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.