Events this day in Queer History
2008 – The Justin Campaign against homophobia launched in the UK
2009 – Ban on gays in the military ends in Argentina
2009 – Ban on gays in the military ends in Argentina
Born this day
English poet, who may have been the inspiration behind Oscar Wilde's fictional Dorian Gray. His life partner was Marc André Raffalovich, also a poet and a notable early defender of homosexuality - which he called "unisexuality", but insisted remained at its best when chaste.
Gray and Raffalovich both converted to Catholicism, and Gray was ordained a Catholic priest in 1901. After Gray was moved to a parish in Edinburgh, Raffalovich followed him. The pair continued in a close, but chaste relationship until they died four months apart in 1934
Marc Blitzstein (1905 – 1964) US
Composer, who won national attention in 1937 when his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down by the Works Progress Administration. He is known for The Cradle Will Rock and for his Off-Broadway translation/adaptation of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.
Bernard Price (1925 – 2000) UK
Actor, and a founder member of the Gay Switchboard
Pat Arrowsmith (1930 – ) UK
Author and peace campaigner, who was a co-founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Lou Reed (1942 – ), US
Rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades.
Hollis Sigler (1948 – 2001), US
Chicago-based openly lesbian artist whose paintings addressed her life with breast cancer.
Adrianne Pieczonka (1963 – ), Canadian
Opera Singer (soprano)
Femke de Jong (1975 – ) Dutch
Dutch radio reporter with Omroep Brabant. In 2002 she married radio host Cindy de Koning.
Florencia de la V (1976 – ) Argentine
Actress / Editor
Amanda Ireton (1979 – ), US
Comedian / Reality TV [A Taste of Love ... with Tila Tequila]
Matthew Mitcham (1988 – ) Australian
Diver,the 2008 Olympic champion in the 10 m platform, having received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. He is the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics, and one of few openly gay athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where there were only 11 openly gay athletes out of a total of over 11,000 competitors.
Mitcham was chosen 2008 Sports Performer of the Year by the Australian public. The same year, Australia GQ named him Sportsman of the Year. After accepting the GQ award, Mitcham joked, "Oh, my God, I’m a homo and I just won the sports award!"
Died this day
Film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, but his most enduring image is that of the tall-in-the-saddle Western hero. For some years, he lived with Cary Grant, in a beach house in Malibu that became known as "Bachelor Hall" supposedly "because they were friends and wanted to save on living expenses."
In his book, Cary Grant: Grant's Secret Sixth Marriage (2004), Marc Eliot claims Grant had a sexual relationship with Scott after they met on the set of Hot Saturday. In Hollywood Gays (1996), Boze Hadleigh, author of numerous books purporting to "out" the sexual orientation of celebrities, makes various claims for Scott's homosexuality. He cites homosexual director George Cukor who said about the homosexual relationship between the two: "Oh, Cary won't talk about it. At most, he'll say they did some wonderful pictures together. But Randolph will admit it – to a friend."
Sandy Dennis (1937 - 1992), US
Theater and film actress. In 1966, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Throughout her career, she was the subject of persistent rumors that she was lesbian, but never confirmed the rumors.
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien OBE, known professionally as Dusty Springfield and dubbed The White Queen of Soul, was a British pop singer from the late 1950s to the 1990s.
The fact that Springfield was never reported to be in a relationship recognised by the public meant that the issue of her being "bisexual" was raised continually throughout her life. In 1970, Springfield told the Evening Standard:
“ A lot of people say I'm bent, and I've heard it so many times that I've almost learned to accept it....I know I'm perfectly as capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy. More and more people feel that way and I don't see why I shouldn't. ”
By the standards of 1970, that was a very bold statement.”
In the 1970s and 1980s, Springfield became involved in several romantic relationships with women in Canada and the US that were not kept secret from the gay and lesbian community. She had a love affair with singer-musician Carole Pope of the rock band Rough Trade.
Malcolm Williamson (1931 - 2003) UK
Composer, and the Master of the Queen's Music from 1975 until his death.
Sodomy in history, March 2nd
1799 — Congress adopts a law to "suppress all dissolute, immoral, and disorderly practices" on Naval ships.
1853 — The Washington Territory is created and given all laws of Oregon. Since Oregon doesn’t have a sodomy law, Washington doesn’t get one, either.
1895 — The legal case of Oscar Wilde begins with the arrest of the Marquess of Queensberry on criminal libel charges for having accused Wilde of being a sodomite. Through three trials the truth of the charge comes out and Wilde is convicted of "gross indecency" and sent to prison for two years.
1931 — An Ohio appellate court upholds a sodomy conviction based on the "overwhelming" evidence of guilt: the accused placed his hand on his head, asked for water, and began perspiring.
1943 — The Florida Supreme Court upholds a cunnilingus conviction under the crime against nature law.
1955 — Arkansas lowers the minimum penalty for sodomy from 5 years to one year. The law is passed as an emergency measure with the emergency clause stating that juries have been unwilling to convict under such a severe law.
1965 — The Florida Court of Appeals overturns a sodomy conviction because the defendant’s dishonorable discharge for being Gay was raised in the trial to bias the jury.
1967 — The Washington Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law, saying that the law is necessary for the public welfare.
1982 — The Texas Court of Appeals overturns the lewdness conviction of a man for being fondled by another.