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

March 5

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1534 – On this date the Italian painter Correggio died (b. 1489). Born as Antonio Allegri Correggio in Parma, he was the foremost painter of the Parma school of the Italian Renaissance, who was responsible for some of the most vigorous and sensuous works of the 16th century. In his use of dynamic composition, illusionistic perspective and dramatic foreshortening, Correggio prefigured the Rococo art of the 18th century. According to some sources he was born in 1494.

Correggio infused all of his figures—male and female alike—with an intense voluptuousness that transcends any limitations of gender. His depiction of exquisite androgynous youths has made him a favorite among gay male viewers in the modern era.


Danaë

Among prominent homosexuals in late nineteenth-century Britain, Oscar Wilde shared admiration for Correggio's art with John Addington Symonds , and Wilde sought out his paintings during his trip to Italy in 1875. The homoerotic qualities of Correggio's paintings have continued to be appreciated by gay viewers in recent decades.

Frequently included in lists of famous gay historical figures, Correggio is among the fifty-two individuals whose name is recorded on Into the Light, the mural covering the dome in the Gay and Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library.

Correggio's The Rape of Ganymede was the first large-scale Renaissance oil painting of the subject. Correggio shows Jupiter, in the guise of an eagle, lifting the shepherd boy high above the lush blue-green landscape, while a dog jumps excitedly up toward his young master.


The Rape of Ganymede
(Click for larger)

With his face encircled by soft curls, Ganymede gazes out seductively at the viewer, even as he embraces the eagle. The dark feathers of the eagle help to set off the glowing pink flesh tones of the youth, who is shown at a three-quarter angle with much of his backside visible. Wind blows the pink draperies away from Ganymede's smooth, radiant buttocks, so that these are fully exposed to the viewer. Jupiter's understandable attraction to the beautiful youth is revealed by the way that the eagle tenderly licks at the boy's wrist.

The early acknowledgment of Correggio's Ganymede as a quintessential representation of homoerotic desire is indicated by the numerous references to the painting in the proceedings, conducted by the Spanish Inquisition against the wealthy connoisseur Antonio Pérez (1534-1611) on charges of sodomy. During the lengthy trial (which lasted from 1579 until 1590, when Pérez escaped to France), his ownership of Correggio's Ganymede was repeatedly cited as proof of his inclination to commit homosexual acts.

1842Florida passes a sodomy law with a mandatory sentence of death.

 

1854Mary Garrett (d.1915) US Suffragette, who helped found the Bryn Mawr College for women. She also endowed the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and secured the rights of women to attend thus making it the first co-educational, graduate-level medical school in the United States.

Born in 1853 to wealth and privilege, Garrett was the third child (and only daughter) of railroad tycoon John Work Garrett, the president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Mary Garrett's inheritance would make her one of the wealthiest women in the United States, but it was her business savvy and shrewd philanthropy that helped her to achieve some of the greatest social improvements of her generation.

Mary Garrett relied heavily on her intimate circle of friends, known as the "Friday Evening." The intellectually curious group included M. Carey Thomas, Mamie Gwinn, Elizabeth "Bessie" King, and Julia Rogers – all but one of them daughters of trustees of Johns Hopkins University, the hospital, or both. It was with this group that Garrett collaborated on her two key philanthropic achievements: the Bryn Mawr School and Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Garrett's funding, with its clearly outlined conditions, not only opened medical education to America's women, they also turned Johns Hopkins into the first modern medical school in the United States.

At her death, she gave $15,000,000 to M. Carey Thomas, the president of Bryn Mawr College, with whom she was romantically involved and had been living together with at the time.

1898 – In San Bernardino, California, William Burke and Harry Fisher were found guilty of 'a crime against nature'and given 25 years each in prison.

1904 – In Ohio, a man is sent to the State Reformatory for being the victim of a sexual assault. He spends two years there.

 

1922 – the Italian poet, intellectual, film director, and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini, was born on this date (d. 1975). Pasolini distinguished himself as a philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure. He had a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, and in the process became a highly controversial figure.

While openly Gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies. The subject is featured prominently in Teorema (1968), where Terence Stamp's mysterious God-like visitor seduces the son of an upper-middle-class family; passingly in Arabian Nights (1974), in an idyll between a king and a commoner that ends in death; and, most darkly of all, in Salò (1975) [banned in many countries throughout Europe and North America], his infamous rendition of the Marquis de Sade's compendium of sexual horrors, The 120 Days of Sodom.

In 1964 he found his public moviemaking "voice" with The Gospel According to St. Matthew. With a non-professional cast and a quasi-documentary shooting style, Pasolini retold the familiar story of the life of Christ in the simplest, least-Hollywood-like style imaginable.

For a time a Christian fundamentalist film distributor had the rights to the film in the United States and successfully exhibited it to church groups. One wonders how receptive the fundamentalist audience would have been to the movie had they known that its maker was a gay, atheistic communist.

Gospel was followed by The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966), a comic fable about the adventures of a Chaplinesque father and son team, played by the great Italian star Toto and Ninetto Davoli, a young former lover of Pasolini's who was to appear in many of the filmmaker's works.


A scene from Pasolini's Salò

His most visually elegant and dramatically reserved work, Salò offers Sade's vision of old, wealthy, evil authorities (politicians, lawyers and bishops) having their way with nude and compliant youths and maidens of the lower classes as simply standard operational procedure for the powers that be.

Pasolini was open about his sexuality, his Communism, his compassion for the poor, the delinquent, and the young. He once wrote a poem for the dying Pope Pius XII that read, in part:
How much good you could have done!
And you
Didn't do it.:
There was no greater sinner than you

Pasolin's own death was a terribly banal sort of death. As far as the heterosexual status quo is concerned, Pasolini, a wealthy, older, and therefore "corrupt" man was killed by a poor and therefore "innocent" youth "disgusted" by his "advances." But, as every gay man knows, this homophobic scenario is never really the truth.

Pasolini's death (which involved the killer or killers driving over the artist's head with his own car) was a gay-bashing as certainly as was that of Matthew Shepard. The difference is that in 1975 the cultural climate was not as sympathetic to the spectacle of the death of an intellectual as it proved to be in 1998 with the death of a gay college student.

 

1927Jack Cassidy (d.1976) was an American actor of stage, film, and television.

Cassidy achieved his greatest success as a musical performer on Broadway, appearing in Alive and Kicking, Wish You Were Here, Shangri-La, Maggie Flynn, Fade Out - Fade In, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, and She Loves Me, for which he won a Tony Award. He also received Emmy Award nominations for his television performances in He & She and The Andersonville Trial.

On television, he became a frequent guest star, appearing in such programs as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Gunsmoke, Bewitched, Get Smart, That Girl, Hawaii Five-O, Match Game and McCloud.

Cassidy was married twice. His first wife was actress Evelyn Ward. Together they had a son, David Cassidy, who later became a teen idol. After divorcing in 1956, Cassidy married actress Shirley Jones. Cassidy and Jones had three sons, Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan. Cassidy's eldest son David later starred with Jones in the sitcom The Partridge Family. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1974.

In his 1994 autobiography, C'Mon, Get Happy, Cassidy's eldest son David wrote that he became increasingly concerned about his father in the last years of his life. Jack Cassidy suffered from bipolar disorder and was an alcoholic, who was displaying increasingly erratic behavior. In 1974, his neighbors were shocked to see him watering his front lawn naked in the middle of the afternoon. Cassidy's second wife Shirley Jones described a similar incident when she found him sitting naked in a corner, reading a book. Jones said to Cassidy that they had to get ready to do a show, and he calmly looked up and said, "I know now that I'm Christ". In December 1974, Cassidy was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility for 48 hours. At that time, Jones found out that he had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

David Cassidy also claimed that his father was bisexual, citing attributed personal accounts and reports, both anecdotal and published, of his father's same-sex affairs, a fact neither he or his siblings discovered until after Cassidy's death. In her 2013 memoir, Shirley Jones confirms that Cassidy had many same-sex affairs, including one with Cole Porter.

By 1976, Cassidy was living alone in a penthouse apartment in West Hollywood. According to Shirley Jones, on December 11, 1976, Cassidy invited her over for drinks but she declined the invitation. He then ate dinner alone at an Italian restaurant. Cassidy returned to his apartment by himself by which time he was drunk. In the early morning hours of December 12, Cassidy lit a cigarette and fell asleep on his Naugahyde couch. The cigarette ignited the couch. The flames quickly spread throughout the building. A charred body, burned beyond recognition, was found in the doorway of Cassidy's apartment. As Cassidy's car was missing (it was later returned by a friend who borrowed it), his family hoped that he had traveled to Palm Springs, which were his plans for the following day. The following day, the body was positively identified as Cassidy's by dental records and by a signet ring that he wore, bearing the Cassidy family crest. His remains were cremated and scattered on the Pacific Ocean.

 Added 2022

 

1931Sheldon Andelson (d.1987) was a higher education administrator and a political fund-raiser. He was the first openly gay University of California Regent.

Sheldon "Shelley" Andelson was born in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, at the time a Jewish enclave of Los Angeles, and went on to have a lucrative career in law and real estate.

A USC-trained lawyer and fraternity man, Andelson was reluctantly drawn into admitting to the world that he was gay. At the start of his career, Andelson dared not dream that he could even become respectable, let alone come to know most of the country’s top Democrats as friends and receive a seat on the prestigious Board of Regents.

After law school, he often defended gay men arrested by Los Angeles police vice squads of the 1950s and ‘60s. But he was slow to join personally in gay liberation movements during the Vietnam War era, and he denied his secret to friends and family until much later.

In 1983, Andelson spoke at length to The Times about life as a gay educated professional man in Los Angeles in the days before many gays began to leave the closet. He recalled that insurance companies and landlords blacklisted single men, any hint of scandal could finish you professionally, and you lived in fear that police would raid genteel cocktail parties where the most scandalous behavior was heated discussions of Adlai Stevenson and Fidel Castro.

In describing Andelson, the Los Angeles Times called him a "Democratic Party heavyweight, once regarded as the nation's most influential gay political figure." Andelson was nominated to the Board of Regents by Governor Jerry Brown. He survived a nasty confirmation battle and served as a University of California Regent from 1980 to 1986. He was instrumental in the appointment of one of the first openly gay judges in California, Rand Schrader.

Other notable accomplishments, honors and contributions include, founder and Chairman of the Bank of Los Angeles, a member of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, director of the ACLU Foundation, and a member of a committee of the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.

Sheldon Andelson was a lead partner in the 1980s trendy Melrose Avenue restaurant "Trumps". At the time, one of Los Angeles' most popular and exclusive dining spots.

Andelson was best known for his political activity—especially for the huge amounts of money he raised for liberal politicians at lavish parties and private dinners in his hillside Bel-Air home and his West Hollywood restaurant. In gay circles, the image of the nation’s top Democrats sitting down to dinner unashamed with Andelson lifted him to the status of treasured role model. “I don’t know any other gay person who was moving in those circles,” recalled Rand Schrader.

The Andelson Collection at the University of California, Santa Barbara Library is named in his honor. Located in the Ethnic and Gender Studies Library, the Collection supports the teaching curriculum and research interests of faculty and students in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and studies across the disciplines.

On December 29, 1987, aged 56, Andelson died of complications related to AIDS.

 

1932Michael Rumaker is an American author best known for his semi-autobiographical novels that document his life as a gay man in the 1950s and after.

Rumaker graduated from Black Mountain College in 1955 and later wrote a memoir of his time there. He hitchhiked to San Francisco where he encountered the literature of the Beat Generation. Returning to New York, he attended Columbia University and received an MFA in 1969, after which he began teaching writing.

His first book, The Butterfly, is a fictionalized memoir of his brief affair with a young Yoko Ono, published before Ono became famous. His short stories, Gringos and other stories, appeared in 1967. A revised and expanded version appeared in 1991. He began to write directly about his life as a gay man in the volumes A Day and a Night at the Baths (1979) and My First Satyrnalia (1981). The novel Pagan Days (1991) is told from the perspective of an eight-year old boy struggling to understand his gay self. Black Mountain Days, a memoir of his time at Black Mountain College, has a strong autobiographical element. In addition, there are portraits of many students and faculty (including the poets Robert Creeley, Charles Olson and Jonathan Williams) during its last years, 1952-1956.

Following his graduation from Black Mountain College, Rumaker made his way to the post-Howl, pre-Stonewall riots gay literary milieu of San Francisco, where he entered the circle of Robert Duncan. His account of that time in the book Robert Duncan in San Francisco gives an unvarnished look at the premier poet of the San Francisco Renaissance. Rumaker will release previously unpublished letters between himself and Robert Duncan for a new edition, published by City Lights.

 

1936 – First president of Zimbabwe Canaan Banana was born on this date (d.2003). A Methodist minister, Banana held the largely ceremonial office while his eventual successor Robert Mugabe served as prime minister. Born in colonial Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe after independence), early on Banana studied to become a teacher, and was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1966.

He soon became involved in politics and the decolonization of Zimbabwe. After independence in 1980, Canaan was lauded as the country's first president following the bloody and prolonged war of independence that toppled Ian Smith's white-only regime. Robert Mugabe was his prime minister. He served until 1987 when Mugabe consolidated his power and became president.

After his term as president Banana played key roles in mediation and peacemaking. He played a part in the search for peace in other parts of Africa. In 1989, he led the group of the World Council of Churches that sought to intervene in apartheid South Africa, and was a special envoy to civil war-torn Liberia.

His later years were clouded by scandal. In 1997, Rev. Banana was arrested in Zimbabwe on charges of sodomy, following accusations made during the murder trial of his former bodyguard, Jefta Dube. The charges claimed that Banana had misused his authority to coerce numerous men in positions of service (ranging from domestic staff to security guards, and even members of sports teams for whom he had acted as referee) into accepting sexual advances. He was found guilty of 11 charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in 1998. He denied all charges, saying that homosexuality is "defiant, abominable and wrong," and the charges against him were "a mortuary of pathological lies" intended to destroy his political career.

In 2002, his wife Janet Banana confirmed that her husband was indeed homosexual, even though she considered the charges against him to be politically motivated stating that, "Mugabe used the issue of my husband's sexuality as a way of mobilising opinion against Canaan. Mugabe was jealous of Canaan's international platform" and that the attack on Canaan was an attempt to eliminate any hint of opposition." Mugabe's horrific record of anti-homosexual animus and bias make this charge highly credible.

Banana fled to South Africa before he could be imprisoned, apparently believing Mugabe was planning his death. He returned to Zimbabwe in December 1998, after a meeting with Nelson Mandela who intervened to secure leniency. Banana was sentenced in 1999 to ten years in jail, nine years suspended, and was defrocked. He actually served six months in an open prison (being allowed to leave for shopping) before being released in 2001. He died of cancer in 2003 in London. He was buried in Zimbabwe without the full honours expected to be accorded to a former head of state.

 

1947Michael Mason (d.2015) was the news editor of Gay News who went on to co-found and edit the pioneering London paper Capital Gay and was a leading figure in the campaign for homosexual law reform.

Having been born in an era when homosexuality was illegal, Mason was bemused towards the end of his life to see a Conservative prime minister fighting for gay marriage. But, without his own tireless groundwork , such changes might not have happened.

Michael Aidan Mason was born in London. His father, Kenneth, was a Fleet Street journalist who later founded his own publishing house specialising in marine books.

Michael was sent as a weekly boarder to prep school in Surrey, then to Lancing College where, as well as singing in the chapel choir, he trysted happily with willing partners in the space below the school stage. It was there that he was discovered in flagrante while he was house captain.

Fortunately this did not derail his school career, and he went on to read Law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

In the early 1970s he encountered the Gay Liberation Front, the radical movement which offered gay people an alternative, more open, way of life to the furtive existence they had led hitherto. It completely changed his world view and he became a GLF activist.

The GLF dissolved and fragmented within a couple of years, but one of the fragments was Gay News, a hippie-style fortnightly. Excited by the concept of a gay newspaper, Mason got a job as business manager and within six months was news editor.

In 1981 Mason and his colleague Graham McKerrow broke away to set up a London-only paper called Capital Gay.

When a mystery sickness began claiming the lives of gay men in New York and San Francisco, Capital Gay appointed a medical columnist. The publication is credited by the Oxford English Dictionary as the world’s first to use the term HIV. It was ahead even of science journals, and British doctors read it to get information about the new disease from the United States. The prompt alert it offered is one reason Aids casualties were relatively low in London.

Mason’s proudest memory was being received at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco by the city’s mayor, Diane Feinstein, and asked to lead that year’s Pride parade. His lover Carl Hill had been arrested at immigration for wearing a gay badge while they were travelling to cover the event. They had become a cause célèbre, and this was San Francisco’s bid to atone.

After a decade with Carl Hill, he had a long-term relationship with David White, who later emigrated to Australia.

When Capital Gay finally collapsed in 1995 after a series of burglaries, Mason went to work as a legal secretary in a south London firm specialising in lesbian and gay immigration cases.

Soon after retirement, he was diagnosed with lung cancer which spread to his throat and his brain.

 Added 2022

 

1947Ottis Toole, serial killer, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Toole was born into a very disturbed home life. His mother was a Christian extremist, his older sister molested him and dressed him in women’s clothing, and his grandmother was a Satanist who used him to rob graves of body parts for satanic rituals. Before his father left him, Toole was also forced to perform sexual acts for his father’s male friends. With an IQ of 75 and a lack of positive influences in his life, Toole seemed sure to head down a dark path.

When Toole reached the 9th grade he dropped out of school and began meeting men at local gay bars. He later told reporters that he knew he was gay at the age of 10. When he was 14, a local salesman asked him to perform sexual acts for him. Toole murdered the salesman by running him over with his own car. Toole then began drifting around the United States.

In his travels he met a man by the name of Henry Lee Lucas. The two became friends and lovers and ended up going on a murder spree together. Although the two were very close and usually committed their murders together, Toole was caught burning down the house of a man he claimed to be romantically involved with and was sentenced to 20 years in prison because of his multiple previous arrests. Lucas was soon caught by police for unlawful possession of a firearm and the two began to brag about their murder spree. DNA evidence linked the two to multiple murders all over the country and Toole was eventually convicted of six.

Toole was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted to life in prison. He died at the age of 49 on September 15, 1996. Before his death, he confessed to almost 100 murders, including the kidnapping and murder of John Walsh’s son, Adam. Walsh would later go on to create and host America’s Most Wanted in an effort to capture fugitives and prevent future tragedies.

 

1963Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel), aka Joe Exotic, is an American former zoo operator and convicted felon. The former owner and operator of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (a.k.a. G. W. Zoo) in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Maldonado-Passage had claimed to be the most prolific breeder of tigers in the United States.

Before working with animals, he was a police officer, briefly serving as the chief of police in Eastvale, Texas. Maldonado-Passage has had three unsuccessful runs for public office: for President of the United States in 2016 as an independent and for Governor of Oklahoma in 2018 as a Libertarian; in 2017, before officially entering the race for Governor, he filed as a candidate seeking the Libertarian nomination for President.

In 2019, Maldonado-Passage was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire for a plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin. He is serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison. In 2020, Netflix released an eight-part documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, focused on Maldonado-Passage, his zoo, and his feud with Baskin. The documentary led to Maldonado-Passage receiving significant amounts of attention on social media.

Maldonado-Passage was born Joseph Allen Schreibvogel in Garden City, Kansas. He grew up on a working farm in Kansas. When he was five years old, he was raped by an older boy. He and his family moved to Texas, where he joined the Eastvale, Texas, police department, soon becoming chief of the small department.

He has said that after being outed to his parents as gay by one of his siblings, he attempted suicide by crashing his police cruiser into a bridge. His claims about the wreck have changed over time: in 1997, he told The Dallas Morning News that someone forced the car off the bridge during a police drug investigation. Local residents who were contacted had no recollection of the event.

Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel) is gay, although prior to dating men he fathered a son with his girlfriend Kim. Maldonado-Passage has referred to numerous partners as his husbands despite not being legally married. His first known partner was Brian Rhyne, who died of complications from HIV in 2001. The following year, he started a relationship with J.C. Hartpence, an event manager who aided him with his traveling animal show. In mid-2003, John Finlay was hired as an employee of the G.W. Zoo and within a month had begun a relationship with Schreibvogel. By this point, the relationship between Schreibvogel and Hartpence had deteriorated owing to drug and alcohol addiction. It finally ended after Joe Exotic threatened to kill Hartpence and feed his remains to the zoo's largest tiger; Hartpence later woke Schreibvogel up by putting a gun to his head, an action that led to Hartpence's arrest by the local authorities. Hartpence was later convicted of child molestation and first-degree murder.

Travis Maldonado arrived at the zoo in December 2013 and, like Finlay, rapidly began a relationship with Schreibvogel. Schreibvogel, Maldonado, and Finlay were unofficially married to each other less than a month later in a three-partner wedding ceremony. Joe Exotic and Finlay eventually fell out, and following an incident in the zoo's back parking lot Finlay was arrested and charged with assault and battery.

In 2015, Joe Exotic legally wed Maldonado and his legal name became Joseph Maldonado. However, neither Finlay nor Travis Maldonado identified as gay and both had affairs: Finlay had impregnated the zoo's receptionist (which was one of the reasons leading to his departure), and Travis Maldonado was regularly having sex with multiple women on the grounds of the zoo.

On October 6, 2017, Travis Maldonado died at the zoo in an accident involving a firearm in front of Joe Exotic's campaign manager. Joe Exotic married Dillon Passage on December 11 of the same year; one of the witnesses was Travis Maldonado's mother. Upon his marriage to Passage, Joe Exotic's legal surname became Maldonado-Passage. Maldonado-Passage is an ordained minister in the state of Oklahoma and is able to officiate marriages; however, it is unclear if he ever has. He obtained his ministry license from the Universal Life Church. In the Tiger King series, he can be seen wearing a priest outfit.

1971 – A New Mexico appellate court upholds a sentence of life imprisonment for sodomy under the state's Indeterminate Sentencing Act.

 

1974 – Today's the birthday of British actor and comedian Matt Lucas. He is perhaps best known for his acclaimed work with David Walliams in the U.K. television sketch show Little Britain and spoof interview series, Rock Profile, as well as for his portrayal of the surreal scorekeeping baby George Dawes in the Reeves and Mortimer comedy panel game Shooting Stars.

In July 2006 he was placed 9th in the list of the UK's 100 Most Influential Gays and Lesbians, in fields as diverse as entertainment, business, politics, and science, by the British newspaper The Independent. He studied drama at the University of Bristol and is a former member of both the National Youth Music Theatre and the National Youth Theatre.

His career in comedy began on the London stand-up comedy circuit at the age of eighteen as Sir Bernard Chumley, legendary actor and raconteur — a character who was to appear later in Little Britain. Lucas' association with Reeves and Mortimer began in 1992, when he was spotted by Bob Mortimer on stage. In 1994, Lucas appeared in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. The second series of the show featured Lucas in several sketches. He went on to star with them in Shooting Stars. He quickly rose to fame as George Dawes, the giant baby, who would deliver a string of meaningless gags (often in character) and insults before delivering the score, while sitting at and playing a drum kit. Many of these parts were introduced not in the style of a baby, but of a grown man — indeed, often, he would come on dressed as a specific adult such as Elton John.

Lucas has also written for Ali G and Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen. Lucas ventured into the world of stage musicals in 2002, when he took one of the main roles in Boy George's musical Taboo, at the The Venue, London. He played the part of infamous performance artist Leigh Bowery, which required him to wear some outrageous and spectacular outfits and make-up. In 2005, he took his first role in a television drama, a supporting part as a Venetian Duke in the BBC historical serial Casanova, written by Russell T. Davies.

Little Britain is Lucas' most successful work. Originally a BBC Radio 4 show, it later became a TV series. Little Britain has won numerous TV awards, spawning large DVD sales and merchandising. It plays heavily on memorable catchphrases which have become ingrained in playgrounds and offices around the UK. Lucas plays four of the most popular characters in the series, which he writes and acts in along with David Walliams; apparently disabled Andy Pipkin, teenage chav Vicky Pollard, 'bottom enthusiast' Daffyd Thomas and fat fighter Marjorie Dawes.

In December 2006, Lucas and long-term partner TV producer Kevin McGee were joined in a Civil Partnership ceremony in London. Guests at the service included Walliams as well as Dale Winton and comic Rob Brydon. The ceremony was kept fairly formal, with male guests wearing suits but the evening reception had the guests dressed in pantomime costumes. Evening guests included a hugely broad cross-section of stars from the worlds of television, comedy, music, theatre and the arts. Their civil partnership was dissolved through the High Court in 2008, ending what was a six-year relationship.

1974 – In Milton, Ontario, fundamentalist minister Ken Campbell, outraged by Hamilton-McMaster Homophile Association members addressing his daughter's high school class forms Halton Renaissance Committee, forerunner of Renaissance Canada. Eventually it becomes one of strongest opponents of gay rights movement.

1985 – The North Carolina Court of Appeals upholds that state's loitering law and rejects a claim that it discriminates in favor of Gay men.

2007 – The first US soldier to be injured in the Iraq conflict, Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, came out and announced his opposition to the US armed forces' "Don't ask don't tell" policy on homosexuality.

2009 – Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General announces that they have concluded their hate crimes investigation in the David Popescu incident of 2008 when he called for the execution of Egale Canada executive director Helen Kennedy , and officially charge Popescu with two counts of willful promotion of hatred, under Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada. His court appearance is scheduled for April 15 of 2009 but is delayed till August 7.

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Today's Gay Wisdom:

Pier Paolo Pasolini

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 Pasolini, as he appeared in his own "The Decameron."

If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

The mark which has dominated all my work is this longing for life, this sense of exclusion, which doesn't lessen but augments this love of life. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

One should never hope for anything. Hope is a thing invented by politicians to keep the electorate happy. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

I suffer from the nostalgia of a peasant-type religion, and that is why I am on the side of the servant. But I do not believe in a metaphysical god. I am religious because I have a natural identification between reality and God. Reality is divine. That is why my films are never naturalistic. The motivation that unites all of my films is to give back to reality its original sacred significance. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

Power has two ways of bringing racist hatred against the poor. The first point: leave them poor and a poor person comes to be hated. Make them policemen and they're accused of being killers. The moment a poor person becomes a killer he's open to racist hatred. This is horrible, we shouldn't experience this. I am obviously against the police. It's the arm upon which every power structure is built. And the power structure always tends towards the Right. I do, however, refuse to share in any type of racial hatred. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

I've never talked about the importance of the family, I'm against the family, the family is an archaic Remnant. During my childhood I had certain conflicts with my family whose background was definitely middle-class. My father represented the worst element I could imagine. It's rather difficult to talk about my relationship with my father and mother because I know something about psychoanalysis. What I can say is that I have great love for my mother. My origins are fairly typical of petty bourgeois, Italian society. I'm a product of unity of Italy as a Republic. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

I've stated various times that "Oedipus Rex" is an autobiography: my father who was an officer and my mother was more or less the woman played by Silvana Mangano. I live the Oedipus complex in a kind of laboratory fashion, in an almost elementary and schematic way. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

When I make a film I'm always in reality, among the trees and among the people; there's no symbolic or conventional filter between me and reality as there's in literature. The cinema is an explosion of my love for reality. I have never conceived of making a film that would be a work of a group, I've always thought of a film as a work of an author, not only the script and the direction but the choices of sets and locations, the characters, even the clothes. I choose everything, not to mention the music. - Pier Paolo Pasolini

From Pier Paolo Pasolini's, Roman Poems:

I WORK ALL DAY...

I work all day like a monk

and at night wander about like an alleycat

looking for love... I'll propose

to the Church that I be made a saint.

In fact I respond to mystification

with mildness. I watch the lynch-mob

as through a camera-eye.

With the calm courage of a scientist,

I watch myself being massacred.

I seem to feel hate and yet I write

verses full of painstaking love.

I study treachery as a fatal phenomenon,

almost as if I were not its object.

I pity the young fascists,

and the old ones, whom I consider forms

of the most horrible evil, I oppose

only with the violence of reason.

Passive as a bird that sees all, in flight,

and carries in its heart,

rising in the sky, an unforgiving conscience.

MARCH 6 →

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