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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

November 9th in Queer History

Born this day

Benjamin Banneker (1731 – 1806) US.  Mathematician

African American astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, almanac author and farmer, whose prodigious accomplishments have been widely celebrated as examples of Black achievement. Although he is included in several listings of homosexuals in history, there is only the slightest evidence of this beyond the simple fact that he never married, nor is there evidence of any romantic involvements or sexual encounters (with either gender).

Magnus Enckell  (1870 - 1925) Finnish.  Painter

The first Finnish painter to break with Naturalism, Enckell was homosexual, as seems indicated in some erotic portraits which were quite uninhibited for their time. As Routledge's "Who's who in gay and lesbian history" puts it, "His love affairs with men have not been denied ... Enckell's naked men and boys are openly erotic and sensual."

Anthony Asquith (1902 –  1968) UK.  Director

Leading English film director. He collaborated successfully with playwright Terence Rattigan on The Winslow Boy and The Browning Version, among other adaptations. Asquith, an alcoholic,was a charming, gentle man and a closeted homosexual who never married.

Erika Mann (1905 –  1969) German.  Actress, Journalist, Author

Writer, actress, and intellectual refugee from the Third Reich, the eldest daughter of novelist Thomas Mann and Katia Mann, Erika Mann was one of the twentieth century's most intriguing nonconformists. She is known for her work in German theater and cinema, anti-fascist cabaret satire, political and literary journalism, and children's books.

Though twice-married, both matches were with cultural celebrities known to be gay, and her affairs with both women and men were well-known in her lifetime.

James Schuyler (1923 – 1991 ) US.  Poet

Schuyler's foremost subject was his own life, and he wrote openly about his homosexuality. In fact, his sexual frankness was pointed out for particular admiration by the poet and critic Howard Moss, who observed that "[Schuyler] is in touch with parts of himself not usually available for examination and not often handled by most writers."

American poet whose awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem. He was a central figure in the New York School and is often associated with fellow New York School poets John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and Barbara Guest.

Ti-Grace Atkinson (1938 –  ) US.  Author

American feminist author and early member of the National Organisation for Women, and an advocate of political lesbianism. Her most famous book was Amazon Odyssey.

Kate Clinton (1947 – ) US.  Comedian, Actor, Columnist.

American comedian specializing in political commentary from a gay/lesbian point of view.

Liz Stefanics (1950 – ) US.  Politician

American politician from New Mexico, currently serving on the Santa Fe County Commission. A former member of the New Mexico Senate, she was the first openly LGBT member of the New Mexico legislature, serving a single four-year term that began in January 1993.

Jeremy Fisher (1954 – ) New Zealand. Author

Australian / New Zealand novelist who has been Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) since June 2004. Fisher is openly gay and has been an advocate for gay rights in Australia since 1973.

Ryan Murphy, (1965 - ) US. Creator of Glee.
American film and television screenwriter, director, and producer. He is best known for creating/co-creating the television series Nip/Tuck, Glee, and American Horror Story.

Corin Tucker (1972 – ) US. Singer, Musician

Singer and guitarist, best known for her work with rock band Sleater-Kinney. She identifies as bisexual.

Died this day

Valentine Ackland (1969 – 1906). UK Poet

English poet, an important figure in the emergence of modernism in twentieth-century British poetry. Decades before Stonewall encouraged us to be out and proud, Valentine Ackland was openly, defiantly lesbian. Even at school, she fell in love with a fellow pupil, to her parents' displeasure, and at the age of 17 embarked on a full-fledged lesbian affair with an older woman, Bo Foster. Later, she lived from 1930 until her death with the novelist and poet, Sylvia Warner.

Ackland’s poetry—largely neglected after the 1940s—came into a resurgence of interest with the emergence of both women’s studies and of lesbian literature.

Hugh Paddick (1915 - 2000) UK.  Actor / Comedian

English actor, whose most notable role was in the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne in sketches such as Charles and Fiona (as Charles) and Julian and Sandy (as Julian). Both he and Kenneth Williams are largely responsible for introducing the underground gay slang Polari to the British public. Paddick was gay and lived for over thirty years with his partner Francis.

Duanna Johnson (1965 - 2008 ) US.  Hate Crime Victim

Transgender woman who was beaten by Memphis police officers while in custody on prostitution charges, and some months later was found fatally shot.

Sodomy laws in history, November 9

1674 — After the English take final control of what is now New York, the 1665 sodomy law takes effect.

1906 — A California appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man not told of his court date to be held just five weeks later.

1960 — Massachusetts bans parole for those convicted of the "crime against nature" or its attempt, but not "unnatural and lascivious acts.

1977 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court overturns a conviction for sex in a theatre cubicle, saying that the jury should have been given the option to decide if a theatre cubicle was a public place.

1995 — A Louisiana appellate court rules that a man can not recover damages from a dentist for consensual sexual relations with him years before.



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