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Thursday, 6 October 2011

October 6th in Queer History: Alfred Lord Tennyson; Janet Gaynor

Born this day:

Janet Gaynor  (October 6, 1906 - September 14, 1984)

American actress, who in 1928 was the first woman to receive an Academy Award, and the only person to win the award for multiple roles: Seventh Heaven (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) and Street Angel (1928). Her career continued with the advent of sound film, and she achieved a notable success in the original version of A Star Is Born (1937).

Died this day:

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate.

Tennyson's life and work present a direct challenge to the conventional thinking which places a clear dichotomy between "homo-" and "hetero-" sexuality (with a passing nod to bi-). He was noted for his undoubted attraction to women, and is not known to have had any physical relationships with men, so would not normally be described even as bisexual. Yet, his celebrated verse abounds in homoerotic and androgynous imagery, his long poem "In Memoriam", written upon the death of his close friend Arthur Hallam, has been described as "the most beautiful homoerotic elegy in the English language" 

October 6
1943 — An Oklahoma appellate court rejects the contention of a man and woman that sodomy can be accomplished only between people of the same sex.
1967 — A New Mexico appellate court rules that cunnilingus is prohibited by the state’s sodomy law.
1969 — The Georgia Supreme Court rules that the testimony of police officers in sodomy cases does not need to be corroborated.

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