Synopses & Reviews
Gean Harwood's double autobiography of his and Bruhs Mero's long life together is a moving and, at times, frightening journey through the gay and lesbian scene of New York City from 1927 to the present. Covering Harwood's childhood, the couple's professional life in the arts, the fear and repression of the McCarthy era, and Gean and Bruhs's triumphant "coming out" in the eighties, The Oldest Gay Couple in America is an intimate look at the worlds of dance and theater, through fear and hope, and through the strife and fierce joy of two lives intertwined.
Writing with style and wit, Harwood chronicles his encounters with screen stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood-Mae West, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, and others. He details his partner's training and performances in the blossoming Manhattan world of modern dance in the mid-twentieth century, profiling many of the people who were to influence this field for decades to come.
This is a classic tale of love and loyalty in a lifestyle frequently dismissed as focusing on physical rather than spiritual beauty. It is about two people who shared a lifetime commitment and who, despite turmoil and discrimination, weathered life's storms to emerge stronger and wiser. Before Bruhs was fully incapacitated by Alzheimer's Disease, he and Gean became the toast of the New York gay scene. Harwood chronicles their late emergence as spokespersons for older gays and as role models for the young.
Because of the acceptance, in many quarters, of gay life today, it is easy to forget how far the gay rights movement has come since the days when Gean and Bruhs traveled the "corridor of fear; " as Harwood puts it. This is the first book totrace the long, sometimes painful, and always absorbing route these two men were forced to navigate in pursuit of the freedom to be themselves.