In our episode on Henrietta Bingham, we talked about her girlfriend, Helen Hull Jacobs, a World Number 1 tennis player who appeared on the cover of Time magazine on 14 September 1936. We idly wondered how many queer people have been on the cover of Time, and as it turns it, it’s a whole lot! This selection of covers comes from 1930s alone, and includes, along with Helen herself:
26 December 1932: American actress Katherine Cornell, who, though married, had relationships with several women, possibly including fellow actress Tallulah Bankhead.
30 January 1933: English writer, actor and composer Noël Coward, who had a long-term relationship with fellow actor Graham Payn, and was famous for his wide variety of skills and his flamboyant image
11 September 1933: American author Gertrude Stein who wrote several books, both fiction and non-fiction, about lesbian relationships.
11 June 1934: German writer Thomas Mann, who won the 1929 Novel Prize for Literature, and whose wrote novels reflecting his homosexual attraction.
30 December 1936: German-American actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, who had many love affairs with both men and women.
12 April 1937: English author Virginia Woolf, whose works have been translated into over fifty languages, and had relationships with both men and women.
13 December 1937: German tennis player Gottfreid von Cramm, who won the French Open twice, and was persecuted by the German government for homosexuality.
In conclusion, we can happily announce that, assuming Time continued into 2017 at this rate of at least 8 queer people per decade, over 70 queer people have probably graced its cover!