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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October 31st in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

2011 – First Out Cafe Bar, London, UK closes after 25 years trading .

Born this day

Natalie Clifford Barney (1876 –1972) US
Playwright, poet and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris. She was openly lesbian and began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as "the best way of getting rid of nuisances" (meaning heterosexual attention from young males).

Napoleon Lapathiotis  (1888 –1944) Greek

Ethel Waters (1896 – 1977) US
Singer / Actress 

Craig Rodwell (1940 – 1993) US

David Ogden Stiers (1942 – ) US
Actor / Musician

Bruce Bawer (1956 – ) US
Literary Critic / Author / Poet

Frank Bruni (1964 – ) US 
Food Critic

Inka Grings (1978 – ) German

Adam Bouska ( 1983 – ) US

Brent Corrigan (1986 – ) US
Model / Porn / Actor

Died this day

Eileen Gray (1878 - 1976) Irish 
Designer / Architect 

Georgi Partsalev (1925 -1989) Bulgarian

Marcel Carne (1906 - 1996) French

Lee Calvin Yeomans (1938 - 2001) US

Sodomy in history, October 31st

1923 — The Indiana Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus of a female under the age of 21 is outlawed by the state’s sodomy law. The Court considers cunnilingus to be a form of masturbation as described in the law.
1955 — The South Carolina Supreme Court rules that cunnilingus does not violate the state’s "buggery" law.
1955 — The "Boys of Boise" affair begins. Starting with the arrest of four men for sexual relations with male teenagers who are prostitutes, it is blown into a situation in which Boise is called a mecca where Gay men can find boys. Begun by a group of right-wing politicians to shake the moderate political establishment, the issue is inflamed by the Idaho Daily Statesman and Time magazine. As a result of the hysteria, a city councilman is defeated for reelection and a West Point cadet from Idaho is dismissed. A 1965 investigation reveals the incident to be based on outright lies.
1956 — A California appellate court bans questions in an oral copulation case as to the defendant’s sexual orientation.
1974 — A federal court upholds the constitutionality of the Florida sodomy law.
1980 — A California appellate court upholds the conviction of a man for masturbating in the presence of an undercover police officer in a public restroom over the contention that, since the officer did not appear to be offended, he should be acquitted. 


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Louise Abbéma (1853 - 1927), France: Artist

b. October 30th, 1853
d.  1927

Born in Estampe, at the age of 18 Louise received her first public recognition for her portrait of the actress Sarah Bernhardt - who was her lover at that time (see at left).

Louise went on to paint the portraits of many leading members of Society as well as murals in the Hotel de Ville and the Opera House in Paris.

Her work was exhibited in the Women's Building at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

One of the exhibits was a bust that Sarah Bernhardt had sculpted of her. She wrote for the journals "L'Art" and "Gazette des Beaux-Arts".

Louise was made Official Painter of the Third Republic and in 1906 received the Legion d'Honneur.

Source: Matt and Andrej Koymasky Living Room - LGBT Biographies

October 30th in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

Born this day

Louise Abbéma (1853 - 1927), French
Portrait painter, and lover of the actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Nestor Almendros ( 1930 – 1992) Spanish 
Oscar winning cinematographer. One of the highest appraised contemporary cinematographers, "Almendros was an artist of deep integrity, who believed the most beautiful light was natural light......" 

Timothy Findley ( 1930 – 2002 ) Canadian 
Novelist and playwright. His writing was heavily influenced by Jungian psychology, and mental illness, gender and sexuality were frequent recurring themes in his work. He publicly mentioned his homosexuality, passingly and perhaps for the first time, on a broadcast of the programme The Shulman File in the 1970s.

Claude Janiak (1948 – ) Swiss 
Swiss politician of Polish origin, lawyer and President of the Swiss National Council for the 2005/2006 term. He was the first openly homosexual President of the Swiss National Council.

P Craig Russell (1951 –  US 
Comic book writer, artist, and illustrator. His work has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards. Russell was the first mainstream comic book creator to come out as openly gay

Arthur Dong (1953 – ) US 
Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. His work combines the art of the visual medium with an investigation of social issues, examining topics such as Asian American history and identity, and gay oppression.

Rex Harrington 
(1962 – ) Canadian 
Ballet dancer. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by York University and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Geert Blanchard (1966 - ) Belgian 
Ice-skater and singer, who was the first Belgian gay sportsman to have a public coming-out. Later, he had an equally public ex-gay outing.

Jack Plotnick (1968 – ) US 
Film and television actor. Plotnick is openly gay, best known for performances on Ellen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as the voice of Xandir on Drawn Together, and his drag persona, "Evie Harris" in Girls Will Be Girls.

Grant Robertson (1971 –  ) New Zealand 
Politician and Member of Parliament. He was elected to represent the Labour Party in the seat of Wellington Central at the 2008 general election. Robertson lives with his partner Alf,who he met through playing rugby together for the Wellington-based Crazy Knights, New Zealand's first gay rugby team.

Died this day:

Ramon Navarro ( 1899 – 1968) Mexican 
A leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "Sex Symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino. Novarro had been troubled all his life as a result of his conflicting views over his Roman Catholic religion and his homosexuality, and his life-long struggle with alcoholism is often traced to these issues. Novarro was the victim of a violent extortion attempt which resulted in his death.

Craig Russell (1948 - 1990) Canadia.  
Female Impersonator  and actor, better known by his stage name Craig Russell.

David “Sinders” Morley (1967 - 2004) UK 
Gay barman, who was manager at the Admiral Duncan pub. He survived the nail bomb attack on the pub in 1999, but five years later in 2004, he was killed in a late night assault, which may have been prompted by homophobia, by a group of teenagers outside Waterloo station.

Sodomy in history, October 30th

1861 — Nevada recognizes common-law crimes, making sodomy a crime with a compulsory sentence of life imprisonment.
1942 — The Nebraska Supreme Court rules that fellatio is outlawed by the state’s law prohibiting "carnal copulation in any opening of the body, except sexual parts."
1944 — The Arizona Supreme Court upholds the sodomy conviction of a man over his claims of privacy rights, the first to be raised in the United States.
1968 — The North Carolina Supreme Court overturns a sodomy conviction because the indictment didn’t name the "victim." 


Monday, 29 October 2012

Axel Axgil, Danish gay rights hero

born 3 April 1915
married 1 October, 1989
died 29th October, 2011

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Axel Axgil, whose struggle for gay rights helped make Denmark the first country to legalize same-sex partnerships, has died. He was 96.

Axgil died in a hospital in Copenhagen on Saturday following complications from a fall, Danish gay rights group LGBT Danmark said.
Axgil, born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, was among the founding members of the organization — one of the oldest gay rights groups in Europe — in 1948.
On Oct. 1, 1989, he and his partner Eigil were among 11 couples to exchange vows as Denmark became the first country to allow gays to enter civil unions, with nearly the same rights as heterosexual couples. Eigil Axgil died in 1995.
In the 1950s, both were sentenced on pornography charges to short prison terms for running a gay modeling agency that issued pictures of naked men.
The men melded their first names into a new surname, Axgil, and used it in a public show of defiance."
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October 29th in LGBT History

Saint's Day

Cross-dressing saint

Born this day

Ann-Marie MacDonald (1958 – ) Canadian.  
Author, playwright, novelist, actor and broadcast journalist, who won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for her first novel, Fall on Your Knees, and has received the Governor General's Award for Literary Merit. She is married to the playwright and theatre director Alisa Palmer

Nicole Conn (1959 – ) US.  
Film director, producer, and screenwriter most famous for her debut feature, the lesbian love story, Claire of the Moon (1992).In 2004, POWER UP! named Conn one of the top ten gay women in show business.

Karin Giphart ( 1968 – ) Dutch 
Author and singer-songwriter. On her thirtieth she recognized that she was a lesbian.

Died this day

Charles Coypeau d’Assoucy (1605 - 1677 ) French.  
Musician and burlesque poet, part of a group of "free spirits" around the philosopher Pierre Gassendi, which also included Cyrano de Bergerac, Tristan l'Hermite, Saint-Amant, Paul Scarron, and Molière. It has been suggested that d'Assoucy was for a time Cyrano's lover, although they later fell out, and attacked each other with their pens.

Guthrie McClintic ( 1893 - 1961 ) US.  
Successful theatre director, film director and producer based in New York, who was joined in lavender marriages to actress Estelle Winwood, and then to actress Katharine Cornell--herself a lesbian—for forty years.

Richard Hall (1926 - 1992 ) US. 
Writer of novels, short stories, plays, and critical writings, who focused almost exclusively on issues of gay identity and community.

Gerald Arpino (1923 - 2008) US.  
Dancer and choreographer, the artistic director and co-founder of The Joffrey Ballet. Joffrey died of AIDS in 1988

 Axel Axgil, ( - 2012) Danish
Gay activist, whose struggle for gay rights helped make Denmark the first country to legalize same-sex partnerships.  He and his partner  Eigel were one of the first group of eleven couples to be "married" in Denmark, on October 1st 1989, the start of the worldwide move to marriage equality.

In the 1950s, both men had been sentenced on pornography charges to short prison terms for running a gay modeling agency that issued pictures of naked men.
The men melded their first names into a new surname, Axgil, and used it in a public show of defiance.

Sodomy in history, October 29th

1649 — In Plymouth, Richard Berry accuses Teage Joanes of having sexual relations with him. Berry admits the falseness of the charge and is flogged.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

October 28th in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

2009 – President Obama signs bill to include sexual orientation into the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law

Born this day

Anna Elizabeth Klumpke ( 1856 - 1942), US.  
American portrait and genre painter born in San Francisco, California, United States. She is perhaps best known for her portraits of famous women including Rosa Bonheur and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. As a girl, Anna had been given a "Rosa" doll, styled after the French animal painter Rosa Bonheur -- so famous at the time that dolls were made in her image. From early childhood, Anna had been fascinated and inspired by the woman artist.Intent on painting Bonheur's portrait, she met Rosa Bonheur on October 15, 1889, under the pretext of being the interpreter for a horse dealer. The two women were soon living together at Bonheur's estate in Thomery, near Fontainebleau, and their relationship endured until Bonheur's death in 1899.

Francis Bacon (1909 –1992), Irish/ British.  
Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, austere, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Despite Margaret Thatcher having famously described him as "that man who paints those dreadful pictures", he was the subject of two major Tate retrospectives during his lifetime and received a third in 2008.

Karl Lange (1915 – ?   ) German / US. 
Born in Hamburg, Germany to an American father and a German mother, Lange was imprisoned by the Nazis in 1935 and again in 1937 for the then crime of homosexuality. After the war, he lost his job with a bank when his employers learnt of his convictions.

Florence Klotz (1920 – 2006) US.  
Costume designer, on Broadway and film. Her partner was producer and stage manager Ruth Mitchell.

Walter Capiau (1937 –  ) Belgian.  
Originally a teacher of religion, Capiau later became a popular radio presenter and Television host of popular game shows. For years he maintained strict silence over his sexuality, but came out unequivocally in magazine interview in 2003. In 2006, he stood as a candidate for local council elections.

Andy Bey ( 1939 – ) US.  
Openly gay jazz singer and pianist. Bey has a wide vocal range, with his four octave baritone voice.

Fran Winant (1943 – ) US. 
Poet, painter, and activist Fran Winant was one of the early participants in the Stonewall-inspired gay rights movement of the 1970s. Through her poetry and visual art, she helped define the role and sensibility of lesbians in the contexts of gay liberation and radical feminism, especially during the 1970s and early 1980s.

David Binder (1967 –  )US 

Derek Hartley (1969 – ) US  
American talk show host, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Gay/Lesbian channel, OutQ.

Peter van der Vorst ( 1971 –  ) Dutch.  
TV presenter, and columnist for the Dutch magazine "Gay Krant". 

Died this day

Mitchell Leisen (1898 - 1972) US
American film director, art director, andcostume designer. Though married, Leisen was reported to be gay or bisexual. According to Carolyn Roos, Leisen's long time business manager's daughter, he had a very long relationship with dancer/actor/choreographer Billy Daniel up until the 1950's.

Joe Herzenberg (1941 - 2007) US 
American historian, political activist, advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. In 1987, he became the first openly gay elected official in North Carolina, when he was elected to the town council of Chapel Hill.

Sodomy in history, October 28th

1824 — French historian Astolphe de Custine is beaten by soldiers he solicited. He reluctantly files charges against them.
1864 — A trial court in Utah dismisses the sodomy charge against a man because Utah has no sodomy law. Later that day, the man, Frederick Jones, is murdered (apparently by his partner’s father) but the murderer is released due to a lack of witnesses.
1867 — A Cleveland newspaper reports that a man who sexually assaulted a boy was provided only with "lodging for the night."
1971 — The Oregon Medical Board gives a Gay physician 10 years probation that includes never having sex and not treating any Gay or Lesbian patients. A court later overturns these restrictions.


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536

Erasmus, born on the 27th October 1466, was a Dutch humanist and theologian,  who merits serious consideration by queer people of faith.

Born Gerrit Gerritszoon, he became far better known as Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam: Erasmus was his saint's name, after St. Erasmus of Formiae; Rotterdam, for the place of his birth (although he never lived there after the first few years of early childhood; and "Desiderius" a name he gave himself - "the one who is desired".

Erasmus, the "gay icon"?

Some LGBT activists have hailed Erasmus as a gay icon from history. Circa Club for instance has no doubt, using that precise term and including Erasmus in it's collection of historical gay icons. The primary basis of the claim is a series of passionate love letters he wrote to  a young monk Servatius Roger, and  allegations of improper advances made to the young Thomas Grey, later Marquis of Dorset, while employed as his tutor.
Others are unconvinced, pointing out that the nature of friendship between men, and the form of expressions of affection between them, were very different in Erasmus' day to ours. They also point out that there were never any direct allegations of physical relations with Grey, or with anyone else. This argument largely rests on the assumption that in a time of marked public opposition (and official persecution) of  "sodomy", any suggestion of homosexual intercourse would have provoked strong denunciation and even prosecution. I am not convinced by either side.

Erasmus was certainly not "gay" in any modern sense. The use of the term "gay icon" for any man of the Renaissance period, and particularly for a priest, is clearly anachronistic, and inappropriate. It is also true that expressions of "love" in the letters to Servatius may be no more than expressions of Platonic affection, expressed a little more effusively (but not much more so) than was customary at the time. We cannot say for certain that he was sexually active with men.

But the absence of proof also does not disprove the hypothesis. As a priest, Erasmus was expected to be celibate. There is also no evidence of sexual relations with women, but that does not disprove that he was heterosexual. The claims that the strong climate of opposition to sodomy "would have" resulted in public exposure are also invalid. Over several centuries, thousands of "sodomites" were tried and executed - but the meaning of the term was vague and variable, including everything from "unnatural" (i,e, anal or oral) intercourse between husband and wife, to witchcraft and heresy, to treason. In post-Reformation England, it was even sometimes used interchangeably with "popery", as Catholicism was also viewed as treason against the English monarchy. In fact, many of those convicted may have been the victims simply of malice and grossly unfair criminal procedures, and completely innocent of sexual non-conformity - and very many more who were indeed engaging in homosexual activities were left entirely unhindered.

The matter of Erasmus' sexual activities is at best undecided - and also irrelevant. To focus on "did he or didn't he" is to make the mistake of the homophobes, who are convinced that homoerotic relationships are all about genital sex. It is enough for me to note that whatever the physical relationship may or may not have been, there was a definite, powerful and emotionally intimate relationship between Erasmus and Serviatus.
I also like this quotation, from his "In praise of marriage":
I have no patience with those who say that sexual excitement is shameful and that venereal stimuli have their origin not in nature, but in sin. Nothing is so far from the truth. As if marriage, whose function cannot be fulfilled without these incitements, did not rise above blame. In other living creatures, where do these incitements come from? From nature or from sin? From nature, of course. It must be borne in mind that in the appetites of the body there is very little difference between man and other living creatures. Finally, we defile by our imagination what of its own nature is fair and holy. If we were willing to evaluate things not according to the opinion of the crowd, but according to nature itself, how is it less repulsive to eat, chew, digest, evacuate, and sleep after the fashion of dumb animals, than to enjoy lawful and permitted carnal relations?
-In Praise of Marriage (1519), in Erasmus on Women (1996) Erika Rummel

Erasmus, the scholarly reformer.

It is not his sexuality that most impresses me, but his legacy as a scholar and church reformer. His career spanned the years leading up to, and after, Luther's break with the Catholic Church that became the Protestant Reformation. Prior to the split, Erasmus had himself been fiercely critical of the Church, arguing forcefully for reform of the many and manifold abuses. He had close relationships with Luther and many other leading members of the Reformation movement, which his ideas strongly influenced. However, when the break came, he chose to remain formally inside the church structures, and not outside of it.

LGBT Christians are often attacked by others for remaining inside a religion which is seen as inimical to gay interests, and so to be siding with the enemy of gay liberation, but this is simplistic. Erasmus' response to the reformers was that it was the abuses that needed to be destroyed, not the church itself - an argument that applies equally strongly to the situation today, in respect of sexuality. The restricted, misguided view of sexuality promoted by some claiming the authority of religion, is not inherent in the Christian religion, but has been imposed on it to promote a particular heterosexual agenda. It is this abuse that we must oppose, not Christianity.

In doing so, we should also learn from Erasmus' methods. Among his criticisms of the Church was its heavy dependence on medieval scholastic theology, with its elaborate structure of speculative philosophy. Instead, he went back to the sources, to build his theology on a sounder structure of evidence. Recognizing the inadequacies of the Latin Vulgate bible, he devoted himself to the study of Greek, and eventually published a more reliable Latin translation (which came to replace the Vulgate, with a parallel Greek text), He also wrote a series of treatises on several of the church fathers.

Queer theologians today are doing something similar. Instead of sitting back meekly and accepting the received ideas on the Bible's supposed condemnation of homosexuality, they have gone back to the roots of Biblical scholarship, closely studying the texts in the original Hebrew and Greek, and paying close attention to the full literary analysis and contextual considerations. They have demonstrated the weaknesses of the traditional interpretations, and have earned the concurrence of many heterosexual colleagues. This reassessment of the Biblical evidence has been one of the important factors in the present moves to greater LGBT inclusion in church, as pastors or in rites for recognizing same-sex unions. Other theologians have resisted the received opposition by ignoring scholastic monolith, and going back to the source of the Christian religion - Christ himself, as revealed in the Scriptures. Others again, emphasise the importance of a personal relationship with God, through prayer, in place of unthinking deference to the human authority of clerical oligarchs.

Erasmus, the man in the middle.

In the build-up to the Reformation, Erasmus aimed to avoid taking sides in the split. His thinking was a definite influence on the reformist cause,  and was later accused of having "laid the egg that hatched the Reformation". His response was that he had hoped it would lay a different bird. He worked hard to retain good relationships with both sides and to keep the peace between them, but in the end, his reward was to be viewed with some suspicion and resentment by both sides. By Catholics, for having fostered the reformist thinking in the first place, and by Reformists for having deserted them at the end.

Queer people of faith will sympathise. We too aim to straddle two camps- and are frequently attacked from both sides: by some traditionalists Christians for our supposed sexual sin, and by secular gay activists for siding with the enemy,

May the example of Desiderius Erasmus sustain us in our endeavour.

October 27th in LGBT History

Born this day:

Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 – 1536), Netherlands. 
Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian

Warren Allen Smith ( 1921 – ),  US.  
Gay rights activist, writer and humanities humanist. In 1961, Smith started the Variety Recording Studio, a major independent company off Broadway, New York City, with his business partner and longtime companion Fernando Rodolfo de Jesus Vargas Zamora. Smith ran the company for almost thirty years (1961–90).In 1969, Smith participated in the Stonewall riots.

Larry Townsend ( 1930 – 2008) US
"Larry Townsend" was the pseudonym of the writer 'Bud' Bernhardt, author of dozens of books, including Run Little Leather Boy (1970) and The Leatherman's Handbook (1972) at pioneer erotic presses such as Greenleaf Classics and the Other Traveler imprint of Olympia Press

Gerd Brantenberg ( 1941 – ) Norwegian
Author, teacher, and feminist writer. Her most famous novel is Egalias døtre ("The Daughters of Egalia"), which was published in 1977 in Norway. In the novel the female is defined as the normal and the male as the abnormal, subjugated sex. All words that are normally in masculine form are given in a feminine form, and vice versa.

She was a board member of the Norway's first association for homosexual people Forbundet av 1948, the precursor to the Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation.

Patty Sheehan ( 1956 –) US. 
Professional golfer. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1980 and won six major championships and 35 LPGA Tour events in all. She is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Sheehan become one of the first LPGA players to publicly announce that she was a lesbian

Brian Pockarl ( 1959 – 1992) Canadian
Figure skater, who was the three-time Canadian national champion (1978–1980), 1980 Olympian, and the 1982 World bronze medallist. He died of AIDS in 1992

K8 Hardy (1977 –  ) US
Brooklyn based artist working mainly in video and performance. She is represented by Reena Spaulings Fine Art. Hardy is one of the founding editors of LTTR, a radical genderqueer, lesbian-feminist art collective and journal.

Died this day

Georgette LeBlanc  (1875  – 1941  ) French 
Singer / Author

Nico Engelschman (1913 - 1988) Dutch 
Actor, gay activist and Dutch resistance fighter during World War II .

Charles Hawtrey (1914 - 1988 ) UK 
English comedy actor, best known from the "Carry on " series, but his career also encompassed the theatre (as both actor and director), the cinema (where he regularly appeared supporting Will Hay in the 1930s and 40s and films such as The Ghost of St Michaels),and television.

Allen R Schindler Jr. (1969 – 1992 ) US
Naval Petty Officer, murdered in hate crime killing.

Radioman Petty Officer Third Class in the United States Navy who was murdered for being gay. He was killed in a public toilet in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan by shipmate Terry M. Helvey, who acted with the aid of an accomplice, Charles Vins, in what Esquire called a "brutal murder". The case became synonymous with the gays in the military debate that had been brewing in the United States culminating in the "Don't ask, don't tell" bill.

Sodomy in history, October 27th

1910 — The Maine Supreme Court rules that there are no common-law crimes in the state.
1955 — A California appellate court upholds the oral copulation conviction of a man who tried to bribe the arresting police officer not to arrest him.
1959 — A New York appellate court overturns the disorderly conduct conviction of a man who thrust his erect penis at police, because there was no breach of the peace.
1969— The Michigan Court of Appeals upholds the sodomy conviction of a man even though the trial judge believed much of the testimony against him was untrue.


Friday, 26 October 2012

October 26th in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

1996 – First Intersex Awareness Day held in the USA

Born this day

Karin Boye (1900 – 1941), Swedish.  
Writer and poet, born in Gothenburg. In 1929 she married Leif Björk but they were divorced in 1934. Boye committed suicide in Alingsås.

Holly Woodlawn ( 1946 – )Puerto Rican.
Transgendered actress and former Warhol superstar, who appeared in his movies Trash (1970) and Women in Revolt (1972).

Keith Stricklan( 1953 –  ), US.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and one of the founding members of the The B-52s. Originally the band's drummer, Strickland switched to guitar after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. Strickland also plays keyboards and bass guitar on many of The B-52s recordings, and has occasionally provided backing vocals

Ben Brantley (1954 – )US.
Journalist, and the chief theater critic of The New York Times.

Glen Murray (1957 –), Canadian.
Politician and urban issues advocate, who served as the 41st Mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1998 to 2004, and was the first openly gay mayor of a large North American city. He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Toronto Centre in 2010. In August 2010, he was appointed to the provincial cabinet as Minister of Research and Innovation. Murray was re-elected in October 2011, and appointed Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

El-Farouk Khaki ( 1963 – )Tanzanian / Canadian.
Refugee and immigration lawyer, and human rights activist on issues including gender equality, sexual orientation, and progressive Islam. He was the New Democratic Party's candidate for the House of Commons in the riding of Toronto Centre in a March 17, 2008 by-election. Khaki came in second with 13.8% of the vote.

Died this day

Mabel Hampton (1902 - 1989),US.
American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, and a philanthropist for both black and lesbian/gay organizations.

Alexander Wilson  (1953 - 1993), US / Canadian.   
Writer, teacher, landscape designer, and community activist.

Rex Gildo (1936 - 1999), German.  
German singer of Schlager ballads who reached the height of his popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, selling over 25 million records and starring in film and television roles.

Kris Kovick (1951 - 2001) US 
California-based writer, cartoonist and printer, who died of breast cancer.

Anthony Rapp (1971 –  )US 

Sodomy in history, 
October 26th

1885 — The first reported court case under the 1879 Pennsylvania fellatio statute results in a conviction being overturned and a new trial ordered to determine if the "victim" was actually an accomplice.
1949 — The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the District’s 1948 sodomy law’s nonspecific indictment provision.
1959 — Wisconsin permits anyone convicted of consensual sodomy to be denied a driver’s license, presumably so that they can’t cruise.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Claude Cahun ( 1894 – 1954), French artist, photographer and writer.

b. 25 October 1894
d. 8 December 1954

Born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, Cahun was a French artist, photographer and writer.  Her work was both political and personal, and often played with the concepts of gender and sexuality.

Claude Cahun

She was the niece of writer Marcel Schwob and the great-niece of Orientalist David Léon Cahun. She began making photographic self-portraits as early as 1912, when she was 18 years old, and continued taking images of herself through the 1930s.

Around 1919, she settled on the pseudonym Claude Cahun, intentionally selecting a sexually ambiguous name. During the early 20s, she settled in Paris with her life-long partner and stepsister Suzanne Malherbe. For the rest of their lives together, Cahun and Malherbe collaborated on various written works, sculptures, photomontages and collages. She published articles and novels, notably in the periodical "Mercure de France", and befriended Henri Michaux, Pierre Morhange and Robert Desnos. Around 1922 she and Malherbe began holding artists' salons at their home. Among the regulars who would attend were artists Henri Michaux and André Breton and literary entrepreneurs Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier.  Cahun's work encompassed writing, photography, and theater. She is most remembered for her highly-staged self portraits and tableaux that incorporated the visual aesthetics of Surrealism. 

Her published writings include "Heroines," (1925) a series of monologues based upon female fairy tale characters and intertwining them with witty comparisons to the contemporary image of women; Aveux non avenus,  a book of essays and recorded dreams illustrated with photomontages; and several essays in magazines and journals.

In 1937 Cahun and Malherbe settled in Jersey. Following the fall of France and the German occupation of Jersey and the other Channel Islands, they became active as resistance workers and propagandists. Fervently against war, the two worked extensively in producing anti-German fliers. The couple then dressed up and attended many German military events in Jersey, strategically placing them in soldier's pockets, on their chairs, etc. Also, fliers were inconspicuously crumpled up and thrown into cars and windows. In many ways, Cahun and Malherbe's resistance efforts were not only political but artistic actions, using their creative talents to manipulate and undermine the authority which they despised.  In 1944 they were arrested and sentenced to death, but the sentences were never carried out. However, Cahun's health never recovered from her treatment in jail, and she died in 1954. She is buried in St Brelade's Church with her partner Suzanne Malherbe.

In many ways, Cahun's life was marked by a sense of role reversal, and her public identity became a commentary upon not only her own, but the public's notions of sexuality, gender, beauty, and logic. Her adoption of a sexually ambiguous name, and her androgynous self-portraits display a revolutionary way of thinking and creating, experimenting with her audience's understanding of photography as a documentation of reality. Her poetry challenged gender roles and attacked the increasingly modern world's social and economic boundaries. Also Cahun's participation in the Parisian Surrealist movement diversified the group's artwork and ushered in new representations. Where most Surrealist artists were men, and their primary images were of women as isolated symbols of eroticism, Cahun epitomized the chameleonic and multiple possibilities of the female identity. Her photographs, writings, and general life as an artistic and political revolutionary continue to influence countless artists, namely Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin.
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Fritz Haarmann (1879 – 1925), German Serial Killer

b.  October 25, 1879
d.  April 15, 1925

Friedrich Heinrich Karl "Fritz" Haarmann, also known as the Butcher of Hanover and the Vampire of Hanover, was a German serial killer who is believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. He was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and executed.

Haarmann victims largely consisted of young male commuters, runaways and, occasionally, male prostitutes who hung around Hanover's central station, whom Haarmann would lure back to his apartment and then kill by biting through their throats, sometimes while sodomizing them. All of Haarmann's victims were dismembered before they were discarded, usually in the Leine River. The possessions of several victims were either sold on the black market or retained by either Haarmann or his younger lover, Hans Grans. Rumor also had it that Haarmann would peddle meat from the bodies of his victims as canned black market pork. Although no physical evidence was ever produced to confirm this, Haarmann was known to be an active trader in contraband meat.[5]
Haarmann's accomplice and live-in partner, Hans Grans, sold the possessions of several of the victims cheaply on the black market, and kept other possessions for himself, and Haarmann initially claimed that although Grans knew of many of his murders, and personally urged him to kill two of the victims so he could obtain their clothing and personal possessions, was otherwise not involved in the murders.

Haarmann was eventually apprehended when numerous skeletal remains, which he had dumped into the Leine River, washed up downstream in May and June 1924. The police decided to drag the river and discovered more than 500 human bones which were later confirmed as having come from at least 22 separate human individuals. Suspicion quickly fell upon Haarmann, who had convictions for molesting children and had been connected to the disappearance of Friedel Rothe in 1918. Haarmann was placed under surveillance and on the night of June 22, was observed prowling Hanover's central station. He was quickly arrested after trying to lure a boy to his apartment. His apartment was searched and the walls were found to be heavily bloodstained. Haarmann tried to explain this as a by-product of his illegal trade as a butcher. However, clothing and personal items known to be possessions of several missing youths were also found in his home. Under interrogation, Haarmann quickly confessed to raping, killing and butchering young men since 1918. When asked how many he had killed, Haarmann claimed "somewhere between 50 and 70". The police, however, could only connect Haarmann with the disappearance of 27 youths, and he was charged with 27 murders. It is interesting to note that only a quarter of the personal items found in his apartment were identified as having belonged to any of the victims.

October 25th in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

2007 – Jerusalem Open House launch Israel’s first LGBT health clinic . 

Born this day

Fritz Haarmann (1879 – 1925) German 
Serial killer, also known as the Butcher of Hanover and the Vampire of Hanover, who is believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. He was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and executed.

Claude Cahun ( 1894 – 1954) French 
Gender bending photographer, writer. Born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, Cahun was a French artist, photographer and writer.  Her work was both political and personal, and often played with the concepts of gender and sexuality.

David McReynolds (1929 – ) US 
Politician / Activist. American democratic socialist and pacifist activist who described himself as "a peace movement bureaucrat" during his 40-year career with Liberation magazine and the War Resisters League. He was the first openly gay man to run for President of the United States.

Fenton Johnson ( ? –  ) US 
Award - winning author of "Geography of the Heart" and and "Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks", as well as two novels,"Crossing the River" and "Scissors, Paper, Rock".

Muffin Spencer-Devlin (1953 – ), US 
Professional golfer, openly lesbian who played on the LPGA Tour. She made cameo appearances in the Star Trek film Generations that was released in 1994, and in "The Chute", the third episode of the 1995 series Star Trek: Voyager.

Arthur Rhames ( 1957 – 1989 ), US 
Musician / Singer / Composer. A guitarist, tenor saxophonist, pianist and melodica stylist, Krishna devotee, and a legend of New York City avant-garde jazz. Despite his much-admired technical virtuosity and unmatched dedication, the Bedford Stuyvesant-born multi-instrumentalist was unable to score a recording contract before succumbing to AIDS-related illness at the age of 32.

David Furnish (1962 – ) Canadian.  
Former advertising executive, and now a film director and producer most known for his documentary "Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras". He is the civil partner of British entertainer Elton John.

Chely Wright (1970 – ) US 
Singer, LGBT activist. American country music artist and, starting in 2010, gay rights activist. On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. In May 2010, Wright became the first major country music performer to publicly come out as gay, citing among her reasons  a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by "lying and hiding".

Aiden Bay ( 1980 – ) Mexican 

Died this day:

Emma Stebbins (1815 - 1882 ), US 
Sculptor and lesbian pioneer. Stebbins was among the first notable American woman sculptors, who lived openly as a lesbian in nineteenth century Rome.

Frederick Rolfe (1860 - 1913) UK 
Author / Artist

Virgil Fox (1912 - 1980 ) American 
Organist, known especially for his flamboyant "Heavy Organ" concerts of the music of Bach. These events appealed to audiences in the 1970s who were more familiar with rock 'n' roll music and were staged complete with light shows.

Barry Jackson ( 1946 – 1999 ) UK 

Sonia Burgess (1947 – 2010 ) UK
 Activist / Lawyer

Sodomy in history, October 25th

1917 — An Oklahoma appellate court rules that fellatio is a "crime against nature."
1966 — In Columbus, a dentist begins a 3½-year battle with the state of Ohio over consensual sodomy charges. After courts continue to dismiss the charges, the state finally gives up its prosecution efforts in 1970.
1973 — The California Supreme Court upholds the removal of Judge Leland Geiler for prodding a man with a dildo.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Paula Gunn Allen, (1934 – 2008) US Poet / Literary Critic / Lesbian activist / Author

b. October 24, 1939
d. May 29, 2008

Allen in 2007
Allen in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paula Gunn Allen was a Native American poet, literary critic, lesbian activist,and novelist. Of mixed Laguna, Sioux, Scottish, and Lebanese-American descent, Allen always identified most closely with the people among whom she spent her childhood and upbringing.

Allen's studies would eventually result in The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, a controversial text which argues that the accounts of Native beliefs and traditions were subverted by phallogocentric European explorers and colonizers, who downplayed or erased the central role that woman played in most Native societies. Allen argued that many Native tribes were "gynocratic", with women making the principal decisions, while others believed in absolute balance between male and female, with neither side gaining dominance.

Allen's arguments and research were much criticized in the years following publication of The Sacred Hoop. Gerald Vizenor and others have accused her of a simple reversal of essentialism, while historians and anthropologists have disproved or questioned some of her scholarship. However, her book and subsequent work also proved hugely influential, provoking an outpouring of feminist studies of Native cultures and literature. It remains a set text within many Native American Studies and Women's Studies programs.
Allen was well-known as a novelist, poet and short story writer. Her work, like that of fellow Laguna writer Leslie Marmon Silko, drew heavily on the Pueblo tales of Grandmother Spider and the Corn Maiden, and is noted for a strongly political streak.

Her novel, The Woman Who Owned The Shadows, was published in 1983. The story revolves around Ephanie, a mixed-blood like Allen herself, and her struggle to express herself creatively. As a poet, Allen's most successful collection so far is probably Life Is a Fatal Disease : Collected Poems 1962-1995. Allen has also been responsible for a number of collections of Native American writings, including Spider Womans Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women.

Allen was awarded an American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation, the Native American Prize for Literature, the Susan Koppelman Award, and in 2001 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
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Kray Twins ( 1933 – 1995), UK Crime Bosses

b. 24 October 1933
d. 17 March 1995 (Ronnie) / 1 October 2000 (Reggie).

Ronald "Ronnie" Kray and his twin brother Reginald "Reggie" Kray were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London's East End during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including torture and the murders of Jack "The Hat" McVitie and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and politicians. The Krays were highly feared within their social environment, and in the 1960s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television.

Ronnie was definitely gay - and Reggie may have been.

During his life, Ronnie Kray was openly gay, refusing to hide his orintation from either the law or his fellow gangsters, but sometimes claimed to be merely bisexual - a nod to the disapproving social attitudes at the time.
'Ron discussed his homosexuality with only a very few people, but put simply it was a part of his nature he discovered, explored and enjoyed,' O'Leary(Kray's biographer) said. 'He was at ease with it. It did not seem to conflict with his "tough guy" image or cause him any problems on any level.'
The members of the twins' gang, known as the Firm, were overwhelmingly tolerant of Kray's homosexuality. 'Even if they objected, Ron just smiled at them and told them they didn't know what they were missing,' O'Leary said.

Reggie was closeted, although Ronnie often claimed his brother too was bisexual. After his death a former gang member, Bradley Allardyce, claims that he and Reggie had been  more than just good friends:
Bradley Allardyce moved to Altea, Spain, and opened a restaurant after his release from prison three years ago. He served nine years for armed robbery. He spent three years in Maidstone Prison, four cells along the landing from Reggie Kray. Kray, who died two years ago, was serving life for the murder of Jack 'the hat' McVitie. Both denied they were more than just friends, until now.

Allardyce said: "I am openly admitting for the very first time that we had a sexual relationship."
Ronnie Kray was openly gay but Reggie always denied what many suspected - that he was also attracted to men.Friends of Kray consider Allardyce to be the love of his life. They spent most of their time at Maidstone in each other's company.
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Moss Hart (1904 – 1961), American playwright and theatre director

b. October 24, 1904
d. December 20, 1961

American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theater on Broadway.

Hart married Kitty Carlisle on August 10, 1946; they had two biological children (the third pregnancy miscarried). Nonetheless, the longtime bachelor was known to be gay by many of his own friends and reportedly spent much time in therapy regarding his attraction to men. He also had bipolar disorder which, along with his feelings about his sexual orientation, caused tremendous mood swings. Carlisle did ask him if he was gay before they married and his response was that he was not. Prior to his marriage, one of his lovers was Gordon Merrick, whom he met when Merrick was acting in the original Broadway production of The Man Who Came to Dinner. Author William McBrien, in his biography of Cole Porter, stated that Hart frequented the Ritz Bar in Paris, a known hangout for gays and lesbians in the 1930s.

Although he wrote with great humor, as in the 1939 comedy, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Hart led a life that was often devoid of smiles. He suffered from long bouts of depression. Once, he had a nervous breakdown before the opening of one of his plays. His illness became national news. He isolated himself and slowly recovered, later calling the period of his illness his "siege," a part of the writer's life about which little has been written.
The main reason for the secrecy is Hart's surviving widow, Kitty Carlisle Hart, an actress and game show participant who, as a remnant of New York's powerful showbiz society, chose to keep it secret. She has often declined cooperation with Hart's numerous biographers and has reportedly implored friends to do the same. The reason for her non-cooperation is that, although fathering two children, Hart was gay. For the first few decades of his career in the theater, he was forced to live beneath the strain of carrying on two divergent lifestyles, an uneasy task that left the writer confused and depressed.

October 24th in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

Born this day

Caroline Spurgeon ( 1869 -1942) UK

Literary Critic / Lecturer / Author

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.

Neal Blewett (1933 – ) Australian

Ronnie Kray ( 1933 – 1995), Reggie Kray ( 1933 – 200) UK
Crime Bosses

Paula Gunn Allen (1934 – 2008) US
Poet / Literary Critic / Lesbian activist / Author

Mathilde Santing ( 1958 – ) Dutch

BD Wong (1960 –) US
Singer / Dancer / Actor

Emma Donoghue (1969 –) Irish  Playwright / Author / Historian

Bryan Michael Egnew ( 1970 – 2011) US
Mormon, who served an LDS mission, studied at BYU, married and had children in accordance with Mormon teaching. But after coming out to his wife, she left him, taking the children with her, and outed him to the church authorities, resulting in excommunication. He then committed suicide at his home on September 10, 2011.

Raul Esparza (1970 –  )
US Actor

Zac Posen (1980 – )
US Fashion Designer

Tila Tequila (1981 – )
US Model / Singer

Erica Wheeler ???? –  ) US 
Singer / Songwriter 

Died this day

Jerome Duquesnoy II  (1612 - 1664 ) Flemish 
Sculptor executed for sodomy

Caroline Spurgeon ( 1869 -1942) UK
Literary Critic / Lecturer / Author

John Sex (1956 - 1990)US
Entertainer / Performance Artist

Harry Hay (1912 - 2002 ) UK / US

Sodomy in history, 
October 24th

1901 — The Illinois Supreme Court refuses to overrule its 1897 decision that fellatio violates the state’s sodomy law.
1912 — The Arizona Supreme Court rules that fellatio is not outlawed by the term "crime against nature."
1921 — The Arkansas Supreme Court upholds the state’s sodomy against a vagueness challenge.
1945 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rules that the sodomy law is not so broad as to cover kissing or shaking hands.
1956 — The Florida Supreme Court overturns a sodomy conviction because the defendant was found guilty by a judge before he had rested his case.


Calendar of Sodomy, October

1869 – Caroline Spurgeon ( – ) UK Literary Critic / Lecturer / Author – Died 24th October 1942 

And Those Who Died: 
1664 – Jerome Duquesnoy II – Belgian [brother of Sculptor Francois Duquesnoy] – Born 1612 
1942 – Caroline Spurgeon – UK Literary Critic / Lecturer / Author – Died 24th October 1869 
1971 – George Dyer – UK Burglar / Lover of Francis Bacon – Born 1934 
1990 – John Sex – US Entertainer / Performance Artist – Born 8th April 1956 
2002 – Harry Hay – UK / US Activist – Born 7th April 

1912 Events in LGBT History: 1998 – Washington Renegades RFC founded in Washington D.C., USA . Posted by Alex at 00:01 No comments: Labels: 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

October 23rd in LGBT History

Events in LGBT History: 

Born this day

Sarah Bernhardt ( 1844 – 1923 ) French 
Stage and early film actress, who has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the nickname "The Divine Sarah".

Jean Acker   (1893 - 1978) American 
Film actress, with a career dating from the silent era through the 1950s. She was perhaps best known as the estranged wife of silent film star Rudolph Valentino. After the wedding, Acker quickly had regrets and locked him out of their hotel bedroom on their wedding night.[2][3] The marriage was reportedly never consummated.

Lilian Tashman  (1896 – 1934), US
Brooklyn-born Jewish American vaudeville, Broadway, and film actress. Tashman was best known for her supporting roles as tongue-in-cheek villainesses and the bitchy 'other woman'.

Paul Rudolph (1918 –  1997), US
American architect and the dean of the Yale School of Architecture for six years, known for use of concrete and highly complex floor plans. His most famous work is the Yale Art and Architecture Building (A&A Building), a spatially complex Brutalist concrete structure.
American architect and the dean of the Yale School of Architecture for six years, known for use of concrete and highly complex floor plans. His most famous work is the Yale Art and Architecture Building (A&A Building), a spatially complex Brutalist concrete structure.

Ned Rorem  (1923 – ), US
Pulitzer prize-winning composer and diarist. He is best known and most praised for his song settings. He has also achieved literary prominence by publishing a series of diaries that include candid descriptions of homosexual love affairs and relationships.  
writer and critic.

Manos Hatzidakis   (1925 – 1994), Greek 
Composer and music theorist. He was also one of the main prime movers of the "Éntekhno" song (along with Mikis Theodorakis). In 1960 he received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his Song "Never on a Sunday" from the film of the same name.

Bella Darvi  (1928 – 1971) Polish / French
Polish-born French actress.

Maggi Hambling (1945 –), UK
English painter and sculptor. Perhaps her best known public works are a memorial to Oscar Wilde in central London and Scallop, a 4 metre high steel sculpture of two interlocking scallop shells on Aldeburgh beach dedicated to Benjamin Britten.
Hambling is openly lesbian and her choice of subjects for portraits over the years has included many other openly gay people, such as Derek Jarman, George Melly, Stephen Fry and Quentin Crisp.

Michael Rupert (1951 – )
American actor, singer, director and composer.

Cole Tucker (1953 – )
Actor in gay pornography, who started making appearances in gay pornography in 1996 at the late age of 43

Augusten Burroughs (1965 –)
American writer known for his New York Times bestselling memoir Running with Scissors (2002).He is openly gay, and has spoken freely of his life with (former) partner Dennis Pilsits, and of his support for gay marriage.

Superstar DJ Keoki ( 1966 –  ) El Salvador / US 
DJ, born as Keoki Franconi.

Matthew Williamson (1971 – )
English fashion designer. His collections often have an Indian influence, perhaps related to the time Williamson spent working in India for the clothing store Monsoon. He counts celebrities such as Björk, Cat Deeley, Will Buckhurst, Sienna Miller, Kelis, Jade Jagger and Plum Sykes amongst his friends.

Kye Allums( 1989 - ) US, Athlete
The first openly transgender athlete to play NCAA Division I college basketball. Allums was a star shooting guard on the George Washington University (GWU) women’s basketball team.

Died this day

Charles Demuth 1883– 1935 )  US 
An American watercolorist who turned to oils late in his career, developing a style of painting known as Precisionism. He was also noted for some frankly homoerotic watercolours, which he circulated privately.

Christian Dior (1905 - 1957) French
Fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.

Andrew Kopkind (1935 - 1994)
American journalist. He was renowned for his reporting during the tumultuous years of the late 1960s; he wrote about the anti-Vietnam War protests, American Civil Rights Movement, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panther Party, the Weathermen, President Johnson's "Great Society" initiatives, and California gubernatorial campaign of Ronald Reagan. 
In the early 1970s he and his long-time companion, John Scagliotti, hosted the "Lavender Hour," the first commercial gay/lesbian radio show

Esquerita (Eskew Reeder Jr) 1935 – 1986  ) US 
Singer / Songwriter / Musician 

Sodomy in history, October 23rd

1697 — Massachusetts' sodomy law refers to sodomy as "contrary to the very light of nature."
1762 — English sailors Martin Billin and James Bryan are acquitted of sodomy even though a witness testifies against them.
1880 — A medical journal publishes an article, "Notes upon Sodomy," which claims that men who engage in sodomy have a different type of penis from those who don’t.
1919 — The New Mexico Supreme Court rules that repeal of a statute in derogation of the common law revives the common-law provision. Since the state recognizes common-law crimes, this means that repeal of the sodomy law will not legalize consensual sodomy.