Feb 28, 2017

Forrest Millard, the First Gay Physique Model

During World War II, Forrester Dorlac moved from Missouri to Los Angeles with his parents.  He went out for gymnastics, and used to work out on Muscle Beach in Santa Monica with the other bodybuilders.  A lot of gay men used to come down to watch -- Forrester was straight, but he loved the attention -- and one day in 1946, Bob Mizner invited the 16-year old to his mother's house in downtown Los Angeles for a photo shoot.  It was fun to put on a skimpy posing strap, and recreate the poses of a classical Greek statue.  And it was gratifying to realize that guys found him attractive.

Forrester returned again and again for 15 photo shoots during the next 14 years, using the stage name Forrester Millard.   Bob sold the photos by mail order through his company, the Athletic Model Guild, and, beginning in 1951, Physique Pictorial, the first magazine aimed at a gay male audience (although it claimed to be for fitness enthusiasts).

He also appeared in a Mizner film.

Branching out, Forrester became the "mascot" for the Table of Contents of Tomorrow's Man beginning in 1954.

Mizner photographed thousands of men, including professional bodybuilders Ed Fury and Chris Dickerson, and film and tv stars like Sammy Jackson, Glenn Corbett, and Nick Adams, but he loved returning to Forrester, his first, and favorite, model.

In 1958, Forrester posed with  John Tristram for several openly homoerotic scenes, giving many gay men their first glimpse of same-sex desire and romance.  They were reprinted frequently during the 1960s,

In 1960 Forrester left Los Angeles and retired from modeling.  Eventually he married Barbara, and they had a son, Forrester Jr.  They lived in Rochester, Washington, near Olympia, for thirty years.

In 2009, Dennis Bell, head of the Bob Mizner Foundation, sought Forrester out for an interview.  He was surprised that he was still remembered, and gratified that he had a profound impact on gay culture, helping thousands of men come out.  He agreed to recreate some of his classic poses.

He died in 2011.

There are nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.

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