What is it with lesbians and acting? Today, we’re
celebrating the birthday of Pat Bond, born on February 7, 1925, who was an openly
lesbian actress on both the stage and the screen.
Pat Bond as Lorena Hicock via the SF Lilith Theater website
She was born Patricia Childers, and grew up in Chicago, and
later Iowa. In 1945, she joined the Women’s Army Corps and notably worked as a
nurse, as well as served in occupied Japan. In 1947, charges of homosexuality
could get you a dishonorable discharge from the army, which is what happened to
some 500 women. Pat Bond’s own homosexuality was found out but since she’d entered
into a lavender marriage with Paul Bond in San Francisco before heading to Japan,
she was honorably discharged in July 1947. After that, she moved back to SF,
and got involved in the local gay community. She got a BA and MA in Theater,
and started acting on stage.
National fame came in the late 70s when she appeared in an
interview in the documentary about the LGBT community, Word is
Out. This helped launch her career, and by the 1980s, she was
performing her one-woman shows around the country. Her most popular performance
was a portrayal of Gertrude Stein. In addition to her stage shows, she appeared
in movies and sitcoms.
She died on Christmas Eve in California in 1990. Her papers
were donated to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society. In 1992, the Pat Bond
Memorial Old Dyke Award was founded in her honor.