Born into extreme poverty – allegedly as the result of the rape of her black mother by a white farmer – Eartha Kitt went on to become a major show business legend. By the early 50’s she had established herself as a renowned singer and actor and was mixing with the likes of Orson Welles.
Not one to shy away from controversy, she brought her career in the USA to an abrupt halt in the 60s by espousing strong anti-war views to President Johnson’s wife. Undaunted, she simply focused on developing her career in Europe and Asia.
A successful run on Broadway in 1978 marked the re-birth of her US career. Then singles such as I Love Men and Where is My Man increased her fan base within the gay community and she became a vocal advocate of gay rights. She regularly performed AIDS benefits and was unequivocal about gay marriage:
“I support it [gay marriage] because we’re asking for the same thing. If I have a partner and something happens to me, I want that partner to enjoy the benefits of what we have reaped together. It’s a civil-rights thing, isn’t it?”
It’s certainly pretty obvious from the following video who the principal target market was for I Love Men.