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Thursday, 6 February 2014

February 6th in Queer History

Born this day

Ramon Novarro (1899 – 1968) Mexican
Mexican leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was regarded as 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.

Donald Friend (1915 –  1989) Australian
Artist, writer and diarist. Much of Friend's life and career were spent outside Australia, in places as diverse as Nigeria, Italy, Sri Lanka, and Bali .
Friend made "no attempt to disguise the homoeroticism which underlay much of his work", despite winning the Blake Prize for religious art in 1955. Nor did he mince words about his sexual preferences, depicting himself in his journal as "a middle-aged pederast who's going to seed".
Friend also published a number of illustrated books, almost all in limited editions, which displayed the same wit and sensuality that informs much of his art.

Arthur Gold  (1990 - 1917 ) US
Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale were an American two-piano ensemble; they were also authors and television cooking show hosts.
Gold and Fizdale met during their student years at the Juilliard School. They formed a lifelong personal and professional partnership based on their common interests of music (forming one of the most important piano duos of the 20th century), travel and cooking.

Lionel Blue (1930 – ) UK
British Reform rabbi, journalist and broadcaster. He was the first British rabbi publicly to declare his homosexuality.
He is best known for his longstanding and respected work with the media, most notably the wry and gentle sense of humour on "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He is also widely respected in the UK as a journalist, cook and author.

Adam Faust (1974 – ) US
Porn / Store Owner

Died this day

August Kopisch (1799 - 1853) German
Poet and painter.

James Merrill (1926 - 1995) US
Poet,whose awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1977) for Divine Comedies.
The Black Swan, a collection of poems Merrill's Amherst professor (and lover) Kimon Friar published privately in Athens, Greece in 1946, was printed in just one hundred copies when Merrill was 20 years old. Merrill's first mature work, The Black Swan is Merrill's scarcest title and considered one of the 20th century's most collectible literary rarities. Later,
Merrill's partner of more than four decades was David Jackson, also a writer.

Don Dunstan ( 1926 -1999) Australian
South Australian politician, Premier of South Australia from 1967 - 1968, and again from 1970 - 1979.
A reformist, Dunstan brought profound change to South Australian society. His socially progressive administration saw Aboriginal land rights recognised, homosexuality decriminalised and the first female judge appointed.
He was married twice during his political career, but after the death of his second wife and subsequent retirement, he took a male life partner, Stephen Cheng, with whom he opened a restaurant called "Don's Table" in 1994, and with whom he lived until his death.

Sodomy in history, February 6th

1907 — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rules that juveniles are not entitled to a lesser sentence for sodomy.

1918 — Two Oregon prisoners file suit against the sterilization law. One is a Gay man convicted of sodomy. He succeeds in convincing the Eugenics Board to change its position regarding him and the straight prisoner decides to allow himself to be castrated.

1957 — A bill to end the half-century-old ban on probation for sodomy is introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives. It passes committee, but never becomes law.

1991 — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals rules that a sodomy defendant can not demand an inquiry into the sex practices of his partner to determine if he is an accomplice.


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