Gean Harwood

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Gean Harwood and Bruhs Mero were often referred to as The Oldest Gay Couple in America, and in fact that is the title of Harwood’s autobiography of his life together with Mero, who died from Alzheimer’s…
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Gean Harwood and Bruhs Mero were often referred to as The Oldest Gay Couple in America, and in fact that is the title of Harwood’s autobiography of his life together with Mero, who died from Alzheimer’s disease in 1995. L. Eugene Harwood was born in Auburn, NY, and learned to be a musician there, but the comparatively inhospitable climate for gays in an Upstate New York town like Auburn led him to New York City, where he met Mero at a party in 1929, and the two men soon became partners in both life and music, remaining together over many decades to follow. Harwood and Mero wrote their first composition (of more than 50 total), “Come and Take My Hand,” in 1930. The partners were profiled in the documentary films Silent Pioneers and the 1993 Academy Award-nominated For Better or for Worse, and the musical Bruhs and Gean chronicles their love affair. During the 2000s Harwood remained active in both music (still playing the piano well into his nineties) and gay activism (through participation in SAGE: Senior Action in a Gay Environment).