Author, playwright and cultural critic Gore Vidal has died. He was 86 years old. According to The Advocate, Vidal died of pneumonia at his home in L.A.
"Although Vidal outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American writers to describe and embrace unambiguous homosexuality, he resisted being labeled as gay, saying there was no such thing as a homosexual person, only homosexual acts.
Born into a wealthy political family, Vidal first gained widespread public attention in 1948, with the publication of his novel The City and the Pillar, considered a landmark for its frank depiction of an openly gay character. He would write 25 novels, including the satiric best seller Myra Breckinridge, about a transexual woman, caused a sensation for its subject matter. It was turned into a 1970 film, which Vidal intensely disliked."
The Advocate and other gay sites/blog have referenced his 1986 TV appearance across from William Buckley as one of his greatest moments. While that is definitely true, the moment stands out for me is his appearance in CBS's 1967 report The Homosexuals. Most of the program is depressing to watch, with all the stereotypes of gay men on display (stereotypes that are still pushed by anti-gay organizations today), making Gore Vidal's segment nothing short of a revelation. Watch him separate fact from BS below (he comes in at the last 10-15 mins).