPTransvestite. I have Nothing to add to your Insightful & Intelligent comment. BRAVO ! 🙂

  3. Great choice Sarge!! I personally would enjoy seeing more of this type of informative and very important reporting that has been relegated to the sidelines of history!

  4. I’m interested but not willing to put up with that hideously over-dramatic music. Sorry folks, it doesn’t actually convey or add anything to whatever story it is you are trying to tell.
    disco music on a piece about the titanic.. get overyourselves!!!

  5. To bad the JJ Astor lost his life, but he is butt ugly or as the saying goed umbelievebly fuckin ugly~~~~

  6. May I ask what’s so “laugh out loud” funny about the loss of more than 1,500 lives?

    Lurker’s right — the music is awful. The music played by the Titanic’s dance band (all of whom perished) was far superior.

    And re. John Jacob Astor: True, he wasn’t the world’s best-looking man, but he certainly didn’t deserve to die because of his appearance.

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