…it’s gone now: Liberace Museum Is Closing.
You’ve never heard of Liberace? Well… there’s this:
There’s also the heartbreaking story of Wladziu Valentino Liberace, born to immigrant parents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1919, who was so obviously, flamboyantly gay in a time and society that punished homosexuals with everything from social stigma to crimilization, and yet celebrated his on-stage personality as “…the summit of sex—the pinnacle of masculine, feminine, and neuter. Everything that he, she, and it can ever want… a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love” – a double bind if there ever was one. Liberace would take his “secret” to the grave at the age of 67, and even from his death bed, he fought newspaper allegations that he was dying of AIDS.
And then – this may come as a surprise - there’s this guy who really (really!) knew how to play the piano: