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Friday, 30 November 2012

Konstantin Somov (1869 - 1939), Russian, Artist.

b. November 30, 1869
d. May 6, 1939

Born in St Petersburg into a family of a major art historian and Hermitage Museum curator, he became interested in the 18th century art and music at an early age. Konstantin Somov (whose self-portrait you see here) was one of the gay members of the World of Art group.

In high school he had a passionate love affair with Dmitry Filosofov, who later became Diaghilev's lover. Somov studied at the Fine Art Academy of St Petersburg. Somov studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under Ilya Repin from 1888 to 1897. While at the Academy, he befriended Alexandre Benois, who would introduce him to Sergei Diaghilev and Leon Bakst. The three founded the artistic movement "Mir Iskusstva" (the World of Art) and were protagonists of Art Nouveau movement. Somov liberally contributed to its periodicals. Somov was homosexual, like many of the World of Art members.

His lover from 1910 to 1932 was Mefodii Lukyanov. (Methodius Luk'yanov.) Following the Russian Revolution, he emigrated to the United States, but found the country "absolutely alien to his art" and moved to Paris, where he died. He was buried at the Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery.

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November 30th in Queer History

Born this day

Konstantin Somov (1869 –  1939) Russian
Artist associated with the Mir iskusstva. He was the son of a curator at the Hermitage, and he attended the St Petersburg Academy of Art from 1888 to 1897, studying under the Realist painter Il’ya Repin from 1894. In 1897 and again in 1898–9 he went to Paris and attended the studios of Filippo Colarossi and of Whistler. Neither the Realism of his Russian teachers nor the evanescent quality of Whistler’s art was reflected for long in Somov’s work. He turned instead for inspiration to the Old Masters in the Hermitage and to works of contemporary English and German artists, which he knew from visits abroad and from the art journals.

Robert Odeman (1904 –  1985) German
German classical pianist, actor, writer, and composer. He was a Holocaust survivor.
Odeman's boyfriend was pressured by the Gestapo to denounce him in 1937 and he was arrested and sentenced to 27 months in prison. In 1942 he was again arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. During a forced march from the camp towards the Baltic Sea in April 1945, he escaped with other homosexual concentration camp prisoners.
After the war, in 1959, Odeman met the 25-year-old Günter Nöring, with whom he lived until his death.

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.

Richard Lipez (1938 –  ) US 
Journalist and mystery author who is best known for his Donald Strachey mysteries, which were originally published under the pen name Richard Stevenson.

Jerry Hunt (1943 - 1993 ) US
Composer who created works using live electronics partly controlled by his ritualistic performance techniques, influenced by his interest in the occult. He committed suicide in response to terminal cancer.

David Laws (1965 – )   UK
British Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Yeovil, Laws was one of five Liberal Democrats to obtain Cabinet positions when the coalition was formed, becoming Chief Secretary to the Treasury, tasked with cutting spending in order to reduce the UK deficit.

His career suffered, and he was simultaneously outed as gay, when newspaper investigators into the parliamentary expenses scandals disclosed that he had been claiming expenses to rent a room in the London flat of his civil partner, James Lundie.

Tommy O’Haver (1968 – ) US
Film director and screenwriter.

Clay Aiken (1978 –  ) US
Singer, songwriter, actor, producer and author who began his rise to fame on the second season of the television program American Idol in 2003. After several years of public speculation, Aiken disclosed that he is gay in a September 2008 interview with People magazine.

Died this day

Oscar Wilde – UK  (1854 - 1900 ) UK
Writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, plays and the circumstances of his imprisonment for "sodomy and gross indecency", followed by his early death.

Widely regarded as a gay icon, Oscar Wilde us listed at  number 3 in Paul Russell's ranking of The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present, behind only Socrates and Sappho (and so, the most influential in the modern period). His tomb in Paris has become a major tourist attraction - almost a place of pilgrimage for gay men in particular.

Eoin O’Duffy (1892 - 1944)  Irish
A politician and soldier, O'Duffy was in succession a Teachta Dála (i.e., member of the Irish parliament), the Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the second Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, leader of the Army Comrades Association and then the first leader of Fine Gael (1933–34), before leading the Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. He once proclaimed himself the "third most important man in Europe" after Adolf Hitler and fellow fascist Benito Mussolini.

A 2006 documentary program on his life suggested that O'Duffy, who never married, had a long relationship with the actor Micheál MacLiammoir in the Thirties.

Terence Rattigan (1911 - 1977 ) UK
One of England's most popular 20th-century dramatists. His plays are generally set in an upper-middle-class background.[1] He is known for such works as The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others.

Rattigan had numerous lovers but no long-term partners, a possible exception being his 'congenial companion [...] and occasional friend' Michael Franklin. It has been claimed that his work is essentially autobiographical, containing coded references to his sexuality, which he kept secret from all but his closest friends.

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

Jorge Donn (1947 - 1992) Argentine
Internationally-known ballet dancer, he was best known for his work with the Maurice Béjart's Ballet company, and his participation as lead dancer in Claude Lelouch's film Les Uns et les Autres. He died of AIDS on 30 November 1992 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Kathy Acker (1947 - 1997 ) US
An experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer, Acker was strongly influenced by the Black Mountain School, William S. Burroughs, David Antin, French critical theory, philosophy, and pornography.

Acker's radical experiments with the postmodern novel have attracted considerable notoriety. Some critics praise her technical skill, but she has drawn mixed reactions to the incorporation of graphic sex acts and violence in her fiction. A subversive literary inventor and a defiant voice against patriarchal society, Acker exerted an important influence on postmodern fiction and contemporary feminist discourse.

Simon Nkoli (1957 - 1998) South African
Simon Tseko Nkoli was an anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist in South Africa. By coming out as gay while a political prisoner, he helped to make the African National Congress more supportive of gay rights. Later, GLOW (a gay activist group he founded) was instrumental in having LGBT protection written into the state constitution.

Sodomy laws in history, November 30

1898 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upholds the "crime against nature" conviction of a man called "a raging, vicious bull."

1915 — The Missouri Supreme Court rules that fellatio violates the state’s amended sodomy law.

1959 — A Pennsylvania court rules that placing a mouth on a penis without allowing the penis to penetrate the mouth does not violate the state’s sodomy law.

1967 — The New Hampshire Supreme Court rejects a claim that fellatio does not violate the state’s "unnatural and lascivious acts" law.

2000 — England equalizes its age of consent for Gay male sex with that of Lesbian and heterosexual activity.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Percy Jocelyn (1764 – 1843), Irish. Anglican Bishop

b. November 29, 1764 
d. September 3, 1843

Anglican Bishop of Clogher in the Church of Ireland from 1820 to 1822, who was forced from his position after two scandals involving sexual indiscretions with men.

In the first, two years after his appointment as bishop of Ferns, he was accused by his brother's coachman,James Byrne, of‘taking indecent familiarities’ with him (possibly buggery) and of ‘using indecent or obscene conversations with him’. The bishop survived this accusation, instead suing the coachman for libel. On conviction, Byrne was sentenced to two years in jail and also to public flogging. Recanting his allegations at the prompting of the bishop’s agent, the floggings were stopped.

The second occasion was more serious and ended his career, when in 1822 he was caught in a compromising position with a Grenadier Guardsman, John Moverley, in the back room of a London public house.
Jocelyn was the most senior British churchman to be involved in a public homosexual scandal in the 19th century. It became a subject of satire and popular ribaldry, resulting in more than a dozen illustrated satirical cartoons, pamphlets, and limericks, such as:

The Devil to prove the Church was a farceWent out to fish for a Bugger.He baited his hook with a Soldier's arseAnd pulled up the Bishop of Clogher.

For 178 years afterwards the Church of Ireland refused to let historians see their papers on the affair. In the 1920s Archbishop D'Arcy of Armagh actually ordered that they be burnt. This command was not obeyed, and the files were finally released for Matthew Parris's research for his book The Great Unfrocked.

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November 29th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

2007 - Civil Unions become legal in Uruguay making it the first Latin Americannation to do so

Born this day

Percy Jocelyn (1764 –  1843) Irish .

Anglican bishop of Ferns and Leighlin in the Church of Ireland (1809–1820) and later bishop of Clogher from 1820 to 1822. He was forced from his position after he was caught in a compromising position with a Grenadier Guardsman, John Moverley, in the back room of a London public house. He and Moverley were released on bail, provided by the Earl of Roden and others. Jocelyn broke bail and moved to Scotland where he worked as a butler under an assumed name. He was declared deposed in his absence by the Metropolitan Court of Armagh in October 1822 for "the crimes of immorality, incontinence, Sodomitical practices, habits, and propensities, and neglect of his spiritual, judicial, and ministerial duties".

Jocelyn was the most senior British churchman to be involved in a public homosexual scandal in the 19th century.

Billy Strayhorn (1915 –  1967) US.
Composer, pianist and arranger, best known for his successful collaboration with bandleader and composer Duke Ellington lasting nearly three decades. His compositions include "Chelsea Bridge", "Take the "A" Train" and "Lush Life".

He participated in many civil rights causes. As a committed friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he arranged and conducted "King Fought the Battle of 'Bam'" for the Ellington Orchestra in 1963 for the historical revue My People, dedicated to Dr. King.

Strayhorn was openly gay, and lived with his first partner, African-American musician Aaron Bridgers,until Bridgers moved to Paris in 1947.

Philippe Elan (1960 – ) French.
French born singer, living in Holland with his lover Gijs van der Grinten, a violinist of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra. Elan received a Edison (Dutch award) for his first album Chansons Classiques.

Martha Beck (1962 – ) US.
Sociologist, therapist, life coach and best-selling author. Beck is the daughter of deceased LDS (Mormon) scholar and apologist, Hugh Nibley. She received national attention after publication in 2005 of her best-seller, Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith in which she accuses her father of sexual abuse.

Both Martha Beck and her now ex-husband subsequently came out publicly as gay and have stated that they no longer consider homosexuality a form of compulsive behavior. In 2003, Beck separated from her husband, divorcing from him in 2004. She began living with her partner Karen Gerdes, a social worker and professor, during her marriage and has continued this relationship.

Guillaume Dustan (1965 –  2005) French.
Born William Baranès, Dustan was an openly gay French writer and journalist.

Simon Amstell (1979 –  ). UK
A BAFTA nominated,award-winning English comedian, television presenter, screenwriter and actor, best known for his roles as former co-host of Popworld, former host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks and co-writer and star of the sitcom Grandma's House.

Died this day

Cary Grant  (1904 - 1986 ) UK/US
Archibald Alexander Leach, better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English actor who later took U.S. citizenship. Known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor and "dashing good looks", Grant is considered one of classic Hollywood's definitive leading men.

Grant was married five times, but some, including Hedda Hopper and screenwriter Arthur Laurents, have said that Grant was bisexual, the latter writing that Grant "told me he threw pebbles at my window one night but was luckless". Grant allegedly was involved with costume designer Orry-Kelly when he first moved to Manhattan, and lived with Randolph Scott off and on for twelve years. Richard Blackwell wrote that Grant and Scott were "deeply, madly in love", and alleged eyewitness accounts of their physical affection have been published.

Sodomy laws in history, November 29

1876 — Utah outlaws sodomy.

1967 — A California appellate court rejects a privacy argument and upholds the constitutionality of the state’s "oral copulation" law.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

November 28th in Queer History

Born this day

Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon ( 1661 - 1723) US
Governor of  New York and New Jersey between 1701 and 1708, and is perhaps best known for  his cross-dressing while in office. Cornbury came to be regarded in the historical literature as a moral profligate, sunk in corruption: possibly the worst governor Britain ever imposed on an American colony. 

Cornbury is reported to have opened the 1702 New York Assembly clad in a hooped gown and an elaborate headdress and carrying a fan, imitative of the style of Queen Anne. When his choice of clothing was questioned, he replied, "You are all very stupid people not to see the propriety of it all. In this place and occasion, I represent a woman (the Queen), and in all respects I ought to represent her as faithfully as I can." 

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) French
Italian-born French composer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French Baroque style.
He was known to be a libertine. Although his life is full of meteoric heights, his love affairs with men and women also brought him down in scandal several times at the great displeasure of Louis XIV.

Ernst Rohm (1887 – 1934) German
An officer in the Bavarian Army and later an early Nazi leader. He was a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung ("Storm Battalion"; SA), the Nazi Party militia, and later was its commander. In 1934, as part of the Night of the Long Knives, he was executed on Hitler's orders as a potential rival.
Röhm and other SA leaders such as his deputy Edmund Heines were more or less openly homosexual.(In 1931, the Münchener Post, a Social Democratic newspaper, obtained and published Röhm's letters to a friend in which Röhm discussed his sexual affairs with men).

Owen Dodson (1914 – 1983) US 
A poet, novelist, and playwright, he was one of the leading African American poets of his time, associated with the generation of black poets following the Harlem Renaissance. Dodson's poetry varied widely and covered a broad range of subjects, styles, and forms. He wrote at times, though rarely, in black dialect, and at others quoted and alluded to classical poetry and drama. He wrote about sexuality and about religion.

Anthony Edward Dyson (1928 –  2002) UK 
Literary critic, university lecturer, educational activist and pioneer gay rights campaigner, Dyson single-handedly took the initiative in forming the Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS) in May 1958.

Joke Swiebel (1941 – ) Dutch 
Politician, a former MEP (Member of the Europen Parliament) and founder of the LGBT Rights Intergroup.

Rita Mae Brown (1944 – ) US
Writer, best known for her first novel "Rubyfruit Jungle". Published in 1973, it dealt with lesbian themes in an explicit manner unusual for the time. Brown is also a mystery writer and screenwriter.

She is listed at number 74 in the book "The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present".

Herbert Muschamp (1947 – 2007) US
Architectural Critic for The New York Times from 1992 ro 2004. He was openly gay, and the centrality of gay men in the cultural life of New York City was central to his writing. He continued to write until his death from lung cancer in Manhattan in 2007.

Gordon Marsden (1953 – )  UK 
British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackpool South since 1997. Marsden is openly gay and lives with his partner.

John Galliano (1960 – ) UK 
Fashion Designer

Thierry Paulin (1963 – 1989) French 
Serial Killer, active in the 1980's. Together with his lover, Jean-Thierry Mathurin. Together, they murdered and robbed a series of elderly women, using their gains to finance drugs and a lavish lifestyle.
He died of AIDS in 1989.

Erwin Mortier (1965 – )  Belgian 
Author, originally writing in Dutch.

Colman Domingo (1969 – )  US 
Actor, playwright and director.

Siri Hall Arnoy (1978 – ) Norwegian
Politician for the Socialist Left Party. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Akershus in 2001, but was not re-elected in 2005. She then served in the position of deputy representative during the term 2005–2009.
Hall Arnøy is openly lesbian.

Jonny Staub (1979 – ) Canadian 
Radio and television personality. In 2001, at age 22, he was the youngest DJ in a major time slot in the Vancouver market.
Staub is one of Canada's first openly gay DJs in the Vancouver radio market.

Died this day

Jeffrey Dahmer   (1960 - 1994 ) US
Serial Killer and sex offender, Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1987 and 1991. His murders involved rape, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism. On November 28, 1994, he was beaten to death by an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, where he had been incarcerated.

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

Lester kept his personal life under wraps, but a 2002 In Magazine LA article on former soap star Thom Bierdz claimed that Lester, along with Michael Corbett and Bierdz, made up a trio of gay actors who worked on The Young and the Restless in the 1980s.

Leroy F Aarons (1933 - 2004 ) US 
journalist, editor, author, playwright, founder of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. In 2005 he was inducted into the NLGJA Hall of Fame.

Tony Holland (1940 - 2007 ) UK 
Television screenwriter best known as a writer and co-creator of the BBC soap opera EastEnders.
Holland entered into a civil partnership with Paul Wade in May 2007.

Sodomy laws in history, November 28

1951 —The Oklahoma Court of Appeals upholds a consensual sodomy conviction and refers to Washington Confidential as proof that homosexuality is overrunning the nation.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon: Cross-dressing Governor of New York

b. 28 November 1661
d. 31 March 1723

Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, styled Viscount Cornbury between 1674 and 1709, was Governor of New York and New Jersey between 1701 and 1708, and is perhaps best known for  his cross-dressing while in office.

Cornbury came to be regarded in the historical literature as a moral profligate, sunk in corruption: possibly the worst governor Britain ever imposed on an American colony. The early accounts claim he took bribes and plundered the public treasury. Nineteenth century historian George Bancroft said that Cornbury illustrated the worst form of the English aristocracy's "arrogance, joined to intellectual imbecility". Later historians characterise him as a "degenerate and pervert who is said to have spent half of his time dressed in women's clothes", a "fop and a wastrel". He is said to have delivered a "flowery panegyric on his wife's ears" after which he invited every gentleman present to feel precisely how shell-like they were; to have misappropriated £1500 meant for the defence of New York Harbor, and, scandalously, to have dressed in women's clothing and lurked "behind trees to pounce, shrieking with laughter, on his victims".
Cornbury is reported to have opened the 1702 New York Assembly clad in a hooped gown and an elaborate headdress and carrying a fan, imitative of the style of Queen Anne. When his choice of clothing was questioned, he replied, "You are all very stupid people not to see the propriety of it all. In this place and occasion, I represent a woman (the Queen), and in all respects I ought to represent her as faithfully as I can." It is also said that in August 1707, when his wife Lady Cornbury died, His High Mightiness (as he preferred to be called) attended the funeral again dressed as a woman. It was shortly after this that mounting complaints from colonists prompted the Queen to remove Cornbury from office.
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Guido Gezelle (1830-1899): Flemish priest, teacher, and poet

b. 1st May 1830
d. 27th November 1899

Belgian priest and poet, born in Brugge as Guido Pieter Theodorus Josephus Gezelle. He is considered by the Belgians as one of their greatest poets.

About Gazelle's sexuality, not much is certain. Typically for a priest, there is no clear evidence that he ever gave physical expression to his sexual yearnings, whatever they may have been, About the nature of those feelings, and what we today would call his "orientation", there are some strong clues:
Forget Maurice Maeterlinck, Herman de Coninck, Hugo Claus. The Belgian poet you want to read is Guido Gezelle (1830-1899). Writing in the popular idiom of the West Flemish region, this poet-priest caused a revolution in the rhythm, sound, and soul of Belgian poetry, and can be counted among the world’s greatest poets.
In Gezelle’s work, God and Nature are the key words. Admiring the beauty of God’s creation, the poet is reminded of the grandeur of the Creator Himself. To express these feelings into writing, Gezelle refuses to imprison them into the straight-jacket of age-old conventional forms, but allows them to play freely in a refreshing, new use of rhyme patterns, original images, free verse, and prose poetry.

(He) also voiced strong feelings for some of his pupils. Gezelle expressed the "spiritual twofoldness" between master and student in some of his best poems.

Gezelle's homoerotic feelings may have been platonic. Certainly, some of his admirers resist any suggestion that his feelings for his pupils were sexual.
Nevertheless, his relationship with Eugène van Oye, whom he admired for his "angelic innocence" and whom he tried to comfort in his loneliness in the seminary, was deep indeed. It struck him as a tragedy when van Oye left the seminary in Roeselare in 1859. In his lamentation "To an Absent Friend," published in 1862, he called his loss greater than that of a mother missing her child.
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Monday, 26 November 2012

Harvey Milk (1930 - 1978) US.

Politician, who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s.

Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city, before being. assassinated on November 27, 1978,

Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and "a martyr for gay rights", according to University of San Francisco professor Peter Novak.[1] In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States"

Simon Nkoli (1957 – 1998), South African. Activist

b/ November 26, 1957
d. November 30, 1998

Simon Tseko Nkoli was an anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist in South Africa. By coming out as gay while a political prisoner, he helped to make the African National Congress more supportive of gay rights. Later, GLOW (a gay activist group he founded) was instrumental in having LGBT protection written into the state constitution. 

Nkoli was born in Soweto in a seSotho-speaking family. He grew up on a farm in the Free State and his family later moved to Sebokeng. Nkoli became a youth activist against apartheid, with the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and with the United Democratic Front.

In 1983, he joined the mainly white Gay Association of South Africa, then he formed the Saturday Group, the first black gay group in Africa.

Nkoli spoke at rallies in support of rent-boycotts in the Vaal townships and in 1984 he was arrested and faced the death penalty for treason with twenty-one other political leaders in the Delmas Treason Trial, including Popo Molefe and Patrick Lekota, collectively known as the Delmas 22. By coming out while a prisoner, he helped change the attitude of the African National Congress to gay rights. He was acquitted and released from prison in 1988.

He founded GLOW (tthe Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand) in 1988. After the start of South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994, GLOW's advocacy and credibility within the African National Congress were crucially important in getting ANC backing for LGBT rights. This led to the inclusion of sexual orientation in the anti-dscrimination clause in the bill of rights that was written into the new constitution. This was the first country to provide constitutional protection for lesbians and gay men. 

Nkoli travelled widely and was given several human rights awards in Europe and North America. He was a member of International Lesbian and Gay Association board, representing the African region.

He was one of the first gay activists to meet with President Nelson Mandela in 1994. He helped in the campaign for the inclusion of protection from discrimination in the Bill of Rights in the 1994 South African constitution and for the repeal of the sodomy law, which happened in May 1998 in his last months.

After becoming one of the first publicly HIV-positive African gay men, he initiated the Positive African Men group based in central Johannesburg. He had been infected with HIV for around 12 years, and had been seriously ill, on and off, for the last four. He died of AIDS in 1998 in Johannesburg.

There is a Simon Nkoli Street in Amsterdam and a Simon Nkoli Day in San Francisco. He opened the first Gay Games in New York and was made a freeman of that city by mayor David Dinkins. In 1996 Nkoli was given the Stonewall Award in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Canadian filmmaker John Greyson made a short film about Nkoli titled A Moffie Called Simon in 1987. Nkoli was the subject of Robert Colman's 2003 play, "Your Loving Simon" and Beverley Ditsie's 2002 film "Simon & I". John Greyson's 2009 film Fig Trees, a hybrid documentary/opera includes reference to Nkoli's activism.

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Wayland Flowers (1939 – 1988), US. Puppeteer

b. November 26, 1939
d. October 11, 1988

A puppeteer. He was born and raised in Dawson, Georgia. Flowers was best known for the puppet act he created with his puppet Madame. His performances as "Wayland Flowers and Madame" were a major national success on stage and on screen in the 1970s and 1980s.

A puppeteer. He was born and raised in Dawson, Georgia. Flowers was best known for the puppet act he created with his puppet Madame. His performances as "Wayland Flowers and Madame" were a major national success on stage and on screen in the 1970s and 1980s.

Wayland Flowers was born in Dawson, Georgia. He began to practice puppetry at an early age, drawn, perhaps, by a puppet's license to say and do in public a wide variety of things forbidden to its human operator. In the 1960s, Flowers moved to New York, where he was an assistant puppeteer for a number of children's television shows.

But while he entertained children during the day, he also developed "Madame," an "adults-only" puppet, a grotesquely ugly and flamboyantly ribald old crone festooned in outrageous evening gowns, tiaras, and rhinestones.

Flowers performed with "Madame" in nightclubs and gay bars, where her frank and often acerbic observations about sex, men, and life in general, similar to those expressed by drag queens in their acts, gained the "dirty old lady" and - by extension - Flowers a following that led to frequent television guest appearances on variety and talk shows.

By the late 1960s, Flowers and "Madame" had become regulars on the comedy program Laugh-In, one of the most popular television programs at the time and known for its cutting-edge topical humor that frequently challenged network censorship. In this context, Flowers was able to present a campy gay point of view mediated through his puppet.

Naughty old ladies have long been a staple of bawdy comedy, able to indulge sarcastically in double entendre and sexual innuendo and yet be found amusing rather than offensive, if for no other reason than the audience perceives older women, no matter how stereotypical, as being past any serious sexual interest.

This comedic incongruity, then, could be taken to even greater lengths by means of an old lady who was not only extraordinarily ugly (though pretending to be a great beauty) but who was also, in reality, wood and wire rather than flesh and blood.

In this way, Flowers was able to express on prime-time television the attitudes and desires of many gay men in the early days of gay liberation - views that would otherwise have been regarded as pointedly offensive to mainstream audiences - without censure.

Throughout the 1970s, Wayland Flowers and "Madame" appeared frequently on television, as the hosts of Solid Gold, a weekly popular music show, and on the game show Hollywood Squares, where, after nearly a decade of guest appearances, they succeeded Paul Lynde, a gay comic as bitchy and queeny as "Madame," as the all-important "central square."

By the early 1980s, the puppet/human relationship had taken a strange turn in Flowers's career. "Madame" became the star of her own sitcom, Madame's Place, in which she played the lead role, interacting with the other actors as if she were human.

Flowers, ironically, remained completely out of sight, his function as "Madame"'s voice the only outward evidence of his presence. Indeed, she seemed to take on a life of her own, eclipsing Flowers until he became invisible - both literally and figuratively - behind her.

As a result of his invisibility, very little attention was drawn to his personal life, and thus it was a surprise to many when Flowers died in Hollywood of AIDS-realted cancer, "Madame" was buried with him.

He refused to discuss his homosexuality publicly, saying:

"If I can do a good thing for everybody, make everybody laugh and be happy, why fucking kill it?"
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Isabel Miller (1924 - 1996) U.S.A. Lesbian novelist

b. November 26, 1924
d. October 4, 1996

A novelist, best known for her lesbian fiction, which she published under the pen name Isabel Miller

She was born as Alma Routsong in Traverse City, Michigan, and graduated from Michigan State College in 1949. Her pen name, Isabel Miller, is the combination of an anagram for "Lesbia" and her mother's birth name. Her first novel, A Gradual Joy (1953) is the story of a young married couple, MSU students living in a quonset hut apartment.

In 1963, Isabel Miller moved to New York and began writing her best known book, A Place for Us (1969), printed in an edition of 1,000 copies, paid for and sold by the author. With this title, based on a true story of a 19th-century couple from New York state, Miller began her career as lesbian novelist. In 1971 the novel won the first annual Gay Book Award of the American Library Association.

Under its later title Patience and Sarah (1972) Miller's novel became the most-cherished lesbian love story of all time. The title story in A Dooryard Full of Flowers and Other Short Pieces (1993) is a sequel. Ms. Miller died shortly before her last novel, Laurel was published.
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Mary Edwards Walker, Surgeon

b. November 26, 1832
d. February 21, 1919

A steadfast feminist, Mary Edwards Walker defied nineteenth century patriarchal society by refusing to live within the confines of gender-based roles. As a student, physician, and activist, Walker defined her place in society while paving the way for future generations of women. Diverging from the norm, Walker's liberal parents encouraged her and her five sisters to attend college and pursue careers. Her father, a self-taught doctor and advocate of women's dress reform, largely influenced Walker.

In 1855, Mary Edwards Walker graduated from Syracuse Medical College, becoming one of only a few female physicians in the country. She married fellow student and physician Albert Miller in an unconventional ceremony. Walker wore trousers and a man's coat and chose to keep her last name. The marriage ended four years later.

At the onset of the Civil War, having been denied a position as an Army medical officer, Walker volunteered as a nurse for the Union Army. During the next few years she served in several battles including the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Fredericksburg. Despite her service, Walker often found herself at the scrutiny of male superiors who questioned her credentials.

The Confederate Army captured Walker in 1864 and held her captive for four months. The imprisonment proved to be a turning point in her career, winning her both respect and credibility. Later that year she became the first woman commissioned as Army Surgeon, earning a monthly salary of one hundred dollars.
The following year, Walker became the first and only woman in history to receive a Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the United States. The bill, which President Andrew Johnson signed upon the recommendation of two major generals, reads:

Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker, a graduate of medicine, has rendered valuable service to the Government, and.has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon...It is ordered, That a testimonial thereof shall be hereby made and given to the said Dr. Mary E. Walker, and that the actual medal of honor for meritorious services be given her.

After the war, Walker continued to live a nonconformist lifestyle. A strong advocate of dress reform, she wore men's clothing exclusively and was arrested on several occasions for impersonating a man. In 1917, Congress revoked her Medal of Honor after revising the criteria for receiving the medal. Walker refused to return the medal, wearing it until her death.

November 26th in Queer History

Events this day in Queer History

1978 - ABC aired a lesbian themed movie, A Question of Love, about a custody battle for one of the women's children.

1990 - The Minneapolis Minnesota civil rights commission ruled that Roman Catholic officials violated anti-discrimination laws by evicting Dignity from holding services in a church owned facility.

Born this day

Mary Edwards Walker (1832 – 1919), US.

Feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon, she is the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. She volunteered with the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War and served as a female surgeon. She was captured by Confederate forces after crossing enemy lines to treat wounded civilians and arrested as a spy. After the war she was approved for the Medal of Honor for her efforts. 
After the war, Walker continued to live a nonconformist lifestyle. A strong advocate of dress reform, she wore men's clothing exclusively and was arrested on several occasions for impersonating a man. At her funeral, she was buried in a black suit, not a dress.

Emlyn Williams (1905 –1987),UK. 
Welsh dramatist and actor.

Earl Wild (1915 –2010), US. 
A pianist widely recognized as a leading virtuoso of his generation, Harold C. Schonberg called him a "super-virtuoso in the Horowitz class". He was known as well for his transcriptions of classical music and jazz, and was also a composer.

Alma Routsong [Isabel Miller](1924 –  1996), US.  
A novelist, best known for her lesbian fiction, which she published under the pen name Isabel Miller

Richard Hall (1926 – ) US 

Wayland Flowers (1939 – 1988), US. 

A puppeteer. He was born and raised in Dawson, Georgia. Flowers was best known for the puppet act he created with his puppet Madame. His performances as "Wayland Flowers and Madame" were a major national success on stage and on screen in the 1970s and 1980s.

Felix Gonzales-Torres (1957 –1996), Cuban. 
American, Cuban-born visual artist.

Cherry Jones (1956 - ), US. 
Theater, film and television actress best known for her role as president of the United States on the FOX series “24.” A Broadway veteran, Jones is considered one of America’s foremost stage actresses. She has received two Tony Awards.

Simon Nkoli (1957 – 1998), South African. 
Simon Tseko Nkoli was an anti-apartheid, gay rights and AIDS activist in South Africa. By coming out as gay while a political prisoner, he helped to make the African National Congress more supportive of gay rights. Later, GLOW (a gay activist group he founded) was instrumental in having South Africa become the first country in the world to have LGBT protection written into the state constitution. Other countries have since followed South Africa's lead.
Nkosi's role, (which therefore has global significance)has been recognized with several international awards.

Sue Wicks (1966 – ) US.
A former basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played with the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002. She currently serves as a collegiate basketball coach.

John Amaechi (1970 – ), UK. 

A retired American-born British basketball player who currently works as a psychologist, educator and political activist in Europe and the United States, John Amaechi was the first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay. In 2007, three years after retiring from pro basketball, he became one of only six male professional athletes in the four major U.S. sports to come out.
Esera Tuaolo, an NFL player who came out in 2002, said of Amaechi, “What John did is amazing. He does not know how many lives he’s saved by speaking the truth.”

Tammy Lynn Michaels (1974 – ), US.

Tammy Lynn Michaels (born Tammy Lynn Doring), also known by the surname Etheridge after marrying Melissa Etheridge, is an American actress, who was a regular cast member on the Warner Brothers Network television show Popular and guest-starred on the Showtime drama The L Word.

Jason Sechrest (1979 –  ), US. Screenwriter
On-screen personality and writer in the adult industry. He has starred in numerous adult films, straight and gay, but only in non-sexual roles. His Web site caters to straight, gay and bisexual adult markets. Sechrest himself is bisexual. Arena magazine listed him as one of the "50 Most Powerful People in Porn" list along with Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner. He has also been called "The Oprah of Porn"

Died this day

Winnaretta Singer (1865 - 1943 ) US. 
Winnaretta Singer, Princesse Edmond de Polignac,was an American musical patron and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. She had affairs with numerous women, never making attempts to conceal them, and never going for any great length of time without a female lover. She had these affairs during her own marriages and afterwards, and often with other married women. The affronted husband of one of her lovers once stood outside the princess's Venetian palazzo, declaring, "If you are half the man I think you are, you will come out here and fight me."

Peter Hujar (1934 - ), US. 
Photographer, known for his black and white portraits, and also for farm animals and nudes. His most famous photograph is Candy Darling on Her Deathbed which was later used by the group Antony and the Johnsons as cover for their album I Am a Bird Now. The lover of artist David Wojnarowicz, Hujar died of AIDS complications in 1987.

Joey Stefano (1968 - 1994), US. 
Joey Stefano's father died when he was 15. After several years of prostitution and hard-core drug use in New York City, Stefano moved to Los Angeles and quickly became a star in gay pornography. His image and success caught the attention of Madonna, who used him as a model in her 1992 book Sex.

Mario Cesariny de Vasconcelos (1923 - 2006) Portuguese.

Pia Beck (1925 – 2009 ) Dutch 



Sunday, 25 November 2012

November 25th in Queer History

Events in Queer History

1975 – Campaign for Homosexual Equality rally in Trafalgar Square, London, UK

1970 - The Seattle Gay Liberation Front severed ties with the Young Socialist Alliance because their exclusion of homosexuals mirrored Stalin's practices.

1997 - In South Africa, a demonstration was held at the Johannesburg High Court in support of an application to decriminalize sex between men.

1998 - Federal judge Bruce Jenkins ruled that Spanish Fork High School in Salt Lake City Utah violated the rights of teacher Wendy Weaver, who was dismissed from her position as volleyball coach and ordered not to discuss her sexual orientation, even out of school. The judge ordered the school to offer her the coaching position, lift the gag order, and pay her $1,500 in damages.

Born this day

Virgil Thomson (1896 – 1989), US.

Robert Friend (1913 –  1998) US
Poet, Translator

Rosa von Praunheim (1942 – ), Latvian.
Director, Activist

Lars Eighner (1948 – ), US.

Randy Turner ( 1949 –  2005), US.

Bruno Toniolli (1955 – ), Italian / UK.
Dancer, Choreographer, Presenter

David B Feinberg (1956 –  1994), US.
 Author, Activist

Tonie Walsh (1960 –  ) Irish.
Activist, Journalist, Presenter

Craig Seymour (1968 – ), US.
Author, Photographer, Professor,Stripper, Journalist

Jason Rae (1986 – ) US.

Died this day

Yukio Mishima (1925 - 1970 ) Japanese.

Laurence Harvey (1928 - 1973)  Lithuania / UK / South African.

Sir Anton Dolin (1904 - 1983 ) UK.

Alan Bray ( 1948 - 2001) UK.
Historian, Activist

Pierre Seel (1923 - 2005) French.

Sodomy laws in history, November 25

1120 — The sinking of the "White Ship" kills the sons of England’s King Henry I. A writer claims they died as punishment for sodomy.

1953 — The Montana Supreme Court upholds a sodomy conviction over protests of the prosecutor’s statements. The court reporter did not record them all, thus removing them from review.

1964 — The North Carolina Supreme Court rules that a sodomy indictment merely stating that the defendant "committed the abominable and detestable crime against nature" with a named male person was sufficient.

1968 — The Michigan Court of Appeals upholds the constitutionality of the state’s sodomy law.

1980 — The Kentucky Supreme Court rules that circumstantial evidence can be used to prove penetration in sodomy cases.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Margaret Caroline Anderson (1886 – 1973),US. Editor

b. November 24, 1886
d. October 18, 1973

American founder, editor and publisher of the art and literary magazine "The Little Review", which published a collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929. The periodical is most noted for introducing many prominent American and British writers of the 20th century, such as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot in the United States, and publishing the first thirteen chapters of James Joyce's then-unpublished novel, Ulysses.

Growing up in a small town in Indiana, Anderson already showed a headstrong, independent nature. After graduating from high school, she enrolled as a piano student at Western College, a women's institution in Oxford, Ohio, but left after three years, without completing a degree.Instead, she headed for Chicago, where within just a few years, in March 1914, she founded the avant-garde literary magazine "The Little Review" during Chicago's literary renaissance, which became not just influential, but soon created a unique place for itself and for her in the American literary and artistic history.

Two years later, she met Jane Heap, who became her lover, and co-editor of The Little Review. Funding for the magazine was scarce, and Anderson always short of money, but even so, she published some of the most influential new writers in the English language, including Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and William Butler Yeats.

Friday, 23 November 2012

November 23rd in Queer History

Events this day in queer history:

1973 – First Gay Academic Union conference (two day conference)

1983 - A Louisville Kentucky bank which fired a branch manager for refusing to end his association with Dignity, an organization for GLBT Catholics, was cleared of charges of discrimination and violating the employee's freedom of religion.

1998 - The Georgia Supreme Court voted 6-1 to overturn the state's sodomy law. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Robert Benham wrote, "We cannot think of any other activity that reasonable persons would rank as more private and more deserving of protection from governmental interference than consensual, private, adult sexual activity."

Born this day

Bill Bissett (1939 –  ), Canadian. Poet

Canadian poet famous for his anti-conventional style. He often does not capitalise his name or use capital letters. In 2006, Nightwood Editions published "radiant danse uv being", a poetic tribute to bissett with contributions from more than 80 writers.

Bruce Vilanch(1948 – ), US. Scriptwriter, Comedian, Actor

American comedy writer, songwriter and actor. He is a six-time Emmy Award-winner.

Died this day

Gene Moore (1910 - 1998), US.  Window Dresser
A leading window dresser of the 20th century, who worked for almost forty years for Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue. (The example of his work above uses a watermelon made of gumdrops to display the jewellery).

Boudewijn Buch (1948 - 2002),Dutch. Author, Presenter

Dutch writer, poet and television presenter.

Sodomy laws in history, November 23

1828 — Florida repeals its common-law reception statute, thus legalizing sodomy.

1943 — The Indiana Supreme Court upholds a conviction for attempted sodomy of a man who made repeated attempts to seduce a male teenager, and the teenager had police arrest the man.

 — Wisconsin enacts a new criminal code that reduces the penalty for sodomy from a felony to a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 9 months in jail.

1977 — An Ohio court dismisses an importuning charge because the undercover police officer encouraged the solicitation.

1998 — Reversing a 1996 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court strikes down the state’s sodomy law on broad privacy grounds.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976), UK. Composer.

b. 22 November 1913  
d.  4 December 1976

English composer, conductor, and pianist, has a firm reputation as possibly the greatest English composer of since Henry Purcell, and as one of the leading composers globally of the twentieth century. He is particularly important in the field of opera.  According to Operabase, he has more operas played worldwide than any other composer born in the 20th century, and only Puccini and Richard Strauss come ahead of him if the list is extended to all operas composed after 1900.

He first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work "A Boy Was Born" in 1934, and continued to produce important works for four decades. Having previously declined a knighthood, Britten accepted a life peerage in 1976 as Baron Britten, of Aldeburgh, a few months before his death.

He and his partner the tenor Sir Peter Pears, are one of the best known gay couples in music. Their two graves lie side by side in Aldeburgh.

In Paul Russell's book "The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present", Britten in listed at number 73.

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November 22nd in Queer History

Born this day

Andre Gide (1869 – 1951), French. Author
French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.
In 1893 and 1894, Gide traveled in Northern Africa, and it was there that he came to accept his attraction to boys.He befriended Oscar Wilde in Paris, and in 1895 Gide and Wilde met in Algiers. There, Wilde had the impression that he had introduced Gide to homosexuality, but, in fact, Gide had already discovered this on his own.

Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976), UK. Composer.
English composer, conductor, and pianist, and probably the most important English composer of the twentieth century (certainly of opera). He first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work "A Boy Was Born" in 1934, and continued to produce important works for four decades. Having previously declined a knighthood, Britten accepted a life peerage in 1976 as Baron Britten, of Aldeburgh, a few months before his death.
He and his partner the tenor Sir Peter Pears, are one of the best known gay couples in music. Their two graves lie side by side in Aldeburgh.

James Gleeson (1915 –  2008), Australian. Artist, Poet, Author, Critic
Australia's foremost artist. He was also a poet, critic, writer and curator. He played a significant role in the Australian art scene, including serving on the board of the National Gallery of Australia. Gleeson's themes generally delved into the subconscious using literary, mythological or religious subject matter. He was particularly interested in Jung's archetypes of the collective unconscious.
Gleeson died in Sydney in 2008, aged 92. His life partner was Frank O'Keefe, who had died the previous year.

Nicholas Dante (1941 – 1991), US. Dancer, Author
American dancer and writer, best known for the musical A Chorus Line, which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The story of Paul, the homosexual Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Dante himelf.

Peter Adair (1943 – 1996) US. Director / Artist
Filmmaker and artist, best known for his pioneering documentary, Word Is Out. The film, the first of its kind to present gays and lesbians in a positive light, was a critical hit nationwide. It was as much a vital part of his own coming out process as it was an attempt to show gays and lesbians in a very human and non-sensational manner.

Billy Jean King (1943 – ) US. Tennis
Life Magazine named Billie Jean King one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century." A tennis champion and an outspoken advocate for gender equality in sports, King has become an icon and legend for her contributions to the advancement of women's sports.
An outspoken advocate against sexism in sports, King hoped "to use sports for social change." In 1973, King became the first woman to defeat a former male Wimbledon Champion in "The Battle of the Sexes." The Women's Tennis Association named King its first president that same year.
She was married for 22 years and struggled for a long time with her sexuality. Since coming out in 1988, she has helped further the visibility and inclusion of the GLBT community.

Art Sullivan (1950 – ), Belgian. Singer
Belgian singer.He was successful in many countries, including Belgium, France, Portugal and Germany.

Horse McDonald (1958 – ), UK. Singer, Musician
Scottish female singer-songwriter. She has a wide following in the United Kingdom, including many lesbian fans, has toured with Tina Turner and secured several record chart hits in Europe.

Christopher Ciccone (1960 –  ), US. Artist,Screenwriter, Director
Artist, film director, artistic director, dancer, best selling author, and interior and furniture designer. He is the younger brother of Madonna.

Stephen Hough (1961 – ), UK / Australian. Pianist, Composer, Author
British-born classical pianist, composer and writer.  Hough performs as a recitalist and chamber musician, and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras around the world. In addition to his career as a performer, he is also a music teacher and a composes.

He joined the Roman Catholic Church when he was 19. He has written about his homosexuality and its relationship with both his music-making and his religion.

Rickard Engfors (1976 – ), Swedish. Drag Queen, Model, Entertainer
Swedish drag queen, model, and stylist.
His career began in 1996 as an artist in Swedish drag troupe After Dark and he was quickly appointed to "Christer Lindarws crown prince" and was also known as "Sweden's best looking girl". He has performed for royalty, won awards for his artistic efforts and shared the stage with many of Sweden's most beloved artists.
In 2004 the Swedish fashion house Panos Emporio chose Rickard as its house model for a swimwear range, which caused so much controversy that it was re-shot using a Greek model called Aleka

Yves Steinhauer (1976 – ), Canadian, Luxembourg. Singer
Lead singer for "Marilyn's Boys", the first openly gay boy band in Germany. Born in Luxembourg, he later lived in the US, and Canada, then Germany.

Lucian Dunareanu (1977 – ), Romanian. Activist, Editor
Romanian gay rights activist and the executive director of Be An Angel Romania, an LGBT rights organisation based in Cluj-Napoca.Dunareanu is the owner of the Toxice musical group, which is the first professional drag queen band in Romania

Alasdair Duncan (1982 –  ), Australian. Author, Journalist
Author and journalist, based in Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. He is a section editor at weekly music magazine Rave.

Pedro Marin (1961 – ) Spanish 
Singer / Actor / Presenter

Died this day

Friedrich Alfred Krupp (1854 - 1902), German. Businessman
German industrialist, of the Krupp steel manufacturering company, taking over the leadership of his father's company in 1887. He committed suicide in 1902, a week after the Social Democratic magazine Vorwärts claimed in an article that Friedrich Alfred Krupp was homosexual, and that he had a number of liaisons with local boys and men.

Rose Cleveland (1846 - 1918 ) US. First Lady
First Lady during the first of her brother, U.S. President Grover Cleveland's two administrations. She was the sister (not the wife) of President Cleveland. When her elder brother won the presidency, she became first lady and lived in the White House for two years.
When President Cleveland married Frances Folsom, Rose resigned and began a career in education. At age 44, she started a lesbian relationship with a wealthy widow, Evangeline Simpson, with explicitly erotic correspondence. However things cooled off when Evangeline married an Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota, Henry Benjamin Whipple. By 1910, he died and the two women rekindled their relationship and eventually moved to Bagni di Lucca, Italy to live there together.

Lorenz Hart (1895 - 1943), US. Lyricist
Lyricist half of the famed Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. He "had a remarkable talent for polysyllabic and internal rhymes", and his lyrics have often been praised for their wit and technical sophistication.
For years Hart was a bachelor and lived with his widowed mother. He suffered from alcoholism. He would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time on alcoholic binges. Hart died in New York City of pneumonia from exposure on November 22, 1943, after drinking heavily.