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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

December 18th in Queer History

Born 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.

Saki (1870 – 1916) UK
Hector Hugh Munro, better known by the pen name Saki, was a British writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirised Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, and Kipling, he himself influenced A. A. Milne, Noël Coward, and P. G. Wodehouse.

Cliff Tucker (1993 - 1912 ) UK
British industrial relations executive, magistrate and local government politician.
His partner of 35 years was the gay-rights activist and literary critic A.E. Dyson

Robert Eads (1999 - 1945 ) US
American transsexual man, whose life and death was the subject of the award-winning documentary Southern Comfort.

Ed Flanagan (1950 – )  US
Vermont politician, who served as Vermont State Auditor from 1993 to 2001 and as a State Senator from 2005 to 2011.

Randi Weingarten (1957 – ) US
American labor leader, attorney, and educator, the current president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a member of the AFL-CIO, and former president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Brian Orser (1961 – ) Canadian
Retired competitive and professional figure skater. He is the 1984 and 1988 Olympic silver medalist, 1987 World champion and the 1981-1988 Canadian national champion.In 1985 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Officer in 1988.
In November 1998, Orser lost a legal battle to prevent public disclosure when ex-boyfriend Craig Leask sued him for palimony. Orser initially feared the revelation of his homosexuality would ruin his career, but he has since embraced support from other skaters and the public.

Sia Furler (1975 – ) Australian
pop, downtempo, and jazz singer and songwriter. In 2000, her single, "Taken for Granted" was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom.
In 2008, Furler discussed her bisexuality in interviews with Scotland on Sunday and
She was included on a list of gay entertainers in the June–July 2009 issue of The Advocate, and was twice named in the Australian "SameSame25" awards as among the 25 "most influential" gay and lesbian Australians (in 2010 and 2009)

Died this day

Xuan Dieu (1916 - 1985 ) Vietnamese 
Prominent Vietnamese poet. A colossal figure in modern Vietnamese literature, he wrote about 450 poems (largely in posthumous manuscripts) especially love poems, several short stories, and many notes, essays, and literary criticisms.
Well-known for his love poems, he married briefly before separating from his wife in his youth and died a bachelor. Many people believe that he was homosexual along with his lifelong friend the famous poet Huy Cận,as shown through his many poems about love dedicated to (and apparently addressed to) various men.

Paulina [Juan Pablo Mendez Cartagena] ( ?? - 2005 ) Guatemalan
Transvestite sex worker, shot and killed in Guatemalan City by four men on motorcycles (who, according to eye-witness reports, were dressed in police uniforms).

Ruth Bernhard (1905 - 2006 ) US
Photographer, whose work is mostly studio-based, ranging from simple still lives to complex nudes. (Bernhard was hailed by Ansel Adams as "the greatest photographer of the nude").
By the late-1920s, while living in Manhattan, Bernhard was heavily involved in the lesbian sub-culture of the artistic community, becoming friends with photographer Berenice Abbott and her lover, critic Elizabeth McCausland. She wrote about her "bisexual escapdes" in her memoir. In 1934 Bernhard began photographing women in the nude.
By 1944 she had met and became involved with artist and designer Eveline (Evelyn) Phimister. The two moved in together, and remained together for the next ten years.

Daniel Pinkham (1923 - 2006 ) US
Composer, organist, and harpsichordist. Pinkham was one of America's most active composers during his lifetime.
His longtime partner was the organist Andrew Paul Holman

Robin Wood  (1931 - 2009 ) UK / Canadian
Canada-based film critic and educator.
In September 1974, Wood and his wife divorced. Around this time, he also had a relationship with John Anderson, the dedicatee in at least one of Wood's books. Later he was to meet Richard Lippe, with whom he lived from 1977 until his death in 2009.
After his coming out as a gay man, Wood's writings became more political, primarily from a stance associated with Marxist and Freudian thinking, and with gay rights.

Sodomy in history, December 18 th

1907 — The Washington Supreme Court rules that deadly force can be used against sodomy.

1975 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rules that the city’s law against solicitation for "lewd and immoral purposes" is limited to solicitations for sodomy.

1980 — The New York State Court of Appeals strikes down the state’s consensual sodomy law on sweeping grounds of privacy.


On this gay day

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