PHOTOS: Gay Parties and Scandals of the 1920s

We are completely enraptured by these snippets of gay-themed newspaper articles from what looks like the 1920s (or thereabouts).

Flickr user Posterazzi posted them a couple of years ago, but only just now did we stumble across them. And what a find!

Obviously, they’re using the words “gay” and “queer” in a more innocent context, but they are all nonetheless delightful.

Scroll down for some historical/hysterical treasures.



Photographing fairies in the Village is like shooting fish in a barrel, but we assume this article is actually about mythical winged creatures in a remote hamlet. Although the text is too small to read, it’s probably about Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, two British teens who hoaxed the country and at one point won the support of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. the images look rather convincing, but the ladies admitted in the 1980s that they just cut out cardboard fairies from a book, taped them to some branches, and wound up perpetuating a myth for 60 years.

It’s a bizarre and crazy story and definitely very queer. Meaning, it was weird.



Ah yes, the gay return of the shuttlecock. If the shuttlecock does not return to you, it was never really yours to keep.



Here we see prototypical versions of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and the other one. These would actually make a pretty awesome queen-themed deck of cards. Someone please set up an Etsy store.



We have no idea what this could possibly be about, since most of the Portland fairies we know are of the decidedly more modern Radical variety. Portlanders, please chime in: is this a thing? Or was it at some point? Why have Fred and Carrie not visited it yet?



A quick search reveals that The Trufflers was made in 1917, and it makes the gay bohemian life sound amazing. First of all, what are those queens doing with those swans? Is this some sort of gay swan makeout picture? Also, just feast your eyes on this synopsis:

Unable to tolerate her father’s sanctimony any longer, Sue Wilde leaves home for the lure of the stage and bohemianism of Greenwich Village. While acting in the theater of Jacob Zanin, a producer who professes the idealism of pure art while lusting for fame and success, Sue meets playwright Peter Ericson Mann who falls in love with her, as does Henry Bates, a hard-working critic. When Sue foresakes him, Mann, driven desperate by jealousy, betrays to the press Sue’s secret that her father has embezzled church funds. The old man, unable to bear the disgrace, ends his life, forcing Sue to recognize the hypocrisy of the people that surround her. She gives up her career and bohemian life to be with Bates, who, unlike Peter and the other trufflers, is an honest, decent man.

Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be available to watch anywhere. But you can read the novel on which it’s based.



Check out the rosy cheeks on old Earle! Might want to cool it with the rouge, girl.

What we love most about this ad is that the formula has not changed in 100 years. You basically see the exact same “get ripped now” and “Mike Chang’s 60 day abs” commercials all over the internet. The only difference is that we dropped the hyphen in “to-night.”


Buy meat! It can’t be beat.



What a butch Daddy Mr. Clean has always been. The caption on this image might as well have been “lick my boots, boy.” Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all.


“Gay Grand Dukes Keep Paris Guessing,” reads this headline. Guessing whether they’re gay or European, we suppose.



Of course Tallulah Bankhead is taking the leading role in something called Let Us Be Gay. Of course.

It’s rumored that when asked whether another Hollywood star was gay (it might’ve been Montgomery Clift or Tab Hunter, depending on the telling), she replied, “I don’t know. He’s never sucked my cock.”


Gay college petting parties? Sign us up! Missouri University alumni, can you confirm this alleged drainpipe-shimmying?