Born this day
Vander Clyde [Barbette] (1899 – 1973) US
Female impersonator, high wire performer and trapeze artist. Barbette began performing as an aerialist at around the age of 14 as one-half of a circus act called The Alfaretta Sisters. After a few years of circus work, Barbette went solo and adopted his exotic-sounding pseudonym. He performed in full drag, revealing himself as male only at the end of his act.
Robert Medley (1905 – 1994) UK
English painter who worked in both abstract and figurative styles, and a theatre designer.
Jean Genet (1910 – 1986) French
Prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids and The Screens.
Jose Lezama-Lima (1910 – 1976) Cuban
Writer and poet who is considered one of the most influential figures in Latin American literature.
Cyril Collard (1993 - 1957 ) French
Author, filmmaker, composer, musician and actor. He is known for his unapologetic portrayals of bisexuality and HIV in art, particularly his autobiographical novel and film Les Nuits Fauves (Savage Nights). Openly bisexual, Collard was also one of the first French artists to speak openly about his HIV-positive status.
Limahl (1958 – ) UK
Christopher Hamill better known by his stage name Limahl is an English pop singer, who rose to fame as the lead singer of the 1980s pop group Kajagoogoo
Michelangelo Signorile (1960 – ) US
Writer, a national talk radio host whose program is aired each weekday across the United States and Canada, and Editor-at-Large for the Gay Voices vertical of The Huffington Post. Signorile's seminal 1993 book Queer in America explored the negative effects of the LGBT closet, and provided one of the first intellectual justifications for the practice of outing public officials. He has argued that the homosexuality of public figures—and only public figures—should be reported on when relevant, and only when relevant. In 1992 Newsweek listed him as one of America's "100 Cultural Elite," and he is included in the 2002 book, The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present, which begins with Socrates at number 1 and ends with Signorile at number 100.
Matthew Waterhouse (1961 – )UK
Actor and writer best known for his role as Adric in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.
Gregory Douglass (1980 – ) US
Singer-songwriterm who plays lead guitar and piano. Some of his lyrics deal with queer themes.
Lady Sovereign (1985 – ) UK
Louise Amanda Harman, better known by the stage name Lady Sovereign, is an English rapper & grime artist. She is noted for her professional success in performing styles of music generally dominated by males.
Died this day
Hans Warren (1921 - 2001) Dutch
Dutch poet, writer and literary critic, born in Borsele, whose full name was Johannes Adrianus Menne Warren. He published a an extended series of candid diaries of his life ans sexual experiences as a gay man in the Netherlands, including the early years when married and closeted, coming out, and later living and writing as openly gay. He is also notable for a fictionalized account of what it was like to be both Jewish and gay under Nazi occupation, in the novel "Secretly Inside".
Sodomy in history, December 19 th
1816 — Georgia adopts a new criminal code, reinstating sodomy as a crime after a 32-year hiatus. The penalty is compulsory life imprisonment. The law is not enforced.
1917 — A Georgia appellate court reverses a man’s conviction for assault to commit sodomy for soliciting another man and touching his crotch.
1917 — A Georgia appellate court rejects the contention of a man and woman that only people of the same sex can commit sodomy.
1955 — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturns the sodomy conviction of a man in Guam because it was based on an information instead of an indictment.
1978 — A Virgin Islands court upholds the constitutionality of that territory’s sodomy law.
1991 — The New York Court of Appeals rules that sex in a parked car on a public street does not necessarily violate the state’s public indecency law.