(? - living) U.S.A.
Professor, writer, model, actor
Alan Helms, who reared in Indianapolis by his father, an alcoholic, and his mother, who was victimized and abused. Helms left for Columbia University in 1955, where he discovered the pre-Stonewall gay world and took on modeling and acting jobs.
Author of acclaimed memoir Young Man from the Provinces. Denied a Rhodes Scholarship because of his sexual orientation, Alan Helms became a successful model and actor in the New York of the 1950s and '60s, moving in A-list circles and wildly desired by legions of men.
Traveling with the rich and arty, Helms was ultimately miserable: bulimic, drug-dependent, sexually unfulfilled, he ultimately broke down and moved to Boston, where he underwent therapy with Robert Coles. Finally healthy and able to confront the abuse of his past, Helms went on to a teaching career in New England.
Alan Helms is professor of literature at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.