Table of Contents
THIS DAY IN GAY HISTORY
based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …
Collected by Ted
1835 – John Smith and James Pratt are hanged in London for "unnatural crime."
1876 – Ohio outlaws the sale of sex toys.
1898 – C.M. Bowra, (Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra), English scholar, born (d.1971); was an English classical scholar and academic, known for his wit. He was Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, from 1938 to 1970, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1951 to 1954. His many books include A Book of Russian Verse, The Creative Experiment, Classical Greek and The Oxford Book of Greek Verse. Given his appearances in A.L. Rowse's Homosexuals in History, the title of Bowra's most famous book, The Greek Experience, takes on new meaning.
Born in China of English parents, Bowra travelled extensively during his childhod and teen years, and won a scholarship to Oxford. Bowra trained with the OTC in Oxford, before being called up and sent to the Royal Army Cadet School in March 1917.
Bowra served in the Royal Field Artillery, on active service in France from September 1917. In 1917, he saw action at Passchendaele and Cambrai, and in 1918 participated in resistance to the Ludendorff Offensive and the following allied counter-offensive. During this time he continued to read widely, including Greek and Latin authors.
Bowra was left with a lifelong hatred of war and military strategists, to an extent that he seldom mentioned the war afterwards. Bowra later told Cyril Connolly, "Whatever you hear about the war, remember it was far worse: inconceivably bloody - nobody who wasn't there can imagine what it was like."
Anthony Powell wrote that Bowra's wartime experiences "played a profound part in his thoughts and inner life", and records that when a cruise ship on which they were travelling held a ceremony to place a wreath in the sea as it passed the Dardanelles, Bowra was so affected that he retired to his cabin. Following the Second World War he would be accommodating to returning servicemen who wished to study at Oxford, telling one applicant who was worried about his deficiency in Latin, "No matter, War Service counts as Latin."
As an undergraduate in 1920s Oxford, Bowra was fashionably homosexual, and was known to cruise for sex. He used the term 'the Homintern' (see below) applying it to himself and his circle of friends, and privately referred to his leading position in that, or 'The Immoral Front' or 'the 69th International'.
In 1922, he was elected a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, with the support of the Professor of Greek, Gilbert Murray. When Murray vacated his chair in 1936, believed that he was most likely to succeed his patron. Murray however, recommended another. Some believed that the reason was a whispering campaign over Bowra's "real or imagined homosexuality".
In 1938 the Wardenship of Wadham fell vacant and Bowra was elected to the post, keeping it until 1970. In his long career as an Oxford don, Bowra had contact with a considerable portion of the English literary world, either as students or as colleagues. The character of Mr Samgrass in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is said to be modelled on Bowra.
Bowra retired in 1970, but continued to live in rooms in the college, which were granted to him in exchange for a house he owned. He died of a sudden heart attack the following year,
The wit of C.M. Bowra:
"My dear, buggers can't be choosers." (explaining his engagement to Audrey Beecham, a "plain girl" niece of the conductor)
"Buggery was invented to fill that awkward hour between evensong and cocktails."
"I expect to pass through this world but once and therefore if there is anybody I want to kick in the crotch I had better kick them in the crotch now, for I do not expect to pass this way again."
"With one or two exceptions, colleges expect their players of games to be reasonably literate."
"Splendid couple - slept with both of them", (on hearing of the marriage of a well-known literary pair).
"My dear, in Oxford I am known by my face", (allegedly after being caught skinny-dipping in the River Cherwell and placing his hands over his face rather than his privates)
c.1928* – Fred Ebb was a musical theatre lyricist (d.2004) who had many successful collaborations with composer John Kander.
Born in Manhattan to a Jewish family, Ebb worked during the early 1950s bronzing baby shoes and as a trucker's assistant, and he also was employed in a department store credit office and at a hosiery company while trying his hand at several musicals, mostly unsuccessfully.
Music publisher Tommy Valando introduced Ebb to Kander in 1962. After a few songs such as My Coloring Book, Kander and Ebb wrote a stage musical, Golden Gate, that was never produced. However, Harold Prince hired them for their first professional production, the musical Flora the Red Menace. Although it won star Liza Minnelli a Tony Award, the show closed quickly.
Their second collaboration, Cabaret, was considerably more successful, running for nearly three years. Based on the John Van Druten play I Am a Camera (which, in turn, was based on the writing of Christopher Isherwood), the musical won eight of the 11 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Musical and Best Score. Adapted into a film by Bob Fosse, it won numerous Academy Awards, though not Best Picture.
Chicago (1975) had mixed reviews but ran for more than two years. The show did not seriously resurface until 1996, when it was revived as part of the Encores! series. A huge hit, the minimalist production transferred to Broadway and is still running. Chicago has also been running in the West End for ten years. A film version was eventually produced (in 2002) and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
In 1977, Kander and Ebb worked again with Liza Minnelli and Martin Scorsese in the film New York, New York, which had them write what is perhaps their best-known song, the title track. The team's musical adaptation of Kiss of the Spider Woman opened in 1993, starring Chita Rivera. The show ran for more than two years and won them their third and last Tony Award for best score.
Ebb died of a heart attack at his home in New York City on September 11, 2004.
Despite the 'polymorphous perverse' nature of their shows, both Kander and Ebb were reticent about discussing their homosexuality, preferring to let the songs speak for themselves but in 2003, Kander (who has lived for 26 years with one man, a choreographer and teacher) implicitly addressed rumours concerning the nature of his non-professional relations with Ebb by describing the latter to interviewer Jeffrey Tallmer as 'his 40-year partner in creativity but never in domesticity, much less romance.'
*Fred Ebb's actual birth year is a source of mystery and confusion but is somewhere between 1928 and 1936.
1942 – Robin Tyler has been a part of the public gay and lesbian scene since her early years as a stand-up comic in the 1960s. She has also spent much of her life enmeshed in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights, planning national marches and regional music festivals, and taking her and her partner's case for gay marriage to the California Supreme Court.
Tyler was born Arlene Chernick in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As early as 1959, she demonstrated a rebellious flamboyance by standing on a busy Winnipeg street corner holding a sign proclaiming, "Gay is Good." However, though her sign was greeted with cheerful waves from Manitoban drivers who did not yet recognize her political use of the word "gay," Tyler's family did not accept her lesbian identity, and in 1972 she moved to Toronto where she found a more tolerant community.
In Toronto, and later in New York City, she began performing in nightclubs as a stand-up comic, a rigorous training ground where she developed both a thick skin and an aggressive banter in response to sexist and homophobic heckling.
In 1978, she became the first out lesbian on U.S. national television on a Showtime comedy special hosted by Phyllis Diller. The same year she released her comedy album, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom, the first comedy album by an out lesbian.
Tyler came out publicly during an early gay pride celebration, when she responded to a challenge to make up "pro-gay" jokes to counter the ubiquitous anti-gay jokes. As she tells the story, "I got up and did this joke about running into a right-wing guy and he said 'I think they should take all you queers and put you on an island someplace.' And I said 'They did, darling, and they call it Manhattan.'"
One of her most famous quotes takes on the question of whether homosexuality is a disease. "If homosexuality is a disease," Tyler says, "let's all call in queer to work: 'Hello. Can't work today, still queer.'" She is also known for her description of Christian fundamentalists, first applied to anti-gay activist Anita Bryant: "Fundamentalists are to Christianity what paint-by-numbers is to art."
Tyler has worked for almost three decades as a national event organizer. In 1979, she initiated a call for a gay and lesbian march on Washington, D.C., partially in response to the right-wing backlash against the gay liberation movement. The resultant National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights drew over 100,000 demonstrators to the U.S. capital, the first such national demand for gay and lesbian equality.
Tyler was also instrumental in organizing the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987, where the AIDS quilt was displayed for the first time, and the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, which drew almost a million glbtq protesters from around the nation.
Tyler is an outspoken advocate of equal marriage laws. Tyler and her partner Diane Olson, the granddaughter of a former governor of California, placed their personal lives in the fight on February 12, 2004, when they filed the first lawsuit for marriage equality in the state of California.
Their lawsuit, subsequently joined to other suits, including those stemming from the San Francisco marriages performed by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004 and later voided by the courts, culminated in the California Supreme Court's historic ruling of May 15, 2008 that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
Robin Tyler (L) & Diane Olson marry.
In recognition of the role Tyler and Olson played in securing marriage equality, they were permitted to be among the earliest couples married when the court decision became final on June 16, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. The two were married in front of the Beverly Hills Courthouse by a rabbi and then celebrated their wedding at a reception at their home in the San Fernando Valley.
1943 – Michael Bennett (d.1987) was an American musical theater director, writer, choreographer, and dancer. He won seven Tony Awards for his choreography and direction of Broadway shows and was nominated for an additional eleven.
Bennett choreographed Promises, Promises, Follies and Company. In 1976, he won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and the Tony Award for Best Choreography for the Pulitzer Prize-winning phenomenon A Chorus Line. Bennett, under the aegis of producer Joseph Papp, created A Chorus Line based on a precedent-setting workshop process which he pioneered. He also directed and co-choreographed Dreamgirls with Michael Peters.James Kirkwood, co-author of A Chorus Line, lashed out at the show's creator, director, and choreographer: "Michael would do anything--anything--to get a show on. The cruelty was extensive. And not just in his professional life. He was amoral."
The charismatic Bennett was a lover of men and women; his two primary heterosexual relationships were stormy, first with wife Donna McKechnie (wed December 1976, divorced four months later) then with Sabine Cassel, whom he promised to wed but did not.
His relationships with men were less publicized, but they included long relationships with dancers Larry Fuller, Scott Pearson, Richard Christopher, and Gene Pruitt, his last lover.
Born Michael Bennett DiFiglia in Buffalo, New York, young Mickey was a child prodigy of dance. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to join a touring company of Jerome Robbins' West Side Story. Robbins was to become one of his principal influences.
Bennett made his Broadway debut as a dancer in Subways Are for Sleeping (1961), but he soon realized that he had a greater talent for choreography than for dancing. Bennett's first solo assignment as a choreographer was on A Joyful Noise (1966).
Working with Harold Prince on Stephen Sondheim's Company (1970) and Follies (1971) led him to decide that he wanted to be a director as well as a choreographer.
Bennett's dream was realized when he was called in to save Seesaw (1973). He agreed to take over the show on the condition that he would have creative control of the production. He ultimately received credit (and Tony nominations) as librettist, director and co-choreographer.
The process of taking over this ailing show on the road, just six months before it was scheduled to open, convinced Bennett that the standard way of developing musicalsrehearsals, out-of-town tryouts, previews, and openingwas no longer efficient. He came up with a better plan.
Bennett decided to do a show about the lives of dancers, but rather than commission a script he let the story-line evolve from the experiences of real dancers. After conducting hours of interviews with Broadway gypsies, Bennett began an unprecedented year of workshops at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre.
The result was A Chorus Line (1975). A risk all the way around, the show opened without stars and ran two hours and 10 minutes without an intermission. Bennett received credit as director, co-producer, co-author, and co-choreographer.
While Applause (1970) is considered the first Broadway musical to introduce an openly gay character, Bennett is responsible for the second and third appearances of homosexual characters. Seesaw features David, a gay choreographer, and A Chorus Line introduced audiences to Paul and Greg, gay dancers. Many have criticized the bisexual Bennett for the fact that neither character is finally chosen for the chorus line, thus maintaining the myth that all working actors are heterosexual.
Inadvertently, Bennett was to provide the New York Shakespeare Festival with the bulk of its income for many years. As one of the producers of A Chorus Line, the Public Theatre earned approximately $37,800,000 from Bennett's landmark production.
In January 1985 Bennett abandoned the almost completed musical Scandal, which he had been evolving through an extended series of workshops. Many observers felt this to be Bennett's strongest work, with few understanding the toll that alcohol, drugs, and a weakened immune system had taken on this genius of the theater.
When Michael Bennett died on July 2, 1987 at the age of 44 of AIDS-related lymphoma, he left a sizable portion of his estate to funding research to fight the AIDS epidemic.
1945 – Dennis Peron, born in the Bronx, New York, is a gay American medical cannabis and LGBT activist and businessman who was the figurehead for the legality of cannabis throughout the 1990s influencing many in California and thus changing the political debate of marijuana in the United States.
He grew up on Long Island, served in the Air Force in Vietnam and moved to The Castro, San Francisco, where he sold cannabis, cofounded the Cannabis Buyers Club, and coauthored California Proposition 215. His marijuana business was busted by authorities in 1978 and 1990. In 1996, Dan Lungren, state attorney general, ordered another bust of Peron's club. Proposition 215 was passed soon thereafter, which allowed the club to reopen. Later in 1996 The Grassroots Party of Minnesota fielded Dennis Peron, as their first Presidential nominee, in the U.S. presidential election. Peron received 5,400 votes. In 1998, Peron ran in the Republican primary for California governor against his rival Lungren (who won the primary and lost the election to Gray Davis).
Peron has voiced support for decriminalization of all marijuana use as he believes the herb is medicinal just as food is and thus should be available to those who want to benefit from it. However it should be noted he did not believe medical use for marijuana was acceptable for kids. Peron opposed California Proposition 19 (2010) because he does not believe that recreational use of marijuana exists and that all people who use marijuana are using it medicinally.
1948 – The Canadian lawyer and Gay rights advocate Michael Leshner was born on this date. The Michaels is a public name used to refer to the duo of Michael Stark and Michael Leshner. They were the men who in 2003 entered into the first civil same-sex marriage in Canada, and were consequently named the Canadian Newsmakers of the Year by Time magazine.
When Leshner heard of colleagues' plans to try to legalize same-sex marriage, he convinced Stark to seek marriage so the two could start the case. Leshner considered himself to have been in a common law marriage with Stark for 22 years prior. After an adverse ruling by a lower Ontario court, Leshner proposed to Stark in front of reporters. The marriage then came after the decision Halpern v. Canada (Attorney General) by the Ontario Court of Appeal deciding homosexuals should be allowed to marry. The Michaels afterwards became well-known in their city Toronto, and appeared in the 2003 Gay pride parade.
1952 – Clyde Hall is an internationally recognized and acknowledged authority of Native American culture, dance ritual and folkways. Clyde was born and raised in Fort Hall, Idaho and is a Native American of Shoshone/Metis descent.
Clyde was born and raised traditionally by his grandmother, Hazel Truchot, in a one-room log cabin in Fort Hall, Idaho, and has lived on the Reservation most of his life.
During the 1970s and 1980s he was an early-day Native American activist and member of Gay American Indians (GAI) in San Francisco, California–the first Native American group of its kind. He was one of the founders of the contemporary "Two Spirit Movement" of Native American LGBT people. In 1987 he was honored as the first speaker on the Ellipse during the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. OUT Magazine named Hall one of the OUT 100 in 1999 and, in the year 2000, as one of he 1,000 most influential gay individuals in the U.S. in the 20th century.
In the past, as a career, he served as a park ranger/naturalist in Grand Teton National Park and as a high school teacher and public defender. He served as a Tribal Magistrate Judge (for 19 years) and worked extensively with developing substance abuse programming for the tribe and rewriting the Law and Order Code for the tribe. He specialized in probates during his tenure. He was in private practice as an attorney until 2007.
Hall toured Europe, South America and the U.S. with his dance troupe in the 1970's-1990's as well as speaking engagements and lectures at major universities in the U.S. on Native American traditions and culture. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Naraya Cultural Preservation Council, (NCPC), a non-profit that is devoted to the preservation of Great Basin/Plateau Tribal cultures, language and sacred sites.
His work has appeared in numerous books including Gay Soul, Living the Spirit, Two Spirit People, and international publications including the German GEO, Der Grüne Zweig and in the U.S. in White Crane Journal among others. He has served as a consultant for many authors and filmmakers including Tom Spanbauer, Will Roscoe, Win Blevins and Kirby Jonas and is a technical advisor on Native American culture for numerous movies and TV programs.
Mr. Hall is one of the ceremonial leaders of the Naraya: A Dance For All People. It's danced for renewal of the People and the Earth, perpetuating the vision of the Dance that people of all races and religions come together to dance under the Tree of Life. He considers the Dance for All People his greatest "life work".
1961 – Richard Hatch is an American former reality television contestant. He won the first season of the CBS reality series Survivor. He was a contestant on a subsequent All-Stars season of Survivor, and on one season of The Apprentice. In 2006, Hatch was convicted for tax evasion resulting in a 3 year prison sentence followed by another nine month sentence in 2011. TV Guide included him in its 2013 list of "The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time".
In 2000, Hatch competed in Survivor: Borneo, the first edition of the show in the United States. He initially competed with the Tagi tribe, and quickly aligned himself with former Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch. He often demonstrated a preference for playing the game completely naked.
Hatch's appeared on Survivor: All-Stars originally as a part of the Mogo Mogo tribe. Before he was voted out, he was involved with an incident with Sue Hawk. During an immunity challenge, Hatch, customarily naked, rubbed his genitals on Hawk as he passed her by on the course. The next day, Hawk resigned from the game voluntarily, claiming that Hatch touching her inappropriately had overwhelmingly upset her.
In 2008, Survivor host Jeff Probst mentioned in an interview that Hatch also smuggled a canister of matches onto Survivor: All-Stars "in a little container up his bum." The immediate result was that the Mogo Mogo tribe was able to get fire early on in the game. Since this incident all contestants are now strip searched.
In an issue of Entertainment Weekly, Survivor producer Mark Burnett said that if Hatch were not under house arrest, he would have been invited to participate in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He had a cameo as a patient in the Becker episode "One Wong Move" where Ted Danson's character received him as a patient, discussing the bizarre eating habits of the people on the television show, and mentioning that he didn't mind if he had to take his clothes off. He appeared as himself in the 2006 film Another Gay Movie. He also appeared on the fourth celebrity edition of the U.S. version of The Apprentice.
Hatch was born and raised near Newport, Rhode Island.He first majored in Marine Biology and Oceanography at Florida Institute of Technology before he enlisted in the Army in 1980. He served five years, before dropping out in 1985. He later attended Baruch College in New York and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, during which time he became a sperm donor. Hatch returned to Newport, Rhode Island and adopted a 7-year-old boy. He later attended Rhode Island's Providence College pursuing a Master's degree in Education and Counseling.
Prior to winning CBS' original Survivor series, Hatch worked as a bartender, auto salesman, and licensed real estate agent before nearly fifteen years as a corporate trainer and consultant for his own company.
Following his Survivor win, Hatch was charged with tax evasion. He was convicted and served a 51-month sentence in federal prison. Hatch and his attorneys have argued that the prosecution and conviction were flawed because the IRS never completed investigation of his 2000 and 2001 tax returns and never determined that any particular sum of taxes was due. Hatch served an additional nine months in prison for not amending his 2000 and 2001 tax returns.
Hatch married his partner Emiliano Cabral in Nova Scotia in 2005. He says of their separation by jail time:
Our relationship is as strong as it has ever been. I adore him. But living in a country that doesn’t recognize our marriage is still infuriating beyond description. We’re in our eighth year now, and I can’t even begin to describe the additional torture, stress, and difficulty this has created only because we’re gay.
A property purchased by Hatch in Sydney, Nova Scotia, following his Survivor win was included in a tax sale during a public auction in 2013. The CBRM tax office indicated that Hatch had not paid the property taxes on the property for a period of more than six years.
1970 – Iowa requires a coroner's inquest into deaths caused by "crimes against nature."
1990 – Died: Ryan White (b.December 6, 1971), an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana, who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States, after being expelled from middle school because of his infection.
Born a hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed in December 1984, was given six months to live. Doctors said he posed no risk to other students, but AIDS was poorly understood at the time, and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance.
A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the case made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education. He appeared frequently in the media with celebrities such as Elton John, Michael Jackson and Phil Donahue. Surprising his doctors, White lived five years longer than predicted and died in April 1990, one month prior to his high school graduation.
Before White, AIDS was a disease widely associated with the male gay community, because it was first diagnosed among gay men. That perception shifted as White and other prominent HIV-infected people, such as Magic Johnson, the Ray brothers and Kimberly Bergalis, appeared in the media to advocate for more AIDS research and public education to address the epidemic. The U.S. Congress passed a major piece of AIDS legislation, the Ryan White Care Act, shortly after White's death. The Act has been reauthorized twice; Ryan White Programs are the largest provider of services for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.
2013 – Zambia: Gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona is arrested after appearing on live TV calling for same-sex relations to be decriminalized.
2014 – Spain: The Galician Parliament passes LGBT anti-discrimination law.
TODAY'S GAY WISDOM:
The Homintern and the Gay Agenda
Homintern was an early term for a supposed conspiracy of gay elites who allegedly controlled the art world. The word is a play on Comintern. What was termed the "homintern" in the mid-twentieth century is now more often described as a "Gay Mafia".
"All the 'artists' with a capital A, the parlor pinks, and the soprano-voiced men are banded together ... I am afraid they are a sabotage front for Uncle Joe Stalin." Harry S. Truman 1946
"Homosexuality, dope ... immorality in general: these are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and left-wingers are pushing it." Richard M. Nixon Watergate tapes 1971
"Homintern" was used in the 1940s and 1950s and appeared in number of popular mass-circulation magazine articles during the 1960s to refer to what was believed by many to be an international cabal of influential gays who, it was asserted, controlled the arts and culture. These magazine articles were often illustrated with the color lavender; sometimes the Homintern was called the lavender conspiracy. It was claimed that there was a secret worldwide network of gay art gallery owners, ballet directors, movie producers, record label executives, and photographers who, behind the scenes, determined who would become successful artists, dancers, actors, and models.
In the 1960s, the majority of gay people had not publicly discussed their sexuality, so homophiles had to use what we today call gaydar to determine who was gay. Since this was sometimes difficult, anyone could potentially be part of "the conspiracy," and even many gay people believed in its existence. It was widely thought among young people that the members of the Homintern all had casting couches, and that it was necessary to sexually submit to the Homintern on these casting couches in order to have a successful career in the arts. It was taken for granted that the Homintern had absolute control of the Hollywood film industry.
It was believed that the Homintern had secret meetings at which they decided on women's fashion design for the coming year.
The term "Homintern" was used in articles even in liberal magazines such as Ramparts. It was frequently used in the conservative magazine National Review. William F. Buckley, Jr. sometimes warned of the machinations of the Homintern on his talk show Firing Line.
It was believed by conservatives that the Homintern deliberately manipulated the culture to encourage homosexuality by promoting camp programs like the popular 1960s TV series Batman.
The tiny minority of influential people who publicly discussed their homosexuality in 1960s - such as Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, John Rechy, and Andy Warhol – were automatically regarded as part of the Homintern.
After the emergence of gay liberation in 1969, belief in the Homintern faded because after the Stonewall riots, many gay people came out of the closet so it was more difficult to postulate this conspiracy theory.