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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

23rd April in Queer History

Born this day

Ethel Smyth  (1858 - 1944) UK
Composer / Suffragette

Elisabeth de Gramont (1875 - 1954) French 
Antoinette Corisande Élisabeth, Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre (née de Gramont) was a French writer of the early 20th century, best known for her long-term lesbian relationship with Natalie Clifford Barney. She was a close friend, and sometimes critic of writer Marcel Proust, whom she had met on June 9, 1903. In her youth, Élisabeth de Gramont was a strikingly pretty woman. Opinionated, outspoken, she became openly bisexual by the turn of the century, despite being married.

Augusto d’Halmar  (1882 –  1950) Chilean
Author

James Kirkup  (1918 –  2009 ) UK
A prolific English poet, translator and travel writer who became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962. In 1977, he was at the centre of a blasphemy trial when the newspaper Gay News published his poem The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name, in which a Roman centurion describes his lust and attraction for Jesus after his death.

Halston (1932 – 1990) US
Fashion Designer

Fred Goldhaber (1947 – 2010) US
 Teacher

Dirk Bach (1961 – )German
Actor

Jon Birgisson (1975 – ) Icelandic
Musician / Singer

Bradley Traynor  (1975 – ) US
Drag Queen [aka Wanda Wisdom] / Presenter

Died this day

Rupert Brooke (1887– 1915) UK
Poet

Jean-Daniel Cadinot (1944 – 2008) French
Porn Director 

Sodomy in history, 
April 23

1829Pennsylvania passes a new sodomy law with a penalty of 1-5 years for a first offense and up to 10 years for a second offense.
1841Hawaii passes a vagrancy law that prohibits men and boys from running "in crowds after new things" in an "indecent manner."
1941 — A California appellate court rules that actual penetration must occur to violate the oral copulation law.
1952 — The New York State Court of Appeals overturns a sodomy conviction because of uncorroborated testimony of the partner being admitted into evidence.
1957 — The Alabama Court of Appeals rules that the testimony of accomplices in sodomy cases must be corroborated.
1969 Kansas passes a new criminal code and becomes the first state in the nation to makes its sodomy law applicable only to people of the same sex. It also reduces the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor. The commission writing the code tells the legislature that the language is standard in new codes, even though no other state has such a provision.
1977 Vermont passes a new sexual assault law that includes a repeal of its law banning oral sex.



Sources:

Monday, 22 April 2013

April 22nd in Queer History

Nearchos (and Polyeuct)

Two Roman soldiers, lovers and martyrs. Nearchos' day is today, Polyeuct on February 13th

Born this day


Laura Gilpin (1891- 1979) US
Photographer,known for her photographs of Native Americans, particularly the Navajo and Pueblo, and her Southwestern landscapes. She frequently photographed her partner, Elizabeth (Betsy) Forster during the more than fifty years they were together, sometimes placing her in scenes with other people as though she were part of a tableau she happened to come upon. In 1974 the governor of New Mexico awarded her one of the first Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts.


Leo Abse  (1917 –2008 ) UK
Politician / Lawyer / Activist

Emile Norman  (1918 – 2009 ) US
Artist

John Waters  (1946 – )  US
Director / Screenwriter / Actor

Diana Nyad  (1949 – ) US
Long Distance Swimmer / Presenter

Phill Wilson  (1956 – ) US
Activist

Ruslan Sharipov  (1961 – )  Uzbek
Journalist / Activist

Estelle Asmodelle  (1964 – ) Australian
Model / Belly Dancer / Screenwriter / Musician / Actress

Krystian Legierski  (1978 – )  German
Politician / Activist

Andrea Gabrielle Gibson  (1985 – )  US
Reality TV [Transgeneration]

Amber Heard  (1986 – ) US
Actress / Model

Died this day


Colin MacInnes (1914 – 1976) UK
Author

Will Geer (1902- 1978)  US
Actor / Singer

Albrecht Becker (1906 – 2002) German
Actor / Photographer / Production Designer

Christopher Price (1967– 2002) UK
Presenter

Patrick Trevor-Roper  (1916 – 2004) UK
Surgeon / Activist – Born 7th June

George C Rawlings (1921 – 2009) US.  
American politician, a former member of the Democratic National Committee, and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Rawlings was married and had two sons, but in 1975 he and Rosalie divorced after he determined to live openly as a gay man.


Sodomy in history, 
April 22

1794Pennsylvania enacts a law to fine sheriffs for failure to conduct convicted sodomites to prison.



Sources:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

April 21st in Queer History

Born this day

Stephen Tennant  (1906 – 1987) UK
Aristocrat

Ronald Magill  (1920 –  2007) UK
Actor

Ronnie Tober (1945 – ) Dutch
Singer

Murathan Mungan (1955 – )  Turkish
Poet / Author / Playwright

Viola Canales  (1957 – )  US
Author

Peter Bacanovic  (1962 – )  US
Stockbroker

John Cameron Mitchell  (1963 – )  US
Actor / Director / Screenwriter / Author

Alice Wu  (1970 – ) US
Director / Screenwriter

Chagmion Antoine  (1982 – ) US
Presenter / Journalist

Saint's Day

St Anselm of Canterbury (  - 1109)  UK
English Archbishop, whose letters to his circle of close male friends read like homoerotic love letters. He is also notable for dismissing a resolution from the Council of London in 1102 for harsh penalties for men guilty of sodomy, declaring that homosexuality was widespread and few men were embarrassed by it or had even been aware it was a serious matter.

Died this day


Eleonora Duse  (1858 - 1924)  Italian
Actress

John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946) UK
Economist / Mathematician – Born 5th June

Edmund Lowe  (1890 – 1971 )US
Actor

Rudi Gernreich (1922– 1985) Austrian
Fashion Designer / Activist / Dancer

James Kirkwood Jr (1924 - 1989)  US
Author / Playwright

Frank C Moore (1953 – 2002 ) US
Painter

Sodomy in history, 
April 21

1806English sailor James Jones receives 24 lashes for sex with another sailor. One month earlier, he had received 18 for a similar offense.
1916 — The Georgia Supreme Court rules that both parties in an act of fellatio are principals.
1965 — The Oregon Court of Appeals rules that consent to sodomy while in a drunken stupor is no consent.
1967 — The Maryland Court of Appeals overturns a sodomy conviction because the arresting police testified that the defendant had a "sex problem."
1976 — The Florida Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the "unnatural and lascivious act" law without hearing arguments in the case.
1992Estonia repeals its sodomy law.



Sources:

Saturday, 20 April 2013

April 20th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History


2009 – Registered Partnership Bill passed in Hungary [becoming effective 1st July 2009]

Born this day

Pietro Aretino  (1492 – 1556) Italian
Author, playwright, poet and satirist who wielded immense influence on contemporary art and politics and invented modern literate pornography.

Herman Bang  (1857 – 1912)  Danish
Author, one of the men of the "Modern Breakthrough". His homosexuality contributed to his isolation in the cultural life of Denmark and made him the victim of smear campaigns. He lived most of his life with his sister but found happiness for a few years with the German actor Max Eisfeld (1863–1935), with whom he lived in Prague in 1885-86.

Warren Casey  (1935 – 1988) US
Theatre composer, lyricist, writer, and actor. He is best known for being the writer and composer, with Jim Jacobs of the stage and film musical Grease.
Casey died of AIDS-related complications in Chicago at the age of 53.

George Takei  (1937 – )  US
Actor, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He is a proponent of gay rights and active in state and local politics as well as continuing his acting career.

  (1939 – )  Canadian
Author

Jamie Gillis  (1943 -  2010)  US
Porn actor, director and member of the AVN Hall of Fame.

Andrew Tobias  (1947 – )  US
Journalist / Author / Columnist

Toller Cranston  (1949 – )  Canadian
Figure skater and painter. He is the 1971-1976 Canadian national champion, the 1974 World bronze medalist, and the 1976 Olympic bronze medalist. Cranston is credited by many with bringing a new level of artistry to men's figure skating.

Luther Vandross  (1951 – 2005)  US
Singer-songwriter and record producer. During his career, Vandross sold over twenty-five million albums and won eight Grammy Awards.

Richenel (1957 - ) Dutch
Singer/performer, born as Hubertus Richenel Baars.



Mathias Holmgren  (1974 – )  Swedish
Singer, who from 2006-2010 was married to singer-songwriter Johan Thorsell .

Vibeke Skofterud  (1980 – )  Norwegian
Cross country skier who has been competing since 1999. She won gold in the 4 x 5 km relay at Vancouver in 2010. She confirmed in June 2008 that she is in a committed relationship with a woman,[1] even though she had male companions in the past.

Marco Jaye Sabba  (1983 – ) UK
Reality TV [Big Brother]

Saint's Day

St Hildegonde of Neuss (? - 1188) Germany
Biologically female, who dressed as a boy as a child, and lived as a man as an adult, before entering a male monastery, successfully concealing his birth gender until his death.

Died this day

Tony Jackson   (1876 - 1921) US
pianist, singer, and composer.In September 2011, The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame announced that Jackson would be inducted into the hall in recognition of his musical contributions and for living "as an openly gay man when that was rare"

Dennis Cleveland Stewart  (1947 -  1994) US
Actor and dancer 

Sodomy in history, 
April 20

1836 — The organic law for the Wisconsin Territory adopts all laws of Michigan, thus setting the penalty for sodomy at a maximum of 3 years at solitary and hard labor.
1909Minnesota increases the penalty for the crime against nature to a maximum of 20 years and permits conviction upon proof of penetration only.
1923Michigan eliminates the need to prove emission in sodomy cases.
1949 — The Georgia Attorney General issues an opinion that the reduction in maximum sentence for sodomy earlier that year was not retroactive.
1972Tennessee eliminates the voting disability of those convicted of sodomy.
1979 — The Virginia Supreme Court affirms the solicitation conviction of a man entrapped by the Richmond police "Selective Enforcement Unit."



Sources:

Friday, 19 April 2013

19th April in Queer History

Born this day

Prince Edmond de Polignac  (1834 – 1901)  French
Composer

Dick Sargent  (1930 – ) US
Actor, notable as the second actor to portray Darrin Stephens on the television series "Bewitched". In 1991, Sargent publicly declared his homosexuality and supported gay rights issues. He had long hidden his sexual orientation, appearing with lesbian actress Fannie Flagg on Tattletales as a couple. He lived with his domestic partner, Albert Williams, until his death in 1994.

Steve Antin  (1958 – )  US
Actor, stunt man, screenwriter, producer, and director.

Tzipora Obziler  (1973 – )  Israeli
Former professional tennis player.

Died this day


Portrait by
Sébastien_Bourdon
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.

Lord George Byron  (1788 - 1824)  UK
Poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement. Among Byron's best-known works are the brief poems She Walks in Beauty, When We Two Parted, and So, we'll go no more a roving, in addition to the narrative poems Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential.
Byron was celebrated in life for aristocratic excesses including huge debts and numerous love affairs,with both sexes.

John Addington Symonds (1840  – 1893) UK
English poet and literary critic. Although he married and had a family, he was an early advocate of male love (homosexuality), which he believed could include pederastic as well as egalitarian relationships. He referred to it as l'amour de l'impossible (love of the impossible). A cultural historian, he was known for his work on the Renaissance, as well as numerous biographies about writers and artists. He also wrote much poetry inspired by his homosexual affairs.
Because of homosexuality's official "unspeakableness" in his time, Symonds's plainest homosexual work had to remain private, and within that realm he produced some pioneering work. He wrote some of the frankest homoerotic poetry of his day (which was not greatly distinguished as literature), but is best remembered for "A Problem in Greek Ethics", "A Problem in Modern Ethics", two defences of homosexual love and his "Memoirs", the first self-conscious homosexual autobiography known to us now.


Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson Berners  (1883 - 1950) UK
British composer of classical music, novelist, painter and aesthete. He is usually referred to as Lord Berners.

Jerzy Andrzejewski  (1909 -1983)  Polish
A prolific Polish author, who was frequently considered to be a front-runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novels, Ashes and Diamonds (about the immediate post-war situation in Poland), and Holy Week (dealing with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising), have been made into film adaptations by the Oscar-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Holy Week and Ashes and Diamonds have both been translated into English.

Daphne du Maurier (1907 – 1989) UK
British author and playwright. Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the novels Rebecca (which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1941) and Jamaica Inn and the short stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now". The first three were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
After her death in 1989, numerous references were made to her secret bisexuality; an affair with Gertrude Lawrence, as well as her attraction for Ellen Doubleday, the wife of her American publisher, were cited.[16] Du Maurier stated in her memoirs that her father had wanted a son; and, being a tomboy, she had naturally wished to have been born a boy.

Frankie Howerd (1917 –  1992) UK
English comedian and comic actor whose career spanned six decades. Throughout his career, Howerd hid his potentially career-destroying homosexuality (acts between consenting males being illegal in England and Wales until 1967 and illegal in Scotland until 1981) from both his audience and his mother, Edith. In 1955, he met waiter Dennis Heymer, who later became his manager. Heymer was with Howerd for more than thirty years as lighting operator, manager and lover, until Howerd died. Backstage, Howerd was notoriously bold in his advances, and was known for his promiscuity.

Tharon Musser  (1925– 2009) US
Lighting designer who worked on more than 150 Broadway productions. Known as the "Dean of American Lighting Designers" and considered one of the pioneers in her field, she was best known for her work on the musicals "A Chorus Line" and "Dreamgirls".

Sodomy in history,  
April 19

1890 — A sodomy case in Pennsylvania is reported officially in a daily newspaper, rather than in a law reporter.
1900 — The North Dakota Supreme Court upholds the right of the state to prosecute attempts to commit sodomy under the general attempts statute.
1913 — The Illinois Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus is not a "crime against nature" under that’s state’s sodomy law, even though the Court had ruled fellatio to be one due to the state’s unusually broad language.
1933 — Alabama enacts a unique law that outlaws "conspiracy to commit the crime against nature."
1991 — An Ohio trial court dismisses an importuning charge because the undercover police officer led the defendant on.
1995Arizona revises its sex offender registration law to remove sodomy from the list of compulsory registration categories, but permits judges to order registration if the defendant committed sodomy for "sexual motivation."

Sources:

Christina of Sweden (1626 –1689)

b. 18 December 1626
d. 19 April 1689

Portrait by
Sébastien_Bourdon
Queen regnant of Swedes, Goths and Vandals, Grand Princess of Finland, and Duchess of Ingria, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia, from 1633 to 1654, Christina 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.

From the moment of her birth, Christina confounded sexual and gender stereotypes. Her parents had been anxious for a male royal heir, and astrologers had confidently predicted a boy would be born. When the robust baby arrived, it was first thought to be a boy, on account of a hairy body and strong voice. After it had been recognized that she was in fact a girl, her father the king was undeterred, and proceeded to raise her as the boy she had been expected to be: with an education education of a prince. Thus, her lessons included languages, political and military science, riding, and shooting- all of which suited her much better than women's traditional activities such as needlework, for which she claimed to have no aptitude whatsoever.

After her father's death, she was proclaimed "king" by the Swedish parliament - not queen. During the regency until she began to rule in her own right, she continued to receive an excellent education.

As an adult, she continued to resist all gender conformity. She showed no interest at all in fashion and adopted mannish styles of dress. She ignored traditionally approved "feminine" interests, and instead continued to pursue and promote her love of scholarship, books and culture. She also resisted marrying, and rejected several proposals. Immediately after abdicating in favour of her cousin Gustav, she left Sweden for Rome, dressed as a man.

Details of her sexual relationships, if any are not known conclusively, but she did have close personal friendships with both men and women. Some frank letters to her lady-in-waiting Ebba Sparre suggest that their relationship may have been sexual. The question of her biological sex is also unclear. In addition to the confusion around the matter at birth, other physical details suggest that she may have been intersex. However, it has not been possible to confirm this, in the absence of soft tissue remains.

What is clear, from the evidence of her rejection of marriage and feminine pastimes, ambiguous love relationships and cross-dressing, that in modern terms she should be thought of as either lesbian or trans.




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Thursday, 18 April 2013

April 18th in Queer History

Events this day

2007 – Erin Davis’ VW Beetle found vandalised sparking her Fagbug tour and video project

Born this day


Kathy Acker (1947 - 1997 ) US
An experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer, Acker was strongly influenced by the Black Mountain School, William S. Burroughs, David Antin, French critical theory, philosophy, and pornography.
Acker's radical experiments with the postmodern novel have attracted considerable notoriety. Some critics praise her technical skill, but she has drawn mixed reactions to the incorporation of graphic sex acts and violence in her fiction. A subversive literary inventor and a defiant voice against patriarchal society, Acker exerted an important influence on postmodern fiction and contemporary feminist discourse.

C Dale Young  (1969 – )   US
poet and writer, physician, editor and educator.

Roeland Fernhout  (1972 – )  Dutch
Actor and television presenter. After roles in theatre and television, he became known to a wider audience in the film "Sister". In 2007, "as a joke", he formed a boyband, Bearforce 1, which became unexpectedly popular, thanks to a Youtube video.

Louise Pratt  (1972 – )  Australian
Politician, and a Labor member of the Australian Senate for Western Australia. She was the second open lesbian to be elected to an Australian parliament, and the first to have a transsexual man as a partner.

Gavin Creel  (1976 – )  US
Actor, singer and song writer.

Died this day

Rob Touber (1936 - 1975), Dutch
Television director.


Vincent Hanley ((1954 -1987) Irish
A pioneering Irish radio DJ and television presenter, nicknamed "Fab Vinny". He worked mainly for Radio Telefís Éireann, and was the first Irish celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.
In life, Hanley denied that his illness was AIDS related, reflecting reflected the stigma then associated with the disease and with homosexuality in Ireland, which was not decriminalised until 1993. In 2000, Hanley's friend and colleague Bill Hughes, who had himself come out in the 1990s, agreed that Hanley had in fact died of an AIDS-related illness.The same year, the Sunday Tribune newspaper placed Hanley at the top of a list of Irish gay icons.


Alexander Stephanovich(? - 2001) Belarussian
Hate Crime Victim 

Yankel Feather (1920 - 2009)  UK
Painter, a member of the Liverpool Academy of Arts and Newlyn Society of Artists.
Openly gay, but never camp, Feather found love with two long term partners late in life, Bill King whilst living in Cornwall and Terry Arbuckle who shared his studio home together at Hove in Brighton.


Sodomy in history,  
April 18

1892 New York amends its sodomy law. The five-year minimum penalty is eliminated and the intention of the legislature is more clear, covering all forms of anal and oral sex, but not covering things like mutual masturbation or frottage, which may have been covered under the 1886 law.

1916Maryland outlaws oral sex, although its statute is so broadly worded that probably any form of erotic activity is criminalized. This is in reaction to the 1915 state vice commission report.

1930New Jersey prohibits solicitation for lewdness.

1967 — A federal judge in Wisconsin overturns the state courts’ decisions against a man who had spent more than ten years in institutions for a sodomy conviction. He had no assistance of counsel at the original proceedings.

1973 — The Minnesota House of Representatives defeats a bill to repeal the state’s sodomy law.

1983Kansas passes a new sodomy law that makes sodomy for hire a less serious crime that not for hire.



Sources:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Thornton Wilder (1897 - 1975), playwright. and novelist

b. April 17, 1897
d. December 7, 1975

American playwright and dramatist,who is the only writer to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both literature (his novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey"), and for drama (twice, for his plays "Our Town" and "The Skin of Our Teeth"). He also earned a National Book Award for his novel "The Eighth Day".



Although Wilder never discussed being gay publicly or in his writings, his close friend Samuel Steward is generally acknowledged to have been a lover. Wilder was introduced to Steward by Gertrude Stein, who at the time regularly corresponded with the both of them. Wilder's mainstream literary works are landmarks of American literature, but they reveal scant traces of his homosexuality. A discreet homosexual, his sexual proclivities were kept far out of the limelight.

Wilder seems to have been regarded even by his closest friends as a kind of Henry James figure, somewhat sheltered and cerebral, and frightened of sex. The relationship between Wilder and his one documented companion, Steward, may have begun as a furtive sexual fling in Zurich in 1937. Steward, a writer, pornographer, tattoo artist, and one-time college professor, was, in pointed contrast to Wilder, open and adventurous. He wrote popular erotic gay works in the 1970s under the pseudonym Phil Andros.

Wilder seems to have backed away from Steward after several awkward encounters. Intimate affection eventually became fond intellectual acquaintance. Typical of some gay men of the era, Wilder preferred to play the role of the perennial Respectable Bachelor. Although he never publicly discussed his homosexuality, later in his life he is believed to have had discreet affairs with younger men.

April 17th in Queer History

Born this day

Thornton Wilder (1897 - 1975) US
American playwright and novelist. He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.
Although Wilder never discussed being gay publicly or in his writings, his close friend Samuel Steward is generally acknowledged to have been a lover. Wilder was introduced to Steward by Gertrude Stein, who at the time regularly corresponded with the both of them.

Chavela Vargas  (1919 – )  Mexican / Costa Rican
Singer, especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras genre - a folkloric musical genre widely popular in Mexico - but she is also recognized for her contribution to other popular Latin American song genres. She has been an influential interpreter in the Americas and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar, hailed for her haunting performances, and called "la voz áspera de la ternura", the rough voice of tenderness.
She partly retired in the late 1970s due to a 15 year-long battle with alcoholism, which she has described in her autobiography ("Y si quieres saber de mi pasado" [And if you want to know about my past], published in 2002) as "my 15 years in hell" At 81 years old, she publicly declared that she was a lesbian.

Lindsay Anderson  (1923 – 1994)  UK
Indian-born, British feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. He is most widely remembered for his 1968 film if...., which won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival.
Gavin Lambert's memoir, "Mainly About Lindsay Anderson" in which he claimed that Anderson repressed his homosexuality, was seen as a betrayal by his other friends. Malcolm McDowell was quoted in 2006 as saying: "I know that he was in love with Richard Harris the star of Anderson's first feature, This Sporting Life. I am sure that it was the same with me and Albert Finney and the rest. It wasn't a physical thing. But I suppose he always fell in love with his leading men. He would always pick someone who was unattainable because he was heterosexual."

Lon McCallister  (1923 – 2005) nbsp;US
Actor,who began appearing in movies at the age of 13. As an adult he found it difficult to obtain roles, with a height of only 5'6". In 1953, at the age of 30, he retired from acting. Later in life he became a successful real estate manager.

Irena Klepfisz  (1941 – )  Polish / US
Author, academic and activist in feminist, lesbian, and secular Jewish communities.

Tommy Nutter  (1943 – 1992) UK
Tailor, famous for reinventing the Savile Row suit in the 1960s, with numerous celebrity clients. Nutter himself was most proud of the fact that, for the cover of The Beatles' album Abbey Road in 1969, he dressed three out of the four.

Erin Mouré (1955 – ) Canadian
Poet and translator of poetry from languages which include, French, Galician, Portuguese and Spanish to English.

Sandra Alland 1973 – UK / Canadian
Scottish-Canadian writer, multimedia artist, small press publisher, performer and activist.
1986 – Carter Longway [aka Jarod Steel] - ? Porn [or 10th April 1986]

Saint's day

Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651 – 1695)Mexican
Catholic nun whose critically acclaimed writings include lesbian love poetry. She is considered one of the greatest Latin American poets and an early advocate of women’s rights.

Died this day

Willi Smith (1987 – 1987) US
Fashion Designer regarded at the time of his death as one of the most successful young African-American designers in the industry.

Sodomy in history, 
April 17

1702 — East and West New Jersey are united into the colony of New Jersey and the English buggery statute is regarded as in force.
1857Maine sets a one-year minimum for sodomy and eliminates the word "detestable" from the sodomy law.
1950 — The Arkansas Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man after a private letter of his was opened and read by the police without a warrant.
1952California eliminates the maximum penalty for sodomy, allowing life imprisonment.
1967 — The Arkansas Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction based entirely on circumstantial evidence, overruling a 1925 decision that required more proof.
1968 — The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Indiana’s sodomy law can not be enforced against married couples, even though the law does not exempt them.


Sources:

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
Author

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.
Website: www.youri-egorov.nl 

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.


Sources:

Monday, 15 April 2013

Bessie Smith, (1892/4 - 1937)

Singer
b. Unknown: July 1892 or April 15, 1894
d. September 26, 1937
It's a long old road, but I know I'm gonna find the end

Details of Bessie Smith's childhood, including the year of her birth, vary. Both Smith's parents died before her ninth birthday. As a child, she and her brother performed as a musical duo on the streets of Chattanooga, Tennessee to support themselves.
In 1912, Smith joined a traveling troupe. While with the troupe she met blues singer Ma Rainey, who became Smith's friend and mentor. Smith's extraordinary talent as a blues singer, coupled with her vivacious personality, quickly landed her a solo act in Atlanta, Georgia. She entered the Eastern Seaboard vaudeville circuit and over the next ten years her popularity soared.
Columbia Records signed her in 1923 and she quickly became the highest paid African American entertainer of her time. She earned up to $2000 per week during the height of her career. Her successful first recording, titled "Down-Hearted Blues," catapulted her to national success.
Smith toured the country and recorded over 160 songs while accompanied by some of the greatest jazz instrumentalists of her time, including Louis Armstrong. From slow blues to jazz standards, Bessie Smith consistently produced original work with her broad range and versatility. Columbia Records upgraded her unrivaled status as "Queen of the Blues" to "Empress of the Blues."
Five years after signing with Columbia Records, Smith's career began to decline during the Great Depression. Her last recording, featuring Benny Goodman, took place in 1933. Although she never received the same level of acclaim bestowed on her during her early career, Bessie Smith continued to perform in clubs up until her death. She died shortly after a car accident in 1937.
Bibliography
“Bessie Smith: Selected Artist Biography.” PBS: Jazz, a Film by Ken Burns. June 29, 2007
Albertson, Chris. Bessie. Yale University Press, 2003
Selected Works
After You’ve Gone (2001)
An Introduction to Bessie Smith: Her Best Recordings 1923-1933 (1996)
Beale Street Mama (1996)
Bessie Smith Sings the Jazz (1996)
Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1 (1991)
Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 2 (1991)
Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 3 (1992)
Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 4 (1993)
Best of the Empress of the Blues (2004)
Down Hearted Blues (2006)
Queen of the Blues Vol. 1 (2007)
St. Louis Blues (2005)
The Collection (1989)
The Essential Bessie Smith (1997)
The Incomparable (1999)

Leonardo da Vinci, Artist/Inventor/Scientist

Artist/Inventor/Scientist
b. April 15, 1452
d.
May 2, 1519



Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence



Leonardo Da Vinci was the archetypal Renaissance man. His curiosity and genius led him to make observations, experiments and breakthroughs in a variety of fields including engineering, architecture, math, anatomy, optics, astronomy, geology, biology and philosophy. His artwork and inventions, many of them advanced far beyond normal innovations of the time period, continue to earn him wide acclaim.

Artist Andrea del Verrocchio hired Da Vinci, at age 15, as his apprentice. While working with Verrocchio in Florence, Da Vinci learned a broad range of skills including painting, sculpting and drafting. In 1472, he was accepted into the painters' guild in Florence. Da Vinci lived mostly in Florence and Milan for the rest of his career while working on commissioned art. "Mona Lisa," "The Last Supper" and "Madonna of the Rocks" are a few of his most famous paintings.

Da Vinci left behind a collection of 40 notebooks, of which 31 still remain. He filled these notebooks with diagrams and records of his observations and research in the fields of painting, architecture, mechanics, human anatomy, geophysics, botany, hydrology and aerology.

Da Vinci's documents demonstrate that he conceptualized helicopters, tanks and calculators long before construction of these devices became feasible. He also envisioned solar power and developed a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics.
Da Vinci's professions included civil engineer, musician, military planner and weapons designer. He worked as the court artist for the Duke of Milan. From 1513 to 1516 he lived in Rome. He developed a close relationship with Niccolò Machiavelli and mathematician Luca Pacioli, with whom he helped write "Divina Proportione" (1509).

No evidence suggests that Da Vinci had relationships with women. His closest relationships were with two of his male pupils, Melzi and Salai.
Bibliography


“Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter and Sculpter of Florence (1452-1519).” Life of an Artist: Biographies and Galleries. July 1, 2007
Kemp, Martin. Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, and Design. Princeton University Press. 2006
Nicholl, Charles. Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind. Penguin. 2005
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George Platt Lynes (1907 - 1955)

b. 15 April 1907
d. 6 December 1955

American photographer George Platt Lynes became one of the US's most successful fashion and portrait photographers, but his greatest work may have been his intensely homoerotic dance images and male nudes.

He made his first trip to France in 1925. There he met Gertrude Stein, as well as such luminaries as Jean Cocteau and Pavel Tchelitchev, and two young Americans, Monroe Wheeler and Glenway Wescott. The latter were to become his close friends and lovers.

Lynes made a second journey to France in 1928, this time traveling with Westcott and Wheeler, both well known in the literary and avant-garde circles of expatriate France. It was at this time that Lynes began to take portraits of the many celebrities he met.

He eventually photographed Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Colette, Dorothy Parker, E. M. Forster, Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, W. Somerset Maugham, Marsden Hartley, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, among many others.
Upon returning to New York he began to work as a fashion photographer and lived with Wheeler and Wescott in a ménage à trois.

Although Lynes had achieved early fame as a commercial photographer, he also gained a wide reputation for his dance images.

In addition to photographing dancers in the 1930s and 1940s, Lynes also photographed several series of male nudes. These photographs frequently depict mythological figures, utilize theatrical lighting, feature symbolic tableaux or props, and are nearly always frankly homoerotic in their appeal.

Given the state of censorship at this time, it is not surprising that Lynes never published these photographs. Instead, he restricted their circulation to friends and admirers. Nevertheless, he considered these private photographs his most significant work, a judgment in which some later critics have concurred.












April 15th

Born this day:

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) Italian
Renaissance polymath, renowned primarily as a painter whose Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time. However, he was also notable as a sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.

His sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation. Much has been written about his presumed homosexuality and its role in his art, particularly in the androgyny and eroticism manifested in John the Baptist and Bacchus and more explicitly in a number of erotic drawings. Leonardo's most intimate relationships were perhaps with his pupils Salai and Melzi.It has been claimed since the 16th century that these relationships were of a sexual or erotic nature.

Henry James  (1843 –  1916) US / UK
Philosopher / Psychologist

Friedrich Radszuweit (1876 – 1932) German
Author

Bessie Smith  (1894 – 1937) US
Singer / Actress



George Platt Lynes (1907 - 1955)  US 
American photographer, who became one of the country's most successful fashion and portrait photographers, but his greatest work may have been his intensely homoerotic dance images and male nudes.

Lynes also photographed several series of male nudes. These photographs frequently depict mythological figures, utilize theatrical lighting, feature symbolic tableaux or props, and are nearly always frankly homoerotic in their appeal.

Given the state of censorship at this time, it is not surprising that Lynes never published these photographs. Instead, he restricted their circulation to friends and admirers. Nevertheless, he considered these private photographs his most significant work, a judgment in which some later critics have concurred.



Howard Junior Brown (1924 - 1975) US 
A founder of the National Gay Task Force and a former New York City Health Services Administrator, who helped change the image of gay men and lesbians in the United States by coming out publicly in 1973.


Sally Miller Gearhart  (1931 – ) US
Author / Teacher / Activist

Craig Zadan  (1949 – ) US
Producer / Director

Glenn Shadix  (1952 – 2010 )  US
Actor

Paul Harland  (1960 –  2003) Dutch
Author / Photographer / Murder Victim

Linda Perry  (1965 – ) US
Singer / Songwriter / Record Producer / Musician

Samantha Fox  (1966 – ) UK
Dance-pop singer, actress, and former glamour model. In 1983, at the age of 16, she began her topless modelling career on Page Three of The Sun, and went on to become a popular pin-up girl.
In August 2009, Samantha Fox announced her plans to have a civil partnership with her manager, Myra Stratton.


Died this day


Fritz Haarmann  (1879  - 1925)  German
Serial Killer

Jean Genet  (1910 - 1986)  French
Poet / Author / Playwright


Kenneth Williams  (1926 –  1988) UK
Actor / Comedian


Greta Garbo   (1905 - 1990) Swedish / US
Actress – Born

John Curry  (1949 - 1994 ) UK
Figure Skater

Reg Bundy [Regina Fong] (1941 - 2003) UK
Drag Queen / Dancer / Actor 

Sodomy in history, 
April 15

1966 — The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that a person can be convicted of an attempt to commit sodomy, even though not charged with any intent to commit sodomy.
1974 — The Colorado Supreme Court strikes down a state law prohibiting loitering for purposes of engaging in or soliciting deviate sexual intercourse.
1998 — An appellate court in Quebec strikes down a provision of the Canadian Criminal Code that sets an age of consent of 18 for anal sex, but 14 for all other sexual activity.


Sources:

Sunday, 14 April 2013

April 14th in Queer History

Born this day

Sir John Gielgud  (1904 –  2000)  UK
Actor


Claude Vivier  (1948 - 1983), Canadian
Composer, who was stabbed to death in his Paris apartment by a male prostitute he had met in a bar earlier that evening.


June Millington  (1948 – ) US
Singer / Musician

Mary Wings  (1949 – ) US
Author / Artist / Musician

Jose Maria Mendiluce  (1951 – ) Spanish
Politician

Andrew Boff  (1958 – )  UK
Politician


Catherine Opie (1961 - )
Artist specializing in issues within documentary photography, particularly investigating aspects of community, including LGBT community.


Andre Boisclair  (1966 – ) Canadian
Politician

Paul Denyer (1972 – )  Australian
Serial Killer

Carim Bouzian  (1984 – ) Belgian
Politician

Sam Brodie  (1987 – ) UK
Reality TV [Big Brother]

Died this day


Maurice Sachs  (1906 - 1945)  French
Author


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



Daniel Guerin  (1904 - 1988)  French
Anarchist / Author 

Sodomy in history, 
April 14

1851 — The Prussian criminal code makes sodomy male-male only, but eliminates the death penalty.
1881 Indiana reinstates sodomy as a crime after a 29-year hiatus and includes the term "carnal knowledge of a man," thus possibly including fellatio. It also abrogates common-law crimes and outlaws "sex toys."
1958 — The Mississippi Supreme Court rejects an entrapment defense in a sodomy case.
1987Mississippi creates a "Sex Offense Criminal History Record Information" program. It creates a state registry of convicted sex criminals, including for consensual sodomy. Employers are permitted to request information about employees from it.
1994 — The Mississippi Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law. It also rules that penetration is not required to complete the crime.


Sources:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

April 13th in Queer History

Born this day

Win Ng  (1936 –  1991)  US
Sculptor / Illustrator

Lanford Wilson  (1937 – 2011)  US
Playwright

Joseph Douce  (1945 – 1990) Belgian / French
A psychologist and Baptist pastor in Paris, who was openly gay and among the founders of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Deborah Batts (1947 – )US
Judge

Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011 ) UK
English American author, essayist and journalist,who was a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits and in 2005 was voted the world's fifth top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll.Identified as a champion of the "New Atheism" movement, Hitchens described himself as an antitheist and a believer in the philosophical values of the Enlightenment.
As a student, he was known to be bisexual, and had relationships with two (unidentified) future cabinet ministers. In later life, he was married and primarily straight, but admitted to occasional "relapses".



Terry Lester (1950 - 2003 ) US 
Actor, whose big break came when he joined CBS daytime soap The Young and the Restless in 1980. After leaving it in 1989, he worked on the soaps Santa Barbara for a year, and As the World Turns .


Ole von Beust  (1955 – ) German
Politician


K Sello Duiker (1974 - 2005 ) South African
Writer, whose debut novel, "Thirteen Cents", won the 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first book written by an African writer. He was a pioneer among Black South African writers in tackling the taboo subject of homosexuality, and male-to-male sexual violence.


Robert Biedron  (1976 – ) Polish
Politician / Activist, who in 2011 became the first openly gay man elected to the Polish Sejm (parliament)

Died this day

Stephen Stucke(1947 - 1986)  US
Actor

Sodomy in history, 
April 13

1841Michigan amends its sodomy law to specify that emission of semen is not necessary for completion of the crime.
1883 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rules that sodomy can now be prosecuted in the state due to a change in the common-law statute.
1955 — The Oklahoma Court of Appeals upholds the state’s sodomy law, but notes the Kinsey studies.



Sources:

Friday, 12 April 2013

April 12th in Queer History

Born this day

Marc-Antoine Muret  (1526 –  1585) French
Poet


Robert Fizdale (1920 - 1995)  US 
Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale were an American two-piano ensemble; they were also authors and television cooking show hosts.
Gold and Fizdale met during their student years at the Juilliard School. They formed a lifelong partnership based around their common interests of music , travel and cooking.


William M Hoffman  (1939 – ) US
Playwright / Editor / Professor

Toi Derricote  (1941 – )  US
Poet

Charles Ludlam  (1943 – )  US
Actor / Director / Playwright – Died 28th May 1987

Alex Briley  (1947/51 – ) US
Singer

Willi Ninja  (1961 –  2006) US
Dancer / Choreographer

Amy Ray  (1964 – )  US
Musician / Singer / Songwriter / Record Producer

Slava Mogutin  (1974 – )  Russian
Artist / Author / Photographer

Deen  (1982 – )  Bosnia-Herzegovina
Singer



Died this day


Josephine Baker   (1906 - 1975)  US / French
Dancer / Singer / Actress


James Schuyler (1923 – 1991 ) US.  Poet

Schuyler's foremost subject was his own life, and he wrote openly about his homosexuality. In fact, his sexual frankness was pointed out for particular admiration by the poet and critic Howard Moss, who observed that "[Schuyler] is in touch with parts of himself not usually available for examination and not often handled by most writers."

American poet whose awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem. He was a central figure in the New York School and is often associated with fellow New York School poets John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, and Barbara Guest.


Alejandra Galicio  ( ?  - 2005 ) Argentine
Murder Victim

Werner Schroeter  (1945 - 2010)  German
Director / Screenwriter

Sodomy in history, 
April 12

1889 Ohio amends its sodomy law to include fellatio. A member of the state legislature tries unsuccessfully to block the bill’s passage.
1921Minnesota amends its sodomy law to include oral sex.
1950 — A Pennsylvania court rules that cunnilingus violates the state’s sodomy law.

Sources:

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