Brilliant, Kindhearted, Tortured Harry Cameron 

Chapter 36 

Once again both Celia and Evelyn are nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. They both attend the ceremony with their husbands. When Ruby wins the Oscar, Evelyn goes to the bathroom and breaks down crying. Celia follows her, and as soon as Eveyln sees Celia, she knows that Celia is still in love with her. The two talk about their fight and kiss. They are nearly caught when two women enter the bathroom. When the women leave, Celia and Evelyn have sex in the bathroom.  

Evelyn Hugo Weds Producer Harry Cameron 

This 1967 article in PhotoMoment announces Evelyn’s fifth marriage to Harry. It notes that Celia and John attended the wedding together and that Rex married Joy and had a baby girl. 

Chapter 37 

At the wedding, Evelyn feels as though she’s finally getting the family she wants. Evelyn, Celia, Harry, and John begin their lives together. The two heterosexual marriages serve as a cover for the two queer relationships. Celia and Evelyn live together in Evelyn’s apartment, and John and Harry live together in Harry’s home. 

The four watch the news of the Stonewall riots. Celia believes that everything will change with the riots and that gay people will finally be able to own their sexuality openly. She wants to go down to the riots and show her support, but the others dissuade her. Harry says that they will actually pull focus from the cause. Evelyn tells Monique that from that point forward, she and the others clandestinely gave money to support gay rights. 

Celia wins her second Oscar, and once again Evelyn couldn’t join her at the ceremony. Celia is drunk and upset to be without Evelyn and says that Evelyn is nothing more than a “nice pair of tits without an Oscar.” She also calls her a lesbian, and Evelyn feels as though she’s erasing half of her identity given that she has been with men. 

Chapter 38 

Monique asks Evelyn if she ever called Celia out for being cruel. Evelyn says that there was some truth to Celia’s accusations that she used sex to get ahead, but she did it because she had no other options. 

Chapter 39 

Evelyn, Celia, Harry, and John celebrate Evelyn’s birthday together on a double date. Later, Harry asks Evelyn if she wants to have a baby with him. Evelyn says she’s ready, and they agree to have one together.

Chapter 40 

Evelyn and Celia discuss the baby. Celia is hesitant at first, both because she doesn’t want children and because she worries that she’s not enough for Evelyn because she can’t give her a baby. Evelyn assures her she is enough. Celia agrees that she can have the baby, and they have sex. Evelyn says that, in giving herself to Evelyn, Celia gave her a baby. 

Evelyn Hugo and Harry Cameron Have a Baby Girl! 

This 1975 article in PhotoMoment announces the birth of Harry and Evelyn’s daughter Connor Margot Cameron. 


These chapters explore the necessity of hiding the truth in order to be successful in Hollywood and safe in the wider world. To the world, Evelyn and Harry and Celia and John are two heterosexual couples. Evelyn refers to them as four “beards,” a word used to describe heterosexual relationships that mask the sexuality of one or both of the participants. Bearding, also referred to as “lavender marriage,” was a common practice in Hollywood from its inception in the 1920s through the gay rights movement of the 1960s. This situates the four characters in the book within the long history of queer passing in Hollywood. The couples play off of stereotypes of their gender; Evelyn and Celia embody the expectations of feminine beauty, and John and Harry embody the expectations of masculine physical power. All of this is an effort to pass in a society that cannot and will not accept them for who they truly are. Hiding in plain sight on double dates, the couples rely on their audience’s assumptions of who they are in order to escape their scrutiny and find true happiness together. 

Evelyn, Celia, Harry, and John are outsiders in both gay and heterosexual communities. Reid situates the couples’ private stories within the larger context of the history of the struggle for gay rights. The Stonewall riots took place in New York in 1969, when a group of LGBTQ+ club patrons protested the ongoing nightclub raids that often involved physical violence and arrest. The Stonewall riots are considered the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. In the novel, the two couples are unable to attend the uprisings because they believe their fame would be a distraction, not an asset, to the cause. Throughout the novel, Evelyn especially makes choices to protect her career by hiding her bisexuality. Here, it’s clear that fame and being in the closet also alienates the couples from the larger gay community. Though they are moved by the cause, the bravery of the activists, and the hope for change, their careers prevent them from truly joining the community they are linked to.  

These chapters further explore the symbolism of the color green. Green represents both the true and the transactional natures of Evelyn’s sexuality. Evelyn’s wedding ring when she marries Harry is an emerald surrounded by diamonds. In many ways, Evelyn marries both Harry and Celia, and the green emerald here symbolizes true love. This includes both Evelyn’s deep, platonic love for Harry and her deep, romantic love for Celia. During this time, Evelyn also begins shooting a movie called Jade Diamond in which she plays a sex worker. The film’s title also invokes the image of a green stone and diamond, and the role hints at the ways in which Evelyn has often sold her sexuality to get what she needs. While Evelyn films, a petulant Celia reduces Evelyn to a sexual object. Evelyn reflects to Monique that Celia was right and that she often used her sexuality as a currency. Jade is less valuable than an emerald, and this mirrors Evelyn’s belief that love, not the fame and fortune she purchased with her beauty and sexuality, is the most important thing in life.