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Monday, 31 December 2012

Samuel Steward / Phil Andros (1909 - 1993), Tattooist, archivist and porn writer

b. July 23, 1909
d. December 31, 1993

Samuel Steward was a 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 a 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. The extraordinarily literate quality of his writing, combined with its explicitly erotic character, and his extensive documentation of his life, sexual escapades and wide correspondence with leading literary figures of his time, make him one of the most fascinating characters in twentieth century queer culture.

While still a student at Ohio State University, he wrote a fan letter to Gertrude Stein in Paris. Her reply began a life - long correspondence and personal friendship. In much the same way, his letters to other writers he admired led to extensive correspondence with many more leading figures in twentieth century art and culture, including André Gide, Thomas Mann, Lord Alfred Douglas, and Alfred Kinsey.

His own early literary studies developed into a twenty year career in academia, including positions in Washington state, and in Chicago later at Loyola University and De Paul University. He also served from 1946 to 1948 as an editor in the departments of religion, fine arts, and education of the World Book Encyclopedia.

As an inveterate diarist and archivist, he kept detailed notes of all of his numerous sexual encounters, and became an unofficial collaborator (and life-long friend) of Alfred Kinsey, who once flew in a sadist from New York for a bondage session with Steward, which he filmed.

During the 1950's, Steward began moonlighting as a tattoo artist (frankly admitting that he particularly enjoyed tatooing male genitals). As this would not have gone down at all well with the authorities alongside his academic work at De Paul University, he kept the two activities strictly separate, adopting the name "Phil Sparrow" for his tattooing work, a name he retained even after giving up his university work two years later, to earn his living exclusively from the tattoo parlour.

When he began writing gay porn later, even the name he chose, Phil Andros, was a literary joke, from the  Greek for "Love" (Philos) and "Man" (Andros).

Beginning with $tud, published in 1966, the Andros books are a series of graphic and witty accounts in the first person of a fictional hustler. As Steward explained, he made the narrator of his stories a male hustler because of a prostitute's "easy entry into any level of society." "He can go see a judge as easily as he could see a surfer," Steward noted.

While most of the Andros books were originally published in the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were revised a decade later to considerable critical and commercial success.


As Phil Andros:

As Samuel Steward:

Spring, Justin:

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 31st

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

Sunday, 30 December 2012

December 30th in Queer History

Events this day in queer history

2008 - ACLU sues the state of Arkansas, in the USA, arguing that the state's ban on same-sex adoptions is unconstitutional

Born this day

Beauford Delaney (1901 – 1979) US  

Modernist painter. In Greenwich Village, where his studio was, Delaney became part of a gay bohemian circle of mainly white friends; but he was furtive and rarely comfortable with his sexuality.

Paul Bowles (1910 - 1999), US.   
Gay American expatriate composer, writer, and translator Paul Bowles liked to examine sexuality from a dispassionate perspective for its psychological suggestiveness. Bowles's literary reputation rests on his novels, but until he was thirty-five he showed more interest in musical composition and poetry.

Sverker Astrom (1915 – ) Swedish
Former Swedish diplomat from 1940 to 1982, who came out as gay aged 88.  While in service, he had felt unable to come out publicly, but had disclosed his sexuality to his superiors, to avoid any risk of blackmail.  

Mike Lawlor (1956 – )  US 
Politician, criminal justice professor, and lawyer who served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1987 to 2011.

Douglas Coupland (1961 – ) Canadian
Novelist, whose fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. Coupland has been described as "...possibly the most gifted exegete of North American mass culture writing today" and "one of the great satirists of consumerism". A specific feature of Coupland's novels is their synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture.

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

Michelle Douglas (1963 – ) Canadian 
Human rights activist who was involved in a landmark case around lesbian and gay equality rights, which led to the Canadian military abandoning its policy banning gays and lesbians from service/

Sophie Ward (1964 – ) UK 
Actress and the daughter of actor, Simon Ward. In 1996 her marriage broke down when she became involved with Rena Brannan, a female Korean-American writer.

Ivelin Yordanov (1978 –) Bulgarian 

Died this day

Denton Welch (1915 - 1948 ) UK
English-American writer and painter, admired for his vivid prose and precise descriptions.

Sodomy in history, December 30th

1910 — In New York, two men are convicted of sodomy after police saw them speaking on a corner and followed them into a hotel, looking into their room through the transom.

1959 — The New York Court of Appeals upholds the loitering conviction of a Gay man, over the argument that there is insufficient evidence of solicitation.

1966 — The Arizona Supreme Court reverses the conviction of two men for sodomy because their conviction was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.

1975 — The Tennessee Supreme Court urges the legislature to reevaluate the state’s "crime against nature" law and hints that it may be unconstitutional.


On this gay day

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Elsa Gidlow (1898 -1986) Canada: Pioneer Lesbian Poet

b. December 29, 1898
d. June 8, 1986

Elsa Gidlowwas a poet, who in 1923 published the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry in the United States, "On A Grey Thread". She promoted alternative spiritualities including Buddhism and Goddess Worship. In the 1940s she founded a rural retreat center, The Druid Heights Artists Retreat, in Marin County, California. She lived there until her death in 1986. Other residents at Druid Heights have included well-known figures such as her close friend Alan Watts and feminist theorist Catharine MacKinnon.

Paul Bowles (1910 - 1999), American. Musician and Writer.

b. December 30, 1910

d. November 18, 1999.

American expatriate composer, author, and translator. Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for various theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with the publication in 1949 of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931.
In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was his home for the next fifty-two years, the remainder of his life.

In France, Bowles became a part of Gertrude Stein's literary and artistic circle. On her advice he made his first visit to Tangier with Aaron Copland in the summer of 1931.[7] They took a house on the Mountain above Tangier Bay. Morocco was later to become the home of Bowles (and the inspiration for many of his short stories).[8] From there he traveled back to Berlin, where he met Stephen Spender and Christopher Isherwood (Isherwood being so taken with him that he named his character Sally Bowles for him), before returning to North Africa the next year to travel throughout other parts of Morocco, the Sahara, Algeria and Tunisia.
In 1937 he returned to New York, and over the next decade established a solid reputation as a composer, collaborating with Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams and others on music for stage productions as well as orchestral pieces. In 1938 he married the author and playwright Jane Auer. It was an unconventional marriage: their intimate relationships were with people of their own sex, but they maintained close ties to each other,[9] and despite being frequently anthologised as a gay writer Bowles always regarded such typecasting as both absurd and irrelevant.

The American author and composer Paul Bowles, best known for The Sheltering Sky, has died in Morocco aged 88.
He died of a heart attack on Thursday in the port of Tangiers, where he had lived for most of his life. He had been in hospital with cardiac problems since 7 November.

He was the last survivor of a whole generation of American writers which included William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

Although not a 'beat' himself, Bowles was heavily influenced by the introspection which marked their works.

Wealthy family

His existentialist masterpiece, The Sheltering Sky, the film version of which was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, details the destruction of an American couple in the soporific decadence of 1930s Morocco, drawing upon his own experiences as a long-term American expatriate in Tangiers.

Paul Frederick Bowles was born in New York City in 1910 into a wealthy New England family.

During his early years an aunt and uncle introduced him to the esoterica of yoga, theosophy and transcendentalism, themes which he would explore further in later life.

His grandparents' agnosticism was also to play a central role in his outlook.

After graduating from high school, Paul Bowles enrolled at the University of Virginia, but soon ran away to the intellectual hothouse of Paris where he worked for a while as a switchboard operator at the International Herald Tribune.

Returning to the United States and a reconciliation with his parents, he became friends with the composer Aaron Copland, who taught him composition.

With Copland, Bowles travelled extensively in Europe, meeting Ezra Pound, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein and her lover, Alice B Toklas.

His surrealist poetry and nihilistic outlook irritated Stein who advised him and Copland to travel to Tangiers.

It was a journey which would change his life.

"As a result of this arbitrary action," he wrote later, "my life was permanently altered.

"If Morocco had been then as it is now, I should have spent the summer and gone away, probably not to return. But Morocco in 1931 provided an inexhaustible succession of fantastic spectacles."

Entranced by what he perceived to be the transcendental nature of North African life as well as by a society tolerant of homosexuality, Paul Bowles produced his first musical compositions.

Although these were often arcane pieces, including settings of Cocteau's poetry, Bowles was to gain himself a glowing reputation as a composer of incidental and other music for theatrical productions on Broadway.

Among his credits are such works as Love's Old Sweet Song, The Glass Menagerie and Sweet Bird of Youth.

A radical Marxist, Paul Bowles co-founded the Committee on Republican Spain, which raised money for the anti-Franco campaign during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1938 he married the woman considered to be his muse, the writer Jane Auer, author of the acclaimed play, In The Summer House. It was a loving marriage of opposites, even though both were homosexual.

In 1947 Bowles and his wife returned to Morocco and he wrote his first, and most celebrated, novel.

He described The Sheltering Sky as, "an adventure story in which the actual adventures take place on two planes simultaneously: in the actual desert and in the inner desert of the spirit."

The novel was on the New York Times best-seller list for ten weeks following its publication in 1949. The initial critical response to the novel was mixed: it was called 'gripping', 'puzzling' and 'strange'.

But, as the years went by, the novel gained the reputation of a cult classic.

His other novels defied any conventional pigeon-holing. Let It Come Down tells of an American bank clerk's descent into the seedy underworld of a Tangiers dope fiend.

The Spider's House looks at the effects of Morocco's anti-colonial struggle through the eyes of an American expatriate and a young Arab boy.

Bowles denied that his works were autobiographical but was resigned to the fact that no-one else agreed with him. Indeed, the idea of resignation to fate was central to much of Bowles' work.

Though he travelled widely, Paul Bowles always returned to his beloved Tangiers. Following his wife's death in 1973, he became increasingly reclusive.

In his book The Pillars of Hercules, Paul Theroux paints a poignant picture of an aged and ill Paul Bowles: an American in an Arab city, still enjoying the illicit pleasures of kif and hashish jam but with one eye firmly on the past.

"His world had shrunk to these walls," writes Theroux, "But that was merely the way it seemed. It was an illusion. His world was within his mind, and his imagination was vast."
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December 29th

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 29th

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

Friday, 28 December 2012

December 28th

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 28th

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

Thursday, 27 December 2012

December 27th

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 27th

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

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

December 26th

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

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Born Today - Queer Icon, Jesus Christ

1 Erotic Christ, OHLSON, Krucifix2

As the whole of the Christian world focuses today on the incarnation of Jesus Christ, I want to take a different tack. Instead of the familiar (and too often saccharine) focus on the nativity and a cute little infant in a manger, my thoughts have been along the lines we more usually take, in commemorating the births of other great men and women - with tributes to their lives and legacies. In the case of Jesus Christ, of course, we do this routinely throughout the liturgical year, which is why Christmas quite rightly concentrates exclusively on the birth - but for LGBT people, this message is also so inextricably bound up with the false perception that his message is inherently hostile to us, that is important from time to time to step back and consider his life and message as a whole. When we do so, the unmistakable conclusion must be that far from being hostile to sexual or gender minorities (or anybody else), Jesus is more properly seen as a unique queer role model, a superb queer icon.
It is not for nothing that in the letter to the Galatians, we read
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:28-29New International Version
 - Read more, at Queering the Church

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December 25th

Born this day

Jesus Christ, (7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE) Palestine
Religious leader - and queer icon?

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

Monday, 24 December 2012

December 24th

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

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Alexander I (Russia), Tsar

b. December 23, 1777
d. December 1, 1825

Alexander I, emperor of Russia from 1801 - 1825, was born in St. Petersburg. He was raised by his grandmother, Catherine the Great, and came to the throne following the assassination of his father, Paul I. He was indirectly involved in the plot to kill his father, and suffered from guilt for the rest of his life.

 Alexander was crowned on september 15, 1801 in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin., and rumors of his homosexuality began circulating shortly thereafter. During the early part of his rule, he relied on the "Unofficial Committee," composed of four of his young companions, for political guidance and support. The results were disappointing, and Alexander's mental state deteriorated.

He spent the first part of his reign fighting Napoleon. Defeated by Napoleon and forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, he came back in 1812, defeating the French and liberating Europe. Alexander became a hero across the continent.

 After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, he turned to religious mysticism. He hoped Through the Holy Alliance with Austria and Prussia to establish a new Christian order in Europe.

He ended his reign as a recluse.

Napoleon said about Alexander I,

"He was the slyest and handsomest of all the Greeks!"

(in that period what was called a "Greek" was what we now call a "gay"...)
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December 23rd

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.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Jean-Michel Basquiat, painter

b. December 22, 1960
d. August 12, 1988

Basquiat was a graffiti artist whose painting became a major force in revitalizing American art in the late 20th century.

Basquiat grew up in a middle class environment in Brooklyn. His father, an accountant, was Haitian and his mother was Puerto Rican. As a teenager, he left home to live in lower Manhattan, selling hand-painted t-shirts and postcards on the street. His work began to attract attention around 1980 after a group of underground artists held a public exhibition, the Times Square Show.
Basquiat's unique visual lexicon compounded of "graffiti symbols and urban rage" (Publishers Weekly) challenged accepted notions of art. His vivid paintings incorporated such diverse images as African masks, quotes from Leonardo andGray's Anatomy, Egyptian murals, pop culture, and jazz. His personal visual vocabulary included three-pronged crowns and the c symbol. Critics called his work "childlike and menacing" and "neo-primitive."
Basquiat associated with other "Neo-Expressionist" artists whose work drew from popular culture, including Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Keith Haring. Haring said of Basquiat's early work: "The stuff I saw on the walls was more poetry than graffiti. They were sort of philosophical poems . . . . On the surface they seemed really simple, but the minute I saw them I knew that they were more than that. From the beginning he was my favorite artist."
Embraced by the art world, Basquiat soared to international fame. In 1982 his work was exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Rome, Rotterdam and Zurich, and he was the youngest artist ever to be included in the prestigious German exhibition, Documenta 7. In 1985 he appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine.
The artist's close friends became increasingly concerned about his drug use and erratic behavior. Jean-Michel Basquiat died at the age of 27 of a heroin overdose.
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December 22nd

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 22nd

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

Friday, 21 December 2012

December 21st

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 21st

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