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Friday, 7 December 2012

December 7th in Queer History

Born this day

Willa Cather (1873 –  1947) US.
American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I.

As a student at the University of Nebraska in the early 1890s, Cather sometimes used the masculine nickname "William" and wore masculine clothing.[17] A photograph in the University of Nebraska archives depicts Cather dressed like a young man and with "her hair shingled, at a time when females wore their hair fashionably long."
Throughout Cather's adult life, her most significant friendships were with women.

Hurd Hatfield (1917 - 1998) US 
Actor, known especially for his starring role in "The Picture of Dorian Grey".

AJ Antoon (1944 – 1992)  US
American theatre director, who directed numerous plays at the New York Shakespeare Festival over a period of nearly 20 years. In addition to winning a Tony Award, Antoon was also the winner of a Drama Desk Award, a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, and an Obie Award. His career lasted until 1991; he died less than a year later from AIDS-related lymphoma.

Kevin M McCarthy (1957 - ) US
A judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, McCarthy is married to Dr. David Bui, with whom he has a son, Gavin.

Roberta Close (1964 –  ) Brazilian
A Brazilian model, she is the first pre-operative transsexual model to have posed for the Brazilian edition of Playboy, Close is probably Brazil's most famous transsexual woman.

Linda Bresonik (1983 – ) German
Footballer,who plays as a midfielder or wing back for FCR 2001 Duisburg and the German national team.

Chris Crocker (1987 –  US)
Internet celebrity, songwriter, blogger, and recording artist. In almost all of Crocker's work he presents himself as an openly gay and effeminate Southern adolescent in a "small-minded town" in the Bible Belt where his sexual orientation and outspokenness are a "subtext... rarely addressed directly and never completely accepted." The Tennessee-based Crocker, a stage name, keeps his identity and exact location private.

Died this day

Per Imerslund (1912 - 1943) Norwegian
One of the most prominent figures in the national socialist scene in the pre-World War II Norway. He first gained prominence at home and abroad with the publication in 1936 of his début book, Das Land Noruega, a fictionalised autobiography of his youth in Mexico. His blond, blue-eyed stature and extravagant way of life gave him the position of "det ariske idol" (The Aryan Idol). A loathing of his homosexuality and self-perceived feminine traits, led him to frequently risk his life.

Laurette Taylor (1884 - 1946 ) US

Eric Portman (1901 - 1969 ) UK 
A distinguished English stage and film actor. He is probably best remembered for his roles in several films for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger during the 1940s.Portman is quoted as saying, "Acting is like masturbation - one either does it or one doesn't, but one never talks about it."

Portman was homosexual, although newspapers never reported this during the mid-1950s when homosexuality was illegal in the UK. Newspapers refrained from identifying his sexual preference throughout the 1960s when it could have still damaged his career.

Romaine Brooks
Romaine Brooks (1874 - 1970) US
An American painter who worked mostly in Paris and Capri, she specialized in portraiture and used a subdued palette dominated by the color gray. She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work.
She often painted people close to her, such as the Italian writer and politician Gabriele D'Annunzio, the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, and her partner of more than 50 years, the writer Natalie Barney.

Thornton Wilder. (1897 - 1975) US
American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.

Although Wilder never discussed being gay publicly or in his writings, his close friend Samuel Steward is generally acknowledged to have been a lover. Wilder was introduced to Steward by Gertrude Stein, who at the time regularly corresponded with the both of them.

Darby Crash (1958 -1980) US
Musician / Singer

Reinaldo Arenas (1943 - 1990) Cuban / US
Poet / Playwright / Activist / Author / Professor

Sodomy in history, December 7 th

1682 — Pennsylvania outlaws sodomy with a first-offense penalty of six months in jail, the first non-capital sodomy law in the English colonies. The law also covers what now is Delaware.

1889 — The general ignorance of sex even by medical professionals is revealed as Dr. A.B. Holder publishes an article on male Absaroke American Indians and their oral sex practices. He assumes that the fellator achieves orgasm along with the fellatee because he can not understand why else fellatio would be practiced. He also calls oral sex "the most debased [sex practice] that could be conceived of."

1915 — A Missouri appellate court rules that being called a "cocksucker" is actionable as slander.

1917 — Russia decriminalizes sodomy by repealing its entire criminal code.

1929 — The North Dakota Supreme Court rules that the state’s law against indecent liberties covers all erotic acts not covered by the state’s rape or sodomy laws.

1951 — A California appellate court rules that the state’s oral copulation law is violated merely by placing the mouth on a sex organ, even without penetration.

1954 — A Pennsylvania appellate court upholds the right of a single jury to try a large number of sodomy cases from arrests at "Homo-Haven," a resort.

1956 — The Tennessee Supreme Court upholds a 5-year sentence for sodomy for a 17-year-old defendant.

1964 — The Maryland Court of Appeals rules that the sodomy law applies to heterosexual activity.

1987 — A Michigan appellate court upholds a conviction for merely kissing a penis, stating that penetration need not be proven.


On this gay day
Calendar of Sodomy, December
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