Talk:Rudi Gernreich

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Gernreich's gay identity[edit]

@Trenchcoatstate:, you've twice removed the fact that Gernreich is gay and Jewish from the lede, stating in your comments that "sexual orientation and religion don't belong in the first sentence."

  • First, this is your opinion, there is no style convention or guideline covering your belief.
  • Second, his sexual identity was an essential and notable part of who he was throughout his life. His sexual orientation was a strong influence on his fashion designs, his attitude towards women in general, affected his social life, and impacted how he chose to conduct his business, "as Gernreich believed public acknowledgment of his homosexuality would negatively affect his fashion business," which is supported by a citation.
  • Third, although his religious identity is less essential to his career and life, it's notable for the fact that he came from a prosperous Jewish family before they left Europe. It was the reason they fled Europe as refugees and came to Los Angeles, where his career was established. He would not have come to the United States if his family was not Jewish. Furthermore, his experience as a member of an oppressed Jewish minority certainly influenced his life as a homosexual when it too was an oppressed minority.
  • Fourth, the fact that he is gay and Jewish is commonly noted in many articles about him and is relevant given his life history.

If you have any other valid reason for removing these facts from the lede, please note them here and we can discuss it. Otherwise I will revert your change in a few days. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 17:15, 28 October 2016 (UTC)


Hi @Btphelps:. Of the article's approx. 3600 words, approx. 253 of them are about Gernreich's judaism and homosexuality. So, about 14% of the article. I can understand why it would make sense to include, in the first sentence, the impacts he had on fashion, because that's what almost the entirety of the article is about. But his identity having an influence on the course of his own life doesn't mean it is comparable to an influence on his overall notability.

And even if it were, no article I've seen reduces identity to an adjective. Even for individuals whose sexuality are of tantamount importance to their fame, the article doesn't lead off with it as a descriptor. Ellen DeGeneres, whose homosexuality has defined the majority of her career, is not introduced as "Ellen Lee DeGeneres is a gay American comedian." Laverne Cox, one of the most famous transgendered people in the world, is not introduced as "Laverne Cox is a transgender American actress." Granted, as with other important details, these identities are explained later in the introduction. But can you tell me why, despite the issue not being mentioned in the wikipedia style manual, the examples I gave don't seem to be acceptable additions? Trenchcoatstate (talk) 04:53, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Ok, that seems reasonable then. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 21:19, 29 October 2016 (UTC)