Gay and Lesbian People in History


GayHeroes.comLeading Russian composer of the 19th century, considered the master composer of classical ballet, Tchaikovsky's work remains some of the most beloved music ever written. His ballet "The Nutcracker" is a perennial favorite, performed all over at Christmas time, though he considered it inferior to his "Sleeping Beauty" which Disney adapted for the animated feature of the same name. Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture -- all these are among the best-known staples of "classical" music, enjoyed by concert-goers the world over. The next time you hear the U.S. Marine Band playing the incredibly stirring and victorious 1812 Overture, with its booming cannons, you might recall the fact that it was written by a gay man. I don't know if you'd want to mention it to the Marine boys in the band or not. Don't ask, don't tell....



Thanks to the camera, we don't have to speculate about what Tchaikovsky looked like.



Tchaikovsky Class

Here's our boy at a miltary school, called the School of Jurisprudence, where they apparently make men out of boys....


That's Tchaikovsky on the right, building unit cohesion with an unknown komrade on the left.
Thanks for the photo, Matt!


No question he was gay....

Alternating between periods of elated composition and nervous breakdowns, Tchaikovsky finally married a student of his. Ai, caramba what a bad idea. She was a nymphomaniac and he tried to kill himself. Somehow he got out of it, and secured an annuity from a wealthy patroness which enabled him to give up teaching and spend his life composing and traveling. His brother, Modeste, was also gay. Finally Tchaikovsky fell hopelessly in love with his young nephew "Bob", pictured here. The overwhelming anguish this caused led Tchaikovsky GayHeroes.comto compose his famous Symphony #6, the "Pathetique".

Tchaikovsky & Bob



 "Only now, especially after the story of my marriage, have I finally begun to understand that there is nothing more fruitless than not wanting to be that which I am by nature."

-- letter to his brother, February, 1878



Tchaikovsky Symphony

The "Pathetique"  symphony, dedicated to his beloved Bob, evokes feelings of tragedy and pathos, especially in its last movement. Within a week of its first performance, Tchaikovsky was dead.
There was uproar galore in Russia over the beloved Tchaikovsky's death from cholera, an illness which could have been treated if diagnosed in time. Subsequent rumors that Tchaikovsky killed himself because he was implicated in a scandal with a young nobleman seem to be based on lurid speculation.

Tchaikovsky is a testament to the human spirit, GayHeroes.comcapable of molding overwhelming anguish into a creation of transcendent, ravishing beauty.  


 All righty then, let's hear it!

Heroes, Myths, & Legends Sample 1812 Overture

Heroes, Myths, & Legends Sample Romeo & Juliet

Heroes, Myths, & Legends Sample Symphony #6, "Pathetique"

You may have to stare off into space for a minute while the music downloads. Enjoy this quality time with yourself.


Heroes, Myths, & Legends BookstoreYou can get books and CDs about Tchaikovsky at your library.


of gay pop songs!

with tunes like "I Like Mike" and
"Cryin' Over Brian"

And what about you???

Tchaikovsky's immortal music is the brilliant legacy of his troubled life. Despite your pain, or even because of it, how can you beautify the world? Fill out a HERO FORM and tell the world what you're up to. We'll post your story here at HM&L on our LEGENDS LIST for all to see. It's easy, it's fun, it's self-aggrandizing!

Fill out a HERO FORM! Don't MYTH your chance to be on the LEGENDS LIST! Click here to fill out a HERO FORM. Click here to check out the LEGENDS LIST.

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Do you think the people featured here at were gay?
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Jay Spears
Date Last Modified: 7/20/2009