Deep Cuts has a fine new article which takes a long look at Hart Crane, Loveman and Lovecraft, and with the benefit of being able to consult the new second edition of Loveman’s Out of the Immortal Night and a full collection of the volumes of the Lovecraft letters. A key point is only made briefly and at the end, where it might have been usefully expanded a bit and threaded through the article. To be actively gay at that time and place, even in bohemian enclaves such as Greenwich Village…
was often not just illegal and met by violence
… and I would add by blackmail, ranging from a quasi-friendly ‘borrowing money’ to outright thuggish extortion. Gay men were also targeted for such treatment. In 1931 for instance, Loveman was earning very good money (“$60.00 per week”) as a book cataloguer at Dauber & Pine, and would have been a prime target for such things.
I can add a few more relevant quotes to the Deep Cuts article, drawn from previous Tentaclii posts…
1. The Wandrei letters, p. 132. At the Metropolitan Museum, Lovecraft recalled he… “revelled in the new Wing K — the Roman garden with the statues. A certain austere head of a tight-lipped old Republican Roman is as much a favourite of mine as that effeminately pretty Antinous-type Hellenic head in the corridor is a favourite of Loveman’s.” Young Wandrei was then in New York with Loveman, and this seems to me a fairly clear but discreet ‘tip off’ to the lad about Loveman’s amorous inclinations.
2. Letters to Family & Friends, page 632. Lovecraft remarks that his friend Loveman had many young proteges… “He had with him one of his numberless prodigy-proteges, a quiet blond youth whose accomplishments seem to be, so far, appreciative rather than creative”. Again, a rather telling but discreet hint.
3. Lovecraft’s New York Circle, page 28. An item in ‘Kirk’s Diary’, said of a cafe table meeting of the Lovecraft Circle… “one was a homo, one an avowed fetishist, one quite nothing were sex is concerned”, wrote Kirk of the unnamed participants at the table (likely a cafe table, and thus not a meet-up in McNeil’s room). I’ve established that Lovecraft can’t have been present at that precise point (he was in Elizabethtown), so presumably Loveman was ‘out’ at least to Kirk and possibly to the other two unknown attendees.