Table of Contents

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 9

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1883 – The bisexual poet who published under the name Umberto Saba wrote poems that expressed his love both of his wife and daughter and of adolescent boys. (d.1957) Saba's real name was Umberto Poli. His Christian father abandoned his Jewish mother while she was pregnant, so Saba was brought up by his mother and some aunts in the Jewish quarter of Trieste. (He did not meet his father until the age of twenty.) He received very little formal education, a fact that probably contributes to the limpid quality of his verse.

In 1902, he gave up business to devote himself to poetry; he made his living by freelancing for newspapers. In 1908, he did a year's military service in Salerno and then returned to Trieste to get married. In 1919, he bought a bookstore in Trieste, and in 1921, published a collection of his poems under his own imprint. He gave them the title Il canzoniere (The Songbook).

With the poems arranged as if in a narrative order, the book derived its unity from being read as a continuous lyric autobiography. Saba gradually added to the volume, and new editions appeared in 1945, 1951, and 1961. Eventually it contained more than four hundred poems, written over a fifty year period.

Being of mixed race, Saba had to leave Trieste during the Nazi occupation. He fled to Florence and spent the duration moving from house to house to keep one step ahead of possible deportation.

Much of Saba's fame rests on poems he wrote about or to his wife Carolina (Lina) and his daughter Lina (Linuccia), who was born in 1910. But Il canzoniere is also full of boys. Saba once said that a poet is "a child who marvels at what happens to him when he grows up"; and, indeed, the spirit of the book is very close to adolescence.

A nostalgic aura of male puberty, whether the poet's own or that of boys his roving eye admires in later life, hangs over many poems. In "Un ricordo" ("A Memory"), Saba recalls a friendship that he now, in adulthood, recognizes as having been his first love affair. Nor does age diminish his capacity for "loving friendship" ("amicizia amorosa"), as he demonstrates in the poem "Vecchio e giovane," which begins with the words "An old man loved a boy."

Each beautiful boy proves the older poet's mortality; but each also enables him to reacquaint himself with joys he first encountered when he, too, was young.

Late in his life, a few weeks after his seventieth birthday in 1953, when he had virtually given up writing poetry, Saba began the short novel Ernesto in which he revisited not only the scenes but also the moods of his puberty. Autobiographical at least in part—but to what extent is not clear—the novel chronicles a boy's sexual awakening, starting when he loses his virginity to a man he works with. Subsequently, he has his first heterosexual experience with a prostitute, forms a loving friendship with another boy, and in the end, meets the girl who will eventually become his wife.

Saba died in 1957. Ernesto was published posthumously in 1975 and subsequently filmed. Saba is generally ranked alongside the greatest of modern Italian poets, Eugenio Montale and Giuseppe Ungaretti. He should also be included in the canon of significant gay writers of the modernist period.


1892David Garnett (d.1981) was a British writer and publisher, and a prominent member of the Bloomsbury group. He was born in Brighton, England, and died in Montcuq, France. As a child, he had a cloak made of rabbit skin and thus received the nickname "Bunny" by which he was known by friends and intimates all his life.

The only child of Edward Garnett and Russian translator Constance Garnett, Garnett wrote the novel Aspects of Love, on which the later Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical was based. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founded (with Francis Meynell) the Nonesuch Press.

His first wife was illustrator Rachel "Ray" Marshall (1891-1940), sister of the last surviving member of the Bloomsbury group, Frances Partridge. He and Ray had two sons, but she died relatively young of breast cancer.

Although Garnett was primarily heterosexual, he had brief homosexual affairs in his youth with Francis Birrell and Duncan Grant. He was present at the birth of Grant's daughter, Angelica Garnett (née Bell), on December 25, 1918 and wrote to a friend shortly afterwards, "I think of marrying it. When she is 20, I shall be 46 — will it be scandalous?". When Angelica was in her early twenties, they did marry (on May 8, 1942), to the horror of her parents.

They had four daughters (Amaryllis, Henrietta, and twins Nerissa and Frances), but later separated. After his separation from Angelica, Garnett moved to France and lived at the Chateau de Charry, Montcuq (near Cahors) until his death in 1981.


1892Vita Sackville-West was an English author, poet and gardener (d.1962). She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her strong, strange marriage (she and her husband Harold Nicolson were both bisexual), and her passionate affairs.

Vita Sackville-West was born in Kent, the only child of Lionel Edward Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville and his wife Victoria Sackville-West, who were cousins. Christened "Victoria Mary Sackville-West", she was known as "Vita" throughout her life, to distinguish her from her mother.

In 1913, at age 21, Vita married the 27 year-old writer and politician Harold George Nicolson, nicknamed Hadji, the third son of British diplomat Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock. The couple had an open marriage. Both Sackville-West and her husband had same-sex relationships, as did some of the people in the Bloomsbury Group of writers and artists, with many of whom they had connections.

Vita's first close friend was Rosamund Grosvenor who was 4 years Vita's senior. Vita met Rosamund at Miss Woolf's school in 1899, when Rosamund had been invited to cheer Vita up while her father was fighting in the Boer war. Rosamund and Vita later shared a governess for their morning lessons. As they grew up together, Vita fell in love with Rosamund, whom she called 'Roddie' or 'Rose' or 'the Rubens lady'. Rosamund, in turn, was besotted with Vita. "Oh, I dare say I realized vaguely that I had no business to sleep with Rosamund, and I should certainly never have allowed anyone to find it out," Vita admits in her journal, but she saw no real conflict: "I really was innocent." Their secret relationship ended in 1913 when Vita married. Rosamund died in 1944 during a German V1-rocket raid.

The same-sex relationship that had the deepest and most lasting effect on Sackville-West's personal life was with the novelist Violet Trefusis. They first met when Vita Sackville-West was 12 and Violet was 10, and attended school together for a number of years.

The relationship began when they were both in their teens. She and Trefusis eloped several times from 1918 on, mostly to France, Sackville-West dressing as a man when they went out. The affair ended badly, with Trefusis pursuing Sackville-West to great lengths until Sackville-West's affairs with other women finally took their toll.

The two women had made, apparently, a bond to remain faithful to one another, meaning that although both women were married, neither could engage in sexual relations with her own husband. Sackville-West heard allegations that Trefusis had been involved sexually with her own husband, indicating she had broken their bond, prompting her to end the affair.

By all accounts, Sackville-West was by that time looking for a reason for breaking up the relationship, and used this as justification. Despite the rift, the two women were devoted to one another, and deeply in love, and continued to have occasional liaisons for a number of years afterwards, but never rekindled the affair.

But the affair for which Sackville-West is most remembered was with the prominent writer Virginia Woolf in the late 1920s. Woolf wrote one of her most famous novels, Orlando, described by Sackville-West's son Nigel Nicolson as "the longest and most charming love-letter in literature", as a result of this affair.

Unusually, the moment of the conception of Orlando was documented: Woolf writes in her diary on 5 October 1927: "And instantly the usual exciting devices enter my mind: a biography beginning in the year 1500 and continuing to the present day, called Orlando: Vita; only with a change about from one sex to the other" (excerpt from her diary published posthumously by her husband Leonard Woolf).

1893 – Just 19 days after the Washington Supreme Court pointed out the lack of a sodomy law, the Washington legislature passes a specific sodomy law. Governor John Harte McGraw allows it to become law without his signature. The penalty is set at 10-14 years.


1895 – American publisher and writer Robert McAlmon (d.1956) made significant contributions to twentieth-century literature. As owner of Contact Editions, he was responsible for publishing such important modernist works as Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans (1925).

In his own books of the 1920s, he treated controversial subjects in a straightforward manner. Most notably, in Distinguished Air: Grim Fairy Tales (1925) McAlmon recorded life in the gay subculture of Berlin with a frankness that was unequaled in the era. Compared to his stories, Christopher Isherwood's later and more famous tales of the city seem almost tame.

In 1920, McAlmon dropped out of school and settled in New York City's Greenwich Village. McAlmon quickly became integrated into the Village's bohemian life and established lasting friendships. Although he changed the names of his acquaintances, McAlmon provided a generally accurate and lively account of his experiences in Greenwich Village in the short novel Post Adolescence (1923). Like Peter, the central character of that book, McAlmon supported himself by posing nude for artists at Cooper Union and elsewhere.

While living in Greenwich Village, McAlmon became acquainted with the poet William Carlos Williams, who would become his closest and most loyal friend. To provide a forum for adventurous young American writers, McAlmon and Williams founded the literary magazine Contact.

In 1921, McAlmon married heiress Annie Winifred Ellerman, who preferred to be called Bryher, her literary pseudonym. She is remembered as the lover of the poet Hilda Doolittle, called H.D. Rumors, widely reported in American newspapers, characterized McAlmon as a "gold digger" seeking access to the Ellerman fortune. In later years, Bryher endorsed these claims, insisting that the marriage had been strictly a business arrangement, which she proposed in order to live with H.D. outside her father's home.

Through his marriage to Bryher, McAlmon realized his ambition to become part of the group of expatriate writers and artists in Europe. In1921, he and Bryher set sail for Great Britain. After spending a few weeks in London, McAlmon moved on alone to Paris where he remained.

Among expatriates in Paris during the 1920s, McAlmon was regarded as a writer of significant talent and potential. However, he never attained the financial success and critical acclaim that Ernest Hemingway and many of his other associates did. Commercial publishers were unwilling to distribute McAlmon's work, at least in part because of his honest treatment of queer sexuality.

McAlmon had printed at his own expense A Hasty Brunch, a collection of short stories, previously rejected by a British publisher who found the book to be obscene. These stories of life in the American Midwest were favorably reviewed. McAlmon was also encouraged by the unpublished praise offered by other writers whom he admired.

Also in 1921 and 1922, McAlmon found time to assist James Joyce with the difficult tasks of editing and typing early versions of Ulysses.

Although the wealthy Ellerman family had been initially suspicious of McAlmon's motivations for his marriage to Bryher, they quickly became fond of him. Thus, Sir John Ellerman gave him with about $70,000 to support his literary endeavors. McAlmon immediately used the money to establish Contact Editions to publish innovative works without concern for profit.

In 1925, McAlmon published five important books, including Gertrude Stein's Making of Americans. Although he recognized its importance, McAlmon found the publication of Stein's monumental work a very frustrating and exhausting experience. Because of the small demand for books published by Contact, McAlmon generally limited editions (including his own works) to approximately 150 copies. However, without consulting McAlmon, Stein instructed the printer to produce 600 copies of Making of Americans, and she refused to assist him with the printing bill of 60,000 francs (then equivalent to about $3,000) or with the storage costs of the hundreds of unsold volumes. The production of Making of Americans undermined the financial stability of the press, which closed in 1931.

Published in 1925, McAlmon's own Distinguished Air: Grim Fairy Tales was immediately hailed by James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and other leading modernist writers as the author's most important book, and it retains that reputation today. Pound ardently promoted Distinguished Air among his acquaintances, and Joyce arranged for it to be translated into French and published in the magazine 900. Although only 115 copies were printed, the book quickly became widely known in avant-garde circles.

Discontent with his sham marriage, McAlmon sought a divorce from Bryher, which was finalized during the spring of 1927. At this time, Sir John Ellerman, who seems to have become quite fond of his son-in-law, gave McAlmon a substantial financial settlement. Thereafter, McAlmon often was sneeringly referred to in bohemian circles as "McAlimony." Unfortunately, Ellerman's gift did not really improve McAlmon's financial situation because he quickly dissipated most of the funds through parties and drinking.

During the initial stages of the Nazi Occupation of France, McAlmon was interned, but his family successfully implored United States Senators to use their influence to secure his freedom. His family paid for his return travel to the United States and found him a job selling medical equipment for a company based in Phoenix.

By the time that he returned permanently to the United States in 1940, McAlmon's health had deteriorated significantly. Suffering from tuberculosis and many other serious ailments, he spent extended periods in hospitals.

In 1951, McAlmon retired to a home that his sisters purchased for him in Desert Hot Springs, California, and he lived quietly there until his death on February 2, 1956.

1902Will Geer, American actor, born (d.1978); Geer's real name was William Aughe Ghere. He is best known for his portrayal of the character Grandpa Walton, in the popular 1970s TV series, The Waltons.

But Geer was first a social activist, touring government work camps in the 1930s with folk singers like Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie, and participating in the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike.

Geer was also the lover of gay activist Harry Hay. In 1934, Hay met Geer at the Tony Pastor Theatre, where Geer worked as an actor. They became lovers, and Hay credited him as his political mentor. Hay and Geer participated in a milk strike in Los Angeles, where Hay was first exposed to radical gay activism in the person of "Clarabelle," a drag queen who held court in the Bunker Hill neighborhood, who hid Hay from police. Later that year, Hay and Geer performed in support of the San Francisco General Strike.

Geer is credited with introducing Guthrie to Pete Seeger at the Grapes of Wrath benefit Geer organized in 1940 for migrant farm workers.

When Geer died, shortly after completing the sixth season of The Waltons, the death of his character was written into the show's script as well.

1904 – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturns a sodomy conviction because penetration had not been proven.


Barber with Menotti

1910 – On this date the American composer Samuel Barber was born (d.1981). A prolific composer of music ranging from orchestral, to opera, choral, and piano music, Barber is probably best known for his "Adagio for Strings" which was an immediate success after being performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini in 1938. Toscanini had very rarely performed music by American composers before. At the end of the first rehearsal of the piece, Toscanini remarked: "Semplice e bella" ("simple and beautiful"). Barber was 28 years old at the time. The composition would became an important piece of the 20th century classical repertoire. It has been heard in films such as Platoon, The Elephant Man, El Norte, Amélie, Lorenzo's Oil and Reconstruction. Any fans of the HBO series "Big Love" has heard it in several episodes. In 1945, it was played at the funeral of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Many of his compositions were commissioned or first performed by such famous artists as Vladimir Horowitz, Eleanor Steber, Raya Garbousova, John Browning, Leontyne Price, Pierre Bernac, Francis Poulenc, and Dietrich Fischer Dieskau.

The great love of Barber's life was probably the composer Gian Carlo MenottI. The two met when Barber was 18 years old and Menotti arrived at the Curtis Institute, where Barber was a student. Menotti and Barber instantly found a connection, one which started as a shared passion for similar music styles and drifted slowly into a passionate sexual relationship. Around the campus, their "close relationship" was well known. But this was an artistic institute and few of the other students cared for prejudice. With all minds, eyes and ears focused on music, the boys were able to conduct a blossoming relationship undisturbed.

After leaving the Curtis Institute, Barber and Menotti traveled around Europe after Barber won a Pulitzer Travel Grant and the award was immediately followed by another; the American Prix de Rome, allowing him to study at the American Academy, itself based in Rome. It was there that Barber was to produce one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, the Adagio for Strings.

With the Adagio's near immediate success there came recording contracts and several commissions. When war broke out, the couple both managed to avoid active service, Menotti through his Italian nationality, Barber by joining the band of the American Air Corps. After the war was over, the couple bought a large house in New York with the intention of living and writing there together for the rest of their lives. Barber continued to work on choral pieces as well as his symphonies. Barber would win two Pulitzers, for a piano concerto and for an opera based on a libretto by Menotti.

Although his work was on a high, Barber found it hard to live up to the early success of the Adagio and he eventually slipped into a deep depression. He split with his long term partner Menotti and moved to Switzerland, living in almost total seclusion. Menotti moved to other successes and eventually married. Barber died of cancer in 1981 in New York City at the age of 70. Menotti was at his side.


1922Felice Schragenheim (d.1944, Bergen, Germany) was a Jewish resistance fighter during World War II. She is known for her tragic love story with Lilly Wust and death during a march from Gross-Rosen concentration camp (today Poland) to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany or, not later than, March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen.

The story of the relationship between Schragenheim and Wust is portrayed in the 1999 film Aimée & Jaguar, and in a book of the same name by Erica Fischer. It is also the subject of the 1997 documentary Love Story: Berlin 1942.

Because she was Jewish (and not because of her homosexual relationship with Lilly Wust), Schragenheim was deported from Berlin to KZ Theresienstadt (now Czech Republic) on September 8, 1944 by national-socialist Gestapo (transport nr. I/116). On October 9, 1944, she was deported from Theresienstadt to the extermination facility KZ Auschwitz Birkenau to be put to death. As the gas chambers and crematoria were dismantled and blown up between November 1944 and January 1945, the mass extermination in Auschwitz came to an end, gradually. The inmates, including Felice Schragenheim, were taken on a death march to KZ Groß-Rosen, maybe later on a death march to KZ Bergen-Belsen. Date and place of her death are unknown. Officially, the date of her death was defined as December 31, 1944 by a Berlin court in 1948. Relatives set a memorial stone in Bergen-Belsen, naming “March 1945” as her death date.


1927 – Today is the birthday of Will Ferdy, Belgian/Flemish singer, actor, radio host, lyricist, and comedian who was Born in Ghent as Werner Ferdinande.

Ferdy started his career as a professional singer in 1948. In 1951 he had his first hit with Ziede Gij Me Gere. Will Ferdy was also known as a comedian. In 1953 he started his first skits around his characters "Flup de Facteur" and "Peterke en Pepe" (later "Peterke en Pol").

In 1970, Ferdy was the first Flemish celebrity to come out as gay on national TV in Belgium. In 2006 he won the Gay Krant awarded, when he was chosen by its readers as the person to have made the greatest contribution to gay emancipation.

The last ten years of his career he performed with his regular pianist Jürgen De Smet , with whom he also wrote songs for his new CDs. Since 2004 Jürgen De Smet has been not only his live accompanist but also a permanent collaborator for the CDs. 7 CDs were released in which Jürgen was involved, mainly as a composer: I thought I had my time (2005), And the years passed (2006), A life full of music (2007), Songs from love (2007), For each moment (2008), Bis (2011) and Now and then (2013).

In 2009 Ferdy played the lead role in the short film My Donna by filmmaker Nicolaas Rahoens , a role that he performed admirably together with Jo Leemans.

In April 2013 he received the Golden Lifetime Award from the municipality of Aarschot for his 65-year career. On November 17, 2013, he gave an exclusive concert at the Lindner Hotel in Antwerp that served as an official farewell concert and where a DVD was recorded which was released on March 9, 2014 (Will's 87th birthday). The DVD contains the entire concert and a documentary part about his life.

At the end of June 2014 he stopped performing permanently. In January 2015, Ferdy received the Çavaria Lifetime Achievement Award.


Gasalla and Mamá Cora

1941Antonio Gasalla is an Argentine actor, comedian, and theatre director, best known as a female impersonator.

Antonio Gasalla was born in Ramos Mejía, a western suburb of Buenos Aires, in 1941. He enrolled at the National Dramatic Arts Conservatory, and began his work in Buenos Aires' vibrant theatre scene in 1964 as an understudy, through which he befriended a colleague, Uruguayan émigré Carlos Perciavalle. He and Perciavalle starred in their own production of María Inés Quesada's Help Valentino! (1966), which they performed as a café-concert; this genre was popular in Argentina at the time, and the Gasalla-Perciavalle duo became among its best known exponents.

They accepted roles in film productions of Un viaje de locos (Madmen's Journey) and Clínica con música (Musical Clinic) in 1974. Though known for their comedy roles, they were also cast in 1974 by Sergio Renán for La tregua (The Truce), the first Argentine film nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The duo parted ways subsequently, and Gasalla was cast in a comic role in Tiro al aire (Shot in the Dark), a 1980 family film starring Héctor Alterio.

Offbeat film director Alejandro Doria offered Gasalla the lead role in a 1985 comedy, Esperando la carroza (Waiting for the Hearse). Portraying Mamá Cora, a mischievous nonagenarian in need of attention from her self-absorbed family, Gasalla underwent four hours of prosthetic and makeup work daily, while shooting lasted. Receiving mixed reviews, the grotesque comedy was a commercial success and introduced Gasalla to is forté: female impersonation.

Having had a falling out twenty years earlier, Gasalla and his erstwhile café-concert partner, Carlos Perciavalle, were reunited in a 1997-98 theatrical series in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Gasalla then returned to film in 2000, portraying Fredy, a homosexual man, in Almejas y mejillones (Clams and Mussels), and to the theatre, where he portrayed his numerous female characters from 2000 to 2004.

Gasalla's female impersonations remain the hallmark of his career not only for his intricate portrayals, but also for their sheer number. Some of the best-known over the years have included:

  • Grandma/Mamá Cora: a senile, though willful, nonagenarian.
  • Soledad Solari: a woman with multiple phobias.
  • Inesita: a high-society maven frequently under her plastic surgeon's knife (often with disastrous consequences).
  • Yolanda: an elderly, hypochondriac woman psychologically attached to her wheelchair.
  • Bárbara: a parody of television hosts Rona Barrett or Barbara Walters.
  • Noelia: an overdressed, eccentric schoolteacher.
  • Flora: an inflexible, petty public servant (roughly equivalent to Lily Tomlin's Ernestine the operator).
  • The Nurse: she loses more patients than she saves.
  • Mirta Bertotti: the middle-aged matriarch of a dysfunctional family.
  • Esther Estrés: Estrés translates as "stress" in Spanish.
  • Dr. Gutman: an indiscreet psychoanalyst.


1945John Wojtowicz (d.2006) was an American bank robber whose story inspired the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon.

Wojtowicz, the son of Polish immigrants, married Carmen Bifulco in 1967. They had two children, and separated in 1969. Wojtowicz later met Ernest Aron (later to be known as Elizabeth Debbie Eden) in 1971 at an Italian feast in New York City. The two had a public wedding ceremony in 1971.

On August 22, 1972, Wojtowicz, along with Salvatore Naturale and Robert Westenberg, attempted to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan bank on the corner of East Third Street and Avenue P in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The heist was meant to pay for Aron's sex reassignment surgery. Wojtowicz and Naturale held seven Chase Manhattan bank employees hostage for 14 hours. Westernberg fled the scene before the robbery was underway when he saw a police car on the street. Wojtowicz, a former bank teller, had some knowledge of bank operations. However, he apparently based his plan on scenes from the movie The Godfather, which he had seen earlier that day. The robbers became media celebrities. Wojtowicz was arrested, but Naturale was killed by the FBI during the final moments of the incident.

According to Wojtowicz, he was offered a deal for pleading guilty, which the court did not honor, and on April 23, 1973, he was sentenced to 20 years in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary of which he served six. Wojtowicz was rearrested in 1986 for violating his parole. He made $7,500 selling the movie rights to the story and 1% of its net profit, and helped finance Aron's sex reassignment surgery with these funds.

Wojtowicz was released from prison on April 10, 1978. Elizabeth Debbie Eden died of AIDS-related pneumonia in Rochester, New York on September 29, 1987.

(Click for larger)

Wojtowicz's story was used as the basis for the film Dog Day Afternoon. The movie was released in 1975, and starred Al Pacino as Wojtowicz (called "Sonny Wortzik" in the film), and John Cazale, one of Pacino's co-stars in The Godfather, as Naturale. Eden, known as "Leon" in the film, was portrayed by actor Chris Sarandon.


Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan

1947 – Born in Manila, Richard Adams (d.2012) immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 12. He grew up in Long Prairie, Minn., studied liberal arts at the University of Minnesota and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1968. By 1971 he was working in Los Angeles, where he met Australian Anthony Sullivan and fell in love.

In 1975, Richard Adams made history when he and his partner of four years, Anthony Sullivan, became one of the first gay couples in the country to be granted a marriage license. It happened in Boulder, Colo., where a liberal county clerk issued licenses to six same-sex couples in the spring of that year.

On April 21, 1975, they obtained their license and exchanged marriage vows at the First Unitarian Church of Denver.

Adams had hoped to use his marriage to secure permanent residency in the United States for Sullivan, an Australian who had been in the country on a limited visa and was facing deportation.

But Colorado's attorney general declared the Boulder marriages invalid. Several months later, Adams and Sullivan received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that denied Sullivan's petition for resident status in terms that left no doubt about the reason:

"You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots," the notification read.

In November 1975, they received the immigration agency's derogatory letter and lodged a formal protest. Officials reissued the denial notice without the word "faggots."

They took the agency to court in 1979, challenging the constitutionality of the denial. A federal district judge in Los Angeles upheld the INS decision, and Adams and Sullivan lost subsequent appeals.

In a second lawsuit, the couple argued that Sullivan's deportation after an eight-year relationship with Adams would constitute an "extreme hardship." In 1985 a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the hardship argument and opened the way for Sullivan to be sent back to Australia.

Because Australia had already turned down Adams' request for residency in that country, the couple decided the only way they could stay together was to leave the U.S. In 1985, they flew to Britain and drifted through Europe for the next year.

The pair ended their self-imposed exile after a year and came back to the U.S They lived quietly in Los Angeles to avoid drawing the attention of immigration officials, but in recent years began to appear at rallies supporting same-sex marriage.

They were encouraged by new guidelines issued by the Obama administration in the fall of 2012 instructing immigration officials to stop deporting foreigners in long-standing same-sex relationships with U.S. citizens.

Although the policy change came more than three decades after Adams and Sullivan raised the issue, it gave Adams "a sense of vindication." The day before Adams died, Sullivan told him that the most important victory was that they were able to remain a couple.

"Richard looked at me and said, 'Yeah, you're right. We've won.'" Sullivan told their friends.


1950Mark Merlis (d.217) was an American health policy consultant and novelist. After completing a BA in English in 1971, and an MA in American Studies in 1976, Merlis took an entry-level position at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to support himself while writing.

His efficiency as a health policy analyst, however, led him to move in 1987 to the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress as a Specialist in Social Legislation. Here, he was closely involved in most of the major health legislation, including involvement in grant allocation formulas for AIDS healthcare.

Since 2001, Merlis had worked as an independent health policy consultant, while living with Bob, his partner of 26 years, in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Alongside his successful career he produced three highly-regarded novels which view contemporary gay concerns through the filter of historical parallels.

In American Studies (1994) the elderly victim of a brutal beating by a hustler he brought home late one night, spends his time while recuperating in the hospital recollecting how Tom Slater, his college mentor, was driven to commit suicide when outed during the McCarthy era.

In An Arrow's Flight (1998), Merlis set the events of the Trojan War in a late twentieth-century milieu, adapting the ancient myth of Philoctetes - who was abandoned under miserable circumstances by his fellow Greeks en route to Troy when a leg wound festered so badly that no one could bear its rank odour - to illuminate American attitudes towards the gay body in general, and towards AIDS-sufferers in particular.

And in Man about Town (2003), a middle-aged civil servant specialising in health care issues who has just been abandoned by his longtime partner, searches for a swimwear model about whose image in a magazine he fantasised as a youth. Only by deconstructing the illusions of his past is he able to address and move beyond his present alcoholic inertia.

In all three novels, Merlis examined how the chains of power that render gay men second-class citizens can be broken. These chains include the power that the past has over the present; the power that straights have to intimidate gays; and the power of desire to make one vulnerable.


1963 – Lord Ivar Mountbatten is a British aristocrat. He is a third cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten was born in London. He is the younger son of David Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven and Janet Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven (formerly Janet Bryce). He is the younger brother of the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, and a direct descendant of Catherine the Great and Alexander Pushkin. He is also a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, who was his great-great-great grandmother, making him a third cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. He is one of the godfathers of Lady Louise Windsor (born 2003), the daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Through the Mountbatten line, he is a second cousin of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.

Mountbatten married Penelope Anne Vere Thompson, on 23 April 1994 in Clare, Suffolk. They divorced in 2011. They have three daughters.

Ivar and his wife separated in September 2010 and their home Bridwell Park, in the village of Uffculme, Devon was originally put up for sale. The couple divorced in November 2011. In January 2015, Ivar converted Bridwell into an exclusive use wedding venue, and for corporate functions and business events.

In September 2016, Mountbatten revealed that he was in a relationship with James Coyle, an airline cabin services director whom he met while at a ski resort in Verbier. Though Mountbatten is not a member of the British royal family, he is the first member of the monarch's extended family to come out as gay.

"'Coming out' is such a funny phrase but it's what I suppose I did in a rather roundabout way, emerging to a place I'm happy to be," Mountbatten said. "I have struggled with my sexuality and in some ways I still do; it has been a real journey to reach this point."

It seems likely Mountbatten will enjoy support from other members of the royal family, including Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

"Now everyone in our family knows and could not be more supportive," he told the Daily Mail.


 (Click for full monty)

1968Will Clark is an American gay pornographic film actor. He is a member of the Grabby Awards Hall of Fame and has received a special citation from the GayVN Awards for his fundraising work in support of HIV/AIDS charities.

Prior to his pornographic film career, Clark was a struggling actor in New York City. "I had trouble finding roles," he told Manshots magazine. "I just didn’t fit anything. I wasn’t the type they were looking for. No one was casting a young, redheaded male. So to earn money, I started go-go dancing at The Limelight and Tunnel and the Palladium. I also started doing male escort work, and I really enjoyed that."

A music promoter encouraged him to apply to Falcon Studios, and he was rejected. "'You’re too white, you’re too hairy, you’re a redhead. We don’t care for any of that stuff. And you need to bulk up,'" he recalled being told. Through a connection in San Francisco, California, Clark secured an audition with gay adult film director Steven Scarborough of Hot House Video and was subsequently cast in his first erotic feature, Dr. Goodglove (1996). Within a year, however, Clark had indeed added a significant amount of muscle, as well as begun to appear in leather and BDSM pornographic films. Clark subsequently appeared in around 50 pornographic films in a variety of genres, although reviewers say leather and BDSM roles were his best performances.

Clark's HIV/AIDS activism-fundraising efforts began in 1997 when he volunteered with Stop AIDS Chicago and Aid for AIDS. A series of fundraisers began one year later. "I did this birthday party for myself and Dino DiMarco and Sam Dixon in March of ’98. And after that, I was talking to Mickey Skee and he was doing promotion for his Bad Boys of Video book. And I was in the book, and I thought some other guys in the book would make great bartenders. I said, 'Hey, why not call it the Bad Boys Pool Party and promote Mickey’s book and the guys in the book?' And that became the hook of the party. And it evolved from that. The first party earned $8,300, and the second earned $10,600." Clark produced fundraisers featuring variations on this and similar themes in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Francisco. As of 2008, he continued to produce similar events in New York City.

1969Los Angeles police savagely beat a gay man to death during the Dover Hotel raid. The Dover operated as an early version of the soon-to-become-popular bathhouse scene. It was also the scene of a number of raids by LAPD’s vice squad for the easy bust of "faggots."

During a raid by the LAPD Vice Squad on March 9, 1969, four months prior to the Stonewall riots in New York City, Howard Efland, a male nurse who checked into the hotel under the pseudonym of J. McCann. By the end of that day Efland would be brutally beaten outside the hotel by police in front of numerous witnesses. While several witnesses claimed that Efland died at the scene, arresting officers Chauncy and Halligan said Elfland was alive then claimed that halfway to the station from where they had arrested him, he kicked open the door and fell out onto the Hollywood Freeway. No one was ever held accountable for the murder of Howard Efland.

On March 2, 2016, Back2Stonewall’s Will Kohler talked with LAPD’s  Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Liaison in the Community Relations Department who promised to look into the Efland case after 46 years.

1972 – The Montana Constitutional Convention defeats a proposal to protect consenting adult sexual activity in the Bill of Rights by a vote of 69-16, with 15 not voting. The purpose of the measure is to prohibit criminal prosecution of consenting homosexuals.

1981 – A Maryland appellate court upholds the right of the prosecution to introduce a 25-year-old sodomy conviction against a defendant for purposes of impeaching credibility.


1990Matthew Vines is an openly gay Christian LGBT activist, known for the viral YouTube video "The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality" and his related and equally controversial 2014 book, "God and the Gay Christian".

Vines grew up in Wichita, Kansas, having interests in performing arts, speaking and writing. While in high school, he created a popular fan website dedicated to the Harry Potter movie series. The website,, drew more than 50,000 hits per day, and became a source of employment for him as he maintained the site and sold space within it to advertisers.

Growing up, he attended an evangelical Presbyterian church with his family. Upon graduation from high school, he was accepted into Harvard, where he studied for two years during 2008-2010, focusing on philosophy. He then quit Harvard in order to pursue a full-time study of the Bible's statements on homosexuality in response to widespread belief that homosexual expression is disapproved by God - a belief held at the time by his own parents and their family church. He was unable to convince the leadership of his family church that they misunderstood what the Bible states about homosexuality, and this led to both himself and other family members leaving that church.

In March 2012, Vines delivered a speech in front of a congregation at College Hill United Methodist Church, detailing his controversial belief that "the Bible never directly addresses and certainly does not condemn, loving, committed same-sex relationships". The presentation was recorded on video and uploaded to YouTube, where it went viral through its sharing on social networks. The clip was noted for its detailed treatment of the Bible verses that are generally translated to refer to homosexuality, and for the claim that once original languages and context are taken into consideration, some Bible references are more ambiguous than many people realize. Some scholars pointed out that the material of the video was largely not new, but the format made the formerly 'fringe' material more accessible to the general public. Since then, the video of the speech has been seen more than 700,000 times on YouTube and has been featured in The New York Times.

His video drew various responses from Christian media outlets and individuals, often contesting his claim that the God of the Bible condones homosexual relationships.

Vines' success in gaining an audience as a vlogger gave him impetus to found The Reformation Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the mainstream Christian church's teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity and seeking greater inclusion of LGBT lay members and clergy.

In April 2014, Vines published a book, God and the Gay Christian, which provided a backdrop of his speech and responds to the main themes of the controversy. Like the video, the book has been celebrated by LGBT Christians, while many of its claims have been generally repudiated by conservative Christians.

While there have been many who have previously claimed that homosexual relations are not sinful, some have claimed that what sets Vines apart, is that he speaks from a conservative Christian perspective.

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