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
1877 – On this date Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake premiers at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. 2010's much-laureled drama horror flick, "Black Swan" was rooted in this piece. It's a testament to the work's lasting impact.
1853 – Major General Sir Hector MacDonald, KCB, DSO (d.1903), also known as Fighting Mac, was a distinguished Victorian soldier.
The son of a crofter, MacDonald left school before he was 15, enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders as a private at 17, and finished his career as a major general, "one of only a few British Army generals who rose from the ranks on his own merit and professionalism." He distinguished himself in action at Omdurman (1898), became a popular hero in England and Scotland, and was knighted for his service in the Second Boer War. Posted to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as Commander-in-Chief of British forces, he committed suicide in 1903 following accusations of homosexual activity with local boys.
Young MacDonald first distinguished himself in Afghanistan. In 1879, he was with a small patrol who found themselves ambushed by about two thousand enemy troops. Although only an enlisted man of low rank, MacDonald took command of his comrades and led them in a brilliant bayonet charge that drove off the enemy.
In recognition of his resourcefulness and bravery, MacDonald was offered a choice of an officer's commission or the Victoria Cross. MacDonald chose the officer's commission. As Colonel during the Sudan campaign, he again displayed uncommon bravery by beating back a Dervish charge upon the British flank, averting a disastrous defeat.
During the Boer War Hector MacDonald continued to distinguish himself with numerous victories and brilliant charges. It was during this time he acquired the nickname, "Fighting Mac," given by an admiring press and the troops under his command.
Hector MacDonald was a "soldier's officer." A mustang officer, he had been an enlisted man himself and understood all too well the life his men led. They loved him because he respected them, unlike most of the upper class officers. His series of spectacular successes resulted in his promotion to Brigadier General. Queen Victoria awarded him a Knighthood.
After the Boer War, he was placed in command of the British army in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
Ceylon, to MacDonald, was an inactive and uninteresting military command. At the same time he was presented with temptations in the form of several young men who were interesting and sexually active. He ruffled more feathers by forcing the unkempt and ill-disciplined British troops, most of them sons of British planters, to show more spit and polish.
Rumors began circulating that he was having a sexual relationship with the two teenage sons of a local businessman, and that he was patronizing a "dubious club" attended by British and Sinhalese youths.
Matters came to a crisis when a tea-planter informed Ridgeway that he had surprised Sir Hector in a railway carriage with young men. Further allegations began coming in from other well-connected members of the colonial establishment. There was a threat of even more to come, involving up to almost a hundred witnesses who allegedly had witnessed homosexual activity.
Governor Ridgeway told MacDonald to return to London, telling the General that his main concern was to avoid a massive scandal: "Some, indeed most, of his victims ... are the sons of the best-known men in the Colony, English and native", he wrote, noting that he had persuaded the local press to keep quiet in hopes that "no more mud" would be stirred up.
One must also keep in mind that homosexuality or homosexual activity was not illegal in Ceylon at the time and even if the accusations were true, they were not illegal by local law and custom.
Upon his arrival home, Sir Hector was ordered by the Imperial Chief of Staff to return to Ceylon to face a court martial. This was ostensibly to "clear his name," but promised to be a kangaroo court to drum him out of the service in disgrace, thus getting rid of the ordinary soldier who had become an icon and hero to the empire, overshadowing his less capable or brave colleagues.
On March 25, 1903, in a Paris hotel room, the handsome soldier picked up a pistol, put it to his head and pulled the trigger. Major General Sir Hector MacDonald was dead by his own hand. Fighting Mac, the hero of many battles, had lost the last battle to the Army and political bureaucracy.
The suicide of the war hero caused great public shock. For the Government, part of the shock was the discovery that MacDonald had a wife and a son. In 1884 when he was 31, he had married a girl of fifteen in secret. They had seen each other only four times in the subsequent nineteen years. Lady MacDonald died in 1911. MacDonald's son became an engineer and died in 1951.
In an attempt to cover things up, the government planned for the General's funeral to be held in secret in Edinburgh. They rushed the effort to bring his body home quickly and bury him in near secrecy. Despite the Government effort to keep it a secret, the word got out. A staggering number of people turned out. A crowd of 30,000 people came to the funeral to pay their last respects. Over the next few weeks and months, thousands more from all over the world came to say farewell.
James Scott Skinner wrote a lament of almost unsurpassed beauty in his honor called Hector the Hero. (Below)
The poet, Robert W. Service, wrote a poem about him: Fighting Mac: A Life Tragedy (See below).
1901 – Francis Turville-Petre was a British archaeologist (d.1941), famous for the discovery of the Neanderthal 'Galilee Skull' in 1925 and his work at Mount Carmel, in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, now Israel. He was a close friend of Christopher Isherwood and W H Auden.
The Galilee Skull
Francis Turville-Petre was born into a Catholic, landed gentry family in England. He went to Oxford University in 1920, studying physical anthropology and cultural anthropology (ethnology with archaeology and technology). Following the completion of his studies in Oxford, Turville-Petre went to work on excavations in the Levant. In 1925 he conducted digs in two caves in the Wadi el-Amud, Mugharet ez-Zuttiyeh (Robber's Cave) and Mugharet el-Emirah (Princes' Cave) near to the Sea of Galilee. It was in the former cave that he discovered the partial frontal cranial remains of a Neanderthal individual, named the 'Galilee Skull' or 'Galilee Man'. He was later invited to join excavations at Kebara Cave on Mount Carmel.
In 1928 he moved to Berlin, Germany and stayed at the Institute of Sexual Research, run by Dr Magnus Hirschfeld. Whilst based in Berlin Turville-Petre was an active member of the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which campaigned for gay legal reform and tolerance, and attended the Congress of the World League for Sexual Reform (also founded by Hirschfeld) in Copenhagen in 1928.
Known by his friends as 'Fronny', Turville-Petre was openly gay. He encouraged his friend Christopher Isherwood to join him in Berlin, and together with W H Auden they enjoyed life, and especially the nightlife, in the city. Turville-Petre left Berlin in 1931, and took up residence on his private island of St Nicolas near Euboea, in Greece. Isherwood visited him there in 1933, and in 1959 Isherwood wrote a lightly-fictionalised version of Fronny in Down There on a Visit, where he is portrayed as Ambrose, the mad king of a small Greek island.
Turville-Petre died in Cairo, Egypt in 1941 at the age of 40.
1903 – In a prosecution for consensual sodomy in New York, two men are listed in the indictment as having assaulted each other.
1904 – The Georgia Supreme Court interprets the state's "crime against nature" law to include fellatio. It claims that the reason an 1817 English case came to the opposite conclusion was that fellatio "was not known to the law then."
1909 – U.S. Congress passes the Assimilative Crimes Act which makes any act done on federal property within a state a federal crime if the state has a law against it. This makes sodomy a federal crime only on federal property located within states.
1940 – Author, David Plante was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but has lived much of his life in London. Since the publication of his first novel, The Ghost of Henry James in 1970, Plante has proved to be one of the most prolific and experimental of contemporary writers, with eleven other novels, as well as many reviews, essays, and a nonfiction book, Difficult Women (1983), to his credit.
Plante is most noted for The Family (1978), The Country (1981), and The Woods (1982), his highly acclaimed 'trilogy'.
Plante's approach to homosexuality ranges from the explicit and emotionally violent, as in The Catholic, to the quietly transcending, as in his earlier novels.
Nikos Stangos and David Plante 1968
His most recent book is The Pure Lover, a memoir of Nikos Stangos, his partner of forty years.
Plante focuses not only on the varieties of love and sexuality but on the different expressions love and sexuality may take. He lives in London, Lucca Italy, and Athens Greece. He has dual citizenship, American and British.
1948 – Jean O'Leary, the American Gay and Lesbian rights activist and politician, born (d. 2005); Born in Kingston, New York and raised in Ohio, O'Leary joined the Sisters of the Holy Humility convent in 1966, just out of high school, to "have an impact on the world." After graduating from Cleveland State University with a psychology degree, she left the convent in 1970 and would later write about her experience in Rosemary Curb's 1984 anthology, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence. She moved to New York and did doctoral work at Yeshiva University. She was further interviewed on this subject in Lucy Kaylin's 2000 book For the Love of God: The Faith and Future of the American Nun.
In 1970 she became involved with the nascent Gay rights movement, joining the Gay Activists' Alliance (GAA) and lobbying state politicians. In 1972, she left the male-dominated GAA and founded Lesbian Feminist Liberation, one of the first Lesbian activist groups in the women's movement. Two years later, she joined the National Gay Task Force, negotiating gender parity in its executive with director Bruce Voeller and joining as co-executive director.
In 1977 she organized the first meeting of Gay rights activists in the White House, and was the first openly Gay person appointed to a presidential commission, the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, by Jimmy Carter. She was the first openly Lesbian delegate to a national political convention, attending the Democratic convention in 1976, and served on the Democratic National Committee for 12 years, 8 of those on the Executive Committee, another first.
During the early 1980s she focused on building National Gay Rights Advocates, then one of the largest national Gay and Lesbian rights groups. It was one of the first to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic's implications for legal and civil liberties, using aggressive litigation to ensure AIDS patients' access to treatment. She co-founded National Coming Out Day with Rob Eichberg in 1987.She died in San Clemente, California of lung cancer, aged 57. She was survived by her partner Lisa Phelps, their daughter Victoria, their son David de Maria, his life partner James Springer, and David and James' son Aiden de Maria.
1952 – Born: Prominent Canadian politician Svend Robinson, former member of Canadian Parliament and the first openly Gay MP. Robinson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) and served as a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 1979 to 2004, representing the suburban Vancouver-area constituency of Burnaby for the New Democratic Party. When he chose not to run again in the June, 2004 election, he was one of the longest- serving members in the House of Commons, having been elected and re-elected for seven consecutive terms.
Robinson was born in Minneapolis, USA, of Danish descent. His father opposed the Vietnam War and brought his family to live in Canada. Robinson attended high school at Burnaby North Secondary. He later obtained a law degree from the University of British Columbia and completed post-graduate work in international law at the London School of Economics. He was called to the BC Bar as a barrister and solicitor in 1978 and practised law with Robert Gardner and Associates until his election to the House of Commons in May 1979.
As the longest-serving British Columbia MP of his time, in office from 1979 to 2004, Svend Robinson is notable for having been the first Canadian MP to come out as gay, in the spring of 1988. He has since been followed by other gay and lesbian politicians in Parliament: Bloc Québécois MPs Réal Ménard and Raymond Gravel; fellow New Democrats Libby Davies and Bill Siksay; and Liberal Party of Canada MPs Scott Brison and Mario Silva, as well as Senators Laurier LaPierre and Nancy Ruth. Robinson has received many awards and honours for his work in Canada and internationally for LGBT rights and in 2009 was the Co-Chair of the Copenhagen OUTGames International LGBT Human Rights Conference. He successfully sponsored legislation in Parliament in 2004 to include "sexual orientation" in hate crimes legislation. He was also active on HIV/AIDS issues from the start of the epidemic in the early 1980s
In April 2004, shortly before the federal election, Robinson admitted to the theft of an expensive ring from a public auction site. He turned himself in to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and returned the ring shortly after police visited his home and office, wishing to speak with him. While the auction company publicly stated that they did not wish to pursue charges, Robinson was charged and pleaded guilty. The Crown and defence both agreed that he was undergoing major personal stress and mental health issues at the time; Robinson was given a discharge, meaning that he would have no criminal record. He terminated his candidacy and was replaced by his long-time assistant Bill Siksay, who won the election.
He was once married to Patricia Fraser, but they divorced in 1978. He has been with his current partner Max Riveron since 1994.
Following his retirement from politics in 2004, Robinson was employed by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union as an advocate on behalf of public sector workers. He also served on the NDP's federal executive and as co-chair of the party's LGBT Committee. Robinson took a position in 2007 with a global trade union federation Public Services International based in Ferney-Voltaire, near Geneva in the French Alps, where he moved with his partner Max Riveron and their two dogs. He led PSI's work on a range of issues including climate change, pensions, and trade.
1954 – Boris Moiseev is a Russian singer, choreographer, dancer, writer, actor, head of dance group and author of popular shows in Russia.
Boris Moiseev was born in prison; his mother was being held as a disenfranchised element during the communist regime. He spent his childhood and teenage years among his Jewish aunts in Mogilev. To strengthen his health, Boris was sent to a dancing school. Since then dancing took over all his interests and turned into a lifetime passion. He dropped out of the school, packed his bags and ran away to Minsk. There Boris got accepted to a choreography school and became a professional classical dancer.
Boris had all the skills to succeed as a classical dancer on the stage but he preferred modern dance. After his graduation Moiseev was expelled from Minsk because of his open homosexuality. He moved to Kharkiv where Moiseev became a ballet teacher but in 1975 he was expelled from Komsomol and left Kharkiv for Kaunas. He became a head of the Lithuanian dance group Trimitas. In 1978 Moiseev created famous dancing trio Ekspressiya which became a part of Alla Pugacheva's studio. In 1987 the trio quit working with Pugacheva and went on tours to the USA, Italy, and France. In addition Moiseev was invited to work as a ballet teacher for many American shows.
Moiseev came back to Russia in 1991, filming a documentary on Ekspressia. A revealing interview with Boris, who is openly gay, was recently published.
1966 – Wash West (Westmoreland), English Gay porn film director born; West recently emerged as a nationally-known independent film director with his 2006 release, "Quinceanera", which had a double Sundance win (Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize), and also picked up the Humanitas Prize, and the John Cassavetes Spirit Award. He has directed under the names Wash Westmoreland, Bobby Dazzler and Bud Light.
His first work in film was in Gay porn. Toolbox and Dr Jerkoff and Mr Hard were his first significant films both for BIG Video, a minor label and directed under the name Wash West. He wrote and directed Naked Highway for BIG Video. This film received high praise from many critics. The film is about one man's across country trip to find his boyfriend and meeting an outlaw in a stolen car. They decide to ride together. The film was filled with daring music, deep saturated color alternating with washed out sections and black and white sequences. The lead performances were engaging and the film was made for a fraction of the budget of most major porn releases of the time. The film was also released in a softcore edit and made available in more mainstream outlets.
In 1997, he won the award for "Best Video of the Year" at the Adult Erotic Gay Video Awards for this film. He also won directing, writing and videography awards at the 1998 AVN Awards, the "Best Gay Video" award. West also won an editing award for his work on Dr Jerkoff and Mr Hard and lead star Jim Buck was honored as the "Best Actor" for his performance in Naked Highway.
West directed the mainstream film The Fluffer, a film which was set in the Gay porn industry but contained no explicit sex. The film received generally favorable reviews and was successful enough that West proved he could helm more mainstream films. He co-directed this film with his professional and personal partner, Richard Glatzer.
In 2014 the two released the film Still Alice, a movie about a fifty-year-old linguistics professor who develops early onset Alzheimer's disease. Glatzer and Westmoreland were hired to adapt the book in 2011 by UK-based producing duo Lex Lutzus and James Brown. Julianne Moore was Glatzer and Westmoreland's first choice to play Alice. She was soon joined by Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth, who had been a long time fan of the book. Alec Baldwin then came on to round out the cast, he and Moore having worked together on the TV show 30 Rock.
Glatzer and Westmoreland changed the location for the film from Boston to New York and the university from Harvard to Columbia. Shooting took place over 23 days in March 2014.
The movie was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, and released in December 2014. Some critics have suggested a connection between Glatzer's own battle with illness and the raw, honest depiction of illness in the film. Glatzer died from ALS in March 2015. Moore won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. To date, the movie has grossed just under $42 million in its worldwide box office.
West was married to writer and director Richard Glatzer from September 2013 until Glatzer' death of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on March 10, 2015.
1967 – Kenneth Bi is a Hong Kong-born Canadian filmmaker. He has written, directed, and acted in Canada and Hong Kong in numerous theatre and film productions.
Kenneth Bi is the son of two movie stars from the Shaw Brothers Studio, Ivy Ling Po and Chin Han. They have both starred in numerous films and also had a cameo on Kenneth Bi's first film Rice Rhapsody. Kenneth Bi graduated with Honours in Theatre/Film from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
In 1992 he won a Special Merit Award in Toronto for his CBC-Radio Drama, Rice Krinkles.
Singapore director/producer Teddy Robin enlisted Bi in the multi-talented capacities of actor, writer, and editor in his 1995 film Hong Kong Graffiti, and offered Bi his first chance at the big screen. In 1998 Bi line-produced Slow Fade for first time director Daniel Chan Fai which was selected into 1999 Berlin Film Festival. He garnered a second accolade in the same year with a Hong Kong Film Awards nomination for Best Original Film Score for Fruit Chan's The Longest Summer which was also an official selection at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival.
Besides working on films, Bi also took time out in 2001 to write a series of eight children's short stories for the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Entitled Lolo's Big Adventures, the series depicts a young black-faced spoonbill's migratory journeys and is aimed at educating school children on the preservation of endangered animals.
In 2002 Bi took on triple duties as assistant director, actor and story co-creator on The Runaway Pistol, one of the most critically acclaimed Singapore films. It premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and went on to receive three award nominations – Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Director at the 39th Golden Horse Awards.
Bi's script for Rice Rhapsody was awarded Outstanding Screenplay of 1999 by the Taiwan Government Information Office. It was subsequently selected by Pusan Promotion Plan as an Official Project for PPP 2000. The film was Bi's first 35mm feature film and it appeared in theatres in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. It stars Sylvia Chang, Martin Yan, Maggie Q and Mélanie Laurent. It concerns a woman who has three sons. The older two are gay, and she is determinined the third will not become gay also.
His second film as director, The Drummer was released in Hong Kong on October 11, 2007. The Drummer made its North American premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. It is the first film from Hong Kong and Taiwan to be selected for competition at Sundance.
1969 – Today's the birthday of Chaz Bono, formerly known as Chastity Bono, American transgender advocate, writer, and musician. Bono is the only child of American entertainers Sonny and Cher, though each had children from other relationships. Bono is a transgender man.
In 1995, after several years of being outed as lesbian by the tabloid press, Bono publicly self-identified as such in a cover story in The Advocate. Bono went on to discuss the process of coming out to oneself and to others in two books. Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (1998) includes the author's coming out account. The memoir, The End of Innocence (2003) discusses the author's outing, music career, and partner Joan's death from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Bono had come out to both parents as lesbian at age 18. In Family Outing, Bono wrote that, "as a child, I always felt there was something different about me. I'd look at other girls my age and feel perplexed by their obvious interest in the latest fashion, which boy in class was the cutest, and who looked the most like cover girl Christie Brinkley. When I was 13, I finally found a name for exactly how I was different. I realized I was gay."
Bono reported that Cher, who was both a gay icon and ally to LGBT communities, was quite uncomfortable with the news at first, and "went ballistic" before coming to terms with it: "By August 1996, one year after I came out publicly, my mother had progressed so far that she agreed to 'come out' herself on the cover of The Advocate as the proud mother of a lesbian daughter." Cher has since become an outspoken LGBT rights activist.
Bono's paternal relationship became strained after Sonny became a Republican Congressman from California. The differences in their political views separated them, and the two had not spoken for more than a year at the time of Sonny's fatal skiing accident in January 1998.
Between 2008 and 2010, Bono underwent female-to-male gender transition. A two-part Entertainment Tonight feature in June 2009 explained that Bono's transition had started a year before. In May 2010, Bono legally changed gender and name. A documentary on Bono's experience, Becoming Chaz, was screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later made its television debut on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
1970 – Edward Gal, born in Rheden, The Netherlands, is a Dutch dressage rider. He and his mount, the stallion Moorlands Totilas (nicknamed "Toto"), were triple gold medalists at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first horse-rider partnership ever to sweep the three available dressage gold medals at a single FEI World Games. Going into the 2010 Games, they had amassed multiple world-record scores in international competition, leading one American journalist to call them "rock stars in the horse world".
Gal began his equestrian career as a jumper at age 14, beginning with ponies and graduating to larger horses at age 20. However, when he discovered his horse did not like jumping, he switched to dressage. While enjoying solid success in national and international competition, he did not become a truly dominant rider until he began competing with Totilas in 2008. Gal would later say that he and his team understood that Toto was a special horse after their first Grand Prix competition.
Gal represented The Netherlands at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, riding stallion "Undercover."
Gal is in a long-term relationship with teammate Hans Peter Minderhoud. Gal has been interviewed in several Dutch media outlets about his homosexuality and his relationship with Minderhoud.
1971 – Village Voice columnist Jill Johnston comes out in her article, "Lois Lane is a Lesbian," sparking a controversy between feminism and Lesbianism that results in various Johnston antics, including simulating an orgy during a 1971 New York City panel. The event was a vigorous debate on feminism with Norman Mailer, author; Germaine Greer, author; Diana Trilling, literary critic; and Jacqueline Ceballos, National Organization for Women president. The event was a showdown of intellect and personality. While Johnston read a poem culminating in on-stage lesbian sex (fully dressed) followed by a quick exit, Greer and Mailer continued to exchange verbal blows with each other and the audience for the rest of the 3½ hour event.
As this incident illustrates, Johnston's self-described "east west flower child beat hip psychedelic paradise now love peace do your own thing approach to the revolution" often confounded her feminist allies as much as it did the conservative foes of gay and lesbian liberation. In 1973, she predicted "an end to the catastrophic brotherhood and a return to the former glory and wise equanimity of the matriarchies." As recorded in Lesbian Nation, Johnston often was at the center of controversies within the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
1972 – The California DMV reports that while the majority of the 65,000 vanity license plates have presented no censorship issues for the department, a few plates, including “HOMO”, “GAYLIB”, “EAT ME”, and “LOVE69″ have been banned.
1975 – Eighteen gay men, the owner and customers of an Ottawa model agency and dating service are arrested and charged with sexual offences in what became known as the "Ottawa sex scandal." Names were released by police and published by the press. Police alleged a "homosexual vice ring" existed.
1977 – Christian Jessen is an English doctor and television presenter. Jessen was born to a Danish father and English mother, and is openly gay and in a long-term relationship.
Jessen is best known for presenting Channel 4's Supersize vs Superskinny and Embarrassing Bodies.As well as presenting medical programmes on television, he contributes regularly to newspapers and magazines such as Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Daily Express, FHM, Attitude, Closer and Arena. Following his series Supersize vs Superskinny, Jessen wrote the accompanying book Supersize vs Superskinny: Take Control of Your Weight. He also has his own standalone book based on the weird and wonderful medical questions he gets asked called "Can I Just Ask".
He supposedly posted the picture of himself below on a British gay dating site, causing quite a stir in the tabloids.
(Click for Full Monty)
Jessen holds an MSc degree in sexual health, and has a particular interest in HIV and malaria, which were the focus of his work for two years in Kenya and Uganda.
Alongside his television career, Jessen is a doctor in a clinic in London and has worked privately in the UK oil and gas industry - as well as for the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian immigration services. Jessen also provides occupational health for London Underground and Virgin Trains. Currently he works more in the field of sexual health and HIV.
1981 – Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto hears The Body Politic's appeal of lower court order of a retrial on obscenity charges. The same day The Body Politic attempts to cite the Attorney General of Ontario and the Toronto Sun for comments made in print a day before the appeal. Court of Appeal rejects the attempt and orders The Body Politic to pay costs.
1998 – Gay rights: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.
2003 – "The Geography Club" by Brent Hartlinger is first published. Brent Hartinger (born 1971) is an American author, playwright, and screenwriter, best known for his novels about gay teenagers.
Hartinger was born in Washington state and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He earned a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and studied for a masters in psychology at Western Washington University.
Hartinger is the author of fourteen novels. His first published book was the young adult novel Geography Club (2003). He subsequently published seven companion books to that novel, including The Thing I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know (2014); Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (2015); The Road to Amazing (2016); and The Otto Digmore Difference (2017). These last four books were written for adults, and include the teen characters from his earlier YA novels, but now adults in their twenties.
Hartinger's other books, all for young adults, include Grand & Humble (2006); Project Sweet Life (2008); and Three Truths and a Lie (2016).
A feature film version of Hartinger's first novel, Geography Club, was released in November 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula. The book is now being developed as a television series.
Also a screenwriter, nine of Hartinger's screenplays have been optioned for film, and four are currently in various stages of production, including The Starfish Scream, a gay teen drama; Decked, the animated “true” story behind a deck of playing cards; and Project Sweet Life, a teen caper movie (based on his own novel) currently in production for a 2020 release.
Hartinger's writing honors include The Lambda Literary Award; a GLAAD Media Award; the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award; and an Edgar Award nomination. Screenwriting awards include the Screenwriting in the Sun Award, a Writers Network Fellowship, and first place in the StoryPros, Fresh Voices, Acclaim, and L.A. Comedy Festival screenwriting contests.
Hartinger has taught creative writing at Vermont College, and is the co-founder of the entertainment website AfterElton.com, which was sold to MTV/Viacom in 2006.
In 1990, Hartinger co-founded one of the world's first LGBT youth support groups, in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington.
Hartinger currently has no permanent address, and instead continuously travels the world with his husband, writer Michael Jensen. Their "digital nomad" journey, which has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in Forbes, is documented on their website Brent and Michael Are Going Places.
2018 – Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes are nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for producing Strong Island, which Ford also directed. As such, Ford was the first openly transgender man to be nominated for any Academy Award, and the first openly transgender director to be nominated for any Academy Award. Strong Island is about the murder of his brother William Ford, which occurred in 1992.
Yance Ford is an African-American transgender producer and director. Ford graduated from Hamilton College in 1994, and beginning in 2002 he worked as a series producer at PBS for ten years. In 2011 he was named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. He also received the 2011–2012 Fledgling Fund Fellowship at MacDowell. In 2017 he was #97 on The Root 100, an “annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45."
Joslyn Barnes is a film producer and directorand co-founder of Louverture Films with Danny Glover. She is the author or co-author of numerous commissioned screenplays for feature films including the upcoming epic Toussaint.
Today's Gay Wisdom:
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A last defiance to dark Death is hurled,
A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies.
Alone he falls, with wide, wan, woeful eyes:
Eyes that could smile at death -- could not face shame.
Alone, alone he paced his narrow room,
In the bright sunshine of that Paris day;
Saw in his thought the awful hand of doom;
Saw in his dream his glory pass away;
Tried in his heart, his weary heart, to pray:
"O God! who made me, give me strength to face
The spectre of this bitter, black disgrace."
* * * * *
The burn brawls darkly down the shaggy glen;
The bee-kissed heather blooms around the door;
He sees himself a barefoot boy again,
Bending o'er page of legendary lore.
He hears the pibroch, grips the red claymore,
Runs with the Fiery Cross, a clansman true,
Sworn kinsman of Rob Roy and Roderick Dhu.
Eating his heart out with a wild desire,
One day, behind his counter trim and neat,
He hears a sound that sets his brain afire --
The Highlanders are marching down the street.
Oh, how the pipes shrill out, the mad drums beat!
"On to the gates of Hell, my Gordons gay!"
He flings his hated yardstick away.
He sees the sullen pass, high-crowned with snow,
Where Afghans cower with eyes of gleaming hate.
He hurls himself against the hidden foe.
They try to rally -- ah, too late, too late!
Again, defenseless, with fierce eyes that wait
For death, he stands, like baited bull at bay,
And flouts the Boers, that mad Majuba day.
He sees again the murderous Soudan,
Blood-slaked and rapine-swept. He seems to stand
Upon the gory plain of Omdurman.
Then Magersfontein, and supreme command
Over his Highlanders. To shake his hand
A King is proud, and princes call him friend.
And glory crowns his life -- and now the end,
The awful end. His eyes are dark with doom;
He hears the shrapnel shrieking overhead;
He sees the ravaged ranks, the flame-stabbed gloom.
Oh, to have fallen! -- the battle-field his bed,
With Wauchope and his glorious brother-dead.
Why was he saved for this, for this? And now
He raises the revolver to his brow.
* * * * *
In many a Highland home, framed with rude art,
You'll find his portrait, rough-hewn, stern and square;
It's graven in the Fuyam fellah's heart;
The Ghurka reads it at his evening prayer;
The raw lands know it, where the fierce suns glare;
The Dervish fears it. Honor to his name
Who holds aloft the shield of England's fame.
Mourn for our hero, men of Northern race!
We do not know his sin; we only know
His sword was keen. He laughed death in the face,
And struck, for Empire's sake, a giant blow.
His arm was strong. Ah! well they learnt, the foe
The echo of his deeds is ringing yet --
Will ring for aye. All else . . . let us forget.