Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →
Born in Cincinnati, and raised in Evanston, Illinois, White came to recognize his homosexual feelings at an early age. Efforts to find information in the library turned up little in the 1950s. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he settled in New York City, where he explored gay life, worked in the publishing industry, and began writing. He published his first novel, Forgetting Elena, in 1973. With Felice Picano, Andrew Holleran, and others, White formed the Violet Quill, an ongoing support group for gay writers. Over the last generation, White himself became one of the giants of a new gay male literary culture that flowered after the birth of gay liberation. Besides fiction, he has written several autobiographical volumes, including A Boy’s Own Story (1982); social commentary, such as States of Desire (1980); and biographies of such figures as Jean Genet. After living in France for many years, he returned to New York, and since 1998 has been a professor of creative writing at Princeton.