For much of the 20th century and before that, gay people faced persecution and even prosecution at every turn. Gay men had it harder than gay women, as laws were specifically aimed at gay guys.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that so many male homosexuals took shelter within the confines of a heterosexual marriage to reduce speculation about their sexuality and keep them safe from the long arm of the law and societal disdain.
Here are 15 of those folks you just might recognize, including number 12, which “rocked” the world!
15. Freddie Mercury
14. Peter March Jacobson
Peter went the whole hog and got formally married to Fran Drescher. He did pretty well at committing to that life as it took him more than 20 years before he finally came out as a gay man. Fran is still friends with Peter which says a lot about her as a person.
13. Elton John
This may seem bizarre from today’s perspective but Elton John married Renate Blauel back in 1984. It wasn’t a very successful marriage because the media realized immediately that it was just supposed to cover up Elton’s sexuality. Today he’s married to David Furnish which seems more appropriate.
12. Rock Hudson
There was a time when being gay was a seriously career-endangering move. Movie star Rock Hudson always knew he was gay (as did his friends) but he still married Phyllis Gates and they lived together for 3 years before divorcing to try and keep his cover as a straight guy.