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Yeomans, Lee Calvin "Cal" (1938-2001)  
page: 1  2  

In 1981, Yeoman's Sunsets: A Beach Trilogy was produced by both the Stonewall Repertory Theater in New York and the 544 Natoma Performance Gallery in San Francisco. The New York production was selected to play at the Third National Gay Arts Festival in Chicago in 1982.

All three plays of the trilogy are set outside a public toilet on a deserted beach in Florida and reveal lonely men searching for love. In the first, an ex-drag queen offers "mercy sex" to all comers--"to perform fellatio on the masses." In the second, a woman's sexual needs are not satisfied by her husband. In fact, he brings her to the men's room to service men while he gets off by watching. The final act illustrates an affair between John, an intellectual gay man, and Dan, a married working-class man who is fearful of his homosexuality. As it ends, the two are wrestling nude on the sand until John begs, "Now fuck me." James M. Saslow called the trilogy "intriguing, fresh and a welcome change of focus from the predominant urban (and urbane) subjects of gay theater."

Yeomans had more plays produced (Poiret in Exile, Somebody's Angel Child), but he felt betrayed when directors and actors sometimes changed them because they were too pornographic. He completed numerous other scripts (Malibu Canyon, Swamp Play, A Conversation for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, One Two Boy Man, Wet Paint, Stool Play, Prologue and Seven Dialogues, Tony and Jim, The Reverend, Hibiscus, Autumn Dialogue, Eleventh Street Lady, and Rest in Peace, Queen, or Berma Returns to the Stage), but since he was independently wealthy, he had no economic need to have them produced.

Instead, after the mid-1980s he turned his attention to poetry and photography, usually of male nudes. In collections he titled The Daddy Poems, 10 Poems for Luna Park, and Bootless Cries: Cock Poems for a Rainy Day, his poems, like his plays, are often pornographic. Nevertheless, several were published in Amethyst magazine in 1987.

When Christopher Street published ten of his photographs, they proclaimed that his plays had "helped establish gay theater in New York City and San Francisco during the last decade." Yeomans added, however, "My pictures say it better than my words ever did."

During the last twenty years of his life, Yeomans lived much of the time in and around Gainesville, Florida, where he often attended meetings of the University of Florida's gay and lesbian organization.

In 1996, after he learned that he had contracted AIDS, Yeomans donated forty acres of land for a nature park in Citrus County, Florida. He also made arrangements to endow, upon his death, several funds at the University of Florida: the Lee C. Yeomans Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Fellowship Fund in honor of his father, the Vada Allen Yeomans Fellowship Fund in memory of his mother, and the Calvin Yeomans Special Collections Enrichment Fund for the university library.

When he died of heart failure on October 31, 2001, he willed $1,000 to each of his several friends and over a half million dollars to the University of Florida to establish the Vada Allen Yeomans Term Professorship.

Robert A. Schanke

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literature >> Overview:  Contemporary Drama

Since Stonewall, gay and lesbian drama has flourished, especially in the United States.

literature >> Overview:  Erotica and Pornography

Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.

literature >> Overview:  Modern Drama

Before Stonewall, censorship of the theater caused authors to encode homosexual content in publicly-presented plays.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

Post-Stonewall gay male photography merits recognition for its contribution to fine art, documentation, photo-journalism, and advertising, as well as erotica.

literature >> Overview:  Poetry: Gay Male

The gay tradition in literature from ancient times to the present is primarily a tradition not of prose but of verse.

arts >> Overview:  Theater Companies

Gay and lesbian theater companies attempt to create their own communities, while also fostering a sense of solidarity with the glbtq community and educating the larger society.

literature >> Albee, Edward

The American dramatist Edward Albee, whose career flourished in the 1960s and then waned as a result of homophobia, wrote plays with gay subtexts in which loving is the ultimate act of violence and violence is the most effective expression of love.

arts >> Crowley, Mart

Playwright Mart Crowley deserves honor for having blazed the trail for gay-themed theater with his 1969 groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band.

literature >> Gide, André

André Gide, one of the premier French writers of the twentieth century, reflected his homosexuality in many of his numerous works.

literature >> Patrick, Robert

Robert Patrick is a founding father of gay drama in America and an influence in the development of gay drama in England.

arts >> Wilson, Doric

A pioneer in the development of contemporary gay theater, Doric Wilson was instrumental in Off-Off-Broadway theater in New York City from the early 1960s through the 1980s.

literature >> Wilson, Lanford

In his depictions of gay subjects, Lanford Wilson proved himself to be a powerful voice speaking of the lives of gay men.


Chesley, Robert. "Who Took Richmond." The Advocate (June 28, 1979): 39.

Hasbany, Dick. "Revelations: Wanted or Not." The Advocate (June 24, 1982): 51-55, 63.

Saslow, James M. "Reviews: 'Sunsets: Three Acts on a Beach.'" The Advocate (November 26, 1981): 46.

Yeomans, Calvin. "CS Portfolio." Christopher Street No. 114 (1986): 40-47.

______. "The Daddy Poems." Amethyst (Spring 1987): 30.


    Citation Information
    Author: Schanke, Robert A.  
    Entry Title: Yeomans, Lee Calvin "Cal"  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2007  
    Date Last Updated September 21, 2007  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2007 glbtq, Inc.  


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