Vintage gay

Above is a photograph dating back to 1939 of Wystan Hugh Auden(left) (right) and Christopher Isherwood (right) (left). Auden was a poet from York, England but became a naturalized American after WWII. He collaborated with Isherwood on three plays from 1935-1938 who is perhaps better known to Americans. Isherwood also became a naturalized American and was a novelist, playwright and screenwriter during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The two maintained a lasting but intermittent sexual friendship from around 1927 to 1939.

While Auden married Erika Mann in 1935 to help her escape Nazi Germany both men were homosexuals. Any doubt of Auden’s orientation would be erased upon reading his erotic poem, The Platonic Blow (A Day For A Lay), written in 1948 to American poet, Chester Kallman.

I dedicate this weekly post, featuring vintage gay photographs, to the men and women who lived in a more critical time where being true to yourself and loving who you want wasn’t always an option and came at a great price. Do you have a photo you would like to share? Email me at

Previous Vintage Gay Photos

5 responses to “Vintage gay

  1. Hi. I think you have them reversed. Isherwood is on the left, Auden on the right.


  2. Actually, Auden is on the right.


  3. Loved the poem. 1948 – such erotica for that time!!



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