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Friday, 18 November 2011

November 18th in Queer History

Born this day

Sir Edward Marsh (1872 – 1953), UK. Translator
British polymath, translator, arts patron and civil servant. He was the sponsor of the Georgian school of poets and a friend to many poets, including Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon. In his career as a civil servant he worked as Private Secretary to a succession of Great Britain's most powerful ministers, particularly Winston Churchill. He was a discreet but influential figure within Britain's homosexual community.

Klaus Mann (1906 –  1949), German.   Author
German writer, the son of Thomas Mann. His most famous novel, Mephisto, was a thinly-disguised portrait of his former brother-in-law, the actor Gustaf Gründgens.
In early life, His homosexuality often made him the target of bigotry. Later, he moved to the United States, where he met his partner Thomas Quinn Curtiss.

Jackie Goldberg (1944 – ),  US.   Politician, Teacher
American politician and teacher, and a member of the Democratic Party. She is a former member of the California State Assembly. Goldberg is openly lesbian and was a founder member of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. She married longtime partner Sharon Stricker in 2008.

Wolfgang Joop (1944 –  ), German.  Fashion Designer
The man behind the now defunct JOOP! label of the 80s and 90s has recently made a critically acclaimed comeback with his Wunderkind line, founded together with his long-term boyfriend and former PR manager Edwin Lemberg.

Christian Siriano (1985 – ),  US.  Reality TV [Project: Runway], Fashion Designer
American fashion designer. Siriano first gained attention after winning the fourth season of American reality show Project Runway, becoming the series' youngest winner. Shortly after winning Runway, Siriano launched his fashion line, Christian Siriano, which as of 2010 has brought in revenue of over $1.2 million.
Siriano is openly gay and lives in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City with longtime boyfriend, singer-songwriter Brad Walsh.

Died this day

Renee Vivien (1877 - 1909), UK.  Poet
British poet who wrote in the French language. She took to heart all the mannerisms of Symbolism, as one of the last poets to claim allegiance to the school. She lived lavishly, as an open lesbian, and carried on a well-known affair with American heiress and writer Natalie Clifford Barney.

Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922), French.   Author, Critic
French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past).

Mauritz Stiller (1883 - 1928), Finnish.  Director, Screenwriter
Swedish film director Maurtiz Stiller's principal claim to fame is his discovery of an unknown actress, Greta Gustafsson, whom he renamed Greta Garbo. However, this flamboyant gay Svengali to a legendary lesbian star also deserves recognition as a key figure in forging a national cinema that was eventually to become notable for its progressive treatment of sexuality and desire

Mike Connolly (1914 - 1966),  US.  Reporter, Columnist
American magazine reporter and primarily a Hollywood columnist. Connolly was also known for his 1937–38 crusade against prostitution in Champaign, Illinois, and later for his battle against communism in Hollywood. According to his biographer, Val Holley, these campaigns were attempts by Connolly, who was gay, to feel part of the mainstream. His sexual preference was not made public until thirty-seven years after his death.

Gia Carangi (1960 - 1986), US.  Model
American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s,considered by some to be the first supermodel. Carangi and her "bi-try Bowie-mad" friends hung out in Philadelphia’s gay clubs and bars. She was beginning to settle into a lesbian identity, but did not want to take up "the accepted lesbian style".Since Carangi's death, she has been considered a lesbian supermodel and icon and is said to have epitomized "lesbian chic" more than a decade before the term was coined.

William John Christopher Vassall (1924 -1996),  UK.   RAF / Spy
British civil servant who, under pressure of blackmail, spied for the Soviet Union.
In 1952, he was posted to the staff of the Naval Attaché at the British embassy in Moscow. In 1954, he was invited to a party (arranged, unbeknown to him, by the KGB), where he was encouraged to become extremely drunk, and where he was photographed in a compromising position with several men. The KGB used these photographs to blackmail Vassall into working for them as a spy. In 1962 he was arrested and charged with spying, for which he served ten years.

Paul Bowles (1910 - 1999), US.   Author, Composer, Translator,  Photographer
Gay American expatriate composer, writer, and translator Paul Bowles liked to examine sexuality from a dispassionate perspective for its psychological suggestiveness. Bowles's literary reputation rests on his novels, but until he was thirty-five he showed more interest in musical composition and poetry.

Horst P Horst (1906 - 1999), German / US.  Photographer
Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann (August 14, 1906 – November 18, 1999) who chose to be known as Horst P. Horst was a German-American fashion photographer. He and Valentine Lawford, a British diplomat, lived together as a couple from 1938 until Lawford's death in 1991. They adopted and raised a son, Richard J. Horst, together.

Ralph Pomeroy (1926 - 1999),  US. Poet

At eighteen he had already published poems in "Poetry", then pursued painting in Paris, and later worked as an editor, art critic, curator and exhibiting artist in New York City. Many years later, he was stabbed in the chest by a "fag basher", and also suffered a broken wrist while engaged in what a friend described as "S&M games with a trick."

Sodomy laws in history, November 18

1910 — The South Dakota Supreme Court rules that the state’s "crime against nature" law outlaws fellatio.

1919 — A California appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man and rejects his contention that his partner’s incestuous relationship with his brother should have been raised to impeach his credibility.

1925 — A California appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man after photos and condoms found in his home were admitted into evidence against him.

1932 — A California appellate court rules that a trial judge need not visit the scene of the alleged act of sodomy.

1953 — The Illinois Supreme Court upholds a conviction for keeping a house of ill fame—a Gay bath house.

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