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Sexy Beefcake: George Nader

Our most-recent contest to "Guess the Sexy Beefcake" came away with Topher and Tim who knew it was George Nader.  A few others didn't know who George was, but they emailed me to ask for more photos of him!  There's a lot more about George coming up here at VGMH, including his often-overlooked place in gay media history, especially with regards to his very famous buddy pictured below.
Rock and George
It's just a simple fact that actor/author George Nader's (October 21, 1921-February 4, 2002) Hollywood career never approached the same level of fame of that of his lifelong friend and box office rival, Rock Hudson.  Sometimes, life just goes that way.   Or did, as some suggest,  Hollywood executives sabotage his chances at leading man stardom?  Much more on this subject is coming up.

Gay men of the 1950s lived in a very different world than today.  This was no joke.  The sun may have shined a lot in 1950s California, but that didn't mean that everything was 'peaches and cream swell' in the Golden State.  So before going any further with our story, VGMH must first start turning the dials and flipping those switches on our time machine that takes us back to that era's darker side.  The extreme repression of gays and lesbians in American society served to keep almost all gays closeted to all but their most trusted loved ones.  The 1950s was a period when gay men were perceived as perverted freaks that threatened the fabric of society.  

It was expected that "normal" people would detest homosexuals and approve of them being discriminated against (or worse).  By early 1953, homosexuality became (by executive order  under Republican President Eisenhower) a 'necessary and sufficient' reason in itself to fire any federal employee from his or her job. Most defense industries and others with government contracts followed suit, and the U.S. Postal Service aided these industries by putting tracers on suspected homosexuals' mail in order to gather enough evidence for dismissal and possibly arrest.   In California, Hollywood films helped the hatred as they portrayed gays as being evil, tragic and suicidal figures. Ironically, scores of talented gay artists making hit films were tolerated as long as they did what they were told, even though their sexuality was oftentimes known.   Still, disgruntled studio executives, talent agents or co-workers could destroy a career.  It was a burden and stress that was constant with gay men and women and something their straight counterparts did not have to worry about.

After serving in World War II, many servicemen stayed on the west coast port cities of San Francisco and Southern California.  Rock Hudson was one of them.  Some of these young men unfortunately found themselves the victims of police raids and arrests.  So with that scenario, in the next post we'll return to the very interesting lives of George Nader and Rock Hudson.

But to get us into the frame of mind back then, Boys Beware is worth another viewing.  This 1955 educational film warns against "the dangers of homosexuality," which is described as "a sickness of the mind." The ten minute video was produced by the Unified School District and the Police Department of Inglewood, California.