Whyte was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for two years before moving to New York City.
He was involved in the famous drag queen "Invasion" of the Pines from the Grovers (the people who were living in Cherry Grove, always in Fire Island: the incident that is said to have provoked Grovers beyond endurance was a public humiliation of the Grove's flashy and popular Italian-American drag queen, Teri Warren, by top male model and Pines Botel/disco owner John B. Whyte. According to Thom Hansen, "Teri Warren or someone had gone over in drag and had been refused to be served dinner, because they were in drag, not properly attired. It was just shunned, not acceptable."
Moreover Whyte always maintained that he invented the gay tea dance in the Pines in 1966.
He co-founded The Pines Conservation Society in 1970. In 1984, he founded From the Pines With Love which recruited celebrities to perform at fundraisers for AIDS research. In 2002, the Fire Island Pines Community House was named Whyte Hall. Shortly before his death in 2004, Whyte sold his Fire Island Pines properties. Funded largely by his estate, a completely reconstructed Whyte Hall was completed during 2007.
He died on March 22, 2004.
Cherry Grove Fire Island: Sixty Years in America's First Gay and Lesbian Town by Esther Newton
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (May 31, 1995)
Amazon: Cherry Grove Fire Island: Sixty Years in America's First Gay and Lesbian Town
Recounts the history of Cherry Grove, from the 1930s to the present, including interviews with residents who describe the struggles, the partying, and the perseverance. By the author of Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3514112.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.