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Sunday, 30 October 2011

October 30th in Queer History: Geert Blanchard Rex Harrington, Louise Abbéma

Born this day:

Louise Abbéma (1853 - 1927), artist

Portrait painter, and lover of the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Nestor Almendros ( 1930 – 1992) Spanish Cinematographer.

Oscar winning Spanish cinematographer. One of the highest appraised contemporary cinematographers, "Almendros was an artist of deep integrity, who believed the most beautiful light was natural light......"
Almendros was the cinematographer for the John Lennon documentary, Imagine: John Lennon (1988), directed by Andrew Solt.
In his later years, Almendros co-directed two documentaries about the human rights situation in Cuba, Mauvaise Conduite (1984) (Improper Conduct) about the persecution of gay people in Cuba, and Nadie escuchaba (Nobody Was Listening) about the arrest, imprisonment, and torture of former comrades of Fidel Castro. Almendros died at the age of 61 of AIDS-related lymphoma.

Timothy Findley ( 1930 – 2002 ) Canadian Author / Playwright

Canadian novelist and playwright. His writing, typical of the Southern Ontario Gothic genre, was heavily influenced by Jungian psychology, and mental illness, gender and sexuality were frequent recurring themes in his work. He publicly mentioned his homosexuality, passingly and perhaps for the first time, on a broadcast of the programme The Shulman File in the 1970s.

Claude Janiak (1948 – ) Swiss Politician and President.

Swiss politician of Polish origin, lawyer and President of the Swiss National Council for the 2005/2006 term. He was the first openly homosexual President of the Swiss National Council.

P Craig Russell (1951 –  US Comic Book Artist

American comic book writer, artist, and illustrator. His work has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards. Russell was the first mainstream comic book creator to come out as openly gay

Arthur Dong (1953 – ) US Film Director

Academy Award-nominated American documentary filmmaker. His work combines the art of the visual medium with an investigation of social issues, examining topics such as Asian American history and identity, and gay oppression.

Rex Harrington
(1962 – ) Canadian Ballet dancer.

Canadian ballet dancer. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by York University and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Geert Blanchard (1966 - ) Belgian Ice-skater, "ex-gay".

Belgian ice-scater and singer, who was the first Belgian gay sportsman to have a public coming-out. Later, he had an equally public ex-gay outing.

Jack Plotnick (1968 – ) US Actor

American film and television actor. Plotnick is an openly gay actor, best known for performances on Ellen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as the voice of Xandir on Drawn Together, and his drag persona, "Evie Harris" in Girls Will Be Girls.

Grant Robertson (1971 –  ) New Zealand Politician

New Zealand politician and Member of Parliament. He was elected to represent the Labour Party in the seat of Wellington Central at the 2008 general election.

Robertson lives with his partner Alf,who he met through playing rugby together for the Wellington-based Crazy Knights, New Zealand's first gay rugby team.

Died this day:

Ramon Navarro ( 1899 – 1968) Mexican Actor, Hate Crime Victim

Mexican leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "Sex Symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino. Novarro had been troubled all his life as a result of his conflicting views over his Roman Catholic religion and his homosexuality, and his life-long struggle with alcoholism is often traced to these issues. Novarro was the victim of a violent extortion attempt which resulted in his death.

Craig Russell (1948 - 1990) Canadia.  Female Impersonator, Actor

Russell Craig Eadie, better known by his stage name Craig Russell, was a Canadian female impersonator and actor.

David “Sinders” Morley (1967 - 2004) UK Pub Landlord, Murder Victim.

Gay barman, who was manager at the Admiral Duncan pub. He survived the nail bomb attack on the pub in 1999, but five years later in 2004, he was killed in a late night assault, which may have been prompted by homophobia, by a group of teenagers outside Waterloo station.

Sodomy Laws in History, October 30

1861 — Nevada recognizes common-law crimes, making sodomy a crime with a compulsory sentence of life imprisonment.
1942 — The Nebraska Supreme Court rules that fellatio is outlawed by the state’s law prohibiting "carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except sexual parts."
1944 — The Arizona Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man over his claims of privacy rights, the first to be raised in the United States.

1968 — The North Carolina Supreme Court overturns a sodomy conviction because the indictment didn’t name the "victim."

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