person:gay wisdom

  • THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY NOVEMBER 20 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    November 20, 2012

    / / | \ \ | / / | \ \
    GAY WISDOM for Daily Living…

    from White Crane a magazine exploring
    Gay wisdom & culture

    Share this with your friends…
    \ \ | / / | \ \ | / /



    TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE (since 1999) set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice (transphobia). The event is held on November 20, founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco, California candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in hundreds of cities around the world.

    1858 – SELMA LAGERLÖF, Swedish author, Nobel laureate (d. 1940); Swedish author and the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Known internationally for a story for children, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, in 1909 Selma Lagerlöf won the Nobel ”in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings.” In 1914 she also became a member of the Swedish Academy, the body that awards the Nobel Prize in literature. At the start of World War II, she sent her Nobel Prize medal and her gold medal from the Swedish Academy to the government of Finland to help them raise money to fight the Soviet Union. The Finnish government was so touched that it raised the necessary money by other means and returned her medal to her. Her first novel, The Story of Gösta Berling, was adapted into an internationally acclaimed motion picture starring Greta Garbo.

    She lived in Sunne, where two hotels are named after her. Her home, Mårbacka, is now preserved as a museum. She wrote a copious amount of letters to her two partners, Sophie Elkan and Valborg Olander.

    1873 – DANIEL GREGORY MASON, American composer, born (d: 1953); Mason came from a long line of notable American musicians, including his father Henry Mason. He studied under John Knowles Paine at Harvard University from 1891 to 1895, continuing his studies with George Chadwick and Goetschius. In 1894 he published his Opus 1, a set of keyboard waltzes, but soon after began writing on music for his primary career. He became a lecturer at Columbia University in 1905, where he would remain until his retirement in 1942, successively being awarded the positions of assistant professor (1910), MacDowell professor (1929) and head of the music department (1929-1940). He was the lover of composer-pianist John Powell.

    1910 – The American civil rights advocate, lawyer, poet and teacher and the first ordained African-American woman ordained as a priest PAULI MURRAY was born on this date (d. 1985). The Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray was an American civil rights advocate, feminist, lawyer, writer, poet, teacher, and ordained priest was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1910, to William H. and Agnes Georgiana (Fitzgerald) Murray. When Pauli Murray was three years old, her mother died, and she went to live with her aunt and maternal grandparents, the Fitzgeralds, in Durham, North Carolina. Pauli graduated from Hunter College, and in 1938 was denied admission into the University of North Carolina law school because of her race. She later entered Howard University Law School and graduated in 1944. She sought admission to Harvard University for an advanced law degree but was denied admission because she was a woman. She then studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Masters of Law degree.

    A contemporary and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, she was a professor of American studies at Brandeis University from 1968 to 1973. She was the author of the 1950 book “States’ Laws on Race and Color,” which catalogued state statutes discriminating against African Americans, Native Americans, Asians and other groups.

    Murray was one of the founders of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first legal periodical to focus exclusively on women’s rights.

    Pauli Murray contributed to the NAACP’s litigation strategy in Brown v. Board of Education and in 1961 she was appointed to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. While serving on the commissions and studying at Yale Law School (where she was the first African American to earn a J.S.D.) Murray authored a series of papers outlining a legal strategy for challenging sex discrimination by states. These arguments were first published in an article co-authored with Mary Eastwood after the passage of Title VII entitled “Jane Crow and the Law.” [2]

    She testified on discrimination against women before the 91st Congress of the United States.[3] She was the first African-American woman Episcopal priest and a co-founder of NOW, the National Organization for Women.

    Pauli Murray died of cancer on July 1, 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her autobiography Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage was published posthumously in 1987. In 1990, the Pauli Murray Human Relations Award was established in her honor to commemorate her life work.

    1926 – KAYE BALLARD, American comic actress, born; an actress who has appeared on Broadway and on television. From 1967 to 1969, she co-starred in the NBC sitcom, The-Mothers-in-Law, with Eve Arden. In 2005, she appeared in a road company production of Nunsense, which was written by Dan Goggin. She has never married.

    1941 – The man who saved a President’s life was born today OLIVER SIPPLE saved President Gerald Ford’s life. Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, just seventeen days after Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme had also tried to kill the president. Moore was forty feet away from Ford when she fired a single shot at him. The bullet missed the President because bystander Oliver Sipple grabbed Moore’s arm and then pulled her to the ground, using his hand to keep the gun from firing a second time. Sipple said at the time: “I saw [her gun] pointed out there and I grabbed for it. I lunged and grabbed the woman’s arm and the gun went off.” The single shot which Moore did manage to fire from her .38-caliber revolver ricocheted off the entrance to the hotel and slightly injured a bystander.

    Sipple, a decorated Marine and Vietnam War veteran, was immediately commended by the police and the Secret Service for his action at the scene. The news media portrayed Sipple as a hero but would eventually report on his outing by Harvey Milk and other San-Francisco gay activists. Though he was known to be Gay by various fellow members of the gay community, Sipple had not made this public, and his sexual orientation was a secret from his family. He asked the press to keep his sexuality off the record, making it clear that neither his mother nor his employer had knowledge of his orientation; however, his request was not complied with.

    The national spotlight was on him immediately, and Milk responded. While discussing whether the truth about Sipple’s sexuality should be disclosed, Milk told a friend: “It’s too good an opportunity. For once we can show that Gays do heroic things, not just all that ca-ca about molesting children and hanging out in bathrooms.” Milk contacted the newspaper.

    Several days later Herb Caen, a columnist at The San Francisco Chronicle, exposed Sipple as a Gay man and a friend of Milk. Sipple was besieged by reporters, as was his family. His mother, a staunch Baptist in Detroit, refused to speak to him. Although he had been involved with the Gay community for years, even participating in Gay Pride events, Sipple sued the Chronicle for invasion of privacy. President Ford sent Sipple a note of thanks for saving his life. Milk said that Sipple’s sexual orientation was the reason he received only a note, rather than an invitation to the White House.

    Sipple filed a $15 million invasion of privacy suit against Caen, seven named newspapers, and a number of unnamed publishers, for publishing the disclosures. The Superior Court in San Francisco dismissed the suit, and Sipple continued his legal battle until May 1984, when a state court of appeals held that Sipple had indeed become news, and that his sexual orientation was part of the story.

    According to a 2006 article in The Washington Post, Sipple went through a period of estrangement with his parents, but the family later reconciled with his sexual orientation. Sipple’s brother, George, told the newspaper, “(Our parents) accepted it. That was all. They didn’t like it, but they still accepted. He was welcomed. Only thing was: Don’t bring a lot of your friends.”

    Sipple’s mental and physical health sharply declined over the years. He drank heavily, gained weight to 300 lb (140 kg), was fitted with a pacemaker, became paranoid and suicidal. On February 2, 1989, he was found dead in his bed, at the age of forty-seven. Earlier that day, Sipple had visited a friend and said he had been turned away by the Veterans Administration hospital where he went concerning his difficulty in breathing. His $334 per month apartment near San Francisco’s Tenderloin District was found with many newspaper clippings of his actions on the fateful September afternoon in 1975. His most prized possession was the framed letter from the White House.

    Sipple held no ill will toward Milk, and remained in contact with him. The incident brought him so much attention that, later in life, while drinking, he would regret grabbing Moore’s gun. Sipple, who was wounded in the head in Vietnam, was also diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic according to the coroner’s report.

    Sipple’s funeral was attended by 30 people, and he was buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. A letter addressed to the friends of Oliver Sipple was on display for a short period after his death at one of his favorite hangouts, the New Belle Saloon:

    “Mrs. Ford and I express our deepest sympathy in this time of sorrow involving your friend’s passing…” President Gerald Ford, February, 1989

    In a 2001 interview with columnist Deb Price, Ford disputed the claim that Sipple was treated differently because of his sexual orientation, saying: “As far as I was concerned, I had done the right thing and the matter was ended. I didn’t learn until sometime later — I can’t remember when — he was Gay. I don’t know where anyone got the crazy idea I was prejudiced and wanted to exclude Gays.”


  • THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY NOVEMBER 19 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    November 19, 2012

    / / | \ \ | / / | \ \
    GAY WISDOM for Daily Living…

    from White Crane a magazine exploring
    Gay wisdom & culture

    Share this with your friends…
    \ \ | / / | \ \ | / /



    1828 – FRANZ SCHUBERT, died; TheAustrian, classical composer, born (1797) as Franz Peter Schubert in Vienna was, arguably, one of the great masters of 19th century classical music. Not much about Schubert’s life would immediately suggest anything resembling a modern gay man. But so what? An entire book in 1998 by musicologist and theorist, Lawrence Kramer, Schubert: Sexuality, Subjectivity, Song, is, if not entirely devoted to the subject, addresses it at length with chapter titles like: The Ganymede Complex: Schubert’s Songs and the Homoerotic Imagination, and Mermaid Fantasies: Schubert’s Trout and the “wish to be woman.” No, seriously. As NY Times writer, Edward Rothstein wrote in 1992:

    “By the end of the all-day symposium on Schubert at the 92d Street Y … the audience was getting feisty. The last two hours of discussion on “Schubert the Man: Myth vs. Reality,” were concerned with Schubert’s possible homosexuality. The historical evidence was made available throughout the weeklong Schubertiade festival in a carefully argued 1989 paper by Maynard Solomon. … The second movement of the “Unfinished” Symphony had been analyzed to show its possible homosexual character by the feminist musicologist Susan McClary. And the “marginalization” of Schubert in 1820′s Viennese society had been debated by the panel.

    So by the evening’s end, comments were getting more heated. One frustrated listener asserted that “heterosexuals are more repressed than homosexuals.” Another, speaking with irony, asked whether the fact that Schubert was a “short, fat man” had affected the way he wrote music.

    On the stage, a few of the seven panelists exchanged barbs as well. But controversy was to be expected; this type of discussion is among the most important of our time; musical analysis is becoming less abstract, and critical interpretation steadily draws the most innocent of compositions into the hothouse world of contemporary politics. Crucial questions were raised, though not satisfactorily addressed: Is there any musical importance to a composer’s homosexuality? Can we generalize about homosexual taste? If so, do we risk imposing contemporary notions on a different era?

    The only thing agreed upon, probably, was that Schubert’s personality is not well understood. As for me, I sat through most of Sunday’s talks with a consistent mixture of interest and strong disagreement. Joseph Horowitz, who planned [the 1992] festival, began by summarizing the ambition of the Schubertiade itself. Schubert, he argued, has been trivialized; he has been turned into an innocent, sweet-tempered melodist. But his early music was actually “daring” and “extreme,” Mr. Horowitz said, and he was a promiscuous homosexual who died of syphilis.“

    Aren’t we really saying something like, “If you have to ask…”?

    1889 – CLIFTON WEBB (d: 1966) was an American actor, dancer and singer born Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck in a rural part of Marion County, Indiana, which would, in 1906, become Beech Grove, a self-governing city entirely surrounded by Indianapolis. Webb’s parents were Jacob Grant Hollenbeck, the son of a grocer from a multi-generational Indiana farming family, and Mabelle A. Parmelee, the daughter of a railroad conductor. In 1892, Webb’s formidable mother, Mabelle, moved to New York City with her beloved “little Webb,” as she called him for the remainder of her life. She dismissed questions about her husband Jacob, a ticket clerk who, like her father, worked for the Indianapolis-St. Louis Railroad, by saying, “We never speak of him. He didn’t care for the theater.”

    Webb was in his mid-fifties when actor/director Otto Preminger chose him over the objections of 20th Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck to play the classy, but evil, radio columnist Waldo Lydecker, who is obsessed with Gene Tierney’s character in the 1944 film noir, Laura. His performance was showered with acclaim and made him an unlikely movie star. Despite Zanuck’s original objection, Webb was immediately signed to a long-term contract with Fox. Two years later he was reunited with Tierney (with whom he shares this birthdate) in another highly praised role as the elitist Elliott Templeton in Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge (1946). He received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for both. Webb received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1949 for Sitting Pretty, the first in a three-film series of comedic Mr. Belvedere features with Webb portraying the snide and omniscient central character.

    Webb’s elegant taste kept him on Hollywood’s best-dressed lists for decades. Even though he exhibited comically foppish mannerisms in portraying Mr. Belvedere and other movie characters, his scrupulous (read “deeply closeted, highly repressed”) private life kept him free of scandal. The character of Lynn Belvedere is said to have been very close to his real life — he had an Oedipal devotion to his mother Mabelle, who was his companion and who lived with him until her death at age ninety-one. Webb’s mourning for his mother continued for a year with no signs of letting up, prompting Noël Coward to remark of Webb, “It must be terrible to be orphaned at 71.”

    Among the many stories, once, he and Tallulah Bankhead were smitten with the same handsome Austrian army officer and vied for the uniformed stud’s favors. While Tallulah did her stuff vamping him, Webb retreated for a moment, and returned with an armload of roses. To Tallulah’s amusement and the officer’s shock, Webb danced around the man and began pelting him with flowers. Tallulah won.

    1942 – CALVIN KLEIN, American clothing designer, born; Calvin Richard Klein was born in The Bronx to Jewish-Hungarian immigrant parents. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts and matriculated, but never graduated, from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, receiving an honorary Doctorate at the graduation ceremony in 2003. He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an old-line cloak-and-suit manufacturer, and spent five years designing at other New York shops. He later launched his first company with a childhood friend, Barry K. Schwartz.

    Klein was one of several design leaders raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, New York along with Robert Denning and Ralph Lauren. Cal became a protégé of the ever-so-flaming editor of Town & Country Baron de Gunzburg, through whose introductions he became the toast of the New York elite fashion scene, even before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. Later, speaking in an interview with Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol for Interview magazine, published shortly after the Baron’s death, Klein said: “He was truly the greatest inspiration of my life… he was my mentor, I was his protégé. If you talk about a person with style and true elegance — maybe I’m being a snob, but I’ll tell you, there was no one like him. I used to think, boy, did he put me through hell sometimes, but boy, was I lucky. I was so lucky to have known him so well for so long.” Calvin Klein was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week. Klein was hailed as the new Yves Saint-Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines.

    His wildly homoerotic advertisements transformed the men’s fashion advertising and fashion industry. Married twice, he has never actually come out. But come on…does anyone really think this man is heterosexual? Even a little?

    1953 – THOMAS LOUIS VILLARD (d: 1994) was an American actor best known for his television role in the 1980s series We Got It Made as Jay Bostwick. His best known film role was in the 1986 film One Crazy Summer, as Clay Stork. He also starred in the 1991 horror film, Popcorn, and the 1992 movie Shakes the Clown with his One Crazy Summer” co-stars Joel Murray and Bob Goldthwait. Villard also appeared in the 1994 comedy movie In The Army Now.

    Villard made numerous guest appearances on TV shows as well and was a panelist on two weeks’ worth of To Tell The Truth in the early ’90s. He was a celebrity guest on Super Password and The Match Game as well as appearances in episodic television on CHiPS, Taxi, The Golden Girls, The A-Team and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Villard was out gay and died of complications of HIV-AIDS November 14, 1994 in L.A..

    1962 – JODIE FOSTER, American actress, born; Foster began acting in commercials at 3 years old, and her first significant role came in the 1976 film Taxi Driver as the preteen prostitute, Iris, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won for Best Actress in 1989 for playing a rape survivor in The Accused. In 1991, she starred in The Silence of the Lambs as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee assisting in a hunt for a serial killer. This performance received international acclaim and her second Academy Award for Best Actress. She received her fourth Academy Award nomination for playing a backwoods hermit in Nell (1994). She has also won three Bafta Awards, two Golden Globes, a Screen Actors Award and a People’s Choice award as well as two Emmy nominations.

    Foster is, as the phrase goes, “intensely private” about certain aspects of her personal life, notably her sexual orientation, which has been the subject of speculation. She has two sons but has never revealed the identity of the children’s father(s).

    In December 2007, Foster made headlines when, during an acceptance speech at Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment” event, she paid tribute to film producer Cydney Bernard, referring to Bernard as “my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss.” Some media interpreted this as Foster coming out, as Bernard was believed to be her girlfriend since both met in 1992 during the filming of Sommersby. Foster and Bernard never attended premieres or award ceremonies together, nor did they ever appear affectionate with one another. Bernard, however, was seen in public with Foster’s children on many occasions. In May, 2008, several news outlets reported that Foster and Bernard had “called it quits. Oh Jody, Jody Jody…are you really going to let Ellen be the “It” Lesbian in town?


  • / / | \ \ | / / | \ \
    GAY WISDOM for Daily Living...

    from White Crane a magazine exploring
    Gay wisdom & culture

    Share this with your friends...
    \ \ | / / | \ \ | / /



    1923 - Poet JAMES SCHUYLER, born, (d: 1991); A native of Chicago, Schuyler moved to New York City in the late 1940s where he worked for NBC and first befriended W.H. Auden. In 1947, he moved to Ischia, Italy, where he lived in the rented Auden’s apartment and worked as Auden’s secretary. Between 1947 and 1948, Schuyler attended the University of Florence.

    After returning to the United States and settling in New York City, he roomed with John Ashberry and Frank O’Hara. From 1955-1961, he was a “curator of circulating exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art.” He was also an editorial associate and critic for Art News. Modern art was a major influence in his writing as well as the writings of Whitman.

    Reading an account of how a visit by Walt Whitman inspired Logan Pearsall Smith to literary ambition in his Unforgotten Years, Schuyler said “I looked up from my book, and the whole landscape seemed to shimmer.” The personal epic of Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and the vital force of landscape become major concerns of Schuyler’s mature poetry.

    Like Whitman, Schuyler was not known for revealing much about his personal life. He was Gay, and because he was manic-depressive, suffered several years of psychoanalysis and had a life that seemed to be riddled with traumatic experiences. One of these includes a"near detah experience" in a fire which was caused by him smoking in bed. Schuyler received the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for his 1980 collection The Morning of the Poem. He also coauthored a novel, A Nest of Ninnies, with John Ashberry in 1969. Shuyler also received the Longview Foundation Award in 1961, and the Frank O’Hara Prize for Poetry in 1969 for Freely Espousing.

    Schuyler was a Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow of the American Academy of Poets. His poem The Morning of the Poem is considered to be among the best long poems of the postmodern era. His papers are maintained at the University of Connecticut.

    1931 – Broadway Brevities probes the long and storied history of Lesbian clubs in New York City with the front page article “Sapphic Sisters, Scram!” as written by “Connie Lingle.” The publication, generally credited as America’s first national weekly gossip tabloid, was launched in New York in 1916 and edited by a Canadian named Stephen G. Clow. Brevities started out covering high society and the A-list of the New York theater world, but by the 1930s had begun covering more general vice and ran splashy features on sex, drugs, gang violence and crime. This was possibly the first time a gossip magazine had made real efforts to attract readers who weren’t members of the elite classes; it didn’t presume its readers had a close familiarity with any given social or professional world. In 1932, New York City banned newsstands from selling the racy tabloid, and it appears to have folded sometime around late 1933.


    1879 – VACHEL LINDSAY, poet, born (d: 1931); His exuberant recitation of some of his work led some critics to compare it to jazz poetry despite his persistent protests. Because of his use of American Midwest themes he also became known as the “Prairie Troubador.” Today, his poetry is no longer fashionable, which is too bad since it contains a rhythmic vitality that has all but gone out of contemporary cerebral poetry He is probably best known for this poetic apostrophe to the Salvation Army in “General William Booth Enters Heaven,” although it is questionable whether he ever made it past the pearly Gates himself, since he not only liked boys too much by ended his days a suicide, both offenses that would remove his verses from today’s suburban libraries if the PTAs only knew.

    In his 40s, Lindsay lost his heart to the dazzlingly good-looking Australian composer and pianist, Percy Grainger, as had the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg before him. Lindsay killed himself (horribly, swallowing Lysol) in 1931, the year before Hart Crane leapt into the sea. His only biography was published during the Eisenhower years, a decade before homosexuality was officially invented. If it took biographers almost a century to acknowledge Whitman’s Gayness, Lindsay should be due for a really serious biography around 2021.

    1892 – Russian designer, ERTÉ, born (d: 1990); born Romain de Tirtoff, Erté is perhaps most famous for his elegant fashion designs which capture the art deco period in which he worked. His delicate figures and sophisticated, glamorous designs are instantly recognizable, and his ideas and art influence fashion into the 21st century. His costumes and sets were featured in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1923, many productions of the Folies Bergere, and George White’s Scandals. In 1925, Louis B. Mayer brought him to Hollywood to design sets and costumes for a film called Paris. There were many script problems so Erté was given other assignments to keep him busy. He designed for such films as Ben-Hur, The Mystic, Time, the Comedian, Dance Madness and La Boheme.

    Erté is virtually synonymous with Art Deco, which is unfortunate as his work represents the extreme of the style and not the style itself. It’s perhaps not an exaggeration to say that Erté’s creations made the most outrageous clothing designed by MGM’s Adrian look like nuns’ habits. Erté’s name can safely be added to that small list of gay male favorites – Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Bette Midler – that either sends one swooning with rapture or jumping for cover behind the nearest sofa.

    1913 - JAMES BROUGHTON poet, poetic filmmaker, and practitioner of “Big Joy,” a pansexual Dionysian approach to life, born. He’s been called the father of the West Coast experimental film movement in the wake of World War II, was part of the San Francisco Renaissance, a literary movement that included Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others. He was an early bard of the Radical Faeries.

    Despite many creative love affairs during the San Francisco Beat Scene, Broughton put off marriage until age 49, when, steeped in his explorations of Jungian psychology, he married Susanna Hart in a three-day ceremony on the Pacific coast documented by his friend, the experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage. Susanna’s theatrical background and personality made for a great playmate; they had two children. They built a great community among the creative spirits of Alan Watts, Michael McClure, Anna Halprin, and Imogen Cunningham.

    In 1967’s “summer of love,” Broughton made a film, The Bed, a celebration of the dance of life which broke taboos against frontal nudity and won prizes at many film festivals. It rekindled Broughton’s filmmaking and led to more tributes to the human body (The Golden Positions), the eternal child (This is It), the eternal return (The Water Circle), the eternal moment (High Kukus), and the eternal feminine (Dreamwood). “These eternalities praised the beauty of humans, the surprises of soul, and the necessity of merriment,” Broughton wrote.

    God and Fuck belong together
    Both are sacred and profane
    God (the Divine) a
    dirty word used for damning
    Fuck (the sublime) a
    dirty term of depredation

    God and Fuck are so much alike
    they might be synonymous glories
    I’d even go so far as to say
    God is the Fuck of all Fucks
    And boy He has a Body
    like you’ve never seen

    from Special Deliveries by James Broughton published by Broken Moon Press

    But Broughton spent the greater part of his life with his life partner, artist, Joel Singer, with whom he made many films and traveled the world.

    He died in May, 1999 with champagne on his lips, in the house in Port Townsend, Washington where he, and Singer, lived for 10 years. Before he died, he said, “My creeping decrepitude has crept me all the way to the crypt.” His gravestone in a Port Townsend cemetery reads, “Adventure — not predicament.” In 2006 White Crane Books published selected writings of Broughton edited by San Francisco poet and radio host, Jack Foley titled ALL: A James Broughton Reader [ISBN 1-59021-020-4] as part of the White Crane Gay Wisdom Series. It is available at

    1924 – PHYLLIS LYON, Lesbian activist, born; Phyllis Lyon was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, earned in 1946. During the 1940s, she worked as a reporter for the Chico Enterprise Record, and during the 1950s, she worked as part of the editorial staff of two Seattle magazines.

    Her name is now almost always paired with that of her partner, Del Martin. Martin and Lyon met in Seattle in 1950 when they began working for the same magazine. They became lovers in 1952 and entered into a formal partnership in 1953 when they moved to San Francisco together although technically unable to legally marry.

    On February 2, 2004, Martin and Lyon were granted the first marriage license given to a same-sex couple in the U.S.. The license was granted in violation of California state law by the City and County of San Francisco after mayor Gavin Newsom ordered that marriage licenses be given to same-sex couples who requested them. The licenses were voided on August 12, 2004.

    In 1955, Martin and Lyon and six other Lesbian women formed the Daughters of Bilitiss, the first major Lesbian organization in the United States. In 1956, DOB issued a twelve-page, mimeographed newsletter called The Ladder, edited by Lyon. Within five years of its origin, the Daughters of Bilitis had chapters around the country, including Chicago, New York, New Orleans, San Diego, Los Angeles, Detroit Denver, Cleveland and Philadelphia. There were 500 subscribers to “The Ladder,” but far more readers, as copies were circulated among women who were reluctant to put their names to a subscription list.

    An acommodationist organization, soon to be closely associated with the Mattachine Society, a predominantly male homophile group, DOB became the first national Lesbian society; and The Ladder, the first overtly Lesbian journal, achieved national circulation. Because of the conservative climate of the 1950s, membership in DOB was secret, and Lyons used a pseudonym for her work on the first few issues of The Ladder. Martin took over editorship of the newsletter from 1960 to 1961, and was then replaced by other editors until the newsletter ended its connection with the Daughters of Bilitis in 1970.

    Lyon and Martin remained leaders of the DOB until the late 1960s, when they were replaced by women who were perceived as more radical and who had different goals for the organization. The Daughters of Bilitis disbanded not long after Martin and Lyon’s leadership ended

    Martin and Lyon have been active in the National Organization for Women (NOW) since 1967. Del Martin was the first openly Lesbian woman elected to NOW. Lyon and Martin worked to combat the homophobia they perceived in NOW, and encouraged the National Board of Directors of NOW’s 1971 resolution that Lesbian issues were feminist issues.


    1872 - Massachusetts Senator David Ignatius Walsh, the chairman of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, Walsh was discovered to be having regular affairs at a male brothel not far from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In The Homosexual Matrix, C.A. Tripp tells the sad story of how the government raided what it called “a male brothel” (a bathhouse, perhaps?) near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Arrested was the manager, Gustave Beekman, who was told he could expect a lighter sentence if he cooperated with the government in naming clients, especially foreign agents who were suspected of blackmailing Gay Navy men in an attempt to gain military secrets. Several foreign agents were, in fact, arrested. Also named as a regular patron of the “house on Pacific Street” was Senator Walsh, chairman of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee. Walsh, whose name was plastered across tabloids for weeks, was cleared by his colleagues in the Senate (something about a “wide stance”) after a favorable report from the FBI. Beekman, whose position was not exactly one of privilege, was tried on sodomy charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison, every day of which was served.

    1950 – The first meeting of the MATTACHINE SOCIETY; As Senator Joseph McCarthy railed against homosexuals in the State Department, Harry Hay, working on the Henry Wallace presidential campaign in 1948, wrote a startling document, declaring homosexuals an oppressed minority. While the idea is widely accepted today, at the time the notion of homosexuals as a minority was considered absurd. But it was this key concept that would eventually bring the Gay and Lesbian rights movement together.

    Harry’s platform for the Wallace campaign was never voted on, but he remained determined to organize homosexuals to fight for their equal rights. Two years later, he met Rudi Gernreich (later to be the noted fashion designer) and together they canvassed beaches in the Los Angeles area known as homosexual gathering places, inviting people to a discussion group about the just released Kinsey Report. In November 1950, Harry showed the plank written for the Wallace campaign to Bob Hull, a student in his Southern California Labor School class. Bob shared the document with two of his friends, Chuck Rowland and Dale Jennings, and on November 11, 1950, the five met for the first time to discuss forming a political group that would later become the Mattachine Society. All of the founding members identified themselves as leftist. The group meets again two days later, on Nov. 13th.

    Given the fearful political climate, Mattachine Society meetings often took place in secret with members using aliases. Like the Communist Party, the organization was organized in a cell structure that was non-centralized so that should a confiscation of records occur only limited information would be available to the authorities.

    Over the course of the next two years, the Mattachine Society worked to organize and increase regional chapters throughout most of Southern California, but it was not until the arrest of member Dale Jennings on police entrapment charges that the Mattachine Society took on its first political battle. Police entrapment was a common form of harassment against homosexuals during that period. Suspects’ names were printed in the newspapers, which caused many to lose their jobs and become estranged from their families. By standing up to defend Jennings, the Mattachine Society not only rose to the defense of one of their members, but also took on the notorious Los Angeles Police Department for its pattern and practice of homosexual harassment.

    1985 — After a year of cold feet, “An Early Frost” airs on NBC. Writers DAN LIPMAN and RON COWEN (later to produce “Sisters” and “Queer as Folk”) attempt to create the first TV movie to deal with both homosexuality and the impact of AIDS on a beleaguered community of Gay men. The suburban Pierson family not only deals with closeted workaholic son Nick’s dual secret (along with the unfaithfulness of his partner Peter), but also the anger, resentment and frustrations of mother Kate and sister Susan. While it draws an amazing 1/3 of the viewing audience, the daring broadcast loses NBC about a half million dollars in ad revenue. And while many consider the broadcast a success, others feel the film’s directness stalls nationwide discussion of AIDS, “because it achieved its narrative and informational goals so well.”


  • Today In Gay History THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog


    Gay Wisdom for Daily Living…

    from White Crane Institute
    Exploring Gay Wisdom
    & Culture for over 20 Years!


    Today In Gay History
    Self-portrait by Canova in 1792
    1757 - on this date the Italian sculptor ANTONIO CANOVA was born (d. 1822) When Canova was thirteen, Senator Falier of Venice became his patron and financed his training in sculpting. Falier’s son became Canova’s intimate friend for life. Among his works are some beautiful male nudes statues of Theseus and the Minotaur,Hercules, Palamedes. and a pretty stunning sculpture of a “Greek God” that I’m sure is a favorite at the Vatican.

    1877 - Roger Quilter (d. 1953), was an English composer.
    Born in Hove, Sussex, Quilter was a younger son of Sir William Quilter, 1st Baronet, who was a noted art collector. Quilter was educated at Eton College, later becoming a fellow-student of Percy Grainger, Cyril Scott and Henry Balfour Gardiner at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His reputation in England rests largely on his songs and on his light music for orchestra, such as his Children’s Overture, with its interwoven nursery rhyme tunes, and a suite of music for the play “Where the Rainbow Ends“. He is noted as an influence on several English composers, including Peter Warlock.
    Roger Quilter’s output of songs, more than one hundred in total, added to the canon of English art song that is still sung today.

    Among the most popular are “Love’s Philosophy”, “Come Away Death,” “Weep You No More,” “By the Sea,” and his setting of “O Mistress Mine.” Quilter’s setting of verses from the Tennyson poem “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” is one of his earliest songs but is nonetheless characteristic of the later, mature style.

    In 1936, Quilter’s opera Julia was presented at Covent Garden by the British Music Drama Opera Company under the direction of Vladimir Rosing.

    Quilter enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the tenor Gervase Elwes until the latter’s death in 1921. As a homosexual, he found it difficult to cope with some of the pressures which he felt were imposed upon him, and eventually deteriorated into mental illness after the loss of his nephew during the Second World War.
    He died at his home in St John’s Wood, London, a few months after celebrations to mark his 75th birthday.

    1972 - on this date “That Certain Summer,” an ABC made-for-TV movie starring Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen as lovers was broadcast nationwide. In the film a teenager must deal with his divorced father’s homosexuality. The made-for-tv movie was written by the Emmy-winning writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link (Columbo, Mannix). Hal Holbrook stars as a middle-aged divorced man, whose son played by Scott Jacoby cannot fathom the reason for his parents’ split. During a summer visit (to San Francisco natch), Jacoby meets his father’s much-younger “best friend,” played by Martin Sheen. Holbrook hedges, but finds he can no longer hold back the truth from his son: Sheen is Holbrook’s male lover. Originally telecast on November 1, 1972, That Certain Summer was the first TV film to take a mature and non-remonstrative approach to the subject of homosexuality.

    Thanks to YouTube you can see the episode:
    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    The other parts are linked alongside these on Youtube.

    A low rectangular public monument, with a bust of Wilde’s face built into one raised end, at the other at seat that one straddles to experience being in conversation with Wilde.
    1998 - on this date a statue of Oscar Wilde unveiled in central London.


  • Today In Gay History THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog


    Gay Wisdom for Daily Living…

    from White Crane Institute
    Exploring Gay Wisdom
    & Culture for over 20 Years!


    Today In Gay History
    Self-portrait by Canova in 1792
    1757 - on this date the Italian sculptor ANTONIO CANOVA was born (d. 1822) When Canova was thirteen, Senator Falier of Venice became his patron and financed his training in sculpting. Falier’s son became Canova’s intimate friend for life. Among his works are some beautiful male nudes statues of Theseus and the Minotaur,Hercules, Palamedes. and a pretty stunning sculpture of a “Greek God” that I’m sure is a favorite at the Vatican.

    1877 - Roger Quilter (d. 1953), was an English composer.
    Born in Hove, Sussex, Quilter was a younger son of Sir William Quilter, 1st Baronet, who was a noted art collector. Quilter was educated at Eton College, later becoming a fellow-student of Percy Grainger, Cyril Scott and Henry Balfour Gardiner at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His reputation in England rests largely on his songs and on his light music for orchestra, such as his Children’s Overture, with its interwoven nursery rhyme tunes, and a suite of music for the play “Where the Rainbow Ends“. He is noted as an influence on several English composers, including Peter Warlock.
    Roger Quilter’s output of songs, more than one hundred in total, added to the canon of English art song that is still sung today.

    Among the most popular are “Love’s Philosophy”, “Come Away Death,” “Weep You No More,” “By the Sea,” and his setting of “O Mistress Mine.” Quilter’s setting of verses from the Tennyson poem “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal” is one of his earliest songs but is nonetheless characteristic of the later, mature style.

    In 1936, Quilter’s opera Julia was presented at Covent Garden by the British Music Drama Opera Company under the direction of Vladimir Rosing.

    Quilter enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the tenor Gervase Elwes until the latter’s death in 1921. As a homosexual, he found it difficult to cope with some of the pressures which he felt were imposed upon him, and eventually deteriorated into mental illness after the loss of his nephew during the Second World War.
    He died at his home in St John’s Wood, London, a few months after celebrations to mark his 75th birthday.

    1972 - on this date “That Certain Summer,” an ABC made-for-TV movie starring Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen as lovers was broadcast nationwide. In the film a teenager must deal with his divorced father’s homosexuality. The made-for-tv movie was written by the Emmy-winning writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link (Columbo, Mannix). Hal Holbrook stars as a middle-aged divorced man, whose son played by Scott Jacoby cannot fathom the reason for his parents’ split. During a summer visit (to San Francisco natch), Jacoby meets his father’s much-younger “best friend,” played by Martin Sheen. Holbrook hedges, but finds he can no longer hold back the truth from his son: Sheen is Holbrook’s male lover. Originally telecast on November 1, 1972, That Certain Summer was the first TV film to take a mature and non-remonstrative approach to the subject of homosexuality.

    Thanks to YouTube you can see the episode:
    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    The other parts are linked alongside these on Youtube.

    A low rectangular public monument, with a bust of Wilde’s face built into one raised end, at the other at seat that one straddles to experience being in conversation with Wilde.
    1998 - on this date a statue of Oscar Wilde unveiled in central London.


  • This Weekend In Gay History FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    This Weekend In Gay History FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
    October 26, 2012

    Gay Wisdom for Daily Living…

    from White Crane Institute
    Exploring Gay Wisdom
    & Culture for over 20 Years!


    This Weekend In Gay History
    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2012

    1900 - on this date the Swedish writer, translator and poet, KARIN BOYE was born in Gothenburg. She studied at Uppsala University from 1921 to 1926 and debuted in 1922 with a collection of poems, “Clouds” (Sw. “Moln“). During her time in Uppsala and until 1930, Boye was a member of the socialist group Clarto. Boye is perhaps most famous for her poems, of which the most well-known ought to be “Yes, of course it hurts” and “In Motion” from her collections of poems “The Hearths“, 1927, and “For the Sake of the Tree“, 1935. She was also a member of the Swedish literary institution Samfundet De Nio (“Chair Number 6″) from 1931 until her death in 1941.

    In 1931 Boye, together with Erik Mesterton and Josef Riwkin, founded the poetry magazine Spektrum, introducing T. S. Eliot and the Surrealists to Swedish readers. Together with the critic Erik Mesterton, she translated Eliot’s “The Waste Land”. She was largely responsible for translating the work of T. S. Eliot into Swedish.

    Between 1929 and 1932 Boye was married to Leif Bjrck. The marriage was apparently a friendship union. In 1932, after separating from her husband, she had a Lesbian relationship with Gunnel Bergstram, who left her husband, poet Gunnar Ekelöf, for Boye. During a stay in Berlin 1932-1933 she met Margot Hanel, whom she lived with for the rest of her life, and referred to as “her wife.”

    Boye was given two very different epitaphs. The best-known is the poem “Dead Amazon” by the poet Hjalmar Gullberg, in which she is depicted as “Very dark and with large eyes”. Another poem was written by her close friend Ebbe Linde and is entitled “Dead Friend”. Here, she is depicted not as a heroic amazon but as an ordinary human, small and grey in death, released from battles and pain.

    In 2004, one of the branches of the Uppsala University Library was named the Karin Boye Library (Karin Boye-biblioteket) in her honor. The literary association Karin Boye-sällskapet (the Karin Boye Society) was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to contributing to keeping Karin Boye’s work alive spreading it among new readers.

    1946 - today’s the birthday of Puerto-Rican Transgender actress and former Warhol superstar HOLLY WOODLAWN. Born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she appeared in Warhol’s movies Trash(1970) and Women in Revolt (1972). Her transformation was summarized by Lou Reed in his iconic song “Walk on the Wild Side”:
    “Holly came from Miami FLA, / hitch-hiked her way across the USA, / plucked her eyebrows on the way, / shaved her legs, and then he was a she…”

    Woodlawn adopted the name Holly as an homage to the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and in 1969 added the surname from a sign she saw on an episode of I Love Lucy. After changing her name she began to tell people she was the Heiress to the Woodlawn Cemetery. After Warhol’s death, she was a frequently requested commentator on his life and influence. She currently resides in West Hollywood. Woodlawn began performing in cabaret shows in sold-out New York and Los Angeles performances in the early 2000s. She continues to travel with her cabaret show, most recently appearing in Krakow and London in 2008.

    1953 - today’s the birthday of B-52′s multi-instrumentalist and songwriter KEITH STRICKLAND. Born in Athens, Georgia he was one of the founding members of the The B-52′s. He was originally the band’s drummer, but moved to guitar after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. Strickland also plays keyboards on many of The B-52′s recordings, and has occasionally provided backing vocals.

    1971 - today’s the birthday of American actor, writer and singer ANTHONY RAPP. Born in Joliet, Illinois, as Anthony Dean Rapp, his brother is the playwright Adam Rapp. He’s best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent in 1996 and later for reprising the role in the film version and The Broadway Tour of Rent in 2009. He also performed the role of Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Rapp is currently touring the U.S.A. with Rent and will also be in Japan and South Korea.
    Rapp, a self-identified “queer,” is an advocate in show business for LGBT rights, having first come out as Bisexual at the age of 18 to his mother over the phone. In 2006, Rapp released a memoir about his days in RENT, as well as his mother’s struggle with cancer and his experiences growing up, entitled Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent. The memoir was made into a stage production

    2001 - on this date the American writer, cartoonist and illustrator, KRIS KOVICK died of breast cancer. Her books include What I Love about Lesbian Politics is Arguing with People I Agree With, How Would You Feel if Your Dad was Gay?, and Glibquips: Funny Words by funny Women.

    Kovick was born in Fresno, California and attended California State University in the early 1970s, moved to Seattle for five years, and then settled in San Francisco in 1980. In San Francisco, she lived in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, where she became known as “The Mayor of Norwich Street”, a take-off on assassinated San Francisco gay activist Harvey Milk’s nickname “The Mayor of Castro Street.” She was the first woman to become a member of the printing trade union in the Pacific Northwest.

    Kovick was well known as a cartoonist in Lesbian and feminist publications. Her book of essays and cartoons, “What I Love About Lesbian Politics Is Arguing With People I Agree With“, was published in 1991 by Alyson Books. Her writings and cartoons were also published in such anthologies as “Glibquips: Funny Words by Funny Women,” and in LGBT publications such as theSan Francisco Bay Times and Gay Comics. Kovick was friends with other writers and cartoonists such as sex columnist Susie Bright, and cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the artist behind the popular “Dykes to Watch Out For” series who memorialized Kovick in cartoon form in 2008.

    Kovick was also known as a writer and performer. She is credited with launching the Lesbian spoken-word scene in San Francisco. She toured nationally with Sister Spit, a group of women writers that also included such well-regarded authors as Michelle Tea, Eileen Myles, and Lynn Breedlove. In 2000, she founded a reading series at the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, called “San Francisco in Exile.” Selected performances from the San Francisco in Exile series are archived on the internet.

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2012

    1848 - the English author and poet KATHERINE HARRIS BRADFORD, (and the other half of Edith Emma Cooper) was born on this date. Bradford wrote poetry and plays under the joint pseudonym “Michael Field.” Katharine called Edith “Henry” and Edith called Katherine “Michael” and for the rest of their lives they were known to each other and to their friends by these names. Where the name “Field” came from is anybody’s guess. Among their closest friends were Royal Academy painter, Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, who lived together near them in a relationship comparable to their own. The poems of “Michael Field” are rich in love lyrics to women, and they were well received until it was discovered that the “male” poet was in fact two women. From that time on their work was treated by ever-increasing coldness by the literary world.

    Of course, many people knew the identity of “Michael Field” from the beginning, including Robert Browning, who was a friend. But even Browning asked for an explanation when Long Ago, based on fragments from Sappho, appeared in 1889. Their friendship with Browning is telling. The Brownings wrote their poetry separately. The two women, on the other hand, wrote theirs jointly, believing themselves to be “two bodies joined as one.” The contrast was not lost on “Michael Field.: “These two poets, man and wife, wrote alone; each wrote, but did not bless and quicken one another at their work; we are closer married.”

    1903 - on this date in an article in the German publication Die Zeit, Sigmund Freud was quoted as saying homosexuals are not sick and should not be treated as sick.

    1911 - on this date the photographer MARCEY JACOBSON was born (d. 2009). She spent decades in the southern Mexican highlands documenting the lives of the indigenous Indian peoples. Ms. Jacobson was eking out a living in New York City doing mechanical drafting when she first visited San Cristobal in 1956, intending only a short stay. Instead she found a place she called “the solution to everything,” and, with her companion, Janet Marren, a painter, settled there for the rest of her life.

    She took up photography with a borrowed Rolleiflex camera. Patiently exploring the colorful city, the central marketplace for the Mayan-speaking Indian villages of the region, she won the trust of the often camera-shy locals and taught herself the craft of making black-and-white pictures from what she saw in its cobblestone streets and muddy byways, in its dramatic landscapes and weather events, and perhaps most of all, in the faces of the inhabitants. Her portraits were haunting. The results, about 14,000 negatives produced mostly from the 1960s to the 1980s, describe the local daily life, its mercantile, religious and familial rites, in sensitive detail. The images are housed in the Na Bolom Museum in San Cristobal.

    Most of Ms. Jacobson’s work preceded the Zapatista revolution of 1994, when San Cristobal was one of the cities briefly seized by leftist forces demanding better treatment for Mexico’s indigenous people. But what the photos frequently reveal are the tensions inherent in an ingrained caste system and the changes in a city and a society undergoing modernization.

    In 2001, when she was 90, her work was at last widely recognized; 75 of her photos were collected in a book, “The Burden of Time”/”El Cargo del Tiempo,” printed in a bilingual edition by Stanford University Press.

    “I love being locked up all alone in a darkroom, where nobody can get at me,” Ms. Jacobson said in a 1990 interview published in 2006 in Bridges, a Jewish feminist journal. “You take a negative, you put it in the enlarger, you expose a piece of lined paper, you put it in the developer. It’s absolutely blank. But then it develops, and you watch it, the image floats up to you. And then — you re-experience what you experienced when you took the photograph.”

    In 2009 she died in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, in the state of Chiapas. She was 97.

    1950 - today’s the birthday of American author and humorist FRAN LEBOWITZ. Born Frances Ann Lebowitz in Morristown, New Jersey, Lebowitz is best known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York sensibilities. Some reviewers have called her a modern day Dorothy Parker.

    After being expelled from high school and receiving a GED, Lebowitz worked many odd jobs before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. This was followed by a stint at Mademoiselle. Her first book was a collection of essays titled Metropolitan Life, released in 1978, followed by Social Studies in 1981, both of which are collected (with a new introductory essay) in The Fran Lebowitz Reader.

    For more than twenty years she has been famous in part for not writing Exterior Signs of Wealth, a long-overdue novel purportedly about rich people who want to be artists, and artists who want to be rich. She also made several appearances on Late Night With David Letterman during the early part of its run. Â Lebowitz also made recurring appearances as “Judge Janice Goldberg” on the television drama Law & Order.

    In September 2007, Lebowitz was named one of the year’s most stylish women in Vanity Fair‘s 68th Annual International Best-Dressed List, and is known to sport tailored suits by the Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard. On November 17, 2010 Fran made a return appearance on Late Night With David Letterman after a 16-year absence. She discussed her years-long writer’s block, which she jokingly referred to as “writer’s blockade.” On November 22, 2010, HBO debuted a documentary about her entitled Public Speaking, directed by Martin Scorsese, that consisted of interviews and clips from speaking engagements. Â You should look for it — it’s a hilarious documentary about a very witty intellect.

    1951 - on this date the French postal service issued postage stamps with Gay lovers Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.

    1970 - on this date forty members of the Gay Activist Alliance invaded the New York offices of Harper‘s magazine to protest an article which presented homosexuality as a mental illness. GAA president Arthur Evans verbally attacked editor Midge Decter for publishing an article which would add to the suffering of homosexuals. The protest led to a three part television news series on Gay liberation.

    1971 - on this date the film “Some of My Best Friends Are…” was released with the description: “It’s Christmas Eve 1971 in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and the regulars of the local gay bar “The Blue Jay” are celebrating. Not much has changed since Stonewall and its not all “Peace on Earth. Good Will to Men” but the times are a changin.” Â An American International production, the film was written and directed by Mervyn Nelson and starred Fannie Flagg, future Golden Girl Rue McClanahan, and Candy Darling in a rare dramatic role. Â Gary Sandy (of later “WKRP in Cincinnati” fame) portrays a drugged out, self-loathing closet case who attacks Darling’s character and is kicked out of the club by the angered patrons. Â The film is now regularly shown at Gay film festivals as “the film you love to hate” but at the time it was thought of us a rare portrayal of life in gay bars of the era. Â You can watch a few clips of it on youtube here:

    1977 - on this date in a meeting between the Quebec Human Rights Commission and representatives of Gay group ADGQ resulted in public recommendation that government amend Human Rights Charter to include sexual orientation.

    1990 - on this date the U.S. CONGRESS repealed a law barring homosexuals from being admitted to the United States on grounds of mental illness.

    1992 - on this date the Federal Court of Canada ordered the military to lift the ban on Gay and Lesbian service personnel. The Defense Department declined to appeal the decision.

    Allen schindler.jpg
    1992 - On this date US Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is brutally murdered by shipmates for being Gay, precipitating first military, then national debate about Gays in the military that resulted in the United States “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy. Schindler was from a Navy family in Chicago Heights, Illinois and was serving as a radioman on the amphibious assault ship USS Belleau Wood in Sasebo, Japan. According to friends of his, Schindler had complained repeatedly of anti-Gay harassment to his chain of command in March and April 1992, citing incidents such as the gluing-shut of his locker and frequent comments from shipmates like “There’s a faggot on this ship and he should die.”

    While on transport from San Diego to Sasebo, Japan, The Belleu Wood made a brief stop in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Afterwards en route to Japan, Schindler made a personal prank announcement “2-Q-T-2-B-S-T-R-8″ on secured lines reaching much of the Pacific Fleet. When he was brought before the disciplinary “captain’s mast” for the unauthorized radio message. Schindler requested the hearing be closed. It was open, with two to three hundred people in attendance. Schindler was put on restrictive leave, unable to leave the ship until a few months after arriving to Sasebo and four days before his death.

    The captain had been visited by Schindler, who had many times requested to be transferred to another location because he was being threatened by other shipmates for being Gay. The captain denied Schindler’s request and kept the man’s sexual orientation and his death a secret for months. It was not reported until a special team composed of a psychologist, two lawyers, a counselor, and a corpsman from Yokosuka incidentally met at a bar in Sasebo.

    Airman Apprentice Terry M. Helvey who was a member of the Ship’s weather department stomped Schindler to death in a toilet in a park in Sasebo, Nagasaki. Schindler had “at least four fatal injuries to the head, chest, and abdomen,” his head was crushed, ribs broken, and his penis cut, and he had “sneaker-tread marks stamped on his forehead and chest” destroying “every organ in his body” leaving behind a “nearly-unrecognizable corpse.” Schindler was left lying on the bathroom floor until the Shore Patrol and the key witness to the incident (Jonathan W.) carried out Schindler’s body to the nearby Albuquerque Bridge. Jonathan W. witnessed the murder while using the restroom. He noticed Helvey jumping on Schindler’s body while singing, and blood gushing from Schindler’s mouth while he attempted to breathe. The key witness was requested to explain in detail to the military court what the crime scene looked like, but would not because Schindler’s mother and sister were present in the courtroom.

    After the trial, Helvey was convicted of murder and the captain who kept the incident quiet was demoted and transferred to Florida. Helvey is now serving a life sentence in the military prison at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, although by statute, he is granted a clemency hearing every year. Helvey’s accomplice, Charles Vins, was allowed to plea bargain as guilty to three lesser offenses, including failure to report a serious crime, and to testify truthfully against Terry Helvey and served a 78-day sentence before receiving a general discharge from the Navy.

    1997 - on this date the cable television network BET-TV succumbed to homophobic pressure and withdrew an invitation to Gay African-American activist (and former Clinton administration staffer) KEITH BOYKIN to appear on a show with homophobic fundamentalist gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans. The Winans objected to his presence on the show, which featured their anti-Gay song “It’s Not Natural.” Thus proving their cowardice in refusing to be challenged on their hateful rhetoric.

    1999 - on this date in the provincial government in the Canadian province of Ontario changed 67 statutes to give same-sex couples equal treatment to heterosexual couples.

    1999 - also on this date during the primaries, the two Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley promised that if elected they would do everything in their power to ensure equal rights for Gay and Lesbian Americans. The promise was an unprecedented declaration by a candidate for a party’s nomination. George W. Bush would win the presidential election promising the absolute opposite position on equal rights for Gay and Lesbian Americans and became the first president to publicly call for a constitutional amendment to explicitly take away rights from a class of people. Those people being Gay people. Proving once again that elections do matter.

    2007 - on this date two 16 year-old boyfriends in Davis, California were elected Homecoming “Princes” after a successful write-in campaign at Davis Senior High School. With each boasting a white sash declaring his title as “Prince,” the two 16-year-olds rode through the city of Davis in the school’s annual homecoming parade.

    2009 - on this date the students of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, elected their first ever Transgender homecoming queen. Jessee Vasold, who identified as “genderqueer” took the field at halftime of the school’s football game against James Madison.

    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2012

    1903 - British poet and novelist EVELYN WAUGH was born on this date. The English writer is best known for such satirical and darkly humorous novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust and The Loved One, as well as for broader and more personal works, such as Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honor trilogy, that are influenced by his own experiences and his conservative and Catholic viewpoints. Many of Waugh’s novels depict British aristocracy and high society, which he satirizes but to which, paradoxically, he was also strongly attracted. In addition, he wrote short stories, three biographies, and the first volume of an unfinished autobiography. His travel writings and his extensive diaries and correspondence have also been published.

    In 1944, American literary critic Edmund Wilson pronounced Waugh “the only first-rate comic genius that has appeared in English since Bernard Shaw,” while Time magazine declared that he had “developed a wickedly hilarious yet fundamentally religious assault on a century that, in his opinion, had ripped up the nourishing taproot of tradition and let wither all the dear things of the world.” Waugh’s works were very successful with the reading public and he was widely admired by critics as a humorist and prose stylist. In his notes for an unpublished review of Brideshead Revisited, George Orwell declared that Waugh was “about as good a novelist as one can be while holding untenable opinions.” The American conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. found in Waugh “the greatest English novelist of the century,” while his liberal counterpart Gore Vidal called him “our time’s first satirist.”

    After gallantly protecting T. S. Eliot from “the specious assumption that he was homosexual,” T.S. Matthews in Great Tom, suddenly became viciously ungallant: “It is peppery, glaring little men like Evelyn Waugh who are sexually suspect – as his diaries bear witness.” Aside from the psychologically interesting opposition of “great” Tom and “little” Evelyn, it’s perfectly clear that the former editor of Time magazine had no particularly liking for either homosexuality or Evelyn Waugh. The very word “suspect” is suspect. Many people disliked Waugh personally. He could be unkind, ungenerous and ornery. But he was one of the greatest prose stylists of the 20th century, if not the greatest, and the idea of using the word “little” on a giant such as he is at best, odd.

    Indeed, his diaries do clearly reveal him as a Gay man. But then so do his novels, particularly Brideshead Revisited, in which the friendship of Charles and Sebastian, despite the limitations of what he was allowed to write in the early 1940s, is magnificently drawn.

    1909 - the Anglo-Irish born painter FRANCIS BACON was born on this date (d. 1992). He was a collateral descendant of the Elizabethan philosopher Francis Bacon. His artwork is well known for its bold, austere, and often grotesque or nightmarish imagery. Bacon discovered that he attracted a certain type of rich man, an attraction he was quick to take advantage of, having developed a taste for good food and wine. One of the men was an ex-army friend of his father, another breeder of race-horses, named Harcourt-Smith. Bacon later claimed that his father had asked this friend to take him ‘in-hand’ and ‘make a man of him’. Francis had a difficult relationship with his father, once admitting to being sexually attracted to him. Doubtless, Eddy Bacon was aware of his friend’s reputation for virility, but not of his penchant for young men.
    In the early Spring of 1927 Bacon was taken by Harcourt-Smith to the opulent, decadent, “wide open” Berlin of the Weimar Republic, staying together at the Hotel Adlon. It is likely that Bacon saw Fritz Lang’s Metropolis at this time.

    His visit to a 1927 exhibition of 106 drawings by Picasso at the Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, aroused his artistic interest, and he often took the train into Paris five or more times a week to see shows and art exhibitions. Bacon saw Abel Gance’s epic silent film Napoléon at the Paris Opéra when it premiered in April 1927. From the autumn of 1927, Bacon stayed at the Paris Hôtel Delambre in Montparnasse. In 1929 he met Eric Hall at the Bath Club, Dover Street, London, where Bacon was working at the telephone exchange. Hall (who was general manager of Peter Jones) was to be both patron and lover to Bacon, in an often torturous relationship.

    In 1964, Bacon began a relationship with 39-year-old Eastender George Dyer, whom he met, he claimed, while the latter was burgling his apartment. A petty criminal with a history of juvenile detention and prison, Dyer was a somewhat tortured individual, insecure, alcoholic, appearance obsessed and never really fitting in within the bohemian set surrounding Francis. The relationship was stormy and in 1971, on the eve of Bacon’s major retrospective at the Paris Grand Palais, Dyer committed suicide in the hotel room they were sharing, overdosing on barbiturates. The event was recorded in Bacon’s 1973 masterpiece Triptych, May-June 1973.
    In 1974, Bacon met John Edwards, a young, illiterate, handsome Eastender with whom he formed one of his most enduring friendships, eventually bequeathing his £11m fortune to Edwards after his death.

    Bacon died of a sudden heart attack on April 28, 1992, in Madrid, Spain. Bacon bequeathed his entire estate (then valued at eleven million pounds) to John Edwards after his death. Edwards, in turn, donated the contents of Francis Bacon’s chaotic studio at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, to the Hugh Lane gallery in Dublin. Bacon’s studio contents were moved and the studio carefully reconstructed in the gallery. Additionally draft materials, perhaps intended for destruction, were according to Canadian Barry Joule bequeathed to Joule who later forwarded most of the materials to create the Barry Joule Archive in Dublin with other parts of the collection given later to the Tate museum.

    Bacon’s Soho life was portrayed by John Maybury, with Derek Jacobi as Bacon and Daniel Craig as George Dyer (with some lovely frontal nudity on Craig’s part) and with Tilda Swinton as Muriel Belcher, in the film Love is the Devil (1998), based on Daniel Farson’s 1993 biography The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon. Bacon is also cited in interviews with contemporary British artist Damien Hirst as being one of the latter’s principal influences.

    1970 - the author KATE MILLET publicly came out on this date. She would later speak at the first Gay and Lesbian March on Washington in 1979.

    1987 - the HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN FUND began running ads on this date in response to an amendment introduced in the Senate by the virulent homophobe Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and passed by the house and senate to restrict funding to AIDS organizations which distributed Gay-related prevention literature.

    1987- At the University of Vermont in Burlington nineteen people were arrested in a demonstration protesting the CIA’s exclusion of Gays and Lesbians on this date.

    1990 - on this date during a campaign speech, US Congressman Jesse Helms [twice in one day? apologies] referred to Gays and Lesbians as “people marching in the streets demanding all sorts of things, including the right to marry each other.” Imagine that?

    1990 - on this date PLACIDO DOMINGO and ANDRE WATTS raised $1.5 million at a fundraiser for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

    1992 - on this date Episcopal bishop A. THEODORE EASTMAN issued an order to clergy in Maryland not to bless same-sex unions.

    1992 - on this date copies of the Lesbian comic book “HOTHEAD PAISAN #7´´ was seized from the Toronto Women’s Bookstore. Officials sited “sexual degradation” as the reason for the seizure, though it contained no sex. The prohibition would be lifted seven months later.

    1997 - on this date the NATIONAL BLACK LESBIAN AND GAY LEADERSHIP FORUM condemned homophobic gospel singers Angie and Debbie Winans for their anti-Gay song “It’s Not Natural” and BET-TV for providing them with a one-sided forum to promote their homophobic views. Earlier in the year, BET-TV refused to air MeSHELL NDEGEOCELLO’s video “Leviticus Faggot,” about a black Gay teenager’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality.

    1998 - on this date Welsh secretary RON DAVIES resigned from Tony Blair’s Labour Party government after British tabloids reported he was robbed at knife-point in a London park while looking for a male sexual companion. Although he subsequently came out as Bisexual, Davies referred to the incident as his “moment of madness.”

    In 1999 Davies was successfully elected on 6 May 1999 as Member of the Welsh Assembly in the Caerphilly Constituency, and chaired the Economic Development Committee after Alun Michael refused to appoint him to his Cabinet. Shortly before the 2003 assembly elections, “The Sun” revealed that Davies had been visiting a well-known cruising spot near a motorway lay-by (rest stop). When challenged as to what Ohe had been doing there, Davies initially denied being there, then told reporters that he had been going for a short walk, adding: “I have actually been there when I have been watching badgers.” Davies was forced to stand down as Labour candidate in the election.

    2008 - on this date Gus Van Zant‘s Harvey Milk biopic premiered to a star-studded audience at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. MILK would go on to win various Oscars at the 2009 Academy Awards.

    2010 - on this date President Barack Obama signed the The Matthew Shepard Act (officially the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”) into law. The Act expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It was finally passed after almost two decades of attempts to pass it through Congress and over stiff opposition by members of the Republican party. During debate in the House of Representatives, Republican Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the “hate crime” labeling of Shepard’s murder a “hoax.” Proving once again that elections do matter.


  • These dates in Gay History AUGUST 11, AUGUST 12, AUGUST 13, and AUGUST 14 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    These dates in Gay History AUGUST 11, AUGUST 12, AUGUST 13, and AUGUST 14
    October 11, 2012

    Gay Wisdom for Daily Living…

    from White Crane Institute
    Exploring Gay Wisdom
    & Culture for over 20 Years!

    AN ANNOUNCEMENT — Please bear with us today. You’ll see that we’re including not only today’s Gay Wisdom entry but this weekend’s too.
    This is one of those rare occasions when both of us are completely out of pocket the next few days. Family business calls for both of us this weekend and it’s callin’ early. So we didn’t want to leave you without your Gay Wisdom these next few days. We’ll see you on the other side of the weekend. Have a great one!

    This Weekend In Gay History
    THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2012
    National Coming Out Day

    Today is National Coming Out Day!
    If you’re not very out, try to come out to one person today that you haven’t already.

    Already “came out” you say? Well perhaps today could be seen as a day to tell the story.

    Try to find someone and share the story of how you came to discover, claim, and or celebrate who you really are. Those stories are important and we need to offer a space for folks to share them. Perhaps see if you can ask a Gay friend to tell you their story. Today’s just the day for telling our stories.

    This week is also ALLY WEEK.
    It’s the time to take a moment to thank our straight allies in the struggle for full equality.

    1884 - on this date ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, iconic First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 1952).

    One of the most influential non-elected American political leaders of the twentieth century who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights and international cooperation. After FDR’s death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition. She was a suffragist who worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women. During the 1932 Presidential Campaign, Lorena Hickok of the Associated Press was assigned to cover Mrs. Roosevelt. At first the business relationship was rocky. Hickok didn’t believe it was worth the paper’s time and money to report on Mrs. Roosevelt, and Mrs. Roosevelt wasn’t happy about the intrusion on her privacy. Besides that, Mrs. Roosevelt came from a high class, aristocratic background, and Hickok came from a brash and rustic one. She was at home playing poker with the guys, smoking, and drinking. In time, their friendship became very close and intimate. Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t seem to mind, as he was busy with his own romantic affairs.

    Due to the public nature of Mrs. Roosevelt’s life, she and Hickok were often separated. Even so, they wrote daily letters to each other. Roosevelt wrote ten to fifteen page letters daily to Hick for a time. In one Hickok writes: “Good night, dear one, I want to put my arms around you, and kiss you at the corner of your mouth. And in a little more than a week – I shall!” and Mrs. Roosevelt writes
    “Hick darling, All day I’ve thought about you & another birthday I will be with you & yet tonight you sounded so far away & formal. Oh! I want to put my arms around you. I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort. I look at it and think she does love me, or I wouldn’t be wearing it.”

    In 1941, Hickok moved into the White House with the Roosevelts when she took a post in Washington. Some of the passion between the two seems to have died by this point. Mrs. Roosevelt was not able to give Hickok as much from their relationship as she wanted, yet Hickok remained because at least they had something. They remained friends until Mrs. Roosevelt’s death in 1962. Hickok destroyed many of the letters Mrs. Roosevelt sent to her and edit personal references out of many others. Those that remain still hint at an intimate love between the two women.

    1918 - the American choreographer, JEROME ROBBINS, was born on this date (d. 1998). Among the numerous stage productions he worked on were On The Town, High Button Shoes, The King and I, The Pajama Game, Bells Are Ringing, West Side Story, Gypsy: A Musical Fable and Fiddler on the Roof. For much of his life, Robbins pursued a career in both ballet and Broadway theater. He lived in a world of like-minded collaborators, most of whom were his age, Jewish, New Yorkers, leftist and — among the men Gay.

    1926 - today’s the birthday of American stage, television, and film actor EARLE HYMAN.

    Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina Hyman is best known for his recurring role on The Cosby Show as Cliff’s father, Russell Huxtable.

    He made his Broadway stage debut as a teenager in 1943 in Run, Little Chillun, and later joined the American Negro Theater. The following year, Hyman began a two year run playing the role of Rudolf on Broadway in Anna Lucasta. He was a member of the American Shakespeare Theatre beginning with its first season in 1955, and played the role of Othello in the 1957 season.

    In 1959 he appeared in the West End in the first London production of A Raisin In the Sun alongside Kim Hamilton. The show ran at the Adelphi Theatre and was directed again by Lloyd Richards.

    Throughout his career, Hyman has appeared in productions in both the United States and Norway (he is fluent in Norwegian) where he also owns a home on Norway’s west coast and an apartment in Oslo. In 1965, won a Theatre World Award and in 1988, he was awarded the St Olav’s medal for his work in Norwegian theater.

    In addition to his stage work, Hyman has appeared in various television and film roles including adaptions of Macbeth (1968),Julius Caesar (1979), and Coriolanus (1979), and voiced Panthro on the animated television series ThunderCats (1985-1990). One of his most well known roles, that of Russell Huxtable in The Cosby Show, earned him an Emmy Award nomination in 1986 where he played the father of lead character Cliff Huxtable, played by actor Bill Cosby despite only being 11 years senior to Cosby.

    1947 - today’s the birthday of SHERIFF LUPE VALDEZ. Valdez is an Latino-American law enforcement official and the Sheriff of Dallas County, Texas. She is Texas’s only elected female sheriff, as well as being the only openly Lesbian holder of that office. Her election in 2004, combined with the fact that Valdez is female, Hispanic and a lesbian, made national headlines and was even reported overseas. She immediately faced opposition by the “good old boys” in the department who resented her election and her commitments to reforming the department.

    In 2008, Valdez was re-elected Sheriff of Dallas County with 388,327 votes to her opponent’s 322,808 votes, a margin of roughly 65,500. Valdez received over 99,000 more votes than the “Straight Democratic” option as many described it during the race. She won in precincts across Dallas County, including formerly-Republican areas including Irving and Mesquite. Her opponent won most precincts in far North Dallas, Richardson, Coppell, and the southern part of Irving. She began her second four-year term in 2009.

    1963 - on this date the French writer and artists JEAN COCTEAU died (b. 1889). He was many things: poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker. His versatile, unconventional approach and enormous output brought him international acclaim. In his early twenties, Cocteau became associated with Marcel Proust, Andre Gide, and Maurice Barr s. The Russian ballet-master Sergei Diaghilev challenged Cocteau to write for the ballet – “Astonish me,” he urged. This resulted in Parade which was produced by Diaghilev, designed by Pablo Picasso, and composed by Erik Satie in 1917.

    Cocteau is best known for Les enfants terrible the 1929 play, Les parent terribles the 1948 film, and the 1946 film, Beauty and the Beast.

    Cocteau died of a heart attack at his chateau in Milly-la-Foret, only hours after hearing of the death of his friend, the French singer Edith Piaf. He is buried in the garden of his home in Milly La Foret, Essonne, France. The epitaph reads: “I stay among you.”

    1987 - The Second National March on Washington For Lesbian and Gay Rights. More than a half million people (between 500,000 and 650,000, according to organizers) descended on the capital to participate in the second national March on Washington. Many of the marchers were angry over the government’s slow and inadequate response to the AIDS crisis, as well as the Supreme Court’s 1986 decision to uphold sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick.

    With the first display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the 1987 march succeeded in bringing national attention to the impact of AIDS on Gay communities. In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, a tapestry of nearly two thousand fabric panels offered a powerful tribute to the lives of some of those who had been lost in the pandemic. It was the first time the quilts were displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It covered a space larger than a football field and included 1,920 panels. Half a million people visited the Quilt that weekend.

    The overwhelming response to the Quilt’s inaugural display led to a four-month, 20-city, national tour for the Quilt in the spring of 1988. The tour raised nearly $500,000 for hundreds of AIDS service organizations. More than 9,000 volunteers across the country helped the seven-person traveling crew move and display the Quilt. Local panels were added in each city, tripling the Quilt’s size to more than 6,000 panels by the end of the tour.

    The march also called attention to anti-Gay discrimination, as approximately 800 people were arrested in front of the Supreme Court two days later in the largest civil disobedience action ever held in support of the rights of Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexuals, and Transgender people.

    The 1987 March on Washington also sparked the creation of what became known as BiNet U.S.A. and the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Organization (LLEGO), the first national groups for Bisexuals and GLBTQ Latinas and Latinos, respectively. Prior to the march, Bisexual activists circulated a flyer entitled “Are You Ready for a National Bisexual Network?” that encouraged members of the community to be part of the first Bisexual contingent in a national demonstration. Approximately 75 Bisexuals from across the U. S. participated and began laying the groundwork for an organization that could speak to the needs of bi-identified people and counter the animus against Bisexuals that was commonplace in both Lesbian and Gay communities and the dominant society.

    By 1987, Latino GLBTQ activists from Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, and elsewhere had been meeting for two years, discussing ways to work together to further the basic rights and visibility of GLBTQ Latinas and Latinos. But with AIDS having a disproportionate impact on Latino GLBTQ communities throughout the United States, the activists recognized the need for a national organization and met at the March on Washington to form what was then called NLLGA, National Latina/o Lesbian and Gay Activists. Renaming themselves LLEGO the following year, the group has since expanded to address issues of concern to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Latinas and Latinos in other countries.

    Along with the formation of new national groups, the most lasting effects of the weekend’s events were felt on the local level. Energized and inspired by the march, many activists returned home and established social and political groups in their own communities, providing even greater visibility and strength to the struggle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights. The date of the march, October 11th, has been celebrated internationally ever since as National Coming Out Day to inspire members of the GLBTQ community to continue to show, as one of the common march slogans proclaimed, “we are everywhere.”

    Speakers at the rally included former National Organization for Women president Eleanor Smeal, union president and Latino civil rights figure Cesar Chavez, actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, and activist Jesse Jackson.

    FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012
    Today is NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY in the United Kingdom.

    Today’s also FREETHOUGHT DAY, the annual observance by freethinkers and secularists of the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials. The seminal event connected to Freethought Day is a letter written by then Massachusetts Governor William Phips in which he wrote to the Privy Council of the British monarchs, William and Mary, on this day in 1692. In this correspondence he outlined the quagmire that the trials had degenerated into, in part by a reliance on “evidence” of a non-objective nature and especially “spectral evidence” in which the accusers claimed to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused.

    1875 – on this date the English occultist and author ALEISTER CROWLEY was born (d. 1947).
    Crowley is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of The Law, the central sacred text of “Thelema,” an initially fictional philosophy of life first described by Francois Rabelais (16th century) in his famous books, Gargantua andPantagruel. Other interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging — he was a chess player, mountain climber, poet, painter, astrologer, hedonist, drug experimenter, and social critic. Crowley was a highly prolific writer, not only on the topic of Thelema and magick, but on philosophy, politics, and culture. He left behind a countless number of personal letters and daily journal entries. He self-published many of his books, expending the majority of his inheritance to disseminate his views.

    Within the subject of occultism Crowley wrote widely, penning commentaries on magick, the Tarot, Yoga, Qabalah, astrology, and numerous other subjects. He also wrote a Thelemic interpolation of the Tao Te Ching, based on earlier English translations since he knew little or no Chinese. Like the Golden Dawn mystics before him, Crowley evidently sought to comprehend the entire human religious and mystical experience in a single philosophy.

    Crowley gained wide notoriety during his lifetime, and was infamously dubbed “The Wickedest Man In the World.” There is little wiggle room with Crowley. Either you consider him to be nuts, bonkers, loony, albeit brilliant, fascinating and perhaps a touch of con-man – or you are completely in his thrall. Much depends on how you feel about his central thesis: Do whatever you wish. No wonder he was so popular in the 1960s. Crowley also wrote fiction, including plays and later novels, most of which have not received significant notice outside of occult circles. In his The Book of Lies, the title to chapter 69 is given as “The Way to Succeed – and the Way to Suck Eggs!” a pun, as the chapter concerns the 69 sex position as a mystical act.

    Largely despicable, and larger than life, the hashish-smoking, yoga-practicing, occult-preaching, self-described religious prophet probably would do even better today. The man knew how to cause a stir. To say he slept around is to practice understatement that borders on the naive. He was an outspoken racist an anti-Semite and sexist. To give the reader a sense of his contradictory and maddening character, Crowley, according to his biographer, Lawrence Sutin, used racial epithets and brutal verbal attacks to bully his Jewish lover Victor Neuburg. And while he slept with men, women, and virtually anything that moved, his background was distinctly pederastic. His writings reveal this nature with, for example, a poem beginning “I was bumming a boy in the black-out…” Known his whole life for a cutting wit, once, when a woman asked him which American college would be most suitable for her daughter he replied, “Radclyffe Hall.”

    1942 - the gay rights advocate and author ARTHUR EVANS was born on this date (d. 2011). Born in York, Pennsylvania, Evans was most well known for his book Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture (1978).

    When Evans graduated from public high school in 1960, he received a four-year scholarship from the Glatfelter Paper Company in York to study chemistry at Brown University. While at Brown, Evans and several friends founded the Brown Freethinkers Society, describing themselves as ‘militant atheists’ seeking to combat the harmful effects of organized religion.

    The society picketed the weekly chapel services at Brown, then required of all students, and urged students to stand in silent protest against compulsory prayer. National news services picked up the story, which appeared in a local York newspaper.

    As a result, the paper company informed Evans that his scholarship was cancelled. Evans contacted Joseph Lewis, the elderly millionaire who headed the national Freethinkers Society. Lewis threatened the paper company with a highly publicized lawsuit if the scholarship were revoked. The company relented, the scholarship continued, and Evans changed his major from chemistry to political science.

    Evans withdrew from Brown and moved to Greenwich Village, which he later described it as the best move he ever made in his life. In 1963, Evans discovered gay life in Greenwich Village, and in 1964 became lovers with Arthur Bell who later became a columnist for The Village Voice. In 1966, Evans was admitted to City College of New York, which accepted all his credits from Brown University.

    Evans participated in his first sit-in in 1966, when students occupied the administration building of City College in protest against the college’s involvement in Selective Service. A picture of the students, including Evans, appeared on the front page of The New York Times. In 1967, after graduating with a BA degree from City College, Evans was admitted into the doctoral program in philosophy at Columbia University, specializing in ancient Greek philosophy. His doctoral advisor was Paul Oskar Kristeller, one of the world’s leading authority on Renaissance humanist philosophy. Kristeller had studied under Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger in Germany but fled to the US after his parents were killed in the Holocaust.

    Evans participated in many anti-war protests during these years, including the celebrated upheaval at Columbia in the spring of 1968. He also participated in the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. While at Columbia, Evans joined the Student Homophile League, founded by Nino Romano and Stephen Donaldson, although Evans himself was still closeted. On December 21, 1969, Evans, Marty Robinson, and several others met to found the early gay rights group Gay Activists Alliance.

    In November 1970, Robinson and Evans, along with Dick Leitsch of the Mattachine Society, appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, making them among the first openly gay activists to be prominently featured on a national TV program. In 1971, Evans and Bell separated. Bell died from complications of diabetes in 1984.

    By the end of 1971, Evans had become alienated from urban life and the academic world. With a second lover, Jacob Schraeter, he left New York in April 1972 to seek a new, countercultural existence in the countryside.

    Evans, Schraeter, and a third gay man formed a group called the ‘Weird Sisters Partnership’. They bought a 40-acre spread of land on a mountain in Washington State, which they named New Sodom. Evans and Schraeter lived there in tents during summers. During winter months in Seattle, Evans continued research that he had begun in New York on the underlying historical origins of the counterculture, particularly in regard to sex. In 1973, he began publishing some of his findings in the gay journal Outand later in Fag Rag. He also wrote a column on the political strategy of zapping for The Advocate, the gay newspaper.

    In 1974, Evans and Schraeter moved into an apartment at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets in San Francisco, in which Evans remained until he died. Schraeter returned to New York in 1981 and died from AIDS in 1989.

    In the fall of the 1975, Evans formed a new pagan-inspired spiritual group in San Francisco, the Faery Circle. The Circle combined countercultural consciousness, gay sensibility, and ceremonial playfulness. In early 1976, he gave a series of public lectures at 32 Page Street, an early San Francisco gay community center, entitled ‘Faeries’, on his research on the historical origins of the gay counterculture. In 1978 he published this material in his ground-breaking book Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. It demonstrated that many of the people accused of ‘witchcraft’ and ‘heresy’ in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were actually persecuted because of their sexuality and ancient pagan practices.

    Evans also was active in Bay Area Gay Liberation (BAGL) and the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club, which later became the vehicle through which Harvey Milk rose to political prominence.

    In the late 1970s, Evans became upset at the pattern of butch conformity that was then overtaking gay men in the Castro. Adopting the nom de plume ‘The Red Queen’, he distributed a series of controversial satirical leaflets on the subject. In a leaflet entitled Afraid You’re Not Butch Enough? (1978) he facetiously referred to the new, butch-conforming men of the Castro as clones, initiating use of the now widely used term ‘Castro clones’.

    In 1984 Evans directed a production at the Valencia Rose Cabaret in San Francisco of his own new translation, from ancient Greek, of the Euripides play The Bacchae. The hero of Euripides’ play is the Greek god Dionysos, the patron of homosexuality. In 1988, this translation, with Evans’ commentary on the historical significance of the play, was published by St. Martin’s Press in under the name of The God of Ecstasy.

    As AIDS began to spread in 1980s, Evans became active in several groups that later became ACT UP/SF. Evans was HIV-negative. With his close friend, the late Hank Wilson, Evans was arrested while demonstrating against pharmaceutical companies making AIDS drugs, accusing the companies of price-gouging.

    In 1988, Evans began work on a nine-year project on philosophy. Thanks to a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, it was published in 1997 as Critique of Patriarchal Reason and included artwork by San Francisco artist Frank Pietronigro. The book was an overview of Western philosophy from ancient times to the present, showing how misogyny and homophobia have influenced the supposedly objective fields of formal logic, higher mathematics, and physical science. Evans’ former advisor at Columbia University, Dr. Kristeller, called the work ‘a major contribution to the study of philosophy and its history’.

    Diagnosed in October 2010 with an aortic aneurysm, Evans died in his Haight-Ashbury apartment of a massive heart attack on 11 September 2011.

    1946 - today’s the birthday of U.S. educator, activist, and award-winning poet, essayist, and theorist MINNIE BRUCE PRATT.

    Pratt was born in Selma, Alabama, grew up in Centreville, Alabama and graduated with honors from the University of Alabama and received a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of North Carolina. She is a Professor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University where she was invited to help develop the university’s first Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Study Program. She emerged out of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s and 1980s and has written extensively about race, class, gender and sexual theory. Pratt, along with Lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, received a Lillian Hellman-Dashiell Hammett award from the Fund for Free Expression, an award given to writers “who have been victimized by political persecution.” Pratt, Chrystos and Lorde were chosen because their experience as “a target of right-wing and fundamentalist forces during the recent attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts.” Her political affiliations include the International Action Center, the National Women’s Fightback Network, and the National Writers Union. She is a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper. Pratt’s partner is author and activist Leslie Feinberg.

    Her latest book, Inside the Money Machine is one of the best new books of poetry to come out this year.

    1971 - the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs recommends the repeal of a city law banning homosexuals from working in or going to bars.

    1998 - MATTHEW SHEPARD died on this date (b. 1976). Shepard was an openly Gay American student at the University of Wyoming who as we noted last weekend, was attacked near Laramie, on the night of October 6th in what was widely reported by international news media as a savage beating because of his sexuality. Shepard died from severe head injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, 1998. His murder brought national attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. His two assailants were convicted of the crime and imprisoned. One is currently serving two consecutive life sentences and the other is serving the same but without the possibility of parole. After his death, Shepard’s parents became full-time advocates for the passage of hate crime legislation that would include sexual orientation.

    The Matthew Shepard Act (officially the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”), was a bill in the United States Congress that expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. After years of attempting to pass the act, on October 22, 2009, the act was passed by the Senate by a largely party line vote with Republicans opposing the Act and Democrats supporting it. During debate in the House of Representatives, Republican Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the “hate crime” labeling of Shepard’s murder a “hoax.” Shepard’s mother was said to be in the House gallery when the congresswoman made this comment. President Obama signed the measure into law on October 28, 2009. Proving once again that elections do matter.

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 2012

    1307 - on this date – Friday, October 13, 1307 (a date sometimes linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition) the French king Philip IV ordered all French TEMPLARS to be arrested. The Templars were charged with numerous heresies and tortured to extract false confessions of blasphemy. The trials were based on these confessions, despite having been obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. After more bullying from Philip, Pope Clement then issued the bill Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.
    Brian Lacey, in his wonderful book Terrible Queer Creatures: Homosexuality In Irish History writes about the use of same sex male relations in the purging of the Order of the Knights Templar.

    The respect for same-sex male relationships, which Lacey paints as characteristic of the pre-Christian era in Ireland and which carried over well into the Christian epoch, began to wane as the power of the Catholic Church grew. The first known homosexual purge in Ireland concerned the Order of Knights Templar, established in Ireland in the 1170s under the auspices of the English King Henry II.

    The purge had its origins in the desire of the impoverished 14th century French King Philip le Bel (the Fair) to get his hands on the Templars’ wealth. Philip engineered the election of the bishop of Bordeaux to become Pope Clement V on condition that he put an end to the Templars, and Clement duly set up an inquisition in which allegations of homosexuality against the knights were in the foreground. “They were said to have included homosexual acts in their private rituals and to have insisted on sexual intercourse with new recruits,” Lacey wrote. “It is an indication of the negative feelings against homosexuality in that period that this could be made as one of the principal charges against such a powerful institution.”

    The homosexual English King Edward II was ordered by Pope Clement and pressured by the French monarch to seize the Templars’ extensive holdings in Ireland, and the Irish Knights Templar were arrested en masse in February 1308. The inquisition opened its trial of the Irish Templars in January 1310 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. While only a few of the Knights confessed to the charges of sodomy, the order was abolished and much of its property expropriated.

    1929 - today’s the birthday of distinguished American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator RICHARD HOWARD.

    He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of Columbia University, where he now teaches. He lives in New York City. Howard had a brief early career as a lexicographer. He soon turned his attention to poetry and poetic criticism. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the PEN Translation Prize, and the American Book Award. Howard was a long-time poetry editor of The Paris Review and is currently poetry editor of The Western Humanities Review. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he is Professor of Practice in the writing program at Columbia’s School of the Arts.

    In 1982, Howard was named a Chevalier of L’Ordre National du Mérite by the government of France

    1966 - the American actor, dancer and singer CLIFTON WEBB died on this date (b. 1889). He was best known for his Oscar-nominated roles in such films as Laura, The Razor’s Edge, and Sitting Pretty. In the theatrical world he was known for his appearances in the plays of Noël Coward, notably Blithe Spirit.

    The never married Webb lived with his mother until her death at age ninety-one in 1960, leading Coward to remark, apropos Webb’s grieving, “It must be terrible to be orphaned at 71.”

    Actor Robert Wagner, who co-starred with Webb in the movies Stars and Stripes Forever and Titanic and considered the actor one of his mentors, stated in his memoirs, Pieces of My Heart: A Life, that “Clifton Webb was gay, of course, but he never made a pass at me, not that he would have.”

    1967 - today’s the birthday of ARTURO BRACHETTI, the Italian transformation artist and director, born in Turin. In theGuinness Book of Records 2006 and 2007, he is described as the fastest quick change artist in the world. Quick-change is a performance style in which a performer or magician changes quickly within seconds from one costume into another costume in front of the audience.

    You can watch him in action on youtube:

    SUNDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012

    1856 – the French Victorian writer VERNON LEE was born on this date. Also known as Violet Paget, she was responsible for introducing the concept of “empathy” (Einfühling) into the English language. Empathy was a key concept in Lee’s psychological aesthetics which she developed on the basis of prior work by Theodor Lipps. Her response to aesthetics interpreted art as a mental and corporeal experience. This was a significant contribution to the philosophy of art which has been largely neglected. She fell in love with three women in succession, and fully expected, being the Victorian she was, to live out her life with each of them, falling swooning into her fainting bed each time the friendship ended. She kept a faded portrait of her first love over her bed. Her second love announced her marriage to (horrors!) a Jew, which required liberal application of smelling salts and her third simply drifted away.

    1888 – the New Zealand born author KATHERINE MANSFIELD was born on this date.

    Considered to be the British Chekhov and her quiet stories are painful commentaries on the inadequacy of human relationships. Although she had many affairs with men and was married to John Middleton Murry, her diaries and letters reveal her to have been a Lesbian, and a troubled one at that, with a “slave” by the name of Ida Baker.

    1959 - the swashbuckling acting legend ERROL FLYNN died on this date (b. 1909).

    1977 - on this date Minneapolis Gay rights activist THOM HIGGINS threw a banana cream a pie into the face of Anita Bryant during a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The former beauty queen (Bryant) was in the middle of a nationwide campaign to criminalize Gay behavior and overturn the few Gay rights ordinances in the country.

    1979 - The First Gay Rights March On Washington D.C. was held on this date and called for “an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of Lesbian and Gay people.” Marking the tenth anniversary of the Stonewall riots and coming in the wake of the lenient jail sentence given to Dan White for the assassination of openly Gay San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, the First National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 14, 1979 was an historic event that drew more than 200,000 people from across the United States and ten other countries.

    In the wake of the Milk/Moscone assassinations, the Anita Bryant campaign to roll back protections extended to sexual orientation, and years of community building around the nation, the support for a massive demonstration in the nation’s capital grew. There were strong reservations on the part of those who worried that anything less than massive numbers would negate the demonstration and undermine political activism. However, by the late summer of 1979 it was clear that the March would be a large media event. Locally, the National Coalition of Black Gays and the DC Coalition of Black Gays supported the March from the beginning.

    Both groups were also involved in planning and holding the first Third World Conference, held at Harambee House on Georgia Avenue. The Third World Conference concluded with a march by persons of color down Georgia Avenue to the Mall where they joined the March on Washington. This walk down Georgia Avenue was the first public demonstration by Lesbians and Gays in the heart of the African-American areas of the city.

    The plans for the 1979 March were determinedly more inclusive of persons of color and the Transgendered. The souvenir booklet for the March includes an article by Jim Kepner summarizing GLBT activism leading to the March and an article by Brandy Moore detailing the preparations for the March. Speakers included Richard Ashworth and Adele Starr (PFLAG) Marion Berry (then D.C. mayor), S.F. Councilman Harry Britt, Lesbian feminist theorist, Charlotte Bunch, poet Alan Ginsberg, activists Flo Kennedy, Morris Kight, poet and activist Audre Lorde, musicians, Robin Tyler and Tom Robinson, Leonard Matlovich, Arthur McCombs (Gay Atheist League), feminist theorist Kate Millett, Rev. Troy Perry (listed as a “cameo” appearance”!), Juanita Ramos (Comite Homosexual Latinamericano), Betty Santoro (NY Spokeswoman for Lesbian Feminist Liberation), Eleanor Smeal (N.O.W.) and labor activist, Howard Wallace. Recordings of speeches, including Audre Lorde’s keynote address to the masses on the Washington Mall, and Alan Ginsberg reading his poetry and warning Congress can be heard here: And a wonderful collection of photos from the events can be seen here:

    1990 – LEONARD BERNSTEIN, the American composer and conductor, died on this date (b. 1918)

    2006 – on this date the Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts GERRY STUDDS died on this date (b. 1937).

    Community Notices

    For great conversations and more material about the people and events we feature each day!