On This Gay Day: John Caleo from ‘Holding the Man’ died

John Caleo died on this day in 1992  

The story of Timothy Conigrave and his partner John Caleo has captivated Australian audiences since Tim’s posthumous autobiography Holding the Man was released in 1995.

The true story of two young guys who fell in love while they were students at a Catholic High School, has gone on to be a bestselling book, a successful play, an award winning film and a documentary.

The couple met at school in the 1970’s but their lives were cut short when they were both diagnosed with HIV in 1985, a time before their were successful treatments were available. John Caleo died on January 26th in 1992 aged 31, his partner Tim died on the 18th October 1994 aged 34.

Tim, who was an actor, finished his autobiography just weeks before he passed away. Holding the Man became a best-seller, and was adapted into a play in 2006. The production played in most Australian capital cities and had a season in London’s West End.

In 2015 it was turned into a film with Ryan Corr portraying Tim and Craig Stott playing John. The cat also included Anthony LaPaglia, Guy Pearce, Sarah Snook, Kerry Fox and Geoffrey Rush.

The same year a feature length documentary Remembering the Man was released. It won the audience prize for Best Documentary at the Adelaide Film Festival.

Ellen DeGeneres was born on this day in 1958

The comedian made history in 1997 when she came out as gay on the cover of Time Magazine, while simultaneously coming out in character on her self titled sitcom Ellen. 

The show was soon cancelled but DeGeneres has a second wind her career when she launched her popular talk show. The show has recently made some changes after crew members complained about bullying amongst the team.

DeGeneres is married to Australian actor Portia de Rossi.

Rent opens on Broadway

The musical Rent opened on this day in 1996. The off-Broadway production ran for six-weeks at the New York Theater Workshop. Based loosely on Giancarlo Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème it tells the story of a group of young people struggling to survive in New York’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

Tragically the show’s creator Jonathan Larson died on January 25th 1996, the day before the production opened.

OIP Staff


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