Oct 21, 2014
Or they went to see one of the many silent film or theatrical versions.
The characters and events were as intimately familiar as anything in today's Harry Potter or Twilight series.
You would call anyone evil a Simon Legree.
Anything with an unknown origin was compared to Topsy, who was never born; she "just growed."
Jokesters called anyone impossibly virtuous a Little Eva.
By the 1940s, his name was being applied to African-Americans who supported or abetted racist policies. Today anyone in an oppressed group who sells out to the oppressor is called an Uncle Tom.
Like the gay writers and actors who fill our tv screens with screaming-queen stereotypes.
And he wasn't a doddering oldster: he was in his 40s, still strong, his muscles an object of both admiration and fear.
The comic book versions depict him as more of a sex symbol than an elderly minstrel, his overalls falling open to reveal his massive chest.
The poster for the 1965 film version (top photo) shows the back side of a naked muscleman, and promises: "the real story of how it all happened -- the SLAVES, the MASTERS, the LOVERS!"
Although the movie contains no nudity and no lovers.
Simon Legree, who beats him because he refuses to harm another man.
And especially Augustine St. Clare, the gay-vague fop who opposes slavery even though his wife forces him to own slaves, and who wants to free Tom but can't bear the idea of not being able to gaze on his sleek, shimmering muscles anymore.
See also: The Uncle Tom Award #1: Todd Graff; and Brock Ciarlelli, the Uncle Tom of the Middle.
The new tv series returns to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin, left), who experienced a Batman-like trauma early in life, when his mother was killed and his father was framed for the murder.
Raised by the kindly Detective West (Jesse L. Martin), he has grown up into a police investigator and paranormal specialist, a moody Fox Mulder. Then, after being doused with chemicals and hit by lightning, he discovers that he has become a "metahuman" with special powers.
The accident created other metahumans, too, with various powers. Some are good, some evil. And there's an Agency with a sinister interest in them. And Barry's dousing with chemicals wasn't really an accident. It has something to do with who killed his mother....
Will there be any gay content?
Lots. Even a couple of gay characters: Barry's boss, Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui, left), is gay, although this fact hasn't been mentioned yet, and his boyfriend Hartley (Andy Mientus) will become a super-villain, the Pied Piper.
Barry is played by Grant Gustin, who played a gay character on Glee.
Iris West (Candice Patton) was Barry's girlfriend, then wife, in the comics, but here the two were raised together, so a romance between the adopted brother and sister might not be on the table.
And there will be ample beefcake. Many superheroes and villains will be dropping by, including The Arrow (Stephen Amell), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell).
Oct 20, 2014
The social calendar began in June, with Gay Pride. Then:
Sunset Junction (August)
AIDS Walk (September)
Hollywood Film Festival, Halloween Parade (October)
Hollywood Christmas Parade, Thanksgiving (November)
The L.A. Gay Men's Chorus Christmas Concert (December)
The Tournament of Roses (January)
Valentine's Day (February)
Cinco De Mayo (May)