‘Marilyn Monroe: Kissing an Icon’, a new exhibition focusing on her enduring popularity within the LGBT community, is now on display until August 7 at the Stonewall National Museum & Archives in Fort Lauderdale, as Johnny Diaz reports for SouthFlorida.com.
“Curated by Charles L. Ross, the free exhibit features fan memorabilia from the private collection of Wilton Manors resident Ed Witkowski.
‘When Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 I was 14 years old,’ Witkowski said. ‘Marilyn Monroe was a woman who had ultimate sex appeal. I really did not know what sex appeal was at that age, but I felt it as a young teenage boy coming-of-age.’
According to the exhibit, Monroe was ahead of her time on LGBT issues, and many gay men related to her struggles with insecurity and finding acceptance.
‘I really think it’s because she was vulnerable and talked about her life. She talked about how she struggled and that made her different. Gay people felt different and misunderstood,’ said Ross, chief curator at Stonewall. He remembers, as a teenager in Pennsylvania, when news of her death broke over the radio.
The exhibit marks a departure for the gallery, which has generally focused on people who are LGBT.
‘This is so different because there are so many people who had an interest in Marilyn Monroe and still have an interest in Marilyn Monroe,’ Ross said. ‘It won’t be just for the LGBT community. Straight men and women would go too.'”