THE GUIDE TO LOST QUEER CINEMATIC CHARACTERS
Volume III: Films of the Fantastic and FeareD
The secret lives of LGBT characters from old films is finally revealed!
Bakin, Thomas (The Incredible Petrified World) b. 1922, d. 1989
The heir to the Bakin Flour Co. fortune, Thomas Bakin earned the wrath of his father for his interests in tennis rather than the family business, a major corporation in the 1950s. Bakin’s mother was concerned that her son’s keenness for the sport included the attentions of his tennis instructor, so she arranged for some large men to visit said instructor and forcefully recommend he leave Chicago and seek new clients on the East Coast. Much to his parents’ chagrin, Bakin followed after the man. A week later he received a telegram stating that if his mother did not see him in the society pages with a beautiful woman on his arm Bakin was would be written out of the will and left penniless. A heartsick Bakin found himself involved with reporter Dale Marshall, a vinegar-tongued woman reminiscent of his mother. Four months later the pair was engaged to be married in June of 1958. But in the spring of 1957 disaster struck when thousands and thousands of irradiated, enormous locusts devoured the wheat fields of the Midwest (as well as the farmers in the fields). The price of wheat futures skyrocketed and the Bakin Flour Co. found its supply costs unbearable; the company, founded just after the American Civil War, would months later be forced into bankruptcy. Emboldened by the fact that, regardless of whom he romanced he would never inherit a fortune, Bakin wrote Marshall—who was in the Caribbean on assignment, covering the story of an experimental diving bell—a letter calling off the engagement. He latter learned that Marshall threw the ring into the ocean. Bakin tracked down his former tennis instructor and resumed their relationship. Once California repealed its sodomy laws, the pair moved to Palm Springs and opened a small resort for gay tourists. Of interest to LGBT sport historians and enthusiasts: Bakin was one of the few friends of tennis pro Bill Tilden who did not shun the man after his arrests for soliciting boys, and Bakin loaned Tilden money to survive during the career droughts caused by probation. Bakin attended Tilden’s funeral in 1953.
Zutai (The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake) –b. 1843 d. 1959
Among the Jívaro tribe of the Loreto region of Peru, Zutai served as an assistant to the shaman and often secured for him rare plants for his medicinal brews. The Jívaro were headhunters and greatly feared, especially by Europeans. Wilfred Drake, who owned a trading station in the upper reaches of the Amazon, took vengeance on the tribe after they captured his agent—every Jívaro male and male child was slaughtered except for the witch doctor, who escaped, and his faithful Zutai, whose return to the village had been delayed because of a tryst with famed Peruvian botanist Cesar Guisse. Through black magic, the shaman and his assistant gained immortality at the cost of their soul. The shaman vowed that each male Drake would be murdered, beheaded once they reach their sixth decade. Before the turn of the 20th century, the shaman sewed Zutai’s lips shut, resembling the bound mouth of a shrunken head. The shaman claimed this was to prove his helper no longer needed sustenance but, in reality, it was punishment for Zutai’s poor fellatio skills (he suffered from severe ankyloglossia). When he was not helping his master’s heinous deeds, Zutai studied Bolivian Sign Language and Kegel exercises for personal enrichment. By 1959, only two male descendants of Drake lived. One was beheaded, as per the shaman’s curse, while the other, with the help of an American police inspector, managed to destroy both of the ageless Jívaro.