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Thursday, 13 December 2012

December 13th in Queer History

Born this day  

Lucia Sanchez Saornil (1895 – 1970) Spanish
Spanish poet, militant anarchist and feminist. best known as one of the founders of Mujeres Libres and served in the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista (SIA). Writing in anarchist publications, Lucía outlined her perspective as a feminist, attacking the essentialism of gender roles in Spanish society. In this way, Lucía established herself as one of the most radical of voices among anarchist women. 
In 1937, while working in Valencia as the editor of the journal Threshold, Lucía met América Barroso, who became her lifelong partner.

Glen Byam Shaw ( 1904 –1986 ) UK
actor and theatre director, known for his dramatic productions in the 1950s and his operatic productions in the 1960s and later.
He had sexual relationships with both Ivor Novello and Siegfried Sassoon, but later married the actress Angela Baddeley, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

Linda Bellos (1950 – ) UK
Former politician, businesswoman and activist for gay rights. After marriage in 1970 and giving birth to two children, Bellos came out in 1980. On 21 December 2005, she and her partner, Caroline Jones, were among the first couples to sign a Civil partnership in the UK.
Bellos is a revolutionary feminist and was the first mixed-race lesbian to join the Spare Rib feminist collective in 1981.

Anne-Marie Alonzo (1951 - 2005) Canadian
Playwright, poet, novelist, critic and publisher. In 1996, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada

Sal Sapienza (1964 – ) US 
Author abd actor, whose debut novel "Seventy Times Seven" deals with the struggle of its leasing character to reconcile his life as a high school religion teacher, with his life as an openly gay man.

Allen R Schindler Jr. (1969 – 1992 ) US
Naval Petty Officer, murdered in hate crime killing.

Radioman Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy who was murdered for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan by shipmate Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called a "brutal murder". The case became synonymous with the gays in the military debate that had been brewing in the United States culminating in the "Don't ask, don't tell" bill.

Winfried Baijens (1977 – ) Dutch 
Dutch journalist and radio/television presenter. In December 2006 Baijens was in third place in the "Lexicon 100" list of out Dutch and Flemish gay role models.

Anthony Callea (1982 – ) Australian
Singer-songwriter who rose to prominence when he became runner up in the 2004 season of Australian Idol. 

Died this day

Donatello (1386 - 1466) Italian
Italian artist and sculptor from Florence, and the most inventive, prolific sculptor of the early Renaissance. Donatello was both technically versatile and adept at powerfully expressive effects. His most famous work is his bronze David, the first free-standing nude statue known to have been produced since ancient times, but his varied oeuvre includes other figures of beautiful male youths imbued with homoerotic sensuality.

Although details of Donatello's personal relationships are sketchy and speculative, the historian Paul Strathern makes the claim that Donatello made no secret of his homosexuality, and that his behaviour was tolerated by his friends.

Mary Renault (1905 - 1983 ) UK / South African
English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. However, her early novels had a contemporary setting,and dealt with lesbian love. After she and her partner emigrated to South Africa in 1949, she found in Durban a community of gay expatriates and a society, which was more sexually tolerant, but racially repressive.
In South Africa Renault was able to write forthrightly about homosexual relationships for the first time, especially in a series of historical novels, all set in ancient Greece; her sympathetic treatment of love between men would win Renault a wide gay readership. Though Renault appreciated her gay following, she was uncomfortable with the "gay pride" movement that emerged in the 1970s after the Stonewall riots.

Kuwasi Balagoon (1946 - 1986 ) US 
Bisexual Black Panther, a member of the Black Liberation Army, a New Afrikan anarchist, and a defendant in the Panther 21 case in the late sixties.

Stuart Challender (1947 - 1991 ) Australian
Symphony conductor, known particularly for his work with Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Tommy Sexton  (1957 - ) Canadian
Openly gay television actor and comedian, who died of complications from AIDS. After his death, his colleague Greg Malone campaigned for HIV and AIDS education in Sexton's memory. His sister, filmmaker Mary Sexton, produced a documentary film about him, Tommy...A Family Portrait, in 2001.Along with Malone and their co-star Andy Jones, Sexton was a posthumous recipient of the Earle Grey Award, the lifetime achievement award of Canadian television's Gemini Awards, in 2002.
The Tommy Sexton Centre, a new assisted housing complex for people living with HIV and AIDS, was opened in St. John's in 2006.

Robert Wagenhoffer (1960 - 1999 ) US 
Figure Skater who won the bronze medal at the 1981 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a silver the following year before turning pro in 1982. He also competed in pairs with Vicki Heasley and won a silver medal at Nationals in 1979.

Robert Long (1943 - 2006) Dutch 
Dutch singer and television presenter.
In 1998 a revealing book containing letters was released. Letters about life, death, love, sex, work and colleagues were made public by him and Cees van der Pluijm, using the title Beste Robert, Waarde Cees.
On 8 September 2005 Long suffered a myocardial infarction and was treated with angioplasty. Later that year, on 6 December 2005 Long married his Belgian boyfriend and manager Kristof Rutsaert.

Marland Woods (1976 - 2009 ) US  Hate Crime Victim
A 32-year-old gay Toledo man who was "kicked and stomped in the head" across the street from a gay bar. Woods was hospitalized and died six days from head injuries.

Sodomy in history, December 13 th
1904 — The Iowa Supreme Court rules that "irresistible insane impulse" is a possible defense against a charge of sodomy.

1912 — England requires flogging for a second violation of the 1898 law prohibiting Gay solicitation.

1925 — A California appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man even though the prosecuting witness inexplicably left town during trial and inconsistencies concerning facts were admitted into trial.

1932 — The Utah Supreme Court reverses the sodomy conviction of a man that was based on the uncorroborated testimony of a consenting partner and the admission of evidence of earlier acts with another partner.

1933 — The Washington Supreme Court reaffirms that sodomy defendants can be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of a partner.

1937 — A California appellate court upholds the convictions of 16 men for consensual sex in an isolated cabin. The police had drilled holes in the ceiling to watch.

1951 — The Iowa Supreme Court overrules its 1920 decision and rules that the "sucker" can be prosecuted for sodomy along with the "suckee," even though the sodomy law hasn’t changed.

1955 — The North Dakota Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man even though only an attempt had been proven.

1969 — The Oregon Criminal Law Commission, studying a proposed new criminal code, defeats an attempt by the Oregon Attorney General to tone down the proposed solicitation law. Attorney General Lee Johnson warns that it is so broad that police harassment of Gay men could occur.

1973 — A California appellate court upholds the right of a state to revoke the license of a doctor for soliciting another man for sex.

1976 — The Louisiana Supreme Court upholds a 2½-year jail sentence of two prisoners for engaging in consensual sodomy with each other.


On this gay day

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