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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

April 16th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2009 - Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed 3rd stage of the “everything but marriage” domestic partnership bill [becoming effective 1st June 2009]

Born this day

Guy Burgess  (1911 –  1963)  UK
British-born intelligence officer and double agent, who worked for the Soviet Union. He was part of the Cambridge Five spy ring that betrayed Western secrets to the Soviets before and during the Cold War.

Merce Cunningham  (1919 –  2009) US
Ddancer and choreographer who was at the forefront of the American avant-garde for more than 50 years. As a choreographer, teacher and leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, he had a profound influence on modern dance. Cunningham’s life and artistic vision have been the subject of numerous books, films, and exhibitions, and his works have been presented by groups including the Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, White Oak Dance Project, and London's Rambert Dance Company.

Together with his life long collaborator and partner John Cage, he used elements of chance to introduce a non-hierarchical approach to movement and staging.Along with painters Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Cunningham and Cage became part of a circle of young gay artists whose ideas not only challenged the macho self-expressive Abstract Expressionists.

Dusty Springfield (1939 - 1999)
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.[98] 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.

Joan Snyder  (1940 – ) US
Painter from New York. She is a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow.

Astrid Nijhoff  (1949 – ) Dutch

Pirkko Saisio  (1949 – ) Finnish
Author, actress and director. She has also written under the pen name Jukka Larsson and Eva Wein. Saisio has a broad literary output, dealing with many kinds of texts from film screenplays all the way to librettos for the ballet.

Essex Hemphill (1957 - 1995) US  
Poet / Activist, who died on November 4, 1995 of AIDS-related complications. He is known for his activism for equality and rights for gay men.

Charles Chauvel  (1969 – ) New Zealand
Lawyer and politician, who is the first New Zealand MP of Tahitian ancestry. In June 2010, Chauvel was appointed as a member of the United Nations Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

Conchita Martinez  (1972 – ) Spanish
Tennis player from Aragón, Spain, the only Spanish woman to have won the singles title at Wimbledon, when she beat Martina Navrátilová in the 1994 Women's Singles. She was also the singles runner-up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes  (1984 – ) US
Author of fantasy and young adult literature. Her debut novel, In the Forests of the Night, was published in 1999,[1] when she was just fourteen years old.

Died this day

Aphra Behn  (1640 - 1689)  UK Author / Playwright
one of the earliest women writers to attempt to earn her living by writing. Behn challenged patriarchal ideology not just as a woman writer unambiguously on the market, but one expressly associated with sexual critique and the sophisticated genres of the theatre, scandal fiction and amatory poetry.

Novelist, poet, playwright, and spy during the Anglo-Dutch war, she became known as the "English Sappho" for her poems.

Youri Egorov (1954 -1988) Russian
Soviet classical pianist, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1976, for reasons that included feeling politically and, being gay, sexually constrained by the Soviet system. In 1976 he got political asylum in Italy, then later moved to the Netherlands, where he died of Aids in 1988.

Thierry Paulin (1963 – 1989) French 
Serial Killer, active in the 1980's. Together with his lover, Jean-Thierry Mathurin. Together, they murdered and robbed a series of elderly women, using their gains to finance drugs and a lavish lifestyle.
He died of AIDS in 1989.

Ron Vawter  (1948 - 1994) US
Actor, who was a founding member of the experimental theater company, The Wooster Group. In his 1992 work for the stage, Vawter explored the themes of sexual identity in Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, a series of two monologues that contrast the characters of two gay men who died of AIDS.

Richard Bloom ( ? - 2006)South African
Fashion Designer and murder victim. He and a friend, the actor Brett Goldin, were murdered execution-style in Mowbray, Cape Town, on Monday 17 April 2006.
Brett and Richard had left a party in Camps Bay on Sunday night and their naked bodies were found lying face down under some trees next to a motorway off-ramp.

Brett Goldin (1977 - 2006)South African
Actor, Murder Victim. He and a friend, fashion designer Richard Bloom, were murdered execution-style in Mowbray, Cape Town, on Monday 17 April 2006.

Sodomy in history, 
April 16

1846 New Jersey’s new criminal code makes the "crime against nature" law gender-neutral. It also excludes anyone convicted of sodomy from being a witness in a trial.
1850 — California outlaws sodomy, with a penalty of 5 years-to-life, although the law may be invalid. Its preamble states its authority as the "state" of California, which doesn’t become a state until September.
1914 — Columbus Mayor George Karb orders police to stop making arrests for gambling and vice. It is three years before his action becomes public, but the number of sodomy arrests in the city drops to zero.
1920 — Maryland defines "lewdness" as "any unnatural sexual practice."
1964 — A New York appellate court upholds the conviction of a man for sodomy despite a non-unanimous vote of a judicial panel and the testimony of the man’s wife.
1973 — Indiana amends its sodomy law to lower to 18 the maximum age at which a person can be convicted of sodomy for assisting another person to masturbate.


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