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Friday, 4 January 2013

January 4th in Queer History

Born this day

Marsden Hartley (1877 – 1943) US
Modernist painter, poet, and essayist. Known as "the painter of Main", Hartley was also among a handful of gay and lesbian artists who came to define the delicate balance between the poetic and the erotic in the early days of the American avant-garde.
In 1913, Hartley visited Berlin and Munich, where he met artists Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky, and formed a close friendship with a young German soldier named Karl von Freyburg. Hartley's famous Portrait of a German Officer (1914) includes abstracted versions of von Freyburg's initials and his own. The painting, in which military regalia is arranged to suggest a body, is both a memorial to Hartley's friend and an expression of forbidden desire. From the late 1930's, Hartley again took up painting male figures, notably including Christ Held by Half-Naked Men (1940-41) and Adelard the Drowned, Master of the "Phantom" (1938-1939). In 1969, writing in the New York Times, Hilton Kramer praised Hartley's portraits as "the boldest paintings of male figures in the history of American art."  

Joel Dorius (1919 –  2006) US
Professor of literature caught in a pornography scandal and forced out by Smith College in 1960 only to be exonerated in a celebrated case of sexual McCarthyism.

Gianni Vattimo (1936 – ) Italian
Author, philosopher,many of whose works have been translated into English. Between 1999 and 2004 he was a member of the European Parliament. In 2004, after leaving the party of the Democrats of the Left, he endorsed Marxism.

Michael Stipe (1960 – ) US
Singer,lyricist and visual artist. He was the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band R.E.M.

Craig Revel Horwood (1965 - ) Australian/ UK
Dancer, choreographer, and theatre director. Judge for the British Television show, "Strictly Come Dancing".

Chris Kanyon (1970 –  2010) US
Professional wrestler, best known for his work in World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, under the ring names Chris Kanyon and Mortis.
In 2006, after Kanyon's release from WWE, he began a gimmick in which he was an openly homosexual pro wrestler. This included a publicity stunt wherein he stated that WWE released him from his contract because of his sexuality. Kanyon later told reporters and even stated on a number of radio interviews, that this was just a publicity stunt and he was heterosexual. However, he later retracted these statements and acknowledged that he was in fact homosexual

Kaj Hasselriis (1974 – ) Canadian
Journalist, community activist and politician.

Died this day

Forrest Reid (1875 - 1947) UK
Author / Literary Critic / Translator

Christopher Isherwood (1904 - 1986) UK / US

Mason Flynt  (1960 - 2002) US

Steve Walker (1961?  - 2012)
A self-taught artist who began painting after an inspirational trip to Europe when he was 25.

For his subjects, he chose to paint gay men, depicting the struggles and joys the gay community lived through in his lifetime, from the ongoing struggle for sexual liberation to the devastation wrought by HIV and AIDS.

Walker: The Cleaners

Sodomy in history, January 4th

1919 — New York City police raid the Everard baths and arrest 10 men for sexual activity.

1921 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds the nuisance conviction of a man for operating a Gay bath house.

1977 — A bill to reinstate sodomy as a crime in Indiana is introduced into the House. It is defeated in a committee by a vote of 6-4.

1984 — Illinois repeals its "lewd fondling or caress" law, more than two decades after repealing its sodomy law.

1993 — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals finds that the solicitation and touching of an undercover police officer constitutes "disorderly conduct" under state law.

1997 — A British tabloid accuses Conservative M.P. Jerry Hayes of having an affair in 1991 with a then-18-year-old male. At the time, 18 was under the age of consent.


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