Table of Contents

CanadianGay
presents
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

August 17

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1885 Kurt Hiller also known as Keith Lurr and Klirr (Thule) (d.1972) was a German essayist of high stylistic originality and a political (namely pacifist) journalist from a Jewish family. A socialist, he was deeply influenced by Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer, despising the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel, which made him quite unpopular with Marxists.

Hiller was also an influential writer in the early German gay rights movement in the first two decades of the 20th century. In 1929, Hiller took over as chairman of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee from fellow gay activist Magnus Hirschfeld. He held that position until the Committee itself was dissolved in 1933, following the assumption of power by the Nazis.

In 1922 he published §175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (Paragraph 175: The disgrace of the century!). Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code criminalized homosexual activity. Hiller's book was the most important of his publications directed toward liberalizing the penal code and was regarded by the Scientific Humanitarian Committee as their most powerful battle paper. It was widely distributed by them, including to members of the Reichstag, the German parliament, during the debates on the sexual penal code in the 1920s. Just when it looked as if efforts to reform the law might succeed in 1933, the Nazis assumed power. As a Jew, socialist, pacifist, and homosexual, Hiller was high on the Nazi list and was soon arrested. He was brutally mistreated and spent time in more than one concentration camp. Released in April 1934, he escaped a second arrest in September by fleeing to Prague, where he collaborated on Die neue Weltbühne (The new world stage), a continuation of the Berlin weekly Die Weltbühne, which had been shut down by the Nazis.

In 1955, he returned to Germany, where he lived and wrote in Hamburg until his death. In his last years Hiller wrote a two-volume biography, Leben gegen die Zeit (Life against the times). The first volume, Logos (1969), concentrates on intellectual and political issues, and includes descriptions of his experience in concentration camps. The second, Eros (1973), is homoerotic and, as he directed, was published only after his death. He died in Hamburg on October 1, 1972.

After his body was cremated, the urn with his ashes was placed in the grave of his friend Walter Detlef Schultz. Hiller had met Schultz in a concentration camp in 1934, where Schultz had been interned because of his involvement with the German Communist Party in their fight against the rise of the Nazis. They both fled to Prague that year and to London in 1938. Schultz returned to Germany in 1945. Although Hiller was deeply in love with him, Schultz has been described as "sexually ambiguous." He was married twice, but, according to Hiller, he did not find the fulfillment he desired in either marriage.

 

1888Monty Woolley (d.1963) was an American stage, film, radio, and television actor. At the age of 50, he achieved a measure of stardom for his best-known role in the stage play and 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner. His distinctive white beard was "his trademark."

Woolley was born Edgar Montillion Woolley in New York City to a wealthy family and grew up in the highest social circles. Woolley received a Bachelor's degree at Yale University, where Cole Porter was an intimate friend and classmate, and Master's degrees from Yale and Harvard University. He eventually became an assistant professor of English and dramatic coach at Yale. Thornton Wilder and Stephen Vincent Benét were among his students. He served in World War I in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant assigned to the general staff in Paris.

Woolley began directing on Broadway in 1929, and began acting there in 1936 after leaving his academic career. In 1939 he starred in the Kaufman and Hart comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner for 783 performances. It was for this well-reviewed role he was typecast as the wasp-tongued, supercilious sophisticate.

Woolley signed with 20th Century Fox in the 1940s and appeared in many films through the mid-1950s. His most famous film role was one which he first performed on Broadway, that of a cranky radio wag restricted to a wheelchair because of a seemingly-injured hip in 1942's The Man Who Came to Dinner, a caricature of the legendary pundit Alexander Woollcott. The film received a good review from the New York Times. He played himself in Warner Bros.' fictionalized film biography of Cole Porter, Night and Day (1946).

He appeared regularly on well-known radio shows and early TV comedies and even had his own sit-com The Magnificent Montague for a while.

Woolley and his intimate friend, Cole Porter enjoyed many disreputable adventures together in New York and on foreign travels, although Porter reportedly disapproved of Woolley taking a black man as his lover, ironically something Porter himself was later to do. In the film Night and Day he is portrayed as much older than Cary Grant's Cole Porter, but he was in fact only 3 years older than his friend - which might give you a clue about the nature of some of their 'adventures'.

Monty Woolley, affectionately known as "The Beard," died due to complications with kidney and heart ailments on May 6, 1963, in Albany, New York, aged 74.

 

1893 – On this date Mae West, the American actress, sex-positive, gender-blurry icon, was born (d.1980). West was born Mary Jane West in Bushwick, Brooklyn, delivered at home by an aunt who was a midwife. She was eldest surviving child of John Patrick West and Matilda "Tillie" Doelger, who had emigrated with her family from Bavaria.

At five years old, West first entertained a crowd, at a church social, and she started appearing in amateur shows at the age of seven. She often won prizes at local talent contests. She began performing professionally in vaudeville in the Hal Clarendon Stock Company in 1907 at the age of fourteen. West first performed under the stage name Baby Mae, and tried various personas including a male impersonator, Sis Hopkins, and a blackface coon shouter. She was was said to have been inspired or influenced by female impersonators Bert Savoy and Julian Eltinge, who were famous during the Pansy Craze. Her first appearance in a legitimate Broadway show was in a 1911 revue A La Broadway put on by her former dancing teacher, Ned Wayburn. The show folded after just eight performances. She then appeared in a show called Vera Violetta, whose cast featured Al Jolson.

Her famous walk was said to have originated in her early years as a stage actress. West had special eight-inch platforms attached to her shoes to increase her height and enhance her stage presence. Though she had not yet matured, the slinky, dark-haired Mae was already performing a lascivious "shimmy" dance in 1913 and was photographed for a song-sheet for the song "Everybody Shimmies Now." She was encouraged as a performer by her mother, who, according to West, always thought that whatever her daughter did was fantastic.

She began writing her own risqué plays using the pen name "Jane Mast." Her first starring role on Broadway was in a play she titled Sex, which she also wrote, produced and directed. Though critics hated the show, ticket sales were good. The notorious production did not go over well with city officials and the theater was raided with West arrested along with the cast. She was prosecuted on morals charges and, on April 19, 1927, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for public obscenity. While incarcerated on Welfare Island (now Roosevelt Island), she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night. She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career.

Her next play, The Drag, was about homosexuality and alluded to the work of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. It was a box office success but it played in New Jersey because it was banned from Broadway. West regarded talking about sex as a basic human rights issue and was also an early advocate of homosexual rights. She famously told policemen who were raiding a Gay bar, "Don't you know you're hitting a woman in a man's body?" — a daring statement at a time when homosexuality was not accepted. During her entire lifetime she surrounded herself with Gay men and stood up for Gay rights at any and every opportunity.

In 1932, West was offered a motion picture contract by Paramount Pictures, when she was 38 years old (although she kept her age ambiguous for several more years). She made her film debut in Night After Night starring George Raft. At first, she did not like her small role in Night After Night, but was appeased when she was allowed to rewrite her scenes. In West's first scene, a hat check girl exclaims, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds." West replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie." Reflecting on the overall result of her rewritten scenes, Raft is said to have remarked, "She stole everything but the cameras."

She brought her Diamond Lil character, now renamed Lady Lou, to the screen in She Done Him Wrong (1933). The film is also notable as one of Cary Grant's first major roles, which boosted his career. West claimed she spotted Grant at the studio and insisted that he be cast as the male lead. The film was a box office hit and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. The success of the film most likely saved Paramount from bankruptcy.

She appeared in a series of hits, many of which caused controversy because of their risque nature. They included I'm No Angel, Klondike Annie, and Go West Young Man. In 1939, Universal Pictures approached West to star in a film opposite W. C. Fields. Having left Paramount eighteen months earlier and looking for a comeback film, West accepted the role of Flower Belle Lee in the film My Little Chickadee (1940). Despite their intense mutual dislike, and fights over the screenplay, My Little Chickadee was a box office success, outgrossing Fields' previous films.

West appeared in her last movie during the studio age with The Heat's On (1943) for Columbia. She remained active during the ensuing years. Among her stage performances was the title role in Catherine Was Great (1944) on Broadway, in which she spoofed the story of Catherine the Great of Russia, surrounding herself with an "imperial guard" of muscular young actors, all over six feet tall. The play was produced by Mike Todd and went on a long national tour in 1945. She also starred in her own Las Vegas stage show, singing while surrounded by bodybuilders.

When Billy Wilder offered West the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, she refused and pronounced herself offended at being asked to play a "has-been," similar to the responses he received from Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, and Pola Negri. Ultimately the more amenable Gloria Swanson was cast in the role. In 1958, West appeared at the Academy Awards and performed the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Rock Hudson. Her autobiography, titled Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, was published by Prentice-Hall in 1959.

The famous West quip "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" is accurately attributed to her. She made it in February 1936, at the train station in Los Angeles upon her return from Chicago, when a Los Angeles police officer was assigned to escort her home. She first delivered the line on film in My Little Chickadee, and again to George Hamilton in her last movie, Sextette. It is one of the most quoted lines in movie history. Another favorite, said to Ezra Pound, no less, "An ounce of erection is worth a pound of allure."

After a 26-year absence from motion pictures, she appeared in the role of Leticia Van Allen in Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (1970) with John Huston, Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett, and Tom Selleck in a small part. This movie failed at the box office, despite popular excitement. It became a camp classic, however, due to its sex change theme. It has since been re-released several times doing much better than originally and has also had successful multiple releases on DVD and VHS.

Near the end of her life, she was known for maintaining a surprisingly youthful appearance. She stated in her autobiography that she spent two hours every day massaging cold cream into her breasts to keep them youthful. West continued to surround herself with virile men for the rest of her life, employing hunky companions, bodyguards and chauffeurs. Mae West is buried, with her family, in Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

 

1907Roger Peyrefitte (d.2000) was born in Castres in south western France and educated in Catholic boarding schools in the region. The most lasting effect of this religious education was his life-long hostility to the Roman Catholic Church. He went on to study at the University of Toulouse and in Paris.

He had his first homosexual experience at eighteen and thereafter led an active sex life, hunting for teenage boys across Europe. He also had occasional affairs with women, whom (by his own account) he introduced to the delights of anal sex.

Peyrefitte entered the French diplomatic service in 1931 and served as secretary at the French embassy in Athens from 1933 to 1938. Forced to resign in October 1940 because of his relations with a fourteen-year-old boy, he was recalled to duty three years later to serve the collaborationist Vichy government in German-occupied Paris.

After the Liberation, France's provisional government dismissed him on suspicion of collaborationism in February 1945. Peyrefitte later appealed his dismissal and the Council of State finally ruled in his favour in 1962, but the Foreign Ministry refused to reintegrate him. He was by then, in any case, a professional writer with no desire to return to state service.

Peyrefitte's first, best, and best-known novel, Les Amitiés Particulières (Special Friendships), tells the story of love between two teenage boys in a Catholic boarding school. The book may have been based on his own experience. Peyrefitte later explained,
'I was a young diplomat, and I wanted to show the origin of those things: [i.e. homosexuality] that it was not simply under the influence of a disgusting adult that young boys could feel that sort of attraction.'

Critically well-received, the novel won the Prix Renaudot. It caused a first scandal when it appeared in 1944 and a second when made into a movie in 1964. During the making of the film, Peyrefitte befriended a fourteen-year-old extra, Alain-Philippe Malagnac, who eventually became the great love of his life as well as his secretary and business partner.

In the course of his long life (he died at 93), Peyrefitte published dozens of books, including numerous novels, a three-volume fictionalised biography of Alexander the Great, and two volumes on Voltaire (whom he claimed to have been homosexual). He also wrote about Baron Jacques d'Adelsward-Fersen's exile in Capri (L'Exilé de Capri, 1959) and translated Greek pederastic love poetry.

Much of his work provoked scandal for his wide-ranging accusations and implications that various people (and popes) were homosexuals, Nazi-collaborators, or both.

In his memoirs Propos Secrets, he wrote extensively about his youth, his sex life (homosexual mainly and a few affairs with women), his years as a diplomat, his travels to Greece and Italy,] and his troubles with the police for sexually harassing male teenagers.

In two volumes of oral memoirs (1977 and 1980), he divulged the secrets (especially sexual) of numerous celebrities, including himself. Among those he portrayed in a negative light were Alain Delon, André Gide, and Marcel Proust.

Peyrefitte appeared to value the commercial success of his books far more than he cared about their quality.

Peyrefitte was certainly no radical gay liberationist, but he did support gay businesses - he financed a gay nightclub, Le Colony, and Paris's first gay sex bar, Le Bronx, both of which opened on the Rue Sainte-Anne in late 1973.

His political views were deeply conservative:
'I have a profound respect for order. . . . I hate all revolutionary movements. . . . I am too bourgeois . . . to approve of . . . the enemies of the bourgeoisie.'
In his last years, he came out in open support of the extreme right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen and his xenophobic and homophobic party, the National Front.

Peyrefitte died on November 5, 2000, in Paris, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

 

1926 George Melly (d.2007) was an English jazz and blues singer and writer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer. He also lectured on art history, with an emphasis on Surrealism.

He was born in Liverpool and was educated at Stowe school, where he discovered his interest in modern art, jazz and blues and started coming to terms with his sexuality. This period of his life is described in Scouse Mouse, a volume of his autobiography.

He joined the Royal Navy near the end of the Second World War because, as he quipped to the recruiting officer, the uniforms were 'so much nicer'. As he related in his autobiography, Rum, Bum and Concertina, he was crestfallen to discover that he would not be sent to a ship and was thus denied the 'bell-bottom' uniform he desired. Instead he received desk duty and wore the other Navy uniform, described as 'the dreaded fore-and-aft'. Later, however, he did see ship duty. He never saw active combat, but was almost court-martialled for distributing anarchist literature.

After the war Melly found work in a London surrealist gallery, and eventually drifted into the world of jazz music, finding work with Mick Mulligan's Magnolia Jazz Band. This was a time when jazz was very popular in Britain - a time known as the trad-boom. He retired from jazz in the early 1960s when he became a film critic for The Observer. He also became the writer on the Daily Mail's satirical newspaper strip Flook, illustrated by Trog. He was also scriptwriter on the 1967 satirical film Smashing Time. This period of his life is described in Owning Up.

He returned to jazz in the early 1970s with John Chilton's Feetwarmers, a partnership that only ended in 2003. He also sang with Digby Fairweather's band. He released three albums in the 1970s including Nuts in 1972 and Son of Nuts the next year. He wrote a light column "Mellymobile" in Punch magazine describing their tours.

His singing style, particularly for the blues, was strongly influenced by his idol, the American Blues singer Bessie Smith. While many British musicians of the time treated jazz and blues with almost religious solemnity, Melly rejoiced in their more bawdy side, and this was reflected in his choice of songs and exuberant stage performances. He recorded a track called 'Old Codger' with The Stranglers in 1978 especially written for him by the band.

Technically, Melly was bisexual, but moved from strictly homosexual relationships in his teens and twenties to largely heterosexual relationships from his thirties onwards. He married twice and had a child from each marriage. He married his second wife, Diana, in 1963. Their son, Tom, was born two days after the wedding. In 2005, Diana published an autobiography of their life and (open) marriage together. In an incident that others might have considered hugely embarrassing, Diana and George participated in a televised celebrity couples quiz in the 1970s. Asked separately what made them decide to marry, Diana announced 'I was pregnant!' and George, in his turn, merely said, 'The less said about that, the better.' At the time this was considered scandalous.

He was still active in music, journalism, and lecturing on Surrealism and other aspects of modern art until his death, despite worsening health problems such as vascular dementia, incipient emphysema and lung cancer.

In addition to age-related health problems, Melly suffered from environmental hearing loss due to long-term exposure to on-stage sound systems, and his hearing in both ears became increasingly poor. On Sunday 10 June 2007, George Melly made an appearance, announced as his last ever performance, at the 100 Club in London. This was on the occasion of a fund-raising event to benefit the charity supporting his carers.

He died at his London home of lung cancer aged 80 on 5 July 2007

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1926David Watmough (d.2017) was a Canadian playwright, short story writer and novelist.

Watmough was born in London, England, and attended King's College London. He has worked as a reporter (the Cornish Guardian, a 'Talks Producer' (BBC Third Programme) and an editor (Ace Books). He immigrated to Canada in 1960, to Kitsilano in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lived for 40 years with his partner, ex-Californian Floyd St. Clair (1930–2009), an opera critic and, from 1963 till his retirement in 1996, a University of British Columbia French professor. He became a Canadian citizen in 1967.

Watmough lived from 2004 to 2009 in Boundary Bay and before his death had been living at Crofton Manor, a Vancouver assisted-living facility.

In 2008 he published his autobiography, "Myself Through Others: Memoirs".

 


Wesley Eure, Then and Now

1951Wesley Eure is an American actor, singer, author, producer, director, charity fundraiser, and lecturer. He is best known for appearing as Michael Horton on the American soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1974 to 1981, during which he also starred on the popular children's television series Land of the Lost. He later hosted the popular children's game show Finders Keepers in 1987 and 1988, and co-created the children's educational television show Dragon Tales in 1999. He subsequently published several books (for children and adult), and has produced plays and raised funds for HIV/AIDS and other causes.

Eure wanted to be an actor since the age of five. While the family lived in Illinois, he enrolled in a summer program at Northwestern University, where he took acting lessons. His first break came when he was 17 years old and working part-time at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas selling artwork. He was hired as a driver for Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence during their summer tour. He spent most of 1968 and 1969 as their driver.

Eure moved to Los Angeles in 1973 after discovering it was cheaper to live there but offered just as much opportunity to become an actor. He was hired to star in a pilot for a Kaye Ballard TV series, The Organic Vegetables, created and produced by the team behind The Monkees. When that series was not picked up due to the 1973 writers' strike, Eure answered an ad in an industry trade publication to audition for a television show. He learned that David Cassidy was threatening to leave The Partridge Family, and that the audition was for a role as a "neighbor boy" who would take over the lead in the family band from Cassidy. Eure won the audition, but never joined the show. Why is not clear, as Eure has said that Cassidy agreed to stay on the show but also that the show was canceled before the next season started.

Although his acting career seemed stalled, Eure continued to sing. He became friends with Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett, and some of his music was produced by Bobby Sherman. Motown Records placed him under contract, and he was in a boy band whose music was produced by Mike Curb. He also sang a few times with the Jackson Five.

In 1974, Eure tried out for and won a role on NBC's Days of Our Lives. Eure had previously met producer Sid Krofft and committed to do an audition for a new children's show he was working on. Eure flew to New York City at the request of Broadway producer David Merrick to try out for a role in a theatrical production of Candide, and didn't want to audition for Krofft due to his commitment to Days and because he'd be playing a 16-year-old boy. But Eure auditioned and won the role of Will Marshall on Land of the Lost. He kept his commitment to both shows after the Kroffts repeatedly asked him to star on Land of the Lost.

Although Eure had sexual relationships with women, he knew he was homosexual. He met movie star Richard Chamberlain in the early 1970s, and they entered into a serious relationship in 1975. According to Eure, the two men lived together until their breakup in 1976, after which Chamberlain met his long-term partner Martin Rabbett. During this time, Eure says, he lived a fairly open life with Chamberlain, with many of his co-stars, producers, and crew aware of their relationship and Eure's homosexuality. Eure says of the relationship, "It broke my heart. I was destroyed. I was a kid, and he was a much older guy. ... I remember we broke up and I was on Days of Our Lives, I couldn’t stop shaking. I was crying so hard. I was a kid, comparatively. I went to the studio that day, and I was sobbing in the dressing room."

Eure was fired from Days of Our Lives in 1981. According to Eure, he was given many reasons for the cancellation of his contract after nine years on the show. But Eure says he believes the real reason was his homosexuality, which attracted attention and threatened more deeply closeted producers and actors. Years later, Eure says he met Earl Greenburg, the head of NBC's daytime programming division at the time he was fired. Greenburg confirmed that Eure was fired because of rumors about his homosexuality. Eure also says one of the stars of Days of Our Lives confirmed that Eure's sexuality was the cause of his dimissal.

When Chamberlain was outed by a French magazine in 1989, Eure (who had already been named in one book as a closeted homosexual) feared he would be exposed as well. But with the assistance of a friend at the National Enquirer, Eure's name was kept out of the American tabloid press

Eure did not act in film or television for six years after leaving Days of Our Lives, and attributes this difficulty to Hollywood gossip about his sexual orientation. He continued to sing, however, and had a Las Vegas act at Harrah's casino. During this time, some of his recording was produced by singer Bobby Sherman, but a full album was never completed

It was during the premiere of the Land of the Lost film in 2009 that Eure decided to come out of the closet. He attended the premiere with a friend, Days of Our Lives production assistant Deanne Anders. While on the red carpet, Eure decided he would never again hide his sexuality. Already scheduled to do an interview with the LGBT news and lifestyle Web site AfterElton.com about his HIV/AIDS charity work, Eure decided to come out of the closet in the interview.

During the 1980s, Eure lost most of his gay friends to AIDS—including one of his best friends, the director John Allison. Subsequently, Eure became a fund-raiser for a number of HIV/AIDS causes. He has helped to organize and host the LalaPOOLooza HIV/AIDS fund-raiser in Palm Springs, California, for many years. He has also raised funds for and assisted with Project Angel Food, a nonprofit organization that feeds homebound AIDS patients.

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1951Richard Hunt (d.1992) was an American puppeteer, best known as a Muppet performer on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and other projects for The Jim Henson Company. His roles on The Muppet Show included Scooter, Statler, Janice, Beaker and Sweetums.

Hunt was born in The Bronx, New York City. The family eventually moved to Closter, New Jersey some years later. Hunt came from a family of performers. As a student in middle school and high school, he put on puppet shows for local children, and was a fan of the then-fledgling Muppets. After high school graduation, and a four-month stint of doing weather reports at a local radio station, Hunt pursued a meeting with Jim Henson. He cold-called from a payphone and was invited to audition.

After being hired to work on Sesame Street, Hunt mostly performed background characters. One of his first major performances was as Taminella Grinderfall in The Frog Prince, physically performing the character while Jerry Juhl portrayed the voice. Hunt performed Scooter and shared Miss Piggy with Frank Oz until the final quarter of the first season of The Muppet Show.

His characters on Sesame Street included Forgetful Jones, Placido Flamingo, Don Music, Gladys the Cow, and Sully; Hunt also briefly performed Elmo before Kevin Clash was cast in that role. On Fraggle Rock, Hunt's main role was the performing the facial expressions and voice of Junior Gorg; he also performed Gunge (one of the Trash Heap's barkers) as well as several one-shot or minor characters.

Hunt also worked as a director of several home video releases such as Sing-Along, Dance-Along, Do-Along and Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game, as well as an episode of Fraggle Rock. Hunt was close friends with fellow puppeteer Jerry Nelson. Several of their characters were paired, such as Nelson's Floyd Pepper with Hunt's Janice; the Two-Headed Monster; and Nelson's Pa Gorg to Hunt's Junior Gorg on Fraggle Rock.

Hunt was openly gay. When Rudolf Nureyev, also openly gay, made a guest appearance on The Muppet Show, Nureyev bluntly flirted with Hunt. Hunt was in a relationship with Nelson Bird, a painter from Alabama, until his death in 1985.

On January 7, 1992, Hunt died of HIV/AIDS related complications at Cabrini Hospice in Manhattan, aged 40. He was cremated, and some of his ashes were sprinkled over the flower beds at the Hunt Family home in Closter, New Jersey. The Muppet Christmas Carol was dedicated to his memory.

 

1951Robert Joy is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Sid Hammerback in CSI: NY, Charlie Houx in Land of the Dead, Lizard in The Hills Have Eyes, Dave in Atlantic City, and Jim in Desperately Seeking Susan.

Joy was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Joy played Madonna's punk musician boyfriend Jim in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan, and the Dutch-Israeli Hans in the 1986 Alliance/CTV production Sword of Gideon, an adaptation of George Jonas's book Vengeance.

In the fall of 2005, Joy joined the CBS police procedural series, CSI: NY, during its second season as a recurring character, Dr. Sid Hammerback, the Chief Medical Examiner, and became a main cast member in season five. Joy stated, "I basically read the script and then look up everything on Wikipedia that I don't know, and try to find out how to pronounce all the long words and get my head around actually what it is that I'm conveying, because often my character has a lot of explaining to do."

In 2006, Joy appeared onscreen in Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hills Have Eyes where he portrays a mutant named Lizard.

In addition to his acting, Joy was frequently associated with the Newfoundland-based CODCO, working with the comedy troupe on many of their

pre-television stage shows and appearing as a guest performer in the series. He also co-starred in the 1986 Andy Jones film, The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood, the only film that features the entire cast of CODCO.

He appeared as himself in the 2012 documentary film That Guy... Who Was in That Thing.

Joy is divorced from actress Mary Joy. They have one daughter, Ruby Joy, who is an actress. In the summer of 2011, Joy and his daughter performed together in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Joy was formerly the partner of actor William Duff-Griffin, who died from prostate cancer on November 13, 1994, and has been in a relationship with Broadway composer Henry Krieger since 1995.

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1952Andrew R. Gottlieb is a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and author. Gottlieb is a psychotherapist in private practice for 30 years, helping individuals and couples from diverse backgrounds in both short- and long-term therapy in the New York City area.

Gottlieb was born on August 17, 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Seymour E. Gottlieb, an optometrist, and Lillian B. Gottlieb, a bookkeeper.

Gottlieb started his career as a social worker at the Episcopal Mission Society. Later, he became a director of South Bronx Services to Older People. In the Department of Probation, Andrew worked as a probation officer, then, he was a case planner at Children's Aid Society, where he also worked as a supervisor, social worker and assistant site director and unit supervisor.

Since 1989, Gottlieb has been a psychotherapist in private practice. Gottlieb has published six books, as well as edited the Journal of GLBT Family Studies.

Gottlieb is a psychotherapist, who has treated a range of patients, specializing in work with adolescents, young adults, and LGBT people. Though much of his treatment experience has been individually oriented, he has done much couple work with gay/lesbian/bi/trans people as well as with heterosexual men and women. Gottlieb specializes in working individually with LGBTQ+ young people.

 

1960Sean Penn is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his left-wing political and social activism (including humanitarian work). He is a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008), as well as the recipient of a Golden Globe Award for the former and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the latter.

On February 22, 2009, Penn, a heterosexual, received the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film Milk. In his acceptance speech, Penn said

" ... I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone!"

1969 – An Atlanta art theatre was raided during a showing of Andy Warhol’s film Lonesome Cowboys saying it was a hotbed of homosexuality. Police photographed everyone in attendance as reference material for the vice squad. Written by Paul Morrissey, the film is a satire of Hollywood westerns. It won the Best Film Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

1973 – In Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa, Gay Pride Week becomes a national celebration.

1974 – On this date the Toronto Gay Pride March converged on Queen's Park. It was the first time daily newspapers in Canada covered such a march.

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Click for Full Monty

1982Ryan Driller, aka Jeremy Bilding, is an American pornographic actor, director, and model who has appeared in both straight and gay pornography. In 2016, he received the XBIZ Award for Male Performer of the Year. Men's Health has described him as "one of the biggest names in the industry".

Driller was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. Driller was a member of the Boy Scouts. At 18, he moved to Key West, Florida, where he lived for seven years. Before entering the adult film industry, he worked as a radio promotions coordinator.

Driller entered the adult film industry after reaching out to agents about performing and receiving replies. He has performed in straight pornography under the name Ryan Driller and in gay pornography under the name Jeremy Bilding. He appeared in an episode of The Burn with Jeff Ross, in which Ross did a comedy skit during one of Driller's porn shoots.

 

1982Jon Lovett is an American screenwriter, speechwriter, television producer, and podcaster. After working as a speech and joke writer for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Lovett co-created the NBC White House sitcom 1600 Penn, and served as a writer and producer on the third season of HBO's The Newsroom. He is a founder of Crooked Media and currently hosts the podcasts Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It.

Lovett was born to a Reform Jewish family in Woodbury, Long Island that operated a box factory started by his grandfather. He attended Syosset High School. Lovett graduated from Williams College in 2004 with a degree in math. His senior thesis, Rotating Linkages in a Normed Plane, led to a publication in American Mathematical Monthly. Lovett was also the 2004 Williams College Class Speaker at his commencement. After graduation, Lovett spent a year working as a stand-up comic in New York.

In 2004, Lovett volunteered for John Kerry's presidential campaign. He was asked to write a statement for the candidate, and his work led to an offer of a writing internship. He then briefly worked in Jon Corzine's Senate office. He was hired in 2005 to assist Sarah Hurwitz as a speechwriter for then-Senator Hillary Clinton, and he continued to write speeches for her through her 2008 presidential campaign.

When Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic primary contest, Lovett won an anonymous contest to write speeches for President Barack Obama in the White House. Lovett wrote speeches in the Obama administration for three years, working closely with Jon Favreau and David Axelrod. Prominent speeches that he wrote include policy speeches on financial reform and don't ask, don't tell, as well as remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Lovett officiated the first same-sex marriage in the White House, secretly and counter to the policy of the Obama administration.

Before Barack Obama ran for re-election, Lovett moved to California to become a screenwriter. Lovett collaborated with Josh Gad and Jason Winer on 1600 Penn, of which Lovett was a co-creator, executive producer, and writer from 2012 until 2013. Lovett then worked as a writer, producer and advisor on season three of HBO's The Newsroom.

Starting in March 2016, Lovett co-hosted The Ringer's political podcast Keepin' it 1600 with former fellow Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor.

Shortly after the November 2016 election, Lovett, Favreau and Vietor founded their own company, Crooked Media, and launched a new podcast, Pod Save America. In March 2017, Lovett began hosting Lovett or Leave It, a panel show podcast from Crooked Media, recorded in front of a live audience in Los Angeles. Lovett and Crooked Media have embarked on national and international tours featuring live versions of Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It.

Lovett's partner is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen.

2003 – Died : Herbert Sutcliffe (b.1917), history teacher and decorated World War II veteran - awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire for bringing his troops back from behind enemy lines at Calais, France, in 1944.

While a 24-year-old lance-corporal posted to Britain, he had his first sexual encounter - with a Canadian Army sergeant - on New Year's Eve, 1941. but as he moved up through the ranks, he took care to avoid sex with military men, fearing it could compromise his authority.

After the war, he returned to his home town to pursue a history degree from the University of Toronto. But in 1950, he passed up graduate school at Yale in order to make the military his professional life. After rising through the ranks for the next dozen years, the ground beneath him fell away on June 1, 1962, leaving his career and personal life in shambles.

On the eve of being transferred to a new post at the Pentagon, he was discharged in 1962 for being gay, one of nearly 400 people who lost their jobs as the result of a 1959-1968 Canadian investigation to weed out homosexuals in the military and civil service becasue they were deemed national security threats.

Major Sutcliffe was in Ottawa that day readying himself for a prestigious post at the Pentagon in Washington when his commanding officer delivered the blow: the army had confirmed that he was a homosexual and, on that basis, was discharging him. Shocked and scared, Sutcliffe went home, had a drink and contemplated suicide.

Despite his feelings of isolation, Sutcliffe was not alone in his misfortune. Between 1959 and 1968, the Security Panel - a committee of RCMP officers and representatives from the Privy Council, National Defence and External Affairs - investigated 9,000 men and women suspected of homosexuality. The panel targeted the civil service, the military and the Mounties, spending millions of dollars in the process -- some of them on such bizarre measures as the "fruit machine," a device designed to differentiate gays from straights. Like Sutcliffe, at least 395 people lost their jobs.

After being drummed out of the military, he returned to Toronto and enrolled in teacher's college, later landing a job teaching history in a high school. In this, he sees more than a little irony: "The military had thrown me out because I'm a homosexual, and here I am teaching 18-, 19-, 20-year-old males." In his post-army life, Sutcliffe chose to keep his sexuality private until he retired in 1979. Finally, he says, "I reached the point where I wouldn't apologize for being gay. That's the way I am, and I'm comfortable with it."

When same-sex marriage became legal in Ontario, Herbert Sutcliffe and Ralph Wormleighton, his partner of 30 years, didn't rush to the altar. "We didn't see any point in our doing it. In terms of income tax, we were already regarded as a couple, and our wills and powers-of-attorney were drawn up to reflect that."

2009 – On this date the Durham, North Carolina city council received a standing ovation when it unanimously passed, without discussion, a resolution supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples. "It is simply a statement" and has no effect on the law, City Attorney Patrick Baker said before the vote. Nevertheless, when the outcome was announced much of the full-house audience in the council chamber broke into applause and then stood. The resolution states:
"The City Council of the City of Durham endorses and supports the rights of same sex couples to share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitments of civil marriage." Bravo.

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Today's Gay Wisdom:
Mae West

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Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.
- in response to an exclamation, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!"

I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.
- I'm No Angel (1933)

When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.
- I'm No Angel (1933)

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
- I'm No Angel (1933)

Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before.
- Klondike Annie (1936)

A man in the house is worth two in the street.
- Belle of the Nineties

It's not the men in your life that matters, it's the life in your men.
- I'm No Angel (1933)

When women go wrong, men go right after them.
- She Done Him Wrong

One and one is two; two and two is four; and "five will get you ten" if you work it right!
- My Little Chickadee

I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time.
- Myra Breckinridge

To a young actor:
How tall are you without your horse?
Six foot, seven inches.
Never mind the six feet. Let's talk about the seven inches!

- Myra Breckinridge

An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.

On handling men:
Tell the pretty ones they're smart and tell the smart ones they're pretty.

Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

He who hesitates is a damned fool.

His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

I consider sex a misdemeanor; the more I miss, de meaner I get.

I do all my best work in bed.

It is better to be looked over than be overlooked.

Love conquers all things except poverty and a toothache.

Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.

Men are like Cigars, If you don't attend to them, they go out.

Sex is an emotion in motion.

Sex is like bridge; if you don't have a good partner, you better have a good hand.

Sex with love is the greatest thing in life. But sex without love — that's not so bad either.

She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.

Too much of a good thing can be simply wonderful.

You can say what you like about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

AUGUST 18 →

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