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Friday, 19 April 2013

19th April in Queer History

Born this day

Prince Edmond de Polignac  (1834 – 1901)  French

Dick Sargent  (1930 – ) US
Actor, notable as the second actor to portray Darrin Stephens on the television series "Bewitched". In 1991, Sargent publicly declared his homosexuality and supported gay rights issues. He had long hidden his sexual orientation, appearing with lesbian actress Fannie Flagg on Tattletales as a couple. He lived with his domestic partner, Albert Williams, until his death in 1994.

Steve Antin  (1958 – )  US
Actor, stunt man, screenwriter, producer, and director.

Tzipora Obziler  (1973 – )  Israeli
Former professional tennis player.

Died this day

Portrait by
Christina of Sweden (1626 –1689)
Queen regnant of Swedes, Goths and Vandals, Grand Princess of Finland, and Duchess of Ingria, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia, from 1633 to 1654. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustav II Adolph and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. As the heiress presumptive, at the age of six she succeeded her father on the throne of Sweden upon his death at the Battle of Lützen. Being the daughter of a Protestant champion in the Thirty Years' War, she caused a scandal when she abdicated her throne and converted to Catholicism in 1654. She spent her later years in Rome, becoming a leader of the theatrical and musical life there. As a queen without a country, she protected many artists and projects. She is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto.

Lord George Byron  (1788 - 1824)  UK
Poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.
Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts and numerous love affairs,with both sexes.

John Addington Symonds (1840  – 1893) UK
English poet and literary critic. Although he married and had a family, he was an early advocate of male love (homosexuality), which he believed could include pederastic as well as egalitarian relationships. He referred to it as l'amour de l'impossible (love of the impossible). A cultural historian, he was known for his work on the Renaissance, as well as numerous biographies about writers and artists. He also wrote much poetry inspired by his homosexual affairs.
Because of homosexuality's official "unspeakableness" in his time, Symonds's plainest homosexual work had to remain private, and within that realm he produced some pioneering work. He wrote some of the frankest homoerotic poetry of his day (which was not greatly distinguished as literature), but is best remembered for "A Problem in Greek Ethics", "A Problem in Modern Ethics", two defences of homosexual love and his "Memoirs", the first self-conscious homosexual autobiography known to us now.

Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson Berners  (1883 - 1950) UK
British composer of classical music, novelist, painter and aesthete. He is usually referred to as Lord Berners.

Jerzy Andrzejewski  (1909 -1983)  Polish
A prolific Polish author, who was frequently considered to be a front-runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novels, Ashes and Diamonds (about the immediate post-war situation in Poland), and Holy Week (dealing with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising), have been made into film adaptations by the Oscar-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Holy Week and Ashes and Diamonds have both been translated into English.

Daphne du Maurier (1907 – 1989) UK
British author and playwright. Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the novels Rebecca (which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1941) and Jamaica Inn and the short stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now". The first three were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
After her death in 1989, numerous references were made to her secret bisexuality; an affair with Gertrude Lawrence, as well as her attraction for Ellen Doubleday, the wife of her American publisher, were cited.[16] Du Maurier stated in her memoirs that her father had wanted a son; and, being a tomboy, she had naturally wished to have been born a boy.

Frankie Howerd (1917 –  1992) UK
English comedian and comic actor whose career spanned six decades. Throughout his career, Howerd hid his potentially career-destroying homosexuality (acts between consenting males being illegal in England and Wales until 1967 and illegal in Scotland until 1981) from both his audience and his mother, Edith. In 1955, he met waiter Dennis Heymer, who later became his manager. Heymer was with Howerd for more than thirty years as lighting operator, manager and lover, until Howerd died. Backstage, Howerd was notoriously bold in his advances, and was known for his promiscuity.

Tharon Musser  (1925– 2009) US
Lighting designer who worked on more than 150 Broadway productions. Known as the "Dean of American Lighting Designers" and considered one of the pioneers in her field, she was best known for her work on the musicals "A Chorus Line" and "Dreamgirls".

Sodomy in history,  
April 19

1890 — A sodomy case in Pennsylvania is reported officially in a daily newspaper, rather than in a law reporter.
1900 — The North Dakota Supreme Court upholds the right of the state to prosecute attempts to commit sodomy under the general attempts statute.
1913 — The Illinois Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus is not a "crime against nature" under that’s state’s sodomy law, even though the Court had ruled fellatio to be one due to the state’s unusually broad language.
1933 — Alabama enacts a unique law that outlaws "conspiracy to commit the crime against nature."
1991 — An Ohio trial court dismisses an importuning charge because the undercover police officer led the defendant on.
1995Arizona revises its sex offender registration law to remove sodomy from the list of compulsory registration categories, but permits judges to order registration if the defendant committed sodomy for "sexual motivation."


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