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Saturday, 31 December 2011

December 31st in Queer History

Born this day

Orry-Kelly (1897 – 1964) Australian / US
Professional name of Orry George Kelly, a prolific Hollywood costume designer.

Joe Dallesandro (1948 – ) US 
Actor in Andy Warhol films, and famous as a male sex symbol of American underground films.

Jennifer Higdon (1962 – ) US 
Composer of classical music. Higdon has received many awards, including the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto and the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Percussion Concerto.

Logan McCree (1977 – ) German 
Krieger or DJ Krieger, is the stage name of a German DJ who has been working in gay porn since 2007.

Died this day

Felice Schragenheim (1922 - 1944 ) German 
Jewish resistance fighter during World War II. She is known for her tragic love story with Lilly Wust and death during a march from Gross-Rosen concentration camp (today Poland) to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

Xavier Villarrutia (1903 - 1950 ) Mexican 
Poet and playwright, whose most famous works are the short theatrical dramas, called Autos profanos, compiled in the work Poesía y teatro completos published in 1953.

Samuel Steward / Phil Andros (1909 - 1993) US 
Professor of English, who wrote high quality gay erotica, kept meticulous notes of all his sexual encounters, assisted Kinsey in his research, and switched careers to become a professional tattoo artist decades before tats became respectable. He also developed extended correspondence with several literary icons, notably Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas, and an extended sexual relationship with Thornton Wilder.

Phil Andros was both the pen - name he used for his erotica, and the name of the hustler who was his chief protagonist.

Brandon Teena (1972 - 1993) US 
Trans man who was raped and murdered in Humboldt, Nebraska.[2][3][4] His life and death were the subject of the Academy Award-winning 1999 film Boys Don't Cry, which was based on the documentary film The Brandon Teena Story.

Leigh Bowery (1961 - 1994) Australian
Performance artist, club promoter, actor, pop star, model and fashion designer, based in London.

Sodomy in history, December 31 st

1949 — The Washington Supreme Court reverses a sodomy conviction after the prosecutor contended that the defendant flew from San Francisco to Spokane for an act of sodomy and then flew back.


On this gay day

Thursday, 29 December 2011

December 29th in Queer History

Events this day in queer history

2009 – Malawi couple (Tiwonge Chimbalanga & Steven Monjeza) arrested and expected to be charged with gross indecency at their engagement party
2009 – Mexico City’s same-sex marriages signed into law (effective March 2010)

Born this day

Elsa Gidlow (1898 – 1986) US
Poet who in 1923 published the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry in the United States, "On A Grey Thread". Born in England, as a child she had no formal education. After moving to Canada with her family at the age of 16, she took a typing job, attended courses at McGill College (now University), and had her first passionate relationship with a woman.In time, she co-founded and owned a publishing house.
Her two long-term life partners were Violet Henry-Andreson and Isabel Quallo.

Billy Tipton (1914 –  1989) US 
Jazz musician and bandleader. Born Dorothy Tipton, he is also notable for the discovery, after his death, that he was female assigned at birth.

Joseph Maher (1933 – 1998) Irish
Character actor who appeared in 43 films and was nominated for three Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award for his supporting roles on the stage.

Paul Rudnick (1957 –)   US 
Playwright, screenwriter and novelist. His plays include I Hate Hamlet, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla and The New Century.

Sean Martin ( 1960 – ) Canadian
Cartoonist, set designer, and graphic designer, best known for the Doc and Raider comic strip series which appeared in LGBT publications in the 1980s and 1990s.

Jason Gould (1966 – ) US 
Actor, writer and director, who is the son of Barbra Streisand and actor Elliott Gould. About 1991, tabloids outed Gould as being gay.

Dave Brinson (1977 – ) UK 
Labour Party politician, who was a candidate for the English constituency of Eastbourne in the 2010 general election.

Ariel Schrag (1979 – ) US  
Cartoonist and television writer who achieved critical recognition at an unusually early age for her autobiographical comics. Schrag was listed in The Advocate's list of "Forty under Forty" out media professionals in its June–July 2009 issue. 

Died this day

Frank Thring (1926 - 1994) Australian
Character actor.

Cassia Eller (1962 - 2001) Brazilian
Musician, who performed a fusion of rock and MPB.
Eller gave birth to a son, Francisco "Chicão" Eller, in 1993. That same year, she went public with her long-term relationship with Maria Eugênia Vieira Martins. She explained that she came out so that her son could grow up without hearing rumors about his mother.As one of Brazil's most prominent lesbian artists, Eller was sometimes called the "South American Melissa Etheridge."

Kevin Greening ( 1962 - 2007 )  UK 
Radio presenter, who co-hosted the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show with Zoe Ball from 1997 to 1998.

Sodomy in history, December 29 th

1804 — Ohio repeals the 1795 common-law reception statute, making sodomy legal in the state.

1992 — The Michigan Court of Appeals rules that the state’s laws against sodomy and "gross indecency" are constitutional as applied to private, consensual activity among adults.


On this gay day

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

December 28th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2009 - First same-sex couple (Alejandro “Alex” Freyre & Jose Maria Di Bello) to legally marry in Argentina and Latin America.

2009 – The Matthew Shepard Act signed into law by President Obama

Born this day

FW Murnau  (1888 –  1931) German 
One of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s.

Willmer “Little Ax” Broadnax US 
African-American hard gospel quartet singer. A tiny man with glasses and a high, powerful tenor voice, he worked and recorded with many of the most famous and influential groups of his day.
Upon his death in 1994, it was discovered that Broadnax was female assigned at birth.

Simon Raven (1927 –  2001) UK 
Novelist, essayist, dramatist and raconteur who, in a writing career of forty years, caused controversy, amusement and offence. Among the many things said about him, perhaps the most quoted was that he had "the mind of a cad and the pen of an angel". E W Swanton called Raven's cricket memoir Shadows in the Grass "the filthiest cricket book ever written"

Antoine Bodar (1944 – ) Dutch 
Roman Catholic priest , historian and author of several theological books.Shortly before his ordination, it was disclosed that he was gay, but later distanced himself from homosexual practice.
In a newspaper interview in 2005, and later in the book Unordered Love, he discussed his views on homosexuality, religion and church.

Birgitt Bender (1956 – ) German
Politician and member of Alliance '90/The Greens, who has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1992.

Malcolm Gets (1963 – ) US 
Actor, who is best known for his role as Richard in the American television sitcom Caroline in the City.

Died this day

Leon Bakst (1866 - 1924) Russian 
Painter and scene- and costume designer. He was a member of the Sergei Diaghilev circle and the Ballets Russes, for which he designed exotic, richly coloured sets and costumes.

Edward Perry Warren (1860 - 1928 ) US
Art collector and the author of works proposing an idealized view of homosexual relationships. The Warren Cup, now in the British Museum,was one of his purchases, which he did not attempt to sell during his lifetime because of its explicit depiction of homoerotic scenes.

Warrem Cup, showing anal sex between an older Roman man and a youth

Jeremy Wolfenden  (1934 - 1965) UK 
Foreign correspondent and British spy at the height of the Cold War.

Terry Dolan  ( 1950 - 1986 ) US 
New Right political activist, and co-founder and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC). Although Dolan was a proponent of family values and the organization he led was persistently critical of gay rights, he was discovered to have been a closeted homosexual who frequented gay bars and died from complications of AIDS, aged 36.

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.

Susan Sontag (1933 - 2004 ) US 
Essayist, literary and cultural theorist, icon, and political activist. Sontag became aware of her bisexuality during her early teens and at 15 wrote in her diary, "so now I feel I have lesbian tendencies (how reluctantly I write this)." At 16, she had her first sexual encounter with a woman. Later in life, she said in an interview that she had been in love nine times - five women, four men. 

Sodomy in history, December 28 th

1962 — The Rhode Island Supreme Court rules that the state’s "crime against nature" law includes fellatio.

1973 — The New Hampshire Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of that state’s sodomy law.

1984 — A Michigan appellate court upholds the gross indecency law as applied to private, consensual sexual activity.


On this gay day

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

December 27th in Queer History

Born this day

Marlene Dietrich (1901 –  1992) German / US 
German-American actress and singer, who remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth greatest female star of all time.
Dietrich's personal life was kept out of public view. Dietrich, who was bisexual, enjoyed the thriving gay scene of the time and drag balls of 1920s Berlin.

Fritz Klein (1932 –  2006) US 
Sex researcher, psychiatrist, inventor of the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid and author. He was also a pioneering bisexual rights activist, who was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement.

Bob Brown (1944 – )
Australian senator, the inaugural Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, who was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia.Brown has led the Australian Greens since the party was founded in 1992 until the present.
Since 1997, he has been a regular fixture on the SameSame annual list of the 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians.

Guido Westerwelle (1961 – ) German
German liberal politician, currently serving as the Foreign Minister and a former Vice Chancellor of Germany in the second cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel (since 28 October 2009). He is the first openly gay person to hold either of those positions. Since 2001, he has been the chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany. A lawyer by profession, he has been a Member of Parliament since 1996.
On 20 July 2004, Westerwelle attended Angela Merkel's 50th birthday party accompanied by his partner, businessman Michael Mronz, thereby tacitly acknowledging that he was gay. It was the first time that he attended an official event with his partner. Today, he is frank about his homosexuality and lives together with his partner Michael Mronz. The couple registered their partnership on 17 September 2010 in a private ceremony in Bonn

Joe Mantello (1962 – ) US 
Actor and director best known for his work on Broadway productions of Wicked, Take Me Out and Assassins, as well as earlier in his career being one of the original Broadway cast of Angels in America. Mantello directed The Ritz, his sixth production with playwright Terrence McNally, in 2007.

Tobias Billstrom (1973 – ) Swedish 
Politician currently serving as Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy in the Swedish government. At the age of 37, Billström is the youngest member of the cabinet. He is also the first openly bisexual person to serve as minister in a Swedish cabinet

Wilson Cruz (1973 - ) US 
Actor, known for playing Rickie Vasquez on My So-Called Life[1] and a recurring character on Noah's Arc. As an openly gay person of Afro-Puerto Rican ancestry, he has served as an advocate for gay youth, especially gay youth of color.

Peter Zuckerman (1979 – )  US 
Prize-winning journalist and author who has focused his career in court reporting, investigative journalism and adventure stories.
His partner is Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland.

Saint's day

The Gospel of John makes several references to "the disciple Jesus loved", and to "the Beloved Disciple", including references to special priviliges that Jesus gave to this relationship, not granted to other disciples. This is taken by some Biblical scholars as evidence that Jesus had a relationship with this disciple which was at least emotionally intimate, and possibly sexual. 
It is not clear whether this "Beloved Disciple" was John himself (although it could have been), or someone else  possibly Lazarus.
In any event, there are suggestions from elsewhere that John may have had a same-sex relationship with another, his scribe Prochorus, after Christ's death.   

Died this day

Arthur Rhames ( 1957 – 1989 ) US
Guitarist, tenor saxophonist, pianist and melodica stylist, Krishna devotee, and a legend of New York City avant-garde jazz.

Hervé Guibert (1955 – 1991) French
Writer and photographer, and a close friend of Michel Foucault. The author of numerous novels and autobiographical studies, he played a considerable role in changing French public attitudes to AIDS.

Michael Callen (1955  - 1993) US 
Singer, songwriter, composer, author, and AIDS activist. He was a significant architect of the response to the AIDS crisis in the United States.

Sir Alan Bates  (1934 - 2003) UK 
Actor, who came to prominence in the 1960s, a time of high creativity in British cinema, when he appeared in films ranging from the popular children’s story Whistle Down the Wind to the "kitchen sink" drama A Kind of Loving. He is also known for his performance with Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek, as well as his roles in King of Hearts, Georgy Girl, Far From the Madding Crowd, and The Fixer, which gave him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In 1969, he starred in the Ken Russell film Women in Love with Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, with a renowned fireside naked wrestling scene with Oliver Reed.
Although he was married to Victoria Ward from 1970 until her death from a wasting disease in 1992, Bates had numerous homosexual relationships throughout his life, including those with actors Nickolas Grace and Peter Wyngarde, and Olympic skater John Curry. In 1994 Curry died from AIDS in Bates's arms.

Ryan Shay Hoskie (???? - ????)  US 
Sex worker from Albuquerque,New Mexico, whose partially-undressed body was discovered in an alley. He had suffered upper body trauma that led to his death.

Sodomy in history, December 27 th

1935 — The Florida Supreme Court holds that a sodomy indictment charging "the abominable and detestable crime against nature per os" is sufficient.

1943 — A California appellate court upholds an attempted crime against nature conviction of drunken teenagers driving around together who, under the influence, tried sex.

1960 — An Ohio appellate court overturns a sodomy conviction of a man who was given a lie detector test and had the test mentioned in his trial. The court felt that this could prejudice the jury.


On this gay day

Monday, 26 December 2011

December 26th in Queer History

Born this day

Thomas Gray (1716 – 1771) UK 
Poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Cambridge University. He is best known for his masterpiece, the " Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard".

Simon Fanshaw (1956 – )  UK 
Writer and broadcaster. He contributes frequently to British newspapers, TV and radio.

David Sedaris (1956 – ) US 
Grammy Award-nominated American humorist, writer, comedian, bestselling author, and radio contributor.

Reichen Lehmkuhl (1973 – ) US 
Reality show winner[Amazing Race], model, and occasional actor.

Died this day

William Haines (1900 - 1973) US 
Film actor and interior designer. He was a star of the silent era until the 1930s, when Haines' career was cut short by MGM Studios due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality.

Hurd Hatfield (1917 - 1998) US 
Actor, known especially for his starring role in "The Picture of Dorian Grey".

Sir Nigel Hawthorne (1929 - 2001 )  UK 
Actor, perhaps best remembered for his role as Sir Humphrey Appleby, the Permanent Secretary in the 1980s sitcom Yes Minister and the Cabinet Secretary in its sequel, Yes, Prime Minister.

"Fred with Tires" (1984)
Herb Ritts (1952 - 2002 ) US 
Fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits, often in the style of classical Greek sculpture. He is of special interest to the glbtq community because of the homoerotic qualities and the "homosexual iconography" in many of his photographs.
Ritts's male nudes have been described as having "a profoundly intimate feeling." The photographer himself felt that his pictures reflected a "classic sensuality" rather than a "gay sensibility." Nevertheless, although his images are widely admired by mainstream audiences, they have a particular appeal to gay viewers. One of his best-known works, "Fred with Tires" (1984), shows an almost impossibly muscular young man clad only in jeans that sag slightly below his waist.

Sodomy in history, December 26th

1912 — In Philadelphia, Rev. Alfred Mortimer of the Episcopal Church, is forced to resign and leaves the country because of sex with male parishioners.

1978 — The Oregon Court of Appeals overturns the license revocation of a physician who had been barred by the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners from engaging in consensual sexual relations.


On this gay day

Sunday, 25 December 2011

December 25th in Queer History

Born this day

Quentin Crisp (1908 – 1999) UK
Author / Actor

John Minton (1917 – 1957) UK 

Noel Tovey (1934 – ) Australian 
Dancer / Choreographer / Actor

Ismael Merchant (1936 – 2005) Indian 

Kenny Everett (1944 – 1995) UK 
Comedian / Presenter

Noel Greig (1944 –  2009) UK 
Actor / Playwright / Director

Joey Yale (1949 – 1986) US 

Christine Kaufmann (1951 – ) US 

Joanna Werners (1953 – ) Suriname / Canadian

Stephen Twigg (1966 – ) UK 

Matthew Rettenmund (1968 – ) US 

Brad Benton [aka Dylan Vox] (1974/8 – ) US 
Porn / Actor / Columnist / Blogger

Leo Bramm (???? – ) Israeli

Died this day

Neil Francis Hawkins (1903 - 1950) UK 
Politician / Author

Sodomy in history, December 25th

1842 — An all-male bathing party in Cincinnati is met with "a torrent of abuse" from the public.

1982 — Two married army men are found, fully clothed, in bed together and are accused of sex. They say they only fell on the bed while drunk, but accept honorable discharges rather than fight the charges and possibly receive dishonorable discharges.


On this gay day

Saturday, 24 December 2011

December 24th in Queer History

Born this day

Hans von Marees (1837 – 1887) German.
Painter, who mainly painted country scenes in a realistic style.

Robert Joffrey (1928/30 – 1988) US 
Dancer, teacher, producer and choreographer, known for his highly imaginative modern ballets for his company, the Joffrey Ballet.
Joffrey died on March 25, 1988 of AIDS at the age of 57. In 2000, Joffrey was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame.

Dean Corll (1939 – 1973) US 
Serial Killer, also known as the "Candy Man", who, together with two youthful accomplices named David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley, abducted, raped, tortured and murdered a minimum of 28 boys in a series of killings spanning from 1970 to 1973 in Houston, Texas.

Brenda Howard (1946 –  2005) US
Bisexual rights activist and sex-positive feminist. Howard was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement.

Deborah Glick (1950 – )  US 
Democratic member of the New York State Assembly. The first openly LGBT member of the New York Legislature,she has focused on areas relating to civil rights, reproductive freedom, Lesbian and Gay rights, environmental improvement and preservation, and the arts.

Bob Smith (1958 – ) US 
Comedian and author, who was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and the first openly gay comedian to have his own HBO half-hour comedy special.

Lee Daniels (1959 –) US 
Actor, film producer, and director.

Jim Roth (1968 – ) US 
A Democrat, Roth was appointed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin to serve on the Oklahoma State Election Board as the panel's lone Democrat.

Died this day

Prince Aribert of Anhalt (1866 - 1933) German.
Prince of the German Duchy of Anhalt.

Edmund Goulding (1891 - 1959) US 
Film writer and director.

Louis Aragon (1982 –  1897) French
Poet, novelist and editor, a long-time member of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.

John Damien (1933 - 1986 )  Canadian 
Damien worked in horse-racing in Ontario for twenty years, as a trainer, jockey and racing steward for the Ontario Jockey Commission. He was one of the top three racing judges in Ontario when on February 7, 1975, he was dismissed without notice after his gay sexual orientation came to the attention of the Commission, an independent agency of the Ontario provincial government.

Pat Bond (1990 –  1925) US 
Actress, who starred on stage and on television, as well as in motion pictures. For many people, she was the first gay woman they saw on stage.

John Boswell  (1947 - 1994 ) US 
Prominent historian and a professor at Yale University. Many of Boswell's studies focused on the issue of homosexuality and religion, specifically homosexuality and Christianity.

Nizah Morris (1955 - 2002 ) US 
Transgender entertainer.

Sodomy in history, December 24th

1912 — A report issued by Utah’s State Board of Insanity recommends sterilization of persons convicted of sexual crimes.


On this gay day

Friday, 23 December 2011

December 23rd in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2009 – Chief Justice of Pakistan orders National Database & Registration Authority to issue national identity cards showing “distinct” gender allowing hijras to register as a separate gender

Born this day

Tsar Alexander I of Russia (1777 - 1825)
Grandson of Catherine the Great, who came to the throne following the assassination of his father, Paul I. Rumors of his homosexuality began circulating shortly after his coronation in 1801. During the early part of his rule, he relied on an "Unofficial Committee," composed of four of his young companions, for political guidance and support.

Christa Winsloe (1888 – 1944) German 
German-Hungarian novelist, playwright and sculptor, best known for her play Gestern und heute, filmed in 1931 as "Mädchen in Uniform",the first detailed play on female homosexuality in the Weimar Republic.
During World War II, she joined the French Resistance.In 1944, she and a companion were shot and killed by four Frenchmen, who mistook them for Nazi spies.

Carol Ann Duffy (1955 – ) UK
Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Britain's poet laureate, She is the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly gay person to hold the position. Duffy rose to greater prominence in UK poetry circles after her poem "Whoever She Was" won the Poetry Society National Poetry Competition in 1983, and went on to gain both critical and popular success.

Tim Fountain (1967 – ) UK 
Playwright whose first major success was "Resident Alien", based on the life and writings of Quentin Crisp. Fountain hit the headlines in 2004 when his one man show, "Sex Addict" opened at the Edinburgh Festival. During the show he solicited sexual partners on-line and the audience got to choose who he had sex with.

Nikolai Alekseev (1977 – ) Russian
LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist. In October 2010, Nikolay Alexeyev won the first ever case at the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT human rights violations in Russia when the court unanimously ruled that by banning three Moscow Prides in 2006, 2007 and 2008 Russia had breached three articles of the European Convention.

Died this day

Pierre Gripari  (1925 - 1990 ) French
Writer who first gained critical success with his autobiography, "Pierrot-la-lune". Until his death, he was more known to French audiences as a children's author. His other work, was not commercially successful, often included gay themes.

Vincent Fourcade (1934 - 1992 ) French  
Interior designer and the business and life partner of Robert Denning. "Outrageous luxury is what our clients want," he once said.

Pierre Vallieres  (1938  - 1998 ) Canadian
Journalist and writer, who was considered an intellectual leader of the Front de libération du Québec.

Sodomy in history, December 23rd

1833 — Georgia changes the wording of its sodomy law to read "man with man or in the same unnatural manner with woman," thus eliminating the possibility of Lesbians being prosecuted. The penalty of life imprisonment is retained.

1917 — The North Carolina Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man who claims that, since he is 52 years old and a father, he can not possibly be guilty of sodomy. The Court agrees that it is difficult to believe, but does not question the jury’s finding.

1998 — Chile decriminalizes consensual sodomy.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

December 22nd in Queer History

Born this day

Myron Brinig (1896 – 1991) US 
Jewish-American author who wrote twenty-one novels from 1929 to 1958. Brinig's novels often dealt with homosexuality. According to the Gay & Lesbian Literary Heritage, Brinig was the "first American Jewish novelist to write in any significant way about the gay experience."

Gustaf Grundgens (1899 – 1963) German
One of Germany's most famous and influential actors of the 20th century, intendant and artistic director of theatres in Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg. His career continued undisturbed through the years of the Nazi regime, but the extent to which this can be considered as deliberate collaboration with the Nazis was hotly disputed. In 1934 he became intendant of the Prussian State Theatre; though constant attacks on his sexual orientation made him ask the Prussian Minister President Hermann Göring for his discharge after the Night of the Long Knives. Göring rejected the request and instead appointed him a member of the Prussian state council to ensure his immunity. Posthumously, Gründgens was the subject of a novel entitled "Mephisto" by his former brother-in-law Klaus Mann, who had died in 1949.

Marc Allegret (1900 – 1973) French  
Screenwriter and film director. Allégret became André Gide's lover when he was fifteen and Gide was forty-seven. Later, Marc was to fall briefly under the spell of Cocteau

Martin Sherman (1938 –)  US 
Dramatist and screenwriter, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Bent (1979), which explores the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust.

David Parks (1943 – ) US 
Democrat member of the Nevada Senate, who was the first openly gay member of the Nevada Legislature.

Frank Israel (1945 – 1996) US 
Los Angeles architect, who designed a series of residences, remodels and office buildings, mainly for entertainment industry clients, that exemplify the contemporary West Coast style.

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

Maggie McIntosh (1947 – ) US   
Maryland politician, the Chairman of the Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates. Delegate McIntosh is the first woman to be appointed majority leader in the Maryland House of Delegates and the first openly gay person in the Maryland General Assembly

Nick Enright (1950 – 2003) Australian 
Playwright / Author

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1996 - 1988), US
Graffiti artist whose painting became a major force in revitalizing American art in the late 20th century.

Michael Williams [Sister Roma] (1962 – ) US 
drag queen and art director of gay pornography. She is a twenty-year member of San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Inc.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (1967 – , German.
Retired football midfielder and lately was head coach for women's football club FCR 2001 Duisburg in Germany's top flight, the Fußball-Bundesliga.

Vicky Galindo (1983 – ) US 
Athlete on the USA Softball Women's National Team

Died this day

Wallace Thurman (1902 - 1934 ) US 
Novelist during the Harlem Renaissance. He is best known for his novel The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life, which explores discrimination among black people based on skin color.

Ma Rainey (1886 - 1939 ) US 
One of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record.She was billed as The Mother of the Blues.

Tucker Smith (1936 - 1988 ) US 
Actor/dancer/singer best known for his role as Ice in the movie musical West Side Story.

George Stambolian (1938 - 1991 ) US 
Educator, writer, and editor of Armenian descent, who was a key figure in the early gay literary movement that came out of New York during the 1960s and 1970s. He was best known as the editor of the Men on Men anthologies of gay fiction.

Lance Loud (1951 - 2001 ) US 
Magazine columnist and new wave rock-n-roll performer, Loud is best known for his 1973 appearance in An American Family, a pioneer reality television series that featured his coming out, leading to his status as an icon in the gay community.

Sodomy in history, December 22 nd

1853 — The Oregon Territory enacts its own sodomy law. The penalty is set at 1-5 years.

1952 — The High Commissioner for the U.S. Trust Territories promulgates a criminal code which creates a penalty of up to 10 years for sodomy, and apparently includes oral sex.

1953 — A California appellate court upholds an oral copulation conviction of a man even though his partner is acquitted.

1955 — The Washington Supreme Court reverses a sodomy conviction that is based entirely on circumstantial evidence.

1970 — The Indiana Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction even though evidence of similar acts with other persons many years before was admitted.

1972 — Ohio passes a new criminal code that makes it the seventh state to legalize sodomy, the first to have gender-neutral sexual assault laws, and the only state to legalize many forms of incest, such as between two brothers, two sisters, or cousins of the same sex.


On this gay day

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

December 21st in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2009 – Mexico City legalises same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples (effective March 2010)

Born this day

Michael Tilson Thomas (1944 – ) US
Conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra.

Gordon D Fox (1961 – ) US 
Politician from Providence, Rhode Island and the Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
Fox came out publicly in 2004 and is in a long-term relationship with Marcus LaFond. He is one of four openly gay members of the Rhode Island General Assembly. He was also the first openly gay house speaker in the United States.

Kecia Cunningham (1965 – )  US 
City Commissioner of Decatur Georgia, and the first openly gay African American elected official in the Southeast.

Andy Dick (1965 – )  US 
Comedian, actor, musician and television/film producer.

Frank Rossavik (1965 – )
Norwegian Journalist. Openly gay,he has been called "the best writer among the homosexuals" by the Christian Conservative Finn, Jarle Sæle.

Karrie Webb (1974 – ) Australian
Australia's most successful female professional golfer, and one of the top players in the history of global women's golf. She is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, with 38 wins on the LPGA Tour, more than any other active player.

Died this day

Carl van Vechten (1880 - 1964 ) US 
Writer and photographer, who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein.

Anna Elisabet Weirauch (1887 - 1970 ) German
Author, who worked for a decade starting 1904,at Berlin's German State Theatre.
She started writing plays but later moved to novels. In 1933 she moved to Gastag, Upper Bavaria, where she lived with her life partner.

Sodomy in history, December 21 st

1836 — Texas adopts the common law of England, making sodomy a capital offense.

1856 — A man in Utah records in his diary that a married woman in Salt Lake City had been accused of trying to seduce the daughter of a man in town.

1988 — The Oregon Court of Appeals reverses two public indecency convictions of men looking for sex in restrooms, finding a right to sexual privacy even outside of enclosed stalls.

2001 — Romania repeals its sodomy law.


On this gay day

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

December 20th in Queer History

Born this day

Elsie de Wolfe (1865 – 1950) US
Actress / Interior Designer

Zebedy Colt (1929 –  2004) US
Actor / Musician

Virginia Uribe (1933 - ) US
Educator, counsellor and activist

Dafydd Jenkins (1946 – 2001) UK
Club Manager / Editor

John Spencer (1946 - 2005) US 
Film and television actor, most widely known for his role in "The West Wing".
In 1990 Spencer joined the cast of the television series "L.A. Law", playing rumpled, pugnacious associate attorney Tommy Mullaney. Spencer's work also extended to video games, portraying the role of Captain Hugh Paulsen in the 1995 video game Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.
From 1999 until his death in 2005, Spencer was cast in the role of White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry on the NBC political drama series "The West Wing". Both Spencer and his character were recovering alcoholics.

Sky Gilbert (1952 – ) Canadian
Drag Queen / Actor / Author / Playwright / Columnist / Critic

Stephen Bicknell (1957 –2007) UK
Organ Builder / Author

Tista Das (1976 – ) Indian

Spencer Duhm (1989 – ) US
Reality TV [Survivor]

Saints' Day:

Ruth and Naomi: Biblical Women in Love

Died this day

Moss Hart (1904 – 1961)
American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway. Married and a father, but known by his friends to have been gay.

Irving Rapper (1898 - 1999 ) US

Bernard King (1934 - 2002 ) Australian
Actor/ Chef / Presenter

C Hernandez (???? –????) Argentine
Murder Victim

Sodomy in history, December 20 th

1785 — The last known execution for sodomy in the United States occurs in Pennsylvania. Joseph Ross is the victim.

1817 — Georgia reenacts its 1816 criminal code with an identical sodomy law, and this code is enforced.

1897 — The California Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of two prisoners for a consensual act in their cell, the first such reported case in the United States.

1978 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rules that touching a clothed crotch constitutes "public lewdness."


On this gay day

Monday, 19 December 2011

December 19th in Queer History

Born this day

Vander Clyde [Barbette] (1899 –  1973) US 
Female impersonator, high wire performer and trapeze artist. Barbette began performing as an aerialist at around the age of 14 as one-half of a circus act called The Alfaretta Sisters. After a few years of circus work, Barbette went solo and adopted his exotic-sounding pseudonym. He performed in full drag, revealing himself as male only at the end of his act.

Robert Medley (1905 – 1994) UK 
English painter who worked in both abstract and figurative styles, and a theatre designer.

Jean Genet (1910 –  1986) French 
Prominent and controversial[1] French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids and The Screens.

Jose Lezama-Lima (1910 – 1976) Cuban 
Writer and poet who is considered one of the most influential figures in Latin American literature.

Cyril Collard (1993 - 1957 ) French 
Author, filmmaker, composer, musician and actor. He is known for his unapologetic portrayals of bisexuality and HIV in art, particularly his autobiographical novel and film Les Nuits Fauves (Savage Nights). Openly bisexual, Collard was also one of the first French artists to speak openly about his HIV-positive status.

Limahl (1958 –  ) UK 
Christopher Hamill better known by his stage name Limahl is an English pop singer, who rose to fame as the lead singer of the 1980s pop group Kajagoogoo

Michelangelo Signorile (1960 –  ) US 
Writer, a national talk radio host whose program is aired each weekday across the United States and Canada, and Editor-at-Large for the Gay Voices vertical of The Huffington Post. Signorile's seminal 1993 book Queer in America explored the negative effects of the LGBT closet, and provided one of the first intellectual justifications for the practice of outing public officials. He has argued that the homosexuality of public figures—and only public figures—should be reported on when relevant, and only when relevant. In 1992 Newsweek listed him as one of America's "100 Cultural Elite," and he is included in the 2002 book, The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present, which begins with Socrates at number 1 and ends with Signorile at number 100.

Matthew Waterhouse (1961 – )UK
Actor and writer best known for his role as Adric in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.

Gregory Douglass (1980 – ) US 
Singer-songwriterm who plays lead guitar and piano. Some of his lyrics deal with queer themes.

Lady Sovereign (1985 – ) UK 
Louise Amanda Harman, better known by the stage name Lady Sovereign, is an English rapper & grime artist. She is noted for her professional success in performing styles of music generally dominated by males.

Died this day

Hans Warren (1921 - 2001) Dutch
Dutch poet, writer and literary critic, born in Borsele, whose full name was Johannes Adrianus Menne Warren. He published a an extended series of candid diaries of his life ans sexual experiences as a gay man in the Netherlands, including the early years when married and closeted, coming out, and later living and writing as openly gay. He is also notable for a fictionalized account of what it was like to be both Jewish and gay under Nazi occupation, in the novel "Secretly Inside".

Sodomy in history, December 19 th

1816 — Georgia adopts a new criminal code, reinstating sodomy as a crime after a 32-year hiatus. The penalty is compulsory life imprisonment. The law is not enforced.

1917 — A Georgia appellate court reverses a man’s conviction for assault to commit sodomy for soliciting another man and touching his crotch.

1917 — A Georgia appellate court rejects the contention of a man and woman that only people of the same sex can commit sodomy.

1955 — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturns the sodomy conviction of a man in Guam because it was based on an information instead of an indictment.

1978 — A Virgin Islands court upholds the constitutionality of that territory’s sodomy law.

1991 — The New York Court of Appeals rules that sex in a parked car on a public street does not necessarily violate the state’s public indecency law.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

December 18th in Queer History

Born this day

Portrait by
Christina of Sweden (1626 –1689)
Queen regnant of Swedes, Goths and Vandals, Grand Princess of Finland, and Duchess of Ingria, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia, from 1633 to 1654. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustav II Adolph and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. As the heiress presumptive, at the age of six she succeeded her father on the throne of Sweden upon his death at the Battle of Lützen. Being the daughter of a Protestant champion in the Thirty Years' War, she caused a scandal when she abdicated her throne and converted to Catholicism in 1654. She spent her later years in Rome, becoming a leader of the theatrical and musical life there. As a queen without a country, she protected many artists and projects. She is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Died this day

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

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

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

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

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

Sodomy in history, December 18 th

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

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

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


On this gay day

Saturday, 17 December 2011

December 17th in Queer History

Events this day in queer history

2007 – Hungarian Parliament passes registered partnerships into law (effective 1st January 2009?)

Born this day

Paul Cadmus (1904 – 1999) US 

Bertha Harris (1937 – 2005) US 

James “Bing” Davidson (1940 – 1965 ) US 

Michael Cashman (1950 – ) UK 
Actor / Politician / Activist

Gregg Araki (1959 – ) US 
Director / Producer / Screenwriter

Paul Koering (1964 – ) US 

Maciej Nowak (1964 – ) Polish 
Journalist / Author / Theatre Critic / Chef

Fabrice Neaud (1968 –  ) French
Comic Book Artist

Sarah Paulson (1975 – ) US 

Died this day

Marguerite Yourcenar (1903 - 1987) French

Jennifer Gale (1960 - 2008 ) US 

Sodomy in history, December 17 th

1838 — Arkansas passes a sodomy statute, after relying on a common-law statute for two decades. The penalty is set at 5-21 years.

1931 — The Illinois Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction after uncorroborated testimony was admitted in the trial and the state entered evidence of a theft conviction of 13 years earlier.

1934 — A California appellate court upholds a sodomy conviction in which there was no proof of penetration, something state law requires.

1941 — Congress enacts a vagrancy law for the District of Columbia, labeling as vagrant "anyone convicted of a felony loitering in a public place" and anyone guilty of "acts of perversion for hire."

1971 — The Florida Supreme Court strikes down the state’s "crime against nature" law as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. It says that, with a constantly changing world, what is a crime against nature today is different from what it was a hundred years ago.


On this gay day

Friday, 16 December 2011

December 16th in Queer History

Born this day

Sir Noel Coward (1899 –  1973) UK 
Playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
Coward was knighted in 1969 and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received a Tony Award for lifetime achievement. The Noël Coward Theatre in St Martin's Lane, originally opened in 1903 as the New Theatre and later called the Albery, was renamed in his honour.
Coward was homosexual but, following the convention of his times, this was never publicly mentioned. Coward firmly believed his private business was not for public discussion, considering "any sexual activities when over-advertised" to be tasteless.[104] Even in the 1960s, Coward refused to acknowledge his sexual orientation publicly, wryly observing, "There are still a few old ladies in Worthing who don't know."

Margaret Mead (1901 –  1978) US 
Margaret Mead was an innovative cultural anthropologist who brought public attention to the field by making her work understandable and relevant. Famous for her trademark cape and walking stick, Mead shaped anthropology with her nontraditional research methods.
Mead rocked the American public and the anthropology world with her first book, “Coming of Age In Samoa” (1928), about the sexual behavior of young Samoan women. This book and her subsequent reports on the sexual attitudes of other cultures influenced the sexual revolution of the 1960's.

Hazel Barnes (1915 –  2008) US 
American philosopher, author, and translator. Best known for her popularization of existentialism in America, Barnes translated the works of Jean-Paul Sartre as well as writing original works on the subject.

Arthur C Clarke (1917 –  2008) UK 
Science fiction author, inventor,and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them "2001: A Space Odyssey", and as a host and commentator in the British television series ""Mysterious World". For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

Gerald Glaskin (1923 – 2000) Australian
Western Australian author. Although he won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature in 1955, his works were received more favourably in Europe than in Australia where he had virtually no public profile, and he lived mostly in Asia and later the Netherlands, until returning to Perth in 1968.
Glaskin's extensive time overseas may have been because of the oppressive Australian moral climate of the period against homosexuality. In 1961 he had been charged with indecent exposure (presumably while sexually cruising) on a Perth beach.

Barbara and Beverly Smith (1946 –  ) US 
Barbara Smith is a lesbian feminist who has played a significant role in building and sustaining Black Feminism in the United States. Since the early 1970s she has been active as an innovative critic, teacher, lecturer, author, independent scholar, and publisher of Black feminist thought. She has also taught at numerous colleges and universities over the last twenty five years. Smith's essays, reviews, articles, short stories and literary criticism have appeared in a range of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Black Scholar, Ms., Gay Community News, The Guardian, The Village Voice, Conditions (magazine) and The Nation. Barbara has a twin sister, Beverly Smith, who is also a lesbian feminist activist and writer.

Christopher Biggins (1948 – ) UK 
Actor and media personality,best known as a comedy actor, appearing as the regular character Lukewarm in the popular situation comedy Porridge (1974–77).
Biggins was married to Australian actress Beatrice Norbury from 1971 to 1974, but is now openly gay and formed a civil partnership with his partner, flight attendant Neil Sinclair, on 30 December 2006.

Bonnie Dumanis (1951 – ) US 
Republican District Attorney of San Diego County since 2003, when she defeated incumbent Paul Pfingst. She then became the first openly gay or lesbian DA in the USA.

Edward Barnes (1958 – ) US 
Composer and nusic Producer

Ron Athey (1961 – ) US 
performance artist associated with body art and with extreme performance art. He has performed in the U.S. and internationally (especially in the UK and Europe). Athey's work explores challenging subjects like the relationships between desire, sexuality, and traumatic experience. Many of his works include aspects of S&M in order to confront pre-conceived ideas about the body in relation to masculinity and religious iconography.

Kanako Otsuji (1974 – )
LGBT rights activist and former member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly (April 2003–April 2007). One of only seven women in the 110-member Osaka Assembly, Otsuji represented the Sakai-ku, Sakai City constituency.

Died this day

Charles Camille Saint-Seans
Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
He is widely reported that he was, or may have been, gay. He did not marry until he was nearly 40, to a woman aged only 19. The marriage lasted before six years, before they separated, and he and resumed living alone.

Denham Fouts (1914 - 1948 ) US 
Male prostitute, socialite and literary muse, who served as the inspiration for characters by Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Christopher Isherwood and Gavin Lambert.

W Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965 ) UK 
Playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and, reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s.
When World War I broke out, Maugham served in France as a member of the British Red Cross's so-called "Literary Ambulance Drivers", a group of some 23 well-known writers, including the Americans John Dos Passos and E. E. Cummings. During this time, he met Frederick Gerald Haxton, a young San Franciscan, who became his companion and lover until Haxton's death in 1944.
Although Maugham's first and many other sexual relationships were with men, he also had sexual relationships with a number of women, marrying Syrie Wellcome in 1917, after fathering a child with her.

Sylvester James (1947 - 1988) US 
American disco and soul singer, and a drag performer. Sylvester was sometimes known as the "Queen of Disco," although this moniker has also been bestowed on some of the women of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer). His most significant works are the songs "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)", "Dance (Disco Heat)" (both 1978) and "Do You Wanna Funk" (1982).

Pier Vittorio Tondelli (1955 - 1991 ) Italian
Italian writer who wrote a small but influential body of work. Tondelli enjoyed modest success as a writer but often encountered trouble with censors for his use of homosexual themes in his works.

John Spencer (1946 - 2005) US 
Film and television actor, most widely known for his role in "The West Wing".
In 1990 Spencer joined the cast of the television series "L.A. Law", playing rumpled, pugnacious associate attorney Tommy Mullaney. Spencer's work also extended to video games, portraying the role of Captain Hugh Paulsen in the 1995 video game Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.
From 1999 until his death in 2005, Spencer was cast in the role of White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry on the NBC political drama series "The West Wing". Both Spencer and his character were recovering alcoholics.

Sodomy in history, December 16 th

1890 — The Virginia Supreme Court rules that an accusation of sodomy is the only threat not requiring fear of danger for purposes of being accused of robbery by making a threat.

— The Utah Supreme Court rules that fellatio does not violate the state’s "crime against nature" law.

1933 — A Pennsylvania appellate court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man after he was denied his request to strip naked in court to show the jury that he was not physically abnormal.

1955 — Wisconsin amends its sodomy law to cover cunnilingus.

On this gay day

Thursday, 15 December 2011

December 15th in Queer History

Born this day

Vida Dutton Scudder (1861 – 1954)  Indian / US
Educator, writer, and welfare activist in the social gospel movement, who was one of the most prominent lesbian authors of her time. Her career combined academic pursuits, social activism, and religious fervour.

In 1895 she became one of the first two American women admitted to graduate study at Oxford university, and later taught at Wellesley College, where she was a full professor from 1910.

Her religious beliefs led her to a commitment to social activism. In 1888, Scudder joined the Companions of the Holy Cross, a group of Episcopalian women dedicated to intercessionary prayer and social reconciliation. Later, she worked constantly for trade union rights and socialism. She is recognized as a saint by the Episcopal Church (USA), with a feast day on October 10.

From 1919 until her death, Scudder was in a lesbian relationship with Florence Converse.

W Dorr Legg (1904 – 1994) US
A landscape architect and one of the founders of the United States gay rights movement, then called the homophile movement. In 1958, he sued the US Post Office for the right to distribute the Mattachine's journal through the mail. In 2011 the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association announced that Legg would be inducted into its hall of fame.

Muriel Rukeyser (1913 –  1980) US
poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Her poetry, which breaks the silence of many aspects of female experience, has been enormously important to many feminist and lesbian readers.

Details of Rukeyser's personal life remain a matter of speculation. However, in 1978, she accepted an invitation to participate in a Lesbian Poetry Reading at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association

Tom Ammiano (1941 – )  US
Politician and LGBT rights activist from San Francisco, California. Ammiano is a Democrat who has served as a member of the California State Assembly since 2008, representing the 13th district. He had previously been a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and had mounted an unsuccessful bid for mayor of San Francisco in 1999.

Ammiano was in a 16-year domestic partnership with a fellow schoolteacher, Tim Curbo, who died of complications from AIDS in 1994. He has one daughter and is now a grandfather. Aside from his teaching and political careers, Ammiano has been a stand-up comedian since 1980. Ammiano portrayed himself in the 2008 film Milk.

Alfredo Ormando (1958 –  1998) Italian
On 13 January 1998 he set himself on fire in Saint Peter's Square in Rome to protest the attitudes and policies of the Roman Catholic Church regarding homosexual Christians. After two policemen put out the flames, he was brought to Sant'Eugenio hospital in critical condition. He died there 11 days later.

Ormando was one of eight children from an impoverished family, who had been struggling to make a success of a writing career, after spending two years in a seminary. He had been suffering from serious depression, which clearly had multiple causes. After his death, the Vatican denied that this had anything to do with the Church or homosexuality. Through its spokesperson, Father Ciro Benedettini, the Church downplayed the significance of the act

Donna Brazile (1959 –  ) US
Author, professor, and political analyst affiliated with the Democratic Party. She was the first African American to direct a major presidential campaign, for Al Gore in 2000. Brazile briefly served as interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee in the spring of 2011.

David N Cicilline (1961 – )  US
Democratic Party U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district. He is formerly the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, and was the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capital.

Will Wikle (1978 – ) US
Registered nurse and a reality television participant best known for his appearance in the fifth American season of Big Brother.

Died this day

Charles Laughton (1899 - 1962 ) UK/US 
English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and director. Although he married Elsa Lanchester in 1929, Laughton's homosexuality reportedly has been corroborated by several of his contemporaries and is generally accepted by Hollywood historians

Serge Lifar (1905 - 1986 ) Russian 
French ballet dancer and choreographer of Ukrainian origin, famous as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the 20th century.

Floris Michiels van Kessenich (1957 - 1991 ) Dutch

Jack Robinson (1928 - 1997 ) US 
Photographer and stained glass designer. Robinson was freelance photographer for Vogue and The New York Times from the 1950s to the early 1970s before he left New York to return home to the American South and pursue a career as a stained glass designer.

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".

Sodomy in history, December 15 th

1939 — A New York trial court judge says that to be convicted of sodomy, one must be "homosexually inclined" and states that "the natural sex instinct is for the opposite sex."

1971 — A California appellate court overturns the oral copulation conviction of a man for sex in a restroom. It says his arrest violated the "spirit" of a law banning two-way mirrors in restrooms.

1980 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court overturns "lewd and lascivious conduct" convictions for solicitations at a rest stop.


On this gay day