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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

France's parliament begins long debate on gay marriage

The French National Assembly has begun a marathon debate on legalising same-sex marriage after months of public protests and counter-protests.

The bill, promised by President Francois Hollande during his election campaign last year, allows for same-sex marriage and adoption by gay parents.

Mr Hollande's Socialists and their allies command enough parliamentary support to see it through.

However, opponents have outnumbered supporters at recent demonstrations.

Between 340,000 and 800,000 people surged into Paris on 13 January for a rally against gay marriage, compared to between 125,000 and 400,000 who turned out on Sunday to support the bill.

The size of popular opposition and slickness of the "anti" campaign have surprised many, correspondents say.

-continue reading at BBC News 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

January 24th in Queer History

Born this day

Frederick the Great (1712 - )

Hadrian (76 –  138)  Roman Emperor
Hadrian was an accomplished military ruler, but owes his fame more to his success as a wise and civilized leader and administrator, who helped to stabilize the Roman Empire - and for his renowned devotion to his lover, Antinous. After his young lover drowned in the Nile in 130, the Emperor was publicly overcome with grief, and declared the young man to be a god, and founded an Egytpian city, Antinoopolis, in his honour.

Henri Nouwen  (1932 – 1996) Dutch/Canadian
Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books about spirituality. The results of a Christian Century magazine survey conducted in 2003 indicate that Nouwen's work was a first choice of authors for Catholic and mainline Protestant clergy. One of his most famous works is Inner Voice of Love, his diary from December 1987 to June 1988 during one of his most serious bouts with clinical depression.
Nouwen is thought to have struggled with his sexuality. "Although his homosexuality was known by those close to him, he never publicly claimed a homosexual identity."

David Gerrold  (1944 –  ) US

Klaus Nomi  (1944 –  1983) German
Singer/ Actor

Benny Medina  (1958 –  ) US
Talent Agent

Died this day

George Cukor  (1899 - 1983 ) US

Yves Navarre  (1940  - 1994) French

Donald Vining  (1917  - 1998) US
Author / Playwright / Publisher

Betty Berzon (1928 –  2006) US
Author / Psychotherapist

Bryan Kocis (1962  - 2007) US
Porn Company Founder

Jahna Steele (1958  - 2008) US

Sodomy in history, January 24th

1967 — The Indiana Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

January 15th in Queer History

Born this day

Loie Fuller (1862 –  1928) US

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864 – 1952) US
Photographer / Photojournalist

Mazo de la Roche (1879 – 1961) Canadian

Ivor Novello (1893 –  1951) UK
Actor / Playwright / Composer

Disley Jones (1926 – 2005) UK
Set Designer

Agustin Gomez-Arcos (1939 – 1998) Spanish

Kate Hogan (1957 – ) US

Zak Spears (1965 – ) US

Jeffrey Altergott (1968 –  ) US
Singer / Songwriter

Mason Wyler (1984 – ) US

Died this day

Francois Raucourt (1756 - 1815) French

Modest Tchaikovsky (1850 - 1916 ) Russian
Playwright, brother of the composer Peter Ilyich  Tchaikovsky

Torvald Tu (1893 - 1955) Norwegian
Poet / Playwright / Author

Brian Howard (1905 - 1958) UK

John Dall (1918 - 1971) US

Sodomy in history, January 15th

1892 — An Ohio newspaper reports the arrest of a man for throwing a kettle of hot soup over his wife because she wouldn’t leave the house so that he could "sleep with" a man he brought home.

1958 — An Ohio appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man while conceding that there is evidence that he was framed.

1958 — A Texas appellate court upholds the right of the state to try sodomy defendants without an attorney.

1968 — The Virginia Supreme Court rules that merely placing the mouth on a penis does not violate the state’s sodomy law.


Monday, 14 January 2013

January 14th in Queer History

Born this day

Pierre Loti (1850 –  1923) French
Author / Poet

Sir Cecil Beaton (1904 – 1980) UK

Gerald Arpino (1923 – 2008) US
Ballet / Choreographer

Yukio Mishima (1925 – 1970) Japanese

Tom Tryon (1926 – 1991) US
Actor / Author

Hanne Haller (1950 – 2005) German
Singer / Composer / Author / Producer / Sound Engineer

Keith Michael (1972 – ) US
Fashion Designer / Reality TV [Project: Runway]

Ivan Andros (1973 –) Spanish

Francilla Agar (1975/6 ) Dominican / Canadian
Swimmer / Painter / Musician

Died this day

Ralph Chubb (1892 - 1960 ) UK
Poet / Artist

Anais Nin (1903 - 1977) French

Robert Odeman (1904 - 1985) German
Pianist / Actor / Composer

Sam Wagstaff (1921 - 1987 ) US
Art Collector

Mark Finch ( 1961 - 1995 ) UK
Actor / Film Promoter

Frank Govers (1932 - 1997) Dutch
Fashion Designer

Rudolph Moshammer (1940 - 2005) German
Fashion Designer / Murder Victim

Angela Morley (1924 - 2009 ) UK Composer / Conductor

Sodomy in history, January 14th


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Al-Hakem II (Spain ) Cordoba Caliph

b. January 13, 915
d. October 16, 976
ruled 961 - October 1, 976

Contrary to the modern perception that Islam is implacably opposed to homosexuality, the history of Islam, like that of Christianity, exposes factual evidence to the contrary. Numerous important men in Islamic history, especially the rulers and poets, are known to have had male lovers, or celebrated male love in their poetry. Al-Hakem II, Caliph of Cordoba in Spain, is an example - just like his father before him.

In his youth his loves seem to have been entirely homosexual. He was known to have openly kept a male harem.This exclusivity was a problem, since it was essential to produce an heir. A resolution was reached by his taking a concubine who dressed in boys' clothes and was give the masculine name of Jafar.

Successor of Abd-al-Rahman III, who had kept both male and female harems, Caliph Al-Hakem II in year 965 built the largest castle in Europe (446 m long, 89 m wide and 1,200 m in perimeter) at Gormaz (close to the road that goes from Aranda de Duero to Medinaceli). His rule assured a long period of peace to Andalusia. He was devoted to books and learning, and  the Muslim library reached up to 400,000 volumes. (this was sacked in the Berber siege of Cordoba in 1100). He even sent his agents to purchase 'first edition' books from the Muslim east, such as Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs) by Abu al-Faraj al.-Isfahani.
During his reign, a massive translation effort was undertaken, and many books were translated from Latin and Greek into Arabic. He formed a joint committee of Arab Muslims and Iberian Mozarab Christians for this task.  By mid tenth century most of existing Greek and Hellenic works were translated into Arabic. He enlarged and beautifully decorated Cordoba's Mosque.


Crompton, Louis:  Homosexuality and Civilization

Saturday, 12 January 2013

January 12th in Queer History

Born this day

Nobuko Yoshiya (1896 –  1973) Japanese
Novelist active in Taishō and Showa period Japan. She was one of modern Japan's most commercially successful and prolific writers, specializing in serialized romance novels and adolescent girls’ fiction, as well as a pioneer in Japanese lesbian literature.

Pierre Bernac (1899 –  1979) French 
Singer (baritone)and teacher.

June Miller (1902 – 1979) US 
Second wife of the novelist Henry Miller. June was bisexual,and briefly left Miller to live with the artist Jean Kronski in Paris. After returning to her marriage with Miller, she became involved in a flirtatious, and possibly sexual, relationship with the writer Anais Nin. Both writers (Miller and Nin)used June as the basis for some of their writing.

Barbro Alving (1909 –  1987) Swedish
Journalist and writer, a pacifist and feminist. Alving never married, but she had a daughter Maud Fanny Alving. When her daughter was only one year old, Alving began living with Anna Laura Sjöcrona. Alving and Sjöcrona lived together for over 40 years, until Alving's death.
Patsy Kelly (1910 – 1981) US 
Actress / Singer / Comedian

Long John Baldry (1941 –  2005) UK
English and Canadian blues singer and a voice actor. In his early career in the 60's, the keyboard player in his band was Reg Dwight - later and better known as Elton John.
Baldry was openly gay even in the early 1960s when homosexuality was still criminalised and medicated. He later had a brief relationship with lead-guitarist of The Kinks, Dave Davies, and supported Elton John in coming to terms with his own sexuality.

Felipe Rose (1954 – ) US 
Founding member and inspiration for the disco group the Village People. Rose was working as a dancer and a bartender in a gay New York Go-Go club, dressed as an Indian when he was discovered by French producer Jacques Morali and executive producer Henri Belolo and so became the first recruit for Village People. Both Jacques and Henri were fascinated by Rose's Indian attire and saw the potential in organizing a singing group where each individual would wear a different costume and have a particular identity.
In 2000, Rose began to work on his solo career.

Simon Russell Beale (1961 –  ) UK
Actor and music historian. He has been described by The Independent as "the greatest stage actor of his generation." In the Independent on Sunday 2006 Pink List – a list of the most influential gay men and women in the UK – he was placed at number 30.

Jurgen Stein (1973 –  ) Dutch
Singer / Actor

Zhou Dan (1974 - ), China
Chinese Gay Rights Pioneer,GLBT activist and attorney Zhou Dan came out to his friends in 1998 and the media in 2003. A champion of GLBT rights in China, Zhou writes articles on Chinese gay and lesbian Web sites. Although many GLBT Chinese use pseudonyms, Zhou uses his real name. After revealing his sexuality to a Shanghai newspaper in 2003, Zhou appeared across China in newspapers and magazines and on television. Earlier that year, he established the Shanghai Hotline for Sexual Minorities.

In 2004, Zhou attended Yale Law School's China Law Center as a visiting scholar. In 2006, he taught China's first graduate class on homosexuality at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Dreuxilla Divine (1974 – ) Puerto Rican
Drag Queen character on televisionand as a drag performer in Puerto Rico and eastern United States cities.

Kieron Richardson (1986 – ) UK
Actor, best known for playing the role of Ste Hay in Hollyoaks.

Saints Day:

St Aelred,
Patron of the LGBT Anglican group Integrity, and also widely regarded as a patron saint of male couples, on the strength of his book in praise of spirituality found in close friendship between male couples.

Died this day

Lorraine Hansberry (1930 - 1965) US
African American playwright and author of political speeches, letters, and essays.

Robert Friend (1913 - 1998) US/ Israeli
American-born poet and translator. After moving to Israel, he became a professor of English literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Flores “Flo” McGarrell  (1974 - 2010)  US
artist, filmmaker, writer and arts administrator, who died in the Haiti Earthquake.
Born biologically female, McGarrell identified strongly with androgyny since childhood, and the transgender and queer (or radical queer) community as an adult. He began formally identifying as a male in 2003-04. He described himself as "a total gender mash up (beard, miniskirt, etc.)" and "as a non-passing transperson."

Sodomy in History, January 12th

1706 — Pennsylvania eliminates the castration penalty from its sodomy law.

1939 — The Georgia Supreme Court rules that two women can not be prosecuted for sodomy under state law.

1950 — The Pennsylvania Superior Court overturns a sodomy conviction because the trial judge told the jury that "the crimes as charged were actually committed by someone," and the appellate court feels that this prejudiced the jury.

1962 — The North Carolina Supreme Court upholds the right of the state to amend sodomy indictments.

1966 — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upholds the sentence of 18 months for consensual sodomy solely because it was within the 10-year statutory maximum.

1987 — The Louisiana Supreme Court upholds the "crime against nature" law provision covering solicitation for compensation and rejects a discriminatory enforcement argument.

1994 — The Texas Supreme Court dismisses a sodomy law challenge argued more than a year earlier. Three of the five members of the majority are up for reelection in 1994, and the majority claims it cannot make a constitutional decision on a criminal law in a civil case.


Friday, 11 January 2013

January 11th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2007 – Northern Mexican state of Coahuila passed bill legalising civil unions

Born this day

Eva Le Gallienne (1899 – 1991) UK
Actress / Producer / Director

Al Berto (1948 –  1997) Portuguese

Rick Bebout (1950 – 2009) Canadian
Journalist / Activist

John Sessions (1953 – ) UK
Actor / Comedian

Chris Bryant (1962 –) UK

Marc Acito (1966 – ) US
Author / Screenwriter

Jackie Biskupski (1966 – ) US

Chad Donovan (1972 – )  US
Porn / Director

Rahsaan Patterson (1974 –) US
Singer / Songwriter / Actor

Died this day

Max Lorenz (1901 - 1975 )German

Sarah Aldridge (1911 - 2006) Brazilian / US

Sodomy in history, January 11th

1908 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court, in interpreting the state’s law banning "unnatural and lascivious acts," says that it covers "any and all" unnatural and lascivious acts, but never defines the term.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

January 10th in Queer History

Born this day

George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943) US

Aaron Bridgers (1918 –  2003) US

Johnnie Ray (1927 –  1990) US
Singer / Songwriter / Pianist

Sal Mineo (1939 – 1976) US
Actor / Murder Victim

Jeff Jones (1944 – ) US

Craig Russell (1948 – 1990) Canadian
Female Impersonator / Actor

Nathan Moore (1965 – ) UK

Died this day

Hannah Gluckstein / Gluck (1895 - 1978 ) UK

Paul Lynde (1926 - 1982 ) US
Actor / Comedian

Ian Harvey (1914 - 1987 ) UK

Ien Dales (1931 - 1994) Dutch

Sodomy in history, January 10th

1924 — A California appellate court rules that charging a person with "an assault to commit the crime against nature" is sufficient, because "every person of ordinary intelligence understands what that crimes is."

1930 — The Washington Supreme Court rules that one partner in an act of sodomy can be convicted even if the other is acquitted.

1952 — The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the conviction of a man arrested in Franklin Square by police for solicitation. He is the seventh arrestee in a single night by just one officer. The Court feels that this proves entrapment.

1954 — In England, Peter Wildeblood, Michael Pitt-Rivers, and Lord Montagu are arrested on a sodomy charge in a case in which the government later admits that it used forged evidence. All three are political opponents of the Churchill Administration.

1961 — The New Jersey Supreme Court suspends, until he is "cured," an attorney who had sex with another male.

1966 — The District of Columbia Court of Appeals rules that a person accused of sodomy can be convicted on the lesser charge of an attempt.

1974 — The Missouri Court of Appeals refuses to consider sociological articles in a challenge to the state’s sodomy law


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

January 9th in Queer History

Born this day

Simone de Beauvoir (1908 –  1986) French
Author / Philosopher

Bunney Brooke (1921 –2000) Australian

Sergei Parajanov (1924 – 1990) Armenian
Director / Artist

Joan Baez (1941 – )  US
Singer / Songwriter

Edward von Kloberg III (1942 – 2005) US

Rio Reiser (1950 – 1996) German
Singer / Musician

Oliver Goldstick (1961 – ) US
Screenwriter / Producer

Tom Braddock (1967 – ) US

Renato Bellagio (1977 – ) Hungarian
Porn / Dancer

Christian Mollerop (1981 – ) Norwegian

Saints Day:

Polyeuct and Nearchos
Like the later and better known Sainsts Sergius and Bacchus, Polyeuct and Nearchos were a pair of Roman soldiers and male lovers who were martyred for their Christian faith.

Died this day

Katherine Mansfield (1888  - 1923) New Zealand

Countee Cullen (1903 - 1946 ) US

Richard Barr (1917 - 1989) US

Felix Gonzales-Torres (1957 - 1996) Cuban

Died this day

Sodomy in history, January 9th


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

January 8th in Queer History

Born this day

Winnaretta Singer (1865 - 1943 ) US. Heiress
Winnaretta Singer, Princesse Edmond de Polignac,was an American musical patron and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune.

She had affairs with numerous women, never making attempts to conceal them, and never going for any great length of time without a female lover. She had these affairs during her own marriages and afterwards, and often with other married women. The affronted husband of one of her lovers once stood outside the princess's Venetian palazzo, declaring, "If you are half the man I think you are, you will come out here and fight me."

Richard Cromwell (1910 – 1960) US

Tharon Musser (1925 –  2009) US
Lighting Technician

Kerwin Mathews (1926 –  2007) US

Daniel Farson (1927 - 1997 ) UK.
British writer and broadcaster, who was a popular television personality and prominent public figure in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Graham Chapman (1941 –  1989) UK
Actor / Screenwriter

George Passmore (1942 – ) UK
Artist [Gilbert & George]

William Bonin (1947 –  1996) US
Serial Killer

David Bowie (1947 –) UK
Singer / Actor

Sir Adrian Fulford (1953 – ) UK

Nacho Duato (1957 – ) Spanish Dancer / Director

Noel Alumit (1970 – ) US  Actor / Author / Activist

Charlie Condou (1973 – ) UK Actor

Rafe Judkins (1983 – ) US  Reality TV [Survivor] / Screenwriter

Died this day

Arcangelo Corelli  (1653  - 1713) Italian
Composer / Violinist

Paul Verlaine (1844 - 1896)French
Poet associated with the Symbolist movement, and considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
In 1872 he left his wife for what became a stormy relationship with Arthur Rimbaud.

Johnny Jordaan (1924 - 1989 ) Dutch

Sir Michael Tippett (1905 - 1998 ) UK

Sodomy in history, January 8th


Monday, 7 January 2013

January 7th in Queer History

Born this day

Zora Neale Hurston (1891 - 1960), US
Author, anthropologist, and folklorist during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, a book heralded as “one of the most poetic works of fiction by a black writer in the first half of the 20th century, and one of the most revealing treatments in modern literature of a woman’s quest for satisfying life.”

Francis Poulenc (1899 –  1963) French
Composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music.
Some writers consider Poulenc one of the first openly gay composers.

Robert Duncan (1919 –  1988) US 
Poet and a student of H.D. and the Western esoteric tradition. Duncan's mature work emerged in the 1950s in the literary context of Beat culture. He was a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance.

Chester Kallman (1921 –  1975) US 
Poet,librettist, and translator, best known for his collaborations with W. H. Auden and Igor Stravinsky.
In addition to being professional collaborators, Kallman and Isherwood were lovers for a time, and remained life long friends.

Pierre Gripari (1925 – 1990) French
Writer, born to a Greek father and French mother.

Jann Wenner (1946 – ) US 
Co-founder and publisher of the music and politics biweekly Rolling Stone, as well as the owner of Men's Journal and Us Weekly magazines.
Wenner and his wife separated in 1995. Since then, Wenner's partner has been the fashion designer Matt Nye, .

Frans Kellendonk (1951 – 1990) Dutch
Professor of English language and literature in the Netherlands. He was also a novelist, who won the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs in 1987 for his novel Mystiek lichaam. This work attracted criticism in gay circles for its alleged homophobia, but Kellendonk was himself gay, and died of complications following AIDS a month after his 39th birthday.

Dionne Brand (1953 – ) Canadian 
Poet, novelist, essayist and documentarian. She was named Toronto's third Poet Laureate in September 2009.

Rex Lee (1969 – ) US 
Actor, best known for his role on the HBO original series, Entourage, as Lloyd Lee.

David Yost (1969 – ) US 
Actor and producer known for his role of Billy Cranston on the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and Power Rangers Zeo.

Paul Ferreira (1973 – ) Portuguese / Canadian
Social democratic politician and one of the first openly gay politicians elected to provincial office in Canada.

Billy Merrell (1982 – ) US 
Author and poet. He published his first book Talking in the Dark, a poetry memoir, with Scholastic in 2003. Together with David Levithan,he also co-edited "The Full Spectrum" a collection of queer writing for young readers, which won the 2007 Lammy in the Children's/Young Adult category .

Died this day

Napoleon Lapathiotis (1888 - 1944) Greek
Poet, who began writing and publishing poetry when he was just eleven.

Colin McPhee (1900 - 1964) Canadian
Composer and musicologist. He is primarily known for being the first Western composer to make an ethnomusicological study of Bali, and for the quality of that work. He also composed music influenced by that of Bali and Java decades before such world music–based compositions became widespread.

Richard Hunt (1951 - 1992) US 
Puppeteer best known as a Muppet performer. Hunt's Muppet roles included Scooter, Beaker, Janice, Statler, and Sweetums. After Hunt died of AIDS-related complications, Episode 3136 of Sesame Street and the film The Muppet Christmas Carol were dedicated to his memory.

Larry Grayson (1923 - 1995) UK
Stand-up comedian and television presenter of the 1970s and early 80s. He is best remembered for hosting the BBC's popular series The Generation Game and for his high camp and English music hall humour.
Don Moreland ( - 2012) US
Activist, local politician

Sodomy in history, January 7th

1829 — William Maxwell is the last English sailor hanged for sodomy.

1876 — New Mexico passes a sodomy law with a penalty of up to life imprisonment. Prior to this, it had relied on the English common law.

1957 — The American Civil Liberties Union publishes a position paper on sodomy laws and states that it supports the existence of such laws.

1983 — A Georgia appellate court rules that accomplices’ testimony in sodomy cases needs no corroboration, even though state law specifically requires it.

1986 — The Oklahoma Court of Appeals overturns a crime against nature conviction for cunnilingus, because actual penetration of the vagina had not been proven.


Zora Neale Hurston, Author & Folklorist

b. January 7, 1891
d. January 28, 1960

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”

American author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston was a principal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She is the author of “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” a book heralded as “one of the most poetic works of fiction by a black writer in the first half of the 20th century, and one of the most revealing treatments in modern literature of a woman’s quest for satisfying life.”

Hurston grew up in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town to be incorporated in the United States, and a source of much of her writing.  Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was a Baptist preacher, farmer and mayor. 

When her mother died in 1904, Hurston was sent to Jacksonville, Florida. Working as a maid for a traveling theatrical company, she ended up in Baltimore and attended high school by claiming to be a decade younger. She adopted 1901 as her birth year.

Hurston attended Howard University and, in 1928, became the first African-American woman to graduate from Barnard College. She went on to do graduate work in anthropology at Columbia University. 
During her time in New York, Hurston was a mainstay of the Harlem Renaissance, an African-American cultural movement. Hurston befriended and collaborated with notable figures such as poet Langston Hughes and entertainers Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith.  In 1935, she published “Mules and Men,” an anthology of African-American folklore.

Hurston traveled to Haiti and Jamaica for research on a Guggenheim Fellowship. During her travels, she penned what would later become her masterpiece: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937).  She wrote two more novels and an autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road” (1942).

Though she received awards for her work, Hurston never reaped financial benefit. 
In her later years, Hurston wrote for newspapers. After medical and financial complications, she moved into a welfare home in Fort Pierce, Florida, where she died. She was buried in an anonymous grave.
In 1973, writer Alice Walker found an unmarked headstone in Fort Pierce and marked it as Zora Neale Hurston’s. Walker published an article that launched a revival of Hurston’s work. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey produced a film version of “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” starring Halle Berry.

" Zora Neale Hurston." 17 May 2009
The Zora Neale Hurston Official Website. 16 May 2009
"Women In History: Zora Neale Hurston." 16 May 2009
"Zora Neale Hurston" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 17 May 2009

Books by Zora Neale Hurston
Color Struck in Opportunity Magazine (1925)
How It Feels to Be Colored Me (1928)
Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934)
Mules and Men (1935)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1935)
Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939)
Dust Tracks on a Road (1942)
Seraph on the Suwanee (1948)
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...and Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader (1979)
Mule Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life co-authored with Langston Hughes (1991)

PBS: Zora is my Name! (1989)
Brother to Brother (2004)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005)
PBS: Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (2008)

Other Resources
The Zora Neale Hurston Digital Archive – University of Central Florida
State Library & Archives of Florida: Florida Memory
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts & Humanities – ZORA! festival
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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Frans Kellendonk, Dutch Writer

b. 7th January 1951
d. 15 February 1990

Professor of English language and literature in the Netherlands. He was also a novelist, who won the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs in 1987 for his novel Mystiek lichaam. This work attracted criticism in gay circles for its alleged homophobia, but Kellendonk was himself gay, and died of complications following AIDS a month after his 39th birthday.

Kellendonk studied English Language and Culture at the University of Nijmegen. He also studied for a time in England, and later worked at Utrecht University, the Free University and the University of Amsterdam. Besides his academic career as lecturer in English language and literature, Kellendonk wrote several stories and novels which brought him literary fame.His stylistic skill was praised, but his cultural criticism often maligned.Kellendonk's alleged neo-conservative world view, with a revaluation of traditional values, was far from fashionable in the Netherlands of the eighties. Kellendonk's literary home. from 1978 to 1983 was the magazine The Government  where he was editor in chief .

He debuted as a writer in May 1977 with the collection of stories “Bouwval“ (Ruin), for which he was awarded.the Anton Wachter Prize, established in that year. The novel  "Mystiek Lichaam" (Mystical Body)(1986) is his most successful work. The book was acclaimed, awarded the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize and was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize, but it also drew allegations against Kellendonk of anti-Semitism and homophobia. .In gay circles, where Kellendonk was known to be homosexual, the vision of homosexuality as "sterile lifestyle" was controversial. Kellendonk defended himself against this criticism with the classic argument that an author can not be held responsible for the ideas of his fictional characters.
Kellendonk belonged to the generation of AFTh. van der Heijden and de Jong Oek .

Mystical Body confirmed his place in Dutch literature. Even before the publication of that book, the first symptoms of AIDS were revealed to Kellendonk. A book about the Kerwin Duinmeijer affair that he had prepared, therefore remained unfinished.

He died one month after his 39th birthday and was buried in Amsterdam Cemetery Zorgvlied .
In accordance with instructions he left, his complete works were published in 1992. In 2006 publishing Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep began to reissue Kellendonk's works. In 2006 the archives of Frans Kellendonk came under the management of the Library of the Society of Dutch Literature, University of Leiden .
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Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), French Composer

b. 7 January 1899
d. 30 January 1963

Composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music.
Some writers consider Poulenc one of the first openly gay composers.

Poulenc and harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.

Poulenc was born into an affluent Parisian family. His father directed the pharmaceutical company that became Rhône-Poulenc; his mother was a talented amateur pianist. At the death of his parents, Poulenc inherited the country estate "Noizay", which would be an important retreat for him as he gained fame.

From 1920, Poulenc became a member of a group of young composers dubbed "Les Six", in which the others were Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, and Louis Durey. His first great popular success was hia ballet score for Diaghilev's Bellet Russe, "Les biches" (1924). Later, there followed two commissions from the lesbian American expatriate Winnaretta Singer (known in France as Princesse Edmond de Polignac): the Concerto for Two Pianos (1932) and the Organ Concerto (1938).

Poulenc's growing recognition of his homoesexuality from the late 1920's, combined with the death in 1930 of the only woman he had ever considered marrying, contributed to a period of grave depression, and may have led also to return to the Roman Catholic Church for solace. Following a religious pilgrimage in 1936, he composed a substantial body of sacred works,including some of his most popular works: the Stabat Mater (1950) the Gloria (1959), and his operatic masterpiece, Les Dialogue de Carmelites. In the finale, one by one the nuns face the guillotine, which can be clearly heard:

This turn to religious however, did not result in any rejection of his interest in men. The surrealistic opera "Les mamelles de Tirésias" (1944) the World War II Resistance cantata "La figure humaine" (1943), and other works were dedicated to his second lover, the bisexual chauffeur Raymond Destouches. Earlier, his first lover had been the painter Richard Chanlaire, whom he met in the late twenties. Later, his lovers were Lucien Roubert, who died of pleurisy in 1955, and from 1957 his last significant lover, Louis Gautier.

Joan of Arc, Cross-dressing Christian Saint and Martyr.

b. ca. 1412 (formally celebrated in France on January 6th)
d. 30 May 1431

Among all the multitude of queer saints,  Joan of Arc is one of the most important. In her notorious martyrdom for heresy (a charge which in historical context included reference to her cross-dressing and defiance of socially approved gender roles), she is a reminder of the great persecution of sexual and gender minorities by the Inquisition, directly or at their instigation. In LGBT Christian history, "martyrs" applies not only to those martyred by the church, but also to those martyred by the church. In her rehabilitation and canonization, she is a reminder that the leaders and theologians of the church, those who were responsible for her prosecution and conviction, can be wrong, can be pronounced to be wrong, and can in time have their judgements overturned.(This is not just a personal view. Pope Benedict has made some very pointed remarks of his own to this effect, while speaking about Joan of Arc).  In the same way, it is entirely possible (I believe likely) that the current dogmatic verdict of Vatican orthodoxy which condemns our relationships will also in time be rejected.  We may even come to see some of the pioneers of gay theology, who have in effect endured a kind of professional martyrdom for their honesty and courage, rehabilitated and honoured by the Church, just as St Joan has been.

Joan of Arc Iinterrogation by the Bishop  of Winchester (Paul Delaroche, 1797 -1856)
Joan of Arc:  Interrogation by the Bishop  of Winchester
(Paul Delaroche, 1797 -1856)
Joan of Arc is the best known cross-dresser in history, defying gender expectations to lead an army, and lead it to victory in the service of her country.  This much is well known, and immediately qualifies her as a trans hero (or heroine.  Take  your pick.) What of the ret of us? Well, remember her story in the church as well as the battlefield:  she was burned as a heretic, before her later rehabilitation and eventual canonization. Now recall the association of heresy and “sodomy”.

John Boswell has clearly shown that the religious opposition to homoerotic relationships was not based in scripture, nor was it deeply entrenched in the early church. Instead, the opposition of the church followed, not led, popular intolerance that grew with the decline in urbanisation after the sack of Rome.  This growth in intolerance was not only directed at homosexuals, but also at other social outsiders – jews, gypsies and “heretics”. Writers such as Mark D Jordan and Allan Bray have since shown how the very word “sodomite”, now widely used  as a pejorative epithet against gay males, was a late medieval coinage which was originally used far more loosely and indiscriminately, often including ay other form of sexual non-conformism – or heresy.

So what was the crime of “heresy” of which she was accused? Well, nominally it was based on her claim to have seen “visions” which inspired her to follow her path of resistance to the foreign invaders.  But note the nationality of her accusers:  it was not the French Church which tried and judged her, but the English Bishops:  countrymen of the army she had opposed and defeated. Was her crime to have experienced visions, or was it to have opposed the English?

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII: Ingres

Consider that which has made her most famous, iconic as an historic figure:  the cross-dressing.  This was a clear violation of her expected gender role, and may have been described by some as “sodomy” – which was closely related to heresy.  I have recently seen a claim (sadly, I have no link) that the real reason for her trial and execution was this cross-dressing.  If so, she is the first Christian martyr we know of who was executed not just executed and was gay, but executed because of her gender expression. However, there is of course a happy ending: she was later rehabilitated, and canonized. Now consider the obvious moral for us as GLBT Christians today.
Joan had a “vision”, an apparition of Mary. There are also other kinds of vision, some more mundane, more political, of the Martin Luther King “I have a dream”.  In this sense, many of us too have a vision, a dream, of proper inclusion and acceptance in the Christian churches, where we belong with everybody else, on the strength of the promises of Christ.
Joan was persecuted by the church authorities, condemned and executed.  We are not (directly) executed by the church today, but we are certainly condemned and persecuted, labelled as “fundamentally disordered”, and told that if we simply live truthfully in our god-given sexuality,we are committing “grave sin”.  Worse, by the clear failure to take a strong stand against civil laws and proscriptions, as for example the failure to sign the UN resolution on the decriminalisation of homosexuality early this year, the Church is indirectly giving support to some forces that do actively seek our death.
But in the end, she was vindicated.  We have not yet seen that development, but I am certain it will come. It is required by the Gospel of inclusion and social justice, it is also required by the internal logic of theology. James Alison has recently noted that theology will in time be forced to face up to the plain finings of science that  same sex relationships are not unnatural, just uncommon.  They have occurred throughout history, in many societies, and across the animal kingdom. Theologians will be slow to catch up, but they will, and we too will be vindicated.
St Joan of Arc and the queer community: we have a lot in common.

Further reading;

Related articles at QTC:
Related articles elsewhere:

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January 6th in Queer History

Born this day

Joan of Arc (c 1412 - 1431)
Although St Joan's exact date of birth is not known, January 6th is the date on which it is celebrated in France, where she is honoured as a heroine for her struggle against foreign domination. For the queer community, she deserves to be honoured for her role in standing up to religious oppression. Part of the ecclesiastical hostility was directed against her insistence on adopting a male role and dress, for which she was accused of "heresy", convicted and burned at the stake. Over the next four centuries, thousands more people were suffered judicial murder, either directly by Church authorities, or at their instigation.

But the Catholic authorities later recanted, and eventually recognized not only that she was no heretic, but in fact deserved recognition as a saint of the Church. She thus is a powerful symbol of the hope that in time, the church will likewise repent of the harm it has done by its disordered teaching on homoerotic relationships.

Marie Dorval (1798 – 1849) French 
Actress, who was believed to be a lover of George Sand. After Dorval's death in 1849, Sand assumed the financial support for Dorval's surviving grandchildren.

HA de Rochemont (1901 –  1942) Dutch
Journalist, fascist and later a collaborator with the Nazis.

Walter Sedlmayr (1926 – 1990) German
Stage, television, and movie actor.

Nancy Ruth (1942 – ) Canadian 
On her appointment to the Canadian Senate in 2005, she became Canada's first openly lesbian senator.

Suzi Wizowaty (1954 – )  US 
Author and politician who is a member of the Vermont House of Representatives.

Yvonne Zipter (1954 – )  US 
Journalist, author and poet, who was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1995.

Bjorn Lomborg (1965 – ) Danish
Author, academic, and environmental writer, who became internationally known for his best-selling and controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist.

Gabor Szetey (1968 – ) Hungarian 
Former Secretary of State for Human Resources in Hungary's Gyurcsány government, for the Hungarian Socialist Party.
Szetey publicly declared that he was gay at the opening night of Budapest's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, on July 6, 2007. He is the first LGBT member of government in Hungary, and the second politician to come out, after Klára Ungár.

Danny Pintauro (1976 – ) US 
Actor best known for his role on the popular American sitcom Who's the Boss? and his role in the 1983 film Cujo.

Trenton Straube (???? – ) US 

Died this day

Adolf de Meyer (1868 - 1949) French / German 
Photographer famed for his elegant photographic portraits in the early 20th century, many of which depicted celebrities such as Mary Pickford, Rita Lydig, Luisa Casati, Billie Burke, Irene Castle, John Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Ruth St. Denis, King George V of the United Kingdom, and Queen Mary.
His marriage was one of marriage of convenience rather than romantic love, since he was homosexual and the bride was bisexual or lesbian.

Weaver W Addams (1901 - 1963) US 
Chess master, author, and chess opening theoretician. His greatest competitive achievement was winning the U.S. Open Championship in 1948. Addams disclosed his sexuality in an autobiographical article, republished in Chess Pride.

Ian Charleson (1949 - 1990) UK
Scottish stage and film actor. He is best known internationally for his starring role as Olympic athlete and missionary Eric Liddell, in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. He is also well known for his portrayal of Rev. Charlie Andrews in the 1982 Oscar-winning film Gandhi.

Rudolf Nureyev (1938 - 1993) Russian
Dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.
Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn became longstanding dance partners and continued to dance together for many years after Nureyev's departure from the Royal Ballet. Their last performance together was in Baroque Pas de Trois on 16 September 1988 when Fonteyn was 69, Nureyev was aged 50, with Carla Fracci also starring, aged 52. Nureyev once said of Fonteyn that they danced with "one body, one soul".
Nureyev met Erik Bruhn, the celebrated Danish dancer, after Nureyev defected to the West in 1961. Nureyev was a great admirer of Bruhn, having seen filmed performances of the Dane on tour in Russia with the American Ballet Theatre, although stylistically the two dancers were very different. Bruhn and Nureyev became a couple[23][24] and the two remained together for 25 years, until Bruhn's death in 1986

Henrietta Moraes  (1931 - 1999 ) UK
Artists' model, bohémienne, and memoirist. During the 1950s and '60s, she was the muse and inspiration for many artists of the Soho subculture, like Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, and known for her marriages and love affairs.
Among these affairs were relationships with the singer Marianne Faithful, and the artist Maggi Hambling,

Francesco Scavullo (1921 - 2004 ) US 
Fashion photographer best known for his work on the covers of Cosmopolitan and his celebrity portraits. Some of Scavullo's more controversial work included a Cosmospolitan centerfold of a nude Burt Reynolds, and photographs of a young Brooke Shields that some considered overly sexual.

Sodomy in history, January 6th

1950 — California increases the maximum penalty for sodomy from 10 to 20 years.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Alvin Ailey Jr.

b. January 5, 1931
d. December 1, 1989

“I am trying to show the world that we are all human beings and that color is not important. What is important is the quality of our work.”

A prolific choreographer, Alvin Ailey created 79 original works for his company. His signature piece, “Revelations” (1960), is touted as the most-watched work of modern dance.

Alvin Ailey Jr. was an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer. He founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a dance company hailed as an ambassador of American culture. Ailey formed a multiracial company and revolutionized dance, incorporating elements of ballet and jazz, along with modern and African dance, into his work.
Ailey grew up in Rogers, Texas, the son of a young, struggling single mother. His father abandoned the family when Ailey was six months old. In 1941, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Ailey met Lester Horton, who ran the first multiracial dance school.
Horton took Ailey under his wing, teaching him a variety of dance styles and techniques. In 1953, Ailey joined Horton’s company. Later that year, he was named artistic director.
In 1954, Ailey made his Broadway debut dancing in “House of Flowers.” He also performed in “Sing, Man, Sing” with Harry Belafonte and in “Jamaica” with Lena Horne.
In 1957, Ailey established the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The company’s premiere performance, “Blues Suite”—a riveting work reflecting the African- American emotional experience—defined Ailey’s theatrical and eclectic style.
A prolific choreographer, Ailey created 79 original works for his company. “Revelations” (1960), recognized as his signature piece, is touted as the most-watched work of modern dance. “Cry” (1971), one of Ailey’s most successful works, was dedicated to his mother and African-American women.
In 1979, Ailey received the Springarn Medal for outstanding achievement from the NAACP. In 1988, he was recognized with a Kennedy Center Honors Award.
Ailey died at age 58 from complications of AIDS. In his memory, a section of West 61st Street in New York was named “Alvin Ailey Way.”

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January 5th in Queer History

Events this day

1974 – Brunswick 4 arrested in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Brunswick Four were four lesbians involved in a historic incident in Toronto, Ontario in 1974. The four were evicted from the Brunswick Tavern, a working-class beer hall on Bloor Street, subsequently arrested, and three were later tried in Ontario Court for obstruction of justice. Gay historian Tom Warner believes that the arrest and its consequences was a key incident ushering in a more militant gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada, much as the Stonewall Inn Riots politicized gays and lesbians in the United States.

Born this day

Alvin Ailey Jr (1931 - 1989 ) US 
A prolific choreographer, Alvin Ailey created 79 original works for his company. His signature piece, “Revelations” (1960), is touted as the most-watched work of modern dance.
Ailey died at age 58 from complications of AIDS. In his memory, a section of West 61st Street in New York was named “Alvin Ailey Way.”

Terenci Moix (1942 – 2003) Spanish 
Catalan writer who wrote in Spanish and in Catalan. He is also the brother of poet/novelist Anna Maria Moix. An annual literature prize, the Terenci Moix Fundación Arena de Narrativa Gay y Lésbica bears his name.

Ignace van Swieten (1943 – 2005) Dutch
Football referee, who was named Dutch Referee of the Year in 1984.
He was the first professional football referee to come out as gay.

David DeCoteau (1962 – )  Candian / US 
American and Canadian film director and producer

Steven Cojocaru (1965 – ) Canadian 
Steven Cojocaru (known by the nickname "Cojo"), is a Canadian fashion critic.

Kate Schellenbach (1966 – ) US 
Drummer for The Beastie Boys from 1979 to 1984, and drummed for Luscious Jackson until the band broke up in spring of 2000. Schellenbach was also the drummer for the New York all-girl punk band, the Lunachicks, during the summer of 1992.

Chris McKoy (1971 - 2001 ) UK 
DJ who used the name Dr. Funk. When he was 21 he was one of the people behind Vox in Brixton, London, which became Europe's biggest black gay club. He introduced black music to the mainstream gay club scene in a new way, and brought black gay club music out of the shadows.

Ryan O’Meara (1984 – ) US 
Ice dancer. With partner Jamie Silverstein, he is a 2006 Olympian. Following his retirement from competitive skating, he began working full time as a coach and an interior designer.

Solomon  (1987 – ) US 
Electronic hip hop recording artist, rapper, producer and songwriter based in San Diego, California.[1] He is also the founder of SolRay Records.

Saint's day:

St Apolinaria / Dorotheos
One of a group of several "cross-dressing" saints in the early Christian church: women who dressed as men, to gain admittance to male monasteries.

Died this day

George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943 ) US  

Lincoln Kirstein (1907 - 1996 ) US   
Writer, impresario, art connoisseur, and cultural figure in New York City. According to the New York Times, he was "an expert in many fields." He had a large circle of friends who stimulated creativity in many of the arts, and numerous sexual relationships with men, from casual encounters to longer relationships. He was the primary patron of the homoerotic artist Paul Cadmus, and after he married Cadmus' sister, Fidelma, some of his boyfriends lived with them.

Sodomy in history, January 5th

1919 — New York City police raid the Everard baths and arrest 10 men for sexual activity.

1921 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds the nuisance conviction of a man for operating a Gay bath house.

1977 — A bill to reinstate sodomy as a crime in Indiana is introduced into the House. It is defeated in a committee by a vote of 6-4.

1984 — Illinois repeals its "lewd fondling or caress" law, more than two decades after repealing its sodomy law.

1993 — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals finds that the solicitation and touching of an undercover police officer constitutes "disorderly conduct" under state law.

1997 — A British tabloid accuses Conservative M.P. Jerry Hayes with having an affair in 1991 with a then-18-year-old male. At the time, 18 was under the age of consent.


Friday, 4 January 2013

January 4th in Queer History

Born this day

Marsden Hartley (1877 – 1943) US
Modernist painter, poet, and essayist. Known as "the painter of Main", Hartley was also among a handful of gay and lesbian artists who came to define the delicate balance between the poetic and the erotic in the early days of the American avant-garde.
In 1913, Hartley visited Berlin and Munich, where he met artists Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky, and formed a close friendship with a young German soldier named Karl von Freyburg. Hartley's famous Portrait of a German Officer (1914) includes abstracted versions of von Freyburg's initials and his own. The painting, in which military regalia is arranged to suggest a body, is both a memorial to Hartley's friend and an expression of forbidden desire. From the late 1930's, Hartley again took up painting male figures, notably including Christ Held by Half-Naked Men (1940-41) and Adelard the Drowned, Master of the "Phantom" (1938-1939). In 1969, writing in the New York Times, Hilton Kramer praised Hartley's portraits as "the boldest paintings of male figures in the history of American art."  

Joel Dorius (1919 –  2006) US
Professor of literature caught in a pornography scandal and forced out by Smith College in 1960 only to be exonerated in a celebrated case of sexual McCarthyism.

Gianni Vattimo (1936 – ) Italian
Author, philosopher,many of whose works have been translated into English. Between 1999 and 2004 he was a member of the European Parliament. In 2004, after leaving the party of the Democrats of the Left, he endorsed Marxism.

Michael Stipe (1960 – ) US
Singer,lyricist and visual artist. He was the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band R.E.M.

Craig Revel Horwood (1965 - ) Australian/ UK
Dancer, choreographer, and theatre director. Judge for the British Television show, "Strictly Come Dancing".

Chris Kanyon (1970 –  2010) US
Professional wrestler, best known for his work in World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, under the ring names Chris Kanyon and Mortis.
In 2006, after Kanyon's release from WWE, he began a gimmick in which he was an openly homosexual pro wrestler. This included a publicity stunt wherein he stated that WWE released him from his contract because of his sexuality. Kanyon later told reporters and even stated on a number of radio interviews, that this was just a publicity stunt and he was heterosexual. However, he later retracted these statements and acknowledged that he was in fact homosexual

Kaj Hasselriis (1974 – ) Canadian
Journalist, community activist and politician.

Died this day

Forrest Reid (1875 - 1947) UK
Author / Literary Critic / Translator

Christopher Isherwood (1904 - 1986) UK / US

Mason Flynt  (1960 - 2002) US

Steve Walker (1961?  - 2012)
A self-taught artist who began painting after an inspirational trip to Europe when he was 25.

For his subjects, he chose to paint gay men, depicting the struggles and joys the gay community lived through in his lifetime, from the ongoing struggle for sexual liberation to the devastation wrought by HIV and AIDS.

Walker: The Cleaners

Sodomy in history, January 4th

1919 — New York City police raid the Everard baths and arrest 10 men for sexual activity.

1921 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds the nuisance conviction of a man for operating a Gay bath house.

1977 — A bill to reinstate sodomy as a crime in Indiana is introduced into the House. It is defeated in a committee by a vote of 6-4.

1984 — Illinois repeals its "lewd fondling or caress" law, more than two decades after repealing its sodomy law.

1993 — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals finds that the solicitation and touching of an undercover police officer constitutes "disorderly conduct" under state law.

1997 — A British tabloid accuses Conservative M.P. Jerry Hayes of having an affair in 1991 with a then-18-year-old male. At the time, 18 was under the age of consent.