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

July 12

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100 BCJulius Caesar, Roman military and political leader was born either today or tomorrow, July 13 (d.44 BC) Although it is by no means the only reason why they carried Caesar out on a slab on the Ides of March, the Roman Emperor's reputation as a manly man had once been irrevocably besmirched.

The Roman code that permitted men to bugger at their will allowed only adolescent boys to be on the long end of the stick. In a society where it was considered infinitely better to give than to receive, any male who voluntarily adopted a passive sexual role was forever after considered an inferior being. This Caesar had done in his love affair with Nicomedes, king of Bithynia.

Cicero reports that Caesar, acting as the royal cup bearer for Nicomedes, was led, clad in purple shift, to the royal bedchamber and its golden couch. Nicomedes, he says, was definitely on top.

Throughout the remainder of his life, emperor or not, Caesar was taunted by his enemies: Suetonius reports that Caesar was called "the queen's rival" his partner in the consulship described him in an edict as "the queen of Bithynia"; his soldiers chanted "Caesar conquered Gaul; Nicomedes, Caesar"; Curio the Elder called him "every man's wife and every woman's husband." "In contrast," as John Boswell wrote, "the charge that Augustus had, as a boy, submitted to Caesar in the same way seems never to have done him much harm."

Poor Julius Caesar, in so many ways a man in advance of his time. Not long after his murder, the public attitude changed as more and more emperors began to turn the other cheek just for the hell of it. They set the fashion for the glory that was Rome. Or, as an anonymous poet put it,

"ROMA, which loved making love from the rear,
spelt 'love' AMOR by turning its name on its ear."

 

1817Henry David Thoreau, American writer, philosopher was born (d.1862). In the fall of 1856, when he was thirty-nine years old, the author of Walden found a

"rare and remarkable fungus, such as I have heard of but never seen before. The whole length [is] six and three quarter inches. It may be divided into three parts, picus, stem and base, — or scrotum, for it is a perfect phallus. One of those fungi named impudicus, I think. In all respects, [it is] a most disgusting object, yet very suggestive. It was as offensive to the eye as to the scent, the cap rapidly melting and defiling what it touched with a fetid, olivaceous, semiliquid matter. In an hour or two the plant scented the whole house wherever placed, so that it could not be endured. I was afraid to sleep in my chamber where it had lain until the room had been well ventilated. It smelled like a dead rat in the ceiling, in all the ceilings of the house. Pray, what was Nature thinking of when she made this? She almost puts herself on a level with those who draw in privies."


Phallus impudicus

Thoreau's sexuality has long been a subject of speculation; even his contemporaries commented on his apparent lack of interest in conventional romance. The most exhaustive examination of the evidence on both sides of this question is Walter Harding's article, "Thoreau's Sexuality," published in the Journal of Homosexuality (1991). Basing his conclusions mostly on evidence from Thoreau's Journal, Harding suggests that Thoreau's affectional orientation was probably homosexual, though there is no evidence that he was physically intimate with either men or women. Although Thoreau proposed marriage to one woman (and was proposed to by another), Harding concludes that the preponderance of the evidence indicates that he had a fundamental attraction to other men, an attraction sublimated through his writing and his passion for nature.

It's fascinating that his journals never mention women and some of whose essays express his thoughts on the relations of men. His essay "Chastity and Sensuality," and the long discourse on "Friendship" in A Week are prolific expressions of the beauty, and the agony, of love between men. Some of these discussions are said to refer to his brother or to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Others clearly refer to two men whom Thoreau found particularly attractive: Tom Fowler, whom Thoreau chose as a guide on a trip to the Maine woods; and Alek Therien, the Canadian woodchopper who visited Thoreau at Walden Pond.

In 1854 Thoreau wrote in Walden of the visit paid him by the wandering French-Canadian woodchopper Alex Therien. So taken was Thoreau with this rugged laborer — "a true Homeric or Paphlagonian man," as he put it in his journal — and so eager was he "to fasten [him]self like a blood-sucker... to any full-blooded man that [came his] way," that he indulged in a moment of "Homerotic" fantasy: he asked the woodsman to read to him from the Iliad, and in particular "Achilles' reproof to Patroclus for his sad countenance."

In 1991, a quarter of a century after publishing his biography of Thoreau, his biographer Walter Harding, added an important postscript to his analysis of his subject: an essay in the Journal of Homosexuality arguing that Thoreau had " specific sexual interest in members of his own sex."

Of course, Thoreau could not have thought of himself as a homosexual as we understand the term, but as a careful reader of Darwin and a close observer of nature, Thoreau wondered what it meant that he dispersed no seed of his own. (He half-asserted, half-speculated in his journal that "The end of marriage is not the propagation of the species ... any more than the object of the blossom is to mature the seed.") He also knew that in his relationships with men, his emotions were often more turbulent and demanding than his partners: "Methinks that I carry into friendship the tenderness & nicety of a lover," he admitted in his diary.

 

1868 - Birth date of German poet Stefan George (d.1933). Believing that the purpose of poetry was distance from the world – he was a strong advocate of art for art’s sake – George’s writing had many ties with the French Symbolist movement and he was in contact with many of its representatives, including Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine.

George was an important bridge between the 19th century and German modernism, even though he was a harsh critic of the then modern era.

George’s “evident homosexuality” is reflected in works such as Algabal and the love poetry he devoted to a gifted adolescent of his acquaintance named Maximilian Kronberger, whom he called “Maximin”, and whom he identified as a manifestation of the divine. 

 

1876Max Jacob, French poet, was born in Quimper, Brittany, France (d.1944). As a young man, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career. On the Boulevard Voltaire, he shared a room with Pablo Picasso, who introduced him to Guillame Apollinaire, who in turn introduced him to Georges Braque. He would become close friends with Jean Cocteau, Christopher Wood and Amedeo Modigliani, who painted his portrait in 1916. He also befriended and encouraged the artist Romanin, otherwise known as French politician and future Resistance leader Jean Moulin.

Jacob, who had Jewish origins, claimed to have had a vision of Christ in 1909, and converted to Catholicism. But, despite his hopes, his new religion could not rid him of his homosexual longings, about which he once said, "If heaven witnesses my regrets, heaven will pardon me for the pleasures which it knows are involuntary." Notorious for his heavy drinking, Jacob said he joined the artistic community in Montparnasse to "sin disgracefully." In 1915, he arrived drunk at the funeral of Picasso's lover, Eva Gouel, and attempted to seduce the driver of the hearse.

On February 24, 1944 Jacob was arrested by the Gestapo and put into Orleans prison. He was then transferred to a holding camp in Drancy for transport to a camp in Germany. However, said to be suffering from bronchial pneumonia, Max Jacob died in the Drancy deportation camp on March 5th.

 

1934 – (Harvey Lavan) Van Cliburn, Jr. (d.2013) was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of twenty-three, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, at the height of the Cold War.

It was his recognition in Moscow that propelled Cliburn to international fame. The first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 was an event designed to demonstrate Soviet cultural superiority during the Cold War, on the heels of their technological victory with the Sputnik launch in October 1957. Cliburn's performance at the competition finale of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 earned him a standing ovation lasting eight minutes. When it was time to announce a winner, the judges were obliged to ask permission of the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to give first prize to an American. "Is he the best?" Khrushchev asked. "Then give him the prize!" Cliburn returned home to a ticker-tape parade in New York City, the only time the honor has been accorded a classical musician. His cover story in Time proclaimed him "The Texan Who Conquered Russia."

In 1998, Cliburn was named in a lawsuit by his alleged domestic partner of seventeen years, mortician Thomas Zaremba. In the suit, Zaremba claimed entitlement to a portion of Cliburn's income and assets and went on to charge that he might have been exposed to HIV, claiming emotional distress. Each claim was subsequently dismissed by an appellate court, holding that palimony suits are not permitted in the state of Texas unless the relationship is based on a written agreement.

 

1948 – Milton Teagle Richard Simmons  is an American fitness guru, actor, and comedian. He promotes weight-loss programs, prominently through his Sweatin’ to the Oldies line of aerobics videos and is known for his eccentric, flamboyant, and energetic personality.

Simmons began his weight-loss career by opening a gym called Slimmons in Beverly Hills, California, catering to the overweight, and he became widely known through exposure on television and through the popularity of his consumer products. He is often parodied and was a frequent guest of late night television and radio talk shows, such as the Late Show with David Letterman and The Howard Stern Show.

Aside from his three Dalmatians and two maids, Simmons lives alone in Beverly Hills, California. While his sexual orientation has been the subject of much speculation, he has never publicly discussed his sexuality. In May 2017, Simmons sued the National Enquirer, Radar Online and American Media, Inc. for libel and false claims that he was undergoing gender reassignment.

 

1957Steven Petrow is an American journalist and author who writes frequently on modern-day etiquette and is frequently referred to as "Mr. Manners."

Journalist Steven Petrow pens the "Civil Behavior" column for The New York Times and also contributes weekly to Parade with his "Manners Hero of the Week" selection. He's the author of four etiquette books, including Steven Petrow's Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners and The New Gay Wedding. Petrow is also a past president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association

Petrow started his career at The Wall Street Journal, and has since held senior editorial positions at Life Magazine, HotWired, Longevity Magazine, and Everyday Health .

Petrow’s previous books include Dancing Against the Darkness; When Someone You Know Has AIDS; The HIV Drug Book; and The Lost Hamptons.

 

1970Phil Jimenez is an American comic book writer, artist and penciller. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and later Orange County, California, he moved to New York City to attend college at the School of Visual Arts where he now teaches a life-drawing course, Drawing for Cartoonists, as part of the undergraduate cartooning program.

Jimenez was hired by DC Comics Creative Director Neal Pozner at age 21, with his first published work illustrating four pages in the 1991 miniseries War of the Gods. Pozner was HIV-positive when he and Jimenez started dating, and was hesitant about dating someone younger and HIV-negative. Nonetheless, Jimenez became both Pozner's partner and caretaker, saying:

Neal Pozner was my first editor, and he was probably my greatest mentor at DC Comics. He was an incredibly talented man, with some very strong opinions about the way things should be done. I developed a crush on him the minute I met him, and I wanted to know more about him, and I wanted to be with him all the time. So I'd hang out with him at work, in the offices, far later than I had any reason to. I would buy clothes I couldn't afford to impress him. And eventually, I mustered the nerve to ask him on a date. And he was 15 years older than I was. And he had been my boss. And so, against his better judgement, he said yes. And it actually ended up being a really wonderful relationship.

Following Neal Pozner's death in 1994, Jimenez wrote and illustrated the 1996 DC miniseries, Tempest, based on a character from Pozner's late-80s Aquaman series. In the last issue, Jimenez dedicated the miniseries to Pozner, and wrote an editorial page in which he came out publicly for the first time. "It got over 150 letters," he says, "including the classic letter from the kid in Iowa: 'I didn't know there was anyone else like me.' That's what counts. It meant a lot to people."


(Click for larger)

The dedication in the bottom left of the final page of Tempest reads:

This miniseries is dedicated
to Neal Pozner
I love you, Big Guy, and I
miss you, very much.
Phil Jiminez "Champ"

He is probably best known for his work as writer/artist on Wonder Woman (2000-2003), main penciller of the miniseries crossover event Infinite Crisis (2005-2006) or his collaborations with writer Grant Morrison on The Invisibles and New X-Men.

1972 – Delegate Jim Foster becomes the first openly Gay person to address a major American party convention at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

 

1975 Cheyenne Jackson is an American actor and singer. Jackson was born in Idaho and was named by his father after the 1950s Western series. The third of four children, he was raised in Newport, Washington, a "teeny mill town" of about 1,200 people in a rural area on the Washington-Idaho border. His father is a Native American and a Vietnam veteran.

Jackson made his Broadway debut understudying both male leads in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. He later served as the standby for the character of Radames in Aida, then originated the role of Matthew in the off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz. In 2005, he originated his first Broadway leading role in the musical tribute to Elvis Presley, All Shook Up. His performance as Chad earned him much critical praise, the Theatre World Award, as well as nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor.

In 2006, Cheyenne portrayed Mark Bingham in Universal Pictures' Academy-Award nominated film United 93, directed by Paul Greengrass. He also starred Off-Broadway in playwright Nicky Silver's The Agony and The Agony with Victoria Clark.

Regionally in the US, Jackson has appeared as Tony in West Side Story, as Joey in The Most Happy Fella, as Cain in Children of Eden, as Berger in Hair, as Billy Bigelow in Carousel, as Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show, and as The Poet in Kismet, among many other productions. Early in his career, Cheyenne worked as a back up singer for Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, and Liza Minnelli.

He has guest starred on television series including: Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, and has a recurring role on the award winning NBC series, 30 Rock. On March 15, 2010 Jackson made his guest-starring debut on the long-running NBC series, Law & Order.

In concert, Jackson has sold out Carnegie Hall twice: The Power of Two in 2010 and Music of the Mad Men Era in 2011. He also performs in cabaret. In addition to his Broadway cast albums, he has released two albums of popular music, including a joint album called The Power of Two with Michael Feinstein in 2008. In 2012, Jackson released two singles, "Drive" and "Before You", from his 2013 album I'm Blue, Skies.

He is openly gay and an LGBT rights supporter, as well as an ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and the national ambassador for The Hetrick-Martin Institute. In 2008, he was named Out magazine's Entertainer of the year. Jackson's partner, Monte Lapka, is a physicist; they have been together since 2000. They married on Labor Day weekend, 2011. In July 2013, they announced plans to divorce. They filed for divorce in September 2013.

In October 2013, Jackson announced he was dating actor Jason Landau on his official Instagram account. They announced their engagement in February 2014, and married in Encino, California in September 2014.

 

1975 Jonny McGovern, also known by his character name The Gay Pimp, is an American stand-up comedian, musician and podcaster. He has recorded three albums as comedic singer The Gay Pimp, and is also a cast member of Logo's The Big Gay Sketch Show.

Jonny McGovern was born in Brooklyn, New York. His parents traveled often and McGovern grew up primarily in Egypt and Thailand.

McGovern stated that he was inspired to create his signature comedic character, The Gay Pimp, after listening to rap songs and interviews by Eminem. McGovern has said,

'It started off with Eminem. I was appalled by him ripping on fags and talking mad shit. People were protesting, but how could you protest a pop star? I figured my best way of protesting was to write a big, flashy, glamorous, funny show... called 'The Wrong Fag to Fuck With: The Gay Pimp vs. Eminem.' It was where the Gay Pimp was a pop star/superhero who came out at the MTV awards to battle Eminem. Of course it did end with Eminem getting it up the butt and being humiliated while all the gay teens were set free.'

After the songs from the show began to get heavy rotation in New York City nightclubs, McGovern was approached about making a music video for one of his songs, Soccer Practice. The video for Soccer Practice, which received heavy rotation in dance clubs as well as notoriety on the Internet, featured McGovern in a shirt that was emblazoned with the sequined words "Gay Pimp." In it, he cavorted and simulated sex with scantily-clad men.

McGovern hosts Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern, a weekly free LGBT themed podcast based out of Los Angeles since August 2010. Originally based in New York City, (January 16, 2006 - January 11, 2010) it presently ranks as one of the highest weekly comedy podcast under the keyword "gay" on the iTunes music store.

 

1985 Theo Tams is a Canadian singer and the winner of the sixth season of the CTV reality show Canadian Idol. His debut album, Give It All Away, was released on 19 May 2009 by Sony Music Canada.

Tams grew up in Coaldale, Alberta, and he attended Immanuel Christian High School in Lethbridge. Tams played trumpet in high school, and is self-taught on piano. Before Idol, he was a student at the University of Lethbridge, studying classical music and psychology. He is taking a leave from his studies to pursue a music career.

He won Canadian Idol on September 10, 2008, after singing three songs on the final performance show that included "Sing" (released to radio and digital download on 11 September 2008), which was the winner's single chosen for him.

Tams moved to Toronto to work on collaborations for his debut album. Tams toured Canada along with runner-up Mitch MacDonald and third-place finisher Drew Wright in November-December 2008.

Tams came out as gay during the Canadian Idol's run by referring to a male partner during one of his post-performance interviews. This made him the first openly gay performer to win an Idol series in North America. He subsequently endorsed Adam Lambert in the 2009 edition of American Idol, and included two gay couples, one male and one female, in the video for his single "Lazy Lovers".

On June 28, 2010, Theo took a trip to Afghanistan to perform for the Canadian troops on Canada Day. This was an opportunity for him to visit Canadian and allied troops not only on the base in Kandahar but he travelled by Blackhawk outside of the wire to meet with and hear the stories of the front-line troops. On July 14, he told Canada AM that it was "the most surreal experiences I've ever had." One of his new songs focuses on his experience in Afghanistan.

1993 – Unknown persons toss three Molotov cocktails at the front door of the St. Marc Spa in Toronto. Bomb threats are also called in against Woody's, Bar 501 and the offices of Xtra! the following night

2002 – Canadian Gay Rights: The Superior Court of Ontario orders Ontario to recognize same-sex marriages.

JULY 13 →

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