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
1534 – Oda Nobunaga (d.June 21, 1582) was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Nobunaga lived a life of continuous military conquest, eventually conquering a third of Japan before his death at his own hand in 1582. His successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a loyal Oda supporter, would become the first man to unify all of Japan.
During one of the continuous wars in which Oda Nobunga was engaged in his efforts to unify Japan, while taking rest and refuge with a small retinue of servants and bodyguards at Honno-ji temple, one of his followers, Akechi Mitsuhide, chose to use the moment to initiate a coup d'etat.
The cause of Mitsuhide's "betrayal" is controversial. It has been said that Mitsuhide may have heard a rumor that Nobunaga was intending transfer Mitsuhide's fief to his young page, Mori Ranmaru, with whom Nobunaga is alleged to have been in a ritualized homosexual relationship, a form of patronage, known as shudō.
Nobunaga's small entourage was soon overwhelmed and as the rebel troops closed in on the burning temple where Nobunaga had been residing, he decided to commit seppuku - ritual suicide - in one of the inner rooms. Only Nobunaga's young page, Mori Ranmaru, remained at his master's side. He was still in his teens at the time. He attended to Nobunaga as he sought a moment of peace to carry out his last act, then Ranmaru killed himself in the same way. Ranmaru's loyalty and devotion to his lord became widely known and praised during the Edo period of Japanese history.
1629 – The Reverend Francis Higgeson' s journal of his trip to New England on board the ship Talbot reported: "This day we examined 5 beastly Sodomitical boys, which confessed their wickedness not to be named." "The fact was so foul," said Higgeson, "we reserved them to be punished by the governor when we came to new England." The governor, he said, afterwards sent the boys "back to the company to be punished in old England as the crime deserved."
On September 29 the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony assigned two members to acquaint a director of the Massachusetts Bay Company in England with the boys' misdemeanor, and advise what punishment may be inflicted upon them, and how the Company may be legally discharged of them.
Sodomy was usually conceived of then as anal intercourse between men. But why was sodomy thought of as treason against the state, and punished so harshly?
In England, sodomy was at this time a crime for which males over fourteen could be hanged. The boys' fate is unknown.
1882 – Dr. William Hammond delivers a paper to the American Neurological Association on a "disease" which makes males believe themselves to be females. As an example, he told of Native Americans who lived as the opposite sex.
1894 – Edward VIII, born on this date, was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication in December of the same year.
Edward was born during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria. as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary. He was created Prince of Wales on his 16th birthday, seven weeks after his father succeeded as king.
As a young man, Edward served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father. While Prince of Wales, he engaged in a series of sexual affairs that worried both his father and then-British prime minister Stanley Baldwin.
Edward became king on his father's death. Only months into his reign, a constitutional crisis was caused by his proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. Such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as titular head of the Church of England, which, at the time, disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive.
When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, he abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is the shortest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.
After his abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis in France in June 1937, after her second divorce became final. During the Second World War, Edward was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he was a Nazi sympathizer, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in France. He and Wallis remained married until his death in 1972. Wallis died 14 years later.
Edward’s equerry at the time he gave up the throne, Dudley Forwood, revealed to author, Charles Higham, shortly before his death, in Higham’s Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Life that, starting in the early ’20s, and lasting through his courtship of Mrs. Simpson and the first years of his marriage, Edward also fell in love and had a secret affair with his male equerry, Edward “Fruity” Metcalfe. It didn’t take long, however, for the court to figure out the true nature of their attachment, according to Forwood. Word soon got back to George V, who fired Metcalfe immediately. The Prince of Wales not only retaliated by hiring his lover back, but at twice his original salary, which Edward paid for personally.
Higham also insinuates later in his book that openly gay American socialite Jimmy Donahue, long rumored to have had an affair only with the Duchess of Windsor, in fact engaged in a ménage a trois with them both. Furthermore, Higham asserts in his biography that Wallis’s sexual and romantic hold on Edward rarely involved actual sex. Edward was, according to Higham, instead a natural sadist and foot fetishist who preferred being dominated by his wife in various forms of pseudo sexual role play.
The late, notorious Hollywood escort and pimp, Scotty Bowers, a World War II marine veteran who worked in Hollywood from the ’40s to the ’80s first as a gas station attendant, then as a bartender, claims to have moonlighted the entire time as both a male prostitute and proprietor of other male and female sex workers to various movie stars. In 2012 he published his immensely entertaining memoir, Full Service: My Adventures In Hollywood And The Secret Sex Lives Of The Stars. And among the secret sex lives of the rich and famous he reveals in his tome are what he alleges to have been the true inclinations of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Edward, according to Bowers, certainly wasted no time making his intentions known once they were introduced. After greeting him with a hearty handshake, and not minding when Scotty called him “Eddy,” they both soon after retreated to a bungalow on the estate where the Duke pgave him a blowjob.
Bowers implies in his memoir that the Duke preferred taking the active role in gay sex, often preferring a ménage a trois with two young men, which sometimes included Bowers himself.
Bowers made no reference to the Duke’s long rumored lack of an endowment, but nonetheless implies as much by referring to him, in essence, and in what would be referred to in gay male sexual parlance, as "a gentle top" According to Charles Higham, Thelma Furness, the married, American mistress Edward jilted for Wallis Simpson, sought revenge on her former royal lover by constantly referring to him, for the rest of her life, as "the little man".
Norman Lockridge, in his book, Lese Majesty, The Private Lives of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, alleges that, even at the height of the abdication crisis, he personally witnessed Edward VIII at a party on at least one occasion with a pair of effeminate chorus boy brothers who were known to be his secret lovers.
Scotty Bowers avers his association with the Windsors lasted until the ’60s. He describes them both as charming, sweet natured people who appreciated his services.The fact that they occasionally needed the assistance of a bevy of nubile male and female prostitutes to achieve that joy is besides the point. They engaged in harmless fun with consenting adults.
1894 – Biologist and pioneer of human sexuality Alfred Kinsey was born on this date (d.1956); Kinsey was an American biologist and professor of entomology and zoology who in 1947 founded the Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University. Kinsey's research on human sexuality profoundly influenced social and cultural values in the United States and many other countries. His Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948 shocked the world.
Kinsey was rumored to participate in unusual sexual practices. James H. Jones's biography, Alfred C. Kinsey: A Public/Private Life, describes Kinsey as Bisexual and experimenting in masochism. He encouraged group sex involving his graduate students, wife and staff. Kinsey filmed sexual acts in the attic of his home as part of his research. Biographer Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy explained that using Kinsey's home for the filming of sexual acts was done to ensure the films' secrecy, which would certainly have caused a scandal had the public become aware of them.
The popularity of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male prompted widespread media interest in 1948. Time magazine declared, "Not since Gone With the Wind had booksellers seen anything like it." The first pop culture references to Kinsey appeared not long after the book's publication: Rubber-faced comic Martha Raye sold a half-million copies of 'Ooh, Dr. Kinsey!'; Cole Porter's song "Too Darn Hot," from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate, devoted its bridge to an analysis of the Kinsey report and the "average man's" "favorite sport." In 1949, Mae West, reminiscing on the days when the word "sex" was rarely uttered, said of Kinsey, "That guy merely makes it easy for me. Now I don't have to draw 'em any blueprints...We are both in the same business...Except I saw it first."
1912 – On this date Alan Turing, the English mathematician, logician, cryptographer and the genius who helped the Allies win the Second World War, was born (d.1954). Turing is considered to be the father of modern computer science. Turing provided an influential formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. With the Turing test, he made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. He later worked at the National Physical Laboratory, creating one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, although it was never actually built. In 1948 he moved to the University of Manchester to work on the Manchester Mark I, then emerging as one of the world's earliest true computers.
During the Second World War Turing worked at Bletchley Park, Britain's code-breaking center, and was for a time head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. His discoveries allowed the Allies to decode the messages of German forces.
In 1941, Turing proposed marriage to Hut 8 colleague Joan Clarke, a fellow mathematician and cryptanalyst, but their engagement was short-lived. After admitting his homosexuality to his fiancée, who was reportedly "unfazed" by the revelation, Turing decided that he could not go through with the marriage.
Turing was Gay in a period when homosexual acts were illegal in Britain and homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness and subject to criminal sanctions. In 1952, Arnold Murray, a 19 year-old recent acquaintance of his, helped an accomplice to break into Turing's house, and Turing went to the police to report the crime. As a result of the police investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray, and they were charged with gross indecency.
Turing was unrepentant and was convicted of the same crime Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years before. He was given the choice between imprisonment and probation, conditional on his undergoing hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. To avoid going to jail, he accepted the estrogen hormone injections, which lasted for a year, with side effects including breast enlargement. His lean runner's body took on fat. His conviction led to a removal of his security clearance and prevented him from continuing consultancy for GCHQ on cryptographic matters. At this time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents. In America, Robert Oppenheimer had just been deemed a security risk.
On June 8, 1954, his housekeeper found him dead; the previous day, he had died of cyanide poisoning, apparently from a cyanide-laced apple he left half-eaten beside his bed. The apple itself was never tested for contamination with cyanide, and cyanide poisoning as a cause of death was established by a post-mortem. Most believe that his death was intentional, and the death was ruled a suicide. Because Turing's sexuality would have been perceived as a security risk, the possibility of assassination has also been suggested.
On 26 July 2012, a bill was introduced in the House of Lords to grant a statutory pardon to Turing for offences under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, of which he was convicted on 31 March 1952. Late in the year in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the physicist Stephen Hawking and 10 other signatories including the Astronomer Royal Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse, Lady Trumpington (who worked for Turing during the war) and Lord Sharkey (the bill's sponsor) called on Prime Minister David Cameron to act on the pardon request. The government indicated it would support the bill, and it passed its third reading in the Lords in October.
At the bill's second reading in the House of Commons on 29 November 2013, Conservative MP Chrstopher Chope objected to the bill, delaying its passage. The bill was due to return to the House of Commons on 28 February 2014, but before the bill could be debated in the House of Commons, the government elected to proceed under the royal prerogative of mercy.On 24 December 2013, Queen Elizabeth II signed a pardon for Turing's conviction for gross indecency, with immediate effect. Announcing the pardon, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said Turing deserved to be "remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort" and not for his later criminal conviction. The Queen officially pronounced Turing pardoned in August 2014.
The Queen's action is only the fourth royal pardon granted since the conclusion of the Second World War. This case is unusual in that pardons are normally granted only when the person is technically innocent, and a request has been made by the family or other interested party. Neither condition was met in regard to Turing's conviction.
In September 2016, the government announced its intention to expand this retroactive exoneration to other men convicted of similar historical indecency offences, in what was described as an "Alan Turing law". The Alan Turing law is now an informal term for the law in the United Kingdom, contained in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which serves as an amnesty law to retroactively pardon men who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. The law applies in England and Wales.
1915 – Dennis Price, English actor, was born Dennistoun Franklyn John Rose-Price in Ruscombe in Berkshire and was partly educated at Copthorne Prep School (d.1973). His first starring role was in A Canterbury Tale in 1944, and he went on to enjoy a long and successful film career, the high point of which was his performance as the suave murderer in the British comedy classic, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). Though he was gay, he was married to the actress Joan Schofield from 1939 to 1950. They had two children.
Price struggled to lead a conventional life during a period in British history when homosexuality was still a criminal offence. On April 19, 1954, Price tried to commit suicide by attempting to gas himself in his London home. Public sympathy led to a resurgence in his popularity and the offer of film roles. However, his private life, which included heavy gambling and an increasing reliance upon alcohol, began to affect his health, looks and career.
In 1959, he was the original "No.1" in charge of the crew of HMS Troutbridge in the first series of the long-running radio comedy The Navy Lark , but he was unable to continue the role in the second series owing to other work commitments. In 1965, he became popular with television audiences for his performance as Jeeves opposite Ian Carmichael as Bertie Wooster in The World of Wooster.
His private struggles may have inspired him to appear as a closeted gay man in the ground-breaking British film Victim (1961). His final appearance was in the marvellous Vincent Price film Theatre of Blood (1973).
Price died of heart failure resulting from a hip fracture in Guernsey at age 58 on October 6, 1973. He is buried on the nearby island of Sark.
Joe Orton with Kenneth Halliwell (R)
1926 – Kenneth Halliwell (d.1967) was a British actor and writer. He was the mentor, partner, and the eventual murderer of playwright Joe Orton.
Halliwell was raised in a somewhat split household. In general, he was ignored by his father and mollycoddled by his mother. His mother's death, which occurred when he was a young boy, was a great negative turning point in his life. Seemingly alone (as the relationship with his father was poor), his life was uneventful until, at the age of 23, he found his father dead, having committed suicide by putting his head in a gas oven. He reportedly determined his father was dead, performed a few household chores, then called for an ambulance.
It was at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1951 that he met Orton, the man who was to make Halliwell's name almost as recognisable as his own. Both men were struggling actors without great talent who became struggling writers. However, their common interests led to the beginning of their relationship. Halliwell, in the early years, seems to have been something of a tutor to Orton, who had had a rather cursory education, and seriously helped to mold the writing style that would later be called "Ortonesque". The two men collaborated on several novels, including The Boy Hairdresser, which were not published until after their deaths. In 1962, along with Orton, he was imprisoned for six months for the theft and defacement of books in Islington Library.
Orton's emerging success as a writer, following their release from prison, put a distance between the two men which Halliwell found difficult to handle. His jealousy was fuelled by his own feelings of inadequacy and lack of attractiveness - he wore a toupee to conceal his baldness - compared to the confident, sexually-promiscuous Orton. Towards the end of his life, Halliwell was on regular courses of anti-depressants.
On August 9, 1967, Halliwell killed Orton by nine blows to his head with a hammer, and then overdosed on Nembutal sleeping pills shortly afterwards. Despite the violence of the murder, it was Halliwell who actually died first. The bodies of the two men were discovered late the following morning when a chauffeur came to the door of their Noel Road flat in Islington to collect Orton for a discussion with The Beatles over a screenplay he had written for them.
Halliwell's suicide note referred to the contents of Orton's diary as an explanation for his actions: "If you read his diary, all will be explained. KH PS: Especially the latter part." This is presumed to be a reference to Orton's description of his promiscuity; his diary contains numerous incidents of cottaging in public lavatories and other sexual relationships.
In Prick Up Your Ears, the 1987 film based on Orton's life, Halliwell was portrayed by Alfred Molina. A 2009 stage version of the story starred comedian Matt Lucas as Halliwell.
1939 – Today's the birthday of Spanish poet, novelist and activist Álvaro Pombo Garcia de los Rios.
Born in Santander, Cantabria, he published his first book of poems Protocolos in 1973. Ever since he has been considered one of the most unique voices in Spanish literature. He won the Premio El Bardo in 1977 for his next book Variaciones. That year, he published a collection of short stories, Relatos sobre la falta de sustancia, many of which contained homosexual characters and themes. Although he considers himself a poet Pombo has always been better known as a novelist. In his work he has shown an interest in medieval history, phenomenology and psychological subjects. He calls his work psychological fiction.
Pombo is a member of the Spanish Royal Academy and has been the recipient of various literary prizes including the Premio Herralde de Novela, the National Prize for Criticism, Premio Planeta in 2006 for his novel The Fortune of Matilda Turpin.
He has been active in progressive politics in Spain for many years including an unsuccessful run for the Madrid seat in the Spain's national Senate. He often speaks out on Gay issues, and holds the line that we should not strive to be "different" - which is counterproductive - but to try to fit in to society. Although he himself is openly gay, he has spoken out against the concept of same-sex marriage.
1943 – James Levine (d.2021) was an American conductor and pianist. He was primarily known for his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera (the "Met"), a position he held for 40 years (1976–2016). He was formally terminated from all his positions and affiliations with the Met on March 12, 2018, over sexual misconduct allegations, which he denied.
Levine made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Met. He also held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1980 he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and trained promising singers, conductors, and musicians for professional careers.
On December 2, 2017, The New York Times published a front-page story containing detailed accounts of four men in their 40s to 60s alleging their long-term sexual abuse by Levine decades earlier, while each was a student of his in his teens or early 20s. The next day, the Met suspended Levine and canceled his future engagements. The Ravinia Festival also promptly severed all ties with Levine, as did the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which announced that Levine would never again "be employed or contracted by the BSO at any time in the future." Following an investigation that ended in March 2018, having "found credible evidence", the Met terminated its relationship with Levine, for "sexually abusive and harassing conduct".
Four men have accused Levine of sexually molesting them (three when they were underage, and one when he was as young as 16 years of age), from the 1960s to the 1990s.
On December 2, 2017, it was revealed publicly that a police report—dating from October 2016—detailed that Levine had allegedly sexually molested a male teenager for years. The alleged sexual abuse began while Levine was guest conductor at the Ravinia Festival, outside Chicago, where Levine was music director for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's summer residencies from 1973 to 1993.
One accuser said that in the summer of 1968 when he was a 17-year-old high school student, and attending Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, Levine (then a 25-year-old faculty member, the conductor of the school's orchestra and the director of its orchestral institute) masturbated the teenager and then pressured him to masturbate Levine. When he next saw Levine, the accuser told him that he would not repeat the sexual behavior, but asked if they could continue to make music as they had before; Levine said no. The accuser later played bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for decades, and became a professor.
A second accuser said that that same summer, Levine told him to take his clothing off and also masturbated him, when he was 17 years old and a cello student, and that Levine then initiated with the teenager a number of sexual encounters that have since haunted him. He said (and another male corroborated, on the condition of anonymity) that the following year, in Cleveland, where Levine was at the time an assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, Levine on several occasions directed him and other members of a group of teenage musicians who studied together to put on blindfolds and masturbate members of the group they could not see, which they did.
A third accuser, a violinist and pianist who grew up in Illinois near the Ravinia Music Festival, said Levine sexually abused him beginning when the accuser was 16 years old (and Levine was in his 40s) in 1986. He said Levine would have him meet him in Illinois and New York City and ask him to take off his clothing, fondle and kiss his penis, and masturbate in front of him. He had previously detailed his accusation in 2016 in a report to the Lake Forest Police Department in Illinois. On December 8, the department announced that Levine could not be charged criminally in Illinois because the accuser was 16 years old at the time, and while today a 16-year-old is not considered old enough to consent to such conduct in Illinois (he must be 17, or 18 in cases in which the suspect is in a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim), at the time that was the statutory age of consent. The department noted: "we are bound to apply the law that was in effect at the time the allegations occurred rather than the law as it currently exists."
On December 4, a fourth male, who later had a long career as a violinist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, said he had been abused by Levine beginning in 1968, when he was 20 years old and attending the Meadow Brook School of Music. Levine was a teacher in the summer program. The accuser said that when he went to Levine's dorm room to discuss problems the student was having with his bow arm, Levine said: "If we're going to work on your violin I have to understand you sexually", and then exposed himself and masturbated.
Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera in New York State Supreme Court for breach of contract and defamation, seeking more than $5.8 million in damages. The Met denied Levine's allegations. A year later, a New York State Supreme Court judge dismissed most of Levine's claims, but ruled that the Met and its attorney had made defamatory statements.
The Metropolitan Opera and Levine announced a settlement on undisclosed terms in August 2019. In September 2020, the size of the payout was exposed; Levine had received $3.5 million in the settlement. It is speculated that he was able to negotiate such a large settlement due to the lack of a morals clause in his contract with the Met.
1944 – João Silvério Trevisan, born in Ribeirão Bonito, São Paulo, is a Brazilian author, playwright, journalist, screenwriter and film director. He has published eleven books, among them great works of fiction, essays, short stories, and screenplays. Trevisan has been influential as a literary and cultural critic, particularly on gay and lesbian issues and his works have been translated into English, Spanish, and German.
Early in his career in 1970, Trevisan wrote and directed a feature film, Orgia ou o Homem que Deu Cria (Orgy, or The Man Who Created God), which was censured by the Brazilian military regime for almost ten years.
In 1976, however, Trevisan wrote his first book, Testamento de Jônatas Deixado a Davi (The Testament of Jonathan Leaving David), and in 1983, Em Nome do Desejo (in the Name of Desire). He subsequently emerged as one of Brazil's more important literary figures due to the enormous quantity and quality of work produced over the course of his career on a variety of topics.
Trevisan's best-known literary work, Two Bodies in Vertigoo is part of the anthology The 100 Best Brazilian Story Tales of the Twentieth Century.
Between 1973 to 1976, Trevisan lived in Mexico and in the United States, where he had direct contact with the gay rights movement. Not surprisingly, in 1978, he founded, SOMOS, the first gay rights organization in Brazil and, in the same year, the first gay news publication, O Lampião da Esquina (The Streetcorner Lantern). In 1982, he started research for his book, Devassos no Paraiso (Perverts in Paradise), which became the most comprehensive study of the history of homosexuality in Brazil.
1947 – Jane Brown, born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, is a Canadian former politician. She was first elected as a Member of Parliament under the Reform Party of Canada ticket in the Alberta riding of Calgary Southeast in the 1993 federal election. Before entering politics, Brown was a schoolteacher and then agribusiness executive. She is of Croatian descent.
Brown rose to prominence as a well-spoken and moderate member of the Reform Party, becoming Canadian Heritage Critic in its shadow cabinet. She was one of only two MPs, the other being Stephen Harper, to speak out against the motion to deny same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones at the 1994 Reform convention. She won much admiration for putting a yellow rose on the empty desk of rival party leader Lucien Bouchard, who was suffering from a life-threatening illness. The image of the solitary rose on his empty desk was broadcast around the nation. Brown was curious about gender roles within Canadian politics and subsequently wrote an article on the subject.
Later that year she was voted sexiest, best-dressed, and most generous MP by the Hill Times newspaper. Due to her success in questioning Canadian Heritage Minister Michel Dupuy, she was promoted to critic for Human Resources Development Canada, one of the largest ministries in the federal government.
In 1996, however, Brown, along with fellow Reform MP Jim Silye, spoke out openly against the right wing of the party. The remarks were motivated by Art Hanger's planned trip to Singapore to look into the success of caning at deterring crime. While the party leaders acknowledged that Brown and Silye's criticism had weight, they were attacked for publicly criticizing the party. Brown promised to deal with any future concerns within the party, and both she and Silye apologized.
The next month, however, Reform MP Bob Ringma mentioned that store owners should be free to move gays and "ethnics" "to the back of the shop", or even to fire them, if it helped their business. A few days later MP David Chatters aroused more controversy when he suggested it would be reasonable to ban homosexuals from teaching children. Party leader Preston Manning and the other party notables did not censure the remarks or demand apologies from the MPs.
On May 7, 1996, the Reform executive voted to suspend Ringma and Chatters for their remarks, but also voted to suspend Brown for speaking out against the party. Brown was disappointed and three days later announced she was quitting the party to sit as an independent. She was especially critical of Preston Manning and how he managed the party.
Brown remained an independent for the rest of the parliament, but began to cooperate closely with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In the 1997 election, she ran as a Progressive Conservative, moving to contest the adjacent riding of Calgary Southwest, then held by Reform leader Preston Manning.
Despite drawing much attention in the sometimes bitter campaign against her former party leader, Brown lost by a significant margin, and retired permanently from politics. Since then she completed in 2005 a Ph.D. in education and women's studies. She became a lifelong learning consultant and retired in 2013.
1951 – Robert Sirico is an American Roman Catholic priest, and the founder of the Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a political and cultural commentator.
Sirico was raised in a Catholic family in Brooklyn, New York, but by his early teenage years he had left the Church. He received an associate's degree from Los Angeles City College, studied at St. Mary's University College, London, and received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Southern California. His older brother is The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico.
Sirico was ordained a Pentecostal minister and established a healing ministry in Seattle around 1970/71. He became very popular and gained the support of several charismatic churches in the area. A foundation was established for the financial support of his ministry. During this time, according to Sirico, he believed that homosexuality was condemned by the Bible as a perversion. However, he soon found it "impossible" to heal a person from being gay. He eventually made a public announcement that he was gay himself and intended to form a church for gays. This led to him losing the support of his healing ministry's backers.
In 1972, Sirico founded Seattle's Metropolitan Community Church, which primarily ministered to gays. The church became a member of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). MCC had been founded in 1968 as "the world’s first church group with a primary, positive ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender persons."
In April 1973, Sirico and the MCC picketed the Seattle Police Department, claiming there was a "vendetta" by the Seattle Police Department against homosexuals. In October 1973, Sirico was arrested in Seattle for "walking in the roadway" after crossing the street to come to the aid of a gay man he saw was being arrested. In jail, Sirico was reportedly singing "We Shall Overcome" until he was bailed out by a parishioner. The citation was later struck down at trial and Sirico was let off with a warning by the judge.
In July 1973, Sirico went to lead the newly founded Metropolitan Church of Cincinnati.
Sirico was a proponent of gay marriage and performed same-sex marriages as a Protestant minister. In 1975, Sirico performed the first gay marriage in the history of Colorado at the First Unitarian Church in Denver.Sirico left Seattle for Los Angeles, where he became the director of the Los Angeles Gay Community Center. In 1976, police conducted a raid at one of the center's events, a "male slave auction." Sirico stated the event was merely a fundraiser for the center and that the police raided it in order to "discredit the image of gay people in this community for legislative gains." Charges against the arrested were later dropped.
A deeper study of the Christian anthropology led to his return to the Catholic Church in 1977, and later to the writings of St. Augustine. The biography of John Henry Newman moved him to consider the priesthood. He received an M.Div. from The Catholic University of America in 1987 and was ordained a Paulist priest in 1989. He was assigned to the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan and soon thereafter founded the Acton Institute.
1952 – The groundbreaking trial of Dale Jennings began on this date and lasted for 10 days.
In the spring of 1952 Jennings was arrested for allegedly soliciting a police officer in a toilet in Westlake Park, now known as MacArthur Park. Jennings called fellow Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay, and they enlisted the help of attorney George Sibley, a member of the Citizens' Council to Outlaw Entrapment.
The trial that took place drew national attention to the Mattachine Society and membership increased drastically due to the decision of the Mattachine Society to help contest the charges brought against Jennings.
Jennings was one of the first homosexual men to contest charges such as this one. Most homosexuals at the time pled guilty so as not to be publicly scrutinized. His decision to fight back was a pivotal point in the movement. The organization raised funds and promoted Jennings' case nationally.
The trial began June 23, 1952 and lasted ten days. Jennings confessed to being a homosexual but denied any wrongdoing. While there were different accounts of what exactly occurred that day, by the end of the trial the jury voted 11-1 for acquittal on the basis of police intimidation, harassment, and entrapment of homosexuals, and the case was dismissed. While only Dale Jennings and the police officer know the exact details of that day in the park, the trial brought a lot of attention to the Mattachine Society, increasing awareness of the Gay Rights Movement as a whole as well as increasing the organization's membership.
1957 – Theater director John Tasker writes to novelist Colin Spencer, “I was afraid to say – I want to be with you – because I really want to say, I love you.” They became lovers after they met in Brighton in 1957. Their off-and-on two-year relationship dramatically changed when Spencer married archaeologist Gillian Chapman in October, 1959. Tasker went to Australia where he became a theatre director, and died of cancer in 1988. Tasker had arranged for his letters to be returned to Spencer. Upon re-reading them, Spencer published his book Which of Us Two as a form of atonement.
1961 – The American novelist David Leavitt was born on this date. He is the author of Family Dancing, Equal Affections, The Page Turner, Martin Bauman, or A Sure Thing, The Lost Language of Cranes, While England Sleeps, The Body of Jonah Boyd, and numerous short stories. His most recent novel is The Indian Clerk.
His first novel, The Lost Language of Cranes (1986), tells a double "coming out" story, that of a young New Yorker whose increasing openness about his homosexuality forces his middle-aged father finally to confront his own sexuality.
His novel, While England Sleeps (1993) traces the politically charged homosexual romance between an upper-class writer and a working-class Communist in 1930s England. The novel was the center of a scandal when Stephen Spender filed suit, alleging that the novel's plot was taken directly from his memoir, World Within World (1951). The suit was settled when Leavitt's publisher agreed to withdraw the novel and reissue it with minor changes made to distance it from Spender's work; Leavitt himself has charged that Spender's objections are motivated by homophobia.
Interestingly enough, Leavitt also wrote a book on another one of today's figures, Alan Turing, in The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer.
At the University of Florida he is the co-director of the creative writing program. He is also the editor of Subtropics magazine, the University of Florida's literary review. Leavitt, who is openly Gay, has frequently explored Gay issues in his work. He lives between Florida and Tuscany (Italy), where he has had many of his books translated.
1962 – The Mansfield, Ohio Gay Sex Sting Of 1962, happens. In the summer of 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department photographed men having sex in a public restroom under the main square of the city. A cameraman hid in a closet and watched the clandestine activities through a two-way mirror. The police filmed over a three-week period, and the resulting movie was used to obtain the convictions of over 38 local men on charges of sodomy.
All of the 38 men were convicted of sodomy. They were publicly humiliated and found themselves ensnared by the state’s Ascherman Act, which ordered all felons deemed a danger to society to be institutionalized for a potentially indefinite period; all were required to serve the minimum sentence, even those judged by medical professionals to be “cured” prior to that time.
Treatment at that time involved a number of now-discredited methods, including electroshock and various other aversion therapy techniques, and drugs with known severe side effects.
After their release few recovered from the trauma and many were ostracized from families and friends and some committed suicide.
It wasn’t until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association struck homosexuality from its list of mental disorders; until that moment, the psychiatric profession had essentially lent its tacit endorsement to these laws and practices.
The footage itself is chilling and stark. One must always remember that it was not only the fact that these men were having sex in a public bathroom that got them arrested. It was the fact that they were gay. The sex act on film was the evidence.
With some of the footage the Mansfield Police even went so far to produce Camera Surveillance, an instructional film circulated in law enforcement circles. It showed how to set up a sting operation to film and arrest the criminal “sex deviants.” Shortly after these stings took place, the city of Mansfield bulldozed the men’s room and filled it in with concrete to remove the homosexual scourge.
1972 – Today's the birthday of Dutch-born ballroom dance champion Louis Van Amstel. Born in Amsterdam, the professional dancer, choreographer, and a dancesport coach is known for his appearances on the U.S. reality television series Dancing with the Stars. On that show Louis has partnered with with celebrities Kelly Osbourne, Lisa Rinna and Priscilla Presley.
In the tenth season Van Amstel was partnered with actress and comedian Niecy Nash where they performed a waltz depicting an interracial couple prevented to marry. In interviews shown before and after their performance, both expressed support for marriage equality, with the openly gay Van Amstel mentioning how he was "still in that boat" [of being prevented from marriage].
Although Van Amstel is openly gay, he does not label himself as gay because he does not want to be stigmatized. During the story week in season 11 of Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel partnered with Margaret Cho and blamed Cho's gay pride-themed performance for being kicked off the show. He said, "I don't want to be labeled [as gay] because labeling is the beginning of discrimination and hatred."
He became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and resides in Salt Lake City,Utah.
1976 – The FBI acknowledges that it had been keeping files on the gay newsmagazine The Advocate.
1977 – Jason Mraz is an American singer-songwriter who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffee shop scene in 2000. In 2002 he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)". With the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US. In 2008 Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was an international commercial success primarily due to the hit "I'm Yours". The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single, and spent a then-record 76 weeks on the Hot 100. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.
Mraz was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is of Czech and Slovak descent through his grandfather, who moved to the United States from Austria-Hungary in 1915. His surname is Czech for "frost". (Czech: mráz) His parents divorced when he was five years old. His father is a postal worker, and his mother is vice president at a branch of Bank of America. Mraz has said he had an idyllic childhood: "My hometown of Mechanicsville was very American. There were white picket fences, a church on every street corner, low crime and virtually no drug use. It was a good place to grow up."
While attending Lee-Davis High School, Mraz was a member of the cheerleading squad, school chorus, and drama club. He starred as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Snoopy in a play about the Peanuts characters. Mraz graduated in 1995.
After high school, Mraz attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for about a year and a half, originally to work in musical theater. In New York, a friend gave him a guitar that was about to be thrown away, and Mraz learned to play guitar. Guitar allowed him to play music unaccompanied and write his own music. Mraz moved to the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, where he took a series of odd jobs, including elementary-school janitor, and joined the Ashland Stage Company. Mraz then enrolled at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on a scholarship. Instead of attending classes, he headed west on a road trip that ultimately brought him to San Diego, where he decided to stay.
On October 25, 2015, Mraz married his girlfriend, Christina Carano, in a private ceremony in his hometown of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
In June 2018, Mraz penned a "love letter" to the LGBT community, as part of a Billboard feature during Gay pride month. A line in the poem had led some media reports to state that the poem may represent Mraz's coming out as bisexual. In an article published on July 19, 2018 by Billboard, Mraz said he has had previous experiences with men, even while dating Carano. Mraz said Carano defined him as a "two-spirit", a description that was criticized by some as misappropriating a word originally designed solely for the native population, and for distorting the term's meaning. In August 2018, Mraz confirmed in an interview with the New York Post that he now identifies as bisexual.
1977 – Ji Wallace, born 23 June 1977 in Lismore, Victoria, Australia, is an Australian gymnast and Olympic trampoline champion.
Earlier in his career Ji Wallace won several Australian national titles and made an international breakthrough in 1996 by winning gold in the DMT (double mini trampoline) discipline at the 19th Trampoline World Championships in Vancouver.
In the World championships held in Sydney, he set a world record for completing a jump with the highest degree of difficulty in the DMT, a triple-triple.
He competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, where he received a silver medal in trampoline.
In 2005, he came out publicly as gay, and in an August 2012 letter to the Star Observer revealed he is HIV-positive. He was in London, but not competing, for the 2012 Olympics and saw Piers Morgan's interview with HIV positive retired diver Greg Louganis. The interview inspired the trampolinist to reveal his HIV status to the Sydney Star Observer.
"I have been contemplating writing this for a while. I caught a CNN Piers Morgan interview with Greg Louganis here in London. It made me think and think and I couldn't sleep, so I wrote."
"I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV. I have never publicly disclosed this before but felt inspired by [the] interview ... and by Anderson Cooper's "coming out" letter last month describing "value in being seen and heard" in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.
"I too have been that victim of these atrocious behaviours. Luckily I managed to come through."
"Being seen does have value. A voice does have value. I have the support of my boyfriend, my great friends and my loving parents. Many do not and this is, in part, for them."
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Ji Wallace was the first Australian to be named a Gay Games Ambassador.
Ji returned to his trampoline roots in order to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. He missed Olympic selection at the 2007 World Championships in QC Canada.
Wallace was a cast member with the Cirque du Soleil in their show ZAIA in Macau, China. In October 2008 while performing an acrobatic move Ji fell badly causing significant injuries; he spent 21 months rehabilitating his right ankle, successfully learning to walk again. In August 2010 he took a coaching job in Montreal at the Cirque du Soleil headquarters, but in 2012 returned to his native Australia.
1992 – The Gay Officers Action League of New York (GOAL-NY) created and hosted the first International Conference Of Gay And Lesbian Criminal Justice Professionals. Held in New York City at the exclusive Merchants Club, it was the first time that GLBT law enforcement personnel from all over the world met to collectively address issues that they have in common and, in the spirit of unity, offer each other mutual support. The conference also included the premier of an exhibit in the lobby of the NYPD headquarters covering the history of LGBT professionals working within criminal justice arena.
1994 – Connor Jessup is a Canadian actor, writer, and director. He is known for his roles as Ben Mason on the TNT science fiction television series Falling Skies (2011–2015), Taylor Blaine and Coy Henson in the ABC anthology series American Crime (2016–2017), and Tyler Locke in the Netflix series Locke & Key (since 2020). He has also starred in feature films, most notably in the award-winning Blackbird (2012) and Closet Monster (2015).
Jessup began acting at the age of 11 as a child actor. After various early jobs, including a role in a stage adaptation of The Full Monty, Jessup got a lead role in the children's television series The Saddle Club, for which he is also credited with conceptualizing the plot of one episode. He served as executive producer for the independent film Amy George, which played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Jessup is gay and came out publicly in a post on Instagram in June 2019.