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Sun Apr 23, 2017, 09:20 PM

Food, Sex and Silence

'James Beard was large. His obituaries told you so. “Portly” was how The Associated Press put it. The Los Angeles Times said that he was nearly 300 pounds at his apogee, though The New York Times clarified that a diet at one point “divested him of some of his heft.”

Nature divested him of his hair. He was bald, as all of those obituaries prominently noted.

He was also gay. Good luck finding a mention of that.

Oh, there were winks. “A lifelong bachelor.” “An Oregon-bred bachelor.” Oregon-bred? Makes him sound like a dairy cow. Or maybe a mushroom.

But there was nothing in those remembrances about his 30-year relationship — at first romantic, then less so — with Gino Cofacci, who was provided for in Beard’s will. Nothing about Beard’s expulsion from Reed College in the 1920s because of his involvements with other men. This newspaper’s obituary simply called him a “college dropout.”

It was published in 1985. The world has changed. And that progress is reflected in a new documentary, “James Beard: America’s First Foodie,” that PBS will air next month as part of its American Masters series.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/opinion/sunday/food-sex-and-silence.html?ref=opinion

XP post: https://www.democraticunderground.com/115764242

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