Liberace still not out at his own museum

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 21 2001 1:00 AM ET

While Liberace died of AIDS complications in 1987 and set the standard for gay male camp for decades, Reuters reports that no mention whatsoever is made of his homosexuality at the museum he dedicated to himself in 1979. Archivist Paul Lachance, who once headed a Liberace fan club, surmises, “Liberace felt his personal life was just that—personal. He came from a generation when they didn’t speak about things like that, although there are always people who ask.” Liberace sued the British tabloid The Daily Mirror in 1959 for referring to him as a “deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.” The jury found in his favor. The museum’s collections manager, Brian Alvarez, states, “The official position of the museum, if asked, is that he died of HIV and he was probably gay. And that’s it.” The Liberace Museum, housed in a shopping plaza a couple of miles from the Las Vegas Strip, shares the minimall with a Catholic bookstore and a gay bar.