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Monday, 21 November 2011

November 21st in Queer History

Born this day

Francis Leon (1844 – ?), US. Female Impersonator.
Blackface minstrel performer best known for his work as a female impersonator. He was largely responsible for making the prima donna a fixture of blackface minstrelsy.

Harold Nicholson ( 1886 – 1968)
Diplomat, author, diarist and politician, the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West. Their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage. Nicolson and his wife practiced what today would be called an open marriage. They each had a number of same-sex affairs, and once Harold had to follow Vita to France, where she had "eloped" with Violet Trefusis, to try to win her back. However, they remained happy together.

Laurier LaPierre (1929 – ). Canadian. Politician, Presenter, Author, Journalist
Retired Liberal Party Senator and former broadcaster, journalist and author.
Canada's first openly gay senator, he has been an activist with EGALE, a lobby group for gay and lesbian rights, since coming out as gay in the late 1980s.

Malcolm Williamson (1931 – 2003), Australian. Composer
Australian composer. He was the Master of the Queen's Music from 1975 until his death.
In 1960, he married Doris Daniel, but later "became a homosexual", and had a series of one-night stands, before setting up home with ex-Jesuit, Simon Campion.

Robert Drivas (1938 – 1986), US. Actor, Director
Born Robert Choromokos, Robert Drivas was an American actor and theatre director.
He died in 1986 of AIDS-related complications, at age 47.

Nickolas Grace (1947 – ), UK.  Actor
British actor known for his roles on television, including Anthony Blanche in the acclaimed ITV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited and the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1980s series Robin of Sherwood.
In the biography of the actor Alan Bates, "Otherwise Engaged" Grace is quoted describing his "intense affair" with Bates.

Corny Littman (1952 – ), German. Football Club President, Entrepreneur, entertainer, theater owner (Schmidt Theater) and former President of the club FC St. Pauli.

Littmann toured throughout Germany for years with the "Familie Schmidt" theatre group before setting up the "Schmidt Theater" in Hamburg's St. Pauli in 1988. He is the managing director of two theatres – with the opening of the "Schmidt's Tivoli" theatre in 1991. In 1999 he was named "Hamburg Entrepreneur of the Year". Littmann was from 2002 between 19 May 2010 the president of the German football club FC St. Pauli.
He came out as gay in the 1970's, soon after dropping out of university.

Cherry Jones (1956 – ), US. Actress
American actress and recipient of the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series and the 2005 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.
Throughout her acting career, she has never hidden her sexuality. In 1995, when accepting a Tony award, she openly acknowledged her then lovers, architect Mary O'Connor. In 2005, she did the same, acknowledging and kissing her then lover, actress Sarah Paulson.

Christine Vachon (1962 – ), US. Producer
American film producer active in the American independent film sector. Her first feature "Poison" won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1991.
Vachon and her partner, artist Marlene McCarty, live in the East Village of New York with their daughter Guthrie.

Moises Kaufman (1963 – ), Venezuelan.  Author, Playwright, Producer
Playwright, director and founder of Tectonic Theater Project,with whom he wrote "The Laramie Project".

Died this day

Quentin Crisp (1908 - 1999 ) UK. Author / Actor
Born Denis Charles Pratt, Crisp was an English writer and raconteur. He shot to prominence and became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant. (The title comes from his time working as a model for an art school life drawing class. Working in education, he claims he was a civil servant - and worked naked).

Vanessa Facen (?? - 2005 ) US. Transsexual who died in police custody.
Pre-op transsexual, who was taken into police custody, bleeding profusely, after smashing through a plate glass window in an attempted burglary at a neighbour's home. She became enraged while en route to hospital, and again later in the intake area to the jail - possibly because the police were treating her as male. In the police attempts to subdue her, she suffered severe injuries, which led to her death.

Sodomy laws in history, November 21

1922 — The Iowa Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction even though it felt trial questions were leading.

1984 — The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus violates the state’s sodomy law.

1995 — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upholds the solicitation conviction of a man, partially because he was of the same sex as the solicited undercover officer.

2000 — The Virginia Court of Appeals upholds the solicitation convictions of 10 men for soliciting or fondling undercover police officers while seeking sex in a public park.



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