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
1884 – Hugh Walpole, English novelist, born in Aukland, New Zealand (d.1941); As a young man, the future dean of English letters who could make or break literary careers and reputations hero-worshiped Henry James, more than forty years his senior. Walpole called him "my very dear Master," and James responded with "darling Hugh" and "my belovedest little Hugh." Little Hugh, the story goes, once attempted to seduce the virginal James, who promptly broke into tears and cried, "I can't...I can't"
A discreet homosexual, Walpole spent much time and energy looking for "the ideal friend". Of the many he considered, Walpole's greatest loves were the Danish tenor Lauritz Melchior and a married Cornish constable named Harold Cheevers who had once been revolver champ of the British Isles. Like E.M. Forster's London bobby, Cheevers, often described as his 'chauffeur and companion', was brawny and masculine and stayed with Walpole until the day the writer died.
Walpole's first novel was The Wooden Horse (1909) and Fortitude (1913) his first great novelistic success. He worked for the Red Cross in Russia during World War I, an experience that fed his The Dark Forest (1916) and The Secret City (1919).
Walpole's commercial success enabled him to maintain an expensive lifestyle, with a flat in Piccadilly, London, and a large house, Brackenburn, on the slopes of Catbells overlooking Derwentwater in the Lake District.
He died from a heart attack in 1941 while doing volunteer war work in Keswick in Cumbria where he lived and based many of his most enduring stories.
1892 – Janet Flanner (d.1978) was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name "Genêt". She also published a single novel, The Cubical City, set in New York City.
Janet Flanner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her father co-owned a mortuary and ran the first crematorium in the state of Indiana. After a period spent traveling abroad with her family and studies at Tudor Hall School for Girls (now Park Tudor School), she enrolled in the University of Chicago in 1912, leaving the university in 1914. Two years later, she returned to her native city to take up a post as the first cinema critic on the local paper, the Indianapolis Star.
In 1918 she married William "Lane" Rehm, a friend that she had met while at the University of Chicago. He was then an artist in New York City, and she later admitted that she married him to get out of Indianapolis. The marriage lasted for only a few years and they divorced amicably in 1926. Rehm was supportive of Flanner's career until his death.
In 1918, the same year she married her husband, she met Solita Solano in Greenwich Village, and the two became lifelong lovers, although both became involved with other lovers throughout their relationship. Solano was drama editor for the New York Tribune, and also wrote for National Geographic. The two women are portrayed as "Nip" and "Tuck" in the 1928 novel Ladies Almanack, by Djuna Barnes, a friend of Flanner's. While in New York, Flanner moved in the circle of the Algonquin Round Table, but was not a member. She also met the couple, Jane Grant and Harold Ross, through painter Neysa McMein. It was based on this connection that Harold Ross offered Flanner the position of French Correspondent to the New Yorker.
How did Janet Flanner get the first installment of her famous "Letter from Paris" published in The New Yorker (which would run her column fortnightly for fifty years) and how did she get her pen name Genêt? Both answers: Harold Ross. Flanner had left Manhattan and her husband to travel in Europe with her lover Solito Solano (née Sarah Wilkinson) and from Paris she wrote to Jane Grant, Ross's wife. In 1925 Ross was still struggling to find the top notch writing he wanted for his new magazine, less than a year old, and he decided to publish Flanner's letter without asking her permission and therefore needed a nom de plume, choosing what he mistakenly thought was French for Janet — Genêt
Flanner knew virtually every important person in Paris for decades but also wrote about Algeria, Hungary invaded by the Russians, the Sinai War, and dozens of other topics in her signature style. She won a National Book Award in 1966. The center of a far reaching circle of lesbian friends, she was a constant presence at Natalie Barney's salons and in Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein's living room and with the many other prominent lesbians discussed in Paris Was a Woman and, more obliquely, in her own otherwise outstanding memoir Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939. She was equally at home with Gide and Cocteau as she was with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and she never lost her knack for being at the elbow of history: She was on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971 with Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer when they had their famous fracas and rather than ducking she came between them.
Although they occasionally had separate affairs, Flanner and Solano remained committed to each other and lived together for fifty years. Solano died in 1975, when she was eighty-seven; Flanner died in 1978, when she was eighty-six.
1905 – Brian Howard (d.1958) was an English poet. He was born to American parents in Hascombe, Surrey, and brought up in London. He was educated at Eton College. He entered Christ Church, Oxford in 1923, and was prominent in the group later known as the Oxford Wits. He was one of the Hypocrites group that included Evelyn Waugh. He allegedly provided the model for Anthony Blanche, the social butterfly in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.
At this time he had already been published as a poet. Subsequently he led a very active social life, tried to come to terms with his homosexuality, and published only one substantial poetry collection God Save the King (1930).
During the 1930s he drifted around Europe. He had affairs with various young men before settling on Toni, a young blond German bisexual who he had met in Munich. In September 1935 he and Toni were staying at the same pension as Christopher Isherwood and Klaus Mann, son of Thomas Mann, in Amsterdam. At the start of the war Toni was interned in France but eventually managed to escape to the States, where he married an American, putting distance and an end to their twelve-year relationship.
In 1931, in Germany, Howard had become influenced by novelist Thomas Mann's loathing for Hitler and he filed anti-Hitler articles to the British press. His anti-Nazi stance was reinforced by his Jewishness. Later, in 1939, Howard assisted the release of a number of anti-Nazi Germans imprisoned in France.
Howard was often drunk throughout his adult life and alcohol began to become a problem, along with drugs, during his 30s.
In 1940, Howard was recruited into MI5 as an undercover 'outside contact' to report on pro-Nazi personalities. His dark apprehensions from the 1930s were reflected in a series of anti-Nazi propaganda scripts that he wrote for BBC radio. These scripts were some of the earliest to broadcast the facts of the genocidal 'eugenics programme' of the Third Reich. Following his dismissal from MI5 in 1942 he served in a low-key role in the RAF.
During this time, he renewed his acquaintance with the spy Guy Burgess, a fellow Old Etonian and also a BBC correspondent. Burgess, one of the Soviet Union's 'Cambridge Five' spy ring, had studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and he and Oxonian Howard knew each other in 1937 in Germany.
In the autumn of 1943 Brian Howard started a relationship with Sam, a nineteen-year-old Irishman, and in command of an Air-Sea Rescue Launch. In 1944 he was given an honourable discharge from the RAF for being 'below Air Force physical standard, although fit for selected employment in civil life'. Sam was invalided out of the Navy because of foot trouble and he got a job at the BBC.
After the war Howard continued to drift with Sam. They lived in France for a while but in 1950 Howard was unexpectedly expelled as an 'undesirable' and they fled to Italy and then travelled around Austria and Germany.
Brian Howard's health failed during the 1950s and he relied on sedatives. He had tuberculosis that he said he had contracted in Spain, and his alcoholism was taking its toll. He and Sam continued to wander around Europe looking for a home. They spent some time in Tangier in the spring of 1954 where Brian Howard was curing his addiction to alcohol but becoming dependent on drugs.
In June 1954 he was allowed to return to France, although doubts continued about whether either Brian Howard or Sam could have a visa. Both were still keen to settle in France and Howard's mother used an inheritance to buy a house near Nice.
Brian Howard and Sam moved into the house at the beginning of January 1958 but disaster struck within two weeks of their arrival. In the morning of 11 January 1958 Sam went to have a bath but workmen had removed an exhaust pipe from the bathroom and Sam died accidentally of asphyxiation from fumes from a gas heater. He was 32. Four days later Brian Howard killed himself by taking an overdose of sedatives. He was 52. After a double funeral they were buried together at the Caucade de Nice cemetery.
1948 – Alberto Manguel, born, in Buenos Aires, is an Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, editor, and a former Director of the National Library of Argentina.
Manguel was born to Pablo and Rosalia Manguel, both Jewish. He spent his first years in Israel where his father Pablo was the Argentine ambassador, returning to his native country at the age of seven. Later, in Buenos Aires, when Manguel was still a teenager, he met the writer Jorge Luis Borges, a customer of the Pygmalion Anglo-German bookshop in Buenos Aires where Manguel worked after school. As Borges was almost blind, he would ask others to read out loud for him, and Manguel became one of Borges' readers, several times a week from 1964 to 1968.
In 1982 Manguel moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and lived there (with a brief European period) until 2000. He has been a Canadian citizen ever since. Here Manguel contributed regularly to The Globe and Mail (Toronto).
For more than twenty years, Manguel has edited a number of literary anthologies on a variety of themes or genres ranging from erotica and gay stories to fantastic literature and mysteries.
He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980), A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008); and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels (El regreso and Todos los hombres son mentirosos) were written in Spanish, and El regreso has not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998). In 2007, Manguel was selected to be that year's annual lecturer for the prestigious Massey Lectures.
In 2000, Manguel moved to the Poitou-Charentes region of France, where he and his partner Craig Stephenson purchased and renovated a medieval presbytery. Among the renovations was an oak-panelled library to house Manguel's nearly 40,000 books. In September 2020, the collection was donated to the Centre for Research in the History of Reading in Lisbon, Portugal with Manguel as its head.
He was married to Pauline Ann Brewer from 1975 to 1986. Upon divorcing Brewer in 1987, Manguel began seeing his current partner Craig Stephenson.
1950 – David Bergman is an American writer and English professor at Towson University, in Towson, Maryland part of the University System of Maryland. He was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, grew up in Laurelton, New York, and graduated from Kenyon College (1972) and earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (1978). He is openly gay and Jewish.
Bergman is the author of Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Representation in American Literature and the editor of Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality.
He received the George Elliston Poetry Prize for his work Cracking the Code. With Karl Woelz, he won a Lambda Book Award for editing Men on Men 2000. The Men on Men series showcases the remarkable talent of gay literary writers. These venerable collections of short stories have become a gay literary institution, launching the careers of several writers.
1951 – Anthony Venn-Brown is a former Australian evangelist in the Assemblies of God and an author whose book, A Life of Unlearning describes his experience in Australia's first ex-gay program. He is also the Co-founder and previous Convenor of Freedom 2b which is a network for GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) people from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical backgrounds.
Anthony Venn-Brown was born and raised in a family with a strong Anglican Church background (Anglo-Catholic). His family were committed to church life during his early years but as a teenager Anthony felt that the rituals, language and beliefs were irrelevant not only to him but also the generation of the 60's and he ceased all involvement in the church.
It was also at this time the awareness of his homosexuality increased. Australian society in the 60's viewed homosexuality as a mental illness/perversion and it was a criminal offence. This led to deep depression and a suicide attempt.
Anthony Venn Brown eventually made contact with evangelical Anglicans in the Sydney Diocese in his quest to be "normal" and acceptable to his family and friends and was converted in 1969. After his conversion in 1969, Anthony continued to be involved in evangelism and was baptised in a Baptist church.
Many times he felt that God had answered his prayer and that he had been set free of his attraction to the same sex. However, it did not have a lasting impact on his life. Believing that 'more faith and more power' was needed to overcome his 'problem', Anthony began to explore his Christianity in the Charismatic renewal, which had just commenced in Sydney, and also traditional Pentecostal contexts.
In 1971, after feeling a strong call to ministry, Anthony attended Faith Bible College, a pastoral and missionary training centre in New Zealand. After confessing to the leadership of the college that he still struggled with homosexuality, he underwent several weeks of exorcisms through the ministry of Pastor Neville Johnson at Queen Street Assemblies of God in Auckland.
However, on returning to Australia, Anthony was still troubled by his sexuality, and believing that he could never serve God until this part of his life was overcome, he signed himself into a 'live-in' ex-gay program for six months at Moombara and Bundeena Christian Fellowship (a rehabilitation centre that claimed success for drug addicts, prostitutes and homosexuals). Anthony then moved to Orange New South Wales in 1972 and began youth work for the local Assemblies of God Church and was married in 1974.
Venn Brown pioneered several Assemblies of God churches in regional NSW including Port Macquarie, Gunnedah, Wauchope and Laurieton before moving to Sydney with his family in the early 1980s and founding "Every Believer Evangelism." Venn-Brown became a popular preacher at all the major churches of the Assemblies of God in Australia including Hillsong Church's predecessor Christian Life Centre and also preached overseas. In 1990 he became the first Pentecostal to be appointed to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism in Australia.
Venn-Brown resigned as a minister in 1991 after coming out as a gay man. In 2004 he published his autobiography, A Life of Unlearning - Coming out of the church, One Man's Struggle.The book detailed his struggle to reconcile his homosexuality with his Christian beliefs. The revised edition, A Life of Unlearning - a Journey to Find the Truth was published in 2007.
Anthony doesn't feel he will return to preaching, saying
"30 years down the track someone who is gay or lesbian will be allowed to minister. I hope I'm there to see it, but I feel I've had my ministry. When I came back to God I felt like I had the essence of what it was all about. What I have now is real. I have learned to live non-judgementally, to live with integrity and I didn't have that as a preacher."
One of the first people to be involved in this dialogue was Pastor Mike Hercock, a Baptist minister who was leading a church in Darlinghurst, Sydney . A friendship developed and Anthony relayed the many stories of tragedy and loss experienced by gay and lesbian people who had been rejected by the church. Anthony introduced Mike to the work of Freedom 2b. He was deeply touched by the stories of those he met.
In 2007, Freedom 2b marched for the first time in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Seeing the profound impact this had on those who had lived for so many years in shame, guilt and fear, Pastor Hercock stated that the following year he would encourage 100 Evangelical ministers to sign an apology to the LGBT community for the way the church had mistreated them and march in the 2008 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This movement became known as the 100 Revs and led to the following statement:
"As ministers of various churches and denominations we recognise that the churches we belong to, and the church in general, have not been places of welcome for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people. Indeed the church has often been profoundly unloving toward the GLBT community. For these things we apologise, whatever the distinctive of our Christian position on human sexuality - to which we remain committed. We are deeply sorry and ask for the forgiveness of the GLBT community. We long that the church would be a place of welcome for all people and commit ourselves to pursuing this goal."
1960 – John Greyson, born in Nelson, British Columbia, is a Canadian filmmaker, whose work frequently deals with gay themes. Greyson is also a video artist, writer and activist; he is currently a professor at York University, where he teaches film and video theory and film production and editing.
He directed several short films, including The Perils of Pedagogy, Kipling Meets the Cowboy and Moscow Does Not Believe in Queers, before releasing his first feature film, Pissoir, in 1988. Pissoir is a response to the homophobic climate of the period and, particularly, to police entrapment of men in public washrooms (toilets) and parks and police raids on gay bathhouses.
Greyson's next film was The Making of "Monsters", a short musical film produced during Greyson's residency at the Canadian Film Centre in 1991. The film deals with the 1985 murder by five adolescent males of Kenneth Zeller, a gay high school teacher and librarian, in Toronto's High Park. The film is a fictional documentary about the making of a movie-of-the-week, entitled "Monsters," in which the young murderers are depicted as psychopathic monsters, rather than 'normal' teenage boys. The film features Marxist literary critic Georg Lukács as the producer of "Monsters," with Bertolt Brecht (played by a catfish) as director. Greyson's film was pulled from distribution when the estate of Kurt Weill objected to its use of the tune of Mack the Knife. Greyson had originally received copyright permission to use the tune, but it was withdrawn, apparently because Weill's estate objected to the film's gay theme. Although copyright is no longer an issue, having lapsed in 2000, fifty years after Weill's death, the film has not yet been re-released by the Canadian Film Development Corporation.
Greyson directed the feature length films Zero Patience and Lillies.
Greyson's other films include Un©ut (1997), The Law of Enclosures (1999) and Proteus (2003). He has also directed for television, including episodes of Queer as Folk, Made in Canada and Paradise Falls.
Greyson is popular with film critics but controversial with some audiences because of the flamboyant theatricality and thematic complexity of his filmmaking style, and the frank depiction of gay themes in his work. His feature works have all been commercially unsuccessful.
In summer 2013, Greyson traveled to Egypt, where he and fellow Canadian, Dr. Tarek Loubani, were detained without charges, in a cell with 38 other people. Reports indicate the two were on their way to Gaza to carry out medical relief work, but were forced to remain in Cairo as the crossing was closed. They remained in detention from August 16 to October 5, 2013.
Greyson's union, the York University Faculty Association, ran a campaign via LabourStart in an effort to force the Egyptian government to release him. Greyson and Loubani began a hunger strike on September 16 to protest their treatment.
The Canadian government announced on October 5 that Greyson and Loubani had been released, however they were unable to board a flight to Frankfurt due to remaining on a no-fly list issued by government prosecutors. On October 10, Greyson and Loubani were cleared for departure and left Egypt for home the next day.
1968 – John Campbell (d.2007) was a British Aids campaigner with wit, spirit and intellect. With three other activists, Terry White, Jacquie Dutton and John Mordaunt, he set up a new Aids organisation in 1993. The strength of the UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and Aids was, and is, that it was run by people with the disease themselves.
He was a troubled child and had been a prostitute and male stripper in his home town of Edinburgh before, in 1984, he came to London to carry on the same activities.
In 1986 he was arrested on prostitution charges and remanded to Chelmsford prison, where he was given an HIV test. A few days later he was released, but rearrested 10 months later for 121 counts of male prostitution. That was when he found out he had HIV: "The magistrate said if I was done for a sexual offence again, I'd be charged with attempted murder."
His involvement in Aids activism started with Frontliners, an organisation run by people living with HIV that had evolved from a Terrence Higgins Trust support group. He co-organised the first Walk for Life and helped to set up Positive Youth and the deaf organisation Aids Ahead. During this period of aggressive prejudice towards people with HIV, John did not demur from being the public face of young gay men with the disease, often on the television and in the newspapers.
He got work in a bar and as a hotel manager in his late teens but became ill. He was sacked and lost his home. His lowest point came on his 20th birthday, in 1988. He had pneumonia and was told he would not survive the night. But John was not finished.
In 1990, John met the then chief inspector of prisons, Judge Stephen Tumin, who made him a government adviser on HIV and sexual health in prisons. Stephen and his wife Winifred became great friends, unfazed by his old life as a rent boy but impressed by John's intellect, wit and spirit.
He helped to set up hospices and worked with the Elton John Aids Foundation and the Denholm Elliot Project, an HIV respite holiday home in Ibiza - where he partied each year.
In 1993, he married a beautiful Israeli woman, Shir, and spent happy times in Israel. He was possibly the longest surviving Briton with Aids. He died in 2007.
1975 – The U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania halts surveillance of public restrooms from overhead holes without a warrant.
1979 – The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services refuses to grant license to Tri-Aid to run a group home for gays. The Tri-Aid Charitable Foundation was already running one group home and wanted a second exclusively for gays. The agency was run by gay social worker Doug Chin.
1980 – The Association of Gay Electors chooses George Hislop as candidate for the Ward 6 aldermanic race in downtown Toronto. The civic election would be held in November. Hislop had been co-founder and long-time president of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto. A co-owner of the Club Baths of Toronto and The Barracks Bathhouse he had been charged as "keeper of a common bawdyhouse" following the notorious Bathhouse raids.
1984 – Noel Fisher is a Canadian actor. He is known for his portrayal of Mickey Milkovich on the Showtime series Shameless, as well as his portrayal of Cael Malloy on the FX series The Riches. He played Ellison "Cotton Top" Mounts in the Emmy Award–winning miniseries Hatfields & McCoys as well as Vladimir, a 1500-year-old vampire in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and Michelangelo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He also has had a substantial number of roles in shows such as Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, Lie to Me, Bones, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Fisher was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He began his acting career at the age of 14 in the television movie, The Sheldon Kennedy Story. During his time as a young actor in Vancouver, he was encouraged to "take many different classes" and "fell in love" with piano, which he studied for eight years.
He debuted in 1999 with The Sheldon Kennedy Story, a sport drama movie on the ice hockey player Sheldon Kennedy. His performance landed Fisher his first Gemini Awards nomination. He gained a second nomination with the TV series Godiva's in 2005. He played Brian Gibbons in Final Destination 2 in 2003, one of his first roles in an American movie. From 2007, Fisher became more known by public due to the critically acclaimed FX series The Riches, portraying Cael, the conniving and clever son of Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver.
Fisher has received many accolades for playing Mickey Milkovich, a gay thug character on Shameless. Though Fisher is straight, his sexuality is often questioned in interviews. He has responded to the controversy as such,
"I don't look at Mickey as a gay character. I look at him as a person, who happens to be gay. I think it's weird how we, as a society, try to put the LGBT community in a box, when in fact, they are just people. They have the same complexities as you and me. That's how I look at Mickey, as a complex person."
1991 – "Paris is Burning" premieres in the U.S. It is a documentary that shows New York’s drag scene in the 1980s, directed by Jennie Livingston. It chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
2009 – Shawn Woodward is charged with aggravated assault after physically attacking 62-year-old Ritchie Dowrey in Vancouver's Fountainhead Pub, allegedly because "He's a faggot. He deserved it." Although Dowrey survived the assault, he suffered brain damage serious enough that he will likely remain in intensive care for the rest of his life.
In November 2010, Woodward was sentenced to six years in jail for what the judge described as an "unprovoked attack, driven by virulent homophobia." Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Jocelyn Palmer rejected Woodward's evidence that Dowrey had touched his crotch before the assault. She said the evidence showed that Dowrey who was celebrating his retirement that night had twice approached Woodward and asked if he could buy him a beer and had merely touched his shoulder. However, Woodward responded: "'I'm not like that,' meaning 'I'm not gay,'" said the judge.
As he was leaving the pub, Woodward sucker-punched Dowrey and then stepped over him to get to the door, Palmer said. "Mr. Dowrey had no opportunity to defend himself," the judge said.
The judge said sentencing should reflect circumstances that showed the crime was fuelled by bias, prejudice or hatred based on such things as race, religion or sexual orientation. Palmer found there were aggravating homophobic factors in the assault and noted Woodward had shown no remorse for his actions.